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Stilwell Road
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Date: April 22, 2017 06:23PM

British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, and finally independence. Various portions of Burmese territories, including Arakan, Tenasserim were annexed by the British after their victory in the First Anglo-Burmese War; Lower Burma was annexed in 1852 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War. The annexed territories were designated the minor province (a Chief Commissionership), British Burma, of British India in 1862.
After the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, Upper Burma was annexed, and the following year, the province of Burma in British India was created, becoming a major province (a Lieutenant-Governorship) in 1897. This arrangement lasted until 1937, when Burma began to be administered separately by the Burma Office under the Secretary of State for India and Burma.
During this time scores of Burmese, Chinese and Indians who were in Burma were slowly bought back to India by British for various jobs including tea plantations.

Initially governed as part of British India, Burma was formed into a separate colony under the Government of India Act 1935. Under British rule, there had been substantial economic development but the majority Bamar community was becoming increasingly restive. 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.Pressure for independence was growing.
China - a nation at the cross roads
The Republic of China was a state in East Asia from 1912 to 1949. It largely occupied the present-day territories of China, Taiwan, and, for some of its history, Mongolia. As an era of Chinese history, it was preceded by the last imperial dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty, and ended with the Chinese Civil War. After the war, the losing Kuomintang retreated to the island of Taiwan to found the modern Republic of China, while the victorious Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China on the Mainland.
The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly. His party, then led by Song Jiaoren, won a parliamentary election held in December 1912. However the army led by President Yuan Shikai retained control of the national government in Beijing.From late 1915 to early 1916 Yuan to reinstate monarchy called Empire of China, with himself as the "Hongxian Emperor (洪憲皇帝)". It was a short-lived attempt. After Yuan's death in 1916, local military leaders, or warlords, asserted autonomy.

Japanese Conquest of Manchuria and China 1931

Japanese occupation of Manchuria in 1931 resulted in the Second Sino-Japanese War which continued with sporadic fighting throughout the 1930s. In 1937 full scale war broke out and Japan occupied most of coastal China. This forced the Chinese to seek another method of bringing in supplies and war materials.

General Renyi Muttaguchi

General Muttaguchi was a strong believer Japan must invade India and that will be the end of European colonial rule of Asia. Muttaguchi always treated British as the illegal landlords of Asia and must be eradicated. Axis found an ally in Subhash Chandra Bose. Bose was in Germany and was flown in from Germany to retake India.

Indian General Subhash Chandra Bose

Unlike all other characters in the Stilwell road war, Bose was an unfortunate Indian who dreamed of liberating his homeland. But due to helplessness from his counterparts in India, as well as British conspiracy against him, he had to leave India and finaly he reached Germany. Hitler offered him help to eradicate the Brisish Prolem in India.

Bose was transported from Germany in a U boat and flown into Burma, to conquer India with the help of Japanese. He was the Commander in Chief of AZAD INDIA.

Burma Road 1938

A route from Kunming, China to a railhead at Lashio, Burma was completed in 1938. Supplies were landed at Rangoon, Burma and brought by rail to Lashio. Built by Chinese laborers stone by stone, this route was known as The Burma Road.

Indians, British, Americans and Chinese - 1941

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.

Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell

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 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.

Japanese conquest of Burma-1942

The first Japanese attack in mid-January 1942 against Victoria Point,Rangoon almost the most southerly point of Burma, was expected and was not contested.

Japan invaded and occupied Burma in early 1942, blocking the Burma Road supply line.


The flow of refugees began soon after the bombing of Rangoon in late December 1941 and increased to a "mass exodus" in February 1942 as the Indian (Chinese, Anglo-Indian and Anglo-Burmese) population of Burma fled to India, fearing both the Japanese and hostile Burmese. 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 to north east Indian borders.

Not everyone on foot reached India. Families started living in jungle villages or wherever they could rest and get something to eat. But slowly refugees started reaching India in masses and created a very big famine. Some escaped to nearby state or even to Calcutta. Some remained in the sorrounding jungle villages.

At least 500,000 civilian fugitives reached India, while an unknown number, conservatively estimated between 100,000 and 50,0000, died along the way. 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".

RETREAT TO INDIA BY British, Indian and Burman forces

The retreat was conducted in horrible circumstances. Starving refugees, disorganised stragglers, and the sick and wounded clogged the primitive roads and tracks leading to India.

