After the fall of Rangoon, the Allies tried to make a stand in central Burma. (a) Japanese tank forces involved in the initial invasion of Burma were extremely light: 1st (Light Tank) Company of 2nd Tank Regiment marched into Burma from Malaya on its tracks – only a single reinforced platoon made it into action (x2 models) and this was lost in action against the British 7th Armoured Brigade at Pegu. They also had been rapidly expanded, with an influx of Bamar soldiers, and were short of equipment and consisted mainly of new recruits. It proved that Japan can develop the tank by themselves. Zaloga, Steven. The monsoon season soon began, bringing British and Japanese operations, except for patrols, temporarily to an end. After all, the closed infantry attack was only way to destory M3 Light Tanks. From my understanding there were several hundred on each side, but I have never seen any hard figures. The Japanese reinforced their two divisions in Burma with the 18th Division transferred from Malaya and the 56th Division transferred from the Dutch East Indies after the fall of Singapore and Java. Collectively, they are sometimes referred to as the Battle of Central Burma. The remaining Chinese troops tried to return to Yunnan through remote mountainous forests but many died on the way. General Archibald Wavell, the commander-in-chief of the ABDA Command, nevertheless ordered Rangoon to be held. The Japanese tried to cut off Burma Corps by sending troops by boat up the Chindwin River to seize the riverside port of Monywa on the night of 1/2 May. The Burma Independence Army was officially founded in Bangkok, Thailand on 28 December 1941. stream "M3 and M5 Stuart Light Tank 1940–45". The Japanese 143 Infantry Regiment (from 55th Division) then launched overland attacks on the airfields at Tavoy and Mergui in Tenasserim. /Creator Although the Australian government refused to allow its troops to be committed to Burma, some British and Indian reinforcements, including the British 7th Armoured Brigade (equipped with new M3 Stuart tanks)[26] and the 63rd Indian Infantry Brigade, landed in Rangoon. Burma had been regarded as a military "backwater", unlikely to be subjected to Japanese threat.[18]. The 14th Tank Regiment fought with the Biritsh in the south of Imphal. `��J~HI����E�0�u�\���s =���m'0����^��� The airfields were difficult to defend and reinforce, but Burma Army HQ had been ordered to hold these outposts because of their importance to the defence of Malaya. Since the whole Burma/Pacific WW2 thing became a thing I was mindful of the fact that of course I would need some Japanese opposition. That tank shot at the rear of M3 Medium Tank at close range. /Producer The Type 95 can trace its roots as far back as 1933. [27] Had he not done so, the Japanese might have captured General Alexander and much of the rest of the Burma Army. Although counter-attacks allowed the troops to escape, most of the Burma Corps' remaining equipment had to be destroyed or abandoned. Mergui was evacuated before it was attacked. On 21 December 1941, Thailand had signed a military alliance with Japan. The Royal Air Force wing operating from Magwe was crippled by the withdrawal of the radar and radio-intercept units to India[28] and the Japanese soon gained supremacy in the air. The M3 Lee, officially Medium Tank, M3, was an American medium tank used during World War II.In Britain, the tank was called by two names based on the turret configuration and crew size. [35] The troops were in an alarming state, with "hair-raising stories of atrocities and sufferings".[36]. The 16th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 17th Indian Division guarding this approach retreated hastily westward. [19], An additional factor was the Burma Road completed in 1938, which linked Lashio, at the end of a railway from the port of Rangoon, with the Chinese province of Yunnan. The medium tanks were the heaviest category of Japanese armored vehicles. However, as the Burma Army retreated up through the country, the terrain became more difficult for tanks. Fearing that the bridge would fall intact to the Japanese who would use it to advance on Rangoon, the divisional commander, Major-General "Jackie" Smyth, VC, ordered it to be blown up on the morning of 23 February 1942, with most of the division stranded on the enemy-held side. Unopposed Japanese bomber fleets attacked almost every major