Dai Nippon Occupation Myanmar(before Burma) History Collections

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This E-Book Dedicated To President Aung Syu-Ki

Because many informations about her father

General aung San and His loving Country during the WW II

I am sorry this E-Book still need more corrections and please send comment  and more info

Dai Nippon War In Burma(Myanmar)

 

 

Created By

Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA

 

Private Limited E-Book In Cd-ROM Edition

Special for Senior Collecvtors

Copyright@2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army commanders “Reporting Troops Ready To Attack ‘
Ceremony Inspector “Organized”
Army commanders “Work”

Praface

1.I have the complete collection of postal and ocument history during Dai Nippon Occupations Java Island 1942-1945, chronology day per day from the Capitulation day on March,8th.1945 to August,17th,1945(2605) ,also until The Japanese Army back Home to their homeland Dec.1945 but the Dai nippon revenue still used by Republic Indonesai until 1947.

 

2. Now I only add the 1942(2602) Collections, and if the collectors want the look the complete collections ,not only from Java island  but also from sumatra Island, please subscribe as the blog premium member via comment,and we will contack you via your airmail. We will help you to arranged the very rare and amizing collections of Dai Nippon Occupations Indonesia postal and document special for you.

3.I had add in my block the articles odf Dai nippon war from all east asia countries, many collectors and friend asking me to edited  that all information in one book, and now I have finish that amizing book.

4.Not many Historic Pictures durting this period, if we found always in bad condition and black  _white  as the book illustrations, I hope someday the best colour pictures will exist to add in the book.

5.This book is the part of the Book :”THE DAI NIPPON WAR”

6. My Collections still need more info and corrections from the collectors of all over the world,thanks for your partcipatnt to make this collections more complete.

Jakarta, April 2011

Greatings From

Dr Iwan Suwandy

Perkenalan
1.Saya  memiliki koleksi lengkap sejarah pos dan dokumen serta gambar  selama Dai Nippon Menduduki Pulau Jawa  1942-1945  berupa kronologi hari per hari dari hari kapitulasi pada Maret, 8th.1945 sampai Agustus, 17, 1945 (2605), juga sampai Jepang Tentara kembali ketanah airnya , sampai untuk Dec.1945 Tentara Dai nippon masih memiliki kekuasaan yang dberikan oleh Sekutu sehingga prangko dan meterainya masih digunakan oleh Republik Indonesai hingga 1947.

2. Sekarang aku hanya menambahkan 1942 (2602) Koleksi, dan jika kolektor ingin terlihat koleksi lengkap, tidak hanya dari pulau Jawa tetapi juga dari Pulau sumatra, silakan berlangganan sebagai anggota premium blog melalui komentar, dan kami akan contack Anda melalui Anda pos udara. Kami akan membantu Anda untuk mengatur koleksi sangat langka dan amizing Dai Nippon Pekerjaan Indonesia pos dan dokumen khusus untuk Anda.

3.saya  telah menambahkan di blok saya, artikel perang Dai nippon dari seluruh negara asia timur, banyak kolektor dan teman meminta saya untuk mengedit  seluruh informasi tersebut dalam sebuah  buku, dan sekarang saya sudah menyelesaikan BUKU yang menarik ini.
4.Gambar  sejarah selama  periode ini,  kami ditemukan selalu dalam kondisi buruk dan  hitam putih dari  ilustrasi buku, saya berharap suatu hari nanti gambar warna terbaik akan ada untuk menambahkan dalam buku ini.
5.Tulisan ini  adalah bagian dari buku karangan saya : ” PERANG DAI NIPPON (THE DAI NIPPON  WAR)”
6. Koleksi saya masih perlu info dan koreksi dari kolektor di seluruh dunia, terima kasih atas partisipasit Anda untuk membuat koleksi ini lebih lengkap.7. terima kasih kepada berbagai pihak yang telah membantu sya sehingga buku ini dapat terwijud, maaf namanya tidak saya tampilkan satu persatu.

Jakarta, April 2011

Salam  Dari

Dr Iwan Suwandy

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Table Of Content

Part One:

The Dai Nippon war In Indonesia

1.Chapter One :

 

The dai nippon war In Indonesia 1942.

 

 

 

2.Chapter Two:The Dai Nippon War In Indonesia 1945

Part Two.:

 

The Dai Nippon War In Korea

Part Three:

 

The Dai Nippon war In China

Part Four :

 

The Dai Nippon War In Malaya Archiphelago ,Malayan Borneo and Singapore,also Phillipine

 

In Malaya the Japanese overwhelmed a Commonwealth army composed of British, Indian, Australian and Malay forces. The Japanese were quickly able to advance down the Malayan peninsula, forcing the Commonwealth forces to retreat towards Singapore. The British lacked aircover and tanks; the Japanese had total air superiority. The sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on December 10, 1941 led to the east coast of Malaya being exposed to Japanese landings and the elimination of British naval power in the area. By the end of January 1942, the last Allied forces crossed the strait of Johore and into Singapore. Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese on Christmas Day.

In the Philippines, the Japanese pushed the combined Filipino-American force towards the Bataan peninsula and later the island of Corregidor. By January 1942, General Douglas MacArthur and President Manuel L. Quezon were forced to flee in the face of Japanese advance. This marked among one of the worst defeats suffered by the Americans, leaving over 70,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war in the custody of the Japanese.

On February 15, 1942, Singapore, due to the overwhelming superiority of Japanese forces and encirclement tactics, fell to the Japanese, causing the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. An estimated 80,000 Indian, Australian and British troops were taken as prisoners of war, joining 50,000 taken in the Japanese invasion of Malaya (modern day Malaysia). Many were later used as forced labour constructing the Burma Railway, the site of the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai.

During 1943 and 1944, Allied forces, backed by the industrial might and vast raw material resources of the United States, advanced steadily towards Japan. The Sixth United States Army, led by General MacArthur, landed on Leyte on 19 October 1944. In the subsequent months, during the Philippines Campaign (1944–45), the combined United States and the Philippine Commonwealth troops, together with the recognized guerrilla units, liberated much of the Philippines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dai nippon War Part Four (3).

“The Dai nippon War In Burma(Myanmar)”

Introduction

Burma

Burma is a vast country, half the size of Europe. The main part of the country is a serried rank of knife-edges mountain ridges north of Rangoon and Mandalay, covered in near-impenetrable rain forest.

The country is split by three huge rivers, the Sittang, Salween and Irrawaddy.

These provide highways into the inland during the dry season and even in the monsoon, but become massive barriers to movement when swollen by the torrential downpours of the monsoon.

This lasted from mid-May to mid-October and turned the major rivers into inland seas, much of the country being flooded. All communications ran north-south with the rivers.

There was a railway bridge across the Sittang, but the great Salween was not bridged. There were no roads on the Tenasserim, only cart tracks, and only foot paths and cart tracks crossed the Kra to Thailand.

The ‘road’ through Three Pagodas Pass was a mixture of footpath and cart track. The coastal swamps swarmed with saltwater crocodiles, and the jungles teemed with tigers and other wildlife.

The southern panhandle of the country stretches 600 miles from Moulmein to Victoria Point. There were four airfields from north to south, Moulmein, Tavoy, Mergui and Victoria Point.

The country was also traditionally quite restive. King Thibaw’s army had not surrendered in 1886, it had dispersed and turned brigand (Dacoit). The subsequent Dacoit Wars lasted five years and absorbed 30,000 troops. Limited self-administration was granted in 1932 (excluding law and order, finance and defence) un

der the Government of India Act of 1919.

However, the students at the university of Rangoon grew increasingly restive, bitter at the increase in land ownership of Indian chettyars.

Aung San National Hero of Burma
13th February 1915
Born at Natmauk, a township in Magwe district, central Burma.

In April 1926,

 Ba Maw married Daw Kinmama Maw.

During the colonial-era Dr. Ba Maw’s interest in Burmese (Myanmar) politics took root when he was practicing law in Rangoon (Yangon).

 In 1931

Ba Maw acted as the defense attorney for Saya San, a prominent nationalist rebel leader, who had recently staged a tax revolt.

In a sensational trial that captured the public’s imagination, Dr. Ba Maw courageously defended Saya San against charges of sedition and treason. Although Saya San’s life was eventually forfeit, the case helped sow the seeds of rebellion in the hearts and minds of the people of Burma (Myanmar). For Dr. Ba Maw, the trial embodied the plight of the downtrodden, in particular, the Burmese (Myanmar) peasants. He vowed to break the vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy and poor health that had plagued his countrymen for so long.

While serving as Education and Health Minister, and later as Premier, Dr. Ba Maw authored several important initiatives in the pursuit of universal health-care and education for all Burmese (Myanmar). One of these initiatives helped establish State scholarships for postgraduate students; another abolished the unpopular and onerous British tax of five rupees a person; and yet another instituted the State lottery..

 

Background to the Political History of Myanmar (Burma)

The official name of the country is the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar from the Burmese word for the martial attributes of strong and fast). It used to be the Union of Burma and even now most people outside of the country call it Burma but in actuality it is the Burman Empire, basically as it existed in the late nineteenth century when the British conquered it.

That encounter was a matter of local imperialists (Burmans) clashing with a global imperialists (the British). But the area which encompasses what later was designated Burma was more of a cockpit in which various ethnic groups vied for control.

The Burmans were in control at the time of the British conquest but there were times in history when other groups such as the Mons or the Tai people of the Shan State were dominant.

 

Bogyoke (Major General)
Aung San in 1946

The Life of Aung San

Aung San was the youngest of six children born to a family of some prominent heritage in central Burma. His father, U Pha, had tried to pursue a profession of an advocate (attorney) but was not inclined to be very talkative. His mother, Daw Su, through energy and resourcefulness became the major support for the family. Aung San’s ancestors were scholars and his mother’s uncle was executed by the British for rebellion. These traits Aung San seemed to inherit.

As a child he was so slow to start talking and said so little that people thought he might not be able to talk. He started his schooling a year late because he did not want to go to school without his mother. When he saw the interesting things that his older brothers were doing he decided on his own to start school. This self-willed aspect of his personality was a life-long trait.

He attended a monastery school which provided some modern education as well as Buddhist training. He was an excellent student, in part because of his self-discipline. At that time fluency in English was required for going on to institutions of higher education. Aung San’s brothers had learned English and he decided to learn it even though it was not taught in his school.

At age thirteen

 Aung san  went on to a National (secular) School where his brother was a teacher. This required he live away from home. Aung San’s mother was not in favor of his doing so but gave in to his determination. The National schools had a Burmese nationalist orientation and Aung San had become a fervent Burmese nationalist.

 At age fifteen

 Aung San won a scholarship through a competitive examination.

At this time Aung San began to show an interest in politics. He participated in debates and edited the school journal.

When he graduated from the National School he was accepted in Rangoon University. At that time various Burmese nationalist were organizing and fragmenting. Nationalism was the most vital issue among university students at the time.

 

This was the early 1930’s,

 the time of the Great Depression, and students also becoming concerned about economic ideology.

Aung San began to participate in the debates at Rangoon University. At one being conducted in English on the issue of whether Buddhist monks should participate in politics, Aung San rose to speak. He believed fervently that monks should not be involved in politics. He spoke in his imperfect English and continued even when the more English-fluent members of the audience heckled him and advised him to stick to Burmese. This took a good deal of will power on Aung San’s part to finish speaking his thoughts in English. He continued his efforts to improve his English.

1932
Matriculated in the “A” category with distinctions in Burmese and Pali.

1935-36
Elected to the executive committee of the Rangoon University Students’ Union and became the editor of the Students’ Union Magazine.

 

In 1935

 Aung San  and other nationalist student organized to gain control of the hitherto apolitical Students’ Union of Rangoon University. By the end of the academic year the nationalist student leaders, including Aung San, had gained election to the executive committee and political control of the Student Union. Aung San became the editor of the Student Union magazine.

An article in the magazine criticizing a university administrator published led to the expulsion of Aung San in 1936. U Nu had also been expelled. This led to the calling of a student strike at examination time. The strike was successful and the administrators had to consider the strikers’ demands.

Aung San was re-admitted and rose in status.

 

IN 1935

 a leading Burmese politician, U Saw, had made contact with the Japanese

 By 1938

 

Aung San  had become the president of both the Rangoon University Students’ Union and the All Burma Students’ Union.

He achieved respect for his hardwork and single-minded adherence to principles despite the fact he was not an easy person to work with. He was given to moody bouts of refusing to communicate.

When Aung San finished his bachelor’s degree he began work for a law degree.

In 1938 Aung San left Rangoon University to join a new political party called Dohbama Asi-ayone (We Burmese).

He soon became the secretary general of the party. This group was infamous for demanding that they be addressed by the title Thakin (master), which was the title that Englishmen insisted that they be addressed by Burmese.

February 1936
Expelled from the university for publication of the article “Hell Hound at Large” in the union magazine. Expulsion of Ko Aung San and Ko Nu from the university led to the university strike. Later, the government conceded strikers’ demands and retracted expulsion orders.

1938
Elected as president of the Rangoon University Students’ Union and the All Burma Student’s Union. Appointed as a student representative in “Rangoon University Act Amendment Committee” by the government.

October 1938
Joined Dohbama Asi-ayone (“We-Burmese” Organization) and became Thakin Aung San.

1938 to August 1940
Acted as the Head Office General Secretary of Dohbama Asi-ayone.

 

In 1940

 Aung San  and another Thakin journeyed by ship to southern China

where they tried to make contact with the Chinese communists. They were unsuccessful in making contact with the Chinese communists but a Japanese agent arranged for them to fly to Tokyo.

 In Tokyo the government made them a part of a plan to invade Burma to close the Burma Road, which was transporting supplies to the Nationalist forces in southwest China. A Colonel Seiji Suzuki was assigned to organize the Japanese-Burmese rebellion against the British.

Burmese communists were opposed to any agreement with the Japanese, but Aung San, pragmatist that he was, said they should accept help from any source where it was available. Aung San returned to Burma to sell the deal to his associates.

In 1940,

U Saw became Premier of Burma.

 Affable, charming, duplicitous and corrupt, U Saw had raised a private army of young men (the Galon Army) with Japanese money.

March 1940
Attended Indian National Congress Assembly in Rangar?, India.

1940
Went underground due to arrest warrant issued by the British government.

August 1940
Left for Burma and reached Amoy, China and later to Tokyo, Japan.

February 1941
Came back to Burma with offer of arms and money support from the Japanese for uprising.

1941
Arrived in Japan for military training together with the first batch of the Thirty Comrades.

December 1941
Founded Burmese Independence Army (BIA) in Bangkok, Thailand with the help of the Japanese and became chief-of-staff Major-General Aung San (a.k.a. Bo Teza).

 

 

After being refused promises of independence in November 1941

by Churchill and Avery, U Saw arrived in Hawaii

on 8 December 1941

to see the shattered US Pacific Fleet. Unable to proceed he headed back to the UK, and then took a flight to Burma via Egypt.

 In Portugal he visited the Japanese Embassy and agreed to lead a revolt against the British the moment the Japanese Army crossed into Burma, on a promise of Japanese support for Burmese independence. Howver, the British were reading the Embassy’s communications,a nd U Saw was arrested in Haifa and inerned.

After the student strike of 1936, feelers were put out to the Japanese, Dr Ba Maw finally approached the Japanese in 1939 and was promptly supported by the IJN through agents. He was placed in contact with the Japanese ‘controller’ for Thailand and Burma, Colonel Tamura, at the Bangkok Embassy, to avoid unmasking the real head of the substantial Japanese intelligence system in Burma,

Colonel Suzuki Keiji. This lead by 1940 to direct support of Burmese independence movements by the Japanese. However, these were confined to the Burmese, and not to any of the hill tribesmen, who despised the valley-dwelling Burmese.

By 31 December 1941,

 

 Colonel Suzuki was able to inaugurate the ‘Burma Independence Army’ of some 300 trained personnel in Bangkok. These were then moved in to Burma ahead of the Japanese advance to provide support and reconnaissance.

Despite being critical to the supply of China, Burma was poorly defended. There was little need, the Japanese move into Siam had been met with the development of powerful land and air forces in Malaya – and the Fleet had come to Singapore.

The GOC Burma, Lieutenant-General Tom Hutton, had deployed his forces well. The 17th Indian Division under Major-General Smythe was deployed at Moulmein, with the raw and poorly equipped 1st Burma Division between Kemapyu and Papun, guarding the west bank of the Salween from invasion from northern Siam.

Only a smattering of forces were in the panhandle, with the 2nd Burma Rifles at Mergui, the 6th at Tavoy, and the 3rd outside Ye covering the Three Pagoda’s Pass. Of Smythes three brigades, the 16th (Brigadier K. Jones) only had two battalions, 4 Burma Rifles and 1/7 Gurkhas, while the 46th Indian (Brigadier R Ekin)and 48th Gurkha Brigades were reasonably well equipped, but were rather green. The 46th in particular lacked transport.

When he first inspected the Moulmein position

on 19 January,

 Smythe was appalled. Hutton had ordered him to defend east of the Salween to keep the Japanese as far as possible from the Burma Road, which ran close to the Sittang in many places, while the small forward garrisons were supposed to keep them away from the airfields on the Tenasserim coast.

He told Smythe to fight the Japanese as far forward as possible. Smythe regarded his position bleakly. He had a massive river 7000 yards wide at his back, with few ferries to move across it.

Moulmein itself had 50,000 people with three main streets running parallel to the river, and it was indefensible. Merely to defend the town needed two Divisions to cover the 25 miles of low ridges, but this force was not available, the 18th Division having been delayed.

 Only its first elements were in Rangoon and it would take some time to form there. He reported this to Hutton, who agreed, but there was not another Division to assist at the present time. Despite his orders to operate forward, Smythe ordered his most recent arrival (46th Indian Bde), which lacked transport, to remain on the west bank of the Salween and to prepare defences there. An engineer battalion from Rangoon was ordered to prepare defences further back, covering a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Sittang to cover the approaches to the Sittang bridge, and also defences on the western bank to prevent a crossing north of it.

Hutton had appealed to Wavell for armour, but none was available despite the vehicles moving through Rangoon towards China, although he was given permission to use the schools in an absolute emergency.

Hutton had therefore become creative, and asked for Wavell’s permission to raise independent volunteer units if he could find any, and to ask for help in making the BVAS rather more capable than it was. This had been approved.

On a visit to Calcutta in December

just after the Japanese attack, Hutton had dined at the Saturday Club, and had been asked if there was anything the Calcutta Light Horse could do. While the unit had not been active in decades, and all the younger members had joined, there were still a number of older men with WWI experience attached to it.

The majority of men attached to this unit had, of course gone to other units on war call up. By early January, 25 of these, with several hundred volunteers from transport units and various branches, were forming as an armoured Battalion at Rangoon with a mixture of 18 old Vickers medium tanks and 20 equally outdated Mk V light tanks.

Another 4 old Vickers mediums had had their turrets removed and replaced with an extempore 12pdr naval gun to provide the unit with some AT capability. These various relics had been assembled from store in India and Egypt, or had arrived on ships but been thought too outdated to be of any use in China. The Calcutta Light Horse formed at Payagyi and was training there

by early February.

The BVAS request had fallen on Air Ministry ears which were at least interested in helping. It was noted that large numbers of old 1930s front line aircraft (especially Hawker Ospreys, Audaxes, Harts and Furys) were being shipped to South Africa and India for precisely this sort of purpose.

An effort was made to send some of these to Burma, and a number of twin engined aircraft suitable for target towing, bomber training and other such duties were also located, refurbished and shipped.

The presence of two Chinese (NRA) divisions in the Shan states had allowed the redeployment of the 1st Burma to cover the north, but this unit was itself well understrength and none too reliable.

 

Indian Army

British dispositions in the region were developing quickly. The pre-war regular UK 6th Division (later renamed the 70th) provided the Ceylon garrison.

The Indian Army was expanding and was planning the send the 14th Indian, 19th Indian, 20th Indian and 23rd Indian Divisions to Burma. The 1st Indian Armoured Division (with only the 1st Indian Armoured Brigade and 49th Motorised infantry Bde in 1941) was also slated to go. The 49th Motorised Bde was composed of the three battalions of the Bombay Grenadiers.

RAF

Air Defence at the start of December 1941 was limited. There was only the following in 221 Group:

67 Sqn RAF with 16 Hurricane Mk II (most pilots were New Zealanders)

17 Sqn RAF with 16 Hu

 

17 Sqn RAF with 16 Hurricane Mk II

211 Sqn RAF with 16 Blenheim

Spare acft 32 Buffalo (most shipped to the NEI in due course)

Burma Volunteer Air Service (re-equipped by 15 Jan 42 as follows)

BVAS 1 Sqn

22 various civil light acft in 5 independent army support flights

1 Bomber Flight: 4 Boulton-Paul Overstrand bombers (plus 2 spares)

2 Bomber Flight: 6 Handley-Page Heyford bombers (plus 5 spares)

BVAS 2 Sqn

6 Hawker Fury in 2 fighter flights (plus 8 spare acft)

6 Hawker Audax in 2 light bomber flights (plus 13 spare acft)

18 Westland Wapiti in 6 Independent Army cooperation flights

 

ROCAF

9th Air Regiment. Known to the RAF as the Chinese OCU, this formation was based at ‘John Haig’, a satellite field of Mingaladon. It was basically a conversion unit, where existing ROCAF veterans trained new pilots who had passed through basic and initial flight training in India. At John Haig, they were converted on to P-40. A P-39 course (using P-400 aircrat) was in early stages in December 1941, this machine just having been delivered. The P-400 was a version of the P-39 lacking oxygen equipment and so incapable of use above about 10,000′.

Despite these efforts, at the outbreak of the war Burma was poorly defended from the air. There was one RAF SQN, 60 SQN at Mingaladon in Rangoon. 60 SQN had 12 Blenheim IV. 67 SQN had only arrived from Singapore in October 1941to take over 16 Buffalo fighters assembled by 60 SQN. Aside from this, there were a variety of other units in the area. The Indian Air Force had promised to supply a Squadron of Lysanders when possible, but it too was in the throes of an expansion. Fortunately, they were at least able to provide a number of aircrew to help the BVAS

Japanese Forces

The British did not have a good estimate of actual Japanese strengths. The Japanese army was expected to deploy by the end of 1941 up to 150,000 men in Thailand, to which was to be added the 60,000 men of the Thai Army. No less than 350 tanks were thought to have been deployed (250 light and 100 medium), to which around 50 Thai tanks (mostly Vickers 6 toners) were to be added.

The problem for the British had started on 12 June 1941 when the Thai government officially agree to the deployment of Japanese forces in Thailand. This was just after the brief border war between Siamese and French forces. The Japanese government deployed the 15th Army under Lt. Gen. Shojiro Ida as a mean of preventing a “French Revenge War” against Thailand.

Units based in Thailand.

3rd Hikoshidan including

3rd Hikodan with 24 Ki-43 fighters, 40 Ki-48 twin engined light bombers, 15 Ki-30 single-engined light bombers, 23 Ki-51 close support planes.

7th Hikodan with 35 Ki-43 and 6 Ki-27 fighters, and 102 Ki-21 heavy twin-engined bombers.

10th Hikodan with 27 Ki-27 fighters, 22 Ki-21 twin-engined bombers, 24 Ki-30 light single engined bombers, 8 Ki-15 reconnaissance planes.

12th Hikodan with 81 Ki-27 fighters.

15th Dokuritsu Hikotai with 7 Ki-15 and 4 Ki-46 reconnaissance planes.

83rd Dokuritsu Hikotai with 19 Ki-51 close support planes and 12 Ki-36 close support and observation planes.

81st independent Sentai with 9 Ki-15 and 7 Ki-46 reconnaissance planes.

Total: 173 fighters (of which 59 Ki-43), 124 Ki-21 Heavy twin-engined bombers, 40 Ki-48 light twin-engined bombers, 39 Ki-30 light single-engined bombers, 50 Ki-51 close support planes, 12 Ki-36 close support and observation planes, 35 reconnaissance planes of which 11 Ki-46.

Royal Thai Air Force units:

27 Ki-27 fighters

12 Ki-21 twin-engined heavy bombers

21 Ki-30 single engined light bombers

14 Ki-36 close-support and observation planes..

In 1941 Aung San was taken to Hainan Island

off the coast of China for military training. Hainan was then under Japanese control. The Burmese group undergoing training on Hainan became known as the Thirty Comrades. This group became the core of the Burmese Independence Army (BIA). In December of 1941 the BIA was launched from Thailand with Colonel Suzuki the commanding officer and Aung San the chief of staff. It was at this time that Aung San became known as Bogyoke (Major General).

The conquest of Rangoon and much of Burma was soon under Japanese control. However there was little effort on the part of the Japanese to grant Burmese real independence. Their was a token Burmese government set up but it did not last long and soon the Japanese were ruling Burma as a conquered territory.

 

The storm had broken at last. With the news of war arrived the order for general mobilization.

 

Read More at another E-book In CD_ROM

“The Dai Nippon War In Pearl harbor “

 

9 Dec 41

An IJAAF bomber force was sent to attack Victoria Point, but weather prevented all but 5 Ki-27 of 11th Sentai from finding it. No damage was caused.

10 Dec 41

A single 60 SQN Blenheim, escorted by two Hurricanes staged through Victoria Point for a recce of Southern Thailand.

11 Dec 41

A Yale Z-31, two Heyfords and an Overstrand of the BVAS evacuated RAF personnel from Victoria Point. The airfield was occupied by Japanese forces that afternoon.

12 Dec 41

A ROCAF P-40 fitted with Fairchild 20-inch camera and escorted by two Hurricanes imaged Don Muang airfield at Bangkok. Over 50 IJAAF Ki-27 and Ki-30 were observed on the runways.

As a result of this, two BVAS Heyfords conducted a night attack on Don Muang, the first combat sortie of this elderly type. They located the airfield, but their bombs missed the aircraft there.

13 Dec 41

27 Ki-27 of 77th Sentai attacked Tavoy airfield, destroying one BVAS Yale Z-31 transport. The pilot, FLTLT L. Gill, was not injured. Ground fire hit 4 of the fighters. While all made it back, Warrant Officer Kikuji Kishida was badly wounded in the leg, and died in hospital of blood loss after landing.

14 Dec 41

51 Ki-21 of the 12th and 60th Sentais attacked Mergui

15 Dec 41

25 Ki-21 of 98 Sentai attacked Moulmein, disrupting the army deployment there and damaging the docks.

 

16 Dec 41

A ROCAF P-40 and two Hurricanes imaged Chumphon and Raheng airfields

17 Dec 41

A ROCAF P-40 and two Hurricanes imaged Prachaub Girikhan airfield. On the flight back, the two Hurricanes buzzed a trainload of Japanese troops. However, they were under orders not to attack ‘unauthorised targets’ in Thailand at the time! These sorties formed the basis of planning for an attack on 20 December.

20 Dec 41

Three 67 SQN Hurricanes from Mergui attacked Prachaub Girikhan airfield\, firing a fuel dump and claiming to have destroyed five aircraft.

During the night, four Heyfords of the BVAS attacked Don Muang, leaving some fires burning on the ground. Morale in the BVAS soared in consequence.

22 Dec 41

HQ of 55th Division (Lieutenant-General Takeuchi), moved in to Rahaeng. Extensive development of maps since mid-1941 had revealed much about the terrain between the Thai border and the coast, but maps of the region from the Dawna Ranges and from Papun to Ye were still far from adequate. The Rahaeng-Menado road was the invasion route to Moulmein. The Japanese had long established Lieutenant Takahashi Hachiro at Rahaeng as a teak buyer; he had even taken a local wife at the advice of Colonel Suzuki.

23 Dec 41

A major raid hit Rangoon and its airfields. The raid was composed of 27 K-21 of 60th Sentai, 18 from the 98th, 15 of the 62nd and 27 Ki-30 of the 31st Sentai. Escorting the raid were 30 Ki-27 of the 30th Sentai. The 60th and 98th hit the docks, while the others hit the airfields.

The defenders were not caught flat footed, a dozen ROCAF P-40, 15 Hurricanes and 4 Harts attacked the Japanese formations. As a result, a series of furious battles raged over Rangoon. Despite enthusiastic claims of 35 IJAAF machines shot down, only 2 Ki-21 of the 98th Sentai and 5 of the 68th were shot down. One other aircraft was lost, a Ki-27 which was shot down by FLGOFF Mohan Singh of the BVAS, flying a Hawker Fury.

This action took place right over Mingaladon: the Ki-27 was faster but the Fury was more manoeuvrable, and the Japanese pilot insisted on the turning fight for which he was trained. After eight minutes of aerobatic action, Singh killed the enemy pilot with a burst, the Ki-27 diving on to the lawn in front of the officer’s mess and breaking up without exploding, although the area was soaked in petrol.

Three ROCAF P-40 were lost. While other fighters were damaged, none were lost. A Hurricane piloted by FLGOFF Lambert was forced down after its engine seized due to radiator damage, but he was able to dead-stick land it safely at Mingaladon. The operations room at this base was destroyed and 17 men killed, including the chief instructor of the BVAS (Mr H Ealey), while a BVAS Gypsy Moth and a Tiger Moth were destroyed on the ground.

Rangoon Docks were heavily hit. Fortunately, the warning and cover (slit trenches and sandbag revetments) prevented many casualties. However, 35,000 tons of supplies were burned and the US transport City of Tulsa sank after a direct hit.

During the night, 3 Overstrands and 2 Heyfords conducted an attack on Don Muang, without obvious result.

The Japanese were determined to destroy the RAF at Rangoon, and prepared a larger attack for Christmas Day.

25 Dec 41

27 Ki-21 of the 12th and 36 of the 60th Sentais were escorted by 25 Ki-43 of the 64th. 8 Ki-21 of the 62nd and 27 Ki-30 of the 31st were escorted by 32 Ki-27s of the 77th.

The loss of the Mingaladon Ops Room hampered the British, but 4 ROCAF P-40 were on patrol and reported the raid when it was ten miles from the split point. These attacked as other fighters streamed off the airfields to join the battle.

 The result was a series of sharp actions, and again results were wildly over-estimated. The ROCAF claimed no fewer than 24 kills, one being rammed by Flight Officer Chin Yee. Two ROCAF P-40 were forced down after engine damage, both planes being destroyed but both pilots surviving.

Four Hurricanes were lost but only one pilot died, seat armour saving the rest. Japanese losses were not as claimed, 12th Sentai losing 3 Ki-21. 64th lost 2 Ki-43, while 77th lost 2 Ki-27. FLGOFF Singh again shot down a Ki-27 in his Fury, through effective low-level tactics. In his own words:

‘The Fury was perhaps the best biplane fighter ever made. Sydney Camm’s masterpiece had superlative low level manoeuvrability. I basically stayed behind a row of trees as Type 96 fighters [Ki-27] strafed the airfield.

As this one came over he pulled up sharply after his run as he passed over the trees. I climbed from his lower starboard beam and hit him with a deflection burst, the aircraft rolled over and went straight into a rice paddy. I do not believe the pilot ever saw me.

Killed was LT Someya.

Mingaladon was very badly damaged by this attack. Three Hurricanes in dispersal were destroyed, five being assemble din the hangars were also destroyed. The runways were very badly damaged and half the AA was destroyed of had the Indian Army gunners killed by strafing. Field Marshall Wavell was at the airfield, transiting back from Chungking with General George Brett USAAF. They found an inelegant shelter in a slit trench.

The Allies believed they had won a victory with 45 IJAAF machines shot down, especially as no further massed raids followed. In fact, the aircraft were simply required in Malaya, so more massed daylight bombing raids could not be afforded at the time.

The effect on Rangoon was very bad, with chaos reigning in the city. However, order was restored with the assistance of Chinese troops. About 2500 Rangoonese were killed in the attacks, the fires which affected a quarter of the city, of the panic.

December,13th 1941

aerial bombardments continue to harp on the unfortunate 6th Indian Brigade which has just reached Kuala Lumpur. Additional 700 men hors de combat.

The 24/12 British artillery regiment 155 is virtually destroyed by aircraft, losing 17 guns and 32 trucks towing worst parts, nailing guns and place intact.(121)

 

December,21th.1941

The Japanese aircraft stationed in Rangoon opened a few days a bombing campaign on Burma.

The 2nd brigade stationed at Moulmein Burma lost 200 men caused by a raid Sally, Bettys and old dive bombers Ann.

 

December,24th.1941

 

Burma coordination of several raids from Bangkok to Moulmein goes wrong. Sallys 43 bombers took off before Ann and Zeros supposed to escort.

They arrive at the target to fall into an ambush by the 1st Squadron of the AVG. 7 bombers sank.

The result could have been worse if the American pilots had not chosen an altitude of 32,400 feet, giving them certainly the height advantage but at the expense of maneuverability.

At this altitude the H81-A3 drop like stones with little room to maneuver.
A new raid came a half hour later with Bettys and Zeros of the escort. Japanese planes shoot 2 AVG without loss on their side. Paratrooper operation seized the abandoned base Tavoy on the west coast of  Burma.(121)

December 26, 1941,

from General Aung San is organizing a volunteer army of independent Burma (23,000 six months later)

about 1,500 people,

start fighting with the British and Japanese troops.

26 Dec 41

In what became a nightly routine, 17 Ki-21 of the 62nd Sentai bombed Mingaladon, Rangoon’s docks and the city itself. In response, an Overstrand and two Heyfords bombed Rangoon. Attacks on this scale (about 20 Ki-21 and 3-5 BVAS bombers) became nightly events. morale

December,29th.1941

Burma:

Border of Burma and Thailand the 15th Regiment of the Imperial Guard Japanese trudges through the jungle on bumpy tracks. The objective is to force

the British to evacuate Moulmein under penalty of being identified.
RAF harassed for several days these columns with Blenheims. The December 28, 70 Japanese victims of British aviation.(121)

 

30 Dec 41

The first reinforcements arrived. 17 P-40 arrived at John Haig along with Chinese pilots to fly them. The Generalissimo had stated that the defence of Rangoon was as much a priority as the defence of Chungking.

 This made the 9th Air Regiment an operational, as well as a training unit. This unique dual function was to earn it the name ‘the Ace Factory’ in the ROCAF. The 8th Indian Heavy and 3rd Indian Light AA batteries arrived and were positioned in Rangoon to stiffen civil population

 

Reinforcements for Burma, December 41 – March 42

Reinforcements arrived at Rangoon (unless otherwise noted) and are shown with arrival date.

December 1941

Independent Units

23rd Garrison Company (Akyab) 31-Dec-41

8th Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery31-Dec-41

3rd Light Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery31-Dec-41

The Malerkotla State Field Company, Sappers and Miners 31-Dec-41 ? left Calcutta after 09-Dec-4

1942

 

Burma, 1942

 

 

 

The U.S. Army Campaigns
of World War II

General Stilwell’s party hikes from Burma to India. (National Archives)


Introduction

World War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. However, the half century that now separates us from that conflict has exacted its toll on our collective knowledge. While World War II continues to absorb the interest of military scholars and historians, as well as its veterans, a generation of Americans has grown to maturity largely unaware of the political, social, and military implications of a war that, more than any other, united us as a people with a common purpose.

Highly relevant today, World War II has much to teach us, not only about the profession of arms, but also about military preparedness, global strategy, and combined operations in the coalition war against fascism. During the next several years, the U.S. Army will participate in the nation’s 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II. The commemoration will include the publication of various materials to help educate Americans about that war. The works produced will provide great opportunities to learn about and renew pride in an Army that fought so magnificently in what has been called “the mighty endeavor.”

World War II was waged on land, on sea, and in the air over several diverse theaters of operation for approximately six years. The following essay is one of a series of campaign studies highlighting those struggles that, with their accompanying suggestions for further reading, are designed to introduce you to one of the Army’s significant military feats from that war.

This brochure was prepared in the U.S. Army Center of Military History by Clayton R. Newell. I hope this absorbing account of that period will enhance your appreciation of American achievements during World War II.

GORDON R. SULLIVAN
General, United States Army
Chief of Staff

–2–


Burma, 1942
7 December 1941–26 May 1942

On 8 December 1941, after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan and became an active participant in World War II. For some months prior to that attack, however, the United States had been supporting China’s war against Japan with money and materiel. Pearl Harbor formally brought America into World War II, but it was an earlier American commitment to China that drew the United States Army into the Burma Campaign of 1942.

Japan had invaded China in 1937, gradually isolating it from the rest of the world except for two tenuous supply lines: a narrow-gauge railway originating in Haiphong, French Indochina; and the Burma Road, an improved gravel highway linking Lashio in British Burma to Kunming in China. Along these routes traveled the materiel that made it possible for Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Chinese government to resist the Japanese offensives into the interior.

In 1940 Japan took advantage of the German invasion of France to cut both supply lines to China. In June, with France focused on the war in Europe, Japanese warships moved into French Indochina and closed the railroad from Haiphong. A month later, threatening war if its demands were not met, Japan secured an agreement from the hard-pressed British government to close the Burma Road to war materiel temporarily.

The Burma Road reopened in October 1940, literally the sole lifeline to China. By late 1941 the United States was shipping lend-lease materiel by sea to the Burmese port of Rangoon, where it was transferred to railroad cars for the trip to Lashio in northern Burma and finally carried by truck over the 712-mile-long Burma Road to Kunming. Over this narrow highway, trucks carried munitions and materiel to supply the Chinese Army, whose continuing strength in turn forced the Japanese to keep considerable numbers of ground forces stationed in China. Consequently, Japanese strategists decided to cut the Burma lifeline, gain complete control of China, and free their forces for use elsewhere in the Pacific.

Strategic Setting

Burma, a country slightly smaller in area than the state of Texas, lies imbedded in the underbelly of the Asian landmass between India and China. Along the northern, eastern, and western borders of Burma

–3–



Asia
1942

are high mountains. The Himalayas to the north reach altitudes of 19,000 feet. The western mountains between Burma and India, forming the Burma-Java Arc, have pinnacles as high as 12,000 feet. On the east the Shan Plateau, between Burma and China, features relatively modest peaks of less than 9,000 feet. The Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea mark the southern boundary; on the southeast, Burma shares an extended border with Thailand. The central part of the country consists of north-south belts of fertile plains, river valleys, and deltas. Rainfall is heavy throughout the year. The Irrawaddy River and its major tributary, the Chindwin, drain the western portions of the country, and the Salween and Sittang Rivers drain the regions in the east.

–4–


The geography of Burma had isolated it from India and China, its larger and more populous neighbors. The high, rugged mountain ranges discouraged trade and travel. This lack of contact had shaped Burma into a country distinctly different from either of those larger neighbors, who in turn had little interest in Burma given the natural barriers to invasion. Japan’s dramatic 1941 bid for dominance in the Far East, however, caused both India and China and their Western patrons, Great Britain and the United States, respectively, to focus attention on Burma.

At one time the British had attempted to govern Burma as a province of India, but the artificial mixing of the two cultures proved unworkable. In 1937 Burma had become a separate colony with a largely autonomous government. Its still-dependent status dissatisfied many of the more politically aware Burmese, who formed a vocal minority political party favoring complete independence from Britain. When a number of the leaders of this movement visited Tokyo in the years before 1941, Japanese government officials had expressed sympathy with their efforts to attain independence. Burma, however, was still very much a permanent possession in the eyes of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who clearly had no intention of presiding over the dissolution of the British Empire. Churchill saw the status quo ante helium as a primary British war aim, with both India and Burma remaining colonies as they had been since 1941.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a different vision for postwar Asia. Roosevelt believed that the European empires in the Far East were archaic and that their colonies would soon be independent countries. He also wanted China treated as an equal Allied partner in the war against Japan in the hope that it would develop into a great power friendly to the West. On a more immediate and practical note, keeping China in the war would also keep a large contingent of Japanese ground forces occupied on the Asian mainland, out of the way of American operations in the Pacific.

Although Great Britain and the United States were pursuing the same strategic goal of ultimately defeating Japan, they disagreed about Burma’s role in attaining that goal. Their leaders agreed that Burma should be defended against the Japanese, but their motives differed. For the British, Burma provided a convenient barrier between India, the “crown jewel” of their empire, and China with its Japanese military occupation. The Americans saw Burma as the lifeline that could provide China the means to throw off the shackles of Japanese occupation and become a viable member of the international community.

 


Despite the Allies’ determination to hold Burma, their plans for the defense of the region were incomplete. The Burmese were not consulted and had little reason to fight the Japanese. More significantly, neither Britain nor the United States was prepared to commit significant forces to save the area. Japanese leaders, in contrast, were prepared to do more and viewed Burma as critical to their overall strategy for the war. The occupation of Burma would protect gains already secured in the southwest Pacific, set the stage for a possible invasion of India that conceivably could link up with a German drive out of the Middle East, and once and for all close the Allied supply line along the Burma Road into China.

Operations

Less than a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese planes took off from captured bases in Thailand and opened the invasion of Burma by bombing the Tavoy airdrome, a forward British outpost on the Andaman Sea south of Rangoon. The next day, 12 December 1941, small Japanese units began the ground offensive by infiltrating into Burma. Not having prepared for war, Imperial British forces in Burma lacked even such rudimentary necessities as an adequate military intelligence staff. Although a civil defense commissioner had been appointed in November 1941, the British had not made contingency arrangements, such as military control of the railroads and the inland waterways. The only British forces in Burma were a heterogeneous mixture of Burmese, British, and Indian units known as the Army in Burma. Their air support consisted of some sixteen obsolete Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters.

The only American combat force even remotely available at the onset of the fighting was the fledgling American Volunteer Group (AVG). Organized by retired Army Air Forces Col. Claire L. Chennault, with the approval of both the Chinese and American governments, the AVG was preparing to provide air support to the Chinese Army against the Japanese in China. The AVG had begun training during the summer of 1941 in Burma to be out of range of Japanese air raids until ready for combat.

Chennault had hoped to employ his three squadrons of fighter aircraft, after thorough training, as a single unit in China, but the outbreak of war in the Pacific and subsequent Japanese invasion of Burma quickly changed his priorities. In response to a British request for support on 12 December, one squadron of the AVG moved from the training base in Toungoo to Mingaladon, near Rangoon, to help protect the capital city

–6–



Burma
1942

–7–



P-43’s being serviced at a field in China. (National Archives)

and its port facilities. The two remaining squadrons deployed to China to protect Chinese cities and patrol the Burma Road.

When Japan began operations in Burma, the United States recognized that the British would need assistance. The American Military Mission to China (AMMISCA), under Brig. Gen. John Magruder, had been in Chungking since September 1941 to coordinate, among other things, American lend-lease aid for China. On 16 December the War Department gave Magruder authority to transfer lend-lease materiel awaiting transportation in the port of Rangoon from Chinese to British control. The transfer, however, was subject to Chinese approval since, in accordance with lend-lease agreements, title for the materiel had been technically transferred to China when it left the United States.

Shortly after the War Department authorized the transfer, the responsible American officer in Rangoon, Lt. Col. Joseph J. Twitty, came under considerable pressure to release some of the weapons and equipment without waiting for Chinese approval. He responded by asking the government of Burma to impound and safeguard the materiel in Rangoon. He ostensibly made this request to ensure that the materiel was not moved elsewhere until Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the ruler of Nationalist China, approved the transfer to the British. Not unexpectedly, the Chinese swiftly objected to the transfer. With little love for the British or their colonial objectives, the Chinese

–8–


government quickly labeled the arrangement “illegal confiscation.” Because the most valuable materiel affected was a cargo of munitions on board the Tulsa, an American ship anchored in Rangoon harbor, the controversy became known as the Tulsa incident.

The senior Chinese representative in Rangoon, General Yu Feipeng, a cousin of the generalissimo, became the focal point of the affair. Colonel Twitty apparently convinced him that the materiel really had been impounded to safeguard it. Nevertheless, the Chinese authorities in Burma requested the establishment of a committee of experts from China, Britain, and the United States to determine the appropriate disposition of specific items of equipment. This suggestion was acted upon immediately, and by the time Magruder’s headquarters in Chungking learned of the committee’s existence, it was already busy deciding what to keep in Burma for British use and what to send on to China.

Magruder hoped to settle the question of providing Chinese lend-lease materiel to the British at a 23 December conference in Chungking, on the assumption that the Chinese had concurred with the actions already taken in Rangoon. Like many Americans, however, Magruder had much to learn about internal Chinese politico-military affairs. On Christmas Day, when the question of the sequestered materiel finally arose, Magruder was startled to hear the Chinese charge that the British had stolen Nationalist lend-lease stocks in Rangoon with American assistance. The generalissimo had decided that the seizure of the Tulsa cargo amounted to an unfriendly act and that all lend-lease materiel at Rangoon should therefore be given to the British or returned to the Americans. All Chinese personnel in Burma would return to China and all cooperation between China and Britain would cease.

Magruder immediately made conciliatory gestures to both the British and the Chinese in the hope of preventing an impending Allied rift. He gained an audience with the generalissimo and found him in a friendly mood. After listening to Magruder’s assurances that all was well with the lend-lease program, the generalissimo announced that he had already approved the initial list of British requests for materiel. He also sanctioned the joint American, British, and Chinese allocation committee in Rangoon and suggested that it continue its work. In an apparent face-saving gesture for the Tulsa incident, the generalissimo insisted that Magruder replace Colonel Twitty. Magruder acquiesced, and eventually large amounts of lend-lease weapons and equipment, originally earmarked for Nationalist China, went to the British for use in the defense of Burma. The affair, however, typified the problems Americans would face when dealing with the mercurial Chiang Kai-shek.

–9–


The international tensions existing among the nations defending Burma would, in fact, bedevil the entire campaign. Abrupt changes of mind by Chiang Kai-shek, such as his apparent reversal on the Chinese lend-lease policy, were a constant source of irritation for American and British officers who could never be sure when they had a real decision from him. The Tulsa incident also emphasized the differences between the British and American policies regarding China. The British were fighting for the future of their empire in the Far East and had little concern for China. The Americans, sensitive about their treatment of China in the past, sought to make it a more equal member of the Alliance.

Other problems originated with the British, who were jealous of their imperial prerogatives. The Chinese were willing, even anxious, to provide troops to assist in the defense of Burma. The generalissimo offered two armies with the proviso that they would operate in designated areas under Chinese command and would not be committed to battle piecemeal. Reluctant at first to permit large Chinese forces to operate in Burma, the British agreed to accept only one division of Chinese troops. Field Marshal Sir Archibald P. Wavell, British commander in chief in India, believed the Japanese offensive in Burma was overextended and would only end in failure; Chinese forces were not required for victory. Accepting the use of one Chinese division, he judged, was an adequate response to the generalissimo’s offer.

Although the British were lukewarm about Chinese participation in the defense of Burma, the Americans embraced the idea. When the Chinese threat of stopping cooperation with Britain after the Tulsa incident had reached the Allied Arcadia Conference in Washington, D.C., the Americans reacted with alarm, fearing China might actually elect to withdraw from the war. This fear was exacerbated by the continuing string of Japanese successes in the Pacific (Hong Kong had surrendered on Christmas Day and Manila was declared an open city the next day).

Roosevelt, a long-time China booster, convinced Churchill to appease the generalissimo by inviting him to serve as supreme commander of Allied forces in a separate China theater. The offer was somewhat hollow, since there had never been any plan to put British or American forces into China and there would be no Chinese participation in the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff. Nevertheless, the generalissimo accepted the offer and even requested an American officer to head the Allied staff.

After some discussion, the War Department nominated Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell to the Chinese government to be the Allied chief of staff. Stilwell’s numerous tours on the Asian mainland had made him

–10–


extremely knowledgeable about the Chinese Army. However, he was somewhat less than enthusiastic about the position, since he had already been tentatively selected to command the Allied invasion of North Africa. When Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall informed him of his new posting on 23 January 1942, a disappointed Stilwell simply replied, “I’ll go where I’m sent.”

Stilwell’s misgivings proved well founded. His specific command authority was vague from the beginning. Prior to his appointment, the War Department had received Chinese approval for Stilwell to command the Chinese forces sent to Burma, or at least to have “executive control” over them. But executive control would turn out to be a rather vaguely defined term that would lead to considerable confusion and much rancor between Stilwell and the Chinese.

Stilwell’s assignment orders designated him “Chief of Staff to the Supreme Commander of the Chinese Theater.” When he reported to the Chinese theater, his orders designated him “Commanding General of the United States Forces in the Chinese Theater of Operations, Burma, and India.” The orders did not address the specific duties implicit in these positions, especially his relationship with British theater commands. Nevertheless, with the prospect of commanding Chinese forces in Burma, Stilwell planned to organize his staff along the lines of a corps headquarters. Before his departure for the Far East, he had received the approval of the War Department to designate his headquarters, to include any U.S. forces that might join him, the United States Task Force in China.

Even as Stilwell assembled his staff in Washington and began the long journey to the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of Operations, the situation in Burma was deteriorating rapidly. After a round of meetings in Washington, which included President Roosevelt, the secretary of war, and various Chinese diplomats, Stilwell and his staff left Florida on 13 February 1942, appropriately enough a Friday.

As the party traveled to the Far East, accomplishing the twelve-day trip in a series of plane rides through the Caribbean to South America, over to Africa, and across the Middle East, Japanese successes in the CBI theater continued to mount. Singapore surrendered with 80,000 troops on 15 February; eight days later the British-Indian brigades in Burma were crushed in the Battle of the Sittang Bridge, a defeat that effectively left the path to Rangoon open to the Japanese advance. On 25 February, the Australian-British-Dutch-American Command (ABDACOM), the Allied command established on 15 January to defend the region, was dissolved in the face of continued Japanese pressure. Although Stilwell was assigned duties in China,

 



Japanese troops firing a heavy machine gun. (National Archives)

events in Burma thus dominated his first months as Chiang Kai-shek’s Allied chief of staff.

With Rangoon threatened, Magruder ordered the destruction of all lend-lease stocks in an effort to deny them to the invading Japanese. As the Japanese approached, there had been frantic activity to move as much materiel as possible north to the Burma Road, but it was still necessary to destroy more than 900 trucks in various stages of assembly, 5,000 tires, 1,000 blankets and sheets, and more than a ton of miscellaneous items. Magruder transferred much materiel to the British forces, including 300 British-made Bren guns with 3 million rounds of ammunition, 1,000 machine guns with 180,000 rounds of ammunition, 260 jeeps, 683 trucks, and 100 field telephones. In spite of the destruction and transfer to the British, however, over 19,000 tons of lend-lease materiel remained in Rangoon when it fell to the Japanese on 8 March.

As Stilwell prepared for his new assignment, the 10th U.S. Air Force was activated in Ohio and slated for deployment to the CBI

–12–



Crew chief intes a P-40 pilot’s scores. (National Archives)

Theater of Operations. The 10th was to be based in India with the mission of supporting China. Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton, an airman experienced in fighting the Japanese in the Netherlands East Indies, assumed command of the new air force when it arrived in India in early March 1942. Although the 10th Air Force was assigned to the CBI to support the Chinese, the Japanese offensive in Burma meant that Brereton’s bombers would be supporting the interests of two major Allies, China and Great Britain.

About the only good news in Burma in early March was that Chinese troops were soon expected to enter the defensive campaign. Chiang Kai-shek had agreed that Stilwell would command Chinese forces sent to Burma, and in the press of the military emergency, Chiang Kai-shek and the British had even come to an agreement on the use of these forces. During February, the 5th and 6th Chinese Armies, each with three divisions, slowly began moving into Burma. The 5th was the stronger of the two, with three divisions at full strength, one of which

–13–


was mechanized. The 6th, however, was generally considered a second-rate outfit, with all three of its divisions understrength.

The movement of the two Chinese armies into Burma proved arduous. Troop transport was scarce, and the Chinese Army had little or no internal logistical support system. Moreover, the Chinese senior officers, their army and division commanders, customarily responded only to orders directly from Chungking. Chiang Kai-shek waited until 1 March to allow 5th Army units to begin moving into Burma. There, the British were able to provide some logistical support, but not unexpectedly, they found Chinese commanders difficult to deal with.

Meanwhile, after spending almost a week in India learning what he could from the British (“nobody but the quartermaster knew anything at all,” he wrote in his diary during the visit), Stilwell finally arrived in Chungking on 4 March and opened the Headquarters, American Army Forces, China, Burma, and India. With this action, Magruder and AMMISCA in China, as well as Brereton and the 10th Air Force in India, came under Stilwell’s command. However, Chennault’s AVG, which had not yet integrated into the U.S. Army, remained independent. Two days later, just before the fall of Rangoon, Chiang Kai-shek met with his new Allied chief of staff.

When they met on 6 March, Chiang Kai-shek expressed his concern about the overall command in Burma and the state of Sino-British relations. He informed Stilwell that he had already “told those [Chinese] army commanders [in Burma] not to take orders from anybody but you and to wait until you came.” If the British tried to give orders to his commanders, they would simply return home. The generalissimo went on to express his dissatisfaction with British command in Burma and surprised Stilwell by suggesting that Stilwell take overall Allied command of the entire theater of operations. Following the meeting, the Chinese government sent to Washington a strong message to that effect.

Although this turn of events apparently took everyone by surprise, it fell into a larger pattern. Chiang Kai-shek’s mercurial temperament was well known, and the basis of the general animosity between the Chinese and the British had been laid centuries before Stilwell’s arrival in the theater. In the case of Burma, British generals held the supreme Allied command there by imperial prerogative and not through any international agreement. In discussions which China, Britain, and the United States held in December 1941, no mention had been made of changing the existing command relationships in Burma. Yet the commitment of major Chinese forces to the theater would challenge and strain the existing command arrangements.

–14–



Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek with General Stilwell. (National Archives)

–15–


The British leaders reacted strongly to the Chinese proposal. While welcoming the two Chinese armies to Burma, they were not pleased with the proposal of Stilwell’s commanding them. General Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander, then commanding the British forces in Burma, had fully expected to control any Chinese troops committed to defense of the region. The fact that Stilwell had no established staff also disturbed the British since they had already prepared a liaison system with Chinese forces that would extend as far down as the division headquarters. Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek each appealed to President Roosevelt to see his side of the matter and take appropriate action. Roosevelt and Marshall answered both pleas in similar fashion, suggesting that the problem be resolved in Burma by the parties involved. They assured the British and the Chinese that Stilwell was a resourceful officer who could work well under any command arrangement.

While his superiors struggled to resolve these matters, Stilwell himself was still in Chungking, learning, to his dismay, that there would be a few restrictions on his command in Burma. From 6-11 March Stilwell had several discussions with the generalissimo regarding the defense of Burma and the future role of the Chinese forces. Stilwell wanted to take the offensive and had already begun to develop plans for recapturing Rangoon. He believed that a bold course of action might reveal Japanese weaknesses in Burma. The generalissimo, however, had other ideas, advocating caution and insisting that the Chinese forces remain on the defensive. He made it clear that the 5th and 6th Armies were not to attack the Japanese unless provoked; he also established specific geographical limitations on the deployment of those forces. Finally, he reiterated his distrust of British motives and his insistence that Chinese forces remain independent of British command. China, he explained’ had no interest in sustaining the British Empire, and would fight in Burma only long enough to keep the supply line open.

Throughout the spring of 1942, continued Japanese successes in Burma made an Allied offensive in the region extremely unlikely. Following the fall of Rangoon in early March, the Allies prepared to defend the two valley routes leading north along the Irrawaddy and Sittang Rivers into the heart of Burma. While the British forces concentrated at Prome along the Irrawaddy, Chinese divisions focused on Toungoo along the Sittang.

General Alexander, now designated Allied commander in chief in Burma, organized these forces into the equivalent of two corps, with Lt. Gen. William J. Slim commanding the British Burma Corps at Prome and Stilwell commanding the Chinese Expeditionary Force at Toungoo. Stilwell secured the cooperation of the 5th and 6th Army

–16–



“On the Edge of the Jungle” by J Milford Zornes. (Army Art Collection)

commanders, both of whom agreed that holding at Toungoo was the key to defending northern Burma. They resolved to remain there as long as the British stayed at Prome. But British intelligence was weak, and unknown to Burma’s Allied defenders, the Japanese were steadily increasing their forces in the country and had developed plans which would soon outflank these defenses.

At the beginning of March, the Japanese already had four divisions in Burma, twice the number the Allies had estimated. The Japanese planned to surround and annihilate the Allied forces in central Burma near Mandalay by moving three of their divisions north along separate axes of advance. One division would advance along the Irrawaddy Valley through Prome and Yenangyanug; another would drive up the Rangoon-Mandalay Road in the Sittang Valley through Meiktila; and a third would move east to the vicinity of Taunggyi and head north toward Lashio. The fourth division would remain in reserve in the Sittang Valley where it could react to assist any of the three advancing divisions if needed.

–17–


While the Allied ground forces prepared their defensive plans, what little friendly air support existed in Burma was for all intents eliminated from the theater. The fall of Rangoon had limited the RAF and AVG to Magwe, an airfield located in the Irrawaddy Valley about halfway between Rangoon and Mandalay. On 21 March the RAF conducted a successful raid on an airfield near Rangoon, destroying a number of Japanese aircraft on the ground with the loss of only one RAF Hurricane.

But the Japanese had increased their air strength in the theater during March. On the day following the British strike, the Japanese conducted a massive raid on the inadequately protected Magwe airfield and destroyed many of the Allied aircraft on the ground. To prevent further losses, the RAF moved its planes west to Akyab on the coast and the AVG went north to Lashio and Loiwing. Further raids followed, ultimately forcing the Allied air forces completely out of Burma. Without opposition in the air, the Japanese enjoyed virtually unlimited air reconnaissance which, when coupled with a growing number of sympathetic Burmese on the ground, provided them with detailed information on Allied troop dispositions and movements.

A Japanese offensive begun in early March rapidly achieved success. However, the Chinese 200th Division held at Toungoo for twelve days against repeated Japanese assaults. Their stand represented the longest defensive action of any Allied force in the campaign. Even so, another major Allied withdrawal was inevitable.

Meanwhile, the Toungoo battle revealed the problems involved in Stilwell’s commanding the Chinese forces in Burma. When he ordered the Chinese 22d Division south to relieve the 200th, for example, he received little response except excuses from the division commander. Despite Kai-shek’s assurances to the contrary, Stilwell had not been given the “Kwan-fang” (seal or chop) as commander in chief in Burma; he had only been named chief of staff. The Chinese commanders, therefore, refused to carry out orders from Stilwell until they had been cleared with the generalissimo, who persisted in his habit of constantly changing his mind. The subsequent withdrawal of the 200th Division exposed the Burma Corps at Prome to Japanese attack. As a result, by the end of March the Allies were retreating north with the British and Chinese blaming each other for the repeated reverses

 

Any hope for holding central Burma required increased air power in the theater. The most readily available sources were the 10th Air Force in India and the AVG in China. Brereton had assumed command

–18–


of the 10th Air Force on 5 March, but it remained largely a paper organization. During a 24 March meeting with Stilwell at Magwe, the air corps general estimated that his command would not be ready for combat until 1 May. Stilwell accepted that estimate, and Brereton returned to his headquarters in Delhi.

A few days later, a puzzled Stilwell learned of two bombing raids which the 10th Air Force conducted on 2 April against Japanese shipping: one at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands and a second at Rangoon. Neither had been coordinated with Stilwell’s headquarters which Brereton supposedly supported. Brereton, however, had found himself caught between conflicting requirements and had authorized the 2 April missions to support the British in India on direct orders from Washington. After Brereton explained the problem to Stilwell, the matter was closed. On 15 April the War Department extinguished any further hope of air support for the Burma Campaign from the 10th Air Force. In accordance with British desires, the 10th would concentrate its efforts on defending India.