The Burma Corps retreated to Manipur in India.

On 26 April the British, Indian and Burman forces joined the civilians in a full retreat. At one stage, Alexander proposed that the 7th Armoured Brigade and one infantry brigade accompany the Chinese armies into Yunnan, but he was persuaded that the armoured brigade would quickly become ineffective once it was cut off from India.

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.[28] The hastily reconstituted 1st Burma Division was unable to recapture Monywa, but allowed the rest of the corps to withdraw to the north.[29] 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. Although counter-attacks allowed the troops to escape, most of the Burma Corps' remaining equipment had to be destroyed or abandoned.

Burma Corps reached Imphal in Manipur just before the monsoon broke in May 1942. The ad hoc Burma Corps HQ was disbanded and IV Corps HQ, which had recently arrived in India, took over the front. The troops found themselves living out in the open under the torrential monsoon rains in extremely unhealthy circumstances. The army and civil authorities in India were very slow to respond to the needs of the troops and civilian refugees. Although the front-line units had maintained some semblance of order, many improvised units and rear-area troops had dissolved into a disorderly rout.[31] The troops were in an alarming state, with "hair-raising stories of atrocities and sufferings".

The British Civil Government of Burma had meanwhile fallen back to Myitkyina in Northern Burma, accompanied by many British, Anglo-Indian and Indian civilians. The Governor (Reginald Dorman-Smith) and the most influential civilians were flown out from Myitkyina Airfield, with some of the sick and injured.[33] 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. Many died on the way, and when they reached India, there were several instances in which civil authorities allowed white and Eurasian civilians to continue while preventing Indians from proceeding, effectively condemning many to death.[34] By contrast, many private individuals such as the Assam Tea Planters Association did their best to provide aid.

Chiang Kai Shek, asking for Gandhi's help to eradicate the Japanese invasion of China

Joseph Stilwell retreated to Imphal, Manipur on foot with around 30 of his men after the fall of Burma. It took him 5 days to reach Indian border.

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.

Stilwell on foot to Manipur, India

From there he went to Delhi, Agra for a week. 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."

He insisted for a Land route from India to China to transport his trained army in India. Because he knew Japanese will strike back from the Patkai range, if his army pass through the jungles.

Ledo Road -

Joseph Stilwell's accomplishment and vision belongs to the construction of Ledo Road ran 465 miles from Ledo, INDIA to a junction with the Burma Road at Mongyu, Burma, near Wanting, China. In addition to building the Ledo Road, Army Engineers and local workers also upgraded over 600 miles of the Burma Road.

Allied war planners decided to build a new road from Ledo, Assam, India, to bypass the cut off Burma Road. Supplies landed at Calcutta, India could be brought by rail to Ledo and trucked over the road to China. It proved to be an extremely difficult task but the Japanese were driven back and a new route forged through the mountains and jungles of northern Burma. The Ledo Road was completed by U.S. Army Engineers in early 1945. It ran 465 miles from Ledo to a junction with the Burma Road at Mongyu, Burma, near Wanting, China. The Ledo Road did not enter China.

Stilwell Road was named after Joseph Stilwell-The Stilwell Road covered 1,079 miles from Ledo, India to Kunming, China.

In addition to building the Ledo Road, Army Engineers and local workers also upgraded over 600 miles of the Burma Road. The Ledo Road and the upgraded portion of the Burma Road from Mongyu to Kunming were later named Stilwell Road at the suggestion of Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, in honor of American General Joseph W. Stilwell, Commander of the China-Burma-India Theater and Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo. The Stilwell Road covered 1,079 miles from Ledo, India to Kunming, China. The straight-line distance was 470 miles.

Joseph Stilwell's Vision and contribution for Ledo Road which resulted in defeat of Japanese

CAMP LEDO, Assam, India

Camp Ledo was set up as Stilwell requested.

The Ledo Road began at Ledo, Assam, the railhead, and passed through Tirap Gaon, Lekhapani, Tipong, Jagun, Jairampur (the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary and beginning of Inner Line), and Nampong before switchbacking steeply upwards through densely forested hills to the pass, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) away. The distance from Ledo to Pangsau Pass is 61 km (38 mi). Because of the fierce gradients and the mud, which made getting up to the pass difficult, it was nicknamed "Hell Pass" during the war.