town and city in the Allied-held part of Burma, causing widespread destruction and disorder. The Japanese forces held a slight advantage in numbers in northern Malaya and were significantly superior in close air support, armour, co-ordination, tactics and experience, Japanese units having fought in the Second Sino-Japanese War. [22], The 17th Indian Division fell back northward. After the fall of Rangoon, the Allies tried to make a stand in central Burma. The Burma campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was fought primarily by British Commonwealth, Chinese and United States forces against the forces of Imperial Japan, who were assisted to some degree by Thailand, the Burmese National Army and the Indian National Army.The British Commonwealth land forces were drawn primarily from the United Kingdom, British India and … Lieutenant General Thomas Hutton, the commander of Burma Army with its headquarters in Rangoon, had only the 17th Indian Infantry Division and 1st Burma Division to defend the country, although help was expected from the Chinese Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-shek. In most cases, such training and equipment as the Indian units in Burma received was for operations in the Western Desert campaign or the North West Frontier of India, rather than jungles. The army consisted of the highly regarded 33rd Division and the 55th Division, although both divisions were weakened for several weeks by detachments to other operations. [23], Though the Sittang River was in theory a strong defensive position, the disaster at the bridge left the Allied forces too weak to hold it. In April 1942 1st and 14th Tank Regiments arrived with the Initially governed as part of British India, Burma was formed into a separate colony under the Government of India Act 1935. It was hoped that the Chinese Expeditionary Force in Burma, commanded by Luo Zhuoying and consisting of the Fifth Army (commanded by Du Yuming) and the Sixth and Sixty-sixth Armies, could hold a front south of Mandalay. 4 0 obj The position was almost impossible to defend, and had the River Salween, almost 1.5 miles (2.4 km) wide, behind it. The port was destroyed and the oil terminal was blown up. Alexander ordered counter-attacks against the Japanese at Pegu, 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Rangoon, but soon realised that there was no hope of defending Rangoon. During the first year of the campaign, the Japanese Army (with aid from Thai Phayap Army and Burmese insurgents) drove British Empire and Chinese forces out of Burma, then began the Japanese occupation of Burma and formed a nominally independent Burmese administrative government. The Type 95 Ha-Gō (九五式軽戦車 ハ号 kyūgo-shiki kei-sensha Ha-Gō) (also known as Ke-Go or Kyu-Go) was a light tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army in combat operations of the Second Sino-Japanese War, at Nomonhan against the Soviet Union, and in the Second World War. For the IJN, amphibious tanks were considered vessels (not vehicles), and thus their standard color was grey. The retreat was conducted in horrible circumstances. U.S. Army M3 tanks during maneuvers in the United Kingdom. An army of 30,000 Japanese troops were still trapped in central Burma, hoping to meet up with more Japanese forces on the Thai border. Well this is a post that I would not have thought of drafting six months ago! The Japanese invasion of Burma was the opening phase of the Burma campaign in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, which took place over four years from 1942 to 1945. Indian troops provided the majority of 14th Army's fighting strength during the Burma … The retreating British and Indian troops were thrown back when they attempted to break through Sakuma's road block. The army and civil authorities in India were very slow to respond to the needs of the troops and civilian refugees. The Type 97 Chi-Ha, with nearly 2100 units built (including the improved (Kai) version), was the second most produced tank in Japanese history, after the smaller Ha-Go. The Chinese 38th Division however, commanded by Sun Li-jen, fought its way westward across the Chindwin, arriving in India substantially intact although with heavy casualties. The British sent the 7th Armored Brigade to Burma, which had been planned to send to Malaya. Three Thai infantry divisions and one cavalry division, supported