In the meantime, even though the AVG had been forced from Burma in March, Chennault attempted to keep up the fight from Loiwing, just inside China. During April the group flew patrol and reconnaissance missions over the Chinese lines in Burma, but their efforts were too small to be significant. Moreover, the volunteer pilots of the AVG regarded the Burma missions as needless and unappreciated risks. By the end of April, even this effort came to a halt as continued Japanese pressure forced the AVG deeper into China.

Finally, a desperate scheme to give the AVG a longer-range bombing capability came to naught. On 18 April, Lt. Col. James Doolittle’s raiders bombed the city of Tokyo, the first offensive action the Allies conducted against the Japanese homeland. The bombers had been launched from aircraft carriers in the Pacific with the intention of flying them to China and attaching them to the AVG after striking Japan. Unfortunately, a longer than anticipated flight, poor communications, and inclement weather contributed to the loss of all sixteen planes that conducted the raid.

Japanese successes on the ground and in the air continued throughout the month of April. As the Allied forces fell back along the Irrawaddy and Sittang Valleys into central Burma, the third prong of the Japanese offensive toward Lashio became apparent. With their forces concentrated in the river valleys, the Allies could do little about the Japanese thrust in the northeast. Lashio fell on 29 April, completing the Japanese blockade of China by closing the Burma Road. With Lashio in Japanese hands, the defense of Burma became untenable and

–20–



Japanese Conquest ofBurma
April–May 1942

–20–



General Stilwell marches out of Burma, May 1942. (National Archives)

Stilwell ordered an emergency evacuation. Part of the Chinese force managed to withdraw east into China, but three divisions headed west into India. Determined to begin a renewed defensive effort, Stilwell sent part of his staff ahead to prepare training bases in India.

On 6 May Stilwell sent a last message, ordered his radios and vehicles destroyed, and headed west on foot into the jungle. With him were 114 people, including what was left of his own staff, a group of nurses, a Chinese general with his personal bodyguards, a number of British commandos, a collection of mechanics, a few civilians, and a newspaperman. Leading by personal example, Stilwell guided the mixed group into India, arriving there on 15 May without losing a single member of the party.

Several days later, on 26 May, the campaign ended with barely a whimper as the last of the Allied forces slipped out of Burma. Stilwell’s assessment was brief and to the point: “I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out why it happened and go back and retake it.”

–21–



Officers resting en route to India. (National Archives)

Analysis

The loss of Burma was a serious blow to the Allies. It completed the blockade of China, and without Allied aid, China’s ability to oppose the Japanese invasion was extremely limited. Militarily, the Allied failure in Burma can be attributed to unpreparedness on the part of the British to meet the Japanese invasion and the failure of the Chinese to assist wholeheartedly in the defense.

In the larger picture, however, the conflicting goals of the countries involved made the loss of Burma almost inevitable. Neither the defenders nor the invaders saw Burma as anything other than a country to be exploited. To Britain, Burma was simply a colony and a useful buffer between China and India; to China, Burma was the lifeline for national survival; to the United States, Burma was the key to keeping China in the war against Japan, which in turn would keep large numbers of Japanese tied up on the Asian mainland and away from American operations in the Pacific. The wishes of the local population remained unaddressed and local resources therefore remained untapped.

–22–


The Japanese had a tremendous advantage from the beginning of the campaign. The invading forces were under a single command with one goal, the capture of Burma. Their unity of purpose and unity of command were complemented by the commitment of adequate resources to accomplish the agreed-upon task. Japanese air superiority gave their ground forces significant advantages, not the least of which was using air reconnaissance to confirm Allied troop dispositions and denying the same information to their opponents. However, had their leaders found such actions necessary and compatible with their overall designs, the Japanese might have further exploited the support available from Burmese citizens anxious to escape so many decades of British rule.

For the Allies, the CBI theater would remain low on their priority list throughout the war. In this economy-of-force theater, the Allies conducted limited operations to occupy Japanese attention. That role, however, did not restrict Allied forces to purely defensive operations. Immediately after the humiliation in Burma, Stilwell and Allied planners began preparations for their next campaign, drawing on the lessons they had learned from the 1942 disaster. Allied strategy during the next phase of the war in the CBI theater would center on recapturing enough of Burma to reestablish a supply line into China. However, continued problems with inter-Allied cooperation, among other factors, would make it a very costly campaign.

–23–


Further Readings

The Army’s 1942 Burma Campaign has no single source for further reading, although there is a good bit of information in the U.S. and British official histories of World War II. Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell s Mission to China (1953), remains the most valuable volume in the U.S. Army in World War II series. Other useful volumes in this series include Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy: 1940-1943 (1955), and Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1941-1942 (1986). Volume I in the Army Air Forces in World War II series, edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, Plans and Early Operations: January 1939 to August 1942 (1949), is also helpful. Major-General S. Woodburn Kirby, India’s Most Dangerous Hour (1958), outlines the British perspective of the Burma Campaign in Volume II of the War Against Japan series. Barbara W. Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 (1971), provides an in-depth look at the most prominent American in the campaign.

 

 

 

 

January,1st.1942

AVM D Stevenson arrived in a 31 SQN DC-2 to take over as AOC Burma from GPCAPT E Manning. A fighter flight (3 Hawker Fury) and a light bomber Flight (3 Hawker Audax) of 2 SQN BVAS were deployed to Moulmein airfield, where well-camouflaged revetments had been prepared for them by the father of one of the pilots, a prosperous teak merchant. They joined 4th Coast Defence Flight, IAF (FLTLT E. Sprawson, with 4 Wapiti and 2 Audax) at the base.

 

55th Division, with Thai Army assistance, finalised supply contracts at Rahaeng an a ceremony was held by the Governor of Pitsanuloke Province to celebrate this. Two battalions of RTA troops moved to the border, clearing tracks and signposting the way. Large numbers of cattle were assembled on the border as supplies for the IJA.

Burma:

Walking without stopping for days on infamous jungle tracks the 15th regiment of the guard is leading the Japanese advance on Rangoon. The British spotted for a week long columns that meander through forests and plantations.
Blenheims returning to Singapore, flying from Rangoon and try to stop the Japanese market but six Oscars interpose. Bomber crashed to the cheers of the soldiers, seven others away riddled with bullets.(121)

3 Jan 42

55th Division finished exchanging its motorised transport for pack animals.

Nine Ki-27 of 77th Sentai took off from Lampong, refuelled at Raheng, and attacked Moulmein. These caught two Wapiti and two Audax of the 4th CDF on the ground preparing to take off. All four were destroyed. As the strafing continued, two of the BVAS Furys arrived back from patrol. While low on fuel, they tangled with the Ki-27 force. Neither side scored in the brief action, but the Ki-27 (also low on fuel) quickly departed.

Meanwhile, four 67 SQN Hurricanes strafed Raheng, buring one Ki-27 on the ground and damaging to others. They were then bounced by two Ki-27 on patrol. One of these was shot down (Warrant Officer Yokoyama being injured) in return for two Hurricanes damaged.

4 Jan 42

Myitkyina (Burma) Ferried by former transport pilots or young trainees from OTUs, 37 Hawk-81 were on Myitkyina airfield as French pilots coming either from Malaya or from Indochina begin to gather. Some newly commissioned pilots coming from Meknes (the French Fighter school) begin to arrive too to re-form 3 fighter squadrons (GC I/40, III/40 and IV/40).Ltn. Col. Lionel de Marmier, the officer in charge of this operation confirms, to the Wing commander, Commandant Marin la Meslée, that he expects that before mid-January 80 Hawk-81 will have been ferried. However Lionel de Marmier warned Marin La Meslée that some planes were to be allocated to the AVG, which sent 15 pilots via Kunming collect them. The three 40th Fighter Wing squadrons were then not to be operational before the end of January.

After the usual nigh raids, 32 Ki-27 of 2nd Sentai conducted an offensive sweep over Rangoon. They encountered 6 ROCAF P-40 over Mingaladon and a battle developed. The P-40 were roughly handled on this occasion, two being shot down (both pilots survived) and the rest damaged for no IJAAF loss.

 

5 Jan 42

The Ki-27 of the 77th were back over Mingaladon at dawn, escorting 8 Ki-30 of the 31st. They encountered no opposition, destroyed the officer’s mess and badly damaged the repair unit’s buildings. The Ki-27 destroyed a 31 SQN DC-2 on the runway.

 

RAF reinforcements arrived. 113 SQN from Egypt arrived with 16 Blenheim IV and two ground crew in each aircraft. These joined with 60 SQN’s ground staff to service both Squadron’s Blenheims. Also, 28 SQN arrived with 12 Lysanders.

 

During the night of 5/6 Jan, eleven 113 and 60 SQN Blenheims joined with 3 BVAS Heyfords to attack the Bangkok Docks. AA fire was intense but the docks were hit, firing several large godowns. One Heyford was damaged, but returned safely.

 

6 Jan 42

Three ROCAF P-40 attacked Raheng, wrecking four Ki-27 of 77th Sentai in the flight line. AA fire was intense, and Flight Officer Christopher Yung (from Shanghai) was shot down. His P-40 pancaked on to a river flat reasonably intact. This was a machine still wearing RAF roundels, and it was this that saved Yung. He parachuted clear but the Japanese were looking for a European. Yung filched clothing from a line and ran into the last place the Japanese would look, Raheng itself.

 

 There he was able to find refuge within a related clan-house. Two months later and after many adventures, he re-appeared at John Haig.

During the nigh three Hurricanes tried to intercept the nightly raid. They were unsuccessful, and one crashed on landing.

Burma

Moulmein is captured without a fight.(121)

8 Jan 42

Elements of he 143rd Regt and Thai troops seized the British airfield at Victoria Point.

9 Jan 42

4 ROCAF P-40 and 6 Hurricanes attacked Raheng. One Ki-27 was destroyed and three damaged for no loss. The nightly raid on Mingaladon hit the fuel dump, creating a large fire and destroyed over a thousand 44 gallon drums of fuel.

 

10 Jan 42

Four Hurricanes of 67 SQN attacked Mehsoht, destroying 2 Ki-30 of 31st Sentai.

 

12 Jan 42

FLGOFF Mohan Singh led a strike of 2 Furies and 3 Audax light bombers against Kawkariek, where the Japanese roadhead was successfully attacked and a supply dump damaged. As the Audax were making their bomb run, Singh spotted an aircraft, which he engaged and shot down. This was a Ki-15 conducting local aerial mapping.

January,14th.1942

Rangoon:
Bettys run the four British stars who managed to flee Singapore.(121)

15 Jan 42

A 67 SQN attack against Prachuab Girikan with 6 Hurricanes and 3 113 SQN Blenheims was quite successful. While one Blenheim was shot down by a Thai Air Force Ki-27, six RTA aircraft were badly damaged on the ground and a taxying Ford Trimotor destroyed. Killed aboard this machine was a member of the Thai Royal Family. This resulted in public upset, leading to the government authorising retaliatory action.

 

The first IJNAF offensive sweep of the Bay of Bengal bore considerable fruit. Six G3M located, bombed and sank the valuable French cargo liner Jamaique (1922, 10,123grt, 13.5kt, UK for Rangoon with military supplies, piece goods, ammunition, aircraft and tanks for China) west of the Andamans. All shipping was immediately ordered to move west to hug the Indian coast, and plans to convoy shipping were started.

 

17 Jan 42

55th Division’s lead elements crossed the border at Mae Sot.

 

19 Jan 42

Tavoy airfield was seized by 112th Regt’s III Bn. The garrison at Tavoy (6th Burma Rifles, a former Police Bn) was dispersed without difficulty.

 

The lead elements of 267 Wing (17, 135 and 136 SQN) arrived in Rangoon. This took the form of CO 267 Wing (WGCDR Pennington-Leigh) Squadron Leaders Carey and Stone.

 

20 Jan 42

Three Hurricanes setting out to reconnoitre Raheng were attacked on take-off by an arriving Ki-27 strike after they had refuelled at Moulmein. All three were shot down.

Later in the day, a Ki-36 attempted to reconnoitre Moulmein. This machine was met and shot down by FLGOFF Mohan Singh, his fourth victory. The Ki-36 was normally quite safe, as it possessed extremely good low level manoeuvrability and could easily evade Hurricanes and P-40. However, against the old Fury biplane, it was a sitting duck.

 

A Blenheim raid headed for Mehsoht (6 Blenheims escorted by 6 Chinese P-40) was intercepted by chance over Kawakereik. One Ki-27 was lost but a P-40 and a Blenheim were also shot down.(125)

Burma:

The 15th Regiment of the Guard Japanese (4300 men) bar the road from Rangoon to Mandalay. For 8100 from British evacuate Rangoon must go at all costs otherwise it’s death by encirclement.
Bombardment with Hudsons gets in a great plain devoid of protection significant results. The British attack failed to dislodge the Japanese from their positions but 700 Japanese soldiers are put out of action more or less temporarily.(121)

 

 

21 Jan 42

Six Blenheims successfully bombed Raheng and Kawakereik.

The usual night bombing by both sides occurred, Rangoon and Mingaladon both being heavily hit. Two local coasters were burned out in Rangoon harbour.

 

22 Jan 42

Mergui was seized, the garrison (2 Bn Burma Rifles) being dispersed after a brief resistance. Wavell, underestimating the Japanese at this time, sent the Imperial General Staff the following message:

Japanese advance in Tenasserim should not have the results it did. Trouble started at Tavoy where indifferent battalion Burmese Rifles… apparently allowed itself to be surprised and then gave way without putting up a fight. Troops at Mergui were never attacked but were withdrawn rather hastily for fear they might be cut off…

Wavell added that he thought eh Japanese were attacking in small parties and should have been held easily. He was wrong, Two regiments of the 55th Division were attacking, one straight across the Dawna Hills through Kawkareik, and the second straight through Three Pagodas Pass. This latter was supported by 6000 Thai troops.

 

On the afternoon of 22 January, an overloaded ammunition truck overbalanced and sank the Kyiang River ferry on the Kawkareik Road. This was the only available ferry. Brigadier Jones, retreating before the Japanese troops, was unnerved by this. Abandoning his transport and heavy weapons, he crossed the river and force marched the 16th Bde towards Moulmein. When Smythe became aware of this he realised that he was about to be pinned against the Salween and destroyed. However, obeying his orders, he moved his remaining transport and artillery back across the Salween and prepared to contest Moulmein from fixed positions. He took care to erect log bunkers covering dead ground, collected boats and had lines strung across the river at these points to allow for an escape route should his thin defence line crack.

 

The IJAAF 5th Flying Composite Division was finally brought to full strength. It was composed of:

Don Muang

HQ 5th CFD

HQ 4th Flying Bn

8th Sentai – 31 Ki-48

14th Sentai – 25 Ki-21

62nd Sentai – 21 Ki-21

Nakhorn Sawan

50th Sentai – 31 Ki-27

Phitsanulok

31st Sentai – 31 Ki-30

Lampong

HQ 10th Flying Battalion

70th Independent Chutai 6 Ki-15

77th Sentai – 30 Ki-27

January 1942

17 Indian Infantry Division

01-Mar-41 Raised as a War Office Reserve Division in Ahmednagar in the spring of 1941.

The division was to be sent to Iraq early in 1941 for training and equipment for desert warfare as a fully mechanised division. In December 1941 the division was incomplete and unfit for active operations.

Commander

04-Dec-41 Maj Gen JG Smyth VC

 

Divisional Troops

Divisional HQ 09-Jan-42

 

60th Field Company, Madras Sappers and Miners 09-Jan-42

46 Indian Infantry Brigade16-Jan-42

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles16-Jan-42

5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment16-Jan-42

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment 16-Jan-42

48 Indian Infantry Brigade (ex 19 Indian Infantry Division) 31-Jan-42

1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles 31-Jan-42

1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles 31-Jan-42

2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) 31-Jan-42

 

Independent Units

14th Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment (relieving 23 Garrison Company at Akyab) 25-

 

Jan-42

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment29-Jan-42

 

23 Jan 42

The first 136 SQN Hurricane IIB arrived at Mingaladon, fitted with non-jettisonable long range fuel tanks. Within minutes of their arrival, a Japanese attack came in. This was 24 Ki-27 of the 50th Sentai. Seven Hurricanes challenged them. Two Ki-27 were shot down and while three Hurricanes ere badly damaged, none were shot down. The sweep had cleared the sky for 12 Ki-48 of the 8th Sentai, which attacked the shipping in the estuary. Four ships were damaged but none severely.

A second IJAAF raid (24 Ki-27 of the 77th Sentai and 12 Ki-30 of the 31st Sentai) came in 30 minutes later. The Ki-27 had missed the rendezvous and the Ki-30 formation decided to carry on unescorted. They were intercepted and chopped to ribbons by 12 P-40 of the ROCAF’s 9th Regt, one being shot down, 3 badly damaged and 7 damaged. Few bombs fell on Mingaladon.

The Ki-27 turned up just after the initial P-40 attacks broke up the Ki-30 formation and bounced them. Three P-40 were shot down for no loss

 

24-29 Jan 42

Japanese troops in small parties infiltrated the Moulmein perimeter area, observing the British efforts to build a defensive line and cutting up advance parties.

 

24 Jan 42

Six Ki-21 of the 14th Sentai, escorted by 20 Ki-27 of the 50th Sentai attacked Mingaladon. The faster Ki-21 outpaced the Ki-27, ignoring the calls of Captain Ryosuke Motomura of the 2nd Chutai to throttle back.

Waiting for the raid was a mix of Hurricanes and P-40, some 20 machines. These bounced the unescorted bombers and slaughtered them, downing 5 for no loss. They were then hit by the enraged 50th Sentai escorts. However, luck was again on the Allied side, and three of these were downed. No Allied fighters were lost. Meanwhile, underneath this battle, 3 Ki-30 of the 31st Sentai and 25 Ki-27 of the 77th attacked Mingaladon, destroying two Blenheims staging to Singapore and two BVAS Gypsy Moths, and firing another fuel dump.

During the day Wavell paid another visit to Rangoon, arriving after dusk aboard a B-20 ‘Brisbane’ flying boat. He noted the usual night raid (that night by 12 Ki-21 and 8 Ki-48), and the heavy damage to the docks.

 

25 Jan 42

5 Blenheim I of the IAF 3rd Coast Defence Flight set out for Bassein. Only four arrived, as one ditched on the way 100 miles from Chittagong, the crew being picked up by fishing craft.

 

26 Jan 42

23 Ki-27 of 50th Sentai did a sweep over Mingaladon, tangling with eight P-40 and Hurricanes. Two P-40 were lost, as was one Ki-27.

In the afternoon, 5 113 SQN Blenheims escorted by 2 Hurricanes and 6 P-40 attacked Kawakereik, hitting a Japanese column on the cart track across the pass.

 

27 Jan 42

Kunming (China)

No less than 37 Hawk-81, belonging to French GC I/40 and II/40, which had been reconstituted in Northern Burma, arrive to Kunming to relieve the AVG squadrons. These were not withdrawn, but moved to Chungking and started the process of reconstitution there.

Additional Lysanders arrived, taking 28 SQN up to 18 machines on strength.

 

Six Ki-21 hit Mingaladon accurately during the night, destroying two Hurricanes. However, one was shot down by SQNLDR Stone, flying a Hurricane. This was the first IJAAF loss in night bombing. Also during the night, 5 Blenheims, 2 Overstrand and 4 Heyfords had hit various targets in Thailand, without loss aside from a Blenheim which had crashed on take-off. The machine was destroyed, but the crew was unhurt.

 

28 Jan 42

Aware of the Allied airpower still present at Mingaladon, 5th Flying Division organised a busy day. 37 Ki-27 (27 from the 77th and 10 from the 50th) surged into the area. Coordination was poor and there were two separate actions. One ROCAF P-40 was shot down, but the 77th suffered heavily, losing 4 Ki-27. One machine, flown by LT Kaneki Yamamoto was seen to be hit. The pilot deliberately dived his fighter into a taxying ROCAF P-40, which was destroyed, tearing away the airframe aft of the very surprised pilot. Yamamoto was subsequently buried by the RAF with full military honours and an account of his death complete with photographs of his funeral was dropped by message streamer at Racheng.

 

29 Jan 42

Six Hurricanes and six ROCAF P-40 intercepted 20 Ki-27 of 77 Sentai over Rangoon. Four Ki-27 were lost to two P-40 and a Hurricane which was written off when it force-landed. One of these Ki-27 (piloted by Warrant Officer Yoshida) was hit in the cockpit. Yoshida was hit by several .303 rounds and attempted to dive onto a 113 SQN’s Blenheims. However, his machine clipped the top of the berm and broke up.

 

30 Jan 42 Battle of Moulmein

The battle opened with a strong Japanese attack on the perimeter from the south and south-east. General Smythe VC moved his HQ to the ridge overlooking the town at 0800, and this area came under artillery fire at 0930. By 1200 the attack had been beaten off, but the Burma Rifles battalions east of the town had withdrawn to shorten their perimeter. This left a detachment of Sikh Airfield guards, recruited by a Sikh officer of the 15th Sikhs who had served with Smythe in France in WWI, cut off at the airfield. These fought magnificently during the day and night.

 

The BVAS responded strongly from Pegu. The Japanese were treated to the remarkable sight of six Heyfords, two Overstrands and eight Audax, escorted by four Fury fighters and three Hurricanes attacking their forces outside the town. His raid was intercepted by seven Ki-27 of 77th Sentai, one Heyford and an Audax being shot down. However, they also lost two Ki-27.

Also during the day, 8 Blenheims of 113 SQN raided the area without loss. The IJAAF was also busy, 31st Sentai making no fewer than four raids on the town, none of them escorted. They lost two Ki-30, both to BVAS Hawker Fury fighters. One of these was FLGOFF Mohan Singh’s fifth kill, making him the first IAF ace of the campaign. The BVAS were forced from the airfield early in the day, having to burn two of their Audax light bombers which could not be flown to Pegu.

 

31 Jan 42

The Sikhs trapped at the airfield conducted a bayonet charge just before dawn, cutting their way out of the encirclement and rejoining the main defences. Ominously, they reported that they had heard tanks moving past them during the early hours of the morning.

At 1000, Brigadier Ekin reported that a battalion of the Burma Rifles (composed of valley Burmese) on the left flank of his position had disappeared. In fact, they had defected en masse to the Japanese. These promptly attacked through the gap, their attack spearheaded by four Type 95 tankettes of the 2nd Tank Regiment and two Vickers six tonners of the Royal Thai Army. Forming this thrust was two battalions of Japanese and one of Thai troops.

Again, the remaining Burmese troops in the area melted away, with the notable exception of the Hill tribesmen. These rallied to the Indian units in the area, but could not stop the advance. However, they slowed it in heavy fighting. Here, the tanks played a critical role. The Hills (and indeed most Indian) troops had never seen one. By 1400 Ekins brigade HQ was under infantry attack. The staff had little choice but to try and hold the ridge, and most ere killed in the fighting, Brigadier Ekin himself losing his life in hand-to-hand fighting.

Meanwhile, Smythe had moved his own HQ into the Public Works bungalow in Salween park and had his own troubles. He succeeded in rallying his forces and held the Japanese at the edge of the town, using the buildings for cover.

However, at 2000 his own HQ as assaulted by Japanese troops disguised as Burmese. The hand to hand fighting was ferocious, with General Smythe himself killing two Japanese but being badly bayoneted in return. However, the Divisional HQ staff and nearby troops fought off the attack. During the night Smythe began evacuating parts of his force across the river.

 The fire of his divisional artillery (such as it was) which he had left on the western bank of the Salween played a decisive role in stopping the Japanese attack. Smythe also had irrefutable proof that his force was under attack from the bulk of 55th Division, supported by significant elements of 2nd Infantry Division, Royal Thai Army, as well as Japanese and Thai armour.

Aircraft of both sides were very active over Moulmein during the day. The RAF lost two Hurricanes, a BVAS Audax, three Blenheim IV and a Blenheim I during the day, for two Ki-27, a Ki-30 and a Ki-48. The 113 SQN Blenheims were brought down by one of the few appearances by Ki-43 in this stage of the campaign.

the schedule had been speeded up and before

the end of the month

 the 15th Army had pushed across the Thai-Burma border and seized

 

Dai Nippon in  Moulmein 1942

 

 

 

Look

 

dutvh POW at Moulmein camp

 

japanese infantry using a type 89 Grenade Discharger against british troops in burma 1942

 

Burma:

The British and their allies decided to block the road to Mandalay north of Rangoon. An assault by the 15th Regiment of the Imperial Guard pushes a British division of 2200 men strong. 1100 men were lost against 350 Japanese side. The British retreated slowly toward the river Irawady.
Too slow! On 4 February the Japanese back in touch with the same troops who lost 1400 men again.
An unprecedented battle occurs not far away between Thai soldiers fighting more or less willingly alongside Japanese and soldiers of the 16th Indian Brigade. Thais, not very combative, losing 600 men, most evaporating in nature.
February 5th Battalion of Gloucester, left behind to cover the retreat is almost annihilated, losing more than 500 men against the 31th DI.(121)

 

 

officer of the japanese army 56th infantry Division carrying the regimental flag (burma 1944)

 

read more

 

                                 The Sword and the Cross

                               Two of the dramatic photographs in Pacific Fury illustrating

                                   the cruelty and the compassion of the Pacific conflict

 

 

 

February 1942

1 Feb 42

The Japanese-Thai force renewed its attack at dawn, forcing the perimeter back. Smythe knew that he had no choice but to fall back across the river, and this he ordered.To here 1 Jun. 08

HQ Army in Burma 1st February 1942

[based on Public Records Office Document WO212/543 with minor amendments]

A. 1 Burma Division

Artillery

Mountain Regiments

27th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery HQ

Mountain Batteries

23rd Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery

2nd Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery

5th Field Battery, Royal Artillery, Burma Auxilliary Force

Engineers

Field Companies

56th Field Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners

Field Park Companies

50th Field Park Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners

Brigades

13 Indian Infantry Brigade

5th Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment (5/1st Punjab)

2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment (2/7th Rajput)

1st Battalion, 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles (1/18th R Garh Rif)

1 Burma Brigade Group (The Maymyo Infantry Brigade)

2nd Battalion, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry detached to 46 Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles

5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

B. 17 Indian Infantry Division

Artillery

Mountain Batteries

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached to 16 Indian Infantry Brigade

12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached to 46 Indian Infantry Brigade

Engineers

Field Companies

60th Field Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and

Miners

The Malerkotla State Field Company, Indian States Forces

1st Burma Field Company, Burma Sappers and Miners

Brigades

2 Burma Brigade Group attached from 1 Burma Division

7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12th FFR) attached from 16 Indian Infantry Brigade

12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery attached

Section, Field Company

16 Indian Infantry Brigade

4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12th FFR) detached to 2 Burma Brigade Group

1st Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment (1/9th Jat)

1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7th Gurkha Rifles)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (3/7th Gurkha Rifles) attached

2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery attached

46 Indian Infantry Brigade

2nd Battalion, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached from 1 Burma Bde Grp

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment (7/10th Baluch)

5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (5/17th Dogra)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (3/7th Gurkha Rifles) detached to 16 Indian Infantry Brigade

48 Indian Infantry Brigade in Burma Army Reserve (waiting for transport)

1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles

(1/3rd Gurkha Rifles)

1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles

(1/4th Gurkha Rifles)

2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)

(2/5th Gurkha Rifles)

C. Line of Communication

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment

1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

6th Battalion, The Burma Rifles possibly only a company in strength remaining

.

AA Artillery

1st Heavy Antiaircraft Regiment, RA, Burma Auxiliary Force

1st Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, BAF 8 X 3.7inch guns

3rd Light Antiaircraft Battery, BAF 8 X 40mm Bofors guns

8th Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, RA

8th Indian Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery less two sections

3rd Indian Light Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery

E. Other Troops

BurmaFrontier Force

7 X “infantry battalions”

[Bhamo Battalion

Chin Hills Battalion

Myitkyina Battalion

Northern Shan States Battalion

Southern Shan States Battalion

Kokine Battalion

Reserve Battalion]

BurmaAuxiliary Force

4 infantry battalions

[presumed to be:

The Burma Railways Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Upper Burma Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Tenasserim Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force]

The Rangoon Field Brigade, Royal Artillery, Burma Auxiliary Force

Armoured Car Section, Rangoon Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force (four armoured cars with Vickers .303 MGs)

BurmaRifles

3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

9th (Reserve) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

10th (Training) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

11th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

12th (Lower Burma) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

13th (Shan States) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

Six anti-tank troops (forming)

12 garrison companies (7 formed) [not identified]

Order of Battle of the Chinese Expeditionary and Re-equipment Force in Burma – 1942

Note: After intense negotiations during 1941, the British had built three training and re-equipping centres at Rangoon, Prome and Mandalay, all ports with exercise and training areas nearby. Each Training Centre had a cadre of British staff whose task it was to train the Chinese trainers. Two of these units were planned to rotate back to Chungking and Changsha when sufficient equipment had been sent to start a broad upgrading of the NRA field forces. The three NRA Armies brought south were equivalent to a weak British Division, but were among the best remaining NRA formations. Initially overwhelmed by the amount of equipment supplied, these forces quickly adapted to their new situation.

Commander – Lieut.-General Lin Wei

Chief of the Chinese General Staff Mission to Burma – Lieut.-General Lo Cho-ying

1. V ARMY (Lieut.-General Tu Tu-ming) Established in Burma during Nov 41

22nd Division (Major-General Liao Yao-shiang)

64th Regiment

65th Regiment

66th Regiment

 

96th Division (Major-General Yu Shao)

286th Regiment

287th Regiment

288th Regiment

 

200th Division (Major-General Tai An Lan)

598thRegiment

599th Regiment

600th Regiment

 

Training Depot Rangoon

1st Reserve Regimental Training School

2nd Reserve Regimental Training School

Army Troops attached

V Army Cavalry regiment

V Army Artillery regiment

V Army Engineer regiment

V Army Armoured regiment

V Army Motor regiment

V Army Signal battalion

 

2. VI ARMY (Lieut.-General Kan Li-chu) entered Burma during Dec 41

49th Division (Major-General Peng Pi-shen)

145th Regiment

146th Regiment

147th Regiment

55th Division (Lieut.-General Ch’en Mien-wu)

1st Regiment

2nd Regiment

3rd Regiment

93rd Division (Lieut.-General Lu Kuo Ch’uan)

277th Regiment

278th Regiment

279th Regiment

Army Troops attached

Engineer battalion

Transport battalion

Signal Battalion

1st Battalion, 13th Artillery Regiment

 

Training Depot Pegu

3rd Reserve Regimental Training School

4th Reserve Regimental Training School

Army Troops attached

VI Army Cavalry regiment

VI Army Artillery regiment

VI Army Engineer regiment

VI Army Armoured regiment

VI Army Motor regiment

VI Army Signal battalion

 

 

3. LXVI ARMY (Major-General Ma Wei-chi) entered Burma from mid-Jan-42

28th Division (Major-General Liu Po-lung)

82nd Regiment

83rd Regiment

84th Regiment

38th Division (Lieut.-General Sun Li-jen)

112th Regiment

113th Regiment

114th Regiment

29th Division (Major-General Ma Wei-chei)

85th Regiment

86th Regiment

87th Regiment

Army Troops attached

1st Battalion, 18th Artillery Regiment

 

Training Depot Mandalay

5th Reserve Regimental Training School

6th Reserve Regimental Training School

Army Troops attached

LXVI Army Cavalry regiment

LXVI Army Artillery regiment

LXVI Army Engineer regiment

LXVI Army Armoured regiment

LXVI Army Motor regiment

LXVI Army Signal battalion

Notes:

(1) These were ‘German’ troops, called such due to some prewar German training. The strength of a Chinese regiment was equivalent to the strength of a British battalion, that of a division to a British brigade and that of an army to a British division.

(2) These Chinese formations were unique in the Chinese Army as actually having some supporting or ancillary units and transport.

(3) The infantry had all been re-equipped with British .303 rifles, Lewis guns and .303 Vickers guns.

(4) The training armoured regiments were British battalion size, and used a mixture of US and British tanks (mostly Covenanter training tanks, Vickers My VI, Valentine and Stuart tanks). The Cavalry Regiment was similarly small and used a mixture of South African built armoured cars and Vickers VI light tanks. The artillery were equipped with US supplied ‘French 75mm’ field guns, these already being in NRA service. The British 25 pdr (known to the Chinese as the ’87mm’) was regarded as a heavy gun by the NRA.

15th Army Headquarters (Lieut.-General S. Iida)

33 Division (Lieut.-General S. Sakurai)

NOTE: This division was removed from the Campaign and sent to Malaya due to the severity of the fighting there.

33rd Infantry Group Headquarters (Major-General M. Araki)

214th Infantry Regiment (Colonel T. Sakuma)

215th Infantry Regiment (Colonel M. Harada)

 

33rd Mountain Artillery Regiment (less two battalions – nine guns)

11th Anti-Tank Gun Company (four 37mm guns)

one tank platoon (four Type 95 light tanks/tankettes detached from the light tank company of 2nd Tank Regiment)

33rd Engineer Regiment (one company only)

33rd Transport Regiment (two horse companies only)

Divisional medical unit

Two field hospitals

Veterinary and ordnance sections

 

55 Division (Lieut.-General Y. Takeuchi)

 

112th Infantry Regiment (Colonel K. Obarazawa, later Colonel S. Tanahashi)

143rd Infantry Regiment (Colonel M. Uno)

55th Cavalry Regiment (less one mounted infantry squadron and less part MMG and anti-tank gun companies)

55th Mountain Artillery Regiment (less one battalion – 12 guns)

55th Engineer Regiment (less one company)

55th Transport Regiment (less two companies)

Divisional medical unit

One field hospital

Veterinary and ordnance sections

 

Army Troops

4th Independent Engineer Battalion

20th Independent Engineer Battalion

Two bridging companies

One railway battalion

Two wire communication companies

Two fixed radio units

One line of communication sector unit

Two independent transport companies (motor transport)

Two independent transport companies (horsed)

One line of communication hospital

One base hospital

Notes:

33 Division.

213th Regiment (Colonel K. Miyawaki) and two mountain gun battalions left behind in China for lack of shipping and did not rejoin the Division until the end of March 1942.

 

The anti-tank guns and the light tank platoon came into action at Pegu on 6 March. The guns were captured by a company of the 1st West Yorks, supported by tanks. The three tanks were quickly knocked out at long range by Stuarts of 7th Hussars. A fourth tank had been lost earlier whilst crossing the Sittang River. The parent light tank company had been left in Thailand, these four tanks had been driven on their tracks all the way from Thailand.

 

55 Division.

55th Infantry Group Headquarters had been sent to Guam, with the Division’s third regiment, 144th Regiment, and other sub-units under command. When the main invasion began the second battalion of 143rd Regiment (2/143 Battalion) was at Victoria Point and 3/112 Battalion was at Tavoy. Both battalions rejoined at Moulmein.

 

55th Cavalry Regiment’s normal composition was three mounted infantry companies, one armoured vehicle company, one MMG company and an anti-tank gun company. The missing elements had also been sent to Guam.

#

What is interesting about the NRA is just how pitiful their armament was. Even in the troops the NRA sent into Burma, only about two thirds to three quarters had rifles! In normal units, only half the troops were armed, and some of the weapons were jezzails and muskets. So in FFO, we are quickly building towards a situation where just by supplying rifles and a decent supply of ammo, the combat power of the entire NRA is doubled. Argus came up with the fascinating idea of packing a Sten gun, cleaning kit, 4 magazines and 800 rounds into a box. Instant infantryman.

We have added .303 SMLE, .303 Lewis guns and Boyes AT rifles in quantity to the NRA. We are adding all the trucks we can find, lots of jeeps, mortars, a bit of artillery and light to very light armour. Do this for a while and the NRA will be within the ballpark of being as well armed as the IJA, at least away from the ports.

Now, these blokes dealt the Japanese some heavy blows in OTL. They forced them out of much of the territory they occupied in the south, for example. Arming all their infantry and adding some other kit may treble their combat power. That is going to cause the IJA catastrophic problems.

Logistics in Burma are a real problem for Imperial forces, because they are coastal and depend on shipping…. but for the IJA they are disastrous until Singapore falls and they can freely use the Strait of Malacca. Worse, they can only have one Division there until then, and it has to be supplied over the Dawna Ranges and Three Pagodas Pass – during the Andaman Sea monsoon. That’s like trying to walk along a mountain goat-track while people are aiming fire hoses at you. By the time the Monsoon ends, they will be facing two full Indian Army Corps plus a full Chinese Army. Worse, they will be in an Army where the staff is vastly experienced about this region and has more experience in fighting the IJA than anyone else (except the Chinese and not many of them), they will be led by General Percival and be composed of the boys from Fort Canning. So they will have blood in their eyes and one single aim – to retake Singapore.

Cheers: Mark L. Bailey

 

February 1942

17 Indian Infantry Division

 

Divisional Troops

28th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery14-Feb-42

15th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery 14-Feb-42

28th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery 14-Feb-42

2nd Antitank Regiment, Indian Artillery 14-Feb-42

24th Field Company, Bombay Sappers and Miners 14-Feb-42

 

Independent Units

“Force Viper”, Royal Marines detachment (from Ceylon aboard the cruiser HMS Enterprise) 11-Feb-42

2nd Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment 14-Feb-42

1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)21-Feb-42

7 Armoured Brigade21-Feb-42

2nd Royal Tank Regiment 21-Feb-42

7th Queen’s Own Hussars 21-Feb-42

‘A’ Battery, 95th Antitank Regiment, RA 21-Feb-42

414 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery21-Feb-42

March 1942

March 1942
Rangoon, capital of Burma, fell to the Japanese Army. The Japanese military administration took over Burma.

 

17 Indian Infantry Division

 

Divisional Troops

1st Field Regiment, Indian Artillery 03-Mar-42

70th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners 03-Mar-42

63 Indian Infantry Brigade (ex 23 Indian Infantry Division?) 03-Mar-42

1st Battalion, 10th Gurkha Rifles 03-Mar-42

1st (KGO) Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment 03-Mar-42

2nd Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles 03-Mar-42

 

Independent Units

 

8th Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, RA03-Mar-42

1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (arrived by air at Magwe) 09-Mar-42

February,12th.1942

The Japanese advance in Burma continues.

 The Hudsons and Blenheims British attempt to intervene but are severely countered by Oscar who kill half a dozen devices.

The most serious events occurring in the South Pacific. After taking the Japanese Noumea send three squadrons of combat in Fiji, are more than 50 ships. This armada is spotted quickly by Catalinas stationed in Suva. Two planes were shot down by the zeros of the Navy.

March.1942

Burma Army Command – 19 March 1942

I. 1 Burma Corps (Burcorps)

(a) Corps Troops

7 Armoured Brigade

2nd Royal Tank Regiment

7th Queen’s Own Hussars

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regimentattached from 17 Indian Infantry Division

Artillery

Antitank Batteries

‘A’ Battery, 95th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA

Royal Horse Artillery

414th Battery, Royal Horse Artillery

Artillery

Heavy Antiaircraft Batteries

8th Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, RA

Light Antiaircraft Batteries

3rd Indian Light Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery less one troop

Engineers

Artizan Works Companies

18th Artizan Works Company

17th Artizan Works Company

Field Companies

1st Burma Field Company, Burma Sappers and Miners

Pioneer Battalions

6th Pioneer Battalion, Indian Engineers

Infantry

1st Special Service Detachment

 

(b) 1 Burma Division

Artillery

Antitank Batteries

8th Indian Anti-Tank Battery, Indian Artillery

Mountain Regiments

27th Mountain Regiment, Indian ArtilleryHQ

Mountain Batteries

23rd Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery

2nd Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery

Engineers

Field Companies

56th Field Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras less two sections

Sappers and Miners

The Malerkotla State Field Company, Indian States Forces

Field Park Companies

50th Field Park Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras

Sappers and Miners

Infantry

BurmaFrontier Force

FF1, Burma Frontier Force attached

FF3, Burma Frontier Force

FF4, Burma Frontier Force

FF5, Burma Frontier Force attached

2nd Special Service Detachment

Brigades

1 Burma Brigade Group

2nd Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment (2/7th Rajput)

1st Battalion, The Burma Rifles

2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles attached

5th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

2 Burma Brigade Group

5th Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment (5/1st Punjab)

7th (Burma Police) Battalion, The Burma Rifles attached

FF8, Burma Frontier Force attached

13 Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles (1/18th R Garh Rif)

 

(c) 17 Indian Infantry Division

Artillery

Antitank Batteries

5th Indian Anti-Tank Battery, Indian Artillery attached from 2nd Indian Anti-Tank Regiment

Antitank Regiments

2nd Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery assigned to Line of Communication Troops

Field Regiments

1st Indian Field Regiment

Field Batteries

1st Indian Field Battery, Indian Artillery

2nd Indian Field Battery, Indian Artillery

Mountain Batteries

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached, re-equipping at Mandalay

12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery less one section re-equipping at Mandalay

15th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached, re-equipping at Mandalay

28th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached, re-equipping at Mandalay

Engineers

Field Companies

24th Field Company, Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners

60th Field Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners

70th Field Company, Bengal Sappers and Miners

Infantry

1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)attached to 48th Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regimentattached to 7 Armoured Brigade

5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (5/17th Dogra)

8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

1st Rangoon Battalion, Burma Military Police

“Force Viper”, Royal Marines detachment – river patrol

BurmaFrontier Force

1st Detachment, Burma Frontier Force

2nd Detachment, Burma Frontier Force

3rd Detachment, Burma Frontier Force

FF2, Burma Frontier Force attached

FF6, Burma Frontier Force

Reconnaissance

1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment

Brigades

16 Indian Infantry Brigade

2nd Battalion The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

1st Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment (1/9th Jat)

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment (7/10th

4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12th FFR)

48 Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)attached

“5th Battalion, 3rd Gurkha Rifles (Composite Battalion)”

1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1/3rd Gurkha Rifles)

2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) (2/5th Gurkha Rifles)

“7th Gurkha Rifles (Composite Battalion)”

1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7th Gurkha Rifles)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (3/7th Gurkha Rifles)

1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles (1/4th Gurkha Rifles)

63 Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers attached from Army Command

1st Battalion, 10th Gurkha Rifles (1/10th Gurkhas)

1st (King George’s Own) Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment (1/11 Sikh)

2nd Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles (2/13th FF Rif)

 

II. Army Troops

 

28th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery

1st Heavy Antiaircraft Regiment, RA, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Rangoon Field Brigade, Royal Artillery, Burma a detachment

Auxiliary Force

9th (Reserve) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

10th (Training) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

The Bhamo Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Chin Hills Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Kokine Battalion, Burma Frontier Forceless detachments

The Myitkyina Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Northern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Reserve Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Southern Shan States Battalion, Burma Frontier Force

The Karen Levies

 

III. Line of Communication Troops

 

2nd Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery

RHQ only – less both batteries, no guns

8th Indian Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery

3rd Indian Light Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery one troop

The Rangoon Field Brigade, Royal Artillery, Burma no guns, less one detachment

Auxiliary Force

56th Field Company, Queen Victoria’s Own Madras two sections

Sappers and Miners

2nd Battalion, The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI)

3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

6th Battalion, The Burma Rifles possibly only a company in strength remaining. Became a garrison company of Karens during Mar-Apr-42

11th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

12th (Lower Burma) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

13th (Shan States) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

14th (Shan States) Battalion, The Burma Rifles

The Tenasserim Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Burma Railways Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Upper Burma Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force

The Mandalay Battalion, Burma Military Police

The Kokine Battalion, Burma Frontier Forcedetachments

The Chin Hills Battalion, Burma Frontier Force detachments

MI (Mounted Infantry) Detachment, Burma Frontier Force

1st Garrison Battalion

2nd Garrison Battalion

1st Garrison Company

2nd Garrison Company

3rd Garrison Company

4th Garrison Company

5th Garrison Company

6th Garrison Company

7th Garrison Company

 

March 1942,

an independent volunteer army occupied the Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon,

British troops were mopping up further to the Indian border.(125)

 

 

 

 

 

April 1942

April,1st 1942

April,2nd.1942


The front line in South China
On the Burmese coast but India is already the Japanese seized without a fight Cox’s Bazar.
Akyab-Chittagong road is cut. Therefore the basis of Akyab will live very difficult days(121)

April,3rd.1942

April,4th.1942

 

April 5th,1942

April 6th, 1942:

The invasion force Cocos Islands just arrived at his goal. A nasty surprise awaits Japanese: a destroyer and a frigate entering a minefield. The two ships were severely damaged but will be returned to service several weeks later. The minesweeper W-12 integrated with the landing force avoids the worst. The island is infested with mines reveal. It will take several days to W-12 to overcome. How many mines have been wet on this isolated island remains a mystery.
Without adequate preparation the Japanese lose 200 men during landing operations. Australians just retaliate.

A rare landing ships of the Japanese Navy
In the afternoon the Japanese naval air group stationed two aircraft carriers (Akagi,, Kaga) just arrived in Noumea after attending support operations during the invasion of Java runs a freighter Steel travel and a minesweeper Bustard at a hundred miles east of the islands of the New Hebrides. What the Japanese later discover is that these two ships were used goat to force them to disclose their device.
In the afternoon, although the Japanese have not fully landed launches an assault on Coco Island. Australians are that in 2900, having lost more than 1000 of them in the sinking of their convoy, against 12,000 Japanese troops belonging essentially to the sea.
Australians of the 21th brigade, probably poorly supplied, demoralized and stunned by the bombing, not having had time to dig, not surrender without selling their skin dearly: 1900 Japanese disappear in the fighting.(121)


April 7th.1942:

April,8th.1942

April 8:

Burma:
The British, presumably to better position their fighters who have a shorter range than their Japanese counterparts, abandoning Chittagong and install an air base in Akyab. This database will become a point of attachment for the coming weeks bring many troubles to the British. For now the Oscars are launching a new raid to measure the balance of power. 6 British fighters are shot against three Japanese.
Zeros attacked the next day. 3 aircraft were lost on either side. Intervene immediately behind the Oscars. The AVG lost 3 planes but failed to shoot down a Japanese. This advantage is immediately lost with the loss of 7 Sallys on Chittagong tragic mistake of a squadron that is lost, while 25 Sallys are raining bombs on the air base Akyab(121)

April,9th.1942

Burma:
Believing that the Japanese are too busy elsewhere the British launched their Hudsons Mandalay without escort. A squadron newly arrived Oscars awaits: 15 bombers do not fit. B17 raid also turned into a fiasco with 13 fortresses riddled with bullets and shells should turn back. Many are unable to return.
The Blenheims prey on the 33th DI columns advancing on the Indo-Burma without conclusive result.
In the days following new bombardments are organized with losses Akyab balanced side.
China
Nationalist troops attempt a frontal assault to regain their lost Nanchang in January. Meanwhile, the Japanese have managed to build a great defensive network (level 5) This attack costs 3400 Chinese men in the 26 000 e(121)


The 9th of April, 1942,

was a dim day for Allied power in the Far East. British and Chinese troops were retreating across Burma. Col (now Maj. Gen.) Claire L. Chennault’s game but outnumbered Flying Tigers were abandoning their air bases in central Burma before the advancing Jap ground forces. Lashio, southern terminus of the Burma Road and key point in the last Allied supply route to China, was in imminent danger of falling.

Just after dawn on that morning of Apr. 9

, a battered and worn Douglas DC-3 transport plane took off from a jungle airfield in Assam, India, and climbed laboriously over the 14,000-foot peaks of the Himalaya Mountains, which separate India from China. The aging plane was loaded with 100-octane gas intended for the B-25s of Brig. Gen. (now Maj. Gen.) Jimmy Doolittle’s Tokyo raiders, if they landed safely in China. Pilot of the DC-3 was Lt. Col. (now Brig. Gen.) William Donald Old of Uvalde, Tex.

Old’s flight had little immediate effect on the course of the war in the Far East. But the long-range possibilities of that first aerial supply trip across the Hump – the name U.S. airmen have given the Himalayas – were not lost on a group of U.S. Army officers in India.

They saw that this new air route was more than the last hope of keeping China in the war until the vast potential of Allied power could be concentrated in the Far East. They realized that some day it might actually surpass the supply capacity of the winding, tedious Burma Road.

They were right.

American planes are now carrying more military supplies, by actual weight, to China than were hauled over the Burma Road in any average month during the two years before its capture by the Japs.

Those supplies are being transported by a constantly increasing fleet of U.S. two and four engine airplanes, operated by the Air Transport Command’s India-China Wing between bases in Assam and Yunnan Province.

Gasoline and bombs used by Maj. Gen. Chennault’s Fourteenth U.S. Air Force are flown into China by ATC planes. Weapons carriers, 2½-ton trucks, jeeps, 4,000-pound ack-ack guns, medical supplies, food and clothing for both Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell’s U.S. forces in China and the Chinese Army itself are ferried through the skies by this huge cargo-carrying operation.

Dwarfing any commercial air-line operation in history, the India-China Wing’s 24-hour-a-day ferry service over the Hump hauls more cargo then the combined pre-war freight carried by all U.S. civilian air lines. It has more pilots and operates more planes than America’s three largest commercial lines did up to December 1941.

It even has its own “shuttle run” from the United States to Assam. Planes bring necessary spare parts and other high-priority supplies direct from Patterson Field, Ohio, to the ATC bases in northeastern India. The shuttles make the 15,000-mile trip in a few days, stopping only for fuel and new crews en route.

Officially the flyers of the ATC are not combat men; they are only freight crews. Yet they have flown the most dangerous air route in the world, bucking weather, mountains and Japs in daily defiance of the law of averages. Some of them have died carrying out their missions. Others have suffered injuries that will cripple them for life. All of them have done a job that rates right up alongside Guadalcanal and Salerno.

Weather and mountains are the principle headaches. Monsoons that ground the Jap air force in Burma don’t stop the ferry crews flying the Hump. Freezing overcasts put three inches of ice on their windshields and two inches on their wings.

The pilots have to fly blind when snow static cuts off radio communication and leaves them lost for hours. Sudden storms and downdrafts haunt them. Towering mountain peaks bend their radio beams miles off, so the pilots have to correct navigational drifts many degrees, and force the overloaded planes up to altitudes exceeding those at which they were designed to fly. Even so, there is always the threat of a mountain wall looming up still higher ahead.

A forced landing in this jungled and mountainous terrain is a million-to-one shot. Those odds were lengthened when the Japs offered the head hunters 300 rupees for every GI head.

Finally, the ferry crews face the constant threat of being jumped by roving Jap fighter patrols, packing a heavyweight punch of firepower; against this, the ATC transports have only tommy guns for protection.


  Brig. Gen. Old was in charge of the first ferry service to China. But his duties were not limited to flying and administrative work. He was right down on the line with privates and corporals, loading and servicing planes for their daily flights.

 One night, the general and a ground crew sergeant packed about 300 crates of gasoline on a plane. The next morning, Old flew it across the Hump and helped unload it. That was just a routine day for the general and his crew – Lt. John J. Boll of Ironton, Ohio; T/Sgt. Ernest Creach of Hammon, Okla., and S/Sgt. Albert Wagner of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Col. (now Brig. Gen.) Caleb V. Haynes of Mount Airy, N.C., took command of the ferry service late in April 1942 when U.S. Army transports arrived to supplement the Pan-American ships then on the route. All Burma was about to fall into Jap hands.

 The transport crews were called on for double emergency duty. After unloading their cargoes of supplies for the Flying Tigers and the retreating Chinese Army, the planes stopped at Lashio and Myitkyina to pick up loads of Burma refugees.

In the 10-day period before Lashio and Myitkyina fell to the Japs, 3,608 evacuees and 623 Chinese and British wounded soldiers were ferried to safety in India. DC-3s normally carrying 26 passengers were loaded with almost three times that number, On one trip Capt. Jake Sartz carried out 75 evacuees. Maj. Gen. Chennault himself was flown out of Loiwing in a ferry plane piloted by Brig. Gen. Old, when the Jap Army was only a few miles away.

Food for Lt. Gen. Stilwell’s party on its retreat from Burma was dropped by Brig. Gen. Haynes from a DC-3 that was jumped by Jap Zeros on the way back to its base. The U.S. plane escaped after T/Sgt. Ralph Baldridge, the radio operator from Wynnewood, Pa., and Sgt. Bob Mocklin, the crew chief from Royalton, Pa., had emptied their tommy guns at the enemy fighters.

The entire Burma evacuation was accomplished without the loss of a single ferry plane, thanks to the one-man pursuit force activities of Col. Robert L. Scott Jr. He kept the Japs off the tails of the ferry planes by bombing enemy bases and intercepting enemy patrols in his lone P-40.

Keeping the transport planes in operation during the monsoon months of 1942 was a desperate struggle. Not only the weather but lack of spare parts and reserve planes plagued the Assam-China-India Ferry Command, as it was then known. One crash put four grounded planes back in the air when the damaged ship was cut up and its parts distributed. Minor repairs were even made with adhesive tape and paper clips.

A shortage of mechanics was another drawback. Truck drivers and cooks double in brass as mechanics and maintenance men. At one time, one field had only nine mechanics to take care of 15 planes. They worked an 18-hour daily schedule until reinforcements arrived.

 

 

.

 

 April 10th.1942 :

 

April 11th.1942 :

April /11th, 1942,

 

April 12th.1942:

 

 

April,13th.1942

April,14th -15th.1942


April 16th.1942:

Southeast Asia:
Indian offshore submarine I-166 torpedo the light cruiser Colombo 2 Long range. Flowing down the ship reached the port of Cochin very close to heal its damage.
The Japanese cruisers back on Akyab more efficiently enriched by daily reconnaissance. The naval bombardment had destroyed seven of which 4 Warhawks AVG. Industrial installations Akyab ignite triggering massive fires, tracks AFB are destroyed.

April,17th.1942

 

Burma:

The air war takes on Akyab which, despite naval bombardment continues to harbor many planes.
Zeros raid encounters 45 hunters. 3 Zeros are shot against four Allied fighters. Occurs when a massive raid with 83 bombers escorted by 85 fighters. The result is not up to the resources committed. Blenheim is one destroyed on the ground.
Akyab to relieve the Americans launched their B17 on Rangoon. They face a squadron composed of experimental fighter Ki-45 twin Kaia. Bombers turn back, all riddled with bullets or shells of 20 mm.
A new sweep Oscars will destroy three Allied fighters over Akyab.
Cut British troops in India are gradually pushed towards the Chinese border.

The three squadrons of AVG squadrons to face daily in the sky dOscars Burma.
Losses are heavy on both sides.(121)

April,18th.1942

18 april 1942

April,19th.1942

 

April,20th.1942

April,21th.1942

 

Burma:
Akyab is attacked by the sea but also by air. A raid consisting of 84 bombers escorted by 45 Sallys Oscars destroyed five British aircraft on the ground.
Raid escorted Blenheims not totaled by the loss of 10 of the 14 units engaged.(121)

April,22th.1942

April 22:

April,23th.1942

April,24th.1942

after the outbreak of World War II, Japan occupied Hong Kong from Macau of a neutral country

April,25th.1942


A new naval bombardment shakes Akyab.

The airbase is again devastated and plunges into chaos. Is a Blenheim destroyed on the ground.(121)

 

April.26th.1942

April,27th.1942

April 27:

Burma:


The Japanese felt strength after controlling

 

Akyab return to

Chittagong. 99 Oscars encounter Buffalos technically obsolete. 5 Allied fighters are shot against the loss of two Oscars.

The raids will continue in the following days with balanced results, the Allies had managed to resurrect some of the AVG(121)

 

April,28th.1942

 

Burma:
The Japanese cruisers are back to Akyab. Their shells again ravage the base, destroy a Warhawk belonging to AVG, and light huge fires. 115 British soldiers are the victims of the raid.
The I-158 on duty at Colombo, Ceylon, is attacked by the destroyer Pakenham. The British, having the best weapons ASW among belligerents, the Japanese submarine goes hard times.
After a rest day the Japanese launched another assault on Manila and capture a new line of fortifications. 10,000 Japanese were knocked out in 2900 against Allied troops(121)

 

April 28, 1942.

 

April,29th.1942

 

 

 

April,30th.1942

 

 

 

 

Burma:

 

 

Allied raids did not cease. Continuously varying goals they attack industrial facilities in Burma. A refinery is affected by B17.(121)

By the end of April 1942

the Japanese had thus gained control of Burma, Malaya, Thailand, French Indochina, the Netherlands Indies, and the Malay Archipelago; farther to the east, they had won strong lodgments on the islands of New Guinea, New Britain, and in the Solomons. They were in a position to flank the approaches to Australia and New Zealand and cut them off from the United States.

The Japanese had won this immense empire at remarkably little cost through an effective combination of superior air and sea power and only a handful of well-trained ground divisions.

The Japanese had seized and held the initiative while keeping their opponents off balance. They had concentrated their strength for the capture of key objectives such as airfields and road junctions and for the destruction of major enemy forces, while diverting only minimum forces on secondary missions, thus giving an impression of overwhelming numerical strength.

 They had frequently gained the advantage of surprise and had baffled their enemies by their speed and skill in maneuver.

The whole whirlwind campaign, in short, had provided Japan’s enemies with a capsule course of instruction in the principles of war

 

Balance of April

An extremely high number of ships sank in April. The largest Japanese losses occurred mainly during the first half of the month.

The main losses were accompanied by large naval battles and the war of attrition in the skies over Burma.(121)

 

 

In May 1942,

a declaration of military rule has been conquered the whole of Burma.

 

After the British expulsion because Colonel Suzuki

had promised the independence of the early generals Aung San,

appealed to the higher ups that make up an independent government army Burma as soon as possible.

However,

the army chief of staff,

such as Colonel Ishii Akiho south is “without order to make a mere administrative agency first,

and to manage under the instruction of military commanders”,

the corresponding inefficiently. Japan did not want an independent Burma,

closed the institution south is reassigned to with divisional headquarters Guards Colonel Suzuki(125)

 

 

May,16th.1942

May 16
The night is punctuated by naval bombardment to Makin and Akyab.

The Royal Navy is still formidable in its capacity to fight ASW. The I-121 must join the base painfully after undergoing 4 hours grenadage off the coast of India.

In the afternoon

 the Americans begin landing operations at Paramushiro-jima Island, the northernmost of the islands in the archipelago of the Kuril Islands. Japanese territory for the first time in the war trodden by the enemy. A Tokyo emotion in circles orbiting Hirohito is great. A Staff because it is relatively serene precautions to guard against such an eventuality

 

were taken.

 Seven battalions recently landed on these islands. For 36 hours the patrols had spotted the advance of enemy convoy. But Aerodrome archipelago are not able to accommodate bombers. The 5th Fleet, which is responsible for the sector has only a few submarines and a dozen reconnaissance aircraft.

On the island of Honshu to reassure the Emperor is mobilized 10 new divisions. The deduction from the reserves of manpower available is considerable further accentuating the Japan market to a total war economy and making life even more difficult for Japanese.

On the evening of May 16

 

630 men belonging mainly to the U.S. 32nd DI have a foothold on Paramushiro. This indication of the commitment of a large enemy unit is valuable for the Japanese as they learn that they face a major offensive. This decides Yamato and Staff of the Army to mobilize large resources.

Several units stationed in Manila with the 4th ID were put on alert on May 16 evening. They boarded May 17 in the morning on transport ships anchored in Manila. Squadrons in training in Japan and the Philippines are directed on the island of Hokkaido, where the bases are arranged in an emergency. Young drivers to experience very low for some, are thrown into the fight faster than they had expected.