Pangsau Pass 3,727 feet (1,136 m) in altitude, lies on the crest of the Patkai Hills on the India-Burma (Myanmar) border. The pass offers one of the easiest routes into Burma from the Assam plains. It is named after the closest Burmese village, Pangsau, that lies 2 km beyond the pass to the east.

The construction of the Ledo road for a distance from Ledo, Assam to village of Pangsau through Pangsau Pass is 61 km (38 mi) changed the direction of the war and resulted in the defeat of Japanese. Once Stilwell was able to connect the Ledo road from Assam India to village of Pangsau in Burma, his Army was able to bring in supplies along with them on the road and the Ledo road progressed as the war was raged against Japanese and finally the defeat of Japanese.

The accomplishment of building the Ledo Road stands as a testament to the men responsible and the American spirit that made it possible.

The construction of the Ledo road from Pangsau to Mongyu to connect to Burma Road has helped the war but not as much as the first 61 KM.

The usefulness of the Ledo Road was debated both before its construction and after its completion. Even as it progressed into Burma, military planners had their doubts about whether it could be completed in time or even at all. As it neared completion and until well after the war ended, many pointed out that it never lived-up to the original estimates of capacity as a supply line.


Japans 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.

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. 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. The Japanese naturally wished to cut this link.

As the threat of war grew, the Japanese sought links with potential allies in Burma. In late 1940 Aung San, a Burmese student activist, made contact with Japanese officers on Amoy and was flown to Japan for talks. He and several other volunteers (the "Thirty Comrades") were later given intensive military training on Hainan Island.

The Burma Independence Army was officially founded in Bangkok on 28 December 1941. It consisted initially of 227 Burmese and 74 Japanese personnel[17] but were rapidly reinforced by large numbers of volunteers and recruits once they crossed into Burma as part of the main Japanese invasion.

Under British rule, there had been substantial economic development but the majority Bamar community was becoming increasingly restive. 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. Pressure for independence was growing.

When Burma came under attack, the Bamar community of Burma The Burma Independence Army were unwilling to contribute to the defence of the British establishment, and many readily joined movements which aided the Japanese.

The rapidly expanding Burma Independence Army harassed the Allied forces, while many Bamar soldiers of the Burma Rifles were deserting.


Hundreds of thousands of labourers were mobilised in the territories the Japanese conquered in 1941 and 1942. Indeed, the Japanese presentation of the war as a liberation from the European colonial powers encouraged many labourers to sign up willingly. Japanese promises of decent wages and working conditions also helped to induce Asians to work. Given the economic disruption caused by the war, some workers willingly exchanged one colonial master for another, focusing on the need to put food on their table rather than the nationality of their employer.

As word of the conditions under which forced labourers were working spread, however, fewer and fewer labourers volunteered. In response, the Japanese turned to forced labour, usually operating through local power structures to meet their labour needs


When circumstances demanded it, thousands of forced labourers were transported across the Pacific. The importing of rǒmusha from Malaysia and Java to work on the Thai–Burma railway and then onward to Burma and India is the clearest example. Small groups of labourers from Malaya and China found themselves as far afield as Burmese jungles. Just under 300 000 asian workers including men, woman and children from the Dutch East Indies were also deployed throughout the Pacific.


A particularly infamous example of the Japanese exploitation of the civilian populations of Asia was their conscription of ‘comfort women’ — sexual slaves — for their military forces. The Japanese operated over 400 brothels in Asia, and estimates of comfort women range from 200 000. The majority of these women were Korean, supplemented by locally conscripted women form China, India, Burma, Malaysia, Java and where ever they can find woman. They were taken by force or by deception.

This barbaric enlistment of young women who were given several hundred yen upfront without realizing what obligations would follow. The Japanese Army recruited these women in Korea starting in May 1942 and then from countries all over asia, the majority of them ignorant and uneducated (in their twenties or lower) for unspecified service, originally associated with visiting the wounded in hospitals, rolling bandages, and generally making the soldiers happy. They were offered plenty of money for family debt payments, easy work and prospects of a new life although mostly these were unfulfilled promises.

Some time during the conquest of Burma, the Japanese set up a comfort women system similar to the systems seen in Korea and China.

