Burma Offensives

WWII: Victory Over Japan

East Asia 1944.0418

Burma Offensives

World War II, Pacific War, Second Sino-Japanese War (18 April 1944)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

Allied momentum in the Pacific was not matched in Burma, where a British attempt at reconquest had been beaten back in early 1943. In 1944, the British tried again, using their irregular Chindit forces in an attempt to retake northern Burma and open up the overland route to China. The Japanese swiftly counterattacked with an invasion of northeast India, trying to cut British supply lines at Kohima and Imphal.

Main Events

US capture Kwajalein

Operation Thursday

On 5 February the Chindit 16th Brigade set off by foot from Ledo, Assam, to operate in the Pinbon-Pinlebu area of Japanese-occupied Burma. One month later, two more Chindit brigades were flown in to setup fortified bases and airstrips north of Indaw. At the same time General Stilwell's US and Chinese troops took Maingkwan further north, with the two forces joining up to capture Myitkyina on 3 August.

US captures Eniwetok

Allies seize Admiralty Islands

Operation U-Go

In Operation U-Go, the Japanese Fifteenth Army under General Renya Mutaguchi crossed into India from Burma, aiming to isolate and capture the British military administration center at Imphal. The British Indian Army repelled the invasion, defeating the Japanese attacks at Imphal and Kohima. By June, the Japanese were in retreat, having suffered over 60,000 casualties to some 17,000 for the British.

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