Two wings are established with destroyers and cruisers from completing their program of reform more ships held in reserve in Tokyo. Work Completion super-battleship Yamato, the giant of the seas, are pushed to that ship of 72 000 tonnes will become the new flagship of the fleet created in an emergency.

These forces they arrive in time to save the Kuril Islands?(121)

 

May,18th.1942

Burma:

Hunters Oscars leading a raid on Chittagong shoot seven British fighters losing a single unit. Renewed following a raid eliminates four British aircraft against an Oscar shot.
Two British reconnaissance units formed with light tanks occupy Cox’s Bazar. Sallys bombers attempting to alleviate these units. They destroy 10 tanks. On the night following a bombing squadron unsuccessful tanks of the 3rd Hussars and Lancers Patalia Bengal. Ah traditions in Britain are tough with such names! Allied bombers involved in turn above the Cox’s Bazar to halt the march of the 14th regiment of the guard but without success.(121)

May,19th.1942

 

Burma:
The town of Cox’s Bazar is taken by the 14th Regiment of the Guard Japanese. The hussars and lancers are pushed unceremoniously into the jungle. These two regiments lost 52 tanks on 60 of their endowment. The next day the Allied bombers arrive en masse on Cox’s Bazar including B17 squadrons Oscars but had anticipated the attack. The raid was cut to pieces with 7 bombers killed 11 and damaged. To counter the British raid is conducted against Chittagong airbase from which the Allied attacks on May 20 but it was a failure. 3 aircraft were lost on either side.(121)

 

 

Mat,21th.1942

 

Burma:
The Oscars continue their raids on Chittagong. They still face the same Allied squadrons constantly renewed: AVG 1, 2 and 3, 17th, 27th, 135th, 261st and 453rd squadrons of the RAF. The Japanese have brought on this front almost all their squadrons Oscars. Some have more than 130 victories to their credit but the Allies constantly throw new aircraft into battle. Allied fighters destroyed five against one Oscar does not return. In this crucible of emerging as the Japanese side as the Allied side, but the losses are heavy. Weekly from one to two dozen young drivers from driving squadrons flock to fill the gaps.(121)

May,22th.1942

 

Burma:
Raids on Japanese succession Chittagong: 2 Oscars lost 4 against Allied fighters of different models.(121)

 

May,23th.1942

 

Burma:
British units are marked walking on Chittagong Cox’s Bazar. Sallys bombers intervene to stop the progression.(121)

 

 

May,24th,1942

 

Burma:

The Oscars shoot nine Allied fighters over Chittagong losing a unit.
Recognition of Cox’s Bazaar 45th British regiment of light armor is rejected. Losses are lightweight side.
An assault by the 147th U.S. Infantry Regiment on the island of Shimushiri-jima is thwarted by the 302nd Infantry Regiment Japanese. A new U.S. attempt Paramushiro-jima fails advantage. The Japanese are now 5500 and 8900 Gis oppose supported by 200 vehicles(121)

 

 

May,25th.1942

Burma:
For the first time since the war began a naval battle occurs in the Bay of Bengal. The Japanese squadron of southeast Asia was reduced after harvesting to other theaters in two heavy cruisers (and Myoko Suzuya) and 12 destroyers. Under the command of Admiral Yasuo Inoue, its mission is to bomb and destroy Chittagong aircraft airbase. She stumbled upon a convoy of five British ships escorted by HMS Stronghold DD ferrying reinforcements. The battle ended in disaster for the British lose their ships. The size of a brigade, 6,600 men are, is completely destroyed. The afternoon cruisers bombard Chittagong. The damage to the base are important but do not affect the operational level. A coastal artillery battery response repeatedly touching the cruiser Myoko must withdraw.
Raids continue on Chittagong. 6 Wakhawk s are shot against five Oscars.

The cruiser Myoko destroyed a British convoy with another heavy cruiser Suzuya the Tarawa:
The minesweeper Ataka Maru is lost due to the effects of a torpedo launched by the USS Growler.(121)

 

May,28Th.1942

 

Burma:
The Oscars attack again Chittagong. They cut 7 devices but 2 of them do not fit. The Allies were able to meet their losses. 80-100 hunters are operating on this basis.
Air cover provided by the base extends to Chittagong Cox’s Bazar where, despite the Japanese fighter escort bombers lose 2 and a fighter against a Warhawk in AVG. A 2nd raid in the same area escorted by Ki-45 Oscars and more successful with 3 Warhawks shot. On this occasion the Japanese unit detects a new ally, the British 53rd Brigade. It is the turn of Wellingtons attack Cox’s Bazar. The British lost two bombers no profit. In the afternoon the Oscars locate a new squadron and a new model of Burmese fighter in the sky, the Kittyhawks of the 14th New Zealand squadron.
Raids resumed on Akyab. The British managed to get the basic service and have brought new aircraft
The Warhawk opponent equal to the Oscars(121)

May,29th.1942

Burma:

Successive raids over Cox’s Bazar where British troops continue to grow. The 28th Brigade of Gurkhas is identified.
The Warhawks of AVG and New Zealand Kittyhawks shoot 3 planes. 2 hunters in New Zealand and the AVG aircraft are lost(121)

 

 

May,31th.1942

Burma:
The air war continues over Cox’s Bazar. 2 Hurricanes are slaughtered. A new type of bomber makes its appearance in the sky of Burma, B25 Mitchell. Warhawk an escort and B25 3 are shot into the sky to Cox’s Bazar by indestructible Oscars.
The Japanese have the confirmation, if any were needed, of the return to service of the basis of Akyab. A Japanese raid encounters 31 hunters AVG. 4 hunters are lost each side.

 

 

 

 

The 53rd British Brigade and

 

 

the 28th Brigade of Gurkhas have finally arrived at

 

 

 

 Cox’s Bazar.

 Read more about Gurkha Brigide

 

 

 

1955 airmail envelope addressed to Scotland locally redirected franked 10c adhesive. Fine triple oval “1st BATTALION 7th GURKHA RIFLES THE BRIGADE OF GURKHAS” cachet in violet. From a Sgt in the Regiment. The envelope has a very light horizontal paper fold and a staple mark at right

 

The 14th Guard Regiment supported by a part of the Parachute Regiment, the Yokosuka Assault SNLF in total 4800 men try to repel the Commonwealth have 5600 men. The attack was a bloody failure. 1600 Japanese remain on the floor.

Thus ended the month of May, the month very difficult for the Americans, who have continued to attack across the fault by looking into the Japanese. With more discretion and better coordinate their attacks with other sectors they could succeed in the Kuril Islands. They encountered each time responsiveness and determination of the Japanese. The attack on Nauru and Ocean Island was by cons doomed from the start due to lack of sufficiently powerful ships and air support to escort the convoys.

Statement of operations at the end of May 1942
May is again terrible for the Allied navies losing 63 vessels(121)

 

June 1942,

had been backing to these Aung San,

the next month dissolved the volunteer army independent Burma,

defense forces were reorganized into Burma was reduced to (3,000) about one-eighth of the troops.

August 1943, Japan in order to obtain the cooperation of the Burmese war of the war situation from worsening,

formally recognized the independence made a puppet regime.

History textbooks for junior high school student in Burma →

“Japan is in each department of administrative agencies.

Was given the independence of the only form in Burma Commonwealth

 

Bank Japanese has been appointed always.

Of Japanese paper money not no guarantee at all (military scrip) foreign trade.

to buy a grain of rice and paper money worthless.

 

the issue endlessly, and destroyed the economy Burma,

had also walk away without having to pay even that sometimes has been dominated by

large Japanese companies

such as Mitsubishi and Mitsui people. other are forced to be Kyoshutsu precious metal, was hunted

as a boy laborer.

under the rule of Japan, food, clothing, housing, drugs

and deficiency, malaria, plague, smallpox has been spread.

 

 

The people suffered poverty,

who Toriiri in Japanese, aimed at illegal gain in a way that the government “” Burma

is the only benefited Japan there was a fascist authority is acceptable. general public of the military police

result of the crackdown was arrested while, been tortured, and even there they were massacred,

but I think. of fascist these people spread throughout the voice you want real independence.

was Tagira the flames of anger “,


[Thailand] (independent country)
Initially, Thailand had a relatively pro-Japanese mood.

Japan went into the spring of 1941 Indo-China border disputes,

and Thailand, a summary of the negotiations in favor because the Thai side.

● … war with the Army 1941.12.8 Thailand

 

Thailand has declared neutrality quickly and the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939.

Although the Japanese army landed in the southern part of Thailand in the “purpose pass”, aims to capture Singapore, the state had engaged in coastline for landed prior to obtaining the permission of the Thai government. In some districts continued to fight even for 40 hours, 150 people, the Thai side, issued a 250 people who died of the Japanese side. 12/21, “treaty of alliance between Japan and Thailand” will be entered into.

 

But declared war on both countries Anglo-American Thailand also on the basis of this alliance,

 

the Thai side in order to reason the pressure of Japan,

have not written only two people the declaration of war rather than

the required signatures of three people regent (one are hiding at the time).

 

After the war, declaration of war was not satisfied with the claim.
even though there was a sentence “(compliance) compliance with international law” in the (imperial rescript) The decree of the war by the Emperor of the Russo-Japanese War and the Sino-Japanese War, the imperial edict of war of 12/8 did not. Army were concerned about the deterioration of the anti-Japan sentiments of Thailand in the occupation marked Buddha south, so there is a possibility that violate the neutrality of Thailand in the amphibious operation, in order to avoid that lie Emperor, “observance of international law” stuck to that you want to delete the wording of the.(125)

 

 

In July of 1942

the Japanese commander of the Burmese Independence Army, Colonel Suzuki, left Burma and Aung San was made commander of the BIA reorganized and renamed as the Burma Defense Army (BDA). His rank was colonel. There were however many Japanese advisors who prevented the BDA from taking actions contrary to the interests of Japan. The Japanese Army set up a token Burmese government under the leadership of the former prime minister Ba Maw.

 

August.1942

 

● Japanese troops occupied the (Myanmar),

 

 

 

Burma, 1942,

card KGV 9 p. green marked „X” w. red seal canc. „TWANTE 17 AUG 42” to Myaungmya w. arrival “19 AUG 42„

ビルマ、1942年、カードKGV 9 P。緑は “X” wをマーク。赤いシールCANC。ミャーンミャに “TWANTE 817日、42″ワット到着 “819

 

it is necessary to ensure the supply line to Burma in preparation for the coming invasion of India

 

Burma railway construction in March 1942 …

(appearances) Hull Tai 1942.6.28-1943.10.25 was.

Transportation from Cairo is difficult,

Imperial Headquarters to determine the total length of railway construction of the 415km zone

between the jungles of Thailand and Burma are transported by ship sinking

 

and people following the U.S. submarine attack.

 

Had to be completed quickly, from both the construction of the Thai and Burmese side.

 

Greatly reduce the construction period was seen as five years,

was completed in one year and four months, there was abuse that work 14 hours a day.

 

The construction of 62,000 people about Allied prisoners of war has been turned on,

hitting about 12,619 people about 20% of this has died.

As wage laborers,

but have worked (42,000 dead) (40,000 dead) 100,000 people about 6,000 Burmese, about 80,000 Malays

in other harsh environments fiercely nearly half to death was.

Many were infected dies of cholera, dysentery and malaria in the breakdown by malnutrition.

In addition, what had been paid wages, the breakout of military boots and kicking after another slap directed by Japanese rampant.

Number of deaths is unknown to the other, has been put 45,000 people in Indonesia, also 12,000 Japanese troops.

Thai people do not have local impact (see below) pawn burn incident. Taimentetsudo of 36 participants who became a death penalty

because of the inhumane treatment against prisoners in the War Crimes

Trials after World War II.

Currently, the city of Kanchanaburi railway construction sites, there is a war memorial and cemetery of allied prisoners of war.
the Yasukuni Shrine are “dedication” is C56 locomotive ran Taimentetsudo.

 

 

 

BURMA 1942: 5c on 1a scarlet on reverse of cover to Toungoo, tied with ”EXPERIMENTAL P.O./R-539/25 DEC 42” double circled d/s,

further ‘R-595’ Experimental d/s and ‘Rangoon Dely’ d/s alongside. A scarce cover.

ビルマ1942実験PO/R-539/25 1242縛らトングーにカバーの裏面に緋色に5C 1A

二重はさらに、 “R-595”実験D / SラングーンDelyD / Sを丸で囲んだ“D / Sと一緒に。希少なカバ

Cultural differences [in Southeast Asia ~ /

burn incident should not be touched pawn head]
It is believed that in the sphere of Buddhism in

Southeast Asia, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos,

the most sacred place in the body from the head at the top.

The head is soul, spirit, and France is alive and kicking,

to touch the head of an act of insulting others will be maximum.

No habit, therefore, that the pat a child on the head.

 

 

On the other hand, Japan is from Tekken and slap sanctions had been made almost daily in the army,

due to the slap in the trivial sense of the local people from the occupied territories of Asia in Japanese,

instill a deep hatred We had many cases. In addition, because under most foot,

was also an insult or indicate something in the foot, showing the soles of the feet. Of course, to kick the others are very rude.

 

 

 

 

BURMA 1942 (Aug. 1),

Burma 1a KGVI. PS envelope uprated with KGV. 9p and KGVI. 3p,

all with Henzada Peacock ovpt used as local mail within Myanaung (arrival b/s dated 2nd Aug.).

 

Was that the Japanese soldiers and local people,

such as a kick! “Do not slow”, give a sense of humiliation that these also unnecessary.
In the construction of Taimentetsudo,

originally had been recruited in Hiyatoi those who want local, (11/24),

“priest” was the pledged tobacco to Allied POWs at Baan pawn

after about five months of the start of construction

 

(Thai monks are highly respected people from)

doing something outrageous that would slap to the Japanese soldiers.

This will be in uproar, the Japanese military camp of railroad work force will be moonlighting in retaliation,

 

the number of names, such as officer has been shot dead.

And, even though Thailand was a country relatively pro-Japanese,

Japanese soldier explode into conflict with the Thai police. The Japanese side to the Thai government,

“said the ringleader of capital punishment the priest,

to pay 80,000 baht compensation to the dead” requires that the.

 

However, in Thailand could not be punished by the law monk.

It has issued a lifeboat to the Thai side was at a loss, (Metropolitan Open)

Lieutenant General Akito Nakamura

was appointed garrison commander in Thailand (military direction 18) of the incident the following year.

 

Commander Nakamura for the families of military personnel in Thailand capital punishment of the ringleader,

“is withdrawn from Baht 80,000 compensation is donated to the Thai side from the Japanese after the receipt,

who died in the battle with the Japanese Army

at the time of the outbreak of the war two years ago and suggestions

“help, you pick up the pieces in this elegant solution.

Nakamura commander communicated to the Japanese soldiers stationed again

 

“Do not touch the head strike to respect the customs of the Thai people.

To the head is unreasonable,” and since the incident Baan Thai pawn employment was discontinued.
incident site / burn pawn to reference external


June 1942

June,1st.1942
Burma:
The air war has never wavered in this sector. But some days the battle redoubled intensity.

On the morning of June 1 raid Japanese hitherto unprecedented power comes on

 

 

Akyab.(no sitwe)

Look some collections from akyab

 

Telegraph from akyab

1882 Indian Government telegraph receipt form from Akyab, Burma. Front (top) and back (bottom).

 

Postcard from akyab to Rangoon(now yangoon)

 

 

Airmail cover via akyab

Return of First Experimental Airmail
NZ/Australia to UK


The flight for London left Melbourne on 23 April with the mail from New Zealand

leaving Wellington on 17 April and joining the flight at Sydney on 24 April.
Only 229 ordinary and 106 registered letters were sent from New Zealand.
The route
The New Zealand mail was carried by Australian National Airways from Sydney to Brisbane

on the Southern Sun on 24 April and then by Qantas in a DH 61 from Brisbane to Darwin,

 on 25 – 26 April.
The plan had been for the Imperial Airways DH 66 to fly the mails from Darwin,

 but as it had crashed at Koepang on the 19th

and Imperial Airways had no replacement aircraft, Kingsford Smith and Allan,

who had arrived in Darwin from Koepang on the 25th,

flew the mail from Darwin to Akyab in Burma on 27 April – 3 May.
At Akyab, the mail was transferred to the Imperial Airways DH 66 City of Karachi

 on 3 May and flown to Delhi, arriving on 5 May.

From Delhi it joined the regular Imperial Airways flight to London

where it eventually arrived on 14 May, 27 days after leaving New Zealand.

 The Japanese sent the bulk of their squadrons Oscars are 144 hunters and hunters have added 27 night twin Ki-45 Nick. Across the 63 waiting hunters with Kittyhawks, Warhawks, Hurricanes

and well-known models for the first time the Mohawks. The Allies were apparently thrown new squadrons in battle. The Japanese lost 15 aircraft fighter against allies.

A 2nd raid follows with zeros. Warhawk is an additional shot.
A raid against minesweepers seen in the port of Chittagong

 is a bloody defeat for the Japanese who unfortunately lost 7 bombers left without escort.
A few hours later the Blenheims and Hudsons trying to stop the advance

of the armored division of the Guard on Akyab. Successive raids fail.

A British bomber crashes into the jungle.
That same morning the B17 bomb nickel mining in the region of Nouméa. Some excavators and conveyors are damaged.
In the afternoon the rain bombs on Akyab. Despite the means of closing the base Britons lose only 3 hunters against a Japanese bomber. The basis of Akyab is damaged but not at a level sufficient to asphyxiate.
Evil refueled, the 14th regiment of the guard backed by a fraction of a para regiment

was expelled from Cox’s Bazar by the Brigade of Gurkhas brigade and British troops.
Everything is for the Japanese to rebuild in this area.

The AVG squadron suffered heavy losses but opposes months since the Japanese Oscars
(121)

June ,2nd.1942

 

Burma:

Oscars raid conducted on the basis of Chittagong hours to six aircraft squadrons plus the full AVG a total of 65 hunters. The Japanese are upgraded to having effective only sent 37 aircraft squadron together. 10 Japanese aircraft were shot down against 11 of the next ally. Japan ranks emerge as 1 double with 10 wins and 3 to 5 wins as new. Their exploits are celebrated throughout Japan.
In the afternoon a new model B25 Mitchell bomber used against the 112th Infantry Regiment to no avail.(121)

 

June,3th.1942

 

in the standing row) with the officers of VMSB-241 on Midway, May 1942.

Ward flew in Major Henderson’s Third Section, with Captain Armond DeLalio as his leader and wingman.

 On June 3, 1942,

June,3rd.1942

On June 3rd 1942

a PBY Catalina from Midway discovered the Japanese invasion force and US long range bombers launched attacks against but inflicted no damage. On the morning of the 4th the Americans adjusted their search patterns in and the Japanese came into range of Midway and commenced their first strike against the island.  In response land based aircraft from Midway attacked the Japanese carrier force taking heavy casualties and failing to damage the Japanese task force.

 

The American Carrier task forces launched their strike groups at the Japanese fleet leaving enough aircraft behind of the Combat Air Patrol and Anti-submarine patrol.  As the Americans winged toward the Japanese fleet the Japanese were in confused.  A scouting report by an aircraft that had been delayed at launch discovered US ships but did not identify a carrier until later into the patrol.  This was the Yorktown and TF 17. The Japanese attempted to recover their strike aircraft and prepare for a second strike on the island and then on discovery of the carrier embarked on the task of unloading ground attack ordnance in favor of aerial torpedoes and armor piercing bombs.  The hard working Japanese aircrew did not have time to stow the ordnance removed from the aircraft but by 1020 they had the Japanese strike group ready to launch against the US carriers.

 

As the Japanese crews worked the Japanese carriers were engaged in fending off attacks by the US torpedo bomber squadrons, VT-6 from Enterprise, VT-8 from Hornet and VT-3 from Yorktown.  The Japanese Combat Air Patrol ripped into the slow, cumbersome and under armed TBD Devastators as they came in low to launch their torpedoes.  Torpedo Eight from Hornet under the command of LCDR John C Waldron pressed the attack hard but all 15 of the Devastators were shot down.  Only Ensign George Gay’s aircraft was able to launch its torpedo before being shot down and Gay would be the sole survivor of the squadron.

 

Torpedo 6 under the command of LCDR Eugene Lindsey suffered heavy casualties losing 10 of 14 aircraft with Lindsey being one of the casualties.  The last group of Devastators to attack was Torpedo 3 under the command of LCDR Lem Massey from the Yorktown.  These aircraft were also decimated and Massey killed but they had drawn the Japanese Combat Air Patrol down to the deck leaving the task force exposed to the Dive Bombers of the Enterprise and Yorktown.

 

There had been confusion among the Americans as to the exact location of the Japanese Carriers, the Bombing 8 and Scouting 8 of Hornet did not find the carriers and had to return for lack of fuel with a number of bombers and their fighter escort having to ditch inn the ocean and wait for rescue.  The Enterprise group under LCDR Wade McClusky was perilously low on fuel when the wake of a Japanese destroyer was spotted.  McClusky followed it to the Japanese Task Force.  The Yorktown’s group under LCDR Max Leslie arrived about the same time.  The found the skies empty of Japanese aircraft. Aboard the Japanese ships there was a sense of exhilaration as each succeeding group of attackers was brought down and with their own aircraft ready to launch and deal a fatal blow to the American carrier wondered how big their victory would be.

 

At 1020 the first Zero of the Japanese attack group began rolling down the flight deck of the flagship Akagi, aboard Kaga aircraft were warming up as they were on the Soryu

VB-3 under LCDR Max Leslie from the Yorktown stuck the Soryu with 17 aircraft, only 13 of which had bombs due to an electronic arming device malfunction on 4 of the aircraft including the squadron leader Leslie.  Despite this they dove on the Soryu at 1025 hitting that ship with 3 and maybe as many as 5 bombs. Soryu like her companions burst into flames as the ready aircraft and ordnance exploded about her deck. She was ordered abandoned at 1055 and would sink at 1915 taking 718 of her crew with her.

 

The remaining Japanese flattop the Hiryu attained the same fate later in the day after engaging in an epic duel with the Yorktown which her aircraft heavily damaged. Yorktown was abandoned after a second strike but when she did not sink her her returned to attempt to save her. However despite their efforts she and the destroyer USS Hamman DD-412 were torpedoed by the Japanese Submarine I-168. Hamman sank almost immediately with heavy loss of life while Yorktown sank on the morning of the 7th.

 

 

June 4th 2602

 

 

the Japanese carrier Soryu during the Battle of Midway, on June 4, 1942.

 

during the attack on the Japanese fleet off Midway, in June of 1942


Figure 9: Destroyers stand by to pick up survivors as the carrier USS
Yorktown (CV-5) is being abandoned during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942,

 

following Japanese torpedo plane attacks. Destroyers at left are (left to right): Benham (DD-397), Russell (DD-414), and Balch (DD-363). Destroyer at right is Anderson (DD-411). This picture was photographed from USS Pensacola (CA-24). Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the US National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.


Figure 10: USS
Benham (DD-397) during the Battle of Midway with 720 survivors from the carrier USS Yorktown on board. She is nearing USS Portland (CA-33) at about 1900 hrs on 4 June 1942. A report of unidentified aircraft caused Benham to break away before transferring any of the survivors to the cruiser and they remained on board her until the following morning. Note Benham‘s oil-stained sides. The abandoned Yorktown is in the right distance. US Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Click on photograph for larger image.

 

 

 

 

June 6th 2602

 


Figure 11: Survivors from the destroyer USS
Hammann (DD-412) are brought ashore at Pearl Harbor from USS Benham (DD-397), a few days after their ship was sunk on 6 June 1942, towards the end of the Battle of Midway. Note Navy ambulance in left foreground, many onlookers, depth-charge racks on Benham‘s stern, and open sights on her after 5-inch gun mount. Official US Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives. Click on photograph for larger image.

June 7:1942

Burma:

The air war after 2-day break restarts finest. The main mission of the day is for the Japanese to halt the march of the 28th Brigade of Gurkhas who returned after Cox’s Bazar advance on Akyab retirement and threat paratroopers of Yokosuka SNLF Assault Guards and 14th Regiment.
A large bomber raid is planned in the afternoon but in the morning the Oscars fly zone to eliminate the threat before the arrival of the bombers. Wise precaution! The Warkawks the AVGsont already there and fall on Oscars.Seule the numerical superiority of Japanese avoids disaster. 78 Oscars in a confused and whirling successful battle to counter the 23 hunters Americans. Immediate balance is not glorious. 2 Oscars are killed against only 3 Warhawks.

The B17 U.S. Air Force advantage of the situation and the lack of hunters Magwe to bomb oil wells. The damage is significant.

In the afternoon the sky is free for 66 bombardiersjaponais who raining bombs on the Gurkhas. Given the difficulty of seeing clearly the objectives to land due to dense vegetation cover (jungle) the shelling is quite successful in putting out of action temporarily more or less a hundred Indians. The Japanese did not expect more. Warhawk is an additional shot by the escort.

As they expected the Japanese receive full front attack Gurkhas in the afternoon. Gurkhas stunned by aviation have lost their bite. They face elite troops who quit on their net start line. 400 soldiers of the British Empire turn back having lost any desire offensive. The Japanese continue their decline to recross the river and the area demangroves Kaladari Akyab separating from the rest of Burma.(121)

June 8, 1942

June,9th.1942

 

Lyndon Baines Johnson (on right) shaking hands with Brigadier-General Martin Scanlon

on the morning of 9 June 1942 at 7 Mile airfield in Port Moresby prior to him taking off for a bombing raid on Lae

June 9, 1942

Burma:
The British are desperately trying to open the road from Cox’s Bazar to Akyab still besieged. Once again, the Lancers Patialas equipped with some armored brigade of Gurkhas and frontally attack the positions of the 14th regiment of the Guard and paras 1 Yokusuka. Jungle advantage defense. The fights are summarized in firefights throughout the day with a few dozen casualties on both sides. The next day the Japanese bombers pounded the allied units to provide air colleagues infantrymen still clinging. June 11 Oscars escorting bombers face the 135th squadron of the RAF equipped with Hurricanes. The British lost 3 devices. Japanese raids fail to halt infiltration of Gurkhas. On June 11, the Japanese semi-circled abandoned their positions, leaving 130 men on the ground. The British lost 30 men and four plows.
(121)

June 10, 1942:

Burma:

The base is again bombed Akyab by three heavy cruisers (Furutaka, Suzuya and Mogami) plus 2 light cruisers (Yura and Kashima). Launched incendiary shells on the village trigger huge fires. Air Base, the main objective of the raid is relatively spared. On the way back wing is caught by Blenheims and Hudsons who drop their bombs at random. The next day the attack was renewed but protect Zero Wing. 3 bomber crashed into the sea.(121)

Burma:

Heavy bomber raids continue on lesinstallations oil Magwe too exposed. The Oscars have biendu wrong way to counter these raids bites pin lentementmais but surely leading to the reduction of petroleum potential of Burma(121)

June 12, 1942:

Burma:

Despite the incessant bombing the British reoccupied the airbase Akyab. Japanese reinforcements led by two squadrons equipped with 2 new models, hunters and A6M3 Tojos Ki-44-IIa.

The new model A6M3 Zero was released a few weeks ahead of schedule. The Navy plans to equip one squadron.

The Tojo should in principle replace the Oscars are for the moment had the most products. Used mainly in Burma, the Oscars have killed as many enemy aircraft but also the model that has accumulated more losses. Several squadrons Oscars count more than 100 victories.

The staff of the 5th Air Division responsible for operations in Burma launches its fighter squadrons on Akyab. The shock is one of the most violent of the war. Allies rounded up many times the AVG reconstituted with Warhawks Mohawks and a squadron of a total of over 60 aircraft. Despite their numerical inferiority initial new Japanese models shoot four Warhawks losing two Tojos. Occur then 41 Oscars are breaking six new devices allies losing three of them. The bulk of the A6M3 Zero arrives and kills 4 devices without any damage Japanese side. Balance at the end of day indicate that the Allies lost fifty devices. Indeed many had not recognized as killed but were damaged during the fighting seems to have crashed on landing rutted tracks of Akyab. The next day the Allies were again abandoned base. Warhawks few who could not be evacuated because their damage is destroyed on the ground by bombing succeeding.

Advantage of the situation Allied bombers pounded the Japanese who oppose the advance on Akyab Gurkhas without much result due to the density of the DCA(121).

June,10th.1942

 


Use the standard version of the Navy special aviation postcard.
March 18, 2006 submissions
cable Saitama door.
Addressed to “circle Gokoku” special cruiser.

Round Gokoku special cruiser
Renamed in building a circle round Gokoku countries Osaka merchant ship cruise ships, ship entered service as excellent 10438t, Osaka merchant.

 

 

June,13th.1942

 

 


 Let’s attack in the arrivals from French Indochina

It is a post from outside of Yu addressed to Japan after the war.

That’s what French Indochina (now, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) censored at the central station of Saigon in submissions, addressed to the Japanese trading company on June 13, 1942.

It is a post from outside of Yu addressed to Japan after the war.

That’s what French Indochina (now, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) censored at the central station of Saigon in submissions, addressed to the Japanese trading company on June 13, 1942.

Let me rest a detailed description today.
To return to the normal version from next year please wait a while, soon (miso Ψ (` ‘) Ψ is not written properly deadline) (^ ^) m (_) m
Was established after World War II, the SDF also make changes name three times, I have today. Police Reserve is beginning, the next era was called constabulary.
Today we will introduce the current registration of the submissions in the annex of the era constabulary constabulary such(124)

 

June 14, 1942:

Burma:

Akyab is again shelled by Japanese cruisers relighting fires just off. On the way back wing falls on the USS Permit and Dutch KVII beyond the grenadage due to their ability to plunge well below the zone of blast depth charges.

Against by the KX can not be positioned to launch a torpedo on a cargo part of a huge convoy off Phuket, destination tourism grâceau become famous 60 years later.

The large escort forced to dive. A new attack KX occurs in the day. Repelled by escort the submarine was forced to retreat with damage.(121)

Burma:

U.S. and British bombers return to Magwe. Devices is one of 11 killed and nine damaged.
(121)

 

June 15, 1942:


Burma:

The air war still rages over Chittagong.
The British remounted their 67th and 79th squadrons with 43 Hurricanes. To top up two other squadrons are equipped Mokawks and Warhawks.

The 1st wave of Oscar tries to take the advantage over Chittagong with forty machines. It was partially successful. The British lost 8 devices against 5 on the Japanese side. Then come the new zeros A6M3. Half of British aircraft present at the first attack are no longer there. Japanese crush their opponents by shooting four Allies while losing only one aircraft.

The 3rd wave consists of 44 Oscars find only 12 opponents. A Briton was killed, other devices abandon the fight.

In the early afternoon the Japanese back. Losses continue to climb with Oscar lost against three British fighters. A new batch of Oscars arriving later can not find anything in front of it. The British were no longer able to resist the Japanese.

Moments later arise sixty bombers each carrying four 250 kg bombs. Two British aircraft crashed on the slopes, but the result is disappointing raid, many bombs did not reach their goal because of the strong base that protects the DCA.(121)


June 17:1942

Burma:

From sunrise comes a huge raid on Chittagong. 124 Japanese fighters trying to eliminate the 40 Allied fighters defending the British base. 5 British are slaughtered against a Japanese. A 2nd wave comes an hour later with 67 Oscars. 6 British planes are shot against two Japanese.(121)

 

Burma:

That same night Cox’s Bazar defended by the 16th Australian Brigade and the 53rd British brigade visited by four Japanese cruisers that irrigate copiously port without much results. On the way back the O21 awaits watchers but decidedly Japanese in great shape that night spotted the submarine. Rushing to 28 knots the escort destroyers have not the time to deepen and disappear into the darkness.(121)


June 22, 1942:

Burma:

The 28th Brigade of Gurkhas supported by the 254th Armored Brigade British tried again to open the road to Akyab. The Japanese have replaced the paratroopers and infantry regiment of the Guard guarding position by a regiment fees, the 56th, and especially a newly formed armored division belonging to the Guard. What follows in the jungle the largest tank battle in south-east Asia. 300 British gear face 250 Japanese tanks. The British harassed all day by Japanese bombers are grounded. They must fall back on their starting line having lost 80 tanks.(121)

June 23, 1942:

Burma:

The Japanese cruisers bombarded overnight Cox’s Bazar. The positions of the 16th Australian Brigade and 53rd British brigade are barely begun.(121)


June 28, 1942

Burma:

The intensity of the air battles has decreased a lot in the sky Burma. However skirmishes still punctuate chronic two camps. An outpost held by the 112th Infantry Regiment was attacked by Japanese Hudsons.Les Oscars, placed in ambush, shoot 9, nine others dropped their bombs at random and fled. Mitchells training does not insist and turned around.(121)

 

June,29th.1942

 

 

 

 

 

Northern or the President when the government officials, Japanese Comrade People’s Friendship visit to Eastern France

 

French leader of the East are discussing intimate with his Japanese comrades

 

 

 

 

Japan you carry a gun to protect his comrade Eastern France

 

 

VN army troops with the same emperor in the second-fruit trees.

Before you wonder do not know the origin of the hat where mortars for the Army. Now they can claim is derived from the Japanese imperial army natural
Japs are different in that the helmet again, fighting the helm, not the mortar for cap … cool, like the Germans in North Africa or France in a number of British troops elsewhere
And our army is always required … cool

 

Maneuver is Pu-liter patrol against illegal racing and security for people

political economy in the Far East “in the hope of the Japanese occupation

Mitsubishi tractors (by the Japanese Emperor Hirohito ODA to support the people of eastern France to increase agricultural output) This is a spicy jtrong the first machine with a blade diameter of 12.7 mm cayf

How many sheets at a distance is difficult to distinguish Japanese dc ng ng Vietnamese, but machine vision and saw the Japanese near real fat.
Do you want to ask this, I told his grandfather after his government won in 45 with a number of Japanese soldiers to surrender his army and government service (this one’s for sure) they teach you how to fight , but then not shooting well, but for whatever reason in my village the soldiers that were brought ng all executed (beheaded and buried into the hole for always), this status can not take place and where not more than why? Is it under the pressure of his troops that Chiang had to do this because after this ng Japanese soldiers to surrender, everyone treated each other so well that
________________________________________
Japanese troops in Vietnam during World War II

This route has become the lifeline for Chiang’s own, the Hai Phong – Kunming has shipped 48% of the most important necessities for the Kuomintang forces. In 1939, when Japan requested a half times the French authorities in Vietnam to stop transporting goods to Chiang Kai-shek, the “mother country, only very limited ability to protect the colony.

Japanese military leaders believe that, cut off supplies to Chiang Kai-shek can accelerate the victory of Japan, and they became furious when full Georges Catroux did not do it. Recognizing the inability of the government is not elected in France in the defense of Southeast Asian empire his Catroux in an effort to thoroughly prevent the occupation of the army which the emperor more powerful, had yielded a required number of Japanese. Within months, the transport of weapons to Chongqing almost ended, but food supplies and vital medicines continues to ROC. To cut off this supply route, the Japanese had bombed railway, but without much effect. During the remaining months of 1939, Japan continues to require close to railway Catroux southern China also continued to evade the requirements of Japan.

However, after France fell in June 1940, Catroux found himself serving Vichy government should decide that the more limited concessions to Japan is a lot better option than losing the entire colony. Believe that if bargain wisely enough he can keep Indochina as the last ramparts of the independent territories of France, Catroux has allowed the Japanese inspectors monitor the transport of materials in Chinese.

Read more info at

Dr Iwan CD-ROM The Dai Nipon War In Vietnam Indochina.

 


 
July 1942
Reorganized BIA and become Burma Defence Army (BDA). Appointed as Commander-in-Chief Colonel Aung San.

 

July,4 th.1942

July 4, 1942:

Burma:

3 waves of Chittagong night led mainly by Sallys bombers destroy only 3 hunters Hurricanes despite substantial resources committed. Bomber does not fit.(121)

July,16th.1942

Burma

 
       

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation Burma

July,16th. 1942

legal-size cover franked with 1a Yano Seal strip of four (Scott 2N10), tied by “Experimental PO” postmarks with “1941” date error. “Rangoon Cantonment” backstamp (July 18). Minor wear not affecting stamps or markings

 

 

July,17th.1942


Burma:

Revive the British air war in Burma. 6 bombers Wellingtons come to 18,000 feet Magwe. The 50th Sentai abandoned his Oscar put into service in December 41 and has been retrofitted with Tojos Ki-44 IIa brand new. The Japanese positioned at 20 000 feet plunge on British bombers by shooting 3 devices. Others give up. The British were the vanguard of B17 bombers toughest otherwise. Oscars hunters break their teeth on the block 9 aircraft flying in formation compact. A Japanese fighter down to the ground in flames. Hunters Tojos more manageable and equipped with two additional guns shoot a B17.

Tojos hunters gradually fall hunters Oscars on Burma front.
 
DCA recently reinforced with pieces arrived in Japan at great expense to 8 devices damage that does not prevent them from dropping 500-pound bombs on the runways of the airbase. The damage is quickly repaired.

B17 bombers committed by Americans on the Burma front are difficult to counter. The only hope of the Japanese is damaging hoping they crash on the way back to their base.

In the afternoon Blenheims escorted by Kittyhawks attack armored Armoured Division whose advance guard of Chittagong has been blocked for a month by a brigade of Gurkhas. The results were zero(121)

 

 

 

 

July,24th.1942

 

Burma:

Pike submarine attempting to enter the port of Rangoon probably undermine it. Identified by the squadron of Admiral Tanaka, assigned to cover this area of ​​operation is pursued in the delta leading to the port of Rangoon. The next day the Dutch F-20 is caught in the delta probably going to drop mines.(121)

July,25th.1942

 

Burma:

The road from Akyab to Cox’s Bazar is blocked for months, Indo-British and Japanese facing face in the jungle. Akyab held by the British is cut from two months the rest of the British Empire. The Japanese air raids on positions of Brigade of Gurkhas and an armored regiment are daily, almost without opposition. For the first time in many years the squadron of Kittyhawks New Zealand try to resist the Japanese. The fight is between no thank you A6M3 Zeros and New Zealanders who had lost nine against one zero.

The Japanese were routed in the greatest secrecy on potholed roads and terrible of Burma 39,000 men and 1,100 vehicles and tanks belonging to an army training news: the 21st.

This mass crosses the Irrawaddy river in the worst conditions and greater difficulties. She joined a vanguard of 4,000 men which has been stalled for two months between Akyab and Cox’s Bazar.Le lock on the road Akyab-Cox’s Bazar defended by the 254th British armored brigade, the 45th Armoured Regiment of the 28th Brigade and ereconnaissance Gurkha explodes . 3600 soldiers of King George V in the jungle disperse or disappear without a trace. Brigade of Gurkhas disbands. It is destroyed and disappears altogether from the British order of battle. 220 tanks were lost.(121)

 

July,28th.1942


Burma:

The air war had paused several weeks gradually reborn. The sweep Tojos hunters Mokawks 17th squadron of the RAF over Cox’sBazar. The British lost two aircraft.

By against the sky three squadrons Akyab expect Tojos. Hurricanes shoot two Japanese losing one of them.

Poor coordination due to emissions Posts disrupted by tropical storms prevents hunters twin-engined bombers Nick synchronize with the bombers yet the same parties base.Les Japanese lose an apparatus for incursion become useless.

Japanese bombers then arise without an escort. 6 aircraft were shot down by the Hurricanes. 22 aircraft are damaged. Some crash return. The raid was a fiasco without any result.

At the same time the Blenheims attempt to disrupt the progress of the Japanese 21th Army Akyab without conclusive result.(121)

Battle of the central Pacific:

The Battle of Marcus slip gradually eastward, American convoys attempting to flee the Japanese squadrons much faster. In fact allied ships are so numerous that only a few stumble and are caught in the net. Like a herd fleeing from predators, lower or larger are caught and eliminated. Thus the seven vessels in a convoy attempting to join Midway aircraft is intercepted by Shokaku group. 5 transport is severely affected. The escort Tydeman disappears and the enormous transportation President Jackson. The sinking of the former liner leads to the disappearance of 870 GIs. Transportation Franklin Bell comes out without a scratch. Aircraft fail to reach the corvette Thyme.

Transport President Jackson undergoing Japanese naval attack.


 

The anti-aircraft cruiser Atlanta Marcus left only the day before taking the road to the northeast. It is far too late. It is overtaken by the Group’s aircraft Hosho-Taiyo which housed five bombs. The days are counted from the cruiser.

July,29th.1942

 

 

Burma:

Training Blenheims, Hudsons and B17 are trying to stop or at least slow down the Japanese forces advancing on Akyab. A squadron of dive Tojos on US-British Blenheims and shot 12. Knowing their firepower Japanese whalers have not even attempted to address the flying fortresses. The raid ally no results.(121)

 

July,30th.1942

 

Burma:
The British resumed the air war in Burma. A squadron of 12 Hurricanes sent to scout bombers, flying over the Japanese troops march on Akyab.
Tojos 30 Oscars and hidden in cloud formations based on the Hurricanes. 2 British are slaughtered, autresavions recede. A British squadron 2nd arises. A confused scrum engages with a camera shot on each side. Then comes the big 40 bombers escorted by 27 Hurricanes. Fighting between hunters allow bombers pass. Japanese troops arrive to hide in the jungle but some bombs are a target. 40 men are knocked out. 4 Japanese fighters were lost against three British. 1 Blenheim is shot. For the first time the Mitchells are emerging.(121)

 

August  1942

Aung San had no illusions that August 1st  would bring real independence for Burma.

He had already started making plans for armed resistance against the Japanese.

An emissary of the BNA made his way to India to tell the British army leaders t

that Aung San would lead the BNA in resistance  to the Japanese army in Burma when the time was opportune.

 Meanwhile Aung San was trying to cope with factionalism within Burma.

The Burmese communists were always opposed to cooperation with the Japanese who were allies of the fascist states fighting the Soviet Union. Aung San arranged a meeting and the creation

 of an Anti-Fascist Organization (AFO) which the communists could support and which he would be the military leader of. He also strove to discourage younger officers from initiating resistance

to the Japanese on their own before he felt it was time to act.

Aung San was also at this time making agreements with the leaders of various ethnic groups.

There were open clashes between the BNA and the ethnic groups. Aung San convinced the ethnic goup leaders that if they cooperated with his political movement that their interests would be respected.

 The ethnic groups came to trust Aung San as they would no other Burman.

 

August ,3th. 1943

 

 

3.8.1942.

Oof cover Dai nippon emergency overprint Lampong Hinomaru red ball , type 1 during Sumatra under DN Singapore administration(April 1st 1942-1943), very rare, Ihave sold one postally used cover with this stamps to bulterman that put in his catalogue

Top of Form

1 August 1942:


Burma:

From the dawn air battle takes over the 21th Army. 22 Warhawks trying to shake forty Tojos and Oscars. This is the collapse in the Allied camp who loses 8 hunters against a Tojo. Hurricanes, much more efficient, straightens the score by shooting an Oscar. Then follows the usual raid bombers. The Tojos break a wall of B17 Mitchells and Blenheims escorted by Hurricanes. The Japanese lost three aircraft shot down a Blenheim and Mitchell. The bombs rained down on the troops of the 21th Army, which well camouflaged by the jungle lost few men. A Japanese raid on Akyab is unsuccessful.(121)

 

August 3, 1942

Burma:

The squadron returned five Japanese cruisers bomb Akyab. The results are modest compared to the resources committed. On the way back to the submarine HMS Permit intercept vessels but gets no result, as the Japanese destroyers unable to identify which parts are four torpedoes.(121)

August 4, 1942

Burma:

Shelved for a long time, with some sporadic outbreaks, the Burmese front just turn it on. The Allies launched two bombing raids on two new armed troops, 15th and 16th. These two formations are addressing the 21th Army positions on the track Akyab-Cox’s Bazar and headed to Cox’s Bazar. Raids do not work, the protection of the jungle by his office.

In the afternoon Sallys 20 bombers escorted by 20 fighters Oscars come over Cox’s Bazar. Coverage provided by Hurricanes and Kittyhawks Mohawks ahead. 11 Japanese aircraft were lost against nine Allied aircraft. The raid was a total failure.

His back well protected by the 15th and 16th armies, the 21th day before the army arrived Akyab launched his attack. The instructions given to Japanese soldiers were to assess the strength of the enemy by launching a sounding force supported by tanks in 1100.

Soon the city’s defenses are pressed. The 6600 defenders whose backbone is formed by an Australian commando regiment, the Black Force, British armored cars and some are overwhelmed by the 39,000 soldiers of the Empire built in 21th and 33th divisions. This August 4th Churchill faced a new disaster suffered by the British Empire. Akyab is lost with 6600 soldiers resulting in the disappearance of 4 units. Akyab had suffered a seat since April. Regularly bombed by the Japanese fleet cruisers of the British fold their planes or on Chittagong Cox’s Bazaar. The wisest course would have been to evacuate the base, but Churchill had never accepted.

Akyab and temples(121)

August 5, 1942:

Burma:

In the afternoon a powerful bomber raid Sallys Helens and is set to Cox’s Bazar. As the aircraft just off the HQ 3rd Air Division in order to divert raid on Akyab. Indeed, in the late morning seaplane patrol in the Gulf of Bengal have reported the presence of British ships near the recent conquest of the Rising Sun. So after the Japanese, the British decided to bomb that unfortunate city, became the point of attachment of the war in Burma. One can imagine the horrors of the British Admiralty, unwilling to launch its newest ships in a risky and injunctions requiring Churchill lords of the sea a response after the loss of Akyab. The Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean absent for months, aligned cruisers Marblehead, Capetown, Dauntless, Ceres, Danae, Dutch Van Heemskerck plus two battleships. The battleships Resolution and Ramillies are dinosaurs considered by Admiral Sommerville as floating coffins. They participated in the first World War and the Battle of Jutland. Their only asset is their endowment 380mm guns.

The British Admiralty did not hesitate to take the initiative in Burma to engage two class battleships “R”
Here Ramillies

HMS Resolution lined loose its 380mm of Akyab.

No bombs, launched at 15,000 feet, do not touch the British. Bombers lost their escort route, they are attacked by hunters and lost three of them. The naval bombardment guided seaplanes board is accurate. Port and air base facilities were once again ravaged, if any were needed. The Japanese lost 200 men.(121)

 

Top of Form

August 6, 1942:

Burma and the Bay of Bengal:

The British squadron launches 2nd night bombing on Akyab. The results are void for lack of visibility.

The day before, the Japanese rounded up the entire Southeast Asia is their torpedo bombers Nells and Bettys by focusing on Rangoon. They pass under the command of the 3rd Air Division and the Zeros responsible escort to ensure perfect coordination between different squadrons. The aim is to torpedo the British ships. Alas! In the morning the sky is completely clogged and the Royal Navy faded into the Bay of Bengal. No plane takes off. In the afternoon two ships were spotted off the coast of Chittagong. 11 Nells escorted by 56 Zeros occur on the port. 6 Mohawks expect the Japanese. Zero is a lost against a fighter of the RAF. The auxiliary cruiser Cornwallis succumbed to the impact of two torpedoes. The tanker Athelduke, bigger, cash 2 Long Lances. It remains afloat. Small consolation. The British battleships were found.(121)

 

August,7th.1942

 

On 7 August 1942, U.S. Marines landed on Guadalcanal in the first amphibious assault against Japanese-occupied territory in the Pacific.


U.S. marines bring supplies ashore in the first days
of the Guadalcanal campaign in August 1942

August 7, 1942:

Burma:

Japanese raids succeed all morning on Cox’s Bazaar. The aim is the conquest of the air supremacy preparing for the arrival of the bombers. Zeros and Oscars Tojos face the Hurricanes for the first time to Airacobras. Losses are significant with 3 against Japanese whalers killed 12 on the British side. The squadron of Airacobras, fighter bombers little maneuvering is almost annihilated. In the afternoon the bombers come in several waves on the positions of an armored brigade, an air base, 2 Australian brigades, an armored regiment. The raid is inconclusive.(121)

Burma:

Units of the 16th Army, a total of 33 000 men and 1,400 armored vehicles arrived at Cox’s Bazar in the worst conditions because of the monsoon that slows movement, slows the arrival of supplies and causes malaria. The recovery of this modest base, captured by a hand in May, the Japanese lost again in June, may not be simple. 14,000 soldiers of the British Empire defend supported by 430 tanks. Among them the 16th and 19th brigades Australian elite troops who fought in the Libyan desert and the survivors of previous battles as the 53rd Brigade and the 254th Armored Brigade British.
August 10, 1942


D

Top of Form

August 21, 1942:

Burma:

The Allies have closed during the last weeks of their losses squadrons stationed in India. The arrival of new squadrons recovery air battle in the sky with the Burmese 5th and 615th squadrons laRAF with the Hurricanes last model, the Ic, and with an American unit equipped Warhawks

The goal of this battle is the control of the airspace above Cox’s Bazar to allow bombers of two camps operate with impunity against enemy positions.

Several Japanese squadrons led by veterans, all present in the area since February, face the Allied formations. First time in 21 84avions allies to confront Oscars coming in small packages. Japanese airmen outperform their expertise but their opponents gradually the Japanese must withdraw for lack of ammunition or fuel or technical problems fina … At l4 devices are slaughtered each side. A fresh squadron of 21 Oscars arises when the airmen already tired. Japanese 6 opponents down without any loss. Then it was the turn of a squadron of 4 devices Tojos who slaughters losing a plane. A new squadron of Hurricanes 2 Oscars blind but losing a unit. 30 Tojos arise. Most drivers are cracks with more than 200 missions to the counter. The squadron has a record of 130 victories approved. In a few minutes the Japanese shoot 7 devices without any loss.

End of the day the Allied air losses reach 50 hunters, thirty damaged devices having crashed during the return. The Japanese lost 10 aircraft due to various accidents.

The arrival of American hunters P38 Burmese in the sky, yet technically superior to the Japanese aircraft has not really changed the balance of forces.(121)

 

War in Burma

Drivers of two camps continue to face over Cox’s Bazar. 9 Tojos a fighter against three manage to kill six hunters but losing three of them. Then a massive raid of 54 Oscars sweeps the sky. 4 Allied fighters are lost. For the 2nd time the Japanese face of P 38 Lightning. The formidable firepower of these planes can not compensate for their low maneuverability. One of these devices is killed and three Hurricanes.

A reconnaissance in force on Cox’s Bazar ends in bloodshed. Mikado 440 soldiers were killed or injured victim against battery fire. In front there are 13,000 men.(121)

August 23, 1942

Burma:

Conducted a reconnaissance in force east of Cox’s Bazar on the road to Chittagong first city of the British Empire in India out of Burma (now in Bangladesh) by 25,000 men of 21th and 33th Japanese DI clashes the determination of a light armored regiment, the 3rd British hussar, but especially an armored regiment of the 6th Australian cavalry unit and a new arrival on the scene, the 70th DI Kingdom. Without armored Japanese offensive side without getting bogged down lead.

A division of Japanese infantry movement is on the road between Akyab and Cox’s Bazar. Burmese population feels absolutely not affected by this war “colonialist(121)

 


August,24 th ,1942

Telp from M rang sing about Soya beans(Kedelai) , coconut oil and soap (distribution) (119.MB)

 

 

Solomons on 24 August 1942. Builder: Yokohama Dockyard Company, Yokohama

 

Launching of HMAS Fremantle, August 1942

 

August 25, 1942:

 

Burma:

The sky is still as deadly Burma for two aviation camps. The Oscars compensate for their lack of firepower with maneuverability and agility of their drivers. Pass weapon morning ended with the loss of 12 Allied fighters Lightnings including 4 against 4 Oscars. The British undertake a new squadron, the 17th of the RAF flying Martlet II.121)

 

August 27, 1942

Burma:

The Allies began a new tactic of war by bombing air bases Burmese night. Meiktila is defended by Tojos poorly adapted to night fighting. The powerful machine guns B17 bombers and F Mitchells, not only pushing the hunters, but shoot 3. Lesrésultats bombardment are zero. A new alert occurs in the afternoon. 2 Hudsons do not fit.

A Cox’s Bazar 36 000 men of the 16th army went on the offensive. They face the two Australian brigades supported by a British brigade and an armored brigade especially in all 13,000 hommes.Le jungle terrain and fortifications favor defenders. Commonwealth soldiers retreated in good order on a defensive line further back. The battle stops itself in deluges of rain.(121)

 

 

August 28, 1942

Burma:

Night raids now punctuate the nights of Meiktila. The Japanese have not found ways to counter the Allied bombers strongly defended and bristling with machine guns. Japanese shoot 1 Wellington, damaging two Flying Fortresses but lose three zeros.(121)

 August 29, 1942:

Burma:

Meiktila Air Base halfway between Rangoon and Mandalay is awake at night. Type B17F Flying Fortress bombers and Mitchells arise again in small packets for them for the night. Two squadrons, one of A6M3 Zeros and other night fighters Kaia Nick trying to confront the powerful Allied flying machines but were repulsed by machine gun turrets bristling on the fuselage of these formidable opponents.

 

The only merit of these interventions are unsuccessful raids to disrupt and force opponents to drop their bombs at random. Zero is still a lost aircraft and crashed to the ground by a 500 kg bomb.

Nocturnal visitors: B25 Mitchells bomber. Mass produced model is now met by the Japanese on all fronts.

Another nocturnal visitor: the B17 bomber.
Bristling with heavy machine Japanese whalers lacking firepower are struggling to counter it.

In the morning an aerial battle major fires over Cox’s Bazar. Oscars face 36 to 59 hunters alliésd e models. Japanese, overwhelmed by the number 7 machines lose against five Allied fighters. A 2nd squadron equipped on Tojos then arises and restores balance by shooting 7 Allied aircraft losses without wiping.

A P39 shot down a Zero over Cox’s Bazar. This case is still rare in Burma.

The 63rd Indian Brigade having walked in the jungle without being seen, perhaps for weeks, appeared on the backs of Japanese cutting line railway from Rangoon, bordering Burma. To counter this new threat the Japanese have nothing on hand to immediately available. Lack of a better one squadron equipped with the new Oscar Ki43 IIa attack at low altitude Indian unity. The new aircraft can carry a bomb under each wing 250 kg which makes it a formidable fighter bomber. In a single pass of the 32 Oscars are hors de combat a hundred men.

The new fighter Ki IIa 43 carries two 250 kg bombs under its wings. This plane is awesome as ground support attack at low altitude.(121)

South Pacific

The Bettys strike again allied convoy trying to strengthen Norfolk Island. President Adams the big ship is hit by a torpedo, transportation Mac Cawley capsizes under the blows of 4 impacts of eels. American heavy bombers return over Nouméa. The raid does not work after removing two Flying Fortresses. Zero is a shot.

A Japanese naval raid trying to attack a minesweeper and destroyer USS Sands to Pago Pago turns into fiasco. 5 Zeros escorting destroyers Kates are lost after being intercepted by Warkawks P 40B. One American fighter is down.

By Sierstad against the tanker is torpedoed and sunk devan Wallis tles by Kates took off from an aircraft carrier

 

 

 

Top of Form

 

August 31, 1942:

Burma:

The Japanese response to night raids allieslancent also their night raids. Chittagong asleep when, at 2 hours in the morning, a hundred bombers Helens Sallys and come in several waves on the British base. DCA dense reacts quickly. Bombers flying at 7000 feet which makes them vulnerable. 2 and 5 Sallys Helens become fireballs disintegrating. During this time the bombs fall. 5 fighters and torpedo bomber Vildebeest are pulverized by bombs of 250 kg, 23 aircraft were screened shine and made temporarily unavailable.

Meiktila almost simultaneously attacked by the British. 2 Sallys are destroyed on the tracks while the Japanese whalers completely miss their interception.

In the Strait of Malacca Dutch submarine torpedo KX cargo Tamaki Maru integrated heavily escorted convoy yet. The nature of the cargo, fuel, causing damage control. The ship is lost.(121)

September 1942

 

The rigors of the army life for Aung San and his cohorts resulted in his hospitalization for malaria and exhaustions. Aung San came under the care of a senior staff nurse, Ma Khin Kyi. He fell in love with her and convinced her to marry him.

 

They were married in September of 1942.

The Japanese government continued the facade of sanctioning Burmese independence.

6th September 1942
Married with Daw Khin Kyi.

September,1st, 1942

 

OWEN STANLEY RANGES, NEW GUINEA. C. 1942-09-01. AUSTRALIAN TROOPS

Top of Form

September 1, 1942

Burma

Once again dogfights high intensity occur in Burma. The Japanese committed no less than 100 Oscars to overcome hunting ally. The British, New Zealand, Australian and American line 2 times less devices with 6 different models. Fighting over Chittagong are extremely deadly for two camps. The Allies lost 15 fighters against 12 for the Japanese. 3 aces disappear in furious scrums, another wounded.

A land operations to Cox’s Bazar are suspended due to lack of supplies.(121)

.

 

September 3, 1942

Burma:

Massive raids bombers Sallys Helens and have the afternoon to Cox’s Bazar. The results are disappointing but the DCA British unleashed by consuming a large quantity of ammunition.

As soon as the aircraft left and before the dust settles Japanese artillery opens the second act. It took 8 days to replenish stocks of ammunition into coming to Rangoon by tracks soggy. 700 guns stun defenders. Then when the guns are silent trumpets sound the charge Japanese. Banzai! Forward! Tanks quake followed by 35,000 infantry put the bayonet after guns and grenades filled their pockets.

Australians across the 16th and 19th brigades of the British 53rd Brigade, the tanks of the 254th. They have no fortifications since the last Japanese attack on August 28.

The Japanese crossed the Irrawaddy under fire Australians. Determination can do nothing against the Japanese fury. They will capitulate.

Worse, the British and their allies do not know but their line of retreat through the tracks heading towards Chittagong are cut by two Japanese divisions. Soon the Japanese attack enters the city. There is no possible escape on one side the sea, in the back of the mangroves and on the side, only decent road, the guns of 21th and 33th DI Japan.

British mortars pounding the Japanese to Cox’s Bazar. It will take more to stop the army of the Mikado.

Surrounded on all sides Commonwealth troops have no solutions other than capitulation. This is a huge disaster for the British and Australians who lose 8 units with 13,000 men, 250 guns and 560 tanks and vehicles.(121)
September 4, 1942

 

Burma:

The night is almost moon when Japanese bombers come to Chittagong now become the object of attention in Japan. Cohesion squadrons dissolved during the flight with almost no mark. Bombers come in small packages. The result of the raid, given the scale of the resources involved is zero except for the destruction of a P38.

With the intervention of the 14th regiment of the Guard and the 11th Indian Brigade 63rd the RI is expelled from the position it occupied straddling the line of railway between Myitkyina and Shwebo losing 1,000 men.

In Cox’s Bazar is the British realize that their position is suddenly compromised. It is likely that the Japanese are already routing the troops come to take Cox’s Bazar to strengthen the positions of the 21th and 33th DI Japan. These two divisions face increasing British forces. The British 70th Division and the 6th Australian Cavalry Regiment have been strengthened since August 26 by the 17th Australian Brigade, the 23rd Indian Division, the 88th Indian Brigade and 3 new cavalry regiments. These 21,000 men supported by 630 tanks went on the offensive in the hope out of their positions 2 DI Japan.

The attack bogged down very quickly and does not lead. 700 Japanese were knocked out against a thousand British and allies.

