In 1943, there was no thought of good times for two battalions of Scottish soldiers. For them, India meant a new and unimaginably arduous kind of training.
These were first-class British infantry, but not the super-selected special forces types that we know today. Nevertheless, it was a special-forces job they were supposed to do and that is what they were called, Special Force.
The two brigades they joined numbered 7,677 officers and men going into the jungle, of whom 531 were killed, captured or missing, and around 1,600 were wounded. By the end, some 3,800 were too sick to fight. Only 1,754 could be classified as 'effective' when they came out and, in truth, half of those were fit for no more than a hospital bed. It was a miracle anybody survived at all.
And that was just two of the five brigades that went in. Was this the greatest medical disaster of World War Two? Who caused it? This new book has the answers.