During the 1940s robert Callow met and even fought with significant historical figures, including several who had a great impact on 20th-century asian history
adrian Carton de wiart
(1880-1963) Carton de wiart, an eye-patch wearing, one-handed, belgian-born british army officer, personally selected Callow for commando service. Carton de wiart fought in three major conflicts across six decades and won a victoria Cross during the battle of the somme. although he was wounded eight times in world war I alone, he once said that “war was in my blood”.
(1887-1975) Chiang was the powerful head of the nationalist government of China from 1928-49, who reunified the country in the inter-war period as well as ostensibly leading it through world war II. however, Chiang was defeated during the Communist revolution between 1946-49. Chiang fled with the remnants of his government and founded the state of taiwan, which is still officially known as the ‘republic of China’.
(1924-2013) an ethnically Chinese, malayan communist guerrilla leader, Chin fought with the british during world war II and subsequently against them during the malayan emergency. the british managed to defeat him and he fled to thailand, although he later waged another unsuccessful campaign against independent malaysia. throughout all this he led the malayan Communist Party from 1947-89.
(1891-1970) as the commander of the british 14th army, slim turned back an attempted Japanese invasion of India before defeating its armies in burma. Callow remembered him as a “soldier’s soldier who didn’t call a ‘spade a spade’ but a ‘bloody shovel’!”
(1898-1976) the first premier of the People’s republic of China played a major role in the Chinese Communist revolution and was second only to mao Zedong in importance between 1949-76. unlike mao, Zhou was renowned for his charm and diplomatic skills, which most famously bore fruit in the historic meeting between mao and american President richard nixon in 1972.