by the Royal Thai Air Force, captured Kengtung on 27 May. /CreationDate (D:20140203185037-05'00') Read another story from us: 34 Brilliant Images of the VERY Effective M10 Tank Destroyer. Type 97 Chi-Ha – Yūshūkan Museum, Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo (Japan) This tank was part of the 9th Tank Regiment first based in Manchuria, then in April 1944 was sent to Saipan. Japanese troops and tanks advance to Mandalay, Burma, during World War II. The first Japanese attack on 14 December 1941, against Victoria Point, almost the most southerly point of Burma, was expected and was not contested. On the eastern part of the front, in the Battle of Yunnan-Burma Road, the Chinese 200th Division held up the Japanese for a time around Toungoo, but after its fall the road was open for motorised troops of the Japanese 56th Division to shatter the Chinese Sixth Army to the east in the Karenni States and advance northward through the Shan States to capture Lashio, outflanking the Allied defensive lines and cutting off the Chinese armies from Yunnan. After that, it became the IJA policy that the tank is made in Japan. The Japanese burned Panglong, driving out the over 200 Hui households out as refugees. The first Japanese tank made a great success. This later led some to question the decision to blow the bridge, arguing that the river itself did not offer much of an obstacle to the Japanese, and that more harm than good was achieved, as it resulted in the stranding of two brigades and delayed the Japanese capture of Rangoon by ten days at most. He and several other volunteers (the Thirty Comrades) were later given intensive military training on Hainan Island. The tank regiments into which the Japanese battle tanks were usually formed in general consisted of roughly equal numbers of light and medium types. [46], Japanese advance to the Salween and Chindwin. He was expecting substantial reinforcements from the Middle East, including an Australian infantry division. [43] The Hui Muslim Ma Guanggui became the leader of the Hui Panglong self-defense guard created by Su[who? On 26 April the British, Indian and Burman forces joined the civilians in a full retreat. JAPANESE ARMOUR, and TANK CREW UNIFORM COLOURS & MARKINGS 1937 - 1945 Harvey Low V2 January 2015. The leading elements of the Thai Phayap Army crossed the border into the Shan States on 10 May 1942. Osprey Publishing, 18 Nov 1999. p. 14. [45] The principal model in service at the time of Pearl Harbor was the Type 97 or “Chi-Ha.” The Chinese armies each had approximately the strength of a British division but comparatively little equipment. �h�G6#8���+7�-��2S����� ��|�b�b��5f[�u#m r�u�rz��GO~��t�b!lQC:� Z�1�C�8't�K,ç|\v����`z[�IC��uN<0��(}��^DP�Lx�N���*�X8r��%�5��}6�, ��9��0�Ѩ��H�ϵ:F�S �W�C,�d?h��u�� C�:$�6h(mE��W�ki�We����I�@����� ����e��'� O�E�>8��G��! [33] As the Corps tried to cross to the west bank of the Chindwin by ramshackle ferries to Kalewa, on 10 May the Japanese advancing from Monywa attempted to surround them in a "basin" encircled by cliffs at Shwegyin on the east bank. [42] The Japanese advance in Arakan ended just south of the Indian frontier, prompting the British military and civil authorities in and around Chittagong to implement a premature "scorched earth" policy which contributed to the Bengal Famine of 1943. In the coastal Arakan Province, some of the Burma Independence Army reached Akyab Island before the Japanese troops. 33, Sino-Japanese Air War 1937–45, see 1941 and 1942, Burma Campaign, Orbat for 1942 campaign, Japan, Commonwealth, Chinese, USA, A Forgotten Invasion: Thailand in Shan State, 1941–45, Thailand's Northern Campaign in the Shan States 1942–45, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Japanese_invasion_of_Burma&oldid=995071323, Military history of Thailand during World War II, Military history of Burma during World War II, Military history of India during World War II, Land battles and operations of World War II involving the United Kingdom, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from July 2018, Pages containing London Gazette template with parameter supp set to y, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 December 2020, at 01:57. At least 500,000 civilian fugitives reached India, while an unknown number, conservatively estimated between 10,000 and 50,000, died along the way. �n´�@�? Though the first Japanese