(121)


September 5, 1942

Air War in Burma

The British and American night raids punctuate the nights of Mandalay. Hunters assigned to the defense of the base, not only is not effective but suffer losses in the face of heavy bombers allies. The only merit of their interventions is somewhat scratch offenders and divert bombs trails and shelters where planes are parked Engagements for daytime.

In the afternoon the Japanese bombers pounded the basis of Imphal, at the border between India and Burma, which houses had technically obsolete: Hudsons and Wirraway. Two aircraft were destroyed on the ground.

September 6, 1942

Air War in Burma

The basis of Imphal is again attacked by the squadron of Hurricanes Japonais.Un intervenes but lost four aircraft against an Oscar.

.

September 7, 1942:

 

Burma:

Imphal suffered another bombing resulting in the destruction of Hurricane ground and a Wirraway.

To the west of the British Cox’sBazar go on the attack in the morning. The arrival on the front of the 23rd Indian Division and any fresh artillery regiment of the 11th Australian urges Britons to believe that they have acquired superiority over the two Japanese divisions that adorn the front. To the misfortune of the British simultaneously with the arrival of their reinforcements, the Japanese troops were up 7 armored regiments of the armored division of the Guard and two artillery regiments. The staff of the 16th Japanese Army coordinates the defense. From the outset the British offensive shambles, nailed by shooting pests tank guns and artillery. Dense jungle and impenetrable place limits on some wet roads increase by monsoon rains favoring the defense. After a morning waive the British had lost 2,000 men. Japanese losses are insignificant.
The Japanese artillery nailed up on the British offensive in the direction of Cox’s Bazar.(121)

Top of Form

September 8, 1942

Burma:

Airbase Imphal receives once again visit Sallys and Helens. 6 British and Australian bombers were destroyed on the ground.(121)

September 9, 1942

Front Burma and Southeast Asia:

The Dutch submarine O21 given 3 times as sunk by the Japanese Navy appears again trying to attack a convoy up the Strait Malacca.L escort exceptionally reinforced surprise and is not effectively thwarts the wiles of the sub- sailor who is probably damaged by two depth charges.

To the east of Cox’s Bazar after the failed British offensive of the day it is the turn of the Japanese attack. The troops of the 16th Army now totaling 53,000 men and 1,200 tanks supported by 880 artillery pieces trying to force 3 or 4 passages leading to Chittagong. Numerical superiority was clearly in favor of the Japanese. The British and their Allies line that 21,000 men and 400 tanks but 750 guns. For the same reasons as before the Japanese attack bogged down in a series of skirmishes uncoordinated leading to a fragmentation of the attack. The offensive was a failure, the 16th army lost 1000 men and 140 tanks, the British and their allies but also 1000 men 260 tanks. Worse one of their units decays within the scope of Japanese target.(121)

September 10, 1942

Burma:

The 52,000 men of the 16th Army renewed their assault against the next British positions blocking the road to Chittagong. Despite overwhelming numerical superiority the Japanese do not open. They lost 2700 men and 24 tanks. The British lost 500 men and 45 tanks. Two units thereof reduced to the skeletons evaporate. The main defense is provided by the very cool DI 23rd Indian.

(121 by Micke; )

 

September,12th.1942

 

. It is a parcel that was handed over to the Naval Aviation Kirishima warship from the show.

It is also 16 sen paste parcel of submissions 12 September ’10 Yokosuka, Taisho.
(Affix stamp perforation Navy)

> Kirishima warship
This is one ship of the battleship Kongo type. For more explanation, ♪ I will do when I introduce military postal Kirishima

It is an example that I like a nice example of the use of parcel size and shape as well.
♪ would be interesting if there is also characteristic writing destination(124)

Top of Form

September 12, 1942

Burma:

The focal point of the war in Burma focuses Surun front 60 km east of Cox’s Bazar. Tracks leading to Chittagong are locked by the British army in its ranks including large contingents of Indian and Australian. Opposite the 15th Japanese Army tries to force the passage. Takes place over a fierce air war. On the morning of September 12, 12 bombers Mitchells trying to pound the Japanese. 32 Oscar fighters swoop down on them, destroy 4, forcing the others to withdraw. 16 other bombers arise. There are more than 22 Oscars shoot 3 Mitchells in damaging 10 others. 3 bombers drop their bombs intact but quite accurately the guise of jungle minimizes the effects of 500-pound bombs.(121)

September 13, 1942

September 14, 1942

Canton Atoll:

After several interludes who hijacked the aircraft carrier Japanese naval air raids resumed on Canton. The air base is still 100% destroyed planes attack ships at anchor where several were identified despite their camouflage. The big ship Medusa workshop, including one wonders what he’s doing at this point is reached by a 250 kg bomb.

Burma:

The Japanese tried again to force lepassage leading to Chittagong. The lack of punch and attack bogged down very quickly. The British brought in reinforcements 23rd and 24th the regiments of mountain artillery that make the difference. The Japanese lost 800 men, the British 600 but 90 of their tanks are decommissioned.


September 15, 1942

 

Burma:

The 3rd squadron of Japanese heavy cruisers appeared before Chittagong to bomb installations. The Dutch submarine KXVII tries to intervene, but in vain. It is ruthlessly Grenada destroyers escorting cruisers 5 Wing. The next day it seemed submarine still afloat.

Pilonnagede the airbase is devastating. Y parking a collection of everything that can fly in the British Empire are a total of 7 different models. 6 aircraft were destroyed, some thirty others damaged.

In the day of skirmishes between British bombers and air Japanese whalers cause loss of four bombers. In the morning a fight Oscars opposes new dive bombers British, Revenge. As usual, the commissioning of the new model goes wrong. 2 devices are slaughtered.(121)

September 15th, 1942

 

Kempetei group

The Japanese Military Police (Kempeitai)

At 8.30 am  telp from

Bondowoso’s

 

 Kempetei

Bo

  about the situation/wealthy ‘s list of  Hai Kyu Kumiai Ima P.P.R.D and after that I do until 1.00 am night (jam satu malam) and send to The village Police(stadtpolitie)  Djoerangkoeda for deposited(dititipkan) at  morning  september 16th to the  Police agent who will go to Bondowoso with Spoer(train) at 7.00 am.(119 MB)

 

Other kempetei images

 

 

 

 

 

The Kempeitai Office in the Semeru Street at Malang

Read more info about Kempetei

 

Kempeitai soldier Corporal Kawata,

 he participated in the evacuation of civilians from Iwo Jima in 1944. He decided to stay in the Iwo Jima after the evacuation of the civilians and died during the battle for the island

Is it the same kempeitai guy from Letters from Iwo Jima????

No, totally different.

This guy decided to stay and fight, while Shimizu was dishonorably dischgarged and sent to an island garrison.

 

Japanese Kempeitai officer, secret police.

 

Leden van de kempeitai verbinden een krijgsgevangene.

by mid-September1942,

the battle for Guadalcanal

 

 

USS WASP

lists to starboard

, 15 September 1942,

 

September 16, 1942

Burma

The Japanese have managed to achieve three important Rangoon convoys are being unloaded tens of thousands of tons of supplies, ammunition, spare parts for aircraft, air defense battalions. The army and the Japanese aviation requinquées by this massive influx benefit to rebuild their strike force. Thus squadrons stationed in Burma find a full staff that they had not reached depuislongtemps.

Taking advantage of the bombing yesterday by the cruisers Chittagong Air Base, the Air Force launched a massive offensive on this unfortunate city. According to a well-oiled scenario first squadron Tojos appears to reduce air defense. 4 squadrons of Hurricanes, one of the 12 Seafire expect Tojos sent éclaireurs.4 Japanese fighters were killed in exchange of two Hurricanes. This is only a prelude. 42 Oscars are grouped. They sweep 19 British fighters losing four of them.

The British are not far behind. 65 heavy bomber bases Indian parties are raining bombs of 500 pounds of Cox’s Bazar. Losses are sensitive ground with 16 vehicles destroyed and 50 men knocked out.

The Japanese response arrives in the afternoon with 96 bombers. Chittagong is visée.Les Allies lost four aircraft on the ground crushed by bombs.

To the west of Cox’s Bazar the 16th army received some reinforcements but also supplies, ammunition and shells. This aligns army 48,000 men, 875 guns and more than 1,000 vehicles and tanks. In Facel’re British were unable to bring in reinforcements in time. The 23rd Indian DI after 8 days of battle is already worn out. The 70 th UK DI is only a shadow of itself. The tank regiments have disappeared. Opposite the infantry division and armored division Guard are spearheading the offensive on a front of 40 km. The British resisted beautifully but they are understaffed everywhere. They must resolve to retire but leaving 2 units in rear. If losses are modest men (1400 men) pay a heavy armor with 170 vehicles knocked out of which 120 are permanently abandoned. Japanese suspend their lead at nightfall, decided to resume at dawn the next day.(121)

September 18th, 1942

 

 

 

AN AUSTRALIAN AIRFIELD,

18 September 1942.

 

 

September 28th, 1942

Info from New Guinea(now west Papua)

 

MEN WADING ACROSS THE SAMBOGA,

near Doborlurn, New Cuinea. The enemy fell back in weight of attack

 28 September 1942

 

Dai Nippon warfare which it put to good use in the Owen Stanley Range in Papua.

 

Japanese advances force the Australians back over the Owen Stanley Range

 

 

From Port Moresby and back over the Owen Stanley Mountain range

 

a fighting retreat over the Owen Stanley Ranges for the next two months,

 

30 Squadron RAAF in flight over the Owen Stanley range, New Guinea,

 

the Owen Stanley Mountain range. (AP Photo) 21. November 5, 1942

 

Australian forces in the Owen Stanley Range of Papua New Guinea

 

jungle-enclosed pathway across the Owen Stanley Range

 Australians laboriously made their way over steep mountain trails ol

the Owen Stanley Range

 

The spectacular, rugged and relentless Owen Stanley Ranges

 

The main body of troops during the withdrawal across the Owen Stanley Range.

 

 

Owen Stanley Ranges, New Guinea. C. 1942

 

situated beneath Mt Yule along the Owen Stanley Range.

 

North of the Goldie River / Owen Stanley Mountains

 

 

Australian  were forced to fight while withdrawing over the Owen Stanley Range.

Read the complete info

at CD-ROM :”The dai Nippon Occupation eastern area Indonesia in 1942”

10.October 1942

in October 1942

 

 

MARINES ON GUADALCANAL

 in October 1942

firing a 75-mm. pack howitzer MlAI mounted on carriage M8. Although this weapon was primarily used for operations in mountainous terrain, it was capable of engaging antitank targets.

 

FLYING FORTRESS ON A SORTIE

 over Japanese installations on Gizo Island in October 1942. Smoke from bomb strikes can be seen in the background. This ram was part of a series of air attacks on the enemy during the fight for Guadalcanal. Most of the B-17’s came from Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. (Boeing Hying Fortress heavy bomber B-I7.)

 

 

NAVAL-AIR ACTION IN THE SOLOMONS,

 October 1942.

 

1st October 1942

Burma

The recovery of the ground offensive on Chittagong must wait the end of the monsoon season (15 October) to get a better supply. The country can maintain its own ways large armies stationed on its territory. The regular arrival of convoys from Singapore keeps aviation and military units operating, where the importance of preventing the allied submarines to act in the Strait of Malacca. Maintaining air superiority in this sector is very costly in planes and pilots. Replacing lost aircraft is difficult.

The Allies launched diversionary actions on the border of India against the Japanese forward bases which demonstrates the growing numbers of enemies in this area.(121)

6, 7 and 8 October 1942

Burma:

The Allied air offensive on troops blocked east of Chittagong resumes. Once again, the Oscars and carve Tojos in compact formations of Allied squadrons. 3 days after the Allies had lost fifty had to forego.(121)

October,11th.1942

THE MR H.COEGEN ‘S TOBACCO BOX WHO SURVIVE FROM THE DAI NIPPON POW CAMP AT MOLMEIN BURMA, WITH HIS SCRTECH INFO TEH DESTINATION AND DATE. hE BRING BY THE DAI NIPPON WITH HIS FRIEND FROM TJIMAHI (MILITARY CAMP,NEAR BANDUNG,MILITARY TRANING SCHOOL) TO

 BATAVIA(JAKARTA)11-10-42 ,

 the to Penang-3-11-42

—> Rangoon(now Yangoon) Burma 9-11-42—>

 Moulmein Camp , where he and his friend work to build yhe brige on the river Kwai 1n 1942. May be he met the other prosioner of war from Plaju Mr Romein, his POW card wassend in 1943 to Batavia(Jakrta) for his wife in Surahaya.

THIS THE ONLY MEMORABLE COLLECTIONS HAD EVER REPORT , please donnot copy, this illustration belong to Dr Iwan suwandy private collctions@copyright 2010.

*frontside

Backside of Mr Coegen POW Moulmein Dai nippon camp Burma tobaccobox@copyright Dr iwan suwandy 2010

 

October,12th.1942

 

KGV1 Censored Commercial usage 2c Perak stationery postcard overprinted for Japanese occupation Boxed “MALAYA/ 2 cts / POSTAGE” alongside tied “MALACCA” c.d.s. ’12 10 2602′

. October 11, 1942

Burma:

The air war continues to rage between hunters around Chittagong where the front is static for several weeks due to lack of supplies. Japanese regularly take the advantage of the Canes and Lightnings. But a new version of the P-40 Warhawks K was commissioned by the Americans. It seems more efficient. Japanese losses always lower than those of the Allies nevertheless reach 2-3 units per day against double or triple for the Allies.

The Warhawks P40K begin to arrive on the Burma front. Their superior firepower can not compensate for the lack of experience of the pilots.

A bomber hit by Tojo attempts to reach its base. Having crashed on landing will be counted later in operational losses.(121)

 

October ,21th .2602(1942)

YH Ir Sigoeki from Rikuyu jimmishu (highway traffic unit chief),  came with Mr Suzuki for learn to know.

 Due to Mr Sie Jien Oan thre or four days  Mrs Formosa will find 50 tin coconut oil  from Hok Hien Rambipoedji on ther order of YH Matsuda.(119 MB)

 

 

 

Postmark, October 21, 27 years in the constabulary / Haiki.
The address is 64th regimental headquarters company constabulary, Hario garrison
.

I wrote an interesting article also details registered this cash, m let me Ikansen omitted, because it is in lazy mode today (_) m.

Postmark, October 21, 27 years in the constabulary / Haiki.
The address is 64th regimental headquarters company constabulary, Hario garrison.(124)

20 and 21 October 1942

Front of Burma:

The front stalled over 5 weeks. The Japanese command stationed in Burma knows that if nothing happens for some time Tokyo will crack and replace the heads. Before restarting the offensive is launched a major raid on the British lines established 60km east of Chittagong.

Preparing a raid on the base of Mandalay, Burma’s most important.

220 bombers escorted by Sallys Helens and an equivalent number of hunters Oscars Tojos and dropping bombs of 250 kg. Alas, the density of the vegetation of the jungle mask everything. Bombs scatter and are ultimately very little damage. For good measure the British artillery opened fire immediately taken advantage by shooting against battery. The day ends with a hundred deaths on each side.

The Japanese have accumulated Chittagong to more than 800 pieces of artillery. Limited by the lack of ammunition they can take once a week.

The next day Japanese planes back. They are expected by 50 hunters and Hurricanes Warkawks K P40 apparently parked on the basis of Chittagong which has been put back into service by the British genius.

The hunter became the P40K Warkawks spearhead Allied squadrons operating in Burma. Only the virtuosity of Japanese pilots may compensate for the firepower of the aircraft

It is a tour de force as the base was destroyed at 100% there was still a week. In fighting the Japanese lost three aircraft plus 5 or 6 crashing return. The British lost 4 avions.Dans the same time the British decided to attack the root of evil namely Japanese air bases in Burma. The most important is the center of Mandalay in Burma. Constantly expanded by an army of auxiliaries supervised by Burmese troops engineering base level 8 houses 300 aircraft. Mandalay is defended by 9 units of DCA and houses the headquarters of the 5th Air Division. The fighter squadrons provide a permanent rotation to protect the airspace above the base. In this day of October 21, a squadron of 36 fighters Nick Kaia is monitoring. This squadron formed in February 1942 shortly after arrival in Burma. Its pilots from the reserve and hastily trained had no experience. In October 1942 the average experience of the pilots reached 62 with veteran totaling 218 missions and 78 experience points but no victory approved. The squadron was engaged in a relatively short first line, but it has already lost 52 aircraft and 25 pilots out of 36 riders at the start while not claiming that 22 wins.

Several successive waves of bombers Mandalay with Blenheims, Wellingtons, Mitchells. The squadron Nick covered himself with glory by shooting four bombers damaging 11. DCA kills two bombers. 2 Sallys placed in reserve are destroyed on the ground. Japanese learn later that twenty bombers are not returned to their base probably because of excessive fatigue of drivers and damage inflicted by the DCA and Nick.
The bomber will be off again if maintenance services are not based bombed by the Japanese.

Sally for the war is over. However, the carcass will reserve parts. Carcasses with the Japanese back four aircraft operational.(121)
 

October,22th.1942

 

22 Oct 1942:

2500 POWs depart Tanjeong Priok (Port of Batavia) on Yoshida Maru.

. October 25, 1942

Burma:

A major air offensive was launched by the British on Mandalay. The first 2 waves of bombers before the break Tojos Nick and Oscars guard. A dozen Mitchells and Blenheim are slaughtered. A 3rd wave arrives 21 Mitchells. CAP starts to run but kills five bombers, fire damage 11. The rest goes. The 500-pound bombs kill 5 devices on the slopes. The Japanese raid mirror this in the afternoon Chittagong. Bombs rained creating major damage on the base. Warhawk is a P40K destroyed.

October ,25th .2602(1942)

25 Oct 1942:

POW Arrive Singapore- many depart for Thailand-Burma Railway (Death Railway)

 

Some small groups of men escaped and made their way back from Ambon  to Australia but almost 800 surviving Australians became prisoners of war.

The Australians together with about 300 Dutch prisoners of war were put back into their barracks at Tan Tui, north of Ambon town.

On 25 October 1942,

with the Dutch and also where the Japanese kept them as POWs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 October 1942

 

SURVIVORS OF THE SS PRESIDENT COOUDGE.

This transport struck an Allied mine in Pallikula Bay. Espiritu Santo Island, 26 October 1942. Of the 4,000 troops aboard, only two men were lost; however, vitally needed equipment and stores went to the bottom with the ship.

 

 

MUDDY TRAIL.

 

 October 29, 1942

Burma:

After a general overhaul of its vessels the 3rd Cruiser Squadron reappeared in the Bay of Bengal. The basis of Chittagong is covered by 4 cruisers Myoko, Mogami, and Suzuya Furutaka. The torpedo boat MTB 10 British stand guard in front of the port does not try to fight and walks away. The naval bombardment once again pays off the airbase.

Japanese troops blocked east of Chittagong are finally receive enough supplies to launch an offensive against the British. In the morning 65 000 Japanese and 900 tanks out to attack. The land was prepared by 950 guns of all calibres. An air raid was planned but the planes were not presented due to bad weather.
On paper, the Japanese have the advantage. The Allies against the 28,000 men and half the guns but have almost the same number of tanks that the troops of the Emperor. Units who fought to Cox’s Bazar were replaced by divisions and brigades Indian. Facing the Japanese kept online for months in the same units without reinforcement and without coming to full fill the losses. For the same reasons as in the previous months of jungle terrain favors defense. The attack does not lead. 1800 men were lost on both sides. An Allied unit disintegrates.

Movement of the armored division of the Guard before an attack on the Burmese front

Towed artillery movement in Burma. Unfortunately, these important resources will not be sufficient to penetrate. 

The borders of Burma, on the borders India in the province of Assam, Station Katha again coveted by the Allies. The 7th British regiment of hussars with his hundred light armored Katha launches an assault on the way to cut the railway linking Yangon in the far west of the country. A battalion of Marines not very comfortable on this heavily wooded terrain and without anti-tank weapons resists attack by losing a hundred men. Reinforcements are on the way. They arrive on time?

The 7th British regiment of hussars with Stuarts give a hard time to Japanese, bordering Burma, lack of capacity tank.

To enhance the effect tanks Australians launch October 30 Wirraways their old fighter-bombers in the battle. 3 Hurricanes escorting them are killed by Ki 43 Oscar IIa, versatile fighter-bomber became the flagship of the Japanese army unit fighting in Burma and China.
In the morning a battalion and a cavalry regiment arrived as reinforcements but against the Japanese tanks must simply take the field undergoing further losses amounting to one hundred men.(121)

 

 

 

 

October,30th.1942

30 Oct 1942:

Dainichi Maru with POW  departs for Moji

 

 

“The ever growing plot of mounds of freshly dug soil”
Funeral of RAMC captain in Changi camp cemetery (October 1942)
Source: http://www.fepow-community.org.uk
SOURCE SEMETHINI

 

British POWs at Changi
Men of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (October 1942)
Source: .fepow-community.uk

October 31, 1942

Southern China near the border of Indochina

The Chinese Nationalist army besieged the citadel for several days of Lang Son, which once housed the French garrisons guarding the north of the colony and the border with China. This is the 2nd seat in two years sustained by the fortress. September 22, 1940 the Japanese attacked the city defended by the French colonial army. 800 French soldiers were killed before the establishment of a ceasefire. Since the Japanese and French troops loyal to Vichy regime coexist in Indochina, the French were responsible for maintaining order and administering the country. The Japanese have fleeced the economy by exploiting coal mining of Haiphong and commodities produced or extracted in the south.

Arrival of the Japanese in September 1941 in Haiphong

(In August 1945, 1,400 men of the French garrison at Lang Son will be slaughtered by the Japanese. During the Indochina war the road from Lang Son Cao Bang, RC4, will be the subject of intense battles. Disaster The Cao Bang in 1950 cutting the RC4 definitely weaken Lang Son.’s French paratroopers in 1953 launched a raid to destroy the Viet Cong deposits settled in the region. March 1979 Lang Son was again attacked by the People’s Republic of China in its war against Viet Nam)

Meanwhile, driven by the Japanese, the French auxiliaries mobilize four divisions to counter the Indochina Chinese invasion. With a very low military value of these divisions have no mobility and remain static. (Some of these men join the ranks of the Viet Minh controlled by Ho Chi Minh in 1945)

Lang Son to defend the Japanese rely on militia stationed initially in Hanoi. They are sent to the front. To stop the invasion Japanese aircraft at low altitude pounded the Chinese who actually does move more.

A few 300 km south of Lang Son 3 Chinese units isolated for months to reach forward to the besiegers. Two infantry regiments and an artillery group are started in pursuit. Japanese bombers flying at low altitude pounding these columns daily. The 38th Chinese body left rear reduced to less than a hundred men is destroyed. Two more bodies totaling barely a thousand men to capture benefit by hand the coastal town of Pakhoi not defended. 5 Japanese units operating in the South China Pakhoï head immediately to retake the city.
 by Micke; 07/07/2012 (121).

November 1942

November 1, 1942

Analysis of the strategic situation exposed by the various Chiefs of Staff in the presence of Emperor Hirohito and Prime Minister Tojo:

The Allied side in October was relatively quiet with a clear desire to avoid combat and limit losses if they had continued on the pace of previous months have forced the Allies to surrender. Reach the daily intelligence Japanese advertisements by American admiralty recognizing the loss of ships, some dating back to May 1942. In fact the only allied battle fleet is more, apart from a few destroyers and escorts. According to information Japanese aircraft carriers and 2 or 3 British cruisers have finally survived the fighting in September around Baker. One or two battleships at Pearl Harbor survivors should be operational again. A new modern battleship had to be put into service by the Americans.

 

November,4th.1942

 

Zhou 埼級 refueling ship, the ship made for the transportation of light oil (gasoline), mainly was ordered to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Yokohama as No. 103 of the ship ship refueling plan () rich navy arms 1939.
September 25, 2005, and named Saitama
ship probe

11.November 2602

Central Pacific:

Reports patrols conducted on November 12 and the previous days seaplanes onboard submarines as well as those from seaplanes stationed at Baker Maevis Canton or converge. All indicate the movement of a large naval force left Palmyra and goes right heading south west on Canton Atoll. Obviously the Americans wanted to take over the island. Seaplanes have been several aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, transports. The Admiralty American probably believes it can launch the operation believing that the Japanese aircraft carriers are in the South Pacific. In fact the decoy aircraft carrier escort confused with the main force seems to have worked.

 

MALAYA: 1942 (ca.), Perak 5c brown ‘Sultan Iskandar’ handstamped with japanese characters and surcharged ‘2’ in a horizontal strip/4 on reverse of cover from Kedah to Kulim, scarce usage but roughly opened at right!

November,3rd.1942

Mr Goegen arrived at Penang during taken by the Japanese to the Burma camp as written on the cover of the Tobacco box

the to Penang-3-11-42

—> Rangoon(now Yangoon) Burma 9-11-42—>

 Moulmein Camp , where he and his friend work to build yhe brige on the river Kwai 1n 1942. May be he met the other prosioner of war from Plaju Mr Romein, his POW card wassend in 1943 to Batavia(Jakrta) for his wife in Surahaya.

November,4th 2602

about 500 of the Australian and Dutch prisoners were sent to Hainan, an island in the South China Sea off the coast of mainland China. Led by Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, they left Ambon in

 

the Taiko Maru and arrived in

 

the Bay of Sama on Hainan Island

 

 

 

on 4 November.

The next day they sailed up the coast to

 

a camp at Bakli Bay.

 

 

 

The Japanese government had recognised Hainan Island’s potential and planned to use the POWs to build roads and viaducts in order to develop agriculture and industry on the island. The prisoners were forced to do hard manual labour under difficult and brutal conditions with a completely inadequate diet.

.

November,7th 2602

The address of Volunteer employee Moh Dahlan

 

 Boeboetan No 203 Soerabaia tilpon home 8583 and ,

Rikuyu (highway truck transport ) Tar ief 6 -7 sen per 100 kg including

 lift rate of the goods train to any place in town Djoerangsapi paid 6 cents, because of HK’s  location near the Djoerangsapi train  station Soepaia

November,9th 2602.

 

Mr Goegen arrived at Penang during taken by the Japanese to the Burma camp as written on the cover of the Tobacco box

Backside of Mr Coegen POW Moulmein Dai nippon camp Burma

From Batavia the to Penang-3-11-42 and to

—> Rangoon(now Yangoon) Burma 9-11-42—>

 Moulmein Camp , where he and his friend work to build The brige on the river Kwai 1n 1942. May be he met the other prosioner of war from Plaju Mr Romein, his POW card wassend in 1943 to Batavia(Jakrta) for his wife in Suraha

November,12th.1942

12 Nov 1942:

Dainichi Maru with POW Arrive Takao on Formosa; remain for 3 days

 

15 November 1942

 

JAPANESE TRANSPORTS AFIRE

 off the coast of Guadalcanal, 15 November 1942.A group of eleven transports proceeding to Guadalcanal were intercepted by aircraft from Henderson Field. Seven ships were sunk or gutted by fire. Four were damaged and were later destroyed near Tassafaronga Point where they had been beached

 

 

MEN CROSSING AN IMPROVISED FOOTBRIDGE,

 15 November.

 

AERIAL VIEW OF THE TERRAIN NEAR DOBODURA.

 

MEN BOARDING THE ARMY TRANSPORT GEORGE TAYLOR

in Rrisbaine, Australia,

 for New Guinea on 15 November.

 The Papua Campaign and the almost simultaneous action on Guadalcanal were the first victorious operations of US ground forces against the Japanese.

November,18th 2602

 

Construction of airstrips near Dobodura and Popondetta,

underway by 18 November, was assigned the highest priority because of the lack of a harbor in the area. Some supplies were flown to the airstrips and some arrived by sea through reef-studded coastal waters near Ora Bay. The last vital transport linkwas formed by a few jeeps and native carriers who delivered the supplies to dumps just beyond the range of enemy small arms fire

 

 

CONSTRUCTING A CORDUROY ROAD with the help of the natives in New Guinea. Constant work was maintained to make routes passable for jeeps.

November.18th.1942

the Dai Nippon Imperial General Headquarters order of

18 November 1942,

 this directive required the Dai Nippon  17th Army to recapture Guadalcanal

November,19th 2602
have often been warned that Yoe Liong scented soaps should not be made ​​from existing and made ​​the calculation costs * cost) serfta Bondowoso cultivated on the sale price and date and sent eg 19/11

 

November,22th.1942

 

 On activation late in November,

 the air division had fifty-four light bombers, eighty-four fighters, and some reconnaissance planes, but it did not begin active operations until a month later.

After a hasty journey by air from Tokyo via Truk, where he conferred with Admiral Yamamoto, General Imamura reached Rabaul

on 22 November 1942,

just a few days before Adachi, the 18th Army commander, arrived from China. On the 26th, Imamura formally assumed command of the 8th Area Army, established his headquarters, and issued his first directive governing operations of the two armies under him.

 Based on the Imperial General Headquarters order of

18 November 1942,

 this directive required the 17th Army to recapture Guadalcanal and the 18th, in cooperation with naval forces, to hold and consolidate its position at Buna while preparing for future operations, presumably against Port Moresby.

November,24th.1942

24 Nov 1942:

Dainichi Maru with POW Arrive and anchors off Moji

26 Nov 1942:

 POWS depart Dainichi in summer clothes

27 Nov 1942

100 British POWS arrive from Singapore on Dainichi Maru. Established as YAHATA Provisional Fukuoka POW CAMP MUKAIJIMA Branch Camp 14 (Fukuoka-14B)

November,30th 2602

All the books, pictures and swords taken by MR Yaku and Kaneko of kempetei office(119 MB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top of Form

. November 1942

Central Pacific:

Reports patrols conducted on November 12 and the previous days seaplanes onboard submarines as well as those from seaplanes stationed at Baker Maevis Canton or converge. All indicate the movement of a large naval force left Palmyra and goes right heading south west on Canton Atoll. Obviously the Americans wanted to take over the island. Seaplanes have been several aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, transports. The Admiralty American probably believes it can launch the operation believing that the Japanese aircraft carriers are in the South Pacific. In fact the decoy aircraft carrier escort confused with the main force seems to have worked.

The battleship USS Washington was torpedoed by I-26 in his first confrontation in the Pacific.(121)

  1. The aircraft carrierescort Nassau is left behind after the formation of the impact of three bombs and a torpedo.The aircraft carrier Nassau is transformed into fire after several impacts.
    The Illustrious is the victim of a torpedo but it will take longer to sink the ship solidly built. Kane is the destroyer hit by a torpedo. Battleships Maryland and West Virginia were spared.A new wave of bombers arrived. The Illustrious was hit by a bomb that ricochets off the armored deck.

     


  2. Unlike aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious escorts is able to withstand the shock of bombs of 250 kg.

    door escort Prince William and Nassau are hit by several bombs that turn the ship into a torch. Fuel tanks Prince William explode, throwing debris everywhere around

 

explosioncve.jpg

campaigns-france.org

702 × 578 – Le porteavions Nassau

  1. 3.     South Pacific:The squadron aircraft carrier escort part Noumea few days earlier to intercept traffic between New Zealand and Fiji Islands ally falls on a convoy in the vicinity of Raoul Island. 4 freighters and a destroyer are achieved by the bombs dropped by the Vals. One of the ships carrying ammunition probably is shaken by a chain of explosions. (121)

 

December  1942

 

 

Portuguese Timor December 1942

 

 

NEAR THE FRONT LINES,

 

 

A transport plane of the India-China Wing stands by to fly a group of Chinese soldiers to the eastern front.

In December 1942, the Hump ferry route was made a part of the globe-circling route of the Air Transport Command. It was renamed the India-China Wing and put under Col. E.C. Alexander. Several C-46s and C-87s arrived to supplement the DC-3s. Their larger freight capacity immediately boosted Hump tonnage totals.

The C-46s were shipped to India before they had been fully tested in the States, and they soon developed several “bugs.” That threw increased pressure on the overworked mechanics.

A shortage of transport pilots threatened to offset the increased number of planes assigned to the route. The ATC set up its own transition school in India where several single-engine pilots were trained and pressed into ferry service.

Today,

 

under the command of Brig. Gen. Earl S. Hoag,

 

BREX GUN CARRIERS, disabled in an attack on 5 December.at New Guinea

These full-track, high-speed cargo carriers, designed to transport personnel, ammunition, and accessories, were produced for the British only. The presence of several Bren-gun carriers proved a surprise to the enemy. However, enemy soldiers picked off the exposed crews and tossed grenades over the sides of the carriers. In a short time they were all immobilized and infantry following behind them met with intense fire from the enemy’s defenses

 

 

BREX GUN CARRIERS, disabled in an attack on 5 December.

December,7th.1942

acquainted with Mr  Moebargio junior high school principals

December 7th,(126)

 twelve Japanese destroyers move down the slot with supplies. Our planes hit the force before dark and damage one destroyer which must be towed from the area by another destroyer. The remaining destroyers press on but are met by American PT boats. These boats, (Patrol Torpedo), which include  PT 109, with future president John F. Kennedy (shown at left and at right in second picture) in command are able to turn back the Japanese without allowing them to land their supplies. “This action represents probably the greatest success of the PT boats during the war as the young upstart PT sailors achieve the considerable feat of rebuffing the redoubtable Reinforcement Unit without loss, whereas only a week earlier eleven major warships had suffered severely and accomplished no more.” 

December,8th.1942

 (13)

December 8th, (126)

the Japanese Imperial Navy announces at a conference with the officers of the combined fleet that unacceptable destroyer losses force the end of the destroyer transportation runs.

December 9th, without fanfare, the command of the American forces on Guadalcanal shifts from General Vandegrift and the U.S. Marines to Major General Patch of the U.S. Army. Lean, dirty and malaria ridden and with a third unfit for further combat, the Marines proudly march out after almost six months of combat. Many were too weak to climb aboard the transports and had to be pulled aboard by willing hands.

December 18th, diaries of Japanese officers state that “the troops are at the very bottom of the human condition. The entire army is composed of pale wisps of men, with ulcerous skin draped with filthy, sopping clothes. Vast numbers are wracked with fevers, for which there is no medicine. Army headquarters reports they are eating tree shoots, coconuts, and grass growing in the rivers.” (14)   The Japanese Army has been reduced from approximately 30,000 troops in November to 20,000 troops in December.

December,12th.1942

Mr King Poa Wie (Tayo china “Middle Village”) would like to buy a nail 1 1/2 inch at a price of f 31, – per ton for the friend with the risk for buyers, but in a written order receipt (mentioned) the price of 20, guilders,

I said if you want to speak should come in the IMA – and demand to be filed by mail so that I can respond with a letter, too, Though willing to pay f 1000, and written dikwitansi-f 10, – I could not.
 
Wie Poa Mr. King came to the house early in the morning, I told about this at the IMA office to Mr Oesman,

December,14th.1942

1)Meeting with Mr Guntyo Mayong in the office of IMA on a variety of things, no complaints from Guntyo anything.
Mr Tahir from Rambipoedji come face to another job and I told him to look forward to hearing if any other purposes.(118 MB)

2)

December 1942

on 15 December,

 when work was begun on a new airstrip at Vila on nearby

 

 

 Kolombangara.

Other bases further up the Solomons ladder, in the Shortlands, on Bougainville, and on Buka, were strengthened and additional

 

 

 

Read more about Kolombangara island Battle in July 1943

 
Click Images to view large

World War 2|Battles

In July 1943

the ‘Tokyo Express’ was still trying to reinforce Kolombangara. The force was led by

Rear Admiral Izaki, though the five destroyers were led by

 

Admiral Raizo Tanaka

in his flagship Jintsu.

 

Rear Admiral Ainhworth’s Task Force 18 was sent to intercept it

on the night of 12 July 1943.

Ainsworth soon found on his radar that the Japanese were heading for

 

Kula Gulf,

but lzaki also knew the whereabouts of the US slips. Both sides maneuvered into a favorable position and opened fire at the same time. A few minutes Inter Ainsworth ordered his radar-controlled guns to open fire and then devastated the Jintsu.

Only one of the Japanese torpedoes found its mark and hit the Leander, which withdrew escorted by two destroyers.

 

 The destroyer Mikazuki lost touch with the other four Japanese destroyers which continued to fire torpedoes.

The US ships were confused and could not see the Japanese ships except by starshell fire.

 

Then the St Louie,

 

Honolulu

 

and

 

 

Gwin

 were hit by torpedoes but only the Gwin sank. This battle showed the superb night-fighting skill of the Japanese but did not break Japan’s outer defense perimeter.

 

 



Admiral Yamamoto


General Imamura

troops brought in to replace the decimated units evacuated from Guadalcanal. On Bougainville, where General Hyakutake had his 17th Army headquarters, was the 6th Division, and on New Britain was the 38th, reorganized after its experience on Guadalcanal.

Top of Form

December,16th.1942

 

Soekaboemi 16 december 1942

 

December 18th, (126)

the U.S. Army starts advancing to drive the Japanese from their the high ground overlooking Henderson Field. This strong point is known as Gifu and is the location with the strongest and best troops of the Japanese. These troops fight without any indication of retreat or surrender. Our advance is slow. “After twenty-two days the American Army’s 132d Infantry Regiment has such losses from killed, wounded, missing and ineffective from disease that it is incapable of further offensive action.” (15)

December 19th, the Japanese complete an airstrip on the island of Munda 170 miles from Guadalcanal in hopes of giving them an airfield close to Henderson Field. It is built under a canopy of palm trees that are woven together with steel cables to leave the tops in place while the trunks are carried away. This hides the field from view while the work is in progress. The tree tops are removed as the field is finished.

 

December,21th.1942

 

AMERICAN LIGHT TANKS MS, mounting 37-mm. guns, near the Duropa Plantation on 21 December 1942. During the latter part of December, tanks arrived by boat. Only one 105-mm. howitzer was used in the campaign and it was brought to the front by plane. After many set-backs, Buna Village was captured on 14 December. Although Allied attacks at various points were often unsuccessful, the Japanese, suffering from lack of supplies and reinforcements, finally capitulated on 2 January 1943 at Buna Mission

December 22th 1942

On the night of 22/12 the 2nd squadron PA (Ryujo, Zuiho, Hosho) rises on the northern cape with a port where it can refuel. Ammunition bunkers AP are almost empty and there is not a single torpedo.

Off Kendari destroyers Shirayuki Tatsukaze and sound the alarm. Through the route featured 11 launches torpedoes MTB is identified. The destroyers are to screen aircraft carriers opened fire but the little building managed to escape.

December,23th.1942

For the foreseeable future (for beyond) Key warehouses and so on are held by Mr Soengkono(119)

On 23 December,

two days after they had received Marshall’s memorandum, the Navy planners had the draft of a reply ready. They accepted the principle of unified command without argument but expressed doubts about the advisability of turning over to MacArthur the direction of operations in the Solomons at that time.

24 December 1942
First Lieutenant Okajima:
Wakuda Noboru died of illness. In the end, those [who are] of weak will [will] die. He was always most eager to drink water.

Unknown soldier: Since the 14th, two officers of the 2d Company have been going insane. They probably have become pessimistic about the war situation. There is no other change in condition. We passed the day as usual.

Japanese soldiers had taken to calling Guadalcanal “Starvation Island,” a pun derived from the first phoneme in the Japanese name for the island. “Ga” means “hunger” in one Japanese inflection.

 

 

 

 

December,25th.19

December,25th.1942

 

SOLDIERS CARRYING RATIONS ALONG A TRAIL for the troops at the front, 24 December. Only a few trails led from Allied positions to the enemy’s fortified areas at Buna and Sanananda. Food was so short during November and the early part of December that troops sometimes received only a small portion of a C ration each day. The rain, alternating with stifling jungle heat, and the insects seemed more determined than the enemy; disease inflicted more casualties than the Japanese.

 

FIRING A 60-MM. MORTAR M2 into the enemy lines at Buna Mission. Because of transportation difficulties which lasted until the end of November, only about one third of the mortars were brought with the troops- Allied attacks were made on both Sanananda and Buna with no material gains.

 

U.S. SOLDIERS FIRING A 37-MM. GUN M3A1 into enemy positions. The 37-mm. gun was the lightest weapon of the field-gun type used by the U.S. Army. Japanese tactics during the Buna campaign were strictly defensive; for the most part the enemy dug himself in and waited for Allied troops to cross his final protective line.

 

A NATIVE DRAWING A MAP to show the positions of the enemy forces. In general, the islanders were very friendly to the Allies, their work throughout campaign, in moving supples over the treacherous trails and in rescuing Allied survivors of downed aircraft, was excellent.

 

 

INFANTRYMEN READY TO FIRE .30-CALIBER M1 RIFLES into an enemy dugout before entering it for inspection (top) ; looking at a captured Japanese antiaircraft gun found in a bombproof shelter in the Buna area (bottom). Enemy fortifications covered all the approaches to his bases except by sea, and were not easily discerned because of fast growing tropical vegetation which gave them a natural camouflage.

 December,25th.1942

25 December 1942

Okajima: Sawada and Uchida died of illness. That may be because they were unreasonably overworked.

Transport of supplies and equipment was left entirely to the bent backs of soldiers trudging single file for up to 16 hours a day along the narrow jungle paths. No cooking fires were permitted, so the soldiers subsisted on a half ration of cold rice.

Unknown soldier: Today is Christmas Day. Therefore we had many presents from the enemy such as intense bombardment by artillery and naval guns. On the other hand, not one of our planes came from new airfield which was completed on the 15th. Even the soldiers in the front lines have become very disgusted, and do not even talk about our planes anymore. The 1st and 3d Battalions (strength of 90 men) . . . are looking forward to New Year’s Day in hope of getting supplies.

NCO: Today is Christmas, a very important day for the enemy. Artillery bombardment is a terrible thing. Again I became sick with malaria and my temperature began to rise, so I fell asleep in the trench. I prayed for a complete recovery, because this is the third time that I had this fever.

26 December 1942
Okajima
: Asaba Kazuo also died of illness. Malaria fever affected his mind and he acted peculiarly. After eating his meal, he died suddenly. This death increased the large total of those killed in action and from the disease to 13 men. This makes approximately the total losses we received in the occupation of Hong Kong and Java. Even in the face of the enemy, the men’s minds were entirely occupied with thoughts of eating. We are waiting for the spring sprouts to come out, and we dream of the joy of reducing Guadalcanal. Moreover the airfield is finished, and friendly planes will come in large numbers.

Okajima’s unit must have been involved in the fall of Hong Kong, which was attacked on 7 December 1941, and Java, which was conquered on 9 March 1942.

NCO: Corporal Abe found some sweets on a dead enemy and divided them among them this evening.

Unknown soldier: There are lice here, and whenever we have time these days we hunt for them. My strength is exhausted, and my ordinary pulse is around 95, which surprises me very much.

27 December 1942
Okajima
: Oba Fumio died from illness. It was not that he lacked energy, but he was drenched by the rains which come regularly every afternoon in this life in the jungle.

The 2,500 square miles of Guadalcanal are dominated by the Kavo Mountains, which reach a maximum height of 8,000 feet. The island is heavily forested. Rains came often, and the nights were chilly, forcing men in rotting clothing to huddle together for warmth.

NCO: I went with Corporal Abe to get some more meat, because it was so good yesterday. It was to be eaten by the company. It was buried in the company cemetery to keep it secret. However, maggots had started to develop in it.

28 December 1942
Okajima
: First Lieutenant Amai died [of a wound suffered the day before]. Now, without seeing the fall of Guadalcanal, his spirit sleeps eternally in the jungle. My tears overflow.

NCO: First Lieutenant Miyoshi returned with captured enemy rifles and ammunition. The enemy has plenty of these, so they can afford to leave them behind. Because of my dysentery, I stopped eating meat. Health comes first.

Unknown soldier: My body is so extremely exhausted, that one “GO” of rice is all that I can eat, and walking is very difficult. No relief comes for this unit. The army doctor will not even send us to the rear. At present, we are all very sick men. Even if we were relieved, not even one of us may recover. In fact, we are left to die from total exhaustion and malnutrition rather than from bullets.

The Japanese 17th Army took the view that, as long as it had access to seemingly unlimited human resources, no effort would be made to rehabilitate units that were shattered in combat or through the privations brought about by inadequate logistics administration.

29 December 1942
Okajima
: Yamamoto Kyoichi died from a wound. Such young soldiers with weak wills are no good, for they die from slight wounds. His wound was trifling with hardly any bleeding. Now the casualties are 25 men.

NCO: Bandages, rifle ammunition, and lots of canned goods of the enemy were found. We are having difficulty in selecting men to go out on patrol on account of our rundown condition.

30 December 1942

Okajima: By the 15th of next month, transportation of supplies and troops will be carried out, and we shall gain air superiority. After the 16th, units from the rear will pass us and, after preparatory bombardment by planes and artillery, will carry out a general attack.

In 2 months, all of Guadalcanal will return to our hands. Then the enemy will not be able to hold Tulagi area.

Then our combined fleet will concentrate in the Tulagi area. I believe that the decisive battle between U.S. and Japan will end in a complete victory for the Japanese forces in the bright spring of 1943, and will be an everlasting light in military history.

 

By the start of 1943,

the Japanese were defeated on the island and withdrew their troops. In Burma, Commonwealth forces mounted two operations.

The first, an offensive into the Arakan region in late 1942,

went disastrously, forcing a retreat back to India by May 1943. The second was the insertion of irregular forces behind Japanese front-lines in February which, by the end of April, had achieved dubious results.

.
The 55th M.L. Flotilla arrived in Chittagong in December 1942 ready to support the land operations along the Arakan. Operational duties began on the night of 24 January, when the Flotilla began to operate a double patrol, one into the Mayu river, and one between Oyster Island and Akyab Harbour. The aim was to assist the Fourteenth Indian Division and to interrupt Japanese sea-borne communications. On the first patrol, M.L. 477 speedily came into action when she met two Japanese armed launches full of troops. A short and spirited engagement followed in which one Japanese launch was sunk and the other forced ashore.

The Flotilla carried out two other short operations before the close of January. In one of these, landing parties were put ashore without opposition on Oyster Island, and in the other, two motor launches carried out a raid on Kyaukpyu harbour. M.L. 439 entered the harbour but was unable to find more worthy targets than two small fishing craft, which were sunk.

February began with a series of anti-shipping sweeps in which H.D.M.L. 1102 of the Burma Navy co-operated. On 13 January

1943 during a patrol in the Mayu river, M.Ls 438 and 476 were engaged by a battery of Japanese 57-mm guns. During the duel which ensued the launch escaped damage, but a small Japanese fishing vessel which had been ill-advised enough to put in an appearance, was sunk.

On the 26th, a small but highly successful raid was carried out in Hunter’s Bay. M.Ls 439, 440, 441 and 476 sailed from Teknaaf with a platoon of the Durham Light Infantry embarked, and at 2300 entered Myebon Creek. As the jetty was closed, figures were seen running towards the boats. Lt. Commander St. J. H. Heather, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R., in M.L. 439 shouted to these men to secure the boat lines which they proceeded to do. They appeared to realise suddenly that something was wrong and turned to run away but immediately all machine guns which could be brought to bear opened(126)

 

1943

In January of 1943

 the head of government in Japan, General Hideki Tojo announced that soon Burma would become an independent nation.

 

[Burma / Myanmar, (formerly British)

 

The Dai Nippon Occupation Burma Postal history

 

というわけで、今日は誕生日ネタのマテリアルを1点。


 この葉書は、太平洋戦争中の1943年、

 

ThIs Card from the camp Morumen (Mawlamyaing) or Moulnei Burma(Myanmar),

was offered to women of Sumatra Medan destined place of internment

under the Japanese military occupation of Burma under Japanese occupation also.

1943, during World War II, the Japanese military

was built connecting the 415 kilometers between

Taimentetsudo (Burma) (Thailand) = Tanbyuzaya Nonpuradokku.

Prisoner of war of the coalition forces to mobilize in this construction,

the Japanese army is provided with a “concentration camp Tai”,

where the camp at six minutes have been installed across the two regions of Thailand and Burma.

This postcard, in one such camp prisoners were held out,

to the back side, the basic wording has been printed in advance,

you may have worked in the description of 10 cents per day.

In addition, images (click to enlarge) was scanned directly from

the works exhibited in the exhibition of stamps that <JAPEX> in 2004. As a result, if you use a color copy,

in order to clarify the distinction between actual and copy,

copy that according to the rules of the Stamp Exhibition to shrink,

making it shrink back is not a copy of the original size.

Now, Please pay attention to signs of pre-censorship was pressed on the surface of the postcard.

Date has been written into it, has become a January 22, 1943.

In addition, the sign of the person in charge is included censorship firm also named Naito.

Although a product of chance,

exactly, for Yosuke Naito was born in January 22 is attached to and feel very material.

I’ve heard and that he had said has attracted the mail collector prominent there, for fun at all,

postmarked on my birthday of up to now from the 19th century has been pressed,

at one time or another There there may not look so bad in the form of philately enjoy such

 

original info in Japanese language

 

日本軍占領下のビルマ(ミャンマー)・モールメン(モーラミャイン)収容所から、

 

 

 

同じく日本軍占領下のスマトラ島メダンの女性抑留所宛に差し出されたものです。

 太平洋戦争中の1943年、日本軍はノンプラドック(タイ)=タンビュザヤ(ビルマ)間の415キロメートルを結ぶ泰緬鉄道を建設しました。

この建設工事に連合軍の俘虜を動員するため、日本軍は“泰俘虜収容所”を設け、

タイ・ビルマの両地域にまたがって6ヶ所の収容所分所が設置されています。

 この葉書は、そうした収容所の捕虜が差し出した1枚で、裏面には、基本的な文面があらかじめ印刷されており、1日10㌣で働いているとの記述もあります。なお、画像(クリックすると拡大されます)は、2004年に<JAPEX>という切手の展覧会に出品した作品の中からそのままスキャンしました。この結果、カラー・コピーを使う場合には、現物とコピーの区別を明瞭にするため、コピーは縮小するという切手展のルールに従って、裏面のコピーが原寸ではなく縮小になっています。

 さて、葉書の表面に押された検閲済の印にご注目ください。そこに書き込まれている日付は、昭和18年1月22日となっています。また、検閲担当者の印には内藤という名前もしっかり入っています。

 偶然の産物とはいえ、まさに、1月22日生まれの内藤陽介にとっては、非常に愛着を感じるマテリアルです。

 いつだったか、ある著名な収集家が、全くのお遊びで、19世紀から現在にいたるまでの自分の誕生日の消印が押された郵便物を集めている言っていたことをと聞いたことがありますが、こういう形でフィラテリーを楽しんでみるのも悪くないのかもしれませ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1943

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (Feb. 11) postcard franked with 2c on ½a on 2 sen Showa (Scott 2N15), and Unoverprinted Japan 1s Showa tied by ‘Rangoon PO Sorting’ cds. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange.

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (ca.) cover franked with 3c on 3 sen Showa with blue surcharge, also 1c Elephant block of four (Scott 2N23a, 51) tied by ‘Kominko Chin Road’ postmarks. The 3c surcharge is rare on cover.

 

 

March 1943

 

In March of 1943

Aung San was promoted to the rank of bogyoke (major general), a title he was known by for the rest of his life. He, Ba Maw and other Burmese leaders were brought to Tokyo to be decorated by Emperor Hirohito of Japan.

March 1943
Promoted to become Major-General Aung San of BDA.

1943
Invited to Japan and decorated by the Emperor with “Order of the Rising Sun”.

 

 

 

 

July 1943

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (July 12) cover to Japan,

franked with ¼a on 1s Showa single, two ½a on 2s singles, and 15c on 4a on 4s single (Scott 2N4-5, 19) tied by ‘Experimental PO’ postmarks. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange. Rare mixed-currency usage to Japan.

 

 

 

 

竹山道雄の小説「ビルマの竪琴」の主人公・水島上等兵のモデルといわれる僧侶・

 

This is the letter sheet after the Second World War, the former Japanese soldiers held out from Mingaladon of Burma

“to disarm under military post.”

I think it named former postal Japanese soldiers appeared in the “Harp of Burma” was addressed to the Japanese held out, roughly,

with what may be the image of things like this.

Mingaladon submissions was ground cover is in the suburbs north of Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon,

is the international airport and industrial park area there is a Rangoon.

Incidentally, Mudon was the stage of “Harp of Burma”, 30 kilometers to the south, is 13 hours by bus from Rangoon,

located further from the point of 8 hours by rail (Mawlamyaing) Morumen in southern Burma.

By signing the surrender document of September 1945,

to disarm the Japanese army stationed in Burma is made, the Imperial Japanese Army officers

and soldiers was sent to the camp as a prisoner of war.

Was held prisoner of war mail them to target these is the “disarm under military post.”

Rates are free from so-called prisoners of war is a kind of postal, stamps are not affixed material introduced here also.

Many of the military post has been left under the current disarmament is a postcard, etc.

and how to display the “disarm military post under” is mixed by region.

If the material introduced here, but has been pressed the “post military disarmament under”

in red stamp at the top of the cover, because at the time of arrival in Japan,

had been affixed to tape censorship from above that, is it hard to see a little is regrettable.

According to the writing of the sender, this cover is the submissions of October 5, 1946, “after the war,

We will be rude without hearing even once also on the relationship between the paper”

on the inside of the letter sheet is a sentence with the Because there,

for the sender, seems to have been first letter to Japan Sashidase become prisoners of war this is.

“In our on Gil, I think that it is a good way if you Dzu Kaerere until around 3 Once you have within this year and go home”

There is a sentence with the letter sheet In addition to this.

“The Burmese Harp” Initially, because had been serialized in the “Red Dragonfly” magazine until

February 1948 from March 1947, of timing, you may have set eyes on the series of magazines From this I. However, in reality,

in the Theravada Buddhism in Burma that monks play the music I have also pointed out a story of “Harp of Burma”,

so that is prohibited by precepts that impossible established fundamentally, actual “Aaron camp,”

“It is true that if you ask people with experience in prisoner of war in Burma,” Burmese Harp “is like that” I’m just talking …

 

origonal info in Japanese language

 

中村一雄さんが17日に亡くなっていたそうです。謹んでご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。というわけで、今日はこんなモノをもってきました。(画像はクリックで拡大されます)

 

 これは、第二次大戦後、ビルマのミンガラドンから旧日本兵が差し出した“被武装解除軍人郵便“のレターシートです。『ビルマの竪琴』に登場する旧日本兵たちが日本宛に差し出した郵便物というのは、大体、こんな感じのモノというイメージで良いのかと思います。

 カバーの差出地となったミンガラドンはラングーン(ヤンゴン)の北の郊外にあり、ラングーン国際空港や工業団地がある地域です。ちなみに、『ビルマの竪琴』の舞台となったムドンは、ビルマ南部のモールメン(モーラミャイン)からさらに南へ30キロ、ラングーンからはバスで13時間、鉄道で8時間の地点にあります。

 1945年9月の降伏文書調印を受けて、ビルマでも駐留日本軍の武装解除が行われ、旧日本軍将兵は捕虜として収容所に送られました。そうした彼らを対象に行われた捕虜郵便が“被武装解除軍人郵便”です。いわゆる捕虜郵便の一種ですから料金は無料で、今回ご紹介のマテリアルも切手は貼られていません。

 現在残されている被武装解除軍人郵便の多くは葉書ですが、“被武装解除軍人郵便”との表示の仕方などは地域によってまちまちです。今回ご紹介のマテリアルの場合は、カバーの上部に赤いスタンプで“被武装解除軍人郵便”と押されていますが、日本到着時に、その上から検閲テープが貼られてしまったため、少し見づらいのが残念です。

 差出人の書き込みによると、このカバーは1946年10月5日の差出ですが、レターシートの内側には「終戦後、紙面の関係上また一度もお便りせず失礼致しております」との一文がありますので、差出人にとっては、これが捕虜となって最初に差し出せた日本宛の手紙だったようです。

 このほかにもレターシートには「本年中に帰れるとしたら上々吉で、3月頃まで帰れればまづよい方だと思います」との一文があります。『ビルマの竪琴』は、当初、1947年3月から1948年2月まで雑誌『赤とんぼ』に連載されていましたから、タイミング的には、この差出人も雑誌の連載を目にしていたかもしれませんね。もっとも、現実には、ビルマの上座部仏教では僧侶が音楽を奏でることは戒律で禁止されているそうで、『ビルマの竪琴』の物語は根本的に成立しえないという指摘もありますし、実際にビルマでの捕虜体験のある人たちに言わせれば、「『アーロン収容所』は事実だが、『ビルマの竪琴』は単なるお話だよ」ということのようですが…

 

 

1st August 1943
Burma was declared an independent nation and Major-General Aung San became the War Minister.

1943
BDA was renamed as Burma National Army (BNA).

 

 The Burmese delegation was given a document that stated that Burma would become a sovereign nation in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

on August 1, 1943.

 

 Ba Maw was to be the head of state

 

 and Aung san the minister of war in the new government. Aung San’s army, the Burma Defense Army, was renamed the Burma National Army (BNA).

Read more about Ba maw

About Dr. Ba Maw

 

 

Dr. & Mrs. Ba Maw, Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar), in formal court dress, May 1937 in England for the coronation of King George VI

Dr. Ba Maw was born in Ma-u-bin on February 8, 1893. After his studies, he was attracted to politics, and for the next 40 years, was a leading politician and statesman in Burma (Myanmar). In 1937, Dr. Ba Maw became the first Burmese (Myanmar) ever, under British rule, to assume the post of Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar). He held the premiership until 1939. In 1943, he was again elected as Head of State of Burma (Myanmar). He then led the nationalist movement which culminated in the country’s declaration of independence on August 1, 1943.

U Kye, Dr. Ba Maw’s father, had been an official in the courts of the former Kings of Burma (Myanmar) – Kings Mindon and Thibaw. A staunch supporter of the monarchy of Burma (Myanmar), he actively opposed the establishment of British Colonial rule. He refused to serve under the British despite his fluency in English, and later fought in open rebellion against them.

Dr. Ba Maw’s mother sacrificed in many ways to send her son to the prestigious St. Paul’s Boys School in Rangoon (Yangon). Her selflessness inspired Ba Maw to persevere in his studies, and follow in his father’s footsteps. Through hard work, he earned scholarships at the Rangoon College and at the University of Calcutta. He went on to study law at Cambridge University in England and received his Barrister-at-law degree from Gray’s Inn, London, in 1924. He received a PhD from the University of Bordeaux in France.

 

The first Burmese delegation to Japan before their audience with the Emperor, Tokyo, March 1943.
Left to right: Dr. Ba Maw, Thakin Mya, Dr. Thein Maung, Bo Aung San.

November 1943
The British troops hiding in hills of Burma received Aung San’s plan to turn his forces against the Japanese.

 

 

 

1944

 

January,27th 1944

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Brunei, 1944 (Jan. 27) Official registered cover to Sarawak, franked with Japanese Occupation of Brunei 30c River Scene with violet straightline overprint (Scott N15) and unoverprinted Japan 1 sen Showa tied by purple ‘Brunei Central’ cds with two boxed registration handstamps alongside. Censor’s purple cachet with orange chop. ‘Miri’ backstamp (Jan. 28). Stamps with some creasing due to wear but a very rare franking.

 

1st August 1944
Declared Burma’s independence status as fake in independence day anniversary speech.

August 1944
Founded Anti-Fascist Organization (AFO) and became the military leader of the organization.