Approximately 2800 of these girls were recruited in this manner and they landed with their Japanese "house master " at Rangoon around August 20th, 1942.They came in groups of from eight to twenty-two. From here they were distributed to various parts of Burma, usually to fair sized towns near Japanese Army camps.

Eventually four of these units reached the Myitkyina. They were, Kyoei, Kinsui, Bakushinro, and Momoya. The Kyoei house was called the "Maruyama Club", but was changed when the girls reached Myitkyina as Col.Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina, objected to the similarity to his name.

When the combined American and Chinese forces later retook Myitkyina in Aug 1944, 3,200 women were known to be retreating to Burmese border with India and some with the retreating Japanese forces. 2,800 of the women were Koreans who were forced to be relocated from their home country to serve the Japanese troops as prostitutes, but there were also many Burmese women who volunteered in the belief that the Japanese were there to liberate their country from western imperialism. Some Chinese women were seen in the ranks as well. The goal of such a system was to prevent the Japanese soldiers from raping Burmese women, and to prevent the spreading of venereal diseases.

In Myitkyina the girls were usually quartered in a large two story house (usually a school building) with a separate room for each girl. There each girl lived, slept, and transacted business. In Myitkina their food was prepared by and purchased from the "house master" as they received no regular ration from the Japanese Army. They lived in near-luxury in Burma in comparison to other places. This was especially true of their second year in Burma. They lived well because their food and material was not heavily rationed and they had plenty of money with which to purchase desired articles3. They were able to buy cloth, shoes, cigarettes, and cosmetics to supplement the many gifts given to them by soldiers who had received "comfort bags" from home.

While in Burma they amused themselves by participating in sports events with both officers and men, and attended picnics, entertainments, and social dinners. They had a phonograph and in the towns they were allowed to go shopping.


The conditions under which they transacted business were regulated by the Army, and in congested areas regulations were strictly enforced. The Army found it necessary in congested areas to install a system of prices, priorities, and schedules for the various units operating in a particular areas. According to interrogations the average system was as follows:

1. Soldiers 10 AM to 5 PM 1.50 yen 20 to 30 minutes
2. NCOs 5 PM to 9 PM 3.00 yen 30 to 40 minutes
3. Officers 9 PM to 12 PM 5.00 yen 30 to 40 minutes

These were average prices in Central Burma. Officers were allowed to stay overnight for twenty yen. In Myitkyina Col. Maruyama slashed the prices to almost one-half of the average price.


The soldiers often complained about congestion in the houses. In many situations they were not served and had to leave as the army was very strict about overstaying. In order to overcome this problem the Army set aside certain days for certain units. Usually two men from the unit for the day were stationed at the house to identify soldiers. A roving MP was also on hand to keep order. Following is the schedule used by the "Kyoei" house for the various units of the 18th Division while at Naymyo.

Sunday 18th Div. Hdqs. Staff
Monday Cavalry
Tuesday Engineers
Wednesday Day off and weekly physical exam.
Thursday Medics
Friday Mountain artillery
Saturday Transport

Officers were allowed to come seven nights a week. The girls complained that even with the schedule congestion was so great that they could not care for all guests, thus causing ill feeling among many of the soldiers.

Soldiers would come to the house, pay the price and get tickets of cardboard about two inches square with the prior on the left side and the name of the house on the other side. Each soldier's identity or rank was then established after which he "took his turn in line". The girls were allowed the prerogative of refusing a customer. This was often done if the person were too drunk.


The "house master" received fifty to sixty per cent of the girls' gross earnings depending on how much of a debt each girl had incurred when she signed her contract. This meant that in an average month a girl would gross about fifteen hundred yen. She turned over seven hundred and fifty to the "master". Many "masters" made life very difficult for the girls by charging them high prices for food and other articles.

In the latter part of 1943 the Army issued orders that certain girls who had paid their debt could return home. Some of the girls were thus allowed to return to Korea.

The interrogations further show that the health of these girls was good. They were well supplied with all types of contraceptives, and often soldiers would bring their own which had been supplied by the army. They were well trained in looking after both themselves and customers in the matter of hygiene. A regular Japanese Army doctor visited the houses once a week and any girl found diseased was given treatment, secluded, and eventually sent to a hospital. This same procedure was carried on within the ranks of the Army itself, but it is interesting to note that a soldier did not lose pay during the period he was confined.