tank was made, it was too big and too heavy (18 tons) to use as main tank … The Allies had no tanks, which had put them at … Tanks in Burma Armoured Formations & Units In Burma & N.E. Early model Chi-Ha’s taking part in maneuvers. The retreat was delayed by incidents such as a vehicle breaking through the bridge deck, air attacks (including, allegedly, accidental attacks by the RAF and AVG), and Japanese harassment. Type 89 Medium Tank. The 2nd Burma Brigade was squeezed into a progressively tighter perimeter, and eventually retreated over the river by ferry on 31 January after abandoning a large amount of supplies and equipment. /Filter /FlateDecode Japanese Type 97 Tank Chi-Ha. [\�*[�/�G���+� ���B]��$�%{Xf���I���(mE���֭�� DX�xA+�UXMԽ,3I JN4z�yfpH�}� R*�Sa� & �>Y�#m�@�L C �LhI���E��\5�a�r�E:��G���ӳ��0�F���a�. [31] The Burma Corps retreated to Manipur in India. In March/April 1944, in the wake of the Japanese offensive Operation Ha-Go (the Second Arakan Campaign), and the subsequent Operation U-Go (the Japanese offensive to take Imphal and invade India), most of the personnel of ‘C’ Squadron 150th RAC were flown into the besieged city of Imphal to take over the reserve Lee medium tanks of 3rd Carabiniers (254th Indian Tank Brigade, … In late 1940 Aung San, a Burmese student activist, made contact with Suzuki Keiji in Amoy and was flown to Japan for talks. [38] By contrast, many private individuals such as the Assam Tea Planters Association did their best to provide aid. The remnants of the Burma Army faced encirclement as they retreated north from the city, but broke through the Taukkyan Roadblock as the result of an error on the part of the local Japanese commander. It was donated to Yasukuni During the war, the British Indian Army expanded more than twelve-fold from its peacetime strength of 200,000 but in late 1941 this expansion meant that most units were undertrained and ill-equipped. x��]Y�7~�_�����t�y����7�lm�6� {4G��3Nf�� �@7Ճ���-Wi�"H��d�X\��*+U]d�^h�/N+�/�oN.N���'E���$k�ş'�1o��_�( It consisted initially of 227 Burmese and 74 Japanese personnel. The Southern Expeditionary Army Group under overall command of Hisaichi Terauchi was responsible for all military operations in the South-East Asia. On 7 March, the Burma Army evacuated Rangoon after implementing a scorched earth plan to deny the Japanese the use of its facilities. The Type 89 was (relatively) heavy, well armored, with a moderately efficient low-velocity 57 mm (2.24 in) gun, but utterly slow. They attempted to hold the Bilin River and other fallback lines as they did so, but had too few troops to avoid being continually outflanked. Medium Tanks. The Japanese 18th and 56th Divisions pursued the Chinese into Yunnan, but were ordered to halt on the Salween River on 26 April. The Japanese forced their way over the steep jungle-covered Tenasserim Range, and attacked Tavoy on 18 January. >> A Lee tank being loaded onto a pontoon ferry . In either case, no fancy camo schemes. >> The common misconception is that British and Indian tanks in the Burma Campaign were usually just monotonous Jungle Green, devoid of markings. A British Lee tank crosses a river north of Imphal to meet the Japanese advance in Burma, 1944 . Colonel Takanobu Sakuma, commanding the Japanese 214th Infantry Regiment, had been ordered to block the main road north from Rangoon to Prome while the main body of the 33rd Division circled round the city to attack from the west. [37] The majority of the refugees at Myitkyina were forced to make their way to India via the unhealthy Hukawng Valley and the precipitous forested Patkai Range. Their troops suffered from shortage of supplies and disease, but were not subjected to Allied attacks. Meanwhile, the newly created Burma Corpswhich had been formed to relieve Burma Army … Panglong, a Chinese Muslim town in British Burma, was entirely destroyed by the Japanese invaders in their invasion of Burma. [44], An account of the Japanese attack on the Hui in Panglong was written and published in 1998 by a Hui from Panglong called "Panglong Booklet". Even in 1943 the commitment in China still amounted to 25 infantry divisions, 1 armored division, 11 mixed brigades, 1 cavalry brigade and 1 flying division – a total of 620,000 men and 14,000 vehicles. In later months, 70 to 80% of those who reached India were afflicted with diseases such as dysentery, smallpox, malaria or cholera, with 30% "desperately so".