It was donated to Yasukuni Not realising that the British were evacuating Rangoon, Sakuma had withdrawn the road block, as ordered, once the 33rd Division reached its intended positions. The Japanese 18th and 56th Divisions pursued the Chinese into Yunnan, but were ordered to halt on the Salween River on 26 April. 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. [21] but was rapidly reinforced by large numbers of volunteers and recruits once they crossed into Burma as part of the main Japanese invasion. Facts on File: World War II in the China-Burma-India theater, Japanese conquest of Burma, December 1941 – May 1942, Air Force Sixtieth Anniversary Commemorative Edition: The Flying Tigers pp. 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. "M3 and M5 Stuart Light Tank 1940–45". The defenders, the 3rd and 6th battalions of the Burma Rifles, were overwhelmed and forced to evacuate the town in disorder. A British Lee tank crosses a river north of Imphal to meet the Japanese advance in Burma, 1944 . 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. The second attack was a small probing raid directed at a police station in southern Tenasserim, which was repulsed. India 1942 1945 Burma Study Weekend, York, November 2018 By: Rob PALMER, M.A. Osprey Publishing, 18 Nov 1999. p. 14. [23] The delays allowed Japanese parties to infiltrate to the bridge itself, and the poorly organised defence of the bridge was in danger of collapsing. [41] The Japanese 33rd Division likewise halted on the Chindwin at the end of May, ending the campaign until the end of the monsoon rains. The Type 97 Chi-Ha (九七式中戦車 チハ, Kyūnana-shiki chū-sensha Chi-ha) was a medium tank used by the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Battles of Khalkhin Gol against the Soviet Union, and the Second World War.It was the most widely produced Japanese medium tank … Though Japanese suffered with M3 Light Tanks, Japanese … 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. 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. However, as the Burma Army retreated up through the country, the terrain became more difficult for tanks. The commander of Burma Corps, Lieutenant General William Slim, tried to mount a counter-offensive on the western part of the front, but his troops were repeatedly outflanked and forced to fight their way out of encirclement. 4 0 obj 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. According to Zaloga, all but one tank of the two regiments of the 7th Armoured Brigade had been lost. The Southern Expeditionary Army Group under overall command of Hisaichi Terauchi was responsible for all military operations in the South-East Asia. Japanese Type 97 Tank Chi-Ha. Mergui was evacuated before it was attacked. Medium Tanks. They drove the Chinese 55th Division from Loikaw, taking many prisoners. Japan entered the war primarily to obtain raw materials, especially oil, from European (particularly Dutch) possessions in South East Asia which were weakly defended because of the war in Europe. General Archibald Wavell, the commander-in-chief of the ABDA Command, nevertheless ordered Rangoon to be held. [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. 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. endobj %���� [24], Many of the men of the 17th Division who were trapped on the Japanese-held side of the river made their way across to the west bank by swimming or on improvised rafts, but had to abandon almost all their equipment, including most of their small arms. Despite logistical difficulties, the Allies were able to deploy large armoured and mechanised forces in Central Burma, and also possessed air supremacy. In this battle, Japanese tanks first encountered M3 Medium Tanks. 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. 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. Their plans involved an attack on Burma partly because of Burma's own natural resources (which included some oil from fields around Yenangyaung, but also minerals such as cobalt and large surpluses of rice), but also to protect the flank of their main attack against Malaya and Singapore and provide a buffer zone to protect the territories they intended to occupy. [27] Had he not done so, the Japanese might have captured General Alexander and much of the rest of the Burma Army. 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 … With the effective collapse of the entire defensive line, there was little choice left other than an overland retreat to India or to Yunnan. The Allies were also hampered by the progressive breakdown of the civil government in the areas they held, and the large numbers of refugees. Meanwhile, the newly created Burma Corpswhich had been formed to relieve Burma Army … 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. The army and civil authorities in India were very slow to respond to the needs of the troops and civilian refugees. 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. [15] Among their concerns were the importation of Indian workers to provide a labour force for many of the new industries, and the erosion of traditional society in the countryside as land was used for plantations of export crops or became mortgaged to Indian moneylenders. During the battle of Saipan, the unit fought to the last man. [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. 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. 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. Crawford recalled that "The Medium Tank Platoon and the Reconnaissance Platoon were directed up the sides of a hill near Kutkai, to recon the nearby village. The principal model in service at the time of Pearl Harbor was the Type 97 or “Chi-Ha.” 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. 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. They also had been rapidly expanded, with an influx of Bamar soldiers, and were short of equipment and consisted mainly of new recruits. >> �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��! Although counter-attacks allowed the troops to escape, most of the Burma Corps' remaining equipment had to be destroyed or abandoned. This newly completed link was being used to move aid and munitions to the Chinese Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek which had been fighting the Japanese for several years. In Burma, several tank battles happened and Japanese tanks were every time defeated by M3 Light Tanks. The Governor (Reginald Dorman-Smith) and the most influential civilians were flown out from Myitkyina Airfield, with some of the sick and injured. One of Ma Guanggui's nephews was Ma Yeye, a son of Ma Guanghua and he narrated the history of Panglong including the Japanese attack. The monsoon season soon began, bringing British and Japanese operations, except for patrols, temporarily to an end. The troops found themselves living out in the open under the torrential monsoon rains in extremely unhealthy circumstances. [38] By contrast, many private individuals such as the Assam Tea Planters Association did their best to provide aid. Alexander ordered another attack but found the Japanese had gone. [31] The Burma Corps retreated to Manipur in India. Japanese troops walking along the "Road to Mandalay" in World War 2. Then, the Type 89 I-Go, only able to achieve infantry pace, was duly put on a replacement schedule. In the coastal Arakan Province, some of the Burma Independence Army reached Akyab Island before the Japanese troops. The tank regiments into which the Japanese battle tanks were usually formed in general consisted of roughly equal numbers of light and medium types. 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. 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 … Four Americans were wounded and one light tank was damaged. [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. [34], Burma Corps reached Imphal in Manipur just before the monsoon broke in May 1942. Tanks in Burma Armoured Formations & Units In Burma & N.E. The leading elements of the Thai Phayap Army crossed the border into the Shan States on 10 May 1942. The majority of the airfields were between Rangoon and the Axis advance and as the Japanese gained use of the airfields in Tenasserim, the amount of warning the Rangoon airfields could get of attack decreased, and they became more and more untenable. The Type 89 was (relatively) heavy, well armored, with a moderately efficient low-velocity 57 mm (2.24 in) gun, but utterly slow. /Creator Most of the Japanese forces in Burma were … The Chinese armies each had approximately the strength of a British division but comparatively little equipment. I remember building the Airfix kit of this many, many years ago. The common misconception is that British and Indian tanks in the Burma Campaign were usually just monotonous Jungle Green, devoid of markings. Although the division was rescued by Chinese infantry and British tanks in the Battle of Yenangyaung, it lost almost all its equipment and its cohesion. The Japanese forced their way over the steep jungle-covered Tenasserim Range, and attacked Tavoy on 18 January. On 21 March 1942, the Japanese agreed that Kayah State and the Shan States were to be under Thai control. Zaloga, Steven. Early model Chi-Ha’s taking part in maneuvers. Middle-class Indians and mixed-race refugees could often afford to buy tickets on ships or even planes, while ordinary labourers and their families in many cases were forced to make their way on foot.[29]. 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. ], who was sent by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China. 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. 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. For the IJN, amphibious tanks were considered vessels (not vehicles), and thus their standard color was grey. These plans had not taken into account the fact that Britain was also at war with Germany, and when Japan entered the war, the forces needed to defend these possessions were not available. 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