In their relations with the Japanese officers and men only two names of any consequence came out of interrogations. They were those of Col. Maruyama, commander of the garrison at Myitkyina and Maj. Gen. Mizukami, who brought in reinforcements. The two were exact opposites. The former was hard, selfish and repulsive with no consideration for his men; the latter a good, kind man and a fine soldier, with the utmost consideration for those who worked under him. The Colonel was a constant habitué of the houses while the General was never known to have visited them. With the fall of Myitkyina, Col. Maruyama supposedly deserted while Gen. Mizukami committed suicide because he could not evacuate the men.


The average Japanese soldier is embarrassed about being seen in a "comfort house" according to one of the girls who said, "when the place is packed he is apt to be ashamed if he has to wait in line for his turn". However there were numerous instances of proposals of marriage and in certain cases marriages actually took place.

All the girls agreed that the worst officers and men who came to see them were those who were drunk and leaving for the front the following day. But all likewise agreed that even though very drunk the Japanese soldier never discussed military matters or secrets with them. Though the girls might start the conversation about some military matter the officer or enlisted man would not talk, but would in fact "scold us for discussing such un-lady like subjects. Even Col. Maruyama when drunk would never discuss such matters."

The soldiers would often express how much they enjoyed receiving magazines, letters and newspapers from home. They also mentioned the receipt of "comfort bags" filled with canned goods, magazines, soap, handkerchiefs, toothbrush, miniature doll, lipstick, and wooden clothes. The lipstick and cloths were feminine and the girls couldn't understand why the people at home were sending such articles. They speculated that the sender could only have had themselves or the "native girls".


In July 1943 Lieutenant-General Renya Mutaguchi was appointed to command Japanese Fifteenth Army,responsible for the central part of the front facing Imphal and Assam. From the moment he took command, Mutaguchi forcefully advocated an invasion of India and Brits and Americans based in India are the problem.

But there was a problem - American General Joseph Stilwell was guarding British and American bases in India at Camp Ledo. And the Ledo road was progressing all the way to China over the Pangsau Pass in Burma.

At the start of 1944, the war was going against the Japanese on several fronts. They were being driven back in the central and southwest Pacific, and their merchant ships were under attack by Allied submarines and aircraft.

Japanese answer to this difficult times was to attack British India.

Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Azad Hind

Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Azad Hind who fled to Germany was bought back to Japan in a U Boat to help and assist invasion of India.

At the insistence of Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Azad Hind (a movement which sought to overthrow British rule in India by force, with Japanese assistance), the Indian National Army made a substantial contribution.

Japans plan was to invade India and then Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Azad Hind, will lead the Indian masses against British.

Allies were preparing several offensives from India and the Chinese province of Yunnan into Burma. In particular, the town of Imphal in Manipur on the frontier with Burma was built up to be a substantial Allied logistic base, with airfields, encampments and supply dumps. Imphal was linked to an even larger base at Dimapur (kohima) in the Brahmaputra River valley by a road which wound for 100 miles (160 km) through the steep and forested Naga Hills.

Even as the Japanese prepared to launch their attack, the Allies launched the airborne phase of the second Chindit expedition on 5 March 1944. Japanese officers such as Major-General Noburo Tazoe, commanding the Japanese Army Air Force units in Burma, urged Mutaguchi to divert troops from his offensive to secure the Japanese rear areas against the Chindits. Mutaguchi dismissed these concerns, claiming that in a few weeks he would occupy the air bases from which the Chindits were supplied.

Allies misjudged the date on which the Japanese were to attack, and the strength they would use against some objectives. The Japanese troops began to cross the Chindwin River on 8 March. Allied commander, Scoones gave his forward divisions orders to withdraw to Imphal only on 13 March.

From the beginning of April,1944 the Japanese attacked the Imphal plain from several directions. The Battle of Imphal took place in the region around the city of Imphal, the capital of the state of Manipur in northeast India from March until July 1944. Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Allied forces at Imphal and invade India, but were driven back into Burma with heavy losses.

Defeat of Japan in Imphal and Kohima, India

General Muttaguchi in Manipur Jungles.