[30]. From the total of 51 divisions in China and Manchuria only 11 were available in December 1941.. The ad hoc Burma Corps HQ was disbanded and IV Corps HQ, which had recently arrived in India, took over the front. Yunnan and Kokang received the refugees from Panglong. The opposition had been the 93rd Division of the National Revolutionary Army, which was already cut off by the Japanese advance to the Salween River and was retreating. Many of them also retreated via the Hukawng Valley route and subsisted largely by looting, further increasing the misery of the refugees. The Japanese Fifteenth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Shojiro Iida, was initially assigned the mission of occupying northern Thailand, which had signed a treaty of friendship with Japan on 21 December 1941, and attacking the southern Burmese province of Tenasserim across the Tenasserim Hills. India 1942 1945 Burma Study Weekend, York, November 2018 By: Rob PALMER, M.A. During the battles of Khalkhin Gol, the Japanese Army's 1st Tank Corps (Yasuoka Detachment) consisted of the 3rd Tank Regiment and 4th Tank Regiment. � �^a��Zc�[s�U�Ye���Z\�83�/R����Kk��ᢰ� h�s�J��Me���w�;����Α,\D$��ŀT��]��s���� Then, the Type 89 I-Go, only able to achieve infantry pace, was duly put on a replacement schedule. On 28 February, he formally relieved Hutton (although Hutton had officially already been superseded in command by General Harold Alexander), and on the following day he sacked Smyth, who was in any case very ill.[25]. Part of the force was left behind in Moulmein and had to swim the river. [17] When Burma came under attack, the Bamar were unwilling to contribute to the defence of the British establishment, and many readily joined movements which aided the Japanese. After the war, Japanese veterans recovered the tank from Saipan. As the threat of war grew, the Japanese sought links with potential allies in Burma. The Japanese division advanced to Moulmein at the mouth of the Salween River which was garrisoned by the 2nd Burma Infantry Brigade. As the Allies departed, the city was on fire. The available Japanese invasion forces were comparative small. "M3 and M5 Stuart Light Tank 1940–45". The 1st Burma Division was cut off and trapped in the blazing oilfields at Yenangyaung, which the Allies themselves demolished to deny the facilities to the Japanese. In the early fight, a Japanese captured M3 Light Tank destroyed one M3 Medium Tank. Supplies were not immediately a problem, as much war material (including material originally meant for shipment to China) had been evacuated from Rangoon, rice was plentiful and the oilfields in central Burma were still intact, but no proper land routes from India existed and only the recapture of Rangoon would allow the Allies to hold Burma indefinitely. I was wondering if anyone had any data on the number of armored vehicles (on both sides, but especially the Japanese) that took part in the fighting in Burma. Tanks employing US pattern turrets were called the "Lee", named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee.Variants using British pattern turrets were known as "Grant", named after Union general Ulysses … [39] The 23,000[40] Chinese soldiers who had retreated into India were put under the command of the American General Joseph Stilwell, who had also made his way to India on foot, and were concentrated in camps at Ramgarh in Bihar. Starving refugees, disorganised stragglers, and the sick and wounded clogged the primitive roads and tracks leading to India. Rangoon was initially defended relatively successfully against Japanese air raids, by small RAF detachments reinforced by a squadron of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the "Flying Tigers". On 21 March 1942, the Japanese agreed that Kayah State and the Shan States were to be under Thai control. The 3rd Tank Regiment consisted of 26 Type 89Bs, four Type 97 medium tanks , seven Type 94 tankettes, and four Type 97 Te-Ke tankettes, and the 4th Tank Regiment contained 35 Type 95s, eight Type 89As, and three Type 94 tankettes. Despite logistical difficulties, the Allies were able to deploy large armoured and mechanised forces in Central Burma, and also possessed air supremacy. %PDF-1.4 The division eventually retreated toward the bridge over the Sittang River in general disorder. 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