 

 

 

 

 

1945

 

 

 

軍政から民政に移行するための新憲法制定を審議してきたビルマ(ミャンマー)の国民会議は、昨日(3日)、

新憲法の基本原則を採択し、

1993年の開会から14年半を経てようやく閉会しました。というわけで、

ビルマと“軍政”ということに絡めてこんなモノを持ってきてみました。(画像はクリックで拡大されます)

 

 

National Congress (Myanmar), yesterday (3 days), adopted the basic principles of the new constitution,

finally after a year and a half 14 from the opening of

the 1993 Burma has been deliberate on a new constitution for transition to civilian rule from military was closed.

So, I tried to bring such a thing been entwined in that the “military” with Burma. (The images are click to enlarge)

This is the end of July 1945 the Second World War,

with a stamp on the envelope addressed to India proffered from Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon under British military administration,

which means “British military” in the upper left corner of the “BRITISH MILY ADMN”

Display of two signs that contain characters and new face Anna has been pressed.

In addition, the term “military”, is not that “military regime”

such as current, means “government by the military occupation.” Just in case.

In Burma during World War II, Japan was under military occupation,

the administration (Bamoo) has declared its independence Bhamo of pro-Japanese in August 1943.

However, seen as dense Haishoku Ya Japanese tactics such as repeated failure in Imphal,

Burma National Army General Aung San (Suu Kyi’s not your father is)

to the conductor, March 1945, Burma in the country under the leadership of Japan

and its The British turned over to a coup against the government, on May 1, will arrive in Rangoon.

British military administration in the region underwent re-occupied. With respect to postal,

we used the surcharge issue and what the characters that indicate the “British military”

in the prewar and stamps of “BRITISH MILY ADMN”.

These stamp surcharge, since September 1945 the Japanese army surrendered, but will be used throughout Burma,

the cover of this time, the previous July 1945 the Japanese surrender,

the Japanese occupied territory still some example of the use of that time it was left is an excellent point.

Of course, the people of Burma was getting the “independent” (whether formal),

the opposition to the war, British rule was revived under the Japanese occupation.

The United Kingdom in 1946 was also the transition to civilian rule,

the independence movement did not fit, and finally, after a transitional government of independent preparation,

January 1948, Burma was officially independent. Therefore,

the period of British military rule for half a year I did not only substantially,

that comparatively, the cover of Sri military force is reasonably apparent.

Well, the basic principles which was adopted yesterday, to guarantee the leading role of the military in national management ,

army be appointed by 25 percent each of the seats in the hospital representative

and the National Academy of regional representatives ,

of the three presidential and vice

such as a person, to elect the military, to ensure the provision of military power have been incorporated.

Also, “a person who is under the influence of foreigners”

is the president and vice are not familiar, bit San Suu Kyi was married to (and already dead) husband of the British

to become president and vice has been closed virtually. In addition,

the prospect does not also been shown time

and the start of the work of drafting the Constitution was drafted on the basis of this fundamental principle.

And it this minute, to migrate to (civilian government) is,

I will still take time for the time being is pure civilian rule (military government) current military government in Burma.

Nevertheless, the current military government of Burma, but has considerably extends the long term, to divide it,

nifty cover is quite difficult to obtain.

It is also easy to get that much better under the cover of

the British military administration ended in a short period of time, it is kind of weird story.

 

Original info in japanese language


 これは、第二次大戦末期の1945年7月、イギリス軍政下のラングーン(ヤンゴン)からインド宛に差し出された切手つき封筒で、左上に“イギリス軍政”を意味する“BRITISH MILY ADMN”の文字と新額面2アンナの表示が入った印が押されています。なお、ここでいう“軍政”は、現在のような“軍事政権”ということではなくて、“軍隊による占領行政”という意味です。念のため。

 第二次大戦中、日本軍の占領下にあったビルマでは、1943年8月に親日派のバーモ(バモオ)政権が独立を宣言しました。しかし、インパール作戦で失敗を繰り返すなど日本の敗色濃厚とみるや、アウンサン将軍(スーチーさんのお父上ですな)が指揮するビルマ国民軍は、1945年3月、日本及びその指導下にあるビルマ国政府に対してクーデターを起こしイギリス側に寝返り、5月1日にはラングーンに入場します。

 イギリスは再占領した地域で軍政を施行。郵便に関しては、戦前の切手などに“イギリス軍政”を示す“BRITISH MILY ADMN”の文字を加刷したものを発行・使用しました。こうした加刷切手は、日本軍が降伏した1945年9月以降はビルマ全土で使われることになりますが、今回のカバーは、日本降伏以前の1945年7月、まだ一部に日本の占領地が残っていた時期の使用例というのがミソです。

 当然のことながら、日本の占領下で(形式的にせよ)“独立”を得ていたビルマの人々は、戦後、イギリス支配が復活したことに反発。イギリスは1946年には民政移管も行いましたが、独立運動はおさまらず、最終的に、過渡期の独立準備政府を経て、1948年1月、ビルマは正式に独立しました。したがって、イギリス軍政の時期は実質的に半年間しかなかったのですが、その割には、軍政加刷のカバーはそこそこ見かけます。

 さて、昨日採択された基本原則では、①国家運営における軍の主導的役割を保証する、②地域代表院と民族代表院の議席の各25%を軍が任命する、③正副大統領3人のうち1人は軍が選出する、など、軍の権力を確保する条項が盛り込まれています。また、“外国人の影響下にある者”は正副大統領にはなれず、イギリス人の夫(すでに亡くなっています)と結婚していたスーチーさんが正副大統領になる途は事実上閉ざされています。さらに、今回の基本原則に基づいた憲法起草作業の開始時期や草案策定のめども示されていません。

 この分だと、現在のビルマの軍政(軍事政権)が純然たる民政(文民政権)に移行するには、まだ当分時間がかかるでしょうね。それにしても、現在のビルマの軍政はかなり長期に及んでいますが、そのわりには、気の利いたカバーはなかなか入手が困難です。短期間に終わったイギリス軍政下のカバーのほうがずっと入手しやすいというのも、なんだか変な話ですね

 

27th March 1945
Burmese troops throughout the country rose up against the Japanese.

15th May 1945
Met with William Slim of the Fourteenth Army.

15th June 1945
Victory parade was held in Rangoon. The Burmese forces participated alongside the British and Allied forces.

August 1945
The Japanese forces surrendered.

August 1945
AFO was expanded and renamed as Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL).

1945
BNA was renamed as Patriotic Burmese Forces (PBF).

September 1945
Signed an agreement to merge PBF with Burma Army under British command during a meeting in Kandy, Ceylon.

October 1945
Civil government was restored with Dorman-Smith as the governor of Burma.



1943, during World War II,

the Japanese military has built a tie Taimentetsudo connecting the 415 km between the non-Puradokku Tanbyuzaya

and Burma in Thailand.

The construction work this has been mobilized in large quantities such as prisoner of war of the Allies,

that from such as lack of schedule construction, pharmaceutical, food,

excessive weather conditions and harsh, which killed many widely known You.

After the war, the people who survived of them gathered to Tanbyuzaya, but made a memorial of the victims,

to the ceremony venue is also provided with branch office of the bureau Tanbyuzaya,

has also been used stamp commemoration such as those shown here.

After the war, the old Taimentetsudo there be too costly maintenance,

rail of some two-thirds of the border will be removed from the Thai side of the Burmese side and the whole line,

and now, Namutoku line of State Railway of Thailand, only during the non-Puradokku = Namutoku has been inherited. In addition,

in the heart of the construction of the past,

some of Kanchanaburi cemetery and war memorial of the prisoners of the Allies

is located in the point of a little over an hour by train from the non-Puradokku.

Taimentetsudo is, in itself, but if the target is intriguing human history have an interest in Showa like me,

six months where the camp was established across the two regions of Thailand and Burma

where the minutes ( In), if you have different types of postcards are used,

is very attractive for collection. In fact, the postal cult “concentration camp Tae”

I also may have collected piece by piece, previously exhibited in an exhibition mini-collection.

That is why, from people before, so once I wanted to experience the journey of Taimentetsudo, also on this trip,

go to Kanchanaburi was very looking forward to it.

Well, this time I do not worship the only part of the local Thai side, eventually, Tanbyuzaya

 

Original info in Japanese language

 

 


 これは、1946年12月18日にビルマ(ミャンマー)のタンビュザヤで行われた、泰緬鉄道建設の犠牲者追悼式典の会場から差し出されたカバーです。貼られている切手は、戦後まもなく、イギリスによるビルマ支配が復活した時期に発行された“戦勝記念切手”です。

 太平洋戦争中の1943年、日本軍はタイのノン・プラドックとビルマのタンビュザヤの間を結ぶ415キロメートルを結ぶ泰緬鉄道を建設しました。この建設工事には連合軍の俘虜等が大量に動員されましたが、苛酷な気象条件や無理な工事日程、食糧・医薬品の不足などから、多くの犠牲者を出したことは広く知られています。

 戦後、彼らのうちの生き延びた人々はタンビュザヤに集まり、犠牲者の追悼式典を行いましたが、式典会場にはタンビュザヤ局の出張所も設けられ、ここに示すような記念印も用いられています。

 戦後、旧泰緬鉄道は維持管理コストがかかりすぎることもあって、ビルマ側の全線とタイ側の国境から3分の2にあたる一部のレールが撤去され、現在では、タイ国鉄のナムトク線、ノン・プラドック=ナムトク間のみが継承されています。なお、かつての建設の中心部で、連合国の捕虜たちの共同墓地や戦争記念館のあるカンチャナブリは、ノン・プラドックから鉄道で1時間強の地点にあります。

 泰緬鉄道は、それ自体、僕のように昭和史に関心を持っている人間なら興味をそそられる対象ですが、タイ・ビルマの両地域にまたがって設けられた6ヶ所の収容所(分所)では、さまざまなタイプの葉書が使われていて、収集対象として非常に魅力的です。じっさい、僕も“泰俘虜収容所”がらみの郵便物はぽつぽつ集めていて、以前、ミニ・コレクションを展覧会に出品したこともあります。

 そういうわけで、前々から、1度は泰緬鉄道の旅を体験してみたかったので、今回の旅行でも、カンチャナブリ行きは非常に楽しみにしていました。まぁ、今回はタイ側の一部だけしか現地を拝めないのですが、いつかは、タンビュザヤとかパヤトンス、モーラミャインといったビルマ側のゆかりの地にも行ってみたいもので

 

 

 

 

今日(1月4日)は1948年にビルマ(ミャンマー)がイギリスから独立した記念日です。

というわけで、こんな絵葉書を引っ張り出してみました。

This postcard, August 1, 1943,

which was issued

to commemorate the “independent”

Burma under Japanese occupation,

 

ship Callaway has been drawn during the Pacific War.

Bird of imagination that is it that caraway, and are in paradise in the narrative Buddhism local, i

n October each year, votive candle to migration of the lake Inre put the Buddha statues (ship Callaway)

ship to imitate the bird The festival is also performed.

Incidentally, the back is like this in the (↓)

 

 

 

 


 この絵葉書は、太平洋戦争中の1943年8月1日、日本軍の占領下でビルマが“独立”した記念に発行されたもので、

キャラウェイ船が描かれています。キャラウェイというのは、

現地の仏教説話で極楽にいるとされる想像の鳥で、

毎年10月には、この鳥を模した船(キャラウェイ船)が仏像を乗せてインレ湖を回遊する灯明祭りも行われます。


 ちなみに、裏面はこんな感じ(↓)で


 こちらには、独立記念切手のうちの“独立”の文字を彫刻する場面の1セント切手3枚が貼られています。

 太平洋戦争中、日本軍がビルマの親日派に“独立”させたことは広く知られています。

この親日バーモ政権に関しては、

日本の傀儡政権に過ぎなかったという見方も根強いのですが、

真摯にビルマの独立のために戦っていたバーモ政権の関係者は私利私欲のために国を売ったわけではなく、

現在の視点から単純に“傀儡”と断じてしまうのはいささか酷なようにも思います。当時の国際環境の下で、

それがかたちだけのものであったとしても、日本の差し出した“独立”の名をとって本格的な独立のための一つのステップとするのか、

旧宗主国に操を立てて植民地・占領地という立場に甘んじ続けるのか、

そのいずれかを迫られたとき、彼らがどちらを選ぶかは火を見るよりも明らかです。

 もちろん、日本が彼らに“独立”を与えたのは、それが日本の国益にかなうからであって、ビルマのための自己犠牲ではありえません。

独立”したはずのビルマに1945年の終戦まで日本軍が駐留し続けたということは、そうした日本の本音を如実に物語っています。

 日本の敗戦後、アウンサンらは植民地支配の再開を目論むイギリスとの交渉をかさね、

ついに、1948年1月4日、ビルマ連邦の独立を勝ち取ります。

 第二次大戦の勃発から日本の占領時代を経て、戦後のビルマ連邦成立にいたるまでの過程は、

切手や郵便の面でも面白いものがいろいろとあるので、いずれ、テーマティク

調子に乗って今日もです。
まぁぁ・・・・完全なズボラですね♪

 

Today is an example of using a letter addressed to the American Airlines submissions Rangoon in Burma.

Letter submissions is

December 31 to 16 1943

 Rangoon, to London, to the United States has been using the path Teiso plane is canceled and air treatment in London to use the British Imperial Airways is in Rangoon censorship.
Rangoon occupation of Japan was on

March 8, 2003.

·
今日の使用例はビルマのラングーン差出のアメリカ宛て航空書状です。


ラングーンを16年12月31日に差出、ラングーンで検閲されて英国インペリアル航空を使用してロンドンへ、

ロンドンで航空扱いが取り消されて平面路を使ってアメリカへ逓送された手紙です。
日本のラングーン占領は17年3月8日でした。

 

 

 

 

 

BURMA: 1942, seven different definitives 3p violet to 4a bluegreen with peacock opt.,

scarce set mint hinged with pencil notations on some stamps,

ビルマ:1942年、孔雀4Aと青緑の7つの異なるオプト明確な3Pバイオレットは、希少なミントヒンジは、

いくつかの切手、スコット$ 1,286.00カタログ価格350.00鉛筆の表記法を使用して設定

 

ー。カタログ

 

 

Burma, 1943,

independence 5 C. rose rouletted canc. „

THATON 28 JUN 43” on reverse of small cover (bottom some soiling) Rangoon-Thaton and canc. on arrival

ビルマ、1943年独立、5 C.rouletted CANCローズ。小さなカバー(下部の一部汚れ)やタトン、ラングーン-CANCの逆のタトン628日、43″。到着カタログ

 

 

 

Burma, 1943, independence 9 P. purple, a horizontal pair, tied to reverse of cover „SYRIAM 16-2-45” used domestic

ビルマ、1943年、9 P独立紫、水平方向のペアは、 “Syriam 16-2-45”を使用して国内のカタログ·

 

 

 

BURMA: 1944 (ca.),

Burma definitive 10c blue ‘Shan woman’ opt. ‘Burma State’ two singles on ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ cover

locally used within Burma, scarce usage!

ビルマ:1944(税込)、ビルマ決定的な10Cブルーシャン女性のOPT。ローカルビルマ内で使用されるカバー陛下のサービスでは ‘on’のビルマ国家” 2枚のシングル、

希少使用!M)カタログ

 

 

BURMA: 1944 (ca.),

Burma definitive 5c ultramarine ‘Buffalo Cart’ opt. ‘Burma State’ horizontal pair on reverse of cover locally

used in Rangoon with nice advertisement on front!

ビルマ:1944(税込)、ビルマ決定的な5C群青バッファローカートに入れる” OPT。カバーの裏面にビルマ国家水平方向のペアは、

前面に素晴らしい広告とラングーンでローカルに使用!カタログ

 

 


 
The Dai Nippon War In Burma 1943 

History Collections

Source

125Flotilas M.S,. Burma Operation(1942-1945)

operation BY Coastal Forces(125)

 

Here they will stamp has been affixed to three cents a scene that sculpture the character of “independent”

of the independence commemorative postage stamp.

That during World War II,

 

the Japanese army was allowed to “independent”

to pro-Japanese in Burma is widely known.

For administration Bhamo pro Although this is strong also the view that was just a puppet government of Japan,

administration officials Bhamo had been fighting for the independence of Burma

sincerely mean that sold the country for self-interest is rather,

it would simply as “puppet” simply from the perspective of the current

I think also for the somewhat harsh.

 

Under the international environment at the time,

even those of only form, or to steps and one for independent full-fledged operations

in the former colonial power took the name of the “independent”

was held out of Japan it is Why continue to settle in the occupied territories, the standpoint of making a colony,

when it was faced with either of them, The choice is clearly better than they see the fire.

Of course, it gave the “independent” to them Japan, there is provided because it is in line with Japan’s national interest,

in the self-sacrifice is not impossible for Burma.

That continued until the end of the war the Japanese army stationed in Burma

in 1945 that should have been “independent” are clearly the real intention of Japan to speak for themselves such.

February began with a series of anti-shipping sweeps

 in which H.D.M.L. 1102 of the Burma Navy co-operated. On 13 January

1943 during a patrol in the Mayu river, M.Ls 438 and 476 were engaged by a battery of Japanese 57-mm guns. During the duel which ensued the launch escaped damage, but a small Japanese fishing vessel which had been ill-advised enough to put in an appearance, was sunk.

On the 26th, a small but highly successful raid was carried out in Hunter’s Bay. M.Ls 439, 440, 441 and 476 sailed from Teknaaf with a platoon of the Durham Light Infantry embarked, and at 2300 entered Myebon Creek. As the jetty was closed, figures were seen running towards the boats. Lt. Commander St. J. H. Heather, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R., in M.L. 439 shouted to these men to secure the boat lines which they proceeded to do. They appeared to realise suddenly that something was wrong and turned to run away but immediately all machine guns which could be brought to bear opened

Two of the Japanese were killed instantaneously and the third disappeared.

The troops were disembarked and proceeded ashore to carry out their demolitions. The launches carried out a general bombardment of Myebon village and of a Japanese machine-gun post which was disputing the assault. During this period Lt. S. M. Ahsan, R.I.N., with M.Ls 440 and 441, had been detailed to proceed up the river and look for a ship which had been located by air reconnaissance. This ship was found, and was engaged and subsequently destroyed by the two launches. In this action, Lt. S. M. Ahsan was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. By the time M.Ls 440 and 441 had re-joined the main force, the troops had been re-embarked, and the whole Flotilla returned safely to Teknaaf on the 27th.

Next day the launches sailed from Teknaaf to attack Kyaukpyu, but en route two small Japanese steamers were sighted and after an exciting chase both were set on fire and sunk. This operation caused a commotion in the area, and the element of surprise was lost. It was therefore decided to abandon the attack on Kyaukpyu. In the middle of March, the Flotilla carried out the last operation of the season, a running bombardment of the road between Donbaik and Mayu Point. At the end of the month, the launches were withdrawn from Burma for refit.(125)

October-December 1943

They returned to begin the new campaign in October 1943, when M.Ls 438 and 474 carried out a delicate and difficult operation. Their job was to land a small reconnaissance party on the coast between Gwa and Bassein river, and this necessitated the towing by M.L. 438 of a landing craft all the way from Chittagong. The landing was made successfully and the two launches thereafter lay up in the lee of Foul Island for two days to re-embark the party.

In November M.L. 477 carried out another operation of this nature successfully.

Two bombardment operations in December brought the Flotilla some excitement. In the first, the Flotilla carried out an offensive sweep from Danson Bay to Combermere Bay searching for Japanese shipping. None was found, and the Flotilla therefore engaged itself in bombarding Japanese held coasts indiscriminately. On the way home M.L. 476 ran aground on Gwa Island but was successfully refloated.

On 13 November, M.Ls 439, 441 and 476 set off from Chittagong to carry out a bombardment operation against Japanese positions


Burma
R.I.N. Operational Area

which arrived in Chittagong, and on 7 January these boats took part in their first operation. H.D.M.Ls 1120 and 1115 sailed to carry out three operations which, amongst other things, necessitated an entry being made into the Irrawaddi Delta, a strip of over a thousand miles in hostile waters, and absence from the base for 6 to 7 days. M.L. 477 was sailed to anchorage off Calventuras to act as wireless link, as it would be impossible for the H.D.M.Ls to communicate direct with the base in an emergency.

The H.D.M.Ls failed in their attempt to navigate in the Irrawaddi Delta owing to shallow water. All went well until the boats were attacked by Japanese bombers off Bassein Point. The hostile aircraft dropped six bombs and a spirited engagement ensued, the Japanese finally disengaging when the 2-pounders from the launches proved uncomfortably accurate. At this stage, H.D.M.L. 1120 developed engine trouble, and was forced to anchor off Foul Island to effect repairs. The report signals made by H.D.M.L. 1115 had been relayed successfully by M.L. 447, and this vessel, in order to ensure that H.D.M.L. 1120 was in fact safe, proceeded to Foul Island to render any necessary assistance. The H.D.M.L. however had already proceeded, and all boats returned safely to

Chittagong on 15 January.(125)

Change of Operational Base Teknaaf

Chittagong was proving more and more unsatisfactory as a base for operations. The XV Indian Corps, with headquarters some 8 miles north-east of Maungdaw, was anxious for closer support from the naval force, hence it was proposed that a proper advance base be set up for the boats at Teknaaf, and advanced base “Millie” came into being.

About this time the 56th M.L. Flotilla arrived in Chittagong and shortly afterwards 49th (South African) M.L. Flotilla also arrived. The H.D.M.Ls were strengthened by the arrival of the 145th H.D.M.L. (Royal Navy) Flotilla, and there was a healthy rivalry between the three navies in the ensuring operations.

From the end of January and throughout February the Japanese, both on land and in the air, showed an increasingly aggressive spirit. Several air-raids took place with Chittagong as the main objective, and the XV Corps was kept extremely busy on the Mayu range.

Between 24 and 26 January, M.Ls 447, 440, 474 and 476 carried out a bombardment of Ramree Island in the vicinity of Thames Point.(125)

Air Attacks

February began with operation “Pioneer ,

carried out by M.Ls 475, 440 438 and 477. The object of this operation was to enter Kyaukpyu harbour and destroy any craft which might be sheltering there. When the boats approached, the harbour, however, it was found that a net of rope was being dragged through the water by M.L. 475, and this eventually stopped the craft. It was found on investigation to be a wire boom, and considerable difficulty was experienced in clearing a length of wire which fouled the propeller. The boom actually consisted of 1¼-inch wire stretched across the entrance to the harbour from the southern part of Ledaung Kyun across the Reliance Shoal to the shore. It was supported by elliptical floats throughout its length, and at intervals by danbuoys heavily anchored. In view of this, it was decided that it would be impracticable to enter Kyaukpyu, and a long-range bombardment of Georgina Point was carried out without opposition.

While this operation was proceeding, the 56th M.L. Flotilla under Lt. A.J. Howard R.I.N.V.R., was carrying out its first operation, bombarding Minbyin, half way up on the western seaboard of Ramree Island. M.Ls 412, 419, 416 and 413 took part, and a successful bombardment culminating in a small explosion and fire ashore, was carried through. The Japanese apparently returned the fire, as red flashes were seen from the hillside, but no fall of shot was observed, and in due course the force returned to base.

During the night the weather deteriorated. M.L. 419 lost contact, and on the morning of 3 February this boat was attacked by 8 Japanese Zeroes, which dived on the boat out of the sun at less than 100 feet. The first attack was by machine-gun, and thereafter combined attacks, with machine-gun and bombs, were made by the Zeroes, attacking in pairs from either side, the first firing guns, and the second dropping bombs. The attack continued for four minutes, and the last two aircraft were hit by the midship Oerlikon. Three sticks of light bombs secured near misses, and-one, apparently a 100-kilo armour piercing bomb, made a direct hit on the after end of the bridge wing. The armour plating on the bridge deflected the bomb which went through the deck and through the side of the ship one foot above the water line before exploding in the water. The tail of the bomb remained on board, and though the launch was damaged, no casualties were sustained.

On 8 February M.L. 416, while proceeding on a secret mission, was attacked some 20 miles south of Cox’s Bazaar by a four-engined Japanese flying boat. The aircraft attacked from ahead, and one

bomb was dropped from 3,000 feet falling in the wake of the launch, about a hundred yards astern. Five attacking runs were made, on four of which bombs were dropped, but the launch was not hit. On the last run the aircraft came within the range of the M.L’s guns for the first time, and some good shooting was put in by all armament. The aircraft swerved violently and disappeared astern in a steep dive. Owing to the engagement the secret operation was cancelled, and M.L. 416 returned to Chittagong on the 9th.(125)

Amphibious Forces

During this period, it was necessary, in order to obtain information and to harass the Japanese south of Maungdaw, to maintain amphibious forces in the Naaf river. Motor launches frequently took part in these operations as escorts. The amphibious force consisted of the 290th Special Purpose Company under the command of Major Fairbanks, (christened by the sailors “Binks’ Navy”) and also some R.I.N. landing craft. The company transport consisted of five very ancient Indian Water Transport Steamers, armed with anti-tank guns mounted on wheels with Bren guns as anti-aircraft defence. The Commando was composed mainly of Pathans of the XV Corps and their own landing craft using Fleming lifeboats. The R.I.N. component was part of a landing craft wing force which had first arrived in the Arakan waters in December 1943, its strength being then 21st L.C.P.(L) Flotilla, and 42nd and 47th L.C.M. Flotillas. At the end of January some of the L.C.Ps had been employed in maintaining communications between the XV Corps at Bawli Bazaar, and the 5th Indian Division, located in and around Maungdaw, some twelve miles to the south. Subsequently they had been employed with the 81st (West African) Recce Regiment, and they were now seconded to assist the amphibious forces.

On the night of 12 February, the 290th Special Purpose Company was to convey two parties of the 81st West African Recce Regiment and V Force scouts from Maungdaw to Indin beach. M.L. 413 was detailed to stand by to assist, and when the second steam launch, Kanayki did not arrive, M.L. 413 undertook her duties and embarked a raiding party. Thereafter M.L. 413 and the steam launch Damodar proceeded in company to a point three miles south of Sitaparokia Rock, and at 2322 the raiding party embarked in one Fleming lifeboat and proceeded ashore, M.L. 413 anchoring seven cables off the beach. The Commandos had a successful time ashore, though the total Japanese casualties amounted to only five. The raiding force eventually embarked in M.L. 413 and returned to Teknaaf.

Next day M.L. 413 was again busy with the 290th Special Purpose Company, the object being to raid the coast in the area of Donbaik to obtain hostile information. A Commando party was landed, and in due course returned after completing its job.

On 13 February, 3 Landing Craft Personnel (Large) took part in a raid on Maugkandan and the village of Dodan at the mouth of the Naaf River. Three parties of West Africans were embarked at dusk at Kappagaung, together with local guides. Just before reaching the selected landing point, the craft encountered an underwater wire, carrying a number of small grenades, but this was successfully negotiated, and the beach was reached without being molested. The landing party was put ashore, and the three L.C.Ps lay off-shore to await events. A lone Japanese bomber spotted them in the light of a bright moon, arid dropped three bombs, but no damage was done. Soon after dawn, the raiding party returned to the shore.(125)

Shore Bombardments

Bombardment of Akyab Island

On 22 February, the whole M.L. Force was concentrated at Teknaaf. As the army required at this stage to keep as many Japanese occupied on the coast as possible, it was decided to carry out on the night of 26 and 27 February a large-scale bombardment of Akyab Island. Ten boats (M.Ls 474, 440, 441, 475, 476, 438, 412, 416, 380 and 831) all under the command of Lt. Cdr. H. M. Darbyshire, R.I.N.V.R., took part. The boats had an uneventful passage to Akyab and at 2300 opened fire together. Opposition consisted of machine-gun fire from the shore, and a certain amount of shell fire which was probably 75-mm. No damage or casualties were sustained, and the beach area was well plastered. The Force returned to Teknaaf on the 27th.

Early in March, operation “BIRDSEED” commenced. It was intended to interrupt any Japanese sea traffic in the vicinity of Ramree Harbour, and for this purpose two Forces were employed. The first, from the 55th M.L. Flotilla, was made up of M.Ls 438, 476, 440 and 477, and the second Force from the 56th M.L. Flotilla comprised M.Ls 412 and 417. The 55th M.L. Flotilla proceeded on 2 March and in due course entered Heywood Channel. M.L. 477 was detached with orders to enter Ramree Harbour, and the other boats commenced a patrol between Round Island and Sagu Island. From this time until early on 30 March a number of small craft and two fairly large fishing boats were intercepted. The crews

were taken prisoners and the boats sunk; the prisoners consisted mainly of Burmese whose duties were to ferry cargoes of vegetables to the Japanese garrisons on Round Island.

It had been arranged to rendezvous with the 56th Flotilla off Round Island at midnight, but, as these boats had not appeared by 0025 the motor launches re-formed and proceeded to Ramree Gates to establish contact with M.L. 477. This boat was not observed, and in actual fact her Commanding Officer, Lt. A. H. Russel R.I.N.V.R., having been able to enter Ramree Harbour without opposition, had taken the law in his own hands and was conducting a single-boat war of penetration. He succeeded in steaming right up Ramree harbour to a position opposite Ramree town, a distance of some 16 miles.

Meanwhile the 56th Flotilla boats, M.Ls 412 and 417, had been carrying out a sweep down the west side of Ramree Island. At 2355, about 1½ miles north-east of Ramree Island, a small country craft was sighted. Its five occupants, who were engaged in supplying Japanese garrisons with provisions, were taken on board M.L. 417, which took the boat in tow. The Force now proceeded along the southern patrol line towards Sagu Island, but no other ships were sighted. Course was altered to proceed back to base. The total result of the operation was as follows:–

M.L. 438 sank two boats and captured 12 prisoners; M.L. 478 sank three boats and brought back seven prisoners; and M.L. 417 sank one boat and brought back five prisoners.(125)

 

Interrupting Japanese Supplies

The prisoners were handed over to the Army Intelligence for questioning, and information of considerable value was obtained. It indicated that the Japanese traffic from Rangoon to the Mayu Peninsula was carried out entirely by inland waterways. Headquarters of what might be called the Japanese inland water transport were reported to be situated at Tamandu, from which place traffic proceeded through Myebon and Minchaung, and thence to Akyab. From Akyab the main channel of supply was the Kaladan River, and by Chaung to the Mayu River.

In order to cut this line of communications it was considered that the area between Gwa and Andrews Bay would be most favourable, as at this point it would be necessary for the Japanese to go into the open sea. A combined force of eight M.Ls (412, 416, 417, 440, 441, 439, 476 and 438) of the 55th and 56th Flotillas therefore

proceeded on operation “CORKSCREW” which began on 7 March. The unit proceeded uneventfully as far as Gwa Bay, with the object of attacking any craft which might be found there, and of bombarding the shore installations. However, no targets were found inside the Bay and the Japanese made no attempt to attack the launches, although the force was less then a mile from the shore.

M.Ls 438 and 440 approached Andrews Bay from the south-west, and while crossing Sandoway Bay three small fishing boats were sighted and sunk. Intelligence had reported a gun sited in the vicinity of the Jetty, but this could not be seen, and range was therefore opened to 800 yards and a general bombardment carried out. A certain amount of opposition was experienced, but this was silenced after the first ten minutes, and the whole M.L. Force returned safely to the Naaf River

 on 8 March.(125)

A Combined Raid

On 11 March, a combined force of the 55th and 56th M.L. Flotillas and Landing Craft carried out operation “SCREWDRIVER”, with the aim of destroying a Japanese Advanced Headquarters which was reported to be situated at the base Sitaparokia Rock. The operation fell into two parts: the first involved an assault by 44 (Marine) Commando on Alethangyan airstrip and village and was to by followed by the second part, an assault two days later in the same area by the 5th Army Commando.

It was intended to use St. Martin’s Island, some eight miles from the mouth of the River Naaf, in the role of a Landing Ship Infantry, and to embark troops from here into L.C.Ps, which were to beach at Alethangyan, south of the Chaung, on to an excellent beach. Accordingly, right under the eyes of the Japanese forces on the other side of the bank, the Commandos were moved out of St. Martin’s Island, and on the evening of 11 March, the convoy of 16 L.C.P.(L)s and supporting M.Ls moved out of the anchorage down river at 10 knots. The convoy arrived off St. Martin’s Island in darkness, and almost immediately the L.C.Ps began to embark their serials from a beached L.C.P.(R), the Marine Commando in the first wave.

Meanwhile M.Ls had already been busy earlier in the day, and had bombarded the Japanese Headquarters at Sitaparokia Rock, leaving one large and five small fires burning in the target area. At 0515, M.L. 412 came under fire from a light gun which appeared to be sited to the north-east of the rock. Fire was not accurate, and though the position was shelled by 2-pounder and 3-pounder

, results could not be observed, and it was considered probable that little inconvenience had been caused on either side.

The landing at Alethangyan was made successfully. Apart from a few snipers, there was no opposition on the beach itself but, from inshore, could be heard the chatter of machine-guns and the dull thud of mortars. Four craft were hit and were beached, disabled; during the night their crews took part in the perimeter defence of the beachhead and conducted patrols. Next day, these four craft were repaired and refloated, the Commando was re-embarked under cover of fire from M.Ls 416 and 417, and the whole Force returned to Teknaaf.

The second assault was carried out in broad daylight. As the original beach chosen was under Japanese mortar fire, a second beach was selected at Ton Chaung. The first and second flights had to negotiate a sandbar before getting ashore, but at 1100 on the 14th the first troops of 44 Commando were landed without opposition, and the remainder were disembarked at leisure behind the cover of sand dunes and trees.

The following day, the Landing Craft Personnel and two Landing Craft Mechanized were employed in the difficult task of evacuating the wounded through fairly heavy surf; several craft broached to, and the L.C.Ps which attempted to tow the stranded craft off came under Japanese fire from mortars, and. 35-mm guns. Four motor launches were therefore called out at short notice to assist. M.L. 476 laid a smoke screen, and the other three M.Ls were eventually able to tow off all the landing craft and escort them back to the Naaf river.(125)

Last Operations of the Season

Weather was then deteriorating, and it was decided to withdraw all except a few H.D.M.Ls on 23 March. On 17 March, M.Ls 412, 419 and 417 sailed for a last long range operation with Gwa as the objective. The Bay was well searched but the Force drew a blank, and it was decided to attempt to enter the river. Shallow water prevented this, and it was decided to bombard Coconut Point and the village beyond, from this position. This was successfully carried out, and the village was well covered by gun and mortar fire. As soon as the bombardment opened, the boats were heavily and accurately engaged by Japanese mortars, sited on either side of the river entrance and on South Point. Several near misses were suffered by M.L. 417, and a lively engagement developed in which the shore guns were eventually silenced. It appeared that

Japanese had reacted since the lost visit of the M.Ls. and had been provided with reasonably strong defences, which on this occasion were well handled. It was probably fortunate that there was insufficient water to enable the boats to navigate the river, as otherwise it appeared that the boats would have been drawn into a well-set trap.

During the return trip an army 97 aircraft was sighted, and at 1141 it made a bombing run. M.L. 412 was the target, and the bomber made a high level attack, releasing four bombs from about 6,000 feet. Only two of the bombs exploded, falling one on either quarter about 70 and 100 yards away. M.L. 412 was not damaged, and it was impossible to retaliate as the aircraft was well out of range.

The operational season was brought to a close by operation “Curtain”, a three-Flotilla bombardment of the coast between Indin and Mayu point. The 56th Flotilla was represented by M.Ls 412, 419, 416 and 417 (Lt. A. J. Howard R.I.N.V.R.), the 49th (South African) Flotilla by M.Ls 380, 381, 382 and 846 under Lt. D. R. Hollis, S.A.N.F.(V), and the 55th Flotilla by M.Ls 439, 441, 476 and 477 under Lt. Cdr. H.M. Darbyshire R.I.N.V.R. The three forces proceeded independently, each with its own objective. A number of fires were started up and down the coast, although little opposition was encountered apart from a certain amount of sporadic machine-gunning from positions ashore.(125)

Secret Operations

Before closing this account a word might be said about M.L. 477 and M.L. 474 (Lt. K. J. Baber R.I.N.R.). These boats were mainly employed on long range jobs of a secret nature, many of which necessitated 4 and 5 days at sea in hostile waters, and the carrying on deck of large quantities of fuel, the hazards of which need not be stressed. On one occasion M.L. 477 was bombed by 12 Bombers and Fighter Bombers, but escaped unscathed. On a similar errand M.L. 477 made contact with an Akyab sloop, a sailing vessel of some 60 to 80 feet in length. The M.L. ran alongside the craft, and a boarding party went on board to search the vessel. This party was immediately attacked by machine-gun and tommy-gun fire from aft, one rating being killed and six wounded. M.L. 474 therefore disengaged and sank the vessel by gun fire.

For the season’s work the R.I.N. was awarded 2 Distinguished Service Crosses and 5 Distinguished Service Medals and 9 officers and 4 ratings were mentioned in the Despatches.1(125)

Monsoon Operations

On 23 March the whole force was withdrawn and dispersed to Indian ports for refit, leaving H.D.M.Ls 1118, 1119 and 1120 as river patrols in the Naaf, based at Tombru. At the same time all Landing Craft were withdrawn with the exception of 6 L. C.P.(L)s, which were retained for use by the I Corps Commander. This detachment remained in the Arakan throughout the monsoon, and carried on a mail and ferry service up and down the Naaf river covering on an average 70 miles each day.

* During this period of operations L.C.Ms of 42 and 47 Flotillas gave valuable aid to XV Corps by ferrying stores between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar. They also assisted in the evacuation of the wounded further south. The H.D.M.Ls which had been left in Burmese waters did not allow the Japanese to forget that the R.I.N. was still interested in them and they carried out a number of bombardments in the southern reaches of the Naaf river. On 28 July, H.D.M.L. 1118 was engaged by Japanese 75-mm guns situated on the Mayu range south of Maungdaw. A number of near misses . were suffered, and although the range was too great for the H.D.M.Ls’ guns, army batteries were able to reply effectively. On 12 August, at 2300 while this H.D.M.L. was patrolling the entrance of the Naaf River, a country craft was sighted, and as this area was prohibited traffic after sunset, the boat was ordered to stop. Instead of complying, the country craft increased speed and a burst of machine-gun fire across her bows greeted the challenge. Fire was thereafter opened on the country craft, which settled rapidly. On 12 September 1944, Lt. K. P. Nair R.I.N.V.R. Was patrolling in the same H.D.M.L., in the vicinity of St. Martin’s Island, and at about five in the evening he dropped anchor off the north-east corner of the Island. The H.D.M.L’s officers proceeded ashore to contact the local inhabitants, who reported that an aircraft had crashed about 2 miles south. The M.L. therefore proceeded with all speed to this position, and found a Spitfire which had made forced landing on the fore-shore. The pilot was rescued, and was landed next day at Kappagaung.

On the same 12 September, H.D.M.Ls 1118, 1119 and 1120 were ordered to stand by in support of the army south of Maungdaw, and early on the morning of the 13th the boats were in position approximately half a cable off shore. Patrols were carried out to the mouth of the Naaf river and in the area of Ton Chaung. At first no hostile activity was apparent, but shortly after mid-day, Japanese shore batteries hotly engaged the H.D.M.Ls from the

foothills, and the boats were straddled. One shell fell close astern of H.D.M.L. 1119, badly wounding the Oerlikon gunner. Again it was impossible to hit back except via the army, and although violent evasive action was taken, two more casualties occurred, while in the meantime the gunner died of his wounds.

On 17 October, H.D.M.L. 1120 was ordered out on an air-sea rescue operation. The operation lasted for six days and was supported by some eight R.A.F. Liberators, but the search proved fruitless.(125)

The R.A.F. Attack

Earlier in the month, on 7 October, a most unfortunate incident took place in the Naaf River. H.D.M.Ls 1118 and 1119 were lying at anchor off Maungdaw when two Spitfires were sighted approaching from the south, the aircraft being recognised as friendly. Shortly afterwards, the Spitfires, apparently mistaking the identity of the craft, heavily attacked the boats with cannon and machinegun fire. Two officers and seven ratings were killed, four officers and fourteen ratings wounded, and H.D.M.L. 1119 was sunk. H.D.M.L. 1118 was badly damaged and had to be patched up at Tombru before proceeding to Calcutta for proper repairs.(125)

Coastal Forces Re-Assemble

While these operations were in progress the 56th M.L. Flotilla, having completed its refit, was working up at Vizagapatam, and the 55th M.L. Flotilla was at Trincomalee and later at Colombo. The boats had been slightly modified in the light of operational experience, and Bofors guns had been fitted in place of the after Oerlikon. The 55th Flotilla had been strengthened by the commissioning of M.Ls 390 and 844, and was shortly afterwards to be joined by M.L. 843, bringing it up to full strength.2

Coastal forces again assembled in Chittagong during the first week of October 1944 and included the 56th M.L. Flotilla (Lt. Commander A. J. Howard R.I.N.V.R.), the 55th Flotilla (Lt. Commander T.H.L. Macdonald, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R.), the 49th (South African) M.L. Flotilla (Lt. G. Milne S.A.N.F.(V) and the 59th (Royal Navy) M.L. Flotilla (Lt. Commander A Campbell, D.S.C., B.R.N.V.R.). H.M.I.S. Barracuda, commanded by Lt. Commander J. H. Zappert, R.I.N.R., was the main base ship together with H.M.S. Kedah (Lt. Commander Allan, R.N.R.). A

new arrival was a fleet tender, F.T. 14, with Lt. J. J. Julings, R.N.R. in Command, and also present were H.M.I. Ships Sabari and Lady Myrtle, two small tankers which had been taken over in 1943 from the Burmah Shell Oil Company as forward fuelling tankers. These two little ships were deserving of special mention. They were specially hard worked, for they had to follow the M. L. Flotillas and Landing Craft, wherever they went; without oil and petrol there could be no operations. Owing to the nature of their cargo no cooking was possible on board, and no smoking could de permitted. All food was of the tinned variety and the crews of the two boats achieved special distinction, in that Government sanction was obtained for a special ration scale to be issued to them.

Operations were commanded by Commander R.R.W. Ashby D.S.C., R.N.V.R., with the title of Senior Officer Arakan Coastal Forces. His headquarters were in H.M.S. kedah, and his staff were Lt. A.G.T. Dane R.I.N. as Staff Officer, Operations, Lt. P.C. Pinfield R.I.N.V.R. as Signal Officer and Lt. Mc. P. W. Green-hill, R.N.V.R. as Intelligence Officer. The whole force was “under the command of Captain John Ryland, R.I.N., as Captain, Coastal Forces, while the planning of Naval Operations at Corps level was in the hands of Rear Admiral B.C.S. Martin, C.B.E., D.S.O., R.N., and his Staff, with Captain D.C. Hill, R.N. working at Divisional level.

The main base remained H.M.I.S. Patunga at Chittagong, commanded by Lt. Cdr. H. Revell R.I.N.V.R. During the monsoon the advance base at Teknaaf had been vastly improved, water had been laid down to the Jetty, and a pontoon landing stage and a basha camp were constructed.

The original programme was for one flotilla to be operationally based in the Naaf, a second flotilla to support it, if necessary, from Chittagong, while the third flotilla continued working up.(125)

New Season’s Tasks

The operations were planned and carried out mainly on information received from XV Corps, and were designed to disrupt Japanese communications from the Naaf river southwards to the farthest extent. When the campaign opened in October 1944, the Japanese forces were holding the whole of the Arakan coast up to and including two miles of the left bank of the Naaf river. The duties of Coastal Force craft were to penetrate Japanese-held harbours and inland waterways and to interrupt supply routes, and to endeavour to retain Japanese forces on the coast so that the Fourteenth


Officers of the Bengal with souvenir pieces of Jap shell fragments


Some of the speedy, hard-hitting units of the Royal Indian Navy’s Coastal Fo


At their Advanced Base on the Naaf river M.L.s of Arakan Coastal Forces embark stores and ammunition
for another sortie into enemy waters.


Dawn view of L.C.T.s and motor mine-sweepers passing the Mayu Peninsula on their way to Akyab Island

Army could drive forward to Mandalay and thereafter to Rangoon. A glance at the map will show the vastness of this undertaking. Little if any information was available with regard to Japanese coastal defences, but the M.L. Force was largely successful in obtaining this information by the simple method of persuading Japanese batteries to fire on the boats.

 

As the army pressed forward along the coast it was necessary to support each movement with motor launches and to cover the army’s flanks from surprise attacks by Japanese water-borne forces. The campaign proceeded in four distinct stages–first the capture of Akyab, second of Myebon, third of Ramree Island, and fourth of Tangup.

Little or nothing was known regarding the many and varied inland waterway channels. Army ordnance maps were the only guide, and intrusive operations had to be carried out using these maps and keeping careful navigational notes for subsequent surveys.(125)

 

 

 

Landing Craft

At this period also the R.I.N. Landing Craft Wing was beginning to concentrate in the Arakan. In September 1944 the first small party had left for Chittagong, and a month later Nos. 21 and 23 L.C.P. Flotillas, No. 44 L.C.M. Flotilla, No. 1 L.C.A. Flotilla and ‘A’ Beach Commando moved south into the Naaf River. They were housed in basha huts and tents in paddy fields on the edge of the river, in clean and fertile country. No. 1 L.C.A. Flotilla left for Rhegn Chaung, where they trained with the 26th Indian Division, and worked on combined operations pilotage duties in preparation for future operations.(125)

The Campaign Opens

The honour of opening the season’s campaign fell to the 56th M.L. Flotilla, and on 13 October 1944, M.L. 413 left Chittagong with a small party of army officers whose object was to land on Foul Island and rescue any air force personnel who might have found refuge there. At about 1400 on 14 October, the army party was ready for landing. The M.L. anchored off the north-east corner of the island, about one cable off the beach, and put the troops ashore. The whole island was combed without result, and shortly before six the landing party returned on board and course was set for Oyster Island. On the 15th this island was circumnavigated without sighting any signs of human habitation, and M.L. 413 returned to base at Chittagong on the 16th.

The previous day, two boats, M.L. 412 and M.L. 390, under the command of Lt. Comdr. A. J. Howard had embarked a Special Boat Section Party, and proceeded from Chittagong to carry out a reconnaissance of Japanese positions on Ramree Island. The weather grew steadily worse, with an overcast sky and intermittent rain, as the unit proceeded south, but late in the afternoon it improved to the westward. At 1800 when the landing position was being approached, the boats were silhouetted perfectly against the western sky, while heavy dark clouds hung over Ramree Island. Under these conditions, it was considered likely that the Force would be observed, and it was therefore decided to sacrifice part of the time ashore in order to facilitate an unobserved approach.

The motor launch passed undetected within 1½ miles of Rocky Point, and M.L. 412 anchored a mile off shore with M.L. 390 further out to the eastward so as to cover the approach from that side. The Special Boat Section, consisting of a Major and five other ranks, set out by 2130 but was delayed by heavy surf among the rocks, and did not manage to land until four hours later, returning shortly before dawn. There was some difficulty in contacting the party on their return, as they came out three miles to the westward, but they were eventually picked up. The only sign of Japanese interest throughout the whole operations was a green very light fired from Rocky Point as the M.Ls withdrew.(125)

RATHUNT

Operation “RATHUNT” commenced on 27 October under the command of Lt. Commander A. J. Howard, with M.Ls 412, 413, 419 and 844 sailing from St. Martin’s Island just after midnight. Unfortunately early next morning M.L. 412 was disabled by a fractured exhaust pipe, and had to return to base, but the rest of the force continued, and Foul Island was sighted just before dusk on the . 28th.

At six in the evening course was set to close Gwa at 12 knots but by 1830 a heavy rainstorm had obscured the coastline, and as it was considered impracticable to enter Gwa Bay under such conditions, the motor launches stopped and waited for the weather to clear. About 2020 it was possible to proceed and some 19 minutes later Gwa Bay was entered in close formation. A green signal flare was immediately fired from the hill opposite the entrance. No craft of any kind could be seen either in the Bay or in the Chaung to the south, but in the north-east corner four fishing canoes were seen paddling vigorously towards the eastern shore. One was overtaken before it could reach the shallows, and the occupant,

a Burmese, was brought on board. He declared that he knew nothing of any Japanese naval craft in the area, but stated that there were many guns around the southern beach; this area was accordingly closed, but no one was persuaded to take a shot at the naval force whose presence must by this time have been known.

At 2245 the unit left Gwa Bay and proceeded to sweep northward up the coast in extended port quarter line at 12 knots. Very shortly afterwards, M.L. 844 reported striking a submerged object, and was forced to stop one engine; she was therefore ordered to carry on independently to a previously arranged rendezvous position, it was the intention to enter Andrews Bay and to carry out a bombardment of the Jetty area, and by 0300 Money Point was reached without sighting any craft. The moon had then set, and visibility was so poor that considerable difficulty was experienced in entering Andrews Bay. Once inside, the Bay was searched in vain for shipping and the force stopped opposite Lontha Jetty at 0355. A Holman Flare showed up the Jetty area at about 600 yards range, and there appeared to be a few small boats lying up on the beach. The area was bombarded for 15 minutes and fire was well concentrated. M.L. 844 was overtaken on the 28th and anchor was dropped off St. Martin’s Island just after dark.(125)

Air Sea Rescue

During these weeks the 55th M.L. Flotilla had carried out an extensive working up programme, and on 4 November a report was received that a Flying Fortress had crashed into the sea about 110 miles south of Bassein Point. H.D.M.Ls 1120 and 1116 had already been stationed to meet just such an emergency in the area west of Cheduba Island. It was then decided to augment the search with two boats of the 55th Flotilla, and on the 4th M.L. 438 and 477 proceeded to the search area. By the afternoon of 6 November an area of some 1,600 square miles had been searched without result, and as the unit was running short of fuel, it was necessary to return to base which was reached on 7 November, after completing a trip of 990 miles. It was actually found on arrival in harbour that the H.D.M.Ls had been successful in picking up all but one member of the crew of the American aircraft(125)

 

.

Air Attack Again

The next operation was known as “SCUPPER” and was planned to sweep the coast of Burma from Cape Negrais northward to Gwa. Lt. Commander A. J. Howard was once again in-charge, and on 9 November he sailed with M.Ls 412, 419 and 413. Course was

set from the Naaf River well clear of any possible observation from land, and the search was uneventful until 1720 on 10 November when the unit was circled by one Dinah aircraft which kept well out of range. It was thought unlikely that the Japanese would be able to issue a warning in time to stop any coast-wise shipping which might be leaving Bassein after dark, and consequently no change in plan was made. At 1800 course was altered to close the coast, and at 2000 the Force reached a position some five miles south of Cape Negrais and began to follow the coast line northward.

By 0420 on 11 November the motor launches were one mile west of Gwa Island. The harbour entrance was closed but no ships were seen, and course was therefore shaped for base. At 1213 the unit was attacked by two Lily aircraft simultaneously. The first plane attacked from the starboard quarter and straddled M.L. 419 with two bombs, one member of the Bofors crew being wounded in the leg by machine-gun fire. This aircraft circled and attacked again from the port beam, and this time one bomb exploded on the port side of M.L. 419 and the other bounced over the motor launch and failed to explode. Meanwhile the second plane attacked M.L. 412 from the port bow, dropping two bombs which landed 20 yards off but did not explode. The aircraft also put a machine-gun bullet into the wheelhouse and, carrying on, missed the stern of M.L. 413 and dropped a bomb in her wake. All the attacks were carried out at Zero feet, and were pressed home with great determination in the face of heavy fire from the motor launch. The technique employed was skip bombing, and impressed all hands as being highly dangerous, although it had the compensation of being equally unpleasant for the attackers.

During the attack one aircraft was repeatedly hit by both 412 and 413 and the other received damage from 419 and 412, and was seen to enter the water with a great splash about 12 cables on the unit’s starboard quarters, while the other plane was found to be smoking from its starboard engine. During the engagement Fighter cover (P. 38s of the U.S.A.A.F.) which had been previously arranged, arrived, and the remaining plane was chased out of sight and shot down.(125)

Landing Craft Commando Raids

During this time the R.I.N. Landing Craft had been carrying out their first operation of the season. A Landing Craft Personnel from 21 Flotilla took part in a raid on Elizabeth Island, nearly 60 miles south of Akyab. A troop of 42 (Royal Marine) Commando embarked in a South African motor launch and after steaming south \

throughout the day they arrived at 2300 in Hunter’s Bay, off the north coast of Elizabeth Island. The purpose of the raid was to obtain prisoners and to try to ascertain the whereabouts of ah R.N. V.R. officer lost on a previous reconnaissance raid in this area. The area off the beach was full of uncharted rocks and shoals, and was surrounded on three sides by tall commanding cliffs, and jungle-covered hills. As the Landing Craft Personnel was heading for the beach with the Commandos aboard, what appeared to be a large Japanese Sampan was sighted off shore. It was decided to attack. At full speed the Landing Craft Personnel approached the supposed hostile craft, and 10 yards short the Coxswain received orders to stop. The L.C.P. missed striking the dark shape narrowly which was actually a rock. The craft continued to the beach and disembarked the commando party.

The Landing Craft Personnel anchored off-shore while the raiding party operated on the Island. About 0200 the Landing Craft Personnel went inshore to re-embark the party, but the propeller was badly fouled by a wire rope when only about half had been embarked. The craft was paddled clear of the rocks, and the crew stripped, and with a hacksaw began to cut away the rope. This took some 40 minutes, while the party ashore had been sending emergency signals for some time. The Japanese were approaching closer and could then be plainly heard, but in the end the remaining Commandos were successfully re-embarked with their prisoner After reaching the motor launch volunteers were called for to return and find one missing man. The craft returned, but after searching the beach it was decided that the man was not there, and the craft returned to the M.L. The Landing Craft Personnel was then taken in tow, and Teknaaf was reached late in the afternoon.

On 15 November, M.L. 412 and 413, embarked a Special Boat Section party and proceeded with two L.C.Ps in tow. It was intended to land this party in Cheduba Straits, which were entered at 2016 without incident, and course was set to close Button Island, and from there landfall was made 1J miles west, the M.L. anchoring in four fathoms one mile off Uga Chaung. The Special Boat Section left the ship shortly before 2200 and soon afterwards a green flare was seen, and a beacon fire was it on a neighbouring hill. It was obvious that the Japanese were not asleep.

At 2248 the landing party returned. They stat ed that they had closed the beach by the breakwater off Uga Chaung and had then proceeded to the landing position 200 yards to the west-ward. Immediately after the party landed, the green flare had been seen

and a man was observed patrolling the beach. The landing party provided sufficient information of hostile positions to justify a bombardment, and at 2320 fire was opened with all guns. No return fire was observed on this occasion, and half-an-hour after midnight the unit cleared Cheduba Straits and returned to the advanced base at Teknaaf.

A further operation on these lines was conducted by M.Ls 416 and 843. On this occasion the landing area was in the vicinity of Indin and information of considerable value was obtained.(125)

Refit

The 56th Flotilla had then a fairly long stretch of continuous operations, and it was time for them to withdraw and return to Madras for six weeks refit. The 49th Flotilla (South African) took over offensive duties in the Naaf River, with the 55th Flotilla in reserve at chittagong, and this was the position at

the end of November.(125)

55th Flotilla Resumes

In order to enliven the working up programme being carried out by the 55th M. L. Flotilla, a bombardment operation was allotted to this unit on 3 December, and M.Ls 474, 476, 477, 438 and 441 sailed at midnight from Chittagong, proceeding south of Cheduba Island. Landfall was made two miles south of Thames Point on Ramree Island, and as there was some time to spare, an offensive sweep was carried out into the narrows of Cheduba Straits. At 2045 the motor launches were engaged by a long range Japanese gun situated on Rocky Point, but the shooting was poor and caused no inconvenience, course and speed being maintained. At 2210 the narrows were entered without sighting any hostile shipping, and the force turned northwards to carry out bombardment of Minbyin. When some three miles south of Rocky Point, the Japanese again opened fire, and as the third shell fell just short of M.L. 474, course and speed were altered and the shelling ceased.

The target area was reached at 2340; the coast was closed to 800 yards and the bombardment continued for 20 minutes. At 0005, the cease fire was ordered, and the force returned to Chittagong on the 4th.

Then there ensued a period of comparative inactivity. The 36th R.N.M.L. Flotilla joined the 55th in Chittagong, and two or three operations were carried out to harass the Japanese down the coast, in order to keep them busy, and allow the new boats to settle down.(125)

“A” Raid

On 13 December, M.Ls 438 and 441 arrived at Teknaaf before proceeding on an operation to capture a prisoner from the Taungup area, who could give information about Japanese movements. Three army officers and eight other ranks were embarked with three canoes on the 14th, and the Force sailed for St. Martin’s Island, where anchor was dropped for the night.

At 0330 on the morning of 15 December anchor was weighed, and the motor launches proceeded, adjusting course and speed to arrive off Unguan Island at last light. At 2215 the coast was closed in the vicinity of Bell Rock, and anchor was cast 1½ miles off the selected beach. 15 minutes later the army party embarked in their canoes and made for the beach, reporting their arrival by signal 75 minutes later. It had been arranged that M.L. 439 would burn a red masthead light from 0100 to 0130 to guide the party back to the boats. When by 0330 no sign of them had been evident considerable anxiety was felt. Every attempt was made to contact them, a red Aldis lamp being flashed through, and Very lights fired. As may be imagined the Japanese became extremely interested in this free fireworks display. However, this manoeuvre brought forth its results, and the army party eventually returned to the boats, having been misled by a white light which was burning from the masthead of a fishing dhow in the vicinity of Taungup Chaung. The party was successful in capturing a local Burman.

After the soldiers and their unfortunate prisoner had been re-embarked, the unit proceeded to engage the fishing vessel. At 0350 with soundings of two fathoms, fire was opened, and the light immediately extinguished. It was impossible to close the coast owing to shallow water, and the results of the bombardment could not be observed. Shortly afterwards course was set to leave the bay, and the Japanese engaged the unit with mortars and one long-range

 

gun. No damage or casualties were sustained, and the motor-launches returned to base on the evening of the 16th.(125)

Offensive Sweeps

On 21 December M.Ls 477, 847 and 855 (the last two boats belonging to the 36th Flotilla), carried out an offensive sweep from Gwa to Bluff Cape. No shipping was sighted, and it was decided to provoke attention by illuminating a section of the coast with flares and carrying out a three-minute bombardment. Nothing was seen and the force retired to Bluff Cape. Kyint Ala Creek was closed and a short bombardment carried out into the anchorage without

any results being observed. On the 22nd the M.Ls returned to Teknaaf.

The last operation for 1944 was carried out by M.Ls 439, 440 and 441. The Force sailed on 26 December at five in the evening, and twenty-four hours later Foul Island was abeam to starboard half-a-mile distant. Course was altered for Bluff Cape, and a sweep was carried out up the coast to Honan Gon point. Andrews Bay was entered and a search carried out inside the Bay to within 1½ miles of Transit Hill. The main target for the night was Lontha Jetty, and this was closed at 2245. The three motor launches bombarded the area of the jetty and Customs House in turn, and also a small building on the foreshore which was unmistakably a Japanese shelter. The fall of shot was well concentrated in the target area. Course was set for Chittagong which was reached at midnight

 on the 28th.(125)

The Assault on Akyab

Planning

On 27 December 1944,

at midnight, Commander G. T. Moger, O.B.E., R.I.N., Senior Officer, Minor Landing Craft, summoned all Landing Craft officers commanding flotillas or squadrons to his tent, and informed them that at last the day had arrived for a major effort. After brief instructions the officers were dismissed, and by 0400 on 28 December the first L.C A Flotilla was making its way down the Karnaphuli river, securing to the Naaf river buoys at 1800. The anchorage began to fill up quickly as R.I.N. and Royal Marine Landing Craft Mechanized, Landing Craft Assault and other craft arrived in a long unending stream. Destroyers, sloops, British Yard Mine Sweepers and Coastal Force craft began to appear out of the blue.

