(Dec. 194-May 1945)

When the Japanese completed the conquest of Burma, then part of the British Commonwealth, on 20 May 1942, they forced Allied troops (British, Indian and Chinese) from the area and effectively cut the Burma Road, the last overland supply route to China.  In December 1943, the Allies launched an offensive from India in an effort to retake Burma and to reopen an overland supply route to China.  The Allied Southeast Asia Command authorized three major drives to free Burma: Two American trained Chinese divisions (U.S. LTG Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell and later U.S. LTG Daniel Sultan) drove into Burma from the north and built the Ledo Road, a link to the Burma Road; the 'Chindit" guerrillas of British MG Orde Wingate (until his accidental death in March 1944) operated successfully behind Japanese lines in central Burma; and the largest and most important drive was assigned to the British Fourteenth Army along the Imphal Front.  The Japanese Burma Area Army provided stubborn resistance against the advances, but efficient Allied logistical and tactical air support proved decisive in the Burma campaign. By December 1944 the Chinese drives from the north and British offensives from the west and northwest linked up and in March 1945 the Burma Road was reopened.  On 3 May 1945 the British XV Corps took Rangoon, Burma's capital, by amphibious assault, forcing the remnants of the Burma Area Army to retreat into Thailand and freeing Burma from nearly three years of Japanese occupation.

Battles - China-Burma-India

Thanks to our writers and researchers who prepared these WWII NarrativesJosh Pierson, A.J.Allen, Don Bourgeois, Alisha Hamel, Sarah Holcomb

BACK

TO TOP