General Slim making prototype parachutes from jute sacks

One of  General Slim’s most unusual achievements as a leader was that he won the confidence of troops under his command whilst they were being defeated. This happened first in Burma Corps in 1942 then XV Corps in the Arakan in 1943.  Units from both went to be part of 14th Army when it was formed and he took command of it.  He then changed the way the Army operated in particular by saying that if the Japanese got behind an Anglo Indian unit,  as they often did, then the Anglo Indian unit should stay put. He promised, the surrounded unit would be supplied by parachute. However, India in 1943 had very little silk so his idea was to use jute instead. One day a staff officer came to his bungalow and found him cutting up sacks to prove the viability of this idea by making a parachute himself, much a dress maker might make a dress. This painting depicting this event, which took place in Comilla in 1943, was commissioned by Bandoola Productions.

2 Replies to “General Slim making prototype parachutes from jute sacks”

  1. Very much enjoying your articles and research. It was years before Dad would talk about Burma so I devoured every book. He fought with the 2bn Dorsets at Kohima and now at 93 years of age still has sharp memories of the battle while still harvesting bits of shrapnel from his skin.
    Look forward to the doco.
    Regards Paul


    1. Thanks Paul. It is, well encouraging, to be encouraged. I do not write enough here. I am doing research all the time and have been back and forward to Japan a good deal. Did you catch the History Hit, by James Holland. Well worth a look. I might write on that.


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