On 30 December, the Senior Officer, 55th M.L. Flotilla, received a signal ordering him to prepare forthwith for sea, and to sail at dawn on the 31st for Teknaaf. The whole Flotilla sailed as ordered, and arrived at the advanced base on the same evening.

The New Year was celebrated quietly, with feelings of tense expectation, and on 1 January 1945 all senior officers were ordered ashore to be briefed, and it then became known that a large scale assault on Akyab was to take place at dawn on 3 January. This represented a change of plan, for the original assault on Akyab had been timed for a later date, coinciding with the expected arrival of the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 25th Indian Division (then advancing down the Mayu Peninsula) at Foul Point (opposite Akyab). As Japanese resistance grew progressively weaker,


Royal Indian Navy
Eight Amphibious Operations in Burma


however, it was estimated that the 74th Brigade would be able to arrive at Foul Point on 30 December, and it was therefore decided to take advantage of the situation, and attack immediately. The following Flotillas were at that time in the Naaf river–49th M.L. Flotilla, 36th M.L. Flotilla, 55th M.L. Flotilla. Fleet Tender 14 had been converted for duties as Headquarters Ship, as H.M.S. Kedah and H.M.I.S. Barracuda were considered to be too valuable as supply and base ships for this duty.

At 2000 Senior Officers of motor-launch flotillas, together with Commanding Officers of individual boats, congregated in F.T. 14’s diminutive operations room. Each motor launch was given specific duties, some for close support to Landing Craft, others as navigational aids; and a reserve striking force was also allocated.

Meanwhile the Landing Craft were preparing in a frantic hurry. Operation “LIGHTNING” as the assault was called, was well named, for there was scarcely time to issue operational orders and do all that was necessary before Zero hour. Numbers were painted on the Craft in chalk, mud or the closest available fluid; and scraps of material were hurriedly made into usable stores.

At dawn on 2 January Lt. Cdr. T.H.L. Macdonald D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R., in M.L. 439 proceeded to the mouth of the Mayu River in order to lay danbuoys as guides for the next day’s landing. The Navigating Officer from one of H.M. destroyers was detailed as Survey Officer. The buoys were successfully laid, and great surprise was experienced as M.L. 439 remained in sight of the Japanese battery positions half a mile distant without being engaged.(125)

Embarkation

On the morning of 2 January

scores of Landing Craft Assault were busy transferring the assault force from the American shore pontoon at Teknaaf to destroyers, sloops, and motor launches. Landing Craft Mechanized and Tank Landing Craft loaded tanks alongside the jetty, and Landing Craft Personnel raced round the harbour delivering last-minute instructions to ships. At 1100 a long line of craft and ships began steaming out towards St. Martin’s Island, anchoring as they reached a point some three miles south of the island. By nightfall, the ships were all assembled, and at 0400 the convoy and the Bombardment Force (H.M.S. Newcastle, H.M.S. Phoebe and four destroyers) began their journey down the coast towards Akyab. At 1100 on 3 January the release position was reached, and the assault, timed for 1230, went off without a hitch. Information had been received earlier that morning that

Akyab Island had been evacuated by the Japanese, and the bombardment plans were cancelled.

After the initial landing a ferry service was begun, lifting the 74th Brigade from Foul Point on the mainland to Akyab Island. Landing Craft Mechanized carried the burden of the load and worked without a break until the stores of the whole brigade had been transferred. The beaches at Foul Point were under the control of officers from “A” Beach Commando R.I.N.

Lack of opposition could not detract from the achievement of planning, mounting and execution of the operation in six days. For most of the Landing Craft crews, as for the troops, it was their first Combined Operation.. Some of the Royal Marine Landing Craft personnel had in fact, only arrived from India and the United Kingdom on the day previous to the mounting.(125)

Blockade of Kaladan

On 3 January the 55th M.L. Flotilla was sent to blockade the Myebon area, as it had been reported that the Japanese leaving Akyab Island were escaping to the south-east across the Kaladan river. M.Ls 477, 476, 438 and 439 sailed at 1808 and arrived at the mouth of the Sakaen river at midnight. M.Ls 477 and 476 anchored in the mouth of the river about 2 cables apart, while 438 and 439 were allotted the Myebon river and anchored east of the Myebon Peninsula.

Nothing was contacted during the first part of the night but at 0500 on 4 January M.L. 439 reported the Japanese to be in sight and all boats slipped and proceeded to investigate. The enemy, however, proved to be only a sampan with three fishermen who were duly captured while making efforts to escape. At daylight the Senior Officer ordered M.L. 439 to return to base with the prisoners for interrogation, while the remainder of the force withdrew slightly to a position one mile west of Sigyat, in order to observe as large an area as possible. There was no sign of the Japanese force during daylight.

At five in the evening, M.L. 438 was detached to blockade the Myebon river, while M.Ls 477 and 476 proceeded down the Sakaen river as far as its junction with the Lemru river. Nothing was sighted on the outward journey, but while the force was returning two buoys which had been spotted earlier were investigated, and were found to be buoys for a hawser boom stretched three-quarters of the way across the river. The buoys were brought on board and the boon} destroyed. At 1830 M.L. 439 re-joined, and the four

vessels took up night dispositions across the mouth of the Sakaen river. Again nothing was sighted during the night, and at five On the morning of the 5th, the Force withdrew to the previous day’s anchorage. During the day M.L. 439 surveyed the channel east of the Myebon Peninsula for a distance of four miles, while M.Ls 438 and 476 remained at anchor and 477 proceeded to investigate Myebon Creek, and to remove a small portion of the river boom which had escaped attention the previous night(125).

R.A.F. Attack Again

Shortly before 1100 five aircraft were sighted over the Myebon river. At the same time M.L. 439 reported that she was being engaged from the beach by rifle and machine-gun fire. At 1050, 439 reported having been attacked by aircraft and as having sustained both casualties and damage. 438 and 476 were immediately despatched to her assistance, and it transpired that M.L. 439 had sustained three casualties due to shots from the shore, and while she was replying to this, four R.A.F. planes in the vicinity had apparently considered the fire to be directed at them and had attacked. Twenty-one cannon shells from the aircraft had penetrated 439’s hull, and she was making water fast. Luckily the aircraft had immediately realised their error. Temporary repairs were carried out to M.L. 439, and the Force withdrew on being relieved by four boats of the 49th Flotilla.(125)

Landing Craft Base

The Landing Craft in Akyab in the meantime had moved into the Satyogya Chaung, a deep creek on the north-east side of Akyab with steep banks winding through a mass of damaged buildings, derelict rice mills and tumble-down jetties, and the personnel settled into these “billets” adjoining the Chaung(125)

 

.

H.M.I.S. Narbada & H.M.I.S. Jumna In Action

The two sloops, Narbada (Captain H.M. St. L. Nott, O.B.E., R.I.N.) and the Jumna (Commander K.R.U. Todd, R.I.N.) had sailed from Chittagong five minutes before midnight on the 3rd, and arrived at Akyab at 1345 on the 4th, anchoring between the main jetty and the wreck of H.M.I.S. Indus. They were among the first ships to enter the re-captured port, and at 1700 in the evening the Commanding Officers landed with the Captain, 7th Destroyer Flotilla, and inspected the town and beaches. They found the town empty and desolate while the beaches did not appear to have been in a proper state of defence for some time. Also in the harbour at

his period were H.M.A.S. Napier, H.M.A.S. Nepal (flying the flag of the Senior Officer, Force W) and H.M.S. Shoreham.

Early on 5 January H.M.I.S. Jumna was sent to Teknaaf to bring up army stores and petrol and she returned on the 7th. Meanwhile an assault on the Baronga Islands was planned, and on 6 January H.M.I.S. Narbada had taken up a bombarding position off the entrance to the Kywegu river. It was later discovered that the Barongas had been evacuated, and the operation was therefore cancelled.

The scene of operations now shifted to the Kaladan river. On 7 January, the 53rd Indian Brigade had contacted Japanese forces northwards of Akyab, and more forces including a Headquarters were reported to be at Ponnagyun, 15 miles up the Kaladan river. It was therefore decided that the Narbada and the Jumna together with M.L. 381 and 829 should proceed up-river immediately in-order to prevent the escape of those Japanese forces to the east bank of the Kaladan, and that on the following day a battalion of the Garhwal Rifles should be landed to attack them. The naval forces proceeded up the Kaladan unmolested. No difficulty was experienced in navigation, the numerous pagodas making good landmarks. The ships arrived off Ponnagyun at 0430 on 7 January, turned to stem the flood tide, and anchored. The two motor launches were sent on a reconnaissance along the banks.

At 1440 fire was opened on the Jumna from the east bank, and at 1442 on the Narbada. The fire was from 3.37-mm anti-tank guns in the village of Nagawetswe, and at about 2,000 yards range was very accurate. The Jumna was hit twice immediately and the Narbada quickly straddled. Both ships weighed anchor and opened fire with their main armament. After two 6-gun salvoes from each ship, one gun was silenced and about a dozen men were observed running for cover inland. A third salvo silenced the remaining guns and more Japanese soldiers were seen in flight. The ships continued direct bombardment whenever the hostile personnel were seen until 1500.

During this short action, the two motor-launches had sighted a party of about 20-30 Japanese infantry on the west bank, whom they engaged with Bofors and 3 pounders. Later the Narbada and the Jumna joined them. The Japanese did not relish the fire at close range and disappeared in disorder into the jungle. At 1615 M.L. 829 was dispatched to make a reconnaissance W the beaches on the west bank, and it was decided that a landing would be effected at any point 2 miles north or south of Ponnagyun. An army


L.C.As on their way to Ponnagyun in the Kaladan Valley with a battalion of Royal Garhwal Rifles


H.M.I.S. Jumna fires a four-inch salvo into the Japanese defenses


M.Ls of Arakan Coastal Forces sail into liberated port of Akyab


Reinforcements wade ashore at Myebon, supporting one another as they feel their way over the soft mud bottom

co-operation aircraft patrolled the area from 1415 to 1613 but the pilot caught only occasional glimpses of the Japanese, who had by then hidden in the thick jungle.(125)

The Locals Arrive

At 1745 one of the motor launches brought on board a party of local Burmese and Arakanese, and with the aid of an Able Seaman loaned by the Burma R.N.V.R., these villagers were questioned. Shortly afterwards other sampans bearing villagers arrived and about 30 local inhabitants including some ex-officials of the Burma Government came aboard. They were delighted to see the ships and willingly gave all possible information. They stated that Ponnagyun had been the headquarters of the Japanese Division; that there had been a general withdrawal by sampan and two or three large motor craft across the river from west to east during the previous three weeks; some 700 and 800 Japanese had crossed, taking some guns, one of the villagers stated that he had been supplying the Japanese Headquarters with fish. Most of the officers, he said, had left the previous day, but he had been to the Headquarters that morning and had seen one officer. He was at once appointed officiating bombardment liaison officer and a registration salvo was fired at his direction. By signs and interpretation the necessary spotting corrections were ascertained and applied, and some well directed salvoes were then placed in the area.

During the night of 7 and 8 January, the motor launches were used to patrol the river for five miles north and south of Ponnagyun, and also up the Kaladan river. The sloops kept the banks and river under constant illumination with search lights, star shells and snowflake, and the motor launches with mortar flare and six-inch Aldis, so that no Japanese troops could cross the river that night. At about 2000 a few rifle shots were fired at the Narbada but a burst of pom-pom fire discouraged any further activity on the part of the Japanese. At daylight many villagers appeared on both banks waving white flags and reported that the Japanese had withdrawn inland. About 0900 (on 7 January) an observation aircraft arrived and located some hostile bunkers near Ponnagyun Pagoda, and these were effectively engaged.(125)

Landing in the Kaladan

The assault was carried out on 8 January. There had been some delay in getting the troops into Akyab on the previous night, and so in embarking them in Landing Craft Assault, but at 1135 Brigadier Girtie arrived on board the Narbada by Harbour Defence

Motor Launch. It was decided to put the troops comprising one battalion of the Garhwal Rifles in at Nattseikkonbauk, and to advance up-river towards Uritaung and Ponnagyun. The assault was made by 20 Landing Crafts Assault supported by motor launches 381 and 820 at 1225. There was no opposition and the troops quickly occupied Uritaung. The Landing Craft Assault were then used to help them across Min Chaung and shortly afterwards they gained contact with the hostile force.

At this point H.M.I.S. Narbada was re-called to Akyab. H.M.I.S. Jumna remained in the Kaladan during the day and shelled Hinkaya in the evening. She returned to Akyab at noon

 on the night of the 8th.(125)

Assault on Myebon

On her return to Akyab H.M.I.S. Narbada had been informed that it was intended to assault Myebon. The operation was to be under the joint command of a Naval Assault Commander (Captain M.H. St. L. Nott., R.I.N.); an Army Assault Commander, (Brigadier Campbell Hardy, D.S.O., R.M.) and an Air Assault Commander Squadron (Leader D.T. Lees, R.A.F.).

Brigadier Campbell Hardy and Sqd/Ldr Lees embarked at 1800, and the Narbada with M.L. 854 sailed for Frederick Island, anchoring about 1½ miles west of the Island at 2245 on the 8th. There was no chart of the Myebon river or its approaches north of Frederick Island. At 0600 the three assault commanders boarded M.L. 854. The channel towards Myebon was sounded by echo-sounders, and four danbuoys were laid to mark the best water. From this preliminary survey it was evident that it would be possible to bring the sloops in to about 8,000 yards from Myebon Peninsula, though this would involve the crossing of a long bar by night with only 13 feet of water over it.(125)

Reconnaissance

M.L. 854 then stood in towards the Peninsula to examine the beaches. She proceeded within 300 yards of Charlie and Baker beaches, and had a clear view of the obstructions on the former beach, which consisted of a length of about 400 yards of large wooden stakes, about 10 inches in diameter and 15 feet high, and set 8 to 10 feet apart. After this examination M.L. 854 turned and proceeded down river, when the Japanese troops suddenly opened accurate 20-mm and machine-gun fire on her. The first shell struck the wheelhouse scuttle, passing through the wheelhouse and out the other side, a second passed through the engine-room and several


Burma
R.I.N. Operational Area

others hit the ship. M.L. 854 returned the fire with all her weapons, and apart from two injured by slight splinters, she sustained no casualties.

While the Narbada was returning to Akyab a formation of eight Japanese Zeros was sighted at 8,000 feet, approaching along the coast. It was at first thought that they were to attack the Narbada, but it soon became apparent that they were heading for Akyab. A warning was at once transmitted, with the result that ships there were ready to receive the Zeros on arrival. The Narbada opened fire with four-inch guns, but no hits were claimed.

The Narbada reached Akyab on the afternoon of the 9th, and early next morning a single Japanese aircraft flew low over the ship and dropped bombs on the Landing Craft base in Satyoga Creek, causing some casualties. One craft of the 41st L.C.M. Flotilla was straddled by a stick of bombs, several ratings being killed and two officers wounded.(125)

Plan of the Assault

The planning of the assault on Myebon was now being undertaken and it was decided that the only beach suitable for the assault was Charlie, as the other beaches had neither sufficient exits nor suitable terrain to establish beachheads. As there was an extensive mud flat off this beach, it was necessary for the assault to be made at, or just before, high water.

Final briefing took place on board the Narbada at 2000 on the 10th, and whole of the 11th was spent in loading. The 3rd Commando Brigade Headquarters, No. 42 Commando and No. 6 Mobile Surgical Unit (comprising 573 officers and men) were embarked in the Narbada, No. 5 Commando (about 450 men) in the Jumna, No. 44 Commando in 4 minesweepers, No. 1 Commando into L.C.Is, and tanks, vehicles, guns, bulldozers, and stores in Tank Landing Craft and Landing Craft Mechanized.

H-hour was 0830 on 12 January, and on that day the Narbada and the Jumna proceeded up channel to their bombarding positions, and H.D.M.L. 1248 carried out a survey of the inner beaches inner harbour which proved invaluable.(125)

The Convoy Sets Out

The convoy formed up at Akyab at 1700 on the 11 th, consisted of M.L. 830 as navigational leader; L.C.Ms 1-12, each towing one L.C.A.; B.Y.MS. 2204 and 2148 each towing 3 L.C.As. L.C.I.(L)s 286, 265, and 287 each towing one L.C.S. (M); L.C.Ts 2320,

2444, 2435 and 2361 each towing one L.C.P.; L.C.T. 2450, and M.M.S. 200 and 201. The convoy had a safe passage and was sighted from the Narbada anchored at the release position, at 0530 on 12 January.

Arrangements for disembarking troops into L.C.As and L.C Ms from the two sloops worked well, and all troops were out of ships and into their craft, within 23 minutes after the first craft came alongside(125).

A Daring Operation

On the previous night a clever and daring operation had been carried out by M.L. 854. With a view to destroy beach obstacles three canoes were launched from this M.L. at low water at 0243 on the morning of the 12th. The canoes were paddled towards the wooden stakes on Charlie Beach. 25 two-pounder charges were connected to the stakes at mud level, in 3 ring mains of cortex; each ring main was primed with two delay pencils of six hours duration and initiated at 0001. The canoes then returned to the M.L., which remained close inshore till 0630, when she reported that detonation had occurred, and that about 25 stakes had been destroyed.(125)

 

The Army Goes Ashore

The first assault wave left the Narbada at 0720 and touched down exactly at 0830 and the second wave with Brigadier Hardy followed closely. No difficulty was experienced in passing through the gap in the stakes but shortly after deployment the craft came under fire, which was returned by supporting M.Ls and L.C.S. (M)s. 2 L.C.As, 1 L.C.P. and 1L.C.O.C.U. were hit and suffered casualties.

The first wave quickly overcame opposition close to and on the beaches. Two casualties occurred due to the mines laid on the beach, and among the earlier casualties by mine was Lt. R.V. Kettle, R.I.N.V.R., the principal Beachmaster. The L.C.Ts forming the second wave came in to land at H+15, and an attempt was made to put them ashore on Charlie Beach. The first tank ashore became entirely bogged. Commander R.D. Hughes, R.N. then landed Brigadier Hardy, and himself led L.C.Ts 2420, 2361 and 2444 to Dog Beach, but landings proved impossible. The L.C.Ts returned to the Narbada, and after consultation it was decided to try Baker Beach. While this was going on, the third and fourth waves were successfully landed at Charlie Beach between 0900 and 0945. The ferry service then began to land No. 1 Commando from L.C.I.(L).(125)

Landing the Tanks

Further attempts were being made to land the tanks. A tank corps officer was contacted, and arranged the disembarkation of 40 sappers and necessary gear from one of the L.C.Ts for the construction of a beach roadway on Baker Beach. During this operation six motor launches engaged Japanese forces who were firing from the east and west banks, and H.M.I.S. Narbada was taken into the Myebon river in support as far as the pier. It was an anxious passage, as the depth for a long way was 12 feet 10 inches, and the Narbada”s draft was 12 feet 6 inches.

At Baker Beach, a beach roadway was constructed in a remarkably short time and between 1320 and 1352 one tank and one bulldozer were landed from L.C.T. 2420. L C.T. 2361 was then brought in. She unloaded her first tank but this toppled over as it emerged. At this crisis the Japanese opened fire on Baker Beach with a battery of 75-mm guns. The first round fell “over, but they quickly established the range, and the commanding officer, H.M.I.S. Narbada signalled the L.C.T. to withdraw. As she left the beach one 75-mm round fell 20 feet over and the next 20 feet short, but she got clear with her remaining valuable cargo of tanks. In the meantime the Sappers and Tank Corps had righted the tank which had toppled over, and got it up under cover. The two tanks landed at Baker Beach were soon in action and proved most useful.

All loaded landing craft were now directed to Easy Beach. L C.T. 2444 was instructed to swim out his DUKWs (amphibious landing craft) and these were sent to Easy Beach.

While the attempt to land the tanks on Baker Beach was in progress, the Narbada had been engaging the first Japanese machine-guns which were sited in the area of Chaungyyi and were firing across the river, and later the 75-mm battery which had fired on the L.C.T. As soon as the Japanese realised that the attempt to land the tanks at Baker Beach had been abandoned they shifted the target to the Narbada. The fire was not very accurate, the first four rounds being about 300 yards over. Unfortunately one of these hit M.L. 831 and put her out of action.

When all craft had withdrawn from the river, there was nothing to be gained by remaining, so the Narbada was taken out of range and settled down to an area short of all the Japanese guns. The tanks were during this time successfully landed on Easy Beach, and at about 1600 landing of stores was commenced. This was completed by night fall. The following morning, the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade arrived under the order of the Naval Assault Force

Commander Arakan (Commander Nichol, R.N.) and Brigadier Hurst, and they landed at Easy Beach at 0730.

In all, on D day and D+1, naval forces landed 6,635 personnel, 41 vehicles, 71 animals and 325 tons of stores, and in the 27 days following, the build-up came to a further 17,050 personnel, 452 vehicles, 153 animals, and 4,200 tons of stores. H.M.I. ships Jumna and Narbada were kept extremely busy bombarding bunkers and other positions throughout the 12th and 13th. At 1015 on the 13th, 8 Japanese bombers (Oscars) were sighted by the Narbada and Jumna and soon they attacked the ships. Most of the bombs fell quite close, the former ship having two within 50 feet. The Jumna shot down one bomber and the Narbada bagged two. Later the same day the Jumna sailed for Akyab towing M.L. 831.(125)

Bombardment and Reconnaissance

After the departure of the Jumna, the Narbada remained in the Myebon area and between 14 and 20 January carried out 14 bombardments of Japanese guns and defended positions firing in all 1,151 rounds. On 17 January, reconnaissances were carried out of the Thegyan and Ganang rivers, and on the 18th the Monthinattaung and Yosanwin rivers, and Daingbon Chaung and other Chaungs were surveyed and buoyed to ascertain route for landing craft and M Ls for an assault on the Kangaw area, and also to see how far sloops could support such an assault. It was found that sufficient water for sloops existed as far as Pasung Chaung.


During the assault on Myebon 74th Indian Brigade lands from L.C.Ts to support the Commandos


With loud hailer and Aldis lamps R.I.N. Beach Commandos direct traffic at Myebon


Moored to the mangroves H.M.I.S. Narbada trains her guns on the enemy’s coastal supply road


The Kangaw beach-head

(125)

 

1943

In January of 1943

 the head of government in Japan, General Hideki Tojo announced that soon Burma would become an independent nation.

 

[Burma / Myanmar, (formerly British)

 

The Dai Nippon Occupation Burma Postal history

 

というわけで、今日は誕生日ネタのマテリアルを1点。


 この葉書は、太平洋戦争中の1943年、

 

ThIs Card from the camp Morumen (Mawlamyaing) or Moulnei Burma(Myanmar),

was offered to women of Sumatra Medan destined place of internment

under the Japanese military occupation of Burma under Japanese occupation also.

1943, during World War II, the Japanese military

was built connecting the 415 kilometers between

Taimentetsudo (Burma) (Thailand) = Tanbyuzaya Nonpuradokku.

Prisoner of war of the coalition forces to mobilize in this construction,

the Japanese army is provided with a “concentration camp Tai”,

where the camp at six minutes have been installed across the two regions of Thailand and Burma.

This postcard, in one such camp prisoners were held out,

to the back side, the basic wording has been printed in advance,

you may have worked in the description of 10 cents per day.

In addition, images (click to enlarge) was scanned directly from

the works exhibited in the exhibition of stamps that <JAPEX> in 2004. As a result, if you use a color copy,

in order to clarify the distinction between actual and copy,

copy that according to the rules of the Stamp Exhibition to shrink,

making it shrink back is not a copy of the original size.

Now, Please pay attention to signs of pre-censorship was pressed on the surface of the postcard.

Date has been written into it, has become a January 22, 1943.

In addition, the sign of the person in charge is included censorship firm also named Naito.

Although a product of chance,

exactly, for Yosuke Naito was born in January 22 is attached to and feel very material.

I’ve heard and that he had said has attracted the mail collector prominent there, for fun at all,

postmarked on my birthday of up to now from the 19th century has been pressed,

at one time or another There there may not look so bad in the form of philately enjoy such

 

original info in Japanese language

 

日本軍占領下のビルマ(ミャンマー)・モールメン(モーラミャイン)収容所から、

 

 

 

同じく日本軍占領下のスマトラ島メダンの女性抑留所宛に差し出されたものです。

 太平洋戦争中の1943年、日本軍はノンプラドック(タイ)=タンビュザヤ(ビルマ)間の415キロメートルを結ぶ泰緬鉄道を建設しました。

この建設工事に連合軍の俘虜を動員するため、日本軍は“泰俘虜収容所”を設け、

タイ・ビルマの両地域にまたがって6ヶ所の収容所分所が設置されています。

 この葉書は、そうした収容所の捕虜が差し出した1枚で、裏面には、基本的な文面があらかじめ印刷されており、1日10㌣で働いているとの記述もあります。なお、画像(クリックすると拡大されます)は、2004年に<JAPEX>という切手の展覧会に出品した作品の中からそのままスキャンしました。この結果、カラー・コピーを使う場合には、現物とコピーの区別を明瞭にするため、コピーは縮小するという切手展のルールに従って、裏面のコピーが原寸ではなく縮小になっています。

 さて、葉書の表面に押された検閲済の印にご注目ください。そこに書き込まれている日付は、昭和18年1月22日となっています。また、検閲担当者の印には内藤という名前もしっかり入っています。

 偶然の産物とはいえ、まさに、1月22日生まれの内藤陽介にとっては、非常に愛着を感じるマテリアルです。

 いつだったか、ある著名な収集家が、全くのお遊びで、19世紀から現在にいたるまでの自分の誕生日の消印が押された郵便物を集めている言っていたことをと聞いたことがありますが、こういう形でフィラテリーを楽しんでみるのも悪くないのかもしれませ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1943

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (Feb. 11) postcard franked with 2c on ½a on 2 sen Showa (Scott 2N15), and Unoverprinted Japan 1s Showa tied by ‘Rangoon PO Sorting’ cds. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange.

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (ca.) cover franked with 3c on 3 sen Showa with blue surcharge, also 1c Elephant block of four (Scott 2N23a, 51) tied by ‘Kominko Chin Road’ postmarks. The 3c surcharge is rare on cover.

 

 

March 1943

 

In March of 1943

Aung San was promoted to the rank of bogyoke (major general), a title he was known by for the rest of his life. He, Ba Maw and other Burmese leaders were brought to Tokyo to be decorated by Emperor Hirohito of Japan.

March 1943
Promoted to become Major-General Aung San of BDA.

1943
Invited to Japan and decorated by the Emperor with “Order of the Rising Sun”.

 

 

 

 

July 1943

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (July 12) cover to Japan,

franked with ¼a on 1s Showa single, two ½a on 2s singles, and 15c on 4a on 4s single (Scott 2N4-5, 19) tied by ‘Experimental PO’ postmarks. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange. Rare mixed-currency usage to Japan.

 

 

 

 

竹山道雄の小説「ビルマの竪琴」の主人公・水島上等兵のモデルといわれる僧侶・

 

This is the letter sheet after the Second World War, the former Japanese soldiers held out from Mingaladon of Burma

“to disarm under military post.”

I think it named former postal Japanese soldiers appeared in the “Harp of Burma” was addressed to the Japanese held out, roughly,

with what may be the image of things like this.

Mingaladon submissions was ground cover is in the suburbs north of Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon,

is the international airport and industrial park area there is a Rangoon.

Incidentally, Mudon was the stage of “Harp of Burma”, 30 kilometers to the south, is 13 hours by bus from Rangoon,

located further from the point of 8 hours by rail (Mawlamyaing) Morumen in southern Burma.

By signing the surrender document of September 1945,

to disarm the Japanese army stationed in Burma is made, the Imperial Japanese Army officers

and soldiers was sent to the camp as a prisoner of war.

Was held prisoner of war mail them to target these is the “disarm under military post.”

Rates are free from so-called prisoners of war is a kind of postal, stamps are not affixed material introduced here also.

Many of the military post has been left under the current disarmament is a postcard, etc.

and how to display the “disarm military post under” is mixed by region.

If the material introduced here, but has been pressed the “post military disarmament under”

in red stamp at the top of the cover, because at the time of arrival in Japan,

had been affixed to tape censorship from above that, is it hard to see a little is regrettable.

According to the writing of the sender, this cover is the submissions of October 5, 1946, “after the war,

We will be rude without hearing even once also on the relationship between the paper”

on the inside of the letter sheet is a sentence with the Because there,

for the sender, seems to have been first letter to Japan Sashidase become prisoners of war this is.

“In our on Gil, I think that it is a good way if you Dzu Kaerere until around 3 Once you have within this year and go home”

There is a sentence with the letter sheet In addition to this.

“The Burmese Harp” Initially, because had been serialized in the “Red Dragonfly” magazine until

February 1948 from March 1947, of timing, you may have set eyes on the series of magazines From this I. However, in reality,

in the Theravada Buddhism in Burma that monks play the music I have also pointed out a story of “Harp of Burma”,

so that is prohibited by precepts that impossible established fundamentally, actual “Aaron camp,”

“It is true that if you ask people with experience in prisoner of war in Burma,” Burmese Harp “is like that” I’m just talking …

 

origonal info in Japanese language

 

中村一雄さんが17日に亡くなっていたそうです。謹んでご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。というわけで、今日はこんなモノをもってきました。(画像はクリックで拡大されます)

 

 これは、第二次大戦後、ビルマのミンガラドンから旧日本兵が差し出した“被武装解除軍人郵便“のレターシートです。『ビルマの竪琴』に登場する旧日本兵たちが日本宛に差し出した郵便物というのは、大体、こんな感じのモノというイメージで良いのかと思います。

 カバーの差出地となったミンガラドンはラングーン(ヤンゴン)の北の郊外にあり、ラングーン国際空港や工業団地がある地域です。ちなみに、『ビルマの竪琴』の舞台となったムドンは、ビルマ南部のモールメン(モーラミャイン)からさらに南へ30キロ、ラングーンからはバスで13時間、鉄道で8時間の地点にあります。

 1945年9月の降伏文書調印を受けて、ビルマでも駐留日本軍の武装解除が行われ、旧日本軍将兵は捕虜として収容所に送られました。そうした彼らを対象に行われた捕虜郵便が“被武装解除軍人郵便”です。いわゆる捕虜郵便の一種ですから料金は無料で、今回ご紹介のマテリアルも切手は貼られていません。

 現在残されている被武装解除軍人郵便の多くは葉書ですが、“被武装解除軍人郵便”との表示の仕方などは地域によってまちまちです。今回ご紹介のマテリアルの場合は、カバーの上部に赤いスタンプで“被武装解除軍人郵便”と押されていますが、日本到着時に、その上から検閲テープが貼られてしまったため、少し見づらいのが残念です。

 差出人の書き込みによると、このカバーは1946年10月5日の差出ですが、レターシートの内側には「終戦後、紙面の関係上また一度もお便りせず失礼致しております」との一文がありますので、差出人にとっては、これが捕虜となって最初に差し出せた日本宛の手紙だったようです。

 このほかにもレターシートには「本年中に帰れるとしたら上々吉で、3月頃まで帰れればまづよい方だと思います」との一文があります。『ビルマの竪琴』は、当初、1947年3月から1948年2月まで雑誌『赤とんぼ』に連載されていましたから、タイミング的には、この差出人も雑誌の連載を目にしていたかもしれませんね。もっとも、現実には、ビルマの上座部仏教では僧侶が音楽を奏でることは戒律で禁止されているそうで、『ビルマの竪琴』の物語は根本的に成立しえないという指摘もありますし、実際にビルマでの捕虜体験のある人たちに言わせれば、「『アーロン収容所』は事実だが、『ビルマの竪琴』は単なるお話だよ」ということのようですが…

 

 

1st August 1943
Burma was declared an independent nation and Major-General Aung San became the War Minister.

1943
BDA was renamed as Burma National Army (BNA).

 

 The Burmese delegation was given a document that stated that Burma would become a sovereign nation in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

on August 1, 1943.

 

 Ba Maw was to be the head of state

 

 and Aung san the minister of war in the new government. Aung San’s army, the Burma Defense Army, was renamed the Burma National Army (BNA).

Read more about Ba maw

About Dr. Ba Maw

 

 

Dr. & Mrs. Ba Maw, Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar), in formal court dress, May 1937 in England for the coronation of King George VI

Dr. Ba Maw was born in Ma-u-bin on February 8, 1893. After his studies, he was attracted to politics, and for the next 40 years, was a leading politician and statesman in Burma (Myanmar). In 1937, Dr. Ba Maw became the first Burmese (Myanmar) ever, under British rule, to assume the post of Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar). He held the premiership until 1939. In 1943, he was again elected as Head of State of Burma (Myanmar). He then led the nationalist movement which culminated in the country’s declaration of independence on August 1, 1943.

U Kye, Dr. Ba Maw’s father, had been an official in the courts of the former Kings of Burma (Myanmar) – Kings Mindon and Thibaw. A staunch supporter of the monarchy of Burma (Myanmar), he actively opposed the establishment of British Colonial rule. He refused to serve under the British despite his fluency in English, and later fought in open rebellion against them.

Dr. Ba Maw’s mother sacrificed in many ways to send her son to the prestigious St. Paul’s Boys School in Rangoon (Yangon). Her selflessness inspired Ba Maw to persevere in his studies, and follow in his father’s footsteps. Through hard work, he earned scholarships at the Rangoon College and at the University of Calcutta. He went on to study law at Cambridge University in England and received his Barrister-at-law degree from Gray’s Inn, London, in 1924. He received a PhD from the University of Bordeaux in France.

 

The first Burmese delegation to Japan before their audience with the Emperor, Tokyo, March 1943.
Left to right: Dr. Ba Maw, Thakin Mya, Dr. Thein Maung, Bo Aung San.

November 1943
The British troops hiding in hills of Burma received Aung San’s plan to turn his forces against the Japanese.

 

1944

 

January,27th 1944

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Brunei, 1944 (Jan. 27) Official registered cover to Sarawak, franked with Japanese Occupation of Brunei 30c River Scene with violet straightline overprint (Scott N15) and unoverprinted Japan 1 sen Showa tied by purple ‘Brunei Central’ cds with two boxed registration handstamps alongside. Censor’s purple cachet with orange chop. ‘Miri’ backstamp (Jan. 28). Stamps with some creasing due to wear but a very rare franking.

 

1st August 1944
Declared Burma’s independence status as fake in independence day anniversary speech.

August 1944
Founded Anti-Fascist Organization (AFO) and became the military leader of the organization.

 

 

 

 

 

1945

 

 

軍政から民政に移行するための新憲法制定を審議してきたビルマ(ミャンマー)の国民会議は、昨日(3日)、

新憲法の基本原則を採択し、

1993年の開会から14年半を経てようやく閉会しました。というわけで、

ビルマと“軍政”ということに絡めてこんなモノを持ってきてみました。(画像はクリックで拡大されます)

 

 

National Congress (Myanmar), yesterday (3 days), adopted the basic principles of the new constitution,

finally after a year and a half 14 from the opening of

the 1993 Burma has been deliberate on a new constitution for transition to civilian rule from military was closed.

So, I tried to bring such a thing been entwined in that the “military” with Burma. (The images are click to enlarge)

This is the end of July 1945 the Second World War,

with a stamp on the envelope addressed to India proffered from Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon under British military administration,

which means “British military” in the upper left corner of the “BRITISH MILY ADMN”

Display of two signs that contain characters and new face Anna has been pressed.

In addition, the term “military”, is not that “military regime”

such as current, means “government by the military occupation.” Just in case.

In Burma during World War II, Japan was under military occupation,

the administration (Bamoo) has declared its independence Bhamo of pro-Japanese in August 1943.

However, seen as dense Haishoku Ya Japanese tactics such as repeated failure in Imphal,

Burma National Army General Aung San (Suu Kyi’s not your father is)

to the conductor, March 1945, Burma in the country under the leadership of Japan

and its The British turned over to a coup against the government, on May 1, will arrive in Rangoon.

British military administration in the region underwent re-occupied. With respect to postal,

we used the surcharge issue and what the characters that indicate the “British military”

in the prewar and stamps of “BRITISH MILY ADMN”.

These stamp surcharge, since September 1945 the Japanese army surrendered, but will be used throughout Burma,

the cover of this time, the previous July 1945 the Japanese surrender,

the Japanese occupied territory still some example of the use of that time it was left is an excellent point.

Of course, the people of Burma was getting the “independent” (whether formal),

the opposition to the war, British rule was revived under the Japanese occupation.

The United Kingdom in 1946 was also the transition to civilian rule,

the independence movement did not fit, and finally, after a transitional government of independent preparation,

January 1948, Burma was officially independent. Therefore,

the period of British military rule for half a year I did not only substantially,

that comparatively, the cover of Sri military force is reasonably apparent.

Well, the basic principles which was adopted yesterday, to guarantee the leading role of the military in national management ,

army be appointed by 25 percent each of the seats in the hospital representative

and the National Academy of regional representatives ,

of the three presidential and vice

such as a person, to elect the military, to ensure the provision of military power have been incorporated.

Also, “a person who is under the influence of foreigners”

is the president and vice are not familiar, bit San Suu Kyi was married to (and already dead) husband of the British

to become president and vice has been closed virtually. In addition,

the prospect does not also been shown time

and the start of the work of drafting the Constitution was drafted on the basis of this fundamental principle.

And it this minute, to migrate to (civilian government) is,

I will still take time for the time being is pure civilian rule (military government) current military government in Burma.

Nevertheless, the current military government of Burma, but has considerably extends the long term, to divide it,

nifty cover is quite difficult to obtain.

It is also easy to get that much better under the cover of

the British military administration ended in a short period of time, it is kind of weird story.

 

Original info in japanese language


 これは、第二次大戦末期の1945年7月、イギリス軍政下のラングーン(ヤンゴン)からインド宛に差し出された切手つき封筒で、左上に“イギリス軍政”を意味する“BRITISH MILY ADMN”の文字と新額面2アンナの表示が入った印が押されています。なお、ここでいう“軍政”は、現在のような“軍事政権”ということではなくて、“軍隊による占領行政”という意味です。念のため。

 第二次大戦中、日本軍の占領下にあったビルマでは、1943年8月に親日派のバーモ(バモオ)政権が独立を宣言しました。しかし、インパール作戦で失敗を繰り返すなど日本の敗色濃厚とみるや、アウンサン将軍(スーチーさんのお父上ですな)が指揮するビルマ国民軍は、1945年3月、日本及びその指導下にあるビルマ国政府に対してクーデターを起こしイギリス側に寝返り、5月1日にはラングーンに入場します。

 イギリスは再占領した地域で軍政を施行。郵便に関しては、戦前の切手などに“イギリス軍政”を示す“BRITISH MILY ADMN”の文字を加刷したものを発行・使用しました。こうした加刷切手は、日本軍が降伏した1945年9月以降はビルマ全土で使われることになりますが、今回のカバーは、日本降伏以前の1945年7月、まだ一部に日本の占領地が残っていた時期の使用例というのがミソです。

 当然のことながら、日本の占領下で(形式的にせよ)“独立”を得ていたビルマの人々は、戦後、イギリス支配が復活したことに反発。イギリスは1946年には民政移管も行いましたが、独立運動はおさまらず、最終的に、過渡期の独立準備政府を経て、1948年1月、ビルマは正式に独立しました。したがって、イギリス軍政の時期は実質的に半年間しかなかったのですが、その割には、軍政加刷のカバーはそこそこ見かけます。

 さて、昨日採択された基本原則では、①国家運営における軍の主導的役割を保証する、②地域代表院と民族代表院の議席の各25%を軍が任命する、③正副大統領3人のうち1人は軍が選出する、など、軍の権力を確保する条項が盛り込まれています。また、“外国人の影響下にある者”は正副大統領にはなれず、イギリス人の夫(すでに亡くなっています)と結婚していたスーチーさんが正副大統領になる途は事実上閉ざされています。さらに、今回の基本原則に基づいた憲法起草作業の開始時期や草案策定のめども示されていません。

 この分だと、現在のビルマの軍政(軍事政権)が純然たる民政(文民政権)に移行するには、まだ当分時間がかかるでしょうね。それにしても、現在のビルマの軍政はかなり長期に及んでいますが、そのわりには、気の利いたカバーはなかなか入手が困難です。短期間に終わったイギリス軍政下のカバーのほうがずっと入手しやすいというのも、なんだか変な話ですね

 

27th March 1945
Burmese troops throughout the country rose up against the Japanese.

15th May 1945
Met with William Slim of the Fourteenth Army.

15th June 1945
Victory parade was held in Rangoon. The Burmese forces participated alongside the British and Allied forces.

August 1945
The Japanese forces surrendered.

August 1945
AFO was expanded and renamed as Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL).

1945
BNA was renamed as Patriotic Burmese Forces (PBF).

September 1945
Signed an agreement to merge PBF with Burma Army under British command during a meeting in Kandy, Ceylon.

October 1945
Civil government was restored with Dorman-Smith as the governor of Burma.

 

1943, during World War II,

the Japanese military has built a tie Taimentetsudo connecting the 415 km between the non-Puradokku Tanbyuzaya

and Burma in Thailand.

The construction work this has been mobilized in large quantities such as prisoner of war of the Allies,

that from such as lack of schedule construction, pharmaceutical, food,

excessive weather conditions and harsh, which killed many widely known You.

After the war, the people who survived of them gathered to Tanbyuzaya, but made a memorial of the victims,

to the ceremony venue is also provided with branch office of the bureau Tanbyuzaya,

has also been used stamp commemoration such as those shown here.

After the war, the old Taimentetsudo there be too costly maintenance,

rail of some two-thirds of the border will be removed from the Thai side of the Burmese side and the whole line,

and now, Namutoku line of State Railway of Thailand, only during the non-Puradokku = Namutoku has been inherited. In addition,

in the heart of the construction of the past,

some of Kanchanaburi cemetery and war memorial of the prisoners of the Allies

is located in the point of a little over an hour by train from the non-Puradokku.

Taimentetsudo is, in itself, but if the target is intriguing human history have an interest in Showa like me,

six months where the camp was established across the two regions of Thailand and Burma

where the minutes ( In), if you have different types of postcards are used,

is very attractive for collection. In fact, the postal cult “concentration camp Tae”

I also may have collected piece by piece, previously exhibited in an exhibition mini-collection.

That is why, from people before, so once I wanted to experience the journey of Taimentetsudo, also on this trip,

go to Kanchanaburi was very looking forward to it.

Well, this time I do not worship the only part of the local Thai side, eventually, Tanbyuzaya

 

Original info in Japanese language

 

 


 これは、1946年12月18日にビルマ(ミャンマー)のタンビュザヤで行われた、泰緬鉄道建設の犠牲者追悼式典の会場から差し出されたカバーです。貼られている切手は、戦後まもなく、イギリスによるビルマ支配が復活した時期に発行された“戦勝記念切手”です。

 太平洋戦争中の1943年、日本軍はタイのノン・プラドックとビルマのタンビュザヤの間を結ぶ415キロメートルを結ぶ泰緬鉄道を建設しました。この建設工事には連合軍の俘虜等が大量に動員されましたが、苛酷な気象条件や無理な工事日程、食糧・医薬品の不足などから、多くの犠牲者を出したことは広く知られています。

 戦後、彼らのうちの生き延びた人々はタンビュザヤに集まり、犠牲者の追悼式典を行いましたが、式典会場にはタンビュザヤ局の出張所も設けられ、ここに示すような記念印も用いられています。

 戦後、旧泰緬鉄道は維持管理コストがかかりすぎることもあって、ビルマ側の全線とタイ側の国境から3分の2にあたる一部のレールが撤去され、現在では、タイ国鉄のナムトク線、ノン・プラドック=ナムトク間のみが継承されています。なお、かつての建設の中心部で、連合国の捕虜たちの共同墓地や戦争記念館のあるカンチャナブリは、ノン・プラドックから鉄道で1時間強の地点にあります。

 泰緬鉄道は、それ自体、僕のように昭和史に関心を持っている人間なら興味をそそられる対象ですが、タイ・ビルマの両地域にまたがって設けられた6ヶ所の収容所(分所)では、さまざまなタイプの葉書が使われていて、収集対象として非常に魅力的です。じっさい、僕も“泰俘虜収容所”がらみの郵便物はぽつぽつ集めていて、以前、ミニ・コレクションを展覧会に出品したこともあります。

 そういうわけで、前々から、1度は泰緬鉄道の旅を体験してみたかったので、今回の旅行でも、カンチャナブリ行きは非常に楽しみにしていました。まぁ、今回はタイ側の一部だけしか現地を拝めないのですが、いつかは、タンビュザヤとかパヤトンス、モーラミャインといったビルマ側のゆかりの地にも行ってみたいもので

 

 

 

 

今日(1月4日)は1948年にビルマ(ミャンマー)がイギリスから独立した記念日です。

というわけで、こんな絵葉書を引っ張り出してみました。

This postcard, August 1, 1943,

which was issued

to commemorate the “independent”

Burma under Japanese occupation,

 

ship Callaway has been drawn during the Pacific War.

Bird of imagination that is it that caraway, and are in paradise in the narrative Buddhism local, i

n October each year, votive candle to migration of the lake Inre put the Buddha statues (ship Callaway)

ship to imitate the bird The festival is also performed.

Incidentally, the back is like this in the (↓)

 

 

 

 


 この絵葉書は、太平洋戦争中の1943年8月1日、日本軍の占領下でビルマが“独立”した記念に発行されたもので、

キャラウェイ船が描かれています。キャラウェイというのは、

現地の仏教説話で極楽にいるとされる想像の鳥で、

毎年10月には、この鳥を模した船(キャラウェイ船)が仏像を乗せてインレ湖を回遊する灯明祭りも行われます。


 ちなみに、裏面はこんな感じ(↓)で


 こちらには、独立記念切手のうちの“独立”の文字を彫刻する場面の1セント切手3枚が貼られています。

 太平洋戦争中、日本軍がビルマの親日派に“独立”させたことは広く知られています。

この親日バーモ政権に関しては、

日本の傀儡政権に過ぎなかったという見方も根強いのですが、

真摯にビルマの独立のために戦っていたバーモ政権の関係者は私利私欲のために国を売ったわけではなく、

現在の視点から単純に“傀儡”と断じてしまうのはいささか酷なようにも思います。当時の国際環境の下で、

それがかたちだけのものであったとしても、日本の差し出した“独立”の名をとって本格的な独立のための一つのステップとするのか、

旧宗主国に操を立てて植民地・占領地という立場に甘んじ続けるのか、

そのいずれかを迫られたとき、彼らがどちらを選ぶかは火を見るよりも明らかです。

 もちろん、日本が彼らに“独立”を与えたのは、それが日本の国益にかなうからであって、ビルマのための自己犠牲ではありえません。

独立”したはずのビルマに1945年の終戦まで日本軍が駐留し続けたということは、そうした日本の本音を如実に物語っています。

 日本の敗戦後、アウンサンらは植民地支配の再開を目論むイギリスとの交渉をかさね、

ついに、1948年1月4日、ビルマ連邦の独立を勝ち取ります。

 第二次大戦の勃発から日本の占領時代を経て、戦後のビルマ連邦成立にいたるまでの過程は、

切手や郵便の面でも面白いものがいろいろとあるので、いずれ、テーマティク

調子に乗って今日もです。
まぁぁ・・・・完全なズボラですね♪

 

Today is an example of using a letter addressed to the American Airlines submissions Rangoon in Burma.

Letter submissions is

December 31 to 16 1943

 Rangoon, to London, to the United States has been using the path Teiso plane is canceled and air treatment in London to use the British Imperial Airways is in Rangoon censorship.
Rangoon occupation of Japan was on

March 8, 2003.

·
今日の使用例はビルマのラングーン差出のアメリカ宛て航空書状です。


ラングーンを16年12月31日に差出、ラングーンで検閲されて英国インペリアル航空を使用してロンドンへ、

ロンドンで航空扱いが取り消されて平面路を使ってアメリカへ逓送された手紙です。
日本のラングーン占領は17年3月8日でした。

 

 

 

 

 

BURMA: 1942, seven different definitives 3p violet to 4a bluegreen with peacock opt.,

scarce set mint hinged with pencil notations on some stamps,

ビルマ:1942年、孔雀4Aと青緑の7つの異なるオプト明確な3Pバイオレットは、希少なミントヒンジは、

いくつかの切手、スコット$ 1,286.00カタログ価格350.00鉛筆の表記法を使用して設定

 

ー。カタログ

 

 

Burma, 1943,

independence 5 C. rose rouletted canc. „

THATON 28 JUN 43” on reverse of small cover (bottom some soiling) Rangoon-Thaton and canc. on arrival

ビルマ、1943年独立、5 C.rouletted CANCローズ。小さなカバー(下部の一部汚れ)やタトン、ラングーン-CANCの逆のタトン628日、43″。到着カタログ

 

 

 

Burma, 1943, independence 9 P. purple, a horizontal pair, tied to reverse of cover „SYRIAM 16-2-45” used domestic

ビルマ、1943年、9 P独立紫、水平方向のペアは、 “Syriam 16-2-45”を使用して国内のカタログ·

 

 

 

BURMA: 1944 (ca.),

Burma definitive 10c blue ‘Shan woman’ opt. ‘Burma State’ two singles on ‘On His Majesty’s Service’ cover

locally used within Burma, scarce usage!

ビルマ:1944(税込)、ビルマ決定的な10Cブルーシャン女性のOPT。ローカルビルマ内で使用されるカバー陛下のサービスでは ‘on’のビルマ国家” 2枚のシングル、

希少使用!M)カタログ

 

 

BURMA: 1944 (ca.),

Burma definitive 5c ultramarine ‘Buffalo Cart’ opt. ‘Burma State’ horizontal pair on reverse of cover locally

used in Rangoon with nice advertisement on front!

ビルマ:1944(税込)、ビルマ決定的な5C群青バッファローカートに入れる” OPT。カバーの裏面にビルマ国家水平方向のペアは、

前面に素晴らしい広告とラングーンでローカルに使用!カタログ

 

 


 
The Dai Nippon War In Burma 1943 

History Collections

Source

125Flotilas M.S,. Burma Operation(1942-1945)

operation BY Coastal Forces(125)

 

Here they will stamp has been affixed to three cents a scene that sculpture the character of “independent”

of the independence commemorative postage stamp.

That during World War II,

 

the Japanese army was allowed to “independent”

to pro-Japanese in Burma is widely known.

For administration Bhamo pro Although this is strong also the view that was just a puppet government of Japan,

administration officials Bhamo had been fighting for the independence of Burma

sincerely mean that sold the country for self-interest is rather,

it would simply as “puppet” simply from the perspective of the current

I think also for the somewhat harsh.

 

Under the international environment at the time,

even those of only form, or to steps and one for independent full-fledged operations

in the former colonial power took the name of the “independent”

was held out of Japan it is Why continue to settle in the occupied territories, the standpoint of making a colony,

when it was faced with either of them, The choice is clearly better than they see the fire.

Of course, it gave the “independent” to them Japan, there is provided because it is in line with Japan’s national interest,

in the self-sacrifice is not impossible for Burma.

That continued until the end of the war the Japanese army stationed in Burma

in 1945 that should have been “independent” are clearly the real intention of Japan to speak for themselves such.

February began with a series of anti-shipping sweeps

 in which H.D.M.L. 1102 of the Burma Navy co-operated. On 13 January

1943 during a patrol in the Mayu river, M.Ls 438 and 476 were engaged by a battery of Japanese 57-mm guns. During the duel which ensued the launch escaped damage, but a small Japanese fishing vessel which had been ill-advised enough to put in an appearance, was sunk.

On the 26th, a small but highly successful raid was carried out in Hunter’s Bay. M.Ls 439, 440, 441 and 476 sailed from Teknaaf with a platoon of the Durham Light Infantry embarked, and at 2300 entered Myebon Creek. As the jetty was closed, figures were seen running towards the boats. Lt. Commander St. J. H. Heather, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R., in M.L. 439 shouted to these men to secure the boat lines which they proceeded to do. They appeared to realise suddenly that something was wrong and turned to run away but immediately all machine guns which could be brought to bear opened

Two of the Japanese were killed instantaneously and the third disappeared.

The troops were disembarked and proceeded ashore to carry out their demolitions. The launches carried out a general bombardment of Myebon village and of a Japanese machine-gun post which was disputing the assault. During this period Lt. S. M. Ahsan, R.I.N., with M.Ls 440 and 441, had been detailed to proceed up the river and look for a ship which had been located by air reconnaissance. This ship was found, and was engaged and subsequently destroyed by the two launches. In this action, Lt. S. M. Ahsan was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. By the time M.Ls 440 and 441 had re-joined the main force, the troops had been re-embarked, and the whole Flotilla returned safely to Teknaaf on the 27th.

Next day the launches sailed from Teknaaf to attack Kyaukpyu, but en route two small Japanese steamers were sighted and after an exciting chase both were set on fire and sunk. This operation caused a commotion in the area, and the element of surprise was lost. It was therefore decided to abandon the attack on Kyaukpyu. In the middle of March, the Flotilla carried out the last operation of the season, a running bombardment of the road between Donbaik and Mayu Point. At the end of the month, the launches were withdrawn from Burma for refit.(125)

 

 

 

October-December 1943

They returned to begin the new campaign in October 1943, when M.Ls 438 and 474 carried out a delicate and difficult operation. Their job was to land a small reconnaissance party on the coast between Gwa and Bassein river, and this necessitated the towing by M.L. 438 of a landing craft all the way from Chittagong. The landing was made successfully and the two launches thereafter lay up in the lee of Foul Island for two days to re-embark the party.

In November M.L. 477 carried out another operation of this nature successfully.

Two bombardment operations in December brought the Flotilla some excitement. In the first, the Flotilla carried out an offensive sweep from Danson Bay to Combermere Bay searching for Japanese shipping. None was found, and the Flotilla therefore engaged itself in bombarding Japanese held coasts indiscriminately. On the way home M.L. 476 ran aground on Gwa Island but was successfully refloated.

On 13 November, M.Ls 439, 441 and 476 set off from Chittagong to carry out a bombardment operation against Japanese positions


Burma
R.I.N. Operational Area

which arrived in Chittagong, and on 7 January these boats took part in their first operation. H.D.M.Ls 1120 and 1115 sailed to carry out three operations which, amongst other things, necessitated an entry being made into the Irrawaddi Delta, a strip of over a thousand miles in hostile waters, and absence from the base for 6 to 7 days. M.L. 477 was sailed to anchorage off Calventuras to act as wireless link, as it would be impossible for the H.D.M.Ls to communicate direct with the base in an emergency.

The H.D.M.Ls failed in their attempt to navigate in the Irrawaddi Delta owing to shallow water. All went well until the boats were attacked by Japanese bombers off Bassein Point. The hostile aircraft dropped six bombs and a spirited engagement ensued, the Japanese finally disengaging when the 2-pounders from the launches proved uncomfortably accurate. At this stage, H.D.M.L. 1120 developed engine trouble, and was forced to anchor off Foul Island to effect repairs. The report signals made by H.D.M.L. 1115 had been relayed successfully by M.L. 447, and this vessel, in order to ensure that H.D.M.L. 1120 was in fact safe, proceeded to Foul Island to render any necessary assistance. The H.D.M.L. however had already proceeded, and all boats returned safely to

Chittagong on 15 January.(125)

Change of Operational Base Teknaaf

Chittagong was proving more and more unsatisfactory as a base for operations. The XV Indian Corps, with headquarters some 8 miles north-east of Maungdaw, was anxious for closer support from the naval force, hence it was proposed that a proper advance base be set up for the boats at Teknaaf, and advanced base “Millie” came into being.

About this time the 56th M.L. Flotilla arrived in Chittagong and shortly afterwards 49th (South African) M.L. Flotilla also arrived. The H.D.M.Ls were strengthened by the arrival of the 145th H.D.M.L. (Royal Navy) Flotilla, and there was a healthy rivalry between the three navies in the ensuring operations.

From the end of January and throughout February the Japanese, both on land and in the air, showed an increasingly aggressive spirit. Several air-raids took place with Chittagong as the main objective, and the XV Corps was kept extremely busy on the Mayu range.

Between 24 and 26 January, M.Ls 447, 440, 474 and 476 carried out a bombardment of Ramree Island in the vicinity of Thames Point.(125)

Air Attacks

February began with operation “Pioneer ,

carried out by M.Ls 475, 440 438 and 477. The object of this operation was to enter Kyaukpyu harbour and destroy any craft which might be sheltering there. When the boats approached, the harbour, however, it was found that a net of rope was being dragged through the water by M.L. 475, and this eventually stopped the craft. It was found on investigation to be a wire boom, and considerable difficulty was experienced in clearing a length of wire which fouled the propeller. The boom actually consisted of 1¼-inch wire stretched across the entrance to the harbour from the southern part of Ledaung Kyun across the Reliance Shoal to the shore. It was supported by elliptical floats throughout its length, and at intervals by danbuoys heavily anchored. In view of this, it was decided that it would be impracticable to enter Kyaukpyu, and a long-range bombardment of Georgina Point was carried out without opposition.

While this operation was proceeding, the 56th M.L. Flotilla under Lt. A.J. Howard R.I.N.V.R., was carrying out its first operation, bombarding Minbyin, half way up on the western seaboard of Ramree Island. M.Ls 412, 419, 416 and 413 took part, and a successful bombardment culminating in a small explosion and fire ashore, was carried through. The Japanese apparently returned the fire, as red flashes were seen from the hillside, but no fall of shot was observed, and in due course the force returned to base.

During the night the weather deteriorated. M.L. 419 lost contact, and on the morning of 3 February this boat was attacked by 8 Japanese Zeroes, which dived on the boat out of the sun at less than 100 feet. The first attack was by machine-gun, and thereafter combined attacks, with machine-gun and bombs, were made by the Zeroes, attacking in pairs from either side, the first firing guns, and the second dropping bombs. The attack continued for four minutes, and the last two aircraft were hit by the midship Oerlikon. Three sticks of light bombs secured near misses, and-one, apparently a 100-kilo armour piercing bomb, made a direct hit on the after end of the bridge wing. The armour plating on the bridge deflected the bomb which went through the deck and through the side of the ship one foot above the water line before exploding in the water. The tail of the bomb remained on board, and though the launch was damaged, no casualties were sustained.

On 8 February M.L. 416, while proceeding on a secret mission, was attacked some 20 miles south of Cox’s Bazaar by a four-engined Japanese flying boat. The aircraft attacked from ahead, and one

bomb was dropped from 3,000 feet falling in the wake of the launch, about a hundred yards astern. Five attacking runs were made, on four of which bombs were dropped, but the launch was not hit. On the last run the aircraft came within the range of the M.L’s guns for the first time, and some good shooting was put in by all armament. The aircraft swerved violently and disappeared astern in a steep dive. Owing to the engagement the secret operation was cancelled, and M.L. 416 returned to Chittagong on the 9th.(125)

Amphibious Forces

During this period, it was necessary, in order to obtain information and to harass the Japanese south of Maungdaw, to maintain amphibious forces in the Naaf river. Motor launches frequently took part in these operations as escorts. The amphibious force consisted of the 290th Special Purpose Company under the command of Major Fairbanks, (christened by the sailors “Binks’ Navy”) and also some R.I.N. landing craft. The company transport consisted of five very ancient Indian Water Transport Steamers, armed with anti-tank guns mounted on wheels with Bren guns as anti-aircraft defence. The Commando was composed mainly of Pathans of the XV Corps and their own landing craft using Fleming lifeboats. The R.I.N. component was part of a landing craft wing force which had first arrived in the Arakan waters in December 1943, its strength being then 21st L.C.P.(L) Flotilla, and 42nd and 47th L.C.M. Flotillas. At the end of January some of the L.C.Ps had been employed in maintaining communications between the XV Corps at Bawli Bazaar, and the 5th Indian Division, located in and around Maungdaw, some twelve miles to the south. Subsequently they had been employed with the 81st (West African) Recce Regiment, and they were now seconded to assist the amphibious forces.