The Japanese had realised that the operation ought to be broken off as early as May 1944. Lieutenant General Hikosaburo Hata, the Vice-Chief of the General Staff, had made a tour of inspection of Southern Army's headquarters in late April. When he returned to Tokyo, he reported pessimistically on the outcome of the operation at a large staff meeting to Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, but Tojo dismissed his concerns as their source was a junior staff officer (Major Masaru Ushiro, at Burma Area Army HQ). Messages were sent from Imperial Headquarters, urging that the operation was to be fought to the end.[23]

Lieutenant General Kawabe had travelled north to see the situation for himself on 25 May. Several officers whom he interviewed expressed confidence in success if reinforcements could be provided, but actually concealed their losses and the seriousness of the situation. At a meeting between Mutaguchi and Kawabe on 6 June, both used haragei, an unspoken form of communication using gesture, expression and tone of voice, to convey their conviction that success was impossible,[24] but neither of them wished to bear the responsibility of ordering a retreat. Kawabe subsequently became ill with dysentery and perhaps physically unfit for duty. He nevertheless ordered repeated attacks, stating later that Bose was the key to Japan's and India's future.[25]

Mutaguchi ordered the Japanese 31st Division, which had retreated from Kohima when threatened with starvation, to join the 15th Division in a renewed attack on Imphal from the north. Neither division obeyed the order, being in no condition to comply. When he realised that none of his formations were obeying his orders to attack, Mutaguchi finally ordered the offensive to be broken off on 3 July. The Japanese, reduced in many cases to a rabble, fell back to the Chindwin, abandoning their artillery, transport, and many soldiers too badly wounded or sick to walk.

Together with the simultaneous Battle of Kohima on the road by which the encircled Allied forces at Imphal were relieved, the battle was the turning point of the Burma Campaign, part of the South-East Asian Theatre of the Second World War. The defeat at Kohima and Imphal was the largest defeat to that date in Japanese history.

Joseph Stilwells Response -Fall of MYITKYINA August 3, 1944]- The burned and gutted remains of this once prosperous city fell finally into the hands of Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell's Sino-American forces August 3 at 1545 hours, and Jap stragglers and snipers, making a last stand, were wiped out next day.
Thus it was that not until after 78 days of the most bitter kind of fighting that enemy opposition in Myitkyina was crushed.
During the final phases, Brig. Gen. T. F. Wessels commanded the task force. It was revealed this week for the first time, that elements of three new Chinese divisions - the 14th, 30th and 50th - and Yank Combat Engineers were thrown into the siege.
They killed most of the 3,650 Japs claimed in the siege.

Chinese soldiers, armed with American tommy guns, fanned out over the city ruins today, looking for snipers in the 100-foot-tall trees, which, although cut and bruised by the war, still cast a dark shadow over the mud of the once busy streets.


"In the initial attack on Myitkyina and the airstrip about two hundred Japanese died in battle, leaving about two hundred to defend the town. Ammunition was very low.

All Japanese support personals including comfort girls were let loose by the bombings. Some comfort girls around Burma knew things have changed. The Japans control was slipping in Burma and decided to join civilian population to escape.
Escaping to China was impossible since there was a major war going on in China. Only place they can turn to was India. At the same time a mass civilian exodus was happening to India from Burma.

Col. Maruyama's last stand in Myitkyina

With the fall of Myitkyina, Col. Maruyama supposedly deserted the Japanese unit while Gen. Mizukami committed suicide because he could not evacuate the men.

Comfort girls were the last item on Col. Maruyamas mind once the bombings started.

The comfort houses were bombed and several of the girls were wounded and killed. Some of the remaining girls decided to run away and on one objected.

There were still some comfort girls and house masters who remained with Japanese hoping Col. Maruyama might be able to transport them elsewhere. Some of the girls lived under the shattered buildings, But things did not turn the way they had planned.

"Col. Maruyama dispersed his men. During the following days the enemy were shooting haphazardly everywhere. It was a waste since they didn't seem to aim at any particular thing. The Japanese soldiers on the other hand had orders to fire one shot at a time and only when they were sure of a hit."

Before the enemy attacked on the west airstrip, soldiers stationed around Myitkyina were dispatched elsewhere, to storm the Allied attack in the North and West. About four hundred men were left behind, largely from the 114th Regiment. Evidently Col. Maruyama did not expect the town to be attacked. Later Maj. Gen. Mizukami of the 56th Division brought in reinforcements of more than two regiments but these were unable to hold the town.

Only after 78 days of the most bitter kind of fighting that enemy opposition in Myitkyina was crushed.