On the night of 12 February, the 290th Special Purpose Company was to convey two parties of the 81st West African Recce Regiment and V Force scouts from Maungdaw to Indin beach. M.L. 413 was detailed to stand by to assist, and when the second steam launch, Kanayki did not arrive, M.L. 413 undertook her duties and embarked a raiding party. Thereafter M.L. 413 and the steam launch Damodar proceeded in company to a point three miles south of Sitaparokia Rock, and at 2322 the raiding party embarked in one Fleming lifeboat and proceeded ashore, M.L. 413 anchoring seven cables off the beach. The Commandos had a successful time ashore, though the total Japanese casualties amounted to only five. The raiding force eventually embarked in M.L. 413 and returned to Teknaaf.

Next day M.L. 413 was again busy with the 290th Special Purpose Company, the object being to raid the coast in the area of Donbaik to obtain hostile information. A Commando party was landed, and in due course returned after completing its job.

On 13 February, 3 Landing Craft Personnel (Large) took part in a raid on Maugkandan and the village of Dodan at the mouth of the Naaf River. Three parties of West Africans were embarked at dusk at Kappagaung, together with local guides. Just before reaching the selected landing point, the craft encountered an underwater wire, carrying a number of small grenades, but this was successfully negotiated, and the beach was reached without being molested. The landing party was put ashore, and the three L.C.Ps lay off-shore to await events. A lone Japanese bomber spotted them in the light of a bright moon, arid dropped three bombs, but no damage was done. Soon after dawn, the raiding party returned to the shore.(125)

Shore Bombardments

Bombardment of Akyab Island

On 22 February, the whole M.L. Force was concentrated at Teknaaf. As the army required at this stage to keep as many Japanese occupied on the coast as possible, it was decided to carry out on the night of 26 and 27 February a large-scale bombardment of Akyab Island. Ten boats (M.Ls 474, 440, 441, 475, 476, 438, 412, 416, 380 and 831) all under the command of Lt. Cdr. H. M. Darbyshire, R.I.N.V.R., took part. The boats had an uneventful passage to Akyab and at 2300 opened fire together. Opposition consisted of machine-gun fire from the shore, and a certain amount of shell fire which was probably 75-mm. No damage or casualties were sustained, and the beach area was well plastered. The Force returned to Teknaaf on the 27th.

Early in March, operation “BIRDSEED” commenced. It was intended to interrupt any Japanese sea traffic in the vicinity of Ramree Harbour, and for this purpose two Forces were employed. The first, from the 55th M.L. Flotilla, was made up of M.Ls 438, 476, 440 and 477, and the second Force from the 56th M.L. Flotilla comprised M.Ls 412 and 417. The 55th M.L. Flotilla proceeded on 2 March and in due course entered Heywood Channel. M.L. 477 was detached with orders to enter Ramree Harbour, and the other boats commenced a patrol between Round Island and Sagu Island. From this time until early on 30 March a number of small craft and two fairly large fishing boats were intercepted. The crews

were taken prisoners and the boats sunk; the prisoners consisted mainly of Burmese whose duties were to ferry cargoes of vegetables to the Japanese garrisons on Round Island.

It had been arranged to rendezvous with the 56th Flotilla off Round Island at midnight, but, as these boats had not appeared by 0025 the motor launches re-formed and proceeded to Ramree Gates to establish contact with M.L. 477. This boat was not observed, and in actual fact her Commanding Officer, Lt. A. H. Russel R.I.N.V.R., having been able to enter Ramree Harbour without opposition, had taken the law in his own hands and was conducting a single-boat war of penetration. He succeeded in steaming right up Ramree harbour to a position opposite Ramree town, a distance of some 16 miles.

Meanwhile the 56th Flotilla boats, M.Ls 412 and 417, had been carrying out a sweep down the west side of Ramree Island. At 2355, about 1½ miles north-east of Ramree Island, a small country craft was sighted. Its five occupants, who were engaged in supplying Japanese garrisons with provisions, were taken on board M.L. 417, which took the boat in tow. The Force now proceeded along the southern patrol line towards Sagu Island, but no other ships were sighted. Course was altered to proceed back to base. The total result of the operation was as follows:–

M.L. 438 sank two boats and captured 12 prisoners; M.L. 478 sank three boats and brought back seven prisoners; and M.L. 417 sank one boat and brought back five prisoners.(125)

 

Interrupting Japanese Supplies

The prisoners were handed over to the Army Intelligence for questioning, and information of considerable value was obtained. It indicated that the Japanese traffic from Rangoon to the Mayu Peninsula was carried out entirely by inland waterways. Headquarters of what might be called the Japanese inland water transport were reported to be situated at Tamandu, from which place traffic proceeded through Myebon and Minchaung, and thence to Akyab. From Akyab the main channel of supply was the Kaladan River, and by Chaung to the Mayu River.

In order to cut this line of communications it was considered that the area between Gwa and Andrews Bay would be most favourable, as at this point it would be necessary for the Japanese to go into the open sea. A combined force of eight M.Ls (412, 416, 417, 440, 441, 439, 476 and 438) of the 55th and 56th Flotillas therefore

proceeded on operation “CORKSCREW” which began on 7 March. The unit proceeded uneventfully as far as Gwa Bay, with the object of attacking any craft which might be found there, and of bombarding the shore installations. However, no targets were found inside the Bay and the Japanese made no attempt to attack the launches, although the force was less then a mile from the shore.

M.Ls 438 and 440 approached Andrews Bay from the south-west, and while crossing Sandoway Bay three small fishing boats were sighted and sunk. Intelligence had reported a gun sited in the vicinity of the Jetty, but this could not be seen, and range was therefore opened to 800 yards and a general bombardment carried out. A certain amount of opposition was experienced, but this was silenced after the first ten minutes, and the whole M.L. Force returned safely to the Naaf River

 on 8 March.(125)

A Combined Raid

On 11 March, a combined force of the 55th and 56th M.L. Flotillas and Landing Craft carried out operation “SCREWDRIVER”, with the aim of destroying a Japanese Advanced Headquarters which was reported to be situated at the base Sitaparokia Rock. The operation fell into two parts: the first involved an assault by 44 (Marine) Commando on Alethangyan airstrip and village and was to by followed by the second part, an assault two days later in the same area by the 5th Army Commando.

It was intended to use St. Martin’s Island, some eight miles from the mouth of the River Naaf, in the role of a Landing Ship Infantry, and to embark troops from here into L.C.Ps, which were to beach at Alethangyan, south of the Chaung, on to an excellent beach. Accordingly, right under the eyes of the Japanese forces on the other side of the bank, the Commandos were moved out of St. Martin’s Island, and on the evening of 11 March, the convoy of 16 L.C.P.(L)s and supporting M.Ls moved out of the anchorage down river at 10 knots. The convoy arrived off St. Martin’s Island in darkness, and almost immediately the L.C.Ps began to embark their serials from a beached L.C.P.(R), the Marine Commando in the first wave.

Meanwhile M.Ls had already been busy earlier in the day, and had bombarded the Japanese Headquarters at Sitaparokia Rock, leaving one large and five small fires burning in the target area. At 0515, M.L. 412 came under fire from a light gun which appeared to be sited to the north-east of the rock. Fire was not accurate, and though the position was shelled by 2-pounder and 3-pounder

, results could not be observed, and it was considered probable that little inconvenience had been caused on either side.

The landing at Alethangyan was made successfully. Apart from a few snipers, there was no opposition on the beach itself but, from inshore, could be heard the chatter of machine-guns and the dull thud of mortars. Four craft were hit and were beached, disabled; during the night their crews took part in the perimeter defence of the beachhead and conducted patrols. Next day, these four craft were repaired and refloated, the Commando was re-embarked under cover of fire from M.Ls 416 and 417, and the whole Force returned to Teknaaf.

The second assault was carried out in broad daylight. As the original beach chosen was under Japanese mortar fire, a second beach was selected at Ton Chaung. The first and second flights had to negotiate a sandbar before getting ashore, but at 1100 on the 14th the first troops of 44 Commando were landed without opposition, and the remainder were disembarked at leisure behind the cover of sand dunes and trees.

The following day, the Landing Craft Personnel and two Landing Craft Mechanized were employed in the difficult task of evacuating the wounded through fairly heavy surf; several craft broached to, and the L.C.Ps which attempted to tow the stranded craft off came under Japanese fire from mortars, and. 35-mm guns. Four motor launches were therefore called out at short notice to assist. M.L. 476 laid a smoke screen, and the other three M.Ls were eventually able to tow off all the landing craft and escort them back to the Naaf river.(125)

Last Operations of the Season

Weather was then deteriorating, and it was decided to withdraw all except a few H.D.M.Ls on 23 March. On 17 March, M.Ls 412, 419 and 417 sailed for a last long range operation with Gwa as the objective. The Bay was well searched but the Force drew a blank, and it was decided to attempt to enter the river. Shallow water prevented this, and it was decided to bombard Coconut Point and the village beyond, from this position. This was successfully carried out, and the village was well covered by gun and mortar fire. As soon as the bombardment opened, the boats were heavily and accurately engaged by Japanese mortars, sited on either side of the river entrance and on South Point. Several near misses were suffered by M.L. 417, and a lively engagement developed in which the shore guns were eventually silenced. It appeared that

Japanese had reacted since the lost visit of the M.Ls. and had been provided with reasonably strong defences, which on this occasion were well handled. It was probably fortunate that there was insufficient water to enable the boats to navigate the river, as otherwise it appeared that the boats would have been drawn into a well-set trap.

During the return trip an army 97 aircraft was sighted, and at 1141 it made a bombing run. M.L. 412 was the target, and the bomber made a high level attack, releasing four bombs from about 6,000 feet. Only two of the bombs exploded, falling one on either quarter about 70 and 100 yards away. M.L. 412 was not damaged, and it was impossible to retaliate as the aircraft was well out of range.

The operational season was brought to a close by operation “Curtain”, a three-Flotilla bombardment of the coast between Indin and Mayu point. The 56th Flotilla was represented by M.Ls 412, 419, 416 and 417 (Lt. A. J. Howard R.I.N.V.R.), the 49th (South African) Flotilla by M.Ls 380, 381, 382 and 846 under Lt. D. R. Hollis, S.A.N.F.(V), and the 55th Flotilla by M.Ls 439, 441, 476 and 477 under Lt. Cdr. H.M. Darbyshire R.I.N.V.R. The three forces proceeded independently, each with its own objective. A number of fires were started up and down the coast, although little opposition was encountered apart from a certain amount of sporadic machine-gunning from positions ashore.(125)

Secret Operations

Before closing this account a word might be said about M.L. 477 and M.L. 474 (Lt. K. J. Baber R.I.N.R.). These boats were mainly employed on long range jobs of a secret nature, many of which necessitated 4 and 5 days at sea in hostile waters, and the carrying on deck of large quantities of fuel, the hazards of which need not be stressed. On one occasion M.L. 477 was bombed by 12 Bombers and Fighter Bombers, but escaped unscathed. On a similar errand M.L. 477 made contact with an Akyab sloop, a sailing vessel of some 60 to 80 feet in length. The M.L. ran alongside the craft, and a boarding party went on board to search the vessel. This party was immediately attacked by machine-gun and tommy-gun fire from aft, one rating being killed and six wounded. M.L. 474 therefore disengaged and sank the vessel by gun fire.

For the season’s work the R.I.N. was awarded 2 Distinguished Service Crosses and 5 Distinguished Service Medals and 9 officers and 4 ratings were mentioned in the Despatches.1(125)

 

Monsoon Operations

On 23 March the whole force was withdrawn and dispersed to Indian ports for refit, leaving H.D.M.Ls 1118, 1119 and 1120 as river patrols in the Naaf, based at Tombru. At the same time all Landing Craft were withdrawn with the exception of 6 L. C.P.(L)s, which were retained for use by the I Corps Commander. This detachment remained in the Arakan throughout the monsoon, and carried on a mail and ferry service up and down the Naaf river covering on an average 70 miles each day.

* During this period of operations L.C.Ms of 42 and 47 Flotillas gave valuable aid to XV Corps by ferrying stores between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar. They also assisted in the evacuation of the wounded further south. The H.D.M.Ls which had been left in Burmese waters did not allow the Japanese to forget that the R.I.N. was still interested in them and they carried out a number of bombardments in the southern reaches of the Naaf river. On 28 July, H.D.M.L. 1118 was engaged by Japanese 75-mm guns situated on the Mayu range south of Maungdaw. A number of near misses . were suffered, and although the range was too great for the H.D.M.Ls’ guns, army batteries were able to reply effectively. On 12 August, at 2300 while this H.D.M.L. was patrolling the entrance of the Naaf River, a country craft was sighted, and as this area was prohibited traffic after sunset, the boat was ordered to stop. Instead of complying, the country craft increased speed and a burst of machine-gun fire across her bows greeted the challenge. Fire was thereafter opened on the country craft, which settled rapidly. On 12 September 1944, Lt. K. P. Nair R.I.N.V.R. Was patrolling in the same H.D.M.L., in the vicinity of St. Martin’s Island, and at about five in the evening he dropped anchor off the north-east corner of the Island. The H.D.M.L’s officers proceeded ashore to contact the local inhabitants, who reported that an aircraft had crashed about 2 miles south. The M.L. therefore proceeded with all speed to this position, and found a Spitfire which had made forced landing on the fore-shore. The pilot was rescued, and was landed next day at Kappagaung.

On the same 12 September, H.D.M.Ls 1118, 1119 and 1120 were ordered to stand by in support of the army south of Maungdaw, and early on the morning of the 13th the boats were in position approximately half a cable off shore. Patrols were carried out to the mouth of the Naaf river and in the area of Ton Chaung. At first no hostile activity was apparent, but shortly after mid-day, Japanese shore batteries hotly engaged the H.D.M.Ls from the

foothills, and the boats were straddled. One shell fell close astern of H.D.M.L. 1119, badly wounding the Oerlikon gunner. Again it was impossible to hit back except via the army, and although violent evasive action was taken, two more casualties occurred, while in the meantime the gunner died of his wounds.

On 17 October, H.D.M.L. 1120 was ordered out on an air-sea rescue operation. The operation lasted for six days and was supported by some eight R.A.F. Liberators, but the search proved fruitless.(125)

The R.A.F. Attack

Earlier in the month, on 7 October, a most unfortunate incident took place in the Naaf River. H.D.M.Ls 1118 and 1119 were lying at anchor off Maungdaw when two Spitfires were sighted approaching from the south, the aircraft being recognised as friendly. Shortly afterwards, the Spitfires, apparently mistaking the identity of the craft, heavily attacked the boats with cannon and machinegun fire. Two officers and seven ratings were killed, four officers and fourteen ratings wounded, and H.D.M.L. 1119 was sunk. H.D.M.L. 1118 was badly damaged and had to be patched up at Tombru before proceeding to Calcutta for proper repairs.(125)

Coastal Forces Re-Assemble

While these operations were in progress the 56th M.L. Flotilla, having completed its refit, was working up at Vizagapatam, and the 55th M.L. Flotilla was at Trincomalee and later at Colombo. The boats had been slightly modified in the light of operational experience, and Bofors guns had been fitted in place of the after Oerlikon. The 55th Flotilla had been strengthened by the commissioning of M.Ls 390 and 844, and was shortly afterwards to be joined by M.L. 843, bringing it up to full strength.2

Coastal forces again assembled in Chittagong during the first week of October 1944 and included the 56th M.L. Flotilla (Lt. Commander A. J. Howard R.I.N.V.R.), the 55th Flotilla (Lt. Commander T.H.L. Macdonald, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R.), the 49th (South African) M.L. Flotilla (Lt. G. Milne S.A.N.F.(V) and the 59th (Royal Navy) M.L. Flotilla (Lt. Commander A Campbell, D.S.C., B.R.N.V.R.). H.M.I.S. Barracuda, commanded by Lt. Commander J. H. Zappert, R.I.N.R., was the main base ship together with H.M.S. Kedah (Lt. Commander Allan, R.N.R.). A

new arrival was a fleet tender, F.T. 14, with Lt. J. J. Julings, R.N.R. in Command, and also present were H.M.I. Ships Sabari and Lady Myrtle, two small tankers which had been taken over in 1943 from the Burmah Shell Oil Company as forward fuelling tankers. These two little ships were deserving of special mention. They were specially hard worked, for they had to follow the M. L. Flotillas and Landing Craft, wherever they went; without oil and petrol there could be no operations. Owing to the nature of their cargo no cooking was possible on board, and no smoking could de permitted. All food was of the tinned variety and the crews of the two boats achieved special distinction, in that Government sanction was obtained for a special ration scale to be issued to them.

Operations were commanded by Commander R.R.W. Ashby D.S.C., R.N.V.R., with the title of Senior Officer Arakan Coastal Forces. His headquarters were in H.M.S. kedah, and his staff were Lt. A.G.T. Dane R.I.N. as Staff Officer, Operations, Lt. P.C. Pinfield R.I.N.V.R. as Signal Officer and Lt. Mc. P. W. Green-hill, R.N.V.R. as Intelligence Officer. The whole force was “under the command of Captain John Ryland, R.I.N., as Captain, Coastal Forces, while the planning of Naval Operations at Corps level was in the hands of Rear Admiral B.C.S. Martin, C.B.E., D.S.O., R.N., and his Staff, with Captain D.C. Hill, R.N. working at Divisional level.

The main base remained H.M.I.S. Patunga at Chittagong, commanded by Lt. Cdr. H. Revell R.I.N.V.R. During the monsoon the advance base at Teknaaf had been vastly improved, water had been laid down to the Jetty, and a pontoon landing stage and a basha camp were constructed.

The original programme was for one flotilla to be operationally based in the Naaf, a second flotilla to support it, if necessary, from Chittagong, while the third flotilla continued working up.(125)

New Season’s Tasks

The operations were planned and carried out mainly on information received from XV Corps, and were designed to disrupt Japanese communications from the Naaf river southwards to the farthest extent. When the campaign opened in October 1944, the Japanese forces were holding the whole of the Arakan coast up to and including two miles of the left bank of the Naaf river. The duties of Coastal Force craft were to penetrate Japanese-held harbours and inland waterways and to interrupt supply routes, and to endeavour to retain Japanese forces on the coast so that the Fourteenth


Officers of the Bengal with souvenir pieces of Jap shell fragments


Some of the speedy, hard-hitting units of the Royal Indian Navy’s Coastal Fo


At their Advanced Base on the Naaf river M.L.s of Arakan Coastal Forces embark stores and ammunition
for another sortie into enemy waters.


Dawn view of L.C.T.s and motor mine-sweepers passing the Mayu Peninsula on their way to Akyab Island

Army could drive forward to Mandalay and thereafter to Rangoon. A glance at the map will show the vastness of this undertaking. Little if any information was available with regard to Japanese coastal defences, but the M.L. Force was largely successful in obtaining this information by the simple method of persuading Japanese batteries to fire on the boats.

As the army pressed forward along the coast it was necessary to support each movement with motor launches and to cover the army’s flanks from surprise attacks by Japanese water-borne forces. The campaign proceeded in four distinct stages–first the capture of Akyab, second of Myebon, third of Ramree Island, and fourth of Tangup.

Little or nothing was known regarding the many and varied inland waterway channels. Army ordnance maps were the only guide, and intrusive operations had to be carried out using these maps and keeping careful navigational notes for subsequent surveys.(125)

 

 

 

Landing Craft

At this period also the R.I.N. Landing Craft Wing was beginning to concentrate in the Arakan. In September 1944 the first small party had left for Chittagong, and a month later Nos. 21 and 23 L.C.P. Flotillas, No. 44 L.C.M. Flotilla, No. 1 L.C.A. Flotilla and ‘A’ Beach Commando moved south into the Naaf River. They were housed in basha huts and tents in paddy fields on the edge of the river, in clean and fertile country. No. 1 L.C.A. Flotilla left for Rhegn Chaung, where they trained with the 26th Indian Division, and worked on combined operations pilotage duties in preparation for future operations.(125)

The Campaign Opens

The honour of opening the season’s campaign fell to the 56th M.L. Flotilla, and on 13 October 1944, M.L. 413 left Chittagong with a small party of army officers whose object was to land on Foul Island and rescue any air force personnel who might have found refuge there. At about 1400 on 14 October, the army party was ready for landing. The M.L. anchored off the north-east corner of the island, about one cable off the beach, and put the troops ashore. The whole island was combed without result, and shortly before six the landing party returned on board and course was set for Oyster Island. On the 15th this island was circumnavigated without sighting any signs of human habitation, and M.L. 413 returned to base at Chittagong on the 16th.

The previous day, two boats, M.L. 412 and M.L. 390, under the command of Lt. Comdr. A. J. Howard had embarked a Special Boat Section Party, and proceeded from Chittagong to carry out a reconnaissance of Japanese positions on Ramree Island. The weather grew steadily worse, with an overcast sky and intermittent rain, as the unit proceeded south, but late in the afternoon it improved to the westward. At 1800 when the landing position was being approached, the boats were silhouetted perfectly against the western sky, while heavy dark clouds hung over Ramree Island. Under these conditions, it was considered likely that the Force would be observed, and it was therefore decided to sacrifice part of the time ashore in order to facilitate an unobserved approach.

The motor launch passed undetected within 1½ miles of Rocky Point, and M.L. 412 anchored a mile off shore with M.L. 390 further out to the eastward so as to cover the approach from that side. The Special Boat Section, consisting of a Major and five other ranks, set out by 2130 but was delayed by heavy surf among the rocks, and did not manage to land until four hours later, returning shortly before dawn. There was some difficulty in contacting the party on their return, as they came out three miles to the westward, but they were eventually picked up. The only sign of Japanese interest throughout the whole operations was a green very light fired from Rocky Point as the M.Ls withdrew.(125)

RATHUNT

Operation “RATHUNT” commenced on 27 October under the command of Lt. Commander A. J. Howard, with M.Ls 412, 413, 419 and 844 sailing from St. Martin’s Island just after midnight. Unfortunately early next morning M.L. 412 was disabled by a fractured exhaust pipe, and had to return to base, but the rest of the force continued, and Foul Island was sighted just before dusk on the . 28th.

At six in the evening course was set to close Gwa at 12 knots but by 1830 a heavy rainstorm had obscured the coastline, and as it was considered impracticable to enter Gwa Bay under such conditions, the motor launches stopped and waited for the weather to clear. About 2020 it was possible to proceed and some 19 minutes later Gwa Bay was entered in close formation. A green signal flare was immediately fired from the hill opposite the entrance. No craft of any kind could be seen either in the Bay or in the Chaung to the south, but in the north-east corner four fishing canoes were seen paddling vigorously towards the eastern shore. One was overtaken before it could reach the shallows, and the occupant,

a Burmese, was brought on board. He declared that he knew nothing of any Japanese naval craft in the area, but stated that there were many guns around the southern beach; this area was accordingly closed, but no one was persuaded to take a shot at the naval force whose presence must by this time have been known.

At 2245 the unit left Gwa Bay and proceeded to sweep northward up the coast in extended port quarter line at 12 knots. Very shortly afterwards, M.L. 844 reported striking a submerged object, and was forced to stop one engine; she was therefore ordered to carry on independently to a previously arranged rendezvous position, it was the intention to enter Andrews Bay and to carry out a bombardment of the Jetty area, and by 0300 Money Point was reached without sighting any craft. The moon had then set, and visibility was so poor that considerable difficulty was experienced in entering Andrews Bay. Once inside, the Bay was searched in vain for shipping and the force stopped opposite Lontha Jetty at 0355. A Holman Flare showed up the Jetty area at about 600 yards range, and there appeared to be a few small boats lying up on the beach. The area was bombarded for 15 minutes and fire was well concentrated. M.L. 844 was overtaken on the 28th and anchor was dropped off St. Martin’s Island just after dark.(125)

Air Sea Rescue

During these weeks the 55th M.L. Flotilla had carried out an extensive working up programme, and on 4 November a report was received that a Flying Fortress had crashed into the sea about 110 miles south of Bassein Point. H.D.M.Ls 1120 and 1116 had already been stationed to meet just such an emergency in the area west of Cheduba Island. It was then decided to augment the search with two boats of the 55th Flotilla, and on the 4th M.L. 438 and 477 proceeded to the search area. By the afternoon of 6 November an area of some 1,600 square miles had been searched without result, and as the unit was running short of fuel, it was necessary to return to base which was reached on 7 November, after completing a trip of 990 miles. It was actually found on arrival in harbour that the H.D.M.Ls had been successful in picking up all but one member of the crew of the American aircraft(125)

 

.

Air Attack Again

The next operation was known as “SCUPPER” and was planned to sweep the coast of Burma from Cape Negrais northward to Gwa. Lt. Commander A. J. Howard was once again in-charge, and on 9 November he sailed with M.Ls 412, 419 and 413. Course was

set from the Naaf River well clear of any possible observation from land, and the search was uneventful until 1720 on 10 November when the unit was circled by one Dinah aircraft which kept well out of range. It was thought unlikely that the Japanese would be able to issue a warning in time to stop any coast-wise shipping which might be leaving Bassein after dark, and consequently no change in plan was made. At 1800 course was altered to close the coast, and at 2000 the Force reached a position some five miles south of Cape Negrais and began to follow the coast line northward.

By 0420 on 11 November the motor launches were one mile west of Gwa Island. The harbour entrance was closed but no ships were seen, and course was therefore shaped for base. At 1213 the unit was attacked by two Lily aircraft simultaneously. The first plane attacked from the starboard quarter and straddled M.L. 419 with two bombs, one member of the Bofors crew being wounded in the leg by machine-gun fire. This aircraft circled and attacked again from the port beam, and this time one bomb exploded on the port side of M.L. 419 and the other bounced over the motor launch and failed to explode. Meanwhile the second plane attacked M.L. 412 from the port bow, dropping two bombs which landed 20 yards off but did not explode. The aircraft also put a machine-gun bullet into the wheelhouse and, carrying on, missed the stern of M.L. 413 and dropped a bomb in her wake. All the attacks were carried out at Zero feet, and were pressed home with great determination in the face of heavy fire from the motor launch. The technique employed was skip bombing, and impressed all hands as being highly dangerous, although it had the compensation of being equally unpleasant for the attackers.

During the attack one aircraft was repeatedly hit by both 412 and 413 and the other received damage from 419 and 412, and was seen to enter the water with a great splash about 12 cables on the unit’s starboard quarters, while the other plane was found to be smoking from its starboard engine. During the engagement Fighter cover (P. 38s of the U.S.A.A.F.) which had been previously arranged, arrived, and the remaining plane was chased out of sight and shot down.(125)

Landing Craft Commando Raids

During this time the R.I.N. Landing Craft had been carrying out their first operation of the season. A Landing Craft Personnel from 21 Flotilla took part in a raid on Elizabeth Island, nearly 60 miles south of Akyab. A troop of 42 (Royal Marine) Commando embarked in a South African motor launch and after steaming south \

throughout the day they arrived at 2300 in Hunter’s Bay, off the north coast of Elizabeth Island. The purpose of the raid was to obtain prisoners and to try to ascertain the whereabouts of ah R.N. V.R. officer lost on a previous reconnaissance raid in this area. The area off the beach was full of uncharted rocks and shoals, and was surrounded on three sides by tall commanding cliffs, and jungle-covered hills. As the Landing Craft Personnel was heading for the beach with the Commandos aboard, what appeared to be a large Japanese Sampan was sighted off shore. It was decided to attack. At full speed the Landing Craft Personnel approached the supposed hostile craft, and 10 yards short the Coxswain received orders to stop. The L.C.P. missed striking the dark shape narrowly which was actually a rock. The craft continued to the beach and disembarked the commando party.

The Landing Craft Personnel anchored off-shore while the raiding party operated on the Island. About 0200 the Landing Craft Personnel went inshore to re-embark the party, but the propeller was badly fouled by a wire rope when only about half had been embarked. The craft was paddled clear of the rocks, and the crew stripped, and with a hacksaw began to cut away the rope. This took some 40 minutes, while the party ashore had been sending emergency signals for some time. The Japanese were approaching closer and could then be plainly heard, but in the end the remaining Commandos were successfully re-embarked with their prisoner After reaching the motor launch volunteers were called for to return and find one missing man. The craft returned, but after searching the beach it was decided that the man was not there, and the craft returned to the M.L. The Landing Craft Personnel was then taken in tow, and Teknaaf was reached late in the afternoon.

On 15 November, M.L. 412 and 413, embarked a Special Boat Section party and proceeded with two L.C.Ps in tow. It was intended to land this party in Cheduba Straits, which were entered at 2016 without incident, and course was set to close Button Island, and from there landfall was made 1J miles west, the M.L. anchoring in four fathoms one mile off Uga Chaung. The Special Boat Section left the ship shortly before 2200 and soon afterwards a green flare was seen, and a beacon fire was it on a neighbouring hill. It was obvious that the Japanese were not asleep.

At 2248 the landing party returned. They stat ed that they had closed the beach by the breakwater off Uga Chaung and had then proceeded to the landing position 200 yards to the west-ward. Immediately after the party landed, the green flare had been seen

and a man was observed patrolling the beach. The landing party provided sufficient information of hostile positions to justify a bombardment, and at 2320 fire was opened with all guns. No return fire was observed on this occasion, and half-an-hour after midnight the unit cleared Cheduba Straits and returned to the advanced base at Teknaaf.

A further operation on these lines was conducted by M.Ls 416 and 843. On this occasion the landing area was in the vicinity of Indin and information of considerable value was obtained.(125)

Refit

The 56th Flotilla had then a fairly long stretch of continuous operations, and it was time for them to withdraw and return to Madras for six weeks refit. The 49th Flotilla (South African) took over offensive duties in the Naaf River, with the 55th Flotilla in reserve at chittagong, and this was the position at

the end of November.(125)

55th Flotilla Resumes

In order to enliven the working up programme being carried out by the 55th M. L. Flotilla, a bombardment operation was allotted to this unit on 3 December, and M.Ls 474, 476, 477, 438 and 441 sailed at midnight from Chittagong, proceeding south of Cheduba Island. Landfall was made two miles south of Thames Point on Ramree Island, and as there was some time to spare, an offensive sweep was carried out into the narrows of Cheduba Straits. At 2045 the motor launches were engaged by a long range Japanese gun situated on Rocky Point, but the shooting was poor and caused no inconvenience, course and speed being maintained. At 2210 the narrows were entered without sighting any hostile shipping, and the force turned northwards to carry out bombardment of Minbyin. When some three miles south of Rocky Point, the Japanese again opened fire, and as the third shell fell just short of M.L. 474, course and speed were altered and the shelling ceased.

The target area was reached at 2340; the coast was closed to 800 yards and the bombardment continued for 20 minutes. At 0005, the cease fire was ordered, and the force returned to Chittagong on the 4th.

Then there ensued a period of comparative inactivity. The 36th R.N.M.L. Flotilla joined the 55th in Chittagong, and two or three operations were carried out to harass the Japanese down the coast, in order to keep them busy, and allow the new boats to settle down.(125)

“A” Raid

On 13 December, M.Ls 438 and 441 arrived at Teknaaf before proceeding on an operation to capture a prisoner from the Taungup area, who could give information about Japanese movements. Three army officers and eight other ranks were embarked with three canoes on the 14th, and the Force sailed for St. Martin’s Island, where anchor was dropped for the night.

At 0330 on the morning of 15 December anchor was weighed, and the motor launches proceeded, adjusting course and speed to arrive off Unguan Island at last light. At 2215 the coast was closed in the vicinity of Bell Rock, and anchor was cast 1½ miles off the selected beach. 15 minutes later the army party embarked in their canoes and made for the beach, reporting their arrival by signal 75 minutes later. It had been arranged that M.L. 439 would burn a red masthead light from 0100 to 0130 to guide the party back to the boats. When by 0330 no sign of them had been evident considerable anxiety was felt. Every attempt was made to contact them, a red Aldis lamp being flashed through, and Very lights fired. As may be imagined the Japanese became extremely interested in this free fireworks display. However, this manoeuvre brought forth its results, and the army party eventually returned to the boats, having been misled by a white light which was burning from the masthead of a fishing dhow in the vicinity of Taungup Chaung. The party was successful in capturing a local Burman.

After the soldiers and their unfortunate prisoner had been re-embarked, the unit proceeded to engage the fishing vessel. At 0350 with soundings of two fathoms, fire was opened, and the light immediately extinguished. It was impossible to close the coast owing to shallow water, and the results of the bombardment could not be observed. Shortly afterwards course was set to leave the bay, and the Japanese engaged the unit with mortars and one long-range

 

gun. No damage or casualties were sustained, and the motor-launches returned to base on the evening of the 16th.(125)

Offensive Sweeps

On 21 December M.Ls 477, 847 and 855 (the last two boats belonging to the 36th Flotilla), carried out an offensive sweep from Gwa to Bluff Cape. No shipping was sighted, and it was decided to provoke attention by illuminating a section of the coast with flares and carrying out a three-minute bombardment. Nothing was seen and the force retired to Bluff Cape. Kyint Ala Creek was closed and a short bombardment carried out into the anchorage without

any results being observed. On the 22nd the M.Ls returned to Teknaaf.

The last operation for 1944 was carried out by M.Ls 439, 440 and 441. The Force sailed on 26 December at five in the evening, and twenty-four hours later Foul Island was abeam to starboard half-a-mile distant. Course was altered for Bluff Cape, and a sweep was carried out up the coast to Honan Gon point. Andrews Bay was entered and a search carried out inside the Bay to within 1½ miles of Transit Hill. The main target for the night was Lontha Jetty, and this was closed at 2245. The three motor launches bombarded the area of the jetty and Customs House in turn, and also a small building on the foreshore which was unmistakably a Japanese shelter. The fall of shot was well concentrated in the target area. Course was set for Chittagong which was reached at midnight

 on the 28th.(125)

The Assault on Akyab

Planning

On 27 December 1944,

at midnight, Commander G. T. Moger, O.B.E., R.I.N., Senior Officer, Minor Landing Craft, summoned all Landing Craft officers commanding flotillas or squadrons to his tent, and informed them that at last the day had arrived for a major effort. After brief instructions the officers were dismissed, and by 0400 on 28 December the first L.C A Flotilla was making its way down the Karnaphuli river, securing to the Naaf river buoys at 1800. The anchorage began to fill up quickly as R.I.N. and Royal Marine Landing Craft Mechanized, Landing Craft Assault and other craft arrived in a long unending stream. Destroyers, sloops, British Yard Mine Sweepers and Coastal Force craft began to appear out of the blue.

On 30 December, the Senior Officer, 55th M.L. Flotilla, received a signal ordering him to prepare forthwith for sea, and to sail at dawn on the 31st for Teknaaf. The whole Flotilla sailed as ordered, and arrived at the advanced base on the same evening.

The New Year was celebrated quietly, with feelings of tense expectation, and on 1 January 1945 all senior officers were ordered ashore to be briefed, and it then became known that a large scale assault on Akyab was to take place at dawn on 3 January. This represented a change of plan, for the original assault on Akyab had been timed for a later date, coinciding with the expected arrival of the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 25th Indian Division (then advancing down the Mayu Peninsula) at Foul Point (opposite Akyab). As Japanese resistance grew progressively weaker,


Royal Indian Navy
Eight Amphibious Operations in Burma


however, it was estimated that the 74th Brigade would be able to arrive at Foul Point on 30 December, and it was therefore decided to take advantage of the situation, and attack immediately. The following Flotillas were at that time in the Naaf river–49th M.L. Flotilla, 36th M.L. Flotilla, 55th M.L. Flotilla. Fleet Tender 14 had been converted for duties as Headquarters Ship, as H.M.S. Kedah and H.M.I.S. Barracuda were considered to be too valuable as supply and base ships for this duty.

At 2000 Senior Officers of motor-launch flotillas, together with Commanding Officers of individual boats, congregated in F.T. 14’s diminutive operations room. Each motor launch was given specific duties, some for close support to Landing Craft, others as navigational aids; and a reserve striking force was also allocated.

 

Meanwhile the Landing Craft were preparing in a frantic hurry. Operation “LIGHTNING” as the assault was called, was well named, for there was scarcely time to issue operational orders and do all that was necessary before Zero hour. Numbers were painted on the Craft in chalk, mud or the closest available fluid; and scraps of material were hurriedly made into usable stores.

At dawn on 2 January Lt. Cdr. T.H.L. Macdonald D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R., in M.L. 439 proceeded to the mouth of the Mayu River in order to lay danbuoys as guides for the next day’s landing. The Navigating Officer from one of H.M. destroyers was detailed as Survey Officer. The buoys were successfully laid, and great surprise was experienced as M.L. 439 remained in sight of the Japanese battery positions half a mile distant without being engaged.(125)

Embarkation

On the morning of 2 January

scores of Landing Craft Assault were busy transferring the assault force from the American shore pontoon at Teknaaf to destroyers, sloops, and motor launches. Landing Craft Mechanized and Tank Landing Craft loaded tanks alongside the jetty, and Landing Craft Personnel raced round the harbour delivering last-minute instructions to ships. At 1100 a long line of craft and ships began steaming out towards St. Martin’s Island, anchoring as they reached a point some three miles south of the island. By nightfall, the ships were all assembled, and at 0400 the convoy and the Bombardment Force (H.M.S. Newcastle, H.M.S. Phoebe and four destroyers) began their journey down the coast towards Akyab. At 1100 on 3 January the release position was reached, and the assault, timed for 1230, went off without a hitch. Information had been received earlier that morning that

Akyab Island had been evacuated by the Japanese, and the bombardment plans were cancelled.

After the initial landing a ferry service was begun, lifting the 74th Brigade from Foul Point on the mainland to Akyab Island. Landing Craft Mechanized carried the burden of the load and worked without a break until the stores of the whole brigade had been transferred. The beaches at Foul Point were under the control of officers from “A” Beach Commando R.I.N.

Lack of opposition could not detract from the achievement of planning, mounting and execution of the operation in six days. For most of the Landing Craft crews, as for the troops, it was their first Combined Operation.. Some of the Royal Marine Landing Craft personnel had in fact, only arrived from India and the United Kingdom on the day previous to the mounting.(125)

Blockade of Kaladan

On 3 January the 55th M.L. Flotilla was sent to blockade the Myebon area, as it had been reported that the Japanese leaving Akyab Island were escaping to the south-east across the Kaladan river. M.Ls 477, 476, 438 and 439 sailed at 1808 and arrived at the mouth of the Sakaen river at midnight. M.Ls 477 and 476 anchored in the mouth of the river about 2 cables apart, while 438 and 439 were allotted the Myebon river and anchored east of the Myebon Peninsula.

Nothing was contacted during the first part of the night but at 0500 on 4 January M.L. 439 reported the Japanese to be in sight and all boats slipped and proceeded to investigate. The enemy, however, proved to be only a sampan with three fishermen who were duly captured while making efforts to escape. At daylight the Senior Officer ordered M.L. 439 to return to base with the prisoners for interrogation, while the remainder of the force withdrew slightly to a position one mile west of Sigyat, in order to observe as large an area as possible. There was no sign of the Japanese force during daylight.

At five in the evening, M.L. 438 was detached to blockade the Myebon river, while M.Ls 477 and 476 proceeded down the Sakaen river as far as its junction with the Lemru river. Nothing was sighted on the outward journey, but while the force was returning two buoys which had been spotted earlier were investigated, and were found to be buoys for a hawser boom stretched three-quarters of the way across the river. The buoys were brought on board and the boon} destroyed. At 1830 M.L. 439 re-joined, and the four

vessels took up night dispositions across the mouth of the Sakaen river. Again nothing was sighted during the night, and at five On the morning of the 5th, the Force withdrew to the previous day’s anchorage. During the day M.L. 439 surveyed the channel east of the Myebon Peninsula for a distance of four miles, while M.Ls 438 and 476 remained at anchor and 477 proceeded to investigate Myebon Creek, and to remove a small portion of the river boom which had escaped attention the previous night(125).

R.A.F. Attack Again

Shortly before 1100 five aircraft were sighted over the Myebon river. At the same time M.L. 439 reported that she was being engaged from the beach by rifle and machine-gun fire. At 1050, 439 reported having been attacked by aircraft and as having sustained both casualties and damage. 438 and 476 were immediately despatched to her assistance, and it transpired that M.L. 439 had sustained three casualties due to shots from the shore, and while she was replying to this, four R.A.F. planes in the vicinity had apparently considered the fire to be directed at them and had attacked. Twenty-one cannon shells from the aircraft had penetrated 439’s hull, and she was making water fast. Luckily the aircraft had immediately realised their error. Temporary repairs were carried out to M.L. 439, and the Force withdrew on being relieved by four boats of the 49th Flotilla.(125)

Landing Craft Base

The Landing Craft in Akyab in the meantime had moved into the Satyogya Chaung, a deep creek on the north-east side of Akyab with steep banks winding through a mass of damaged buildings, derelict rice mills and tumble-down jetties, and the personnel settled into these “billets” adjoining the Chaung(125)

 

.

H.M.I.S. Narbada & H.M.I.S. Jumna In Action

The two sloops, Narbada (Captain H.M. St. L. Nott, O.B.E., R.I.N.) and the Jumna (Commander K.R.U. Todd, R.I.N.) had sailed from Chittagong five minutes before midnight on the 3rd, and arrived at Akyab at 1345 on the 4th, anchoring between the main jetty and the wreck of H.M.I.S. Indus. They were among the first ships to enter the re-captured port, and at 1700 in the evening the Commanding Officers landed with the Captain, 7th Destroyer Flotilla, and inspected the town and beaches. They found the town empty and desolate while the beaches did not appear to have been in a proper state of defence for some time. Also in the harbour at

his period were H.M.A.S. Napier, H.M.A.S. Nepal (flying the flag of the Senior Officer, Force W) and H.M.S. Shoreham.

Early on 5 January H.M.I.S. Jumna was sent to Teknaaf to bring up army stores and petrol and she returned on the 7th. Meanwhile an assault on the Baronga Islands was planned, and on 6 January H.M.I.S. Narbada had taken up a bombarding position off the entrance to the Kywegu river. It was later discovered that the Barongas had been evacuated, and the operation was therefore cancelled.

The scene of operations now shifted to the Kaladan river. On 7 January, the 53rd Indian Brigade had contacted Japanese forces northwards of Akyab, and more forces including a Headquarters were reported to be at Ponnagyun, 15 miles up the Kaladan river. It was therefore decided that the Narbada and the Jumna together with M.L. 381 and 829 should proceed up-river immediately in-order to prevent the escape of those Japanese forces to the east bank of the Kaladan, and that on the following day a battalion of the Garhwal Rifles should be landed to attack them. The naval forces proceeded up the Kaladan unmolested. No difficulty was experienced in navigation, the numerous pagodas making good landmarks. The ships arrived off Ponnagyun at 0430 on 7 January, turned to stem the flood tide, and anchored. The two motor launches were sent on a reconnaissance along the banks.

At 1440 fire was opened on the Jumna from the east bank, and at 1442 on the Narbada. The fire was from 3.37-mm anti-tank guns in the village of Nagawetswe, and at about 2,000 yards range was very accurate. The Jumna was hit twice immediately and the Narbada quickly straddled. Both ships weighed anchor and opened fire with their main armament. After two 6-gun salvoes from each ship, one gun was silenced and about a dozen men were observed running for cover inland. A third salvo silenced the remaining guns and more Japanese soldiers were seen in flight. The ships continued direct bombardment whenever the hostile personnel were seen until 1500.

During this short action, the two motor-launches had sighted a party of about 20-30 Japanese infantry on the west bank, whom they engaged with Bofors and 3 pounders. Later the Narbada and the Jumna joined them. The Japanese did not relish the fire at close range and disappeared in disorder into the jungle. At 1615 M.L. 829 was dispatched to make a reconnaissance W the beaches on the west bank, and it was decided that a landing would be effected at any point 2 miles north or south of Ponnagyun. An army


L.C.As on their way to Ponnagyun in the Kaladan Valley with a battalion of Royal Garhwal Rifles


H.M.I.S. Jumna fires a four-inch salvo into the Japanese defenses


M.Ls of Arakan Coastal Forces sail into liberated port of Akyab


Reinforcements wade ashore at Myebon, supporting one another as they feel their way over the soft mud bottom

co-operation aircraft patrolled the area from 1415 to 1613 but the pilot caught only occasional glimpses of the Japanese, who had by then hidden in the thick jungle.(125)

The Locals Arrive

At 1745 one of the motor launches brought on board a party of local Burmese and Arakanese, and with the aid of an Able Seaman loaned by the Burma R.N.V.R., these villagers were questioned. Shortly afterwards other sampans bearing villagers arrived and about 30 local inhabitants including some ex-officials of the Burma Government came aboard. They were delighted to see the ships and willingly gave all possible information. They stated that Ponnagyun had been the headquarters of the Japanese Division; that there had been a general withdrawal by sampan and two or three large motor craft across the river from west to east during the previous three weeks; some 700 and 800 Japanese had crossed, taking some guns, one of the villagers stated that he had been supplying the Japanese Headquarters with fish. Most of the officers, he said, had left the previous day, but he had been to the Headquarters that morning and had seen one officer. He was at once appointed officiating bombardment liaison officer and a registration salvo was fired at his direction. By signs and interpretation the necessary spotting corrections were ascertained and applied, and some well directed salvoes were then placed in the area.

During the night of 7 and 8 January, the motor launches were used to patrol the river for five miles north and south of Ponnagyun, and also up the Kaladan river. The sloops kept the banks and river under constant illumination with search lights, star shells and snowflake, and the motor launches with mortar flare and six-inch Aldis, so that no Japanese troops could cross the river that night. At about 2000 a few rifle shots were fired at the Narbada but a burst of pom-pom fire discouraged any further activity on the part of the Japanese. At daylight many villagers appeared on both banks waving white flags and reported that the Japanese had withdrawn inland. About 0900 (on 7 January) an observation aircraft arrived and located some hostile bunkers near Ponnagyun Pagoda, and these were effectively engaged.(125)

Landing in the Kaladan

The assault was carried out on 8 January. There had been some delay in getting the troops into Akyab on the previous night, and so in embarking them in Landing Craft Assault, but at 1135 Brigadier Girtie arrived on board the Narbada by Harbour Defence

Motor Launch. It was decided to put the troops comprising one battalion of the Garhwal Rifles in at Nattseikkonbauk, and to advance up-river towards Uritaung and Ponnagyun. The assault was made by 20 Landing Crafts Assault supported by motor launches 381 and 820 at 1225. There was no opposition and the troops quickly occupied Uritaung. The Landing Craft Assault were then used to help them across Min Chaung and shortly afterwards they gained contact with the hostile force.

At this point H.M.I.S. Narbada was re-called to Akyab. H.M.I.S. Jumna remained in the Kaladan during the day and shelled Hinkaya in the evening. She returned to Akyab at noon

 on the night of the 8th.(125)

Assault on Myebon

On her return to Akyab H.M.I.S. Narbada had been informed that it was intended to assault Myebon. The operation was to be under the joint command of a Naval Assault Commander (Captain M.H. St. L. Nott., R.I.N.); an Army Assault Commander, (Brigadier Campbell Hardy, D.S.O., R.M.) and an Air Assault Commander Squadron (Leader D.T. Lees, R.A.F.).

Brigadier Campbell Hardy and Sqd/Ldr Lees embarked at 1800, and the Narbada with M.L. 854 sailed for Frederick Island, anchoring about 1½ miles west of the Island at 2245 on the 8th. There was no chart of the Myebon river or its approaches north of Frederick Island. At 0600 the three assault commanders boarded M.L. 854. The channel towards Myebon was sounded by echo-sounders, and four danbuoys were laid to mark the best water. From this preliminary survey it was evident that it would be possible to bring the sloops in to about 8,000 yards from Myebon Peninsula, though this would involve the crossing of a long bar by night with only 13 feet of water over it.(125)

Reconnaissance

M.L. 854 then stood in towards the Peninsula to examine the beaches. She proceeded within 300 yards of Charlie and Baker beaches, and had a clear view of the obstructions on the former beach, which consisted of a length of about 400 yards of large wooden stakes, about 10 inches in diameter and 15 feet high, and set 8 to 10 feet apart. After this examination M.L. 854 turned and proceeded down river, when the Japanese troops suddenly opened accurate 20-mm and machine-gun fire on her. The first shell struck the wheelhouse scuttle, passing through the wheelhouse and out the other side, a second passed through the engine-room and several


Burma
R.I.N. Operational Area

others hit the ship. M.L. 854 returned the fire with all her weapons, and apart from two injured by slight splinters, she sustained no casualties.

While the Narbada was returning to Akyab a formation of eight Japanese Zeros was sighted at 8,000 feet, approaching along the coast. It was at first thought that they were to attack the Narbada, but it soon became apparent that they were heading for Akyab. A warning was at once transmitted, with the result that ships there were ready to receive the Zeros on arrival. The Narbada opened fire with four-inch guns, but no hits were claimed.

The Narbada reached Akyab on the afternoon of the 9th, and early next morning a single Japanese aircraft flew low over the ship and dropped bombs on the Landing Craft base in Satyoga Creek, causing some casualties. One craft of the 41st L.C.M. Flotilla was straddled by a stick of bombs, several ratings being killed and two officers wounded.(125)

Plan of the Assault

The planning of the assault on Myebon was now being undertaken and it was decided that the only beach suitable for the assault was Charlie, as the other beaches had neither sufficient exits nor suitable terrain to establish beachheads. As there was an extensive mud flat off this beach, it was necessary for the assault to be made at, or just before, high water.

Final briefing took place on board the Narbada at 2000 on the 10th, and whole of the 11th was spent in loading. The 3rd Commando Brigade Headquarters, No. 42 Commando and No. 6 Mobile Surgical Unit (comprising 573 officers and men) were embarked in the Narbada, No. 5 Commando (about 450 men) in the Jumna, No. 44 Commando in 4 minesweepers, No. 1 Commando into L.C.Is, and tanks, vehicles, guns, bulldozers, and stores in Tank Landing Craft and Landing Craft Mechanized.

H-hour was 0830 on 12 January, and on that day the Narbada and the Jumna proceeded up channel to their bombarding positions, and H.D.M.L. 1248 carried out a survey of the inner beaches inner harbour which proved invaluable.(125)

The Convoy Sets Out

The convoy formed up at Akyab at 1700 on the 11 th, consisted of M.L. 830 as navigational leader; L.C.Ms 1-12, each towing one L.C.A.; B.Y.MS. 2204 and 2148 each towing 3 L.C.As. L.C.I.(L)s 286, 265, and 287 each towing one L.C.S. (M); L.C.Ts 2320,

2444, 2435 and 2361 each towing one L.C.P.; L.C.T. 2450, and M.M.S. 200 and 201. The convoy had a safe passage and was sighted from the Narbada anchored at the release position, at 0530 on 12 January.

Arrangements for disembarking troops into L.C.As and L.C Ms from the two sloops worked well, and all troops were out of ships and into their craft, within 23 minutes after the first craft came alongside(125).

A Daring Operation

On the previous night a clever and daring operation had been carried out by M.L. 854. With a view to destroy beach obstacles three canoes were launched from this M.L. at low water at 0243 on the morning of the 12th. The canoes were paddled towards the wooden stakes on Charlie Beach. 25 two-pounder charges were connected to the stakes at mud level, in 3 ring mains of cortex; each ring main was primed with two delay pencils of six hours duration and initiated at 0001. The canoes then returned to the M.L., which remained close inshore till 0630, when she reported that detonation had occurred, and that about 25 stakes had been destroyed.(125)

 

The Army Goes Ashore

The first assault wave left the Narbada at 0720 and touched down exactly at 0830 and the second wave with Brigadier Hardy followed closely. No difficulty was experienced in passing through the gap in the stakes but shortly after deployment the craft came under fire, which was returned by supporting M.Ls and L.C.S. (M)s. 2 L.C.As, 1 L.C.P. and 1L.C.O.C.U. were hit and suffered casualties.

The first wave quickly overcame opposition close to and on the beaches. Two casualties occurred due to the mines laid on the beach, and among the earlier casualties by mine was Lt. R.V. Kettle, R.I.N.V.R., the principal Beachmaster. The L.C.Ts forming the second wave came in to land at H+15, and an attempt was made to put them ashore on Charlie Beach. The first tank ashore became entirely bogged. Commander R.D. Hughes, R.N. then landed Brigadier Hardy, and himself led L.C.Ts 2420, 2361 and 2444 to Dog Beach, but landings proved impossible. The L.C.Ts returned to the Narbada, and after consultation it was decided to try Baker Beach. While this was going on, the third and fourth waves were successfully landed at Charlie Beach between 0900 and 0945. The ferry service then began to land No. 1 Commando from L.C.I.(L).(125)

Landing the Tanks

Further attempts were being made to land the tanks. A tank corps officer was contacted, and arranged the disembarkation of 40 sappers and necessary gear from one of the L.C.Ts for the construction of a beach roadway on Baker Beach. During this operation six motor launches engaged Japanese forces who were firing from the east and west banks, and H.M.I.S. Narbada was taken into the Myebon river in support as far as the pier. It was an anxious passage, as the depth for a long way was 12 feet 10 inches, and the Narbada”s draft was 12 feet 6 inches.

At Baker Beach, a beach roadway was constructed in a remarkably short time and between 1320 and 1352 one tank and one bulldozer were landed from L.C.T. 2420. L C.T. 2361 was then brought in. She unloaded her first tank but this toppled over as it emerged. At this crisis the Japanese opened fire on Baker Beach with a battery of 75-mm guns. The first round fell “over, but they quickly established the range, and the commanding officer, H.M.I.S. Narbada signalled the L.C.T. to withdraw. As she left the beach one 75-mm round fell 20 feet over and the next 20 feet short, but she got clear with her remaining valuable cargo of tanks. In the meantime the Sappers and Tank Corps had righted the tank which had toppled over, and got it up under cover. The two tanks landed at Baker Beach were soon in action and proved most useful.

All loaded landing craft were now directed to Easy Beach. L C.T. 2444 was instructed to swim out his DUKWs (amphibious landing craft) and these were sent to Easy Beach.

While the attempt to land the tanks on Baker Beach was in progress, the Narbada had been engaging the first Japanese machine-guns which were sited in the area of Chaungyyi and were firing across the river, and later the 75-mm battery which had fired on the L.C.T. As soon as the Japanese realised that the attempt to land the tanks at Baker Beach had been abandoned they shifted the target to the Narbada. The fire was not very accurate, the first four rounds being about 300 yards over. Unfortunately one of these hit M.L. 831 and put her out of action.

When all craft had withdrawn from the river, there was nothing to be gained by remaining, so the Narbada was taken out of range and settled down to an area short of all the Japanese guns. The tanks were during this time successfully landed on Easy Beach, and at about 1600 landing of stores was commenced. This was completed by night fall. The following morning, the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade arrived under the order of the Naval Assault Force

Commander Arakan (Commander Nichol, R.N.) and Brigadier Hurst, and they landed at Easy Beach at 0730.

In all, on D day and D+1, naval forces landed 6,635 personnel, 41 vehicles, 71 animals and 325 tons of stores, and in the 27 days following, the build-up came to a further 17,050 personnel, 452 vehicles, 153 animals, and 4,200 tons of stores. H.M.I. ships Jumna and Narbada were kept extremely busy bombarding bunkers and other positions throughout the 12th and 13th. At 1015 on the 13th, 8 Japanese bombers (Oscars) were sighted by the Narbada and Jumna and soon they attacked the ships. Most of the bombs fell quite close, the former ship having two within 50 feet. The Jumna shot down one bomber and the Narbada bagged two. Later the same day the Jumna sailed for Akyab towing M.L. 831.(125)

 

Bombardment and Reconnaissance

After the departure of the Jumna, the Narbada remained in the Myebon area and between 14 and 20 January carried out 14 bombardments of Japanese guns and defended positions firing in all 1,151 rounds. On 17 January, reconnaissances were carried out of the Thegyan and Ganang rivers, and on the 18th the Monthinattaung and Yosanwin rivers, and Daingbon Chaung and other Chaungs were surveyed and buoyed to ascertain route for landing craft and M Ls for an assault on the Kangaw area, and also to see how far sloops could support such an assault. It was found that sufficient water for sloops existed as far as Pasung Chaung.


During the assault on Myebon 74th Indian Brigade lands from L.C.Ts to support the Commandos


With loud hailer and Aldis lamps R.I.N. Beach Commandos direct traffic at Myebon


Moored to the mangroves H.M.I.S. Narbada trains her guns on the enemy’s coastal supply road


The Kangaw beach-head

(125)

 

 

1943

Simultaneously with the landing at Myebon, there was an all-out offensive down the Kaladan valley. The waterways east of the Myebon peninsula were completely blocked by Arakan Coastal Forces, whose motor launches had many exciting night encounters with the Japanese motor launches carrying goods, ammunition and oil though the chaungs to the forward troops comprising nearly five battalions. Meanwhile the Narbada and Jumna were intermittently shelling road transport and other supply targets. In a period of nine days (13 to 21 January) they fired 2,548 rounds from their four-inch guns. It was then decided to make a further landing on the edge of the Daingbon Chaung, close to the township of Kangaw. The Japanese were known to have a whole brigade defending this important staging post on their supply route, and the biggest concentration of artillery ever assembled in Burma. From these nearly 800 74-mm shells were lodged in the beachhead area during the assault. Hotly contested fighting ensued, as the Commandos and Indian troops stormed Hill 170. Between this hill and the beach, on one day alone, 340 Japanese dead were picked up from an area not much bigger than a football field. But Hill 170 was finally taken and the Japanese brigade was practically annihilated. R.I.N. Beach Commandos did a grand job under heavy fire on this perilously small beachhead. The support of Naval guns proved a factor of prime importance. In the week following the Kangaw assault, the Narbada and Jumna fired 3,173 four-inch shells, and additional fire support was provided by other craft.(125)

Assault

At 1700 on 21 January 1943

H.M.I.S. Narbada embarked No. 44 Commando, the Mobile Surgical Unit and 100 porters–total of nearly 700 troops. Other troops were embarked in Landing Craft Infantry (Large) and British Yard Sweepers. At 0600 next day, . the Narbada followed by these craft proceeded up the Thegyan and Mothinattaung rivers to the release position, the passage involving the crossing of a bar of 13 feet with only 6 inches under the ship. The troops were disembarked into landing craft at 1000, 500 troops being disembarked from the Narbada in 23 minutes.

Alanding was effected without opposition,

 but shortly afterwards hostile guns proved troublesome.

At 1230 the Narbada proceeded up the Chaung to her initial bombarding position and 137 rounds were fired at various targets in support of the army. The Jumna, which had arrived back at Myebon on the 18th, also participated in the firing from an anchorage in the Myebon river.

Between 23 and 26 January, 44 bombardments of Japanese guns and defended positions and road lines of communication and focal points, were carried out, 1,584 rounds being fired. The Narbada shifted berth three times during this period, taking up positions in the Pasung Chaung and in Daingbon Chaung, as necessary. In the Pasung Chaung the ship was secured to mangroves aft.

The Narbada was relieved by the Jumna on the 26th. On the morning of the 27th the Commander-in-Chief East Indies, Admiral Sir Arthur Power, arrived at Myebon in H.M.S. Nepal, and visited Narbada. Late on the night of the 27th the ship proceeded to Chittagong where she arrived

 on 28 January.(125)

M.Ls at Kangaw

The motor launches played their part in the Kangaw-Myebon Chaung warfare. The 56th Flotilla had returned from refit, at Madras, and it was to these waters that it proceeded first. The motor launches arrived on the evening of 21 January, and were placed under the orders of the Naval Commander Force 64 in the Narbada. Elements of the 49th and 36th Flotillas were also present. During the actual landing at Kangaw, the landing raft were led in by M.L. 844, which then took up position at the northern end of the beachhead, the southern end being occupied by M.L. 843. In the afternoon, when the Japanese began shelling the beachhead heavily, both motor launches suffered a number of near misses and.M.L. 843 sustained casualties. Meanwhile all available motor launches maintained patrols at various points to prevent interference by Japanese craft, and to cut off their escape. The duties of headquarters ship were undertaken by M.L. 892, and excellent communications were maintained throughout.

On the night of 24-25 January, control duties were directed from M.L. 390. V Force Intelligence had obtained and passed on valuable information concerning the route followed by Japanese water transport, and M.Ls 412 and 843 were placed in Ysamwin Chaung, with M.Ls 413 and 849 at the south-east end of Tek Chaung, thus blocking the route. Nothing occurred during the night,

but on the 26th,

M.Ls 412 and 843 made extensive explorations, and arranged with the local inhabitants for their own intelligence service. It was learnt that a number of hostile landing barges were bidden near Ysamwin village. During the afternoon, this area was heavily bombarded by the motor launches, but the results could not, unfortunately, be observed.

During the night of 26/27 January, M.Ls 413 and 849, intercepted two landing craft proceeding from north to south down Tek Chaung. The Japanese appeared to be full of confidence and were chattering in loud tones as they came down stream. The motor launches engaged them with gun fire and hits were registered, but owing to smoke it was not possible to see whether they had been sunk. As, however, no trace of the landing craft was subsequently found, it was probable that they were sunk.

On the morning of 27 January orders were received for the 56th M.L. Flotilla to proceed to Kyaukpyu and join the 55th Motor Launch Flotilla for the Ramree blockade.(125)

Americans Take a Share

During the second half of January, the motor launches had been busy again. On the 18th, M.Ls 438 and 441 embarked a party of the American Maritime Unit, and sailed with the intention of landing on Thalunew point.

The unit proceeded south round Baronga Point, and past Satellite Island, then through the centre of the channel between Sep-pings Peak and Achargwaine Island. This area was studded with rocks, and at a later date was found to be heavily mined. The landing position was approached from west, and at 2146 just as the motor launches were preparing to disembark the American party, a vivid flash from the shore was seen, and a heavy calibre shell exploded near M.L. 438. This was followed by four or five further salvoes and one star shell, all of which were good for line, but over by some 1,000 yards (except the star shell, which fortunately fell short). The motor launches withdrew with all speed followed by further salvoes which passed harmlessly overhead. As no suitable alternative landing position was available, the operation was abandoned, and the force returned to Akyab.(125)

 

 

Assault on Kyaukpyu (Ramree Island)

The assault on Kyaukpyu was timed to take place at 0930 on 21 January at the same time as the Narbada and the Jumna with the Garhwal Rifles embarked were attacking Kangaw. A week

previously on 14 January Lt. Cdr T.H.L. Macdonald, D.S.C., R.I.N.V.R. in M.L. 440 with M.L. 447 in company embarked a Special Boat Section under the command of Major Livingstone, and proceeded from Akyab south to Katherine Bluff, which bounds Kyaukpyu harbour on the northern side. The party were landed successfully, and for four successive nights the two M.Ls returned to Kyaukpyu to wait at a predetermined rendezvous for their return. On the 17th night, Major Livingstone returned safely, having carried out a complete reconnaissance of Kyaukpyu inner harbour.

On the evening of the 20th, M.Ls 440, 438, 476, 477, 474 and 441 proceeded to the convoy assembly position outside Akyab harbour off Savage Island. On leaving the harbour, considerable enthusiasm was evidenced when the battleship H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, appeared silhouetted against the sunset. The convoy was a formidable sight; landing craft of every description had to be shepherded into position, and the convoy finally moved off after dark. Six landing Craft Assault at a time were towed in two lines by B.Y.M.S. (British Yard Mine Sweeper) and one Landing Craft Personnel was attached to each Landing Craft Mechanized. Considerable difficulty was experienced in keeping the landing craft on the right course, and the motor launches spent the whole night chasing lost ships and stragglers. At dawn, however, the convoy was in reasonable shape, having been joined during the night by a number of troop transports, the cruiser H.M.S. Phoebe, the destroyers H.M. Ships Pathfinder and Rapid, H.M.I. Sloop Kistna and H.M.I. Ships Konkan and Kathiawar.

By 0830 two columns of assault craft had formed up. The starboard column was led by M.L. 440 with M.Ls 474 and 476 in support, and the port column by M.L. 438, supported by 477 and 441.

A tremendous bombardment, considered to be the most ambitious assault, ensued as the force steamed towards the selected beachhead between Georgina point and Dalhousie point, 15″ shells from the Queen Elizabeth screamed overhead, supported by the lesser armament of the Phoebe, the Destroyers, and of the Kistna. The Kistna discharged 857 4-inch shells between breakfast-time and midday. At 0915 with the selected beach still a mile distant, heavy bombers attacked the Japanese defences, followed by fighters who strafed Japanese trenches and beach obstructions.

At 0930, the motor launches in each column deployed to starboard and port, ready to engage any targets which might be observed, while the 64 landing craft roared on to the beaches; troops


Burma: R.I.N. Operational Area


deployed in every direction, the Lincolns first, and then the men of a Punjab Battalion. After the beaches had been secured, M.Ls 438, 441 and 447 carried out a sweep of the inner harbour while M.Ls 440, 474 and 476 anchored in company with M.L. 891 off the beachhead, awaiting further orders.

At 1100 a Landing Craft Assault approaching the beach and carrying 32 men of a Battery Headquarters, suddenly blew up in the vicinity of the motor launches and disappeared in clouds of debris. This was the first indication that the harbour was mined. The motor launches immediately proceeded to pick up survivors, but only seven were found, and later transferred them to H.M.S. Rapid.

At this stage, M.Ls 474, 476 and 891 were lying alongside the Rapid. M.L. 891 came out astern, and just as she cleared the destroyer, a great explosion took place, and 891 disappeared in a vivid cloud of flaming smoke. M.Ls 474, 476 and 477 went at once to her assistance but owing to the flames could not get near her sufficiently. A number of survivors were seen clinging to the keel of the M.L. and these men were taken off by a motor-boat from the Rapid. Fourteen out of the crew of seventeen were picked up unhurt.

After the loss of these two craft, the force withdrew till the area had been swept, and the motor launches anchored near F.T. 14 in the outer harbour.

The build-up, after the harbour had been cleared of mines, went on steadily, and Landing Craft Mechanized worked non-stop to unload transport and stores from the big transports. During the night following the assault, a Japanese plane produced a fireworks display from the ships, but no bombs were dropped. H.M.I.S. Kistna and other warships were still at Kyaukpyu, responding to periodic calls by the army for the bombardment of specific positions ashore.

After three days, all R.I.N. Landing Craft moved into a creek behind Kyaukpyu harbour where a landing craft base had been established. It was not very comfortable, but it enabled, weary crews to have a break ashore, and repairs to be done.

After the harbour had been completely occupied, night antisubmarine patrols were carried out by the Kistna and the Flamingo to seaward of the merchant shipping.(125)

Cheduba Island Assault and Ramree Island Blockade

26 January 1945 was fixed as D-Day and 0845 as H-Hour. The Japanese had been completely misled by the Allies regarding the assault on Ramree island. By a series of preliminary

bombardments and beach reconnaissance, the Japanese had been led into thinking that the Allies would probably land on the west coast. There the Japanese had concentrated their defences, relying on a minefield to deter the Allies from making the assault closer to Kyaukpyu. This minefield was cleared by the Royal Indian Navy minesweepers. Our troops pushed on down the island’s west coast supported by naval bombardment.

General Christison was anxious to occupy Cheduba island at an early date, but did not wish to commit his troops to another assault when they were fully engaged on Ramree Island. Royal Marines from the battleship Queen Elizabeth and from cruisers of the East Indies Fleet were landed near Scarle Point, on the northern shore of Cheduba Island, five days after the Kyaukpyu assault.

The landing was preceded by a cruiser-and-destroyer bombardment, ships taking part included the cruisers Newcastle, Nigeria and the destroyers Nepal (wearing the flag of Admiral Power), Norman, Rapid, Pathfinder and Paladin. The landing craft were escorted to the assault beach by motor launches of the Burma Navy. Ten minutes before the first wave touched down, Hellcats from the escort Carrier Ameer strafed the beach. The landing was accomplished without difficulty and the Royal Marines pressed on to occupy the whole island, whose area was roughly 150 square miles. At the end of January they were relieved by an Indian battalion.

Many Royal Indian Navy Landing Craft Assault took part in the capture of Cheduba Island and some Landing Craft Mechanized landed at points down the west coast of the island. Lieut. S. J. Brander R.I.N.V.R. and two L.C.Ms captured Sagu island in a private expedition. When a day or two later, a carefully planned small-scale assault was carried out, the assault troops were somewhat chagrined to find Lt. Brander and his men firmly in occupation and at that moment searching the beach for a suitable camping site.(125)

 

 

Blockade of Ramree

As the army pushed south on Ramree Island, the Japanese defenders were slowly and relentlessly driven into the mangroves, and the blockade of the island began. Destroyers, motor launches and landing craft assault, carrying Gurkha Bren-gunners, patrolled the Thanzit river. They lay under cover of mangrove clusters at night, and caught the escaping Japanese by listening to their movements. Their watchfulness was rewarded on many occasions by the arrival of Japanese soldiers floating on logs, and parties trying to find their way over swampy ground on foot. On one occasion,

 A large party was caught scrambling out on a raft they had just built. The sounds of tree felling reached a Landing Graft Assault, which brought the guns of a M.L. on to the target, and almost every man of a party of 50 Japanese was killed. The first motor launch patrol in the Thanzit river was carried out on the night of 24 January by Motor Launches 476, and 474. The river was in the main uncharted, but the patrol penetrated some 27 miles upstream. No opposition was encountered until opposite Kalebon Bluff, at which point the channel ran within 600 yards of the shore. Here the Japanese had established a strong point with a 25-pounder, several mortars and machine guns. A lively engagement took place, as the motor launches raced past at high speed. No movement, however, appeared to be taking place on the river, and the unit withdrew at dawn without difficulty.

On the 24th also, M.Ls 440 and 441, embarked a deception party to carry out an operation in Yinbauk Chaung, half-way down the west coast of the island, where the Japanese were putting up strong resistance. The deception party was to lay booby traps and fire works behind the Japanese lines to cause consternation after the landing party had withdrawn. A Landing Craft Personnel was towed by Motor Launch 441 to carry out the landing.

By midnight the unit was within five miles of Rocky Point, where H.M.S. Flamingo was anchored for bombardment duty. When some two miles off Rocky Point, the boats were heavily engaged by a Japanese 75-mm gun. M.L. 440 plotted the position of this battery, and transmitted it to Flamings. M.L. 440 thereafter steamed towards Rocky Point again, and was successful in enticing the battery into opening fire once more. The Flamingo thereupon opened up, and 40 rounds of 4-inch shells completely silenced the Japanese gun, which was later captured in a damaged condition.

As surprise had then been lost, it was decided that no landing should be made. Thereafter the M.Ls re-formed, and returned to Kyaukpyu.

The following night, M.Ls 476 and 474 carried out the Thanzit patrol, and another exchange took place with the Japanese on Kalebon Bluff. On the 26th, M.Ls 440 and 441 carried out this patrol, and penetrated as far as 30 miles up the river. M.L. 440 had the misfortune to hit a submerged rock, damaging both propellers, and was towed* back to base at dawn by M.L. 441.

Assisting in this blockade were the Kistna and the Flamingo, ready to tackle targets out of range of the motor launches.

On the6th,

 the Kistna was at anchor in Ramree Wah Creek, engaging targets in support of the army, and on the 28th was employed on similar duties off Thames Point. At this period, the retreating Japanese forces, in spite of the prolonged operations by sloops and motor launches to cut their line of retreat in the Kangaw -Myebon area, were still managing to infiltrate round the hills behind Kangaw down to Combermere Bay, and then by devious inland waterways to reach Letpan. There was a danger that a strong force might be able by this means to occupy the mainland opposite Ramree, and make the water in between untenable. A patrol in Combermere Bay was therefore instituted, and on the 29th H.M.f.S. Kistna with M.L. 413 and M.L. 416 were in this area. The Kistna carried out a bombardment of Japanese battery positions ashore on Thalumaw Island from an anchorage off Maung Wane Island with M.L. 413 spotting, and other targets were engaged as the vessels left the bay.(125)

Blockade Tightened

Late in January it was decided that the Ramree blockade should be intensified, and, as already related, the 56th M.L. Flotilla proceeded on the 27th to Kyaukpyu to join the 55th Flotilla on this job. The <army had been pressing the Japanese south and east down Ramree Island; by 8 February, Ramree town was captured and the main remnants of the Japanese troops were squeezed into that part of the Island lying to the east of a line Ramree-Town-Sane, faced with the alternative of fighting or attempting to escape through the chaungs of mangrove swamps to the east. They chose the latter. To cut them off, it was decided to block all chaung exits from Taraung Chaung to the Paikseik Taungmaw river in the east and exits into the Mingaug Chaung and Paikseik Taungmaw river in the north-east.

The Ramree operations were Chaung warfare at its best. It is perhaps difficult to visualise this type of naval warfare. The rivers and chaungs were for the most part completely uncharted, and to reach some of the positions within range of shore targets, both in the Ramree and in the Kangaw-Myebon and Ruywa areas, sloops, Z-craft, and motor launches had to navigate up to 30 miles of these uncharted waters. The chaungs were creeks varying from 1,500 yards to 150 feet wide, generally bounded by high mangrove trees up to 50 feet in height. Firm banks and villages were an exception. The creeks were tortuous and often great difficulty was experienced in turning the sloops at some of the hairpin bends. The depth varied from 7 feet to 80 feet at low water, and usually the narrower the chaung, the greater the depth. The creeks were tidal, the range being about 9 feet. They were studded with numerous shoals and pinnacle rocks which presented perpetual hazards. The Admiralty later described these chaung operations in an intelligence review as “unprecedented in the annals of Naval History”, while Admiral Sir A. J. Power, K.C.B., C.B., R.N., then Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet, wrote of them:—“The Myebon, Kangaw and Ruywa operations afforded splendid opportunities for enterprise, resource, impromptu operations and close-range fighting. On each occasion the enemy was caught on the wrong foot and defeated. Sloops, destroyers, minesweepers, motor launches and landing craft manned by Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy personnel took full advantage of the perfect weather for fighting and the unique opportunities for displaying good seamanship. They landed and supported our troops without any fuss, navigated uncharted waters with skill, and although in face of considerable hardships, especially in the minor landing craft, they never flagged”.(125)

 

 

Like the Thames

This unusual warfare produced a number of interesting incidents. The army inclined to the view that all parts of their maps which were coloured blue were navigable by H.M. Ships, and this was the subject of a somewhat bitter report from the Senior Officer, 56th M.L. Flotilla, who had been ordered to proceed up a tortuous chaung in the Ramree area for a conference with the local army commander. He referred to the chaung as follows:—“This waterway is considered more suitable for amphibious vehicles than for M.Ls”. One Boat Officer in the Landing Craft Wing was surprised to find an Army Officer saying that the Daingbon Chaung was not unlike the Thames in some respects.(125)(125)

Dredgers’ Union

Most of the ships ran aground at some period of the operations. On one such occasion, H.M.I.S. Narbada, observing a motor launch firmly embedded in the mud, enquired facetiously, “Are you a dredger?”. The motor launch did not reply, but when a few days later the Narbada herself ran aground in the same waters, it was this M.Ls turn to pass by and to signal “Welcome to the Dredgers’ Union.”

Sagu Kyun Island

As it is not possible to describe all the incidents during the blockade only the important ones are recounted. As part of the blockade M.Ls 476 and 474 sailed with a combined landing force to Sagu Kyun Island. Capt E.T. Cooper R.N. was embarked in M.L.

476 as Senior Officer, Assault Group. Sagu Kyun was reached at 1000 on the 13th, and the landing was unopposed. Japanese guns had been reported, and H.M. destroyers Norman and Raider bombarded the position. At 2100 M.Ls 476 and 474 proceeded through Ramree gates to patrol the inner harbour. Nothing, however, was sighted during the night, and the Force withdrew at dawn to support a further landing on the southern tip of Ramree island. This landing was also accomplished without incident, and at dusk on 31 January the destroyers were withdrawn, together with most of the landing craft, leaving M.Ls 476 and 474 to carry out a further night patrol of Ramree harbour.

At 1820 just as the destroyers were disappearing over the horizon, the Japanese engaged the M.Ls with heavy guns from the shore. The Force immediately got under way, at the same time observing near misses on the few landing craft remaining.

Japanese fire ceased at 1905 and it was decided that to enter Ramree harbour through the narrows in the face of heavy gunfire was an undue hazard and the harbour was consequently entered by the eastern channel. Fire was again observed apparently directed at the M.Ls at 2255 but no fall of shot was observed, and the patrol continued anchoring by Ponca Island for the night. As nothing was seen during the hours of darkness the M.Ls withdrew at dawn to return to Kyaukpyu.

Other patrols were carried out through Combermere Bay as far as An Chaung, first by M.Ls 438 and 477, and subsequently by M.Ls 413 and 843.(125)

The Illuminations

All boats of the 55th and 56th M.L. Flotillas were kept continuously on patrol, and were supported by H.M. Destroyers Pathfinder and Eskimo with H.M.S. Flamingo and sloops of the Royal Indian Navy. Landing Craft Assault, Landing Craft Mechanized and British Yard Mine Sweepers also took an active part, and it was a usual sight to see these vessels anchored at intervals of some three cables off from the Thanzit river to a point opposite the eastern end of Ramree Chaung. His Majesty’s destroyers did notable service, especially the Pathfinder, who penetrated as far as the Paikseik Taungmaw river where she was damaged by bombing.

After the first fortnight a lull indicated that the Japanese had escaped, or had died in the mangrove swamps. At the time orders were received that every form of illumination should be used to light up the chaung at night. The results were fantastic. Lighting sets were removed from jeeps and supplied to motor launches and landing craft, and destroyers’ searchlights played constantly through the night hours.

On 7 February,

M.L. 477 was anchored 50 yards from the east bank of the Paikseik Taungmaw river. Look-outs repo

rted distant voices, but nothing was sighted until at 1405 a gun opened fire on the motor launch from the western bank from a range of approximately a thousand yards. No flash could be observed, and although engines were started immediately and anchor slipped, eight direct hits were -sustained. Fortunately the Japanese were using armour-piercing 37-mm, which went right through the ship. At this moment the gun was located on the only piece of high land and was immediately engaged. M.L. 441 came in to assist, followed by M.L. 319, and the hostile gun was successfully quelled, M.L. 477 being able to return to base under her own power.(125)

The Sloops Again

We may now turn to the story of the sloops, and to state briefly the position on land. The assault on the Kangaw area by the 3rd Commando Brigade on 21 January under the support of the Narbada and Jumna has already been described. The 51st Brigade was subsequently landed. The 74th Brigade advancing from Myebon continued its attack on the western side of the Kyaukgnmaw river, and later carried out raids on the eastern bank to the north of Kangaw. The 82nd West African Division was pressing southward towards Kangaw from the direction of Hpontha. The Japanese fought hard in the Kangaw area carrying out repeated counterattacks. They threw into the battle the largest concentration of artillery yet met by our troops in Burma, but by 3 February it was evident that they were commencing a general withdrawal southwards, and it was decided to use the sloops to bombard targets on their line of retreat.

The object of sloops’ next operation, therefore, was the harassment of the Japanese line of communications between Kyweguseik and Tamandu and especially the ferry crossing on the Dalet Chaung.

The operation began on 5 February, and the bombarding force consisted of four sloops and two Z-craft–H.M.I.S. Narbada, H.M.I.S. Kistna, H.M.I.S. Jumna, H.M.S. Flamingo, the Z-craft Enterprise, and the Z-craft Fighter. The Jumna and the Flamingo, were not present at the start of the operation, and joined the Force on the 6 and 12 February respectively, while the Kistna left on the 10th. (125)

The four sloops each carried six 4″ guns, while the Z-craft were armed with four 25-pounders.

Fire Plan

The plan was for the Royal Air Force to carry out the maximum possible harassment of the Japanese line of communications by day and the naval forces to do likewise by night. The Royal Air Force effort consisted of bombing, strafing, and offensive reconnaissances. From 1200 to 1400 daily there was no R.A.F. activity so that the sloops and Z-craft might register with air observation post on new targets and re-register on old ones. The whole operation was controlled from the Narbada.

The Narbada and Kistna anchored at their bombarding positions on 5 February and commenced to engage a series of targets. The principal targets were in the area of Tamandu, where the Japanese were believed to have their garrison, the ferry crossing at map reference 8916, and the area between Kokkomaw and Thekanhtaung. Later, when the Japanese ceased using the ferries, fire was. shifted to the crossing point between Swichaung and Kazaukaing. Other targets were the main roads between Tamandu, Shaukchon and Kolan, the road between Tamandu, Tangyo, Ruywa and Kyweguseik and also the Japanese Inland Water Transport base at Nyaungkhctkan. Counter-battery work was carried out against Japanese 75-mm batteries at Thila, Nyaungkhetkan Pagoda, and on hill feature 582 east of Tamandu. All these guns were very carefully concealed in deep-roofed bunkers in thickly wooded hill country, and observation was very difficult. These were treated as secondary targets, and were only engaged when the guns proved troublesome, on which occasions they were effectively silenced, but not, so far as was known, destroyed.

Several engagements took place between sloops and batteries during the operations. On 12 February the Jumna and the Flamingo were engaged by guns at Thila. As the gun positions could not be detected, they were compelled to retire temporarily. The guns were afterwards silenced with the aid of air observation.(125)

Kantaunggyi Village

On 15 February as the Narbada was leaving Thayettaung Creek for a new operation, information was received from the headman of Kantaunggyi of the arrival of 50 Japanese soldiers in his village. The village could not be engaged from the creek, hence the Narbada was taken to a position in the Kanbyin river from where a clear line of fire was obtained.


The Japanese batteries on point 962, east of Tamandu ,

 opened fire on Landing Graft Support (Medium) 6, carrying the forward observer, as she came within 1,000 yards, but she pressed on and obtained shelter behind a mangrove island. The Japanese then shifted fire to the Narbada, who retired just out of range. This caused some slight delay, but the shoot on Kantaunggyi was successfully accomplished with the aid of the headman of the village in the L.C.S. (M), who pointed out the Japanese camp. After dealing with this position, the Narbada engaged the troublesome batteries whose position, had for the first time been accurately observed from the flash of their guns.

A total of 3,300 rounds was fired by the naval ships between 5 and 15 February, in addition to about 2,000 rounds fired by the 25-pounders in the Z-craft. The ships were involved in continuous operations for eleven days and were operating throughout the period within a few thousand yards (sometimes much less) of strongly held Japanese positions and batteries, in waters in which their craft were known to be operating, and which lent themselves to unorthodox form of attacks such as underwater attacks and assaults from the banks with mortars and grenades.(125)

Results

The results of the bombardment were difficult to assess, but from information provided by the local population, it appeared that the Japanese forces retreating from Kangaw and Kyweguseik were held up on the northern bank of t he Dalet Chaung for many days. Apparently the Japanese were led to believe that an assault would develop in the Dalet Chaung area. In actual fact t he next attack was made well to the south in the Ruywa area and was unopposed; the tying of the Japanese forces to the Tamandu area could only be attributed to the bombardment. The evacuation of the villages by the local inhabitants, consequent on the bombardment, depleted Japanese supply of food, and drove them to desperate measures to obtain it. They had been relying previously on rice stocks held by the villagers during the retreat.

During the operations frequent survey expeditions were carried out by M.Ls with echo sounders, and by the survey yacht Nguya.(125)

Ruywa Assault

D-Day was fixed for 16 February. 1030 was to be H-Hour.

With the mopping-up operations in the Myebon-Kangaw area being practically complete, the next step was to harass the Japanese withdrawal southward towards Dalet (headquarters of the Japanese 54th Division), Tamandu and An. Accordingly a naval bombardment force was assembled on the flank of the their line of retreat. This force included the Narbada, the Kistna, the Jumna, and the Flamingo, all armed with six 4-inch guns. To reach their bombardment positions the ships had to navigate 30 miles of uncharted chaungs.

The bombardment went on day and night from

 5 February to 15 February.1943

 Most of the country was densely wooded, with precipitous mountains, cut by deep valleys. The remainder was mostly mangrove swamp. The Japanese were most skilful in concealing their guns and in moving them from place to place. But forward observation officers kept the ships informed of the changing location of their various targets.

Ruywa, 20 miles south of Dalet, was once again the area of operations for the landing craft of the Royal Indian Navy. This young branch of the service landed the 25th Indian Division troops dead on schedule at Ruywa and became also their main supply link. The Naval Assault Force assembled in full daylight inside a chaung, a considerable distance from the open sea. Led by Arakan Coastal Force motor launches, the minor landing craft-mainly Royal Indian Navy–proceeded further upstream and were diverted unescorted into a smaller chaung continuing for another hour up a narrow winding channel before unleashing the first wave of troops into thick jungle. By the time the third wave had landed, the jungle had been cleared. This technique of amphibious landings up small creeks amidst thick jungle was far removed from the traditional conception of sand beaches and heavy naval units lying just off-shore. Nor was this the only hazard our men were overcoming in those landings. At Ruywa the shallowness of the creeks was an additional problem and rendered the beach usable only at certain stages of the tide. Yet, the Naval Assault Force was able to fulfil all its assignments, and by the end of the first day, the 25th Indian Division troops had reached their initial objectives exactly as planned. The rapid succession of landings on the Arakan coast surprised the Japanese forces and at Ruywa once more tactical surprise was achieved.

On 16 February1943

 the assault operation was carried out. The initial object was to land the 53rd Brigade to secure a beachhead through which the 2nd West African Brigade and the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade would be able to advance on An and Tamandu, respectively. The bombarding force was to support the landing of the 53rd Indian Infantry Brigade, and later, after the initial assault, to support the operations of the two other Brigades, and also the

advance by the 5th Nigerian Rifles from Kyweguseik Ngamankai Ywat Hit.

The Jumna left the bombardment force on 21 January and was relieved by the Cauvery on the 24th. Prior to the operation, a survey was conducted in M.L. 856 of the Ngandaung, Taungseing, and Kyaukpadaung rivers, and the various chaungs leading off from, and connecting, these rivers.

The pre-arranged task consisted of a fire plan on the Thangyo-Donkekan-Ruywa area, in which the three sloops took part in collaboration with army guns which had been landed on an island nearby. The targets chosen were the likely concentration areas of Japanese forces, and the fire plan was designed to prevent their movements towards the beach area.

The actual landing was entirely unopposed and was carried out most successfully. After the assault, the principal tasks were counter-battery work whenever the Japanese opened fire on our troops or craft, fire plans in support of military attacks, fire on hostile defended positions on call by forward bombardment observers, and night harassing fire on Japanese guns and positions which had been registered by air observation by day. Control of the bombardment was in the hands of the Narbada with the Senior Bombardment Liaison Officer embarked. Some of the targets engaged were at a considerable height, and out of sight beyond intermediate crests. Bombardment observers found great difficulty in finding good observation posts.(125)

Quick Work

On 21 February 1943

an air observer spotted a Japanese gun, and called for fire. Fire was opened in 60 seconds on this target which had not previously been registered, and the shoot was completed in 5½ minutes in the course of which 26 of the 32 rounds fired fell in the target area. The gun was not heard of again. This was possible due to the R.I.N. sloops maintaining direct radio telephonic communications with the observation planes which were operating from an air strip built the night before D-Day. This direct air-sea co-operation was made even closer by the fact that the senior ship of the squadron commanded by Captain M.H. St. L. Nott, O.B.E., R.I.N., was moored in a narrow chaung alongside the air strip(125).

A Dangerous Shoot

On another occasion the 3rd Gold Coast Regiment called for fire on a defended position on a hill 1,262 feet high at a range of 1,500 yards. For this bombardment our forward troops were

stationed a thousand yards short of the position, a thousand yards beyond it and a thousand yards to the right of it in dense bamboo jungle. In spite of their close proximity to the target, the shoot was successfully carried out, and the Japanese were dislodged from their position, enabling the Africans to advance without opposition at this key point.

On the night of 19 February Capt. G. Robins, R.A. kept a watch on the road between Tamandu and Thangyo from a Landing Craft Support (Mechanized) lying close to the bank within a few yards of hostile territory. At about 0100 he heard transport moving along the road, several points on which had previously been registered. He called for fire on one of these and the first shell arrived at the precise moment required. The result was at least one ditched lorry, and much shouting and confusion. At a later date a Japanese Divisional Headquarters, and centre ‘ of communications in the Letmauk-Kolan area were engaged with the aid of air spotting at a range of 18,600 yards.(125)

 

 

 

Narbada Damaged

On 22 February 1943

at 1830, fire was suddenly opened by Japanese 75-mm guns on the Narbada at anchor in the Setkhaw River. The ship was straddled with the fifth shot, and although by that time under way, was hit aft by the sixth round. The shell exploded in the depth charge stowage on the starboard quarter, splitting two depth charges completely in two. Fortunately they did not explode, a splendid testimony to the stable qualities of amatol. The steering gear also broke down temporarily due to a near miss. The only casualty was the coxswain of a D-tug lying alongside.

The Narbada immediately opened fire on the most likely Japanese guns which had been previously registered. It was, however, impossible to be certain which gun was firing, as no observation was available. The Japanese fire was extremely quick and accurate, and they secured several more straddles but no hits.(125)

The Forward Observer Bombardment’s Capture

On 4 March, the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade put in an attack from Thangyo which was intended to carry them to Tamandu. At 0945 the Narbada carried out a heavy bombardment of the Tamandu area, which the Forward Observer Bombardment observed from a distance of 500 yards. He then reported that in. his opinion the village was deserted and was given permission to investigate. This was done, and he took with him a Midshipman, and four

Ratings of the Narbada. The party carried out a reconnaissance 200 yards inland when they were stopped by mines and Panzi stakes.

The 74th Indian Infantry Brigade meanwhile had been held up by the Japanese some three miles further south. The Brigadier 74th Indian Infantry Brigade, asked that the Landing Craft Assault to make a small arms demonstration north of Tamandu to make the Japanese think a party was being landed north of them. This was done, and was effective. It was entirely due to the reconnaissance carried out by the Forward Observer Bombardment and his party that the decision was made to press on to Tamandu that afternoon. At 1730, six hours after the initial landing by the Forward Observer Bombardment and his party, the leading elements of the 74th Brigade arrived, and the village was turned over to them. It was probably the first time in history that a Forward Observer Bombardment had “captured” a village.

The waters in which the sloops were operating were equally difficult to those in the Myebon and Ramree areas, and special noteworthy feats of navigation were the Flamingo’s passage up the Hinkhonbauk river, and the Cauvery’s night passage from the Kaibainggyun river to the Zigyun river(125).

Cauvery and Kistna

H.M.I.S. Cauvery during these days had been busy supporting the army, and between 1 and 6 February she maintained intermittent harassing fire on Japanese land positions and periodic registration shoots with aircraft spotting. H.M.I.S. Kistna had a gun duel with a 75-mm gun on Naungkhetkhan Island.(125)

Landing of Guns

Mention was made earlier of the landing of army guns on an island in the Ruywa area. This job was carried out by a Royal Indian Navy Landing Craft Flotilla, assisted by Royal Marines, and two batteries of 25-pounders were put ashore. The landing point selected was nearly 2\ miles up a circuitous chaung and was within a mile of a Japanese gun position. The guns were landed from ten craft in the space of six hours on a beachhead permitting only two craft at one time. Five hours later the same flotilla was standing by to take in the assault troops to the main beach at Ruywa.(125)

The Supply Line

In a tent whose walls, tables and chairs were merely camouflaged tins of hard rations, the Paymaster supplied the Landing Craft

Wing in Ruywa. He followed the southward advance of the forward landing craft base from Myebon and set up office in the Ruywa area, five days after the initial landing there. Japanese artillery was shelling the clearing in which this front-line store was set up.(125)

On to Taungup–The Letpan Assault

Having completed the mopping-up of Ramree Island, the 26th Indian Division then turned its attention to the mainland, for the push to Taungup to bring the Arakan campaign to a triumphant close. Six landing points were selected on the Ma-I Chaung, near the Letpan Ferry, 30 miles up the road from Taungup. The landings which were made with many minor and major landing craft, involved a 40-mile passage through twisting rivers and chaungs. The landing craft were supported by motor launches, minesweepers, the British destroyers Roebuck and Eskimo and R.I.N. sloops Jumna and Cauvery. The destroyer Nubian joined later, helping to provide fire support for the southward advance. The landing was unopposed, and although opposition grew, Taungup was entered on 4 April.

On 12 March, 1943

the Narbada was relieved by the Jumna and on that day the Jumna and Cauvery embarked some 400 troops of an assault force and proceeded to the Kaleindaung river to take part in operation “TURRET”. The position on the coast there was that they were established fairly firmly in the Arakan, on the mainland as far south as Ruywa, and on the islands of Ramree and Cheduba. Inland, the 25th Indian Division was advancing south along the axis of the road An-Hinywat-Lamu-Taungup, and the main problem was to prevent the main body of the Japanese forces from crossing the Ma-I Chaung and linking up with the garrison at Taungup, which from all reports was being rapidly and substantially reinforced at that time.

It was essential, if a stalemate was to be avoided, that Taungup be captured before the break of the monsoon. Its capture was important from a military point of view and also from a propaganda one. Taungup meant slightly more to most people outside Burma than names like Myebon, Kangaw, Ruywa, and Letpan, and it meant a great deal more to the Arakanese and the Burmans.

An operation was therefore planned to take place on 13 March 1945, to land the 4th Brigade Group in the vicinity of Pyinwan to establish a beachhead on both the banks of Ma-I Chaung. Forces taking part in the operation were Naval Force ‘W one’ (a composite assault force composed of elements from both the Royal

Navy and the Royal Indian Navy, with bombarding ships,) the 4th Indian Infantry Brigade, 6 squadrons of P 47s, 2 squadrons of Hurricanes, and a half squadron of Tac R Hurricanes.(125)

Subsidiary Beaches

Before the main landing, however, two subsidiary beaches had to be secured. One, on the Singin Taung was for the landing of 25-pounders and 5.5″ guns to deal with some Japanese 75-mm positions which had been reported opposite this beach. This position was to be assaulted at 2130 on 12 March by two companies of the 1st Battalion 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, and the beach was to close down as soon as the main beachhead at Pyinwan had been secured.

The second subsidiary beach was to be established at the head of Chetpauk Chaung, also at 2130 on 12 March. The assaulting troops in this case were one company from the 2nd Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles and one platoon from the Royal Garhwal Rifles. The purpose of the landing was to push through and secure point 1121 on the hill known as Ziban Taung, which directly overlooked main assault beach and was reported to house some Japanese guns. It was essential to secure this feature before dawn to provide a suitable observation post for the pre-assault naval and air bombardment on any Japanese positions in the Pyinwan and Letpan areas.

The main beachhead was to be established at Pyinwan, the assault going in at 0930 on 13 March. The landing was to be made by the 2nd Battalion Green Howards with two machine gun companies of the 12 th Frontier Force Rifles Regiment in support. The original landing was to take place on the north bank, and a second bridge-head was to be secured later on the south bank.(125)

 

 

 

Sindin Taung

The operation was mounted from Kyaukpyu and all embarkation of assault troops and loading of stores was completed by 1800 on the 12th. The assault force had been split up into six convoys, lour Jailing on the 12th into six convoys, four sailing on the 12th to reach lowering position at various times before dawn on the 13th, and two sailing between 0001 and 0030 on the 13th.

Shortly after dawn Royal Indian Navy sloops dropped anchor at their rendezvous and waited. Throughout the night landings were carried out around the Letpan area. One sloop blasted suspected positions. Ant-like streams of landing craft moved in and out of the Chaungs feeding the tributary attacks, while the main beach under cover of airstrike, tanks were unloaded within an hour of the first wave going ashore. The R.I.N. Beach Commando with its Beachmaster regulated what might easily have become a major traffic jam. Explosives were used to dynamite fresh beaching strips, while the broad perimeter of paddy field flanked with trees was filling with transport and equipment.

The first convoy reached the lowering position at 2000 on the 12th, and the troops were embarked in the Landing Craft Assault immediately and went off to secure the beachhead on the Sindin Taung. The landing was made at high water with little trouble and no opposition, and by 0500 on the 13th, the beachhead was firmly established. Unfortunately, after the tide began to ebb, it was found that nothing could be landed on the beach for two hours on either side of high water, because the bank below high water mark was a mass of mud and nothing could pass through, even though “sandwiches” with a special thick bamboo soling had been specially made for this emergency. The guns were eventually landed during the next day and the beach finally closed

down on the 14th.(125)

“Stick-in-the-Mud”

The second convoy carrying troops to secure the beach-head at the top of Chetpauk Chaung arrived safely its release position. This beach was a somewhat different proposition to the one at Sindin Taung in that it was right up Chetpauk Chaung, which at the best of times was about 15 to 20 yards broad with mangrove banks. The beach selected was a small clearance in the mangrove about 50 yards long, with good firm paddy field behind it. It was overlooked, immediately on its left, by a small feature which was reported to be occupied by the Japanese. Owing to the darkness the first wave overshot the beach, and landed the troops into thick mangrove. The swamp extended to a depth of about 20 yards and it took the troops about twenty minutes to get across it.

The troops did their job and by early next morning had secured point 1121. The landing also was completely unopposed in spite of reports that the Japanese were in fair strength in the area. The original beach was established next morning and was worked till 0800 on the 14th when it closed down.

The remaining two assault convoys dropped anchor for the main assault at 0700 on 13 March. By this time the bombarding ships, the Cauvery and the Jumna, and the destroyers Reobuck and Eskimo, were in position and commenced their bombardment. Air support


was forthcoming from Thunderbolts of the U.S. Army Air Force, and inshore support was given by M.Ls 439, 477, 390 and 417. The assault wave left the ship at 0730 and the whole operation was carried through without opposition. During the first day the whole of the Brigade Group, with 200 tons of stores and 50 vehicles, was landed, and subsequently a further hundred tons of stores were taken off from a stores ship lying about 10 miles out and 27 vehicles were brought over from Kyaukpyu.

Since there was no opposition and things were going well a new beach-head was established half-a-mile further up the Ma-I Chaung, astride the Hinywat-Lemu road. This new beach gradually became the main one, as it was on the right side of the chaung, and all other beaches were closed down. The operation had been completely successful, and from this time it was a matter of jumping from one chaung to another, always going south, until the capture of Taungup

on 15 April,

 when the ultimate object of the operation was achieved.(125)

Coastal Forces Depart

The Letpan combined operations were the last in which the Fairmile Flotillas took part. The 55th M.L. Flotilla returned to Chittagong three days later, after six month’s continuous operation in Burmese waters, during which time some 340 single boat sorties were carried out.

The 56th M.L. Flotilla remained behind and carried out one further operation. On 30 March, M.Ls 412, 413, 417 and 844 together with four boats of the 36th ML. Flotilla, made rendezvous with the Roebuck and the Eskimo in the vicinity of Gwa. The motor launches proceeded into Gwa Bay in line ahead, while the destroyers opened fire with starshell, and 4.7″ guns. The motor launches took up the bombardment from close inshore. No results were ascertained, and there were no signs whatsoever of Japanese activity. At midnight on 31 March the Force returned to Akyab, and two days later the 56th M.L. Flotilla was ordered to return to Vizagapatam for refit.(125)

 

 

 

 

Last Harbour Defence Motor Launches

The only coastal forces then remaining in the Arakan were a few boats of the 121st H.D.M.L. Flotilla which were based at Chittagong and operated in the forward areas on various duties when required. In March, H.D.M.L. 1120 was at Teknaaf helping to salvage a workshop lorry which had sunk while being loaded, and later in the month H.D.M.L. 1115 helped in the salvage of acrashed liberator at Cox’s Bazar. The last three boats (1115, 1117 & 1120) returned to Calcutta

in April.(125)

Supporting Operations–Other Ships

This narrative of the Burma Operations has so far dealt with the role of the coastal forces, landing craft, and the tasks carried out by the sloops”. Mention may also now be made of some of the other ships which visited Burmese waters in support of these operations, and of those ships which indirectly contributed to their success.

Deserving of mention were five little ships, auxiliary vessels which had been built as coastal craft specially for the Barisal-Chittagong run. Their size and draft made them particularly suitable for plying to and from Cox’s Bazar. The entrance to this port was difficult, and there were only a few ships in Indian waters capable of navigating the narrows at the entrance. H.M.I. Ships Sandip, Sandoway, Selama, Sitakhoond and Nulchira, were loaned in early 1943 to the Eastern Army for transportation duties and were eventually paid off later in the year to the Inland Water Transport. H.M.I.S. Baroda was also on loan to the army in 1943 as a hospital carrier, and in April 1944 the Inland Water Transport took her over also.(125)

Sea Transport

In October 1943

the Sea Transport Service in India commenced move “Vanity”, the largest and longest move of stores, vehicles and troops carried out up to that time in the east. The aim was the building up of the Eastern Army to meet the Japanese threat and to counter-attack in Burma, and the move was mainly between Vizagapatam, Madras, Calcutta and Chittagong. All these ports had been greatly developed to enable them to handle the new heavy loads; and bunkering, watering, victualling and stevedoring facilities had been rapidly and stevedorially improved. Between 20 October 1943, and 30 April 1944, when move “Vanity” temporarily ceased, Calcutta alone handled the following sailings:–

106 sailings of troop ships, carrying 137,824 troops.
  99 sailings of M.T. ships, carrying 16,022 vehicles.
  61 sailings of store ships, carrying 118,669 tons.
  22 sailings of colliers ships, carrying 71,779 tons of coal.
  25 sailings of hospital ships, carrying 9,781 patients.

From Vizagapatam, a total of 5,797 motor vehicles, 172 motorcycles, 1 trailer pump, 84 guns and 1,138 personnel were shipped between February and April 1944; a total of 32,000 tons of stores was shipped monthly. At Madras

between 24 August and 15 1944(125)


1944

October 1943,

33,756 troops and their equipment were handled by Sea Transport.

At Chittagong, to which most of these shipments, were proceeding, a total of 128,900 troops and 16,039 vehicles was handled between 1 September 1943 and 29 February 1944, and in the same period 202,241 tons of military stores were landed, and some 87,780 tons loaded for Cox’s Bazar and Maungdaw. The daily average of stores received in, and despatched out, rose from 606.2 tons of imports and 180 tons of exports in September 1943 to 1,661.1 tons of imports and 790 tons of exports in February 1948. On one day in February 3,000 tons of stores was handled in 24 hours.(125)

 

 

Escort Duty

The transport of so many troops and so much valuable equipment carried with it, of course, a huge escort commitment. Many H.M.I, ships, trawlers, fleet minesweepers, and auxiliary antisubmarine vessels were employed on these arduous and monotonous duties between Madras and Chittagong and intermediate ports. It was on one such run, escorting convoy J. C. 36, on 11 February 1944 that H.M.I.S. Jumna in company with H.M.A.S. Launceston, and H.M.A.S. Ipswich, sank a U-boat which had torpedoed the merchantman Asphalion. As will be seen Royal Navy ships of the Eastern Fleet, and also Australian warships, assisted the Royal Indian Navy in this work; the following H.M.I, ships participated over various periods:–

H.M.I. Ships Jumna, Cauvery, Kistna, Sutlej, Narbada, Hindustan, Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Baluchistan, Bihar, Carnatic, Kathiawar, Konkan, Kumaon, Orissa, Oudh, Rohilkhand, Berar, Baroda, Madura, Agra, Lahore, Patna, Calcutta, Shillong, Ahmedabad, Cultack, Amritsar, Lilavati, Kalavati, Netravati, Pansy, Ramdas, Satyavati, St. Anthony, Irrawaddi.(125)

Midget Naval Units in Action

One of the smallest self-contained units in the amphibious Arakan campaigns was R.I.N. Beach Signal Stations. They took part in every major landing on the Arakan, normally “setting up shop” on assault beaches within fifteen minutes of the first wave. “At a beachhead when I landed at H-Hour plus forty”, wrote an R.I.N. Observer, “an advanced party of this Station was already comfortably sconced in a palm-thatched dugout and were sending and receiving messages in a quantity that would have done credit to a metropolitan telegraph office. Official correspondence referred to them as 21 B.S.S. (R.I.N.). They were an integral part of the R.I.N.’s landing craft wing but,

in the Arakan, they werecompletely self-sufficient.

Their two officers between them did the work which in larger naval units was done by engineer, electrical, victualling, pay and clothing officers. They were vital to every landing–a midget organization which did a giant’s work”.(125)

A Radar Barge

War at sea always carries with it the hazards of navigation and weather as well as of the enemy. In January H.M.I.S. Bihar was detailed to tow a 100 ton radar barge from Chittagong. Ship and barge sailed on 4 January and at 0200 on 6 January the weather suddenly deteriorated, and violent squalls struck the ship. The barge became unmanageable, and finally the tow parted.

During the night the barge was not visible, but was held by the Bihar’s radar. When she was sighted again in the morning, it was found that the crew had abandoned the barge which was listing about 20° to port and rolling heavily. Two volunteers from the Bihar (S/Lt. A.M.G. Brown, R.I.N.V.R. and S/Lt. (E) J.R.C. Philips R.I.N.V.R.) boarded the barge, and at considerable personal risk steered it while it was towed to Oyster Island. These officers were later mentioned in dispatches.(125)

Ancillary Duties

In November 1944,

H M.LS. Ahmedabad and H.M.I.S. Patna both made trips to Teknaaf, escorting L.C.Ts. In early 1945 H.M.I.S. Konkan and Kathiawar were part of the escort of the Kyaukpyu assault convoy, and in January and February H.M.I.S. Baluchistan and Kathiawar had been on escort work between Chittagong, Akyab, Teknaaf and Kyaukpyu.(125)

 

Motor Minesweepers

February 1945,

saw the first Royal Indian Navy minesweepers in Burmese waters, when Motor Minesweepers 129, 130 and 131 arrived in Akyab under the orders of Commander, Minesweeping, Bay of Bengal. Their first duties were to sweep approaches to Akyab for magnetic mines. Thereafter, the ships were employed on odd jobs in support of.general operations. They carried troops and stores from Myebon to Ruywa, carried out ferry control and block ship duties in Ruywa Chaung, and escorted Landing Craft Mechanized store ship, Harbour Defence Motor Launches and Motor Fishery Vessels between Kyaukpyu, Ruywa and Akyab. M.M.S. 130 and 131 left Burma in April, but 129 stayed till May, having been employed for a month on degaussing range duties at Akyab and Kyaukpyu.*125)

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The end 2 2012

1943

In January of 1943

 the head of government in Japan, General Hideki Tojo announced that soon Burma would become an independent nation.

 

[Burma / Myanmar, (formerly British)

 

The Dai Nippon Occupation Burma Postal history

 

というわけで、今日は誕生日ネタのマテリアルを1点。


 この葉書は、太平洋戦争中の1943年、

 

ThIs Card from the camp Morumen (Mawlamyaing) or Moulnei Burma(Myanmar),

was offered to women of Sumatra Medan destined place of internment

under the Japanese military occupation of Burma under Japanese occupation also.

1943, during World War II, the Japanese military

was built connecting the 415 kilometers between

Taimentetsudo (Burma) (Thailand) = Tanbyuzaya Nonpuradokku.

Prisoner of war of the coalition forces to mobilize in this construction,

the Japanese army is provided with a “concentration camp Tai”,

where the camp at six minutes have been installed across the two regions of Thailand and Burma.

This postcard, in one such camp prisoners were held out,

to the back side, the basic wording has been printed in advance,

you may have worked in the description of 10 cents per day.

In addition, images (click to enlarge) was scanned directly from

the works exhibited in the exhibition of stamps that <JAPEX> in 2004. As a result, if you use a color copy,

in order to clarify the distinction between actual and copy,

copy that according to the rules of the Stamp Exhibition to shrink,

making it shrink back is not a copy of the original size.

Now, Please pay attention to signs of pre-censorship was pressed on the surface of the postcard.

Date has been written into it, has become a January 22, 1943.

In addition, the sign of the person in charge is included censorship firm also named Naito.

Although a product of chance,

exactly, for Yosuke Naito was born in January 22 is attached to and feel very material.

I’ve heard and that he had said has attracted the mail collector prominent there, for fun at all,

postmarked on my birthday of up to now from the 19th century has been pressed,

at one time or another There there may not look so bad in the form of philately enjoy such

 

original info in Japanese language

 

日本軍占領下のビルマ(ミャンマー)・モールメン(モーラミャイン)収容所から、

 

 

 

同じく日本軍占領下のスマトラ島メダンの女性抑留所宛に差し出されたものです。

 太平洋戦争中の1943年、日本軍はノンプラドック(タイ)=タンビュザヤ(ビルマ)間の415キロメートルを結ぶ泰緬鉄道を建設しました。

この建設工事に連合軍の俘虜を動員するため、日本軍は“泰俘虜収容所”を設け、

タイ・ビルマの両地域にまたがって6ヶ所の収容所分所が設置されています。

 この葉書は、そうした収容所の捕虜が差し出した1枚で、裏面には、基本的な文面があらかじめ印刷されており、1日10㌣で働いているとの記述もあります。なお、画像(クリックすると拡大されます)は、2004年に<JAPEX>という切手の展覧会に出品した作品の中からそのままスキャンしました。この結果、カラー・コピーを使う場合には、現物とコピーの区別を明瞭にするため、コピーは縮小するという切手展のルールに従って、裏面のコピーが原寸ではなく縮小になっています。

 さて、葉書の表面に押された検閲済の印にご注目ください。そこに書き込まれている日付は、昭和18年1月22日となっています。また、検閲担当者の印には内藤という名前もしっかり入っています。

 偶然の産物とはいえ、まさに、1月22日生まれの内藤陽介にとっては、非常に愛着を感じるマテリアルです。

 いつだったか、ある著名な収集家が、全くのお遊びで、19世紀から現在にいたるまでの自分の誕生日の消印が押された郵便物を集めている言っていたことをと聞いたことがありますが、こういう形でフィラテリーを楽しんでみるのも悪くないのかもしれませ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1943

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (Feb. 11) postcard franked with 2c on ½a on 2 sen Showa (Scott 2N15), and Unoverprinted Japan 1s Showa tied by ‘Rangoon PO Sorting’ cds. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange.

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (ca.) cover franked with 3c on 3 sen Showa with blue surcharge, also 1c Elephant block of four (Scott 2N23a, 51) tied by ‘Kominko Chin Road’ postmarks. The 3c surcharge is rare on cover.

 

 

March 1943

 

In March of 1943

Aung San was promoted to the rank of bogyoke (major general), a title he was known by for the rest of his life. He, Ba Maw and other Burmese leaders were brought to Tokyo to be decorated by Emperor Hirohito of Japan.

March 1943
Promoted to become Major-General Aung San of BDA.

1943
Invited to Japan and decorated by the Emperor with “Order of the Rising Sun”.

 

 

 

 

July 1943

 

 

 

 

Japanese Occupation of Burma, 1943 (July 12) cover to Japan,

franked with ¼a on 1s Showa single, two ½a on 2s singles, and 15c on 4a on 4s single (Scott 2N4-5, 19) tied by ‘Experimental PO’ postmarks. Censor’s purple boxed cachet with oval chop in orange. Rare mixed-currency usage to Japan.

 

 

 

 

竹山道雄の小説「ビルマの竪琴」の主人公・水島上等兵のモデルといわれる僧侶・

 

This is the letter sheet after the Second World War, the former Japanese soldiers held out from Mingaladon of Burma

“to disarm under military post.”

I think it named former postal Japanese soldiers appeared in the “Harp of Burma” was addressed to the Japanese held out, roughly,

with what may be the image of things like this.

Mingaladon submissions was ground cover is in the suburbs north of Yangon (Rangoon) Rangoon,

is the international airport and industrial park area there is a Rangoon.

Incidentally, Mudon was the stage of “Harp of Burma”, 30 kilometers to the south, is 13 hours by bus from Rangoon,

located further from the point of 8 hours by rail (Mawlamyaing) Morumen in southern Burma.

By signing the surrender document of September 1945,

to disarm the Japanese army stationed in Burma is made, the Imperial Japanese Army officers

and soldiers was sent to the camp as a prisoner of war.

Was held prisoner of war mail them to target these is the “disarm under military post.”

Rates are free from so-called prisoners of war is a kind of postal, stamps are not affixed material introduced here also.

Many of the military post has been left under the current disarmament is a postcard, etc.

and how to display the “disarm military post under” is mixed by region.

If the material introduced here, but has been pressed the “post military disarmament under”

in red stamp at the top of the cover, because at the time of arrival in Japan,

had been affixed to tape censorship from above that, is it hard to see a little is regrettable.

According to the writing of the sender, this cover is the submissions of October 5, 1946, “after the war,

We will be rude without hearing even once also on the relationship between the paper”

on the inside of the letter sheet is a sentence with the Because there,

for the sender, seems to have been first letter to Japan Sashidase become prisoners of war this is.

“In our on Gil, I think that it is a good way if you Dzu Kaerere until around 3 Once you have within this year and go home”

There is a sentence with the letter sheet In addition to this.

“The Burmese Harp” Initially, because had been serialized in the “Red Dragonfly” magazine until

February 1948 from March 1947, of timing, you may have set eyes on the series of magazines From this I. However, in reality,

in the Theravada Buddhism in Burma that monks play the music I have also pointed out a story of “Harp of Burma”,

so that is prohibited by precepts that impossible established fundamentally, actual “Aaron camp,”

“It is true that if you ask people with experience in prisoner of war in Burma,” Burmese Harp “is like that” I’m just talking …

 

origonal info in Japanese language

 

中村一雄さんが17日に亡くなっていたそうです。謹んでご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。というわけで、今日はこんなモノをもってきました。(画像はクリックで拡大されます)

 

 これは、第二次大戦後、ビルマのミンガラドンから旧日本兵が差し出した“被武装解除軍人郵便“のレターシートです。『ビルマの竪琴』に登場する旧日本兵たちが日本宛に差し出した郵便物というのは、大体、こんな感じのモノというイメージで良いのかと思います。

 カバーの差出地となったミンガラドンはラングーン(ヤンゴン)の北の郊外にあり、ラングーン国際空港や工業団地がある地域です。ちなみに、『ビルマの竪琴』の舞台となったムドンは、ビルマ南部のモールメン(モーラミャイン)からさらに南へ30キロ、ラングーンからはバスで13時間、鉄道で8時間の地点にあります。

 1945年9月の降伏文書調印を受けて、ビルマでも駐留日本軍の武装解除が行われ、旧日本軍将兵は捕虜として収容所に送られました。そうした彼らを対象に行われた捕虜郵便が“被武装解除軍人郵便”です。いわゆる捕虜郵便の一種ですから料金は無料で、今回ご紹介のマテリアルも切手は貼られていません。

 現在残されている被武装解除軍人郵便の多くは葉書ですが、“被武装解除軍人郵便”との表示の仕方などは地域によってまちまちです。今回ご紹介のマテリアルの場合は、カバーの上部に赤いスタンプで“被武装解除軍人郵便”と押されていますが、日本到着時に、その上から検閲テープが貼られてしまったため、少し見づらいのが残念です。

 差出人の書き込みによると、このカバーは1946年10月5日の差出ですが、レターシートの内側には「終戦後、紙面の関係上また一度もお便りせず失礼致しております」との一文がありますので、差出人にとっては、これが捕虜となって最初に差し出せた日本宛の手紙だったようです。

 このほかにもレターシートには「本年中に帰れるとしたら上々吉で、3月頃まで帰れればまづよい方だと思います」との一文があります。『ビルマの竪琴』は、当初、1947年3月から1948年2月まで雑誌『赤とんぼ』に連載されていましたから、タイミング的には、この差出人も雑誌の連載を目にしていたかもしれませんね。もっとも、現実には、ビルマの上座部仏教では僧侶が音楽を奏でることは戒律で禁止されているそうで、『ビルマの竪琴』の物語は根本的に成立しえないという指摘もありますし、実際にビルマでの捕虜体験のある人たちに言わせれば、「『アーロン収容所』は事実だが、『ビルマの竪琴』は単なるお話だよ」ということのようですが…

 

 

1st August 1943
Burma was declared an independent nation and Major-General Aung San became the War Minister.

1943
BDA was renamed as Burma National Army (BNA).

 

 The Burmese delegation was given a document that stated that Burma would become a sovereign nation in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

on August 1, 1943.

 

 Ba Maw was to be the head of state

 

 and Aung san the minister of war in the new government. Aung San’s army, the Burma Defense Army, was renamed the Burma National Army (BNA).

Read more about Ba maw

About Dr. Ba Maw

 

 

Dr. & Mrs. Ba Maw, Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar), in formal court dress, May 1937 in England for the coronation of King George VI

Dr. Ba Maw was born in Ma-u-bin on February 8, 1893. After his studies, he was attracted to politics, and for the next 40 years, was a leading politician and statesman in Burma (Myanmar). In 1937, Dr. Ba Maw became the first Burmese (Myanmar) ever, under British rule, to assume the post of Prime Minister of Burma (Myanmar). He held the premiership until 1939. In 1943, he was again elected as Head of State of Burma (Myanmar). He then led the nationalist movement which culminated in the country’s declaration of independence on August 1, 1943.

U Kye, Dr. Ba Maw’s father, had been an official in the courts of the former Kings of Burma (Myanmar) – Kings Mindon and Thibaw. A staunch supporter of the monarchy of Burma (Myanmar), he actively opposed the establishment of British Colonial rule. He refused to serve under the British despite his fluency in English, and later fought in open rebellion against them.

Dr. Ba Maw’s mother sacrificed in many ways to send her son to the prestigious St. Paul’s Boys School in Rangoon (Yangon). Her selflessness inspired Ba Maw to persevere in his studies, and follow in his father’s footsteps. Through hard work, he earned scholarships at the Rangoon College and at the University of Calcutta. He went on to study law at Cambridge University in England and received his Barrister-at-law degree from Gray’s Inn, London, in 1924. He received a PhD from the University of Bordeaux in France.

 

The first Burmese delegation to Japan before their audience with the Emperor, Tokyo, March 1943.
Left to right: Dr. Ba Maw, Thakin Mya, Dr. Thein Maung, Bo Aung San.

November 1943
The British troops hiding in hills of Burma received Aung San’s plan to turn his forces against the Japanese.

 

 

 

 

 

2 responses to “Dai Nippon Occupation Myanmar(before Burma) History Collections

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