It was the consensus among the girls that Allied bombings were intense and frightening and because of them they spent most of their last days in foxholes. One or two even carried on work there. The comfort houses were bombed and several of the girls were wounded and killed.



When the combined American and Chinese forces retook Myitkyina in Aug 1944 and rest of Burm, 3,200 japanese support women were known to be retreating to Indian borders to escape. 2,800 of the women were Koreans who were forced to be relocated from their home country to serve the Japanese troops as prostitutes, but there were also many Burmese and Chinese women who volunteered in the belief that the Japanese were there to liberate their country from western imperialism. Some Chinese women were seen in the ranks as well.

Comfort woman's journey to Ledo Stockade, Assam India from Myitkyina in Aug 1944

There were almost a million refugees on foot who were trying to reach India. Many nationalities who were trying to escape Burma joined the refugee groups on foot to India.

63 "comfort girls" and 2 house masters were left in the shattered buildings with few Japanese soldiers who were hiding in the shattered buildings. Most of other Japanese were dead or ran away. On the night of July 31st a party of sixty three people including the "comfort girls" of three houses (Bakushinro was merged with Kinsui), families, and helpers, started across the Irrawaddy River in small boats with a group of Japanese soldiers. They eventually landed somewhere near Waingmaw, They stayed there until August 4th, but never entered Waingmaw.

They wandered with the group of soldiers until August 7th when there was a firefight from Kachin soldiers and the soldiers went into hiding. The girls were ordered to follow the soldiers after three-hour interval. They did this only to find themselves on the bank of a river with no sign of the soldiers or any means of crossing. They remained in a nearby house until August 10th when they were captured by Kachin soldiers led by an English officer. They were taken to Myitkyina and then to the Ledo stockade, in India.

The US Army Military battalion - CAMP LEDO, ASSAM

LEDO CAMP- The US Army Military battalion headquarters, was in Assam, India located at the head of the Brahmaputra Valley, was 50 miles from Burma, 88 miles from China, and 100 miles from Tibet.

Under the reorganization the old battalions were deactivated and new flexible-TO&E battalions were organized. The 158th was at Ledo, the 159th at Chabua and the 160th at Calcutta. Each was composed of the military police units within its respective major command, regardless of their former designations.

The 159th Military Police Battalion was activated 5 September 1944 at Chabua, Assam, India, and operated in the Assam area until deactivated 25 October 1945 following termination of hostilities. The battalion was operational throughout its history, and was never assembled in one place at any time. Its units and detachments were spread for 500 miles along the Assam line of communications leading to the fighting fronts in Burma and China.

The 159th was activated shortly after the last thrust by Japanese forces into India, a drive aimed at cutting the supply lines and isolating the Upper Assam military bases. This failed, and about the same time the title of the U.S. Army command in Assam was changed from Advance Section to Intermediate Section. When the 159th came into being, the Japanese were putting up stubborn resistance southward in Burma, and the MPs considered possible another desperate thrust by the Japanese. Accordingly the 159th remained in readiness to participate in repelling any new attack on the vital Assam supply lines and installations. But "none came, and the war moved further and further away.

CAMP, LEDO, Assam India

The 158th Military Police Battalion was activated 5 September 1944 and was at Ledo, Assam. Ledo Stockade was the place for US military to conduct executions upon military court verdicts. The Army’s Psychological Warfare Team was located here.

The Army’s Psychological Warfare Team at Ledo reported its findings here; the interrogators seemed oddly unsympathetic to the women, despite all the hardships they’d been forced to endure:

On August 10, 1944 a group of Kachin Soldiers headed by an English officer who were retreating to Burma came across a group of woman and few men who were lost in the jungle along the river banks. They were exhausted and few were lying on the ground unable to get up.

English officer took them to Myitkyina assuming they were Japanese POWs. However the American Army ordered them to be transported to Chabua, Assam, India.

Upon questioning At Chabua, Assam The 159th Military Police Battalion, the group was found no fighting capabilities nor did they know how they happened to be in Burma. They were ordered to the Ledo stockade, Assam for psychological evaluation.

The interrogations show the average Korean “comfort girl” to be about twenty-five years old, uneducated, childish, and selfish. She is not pretty either by Japanese of Caucasian standards. She is inclined to be egotistical and likes to talk about herself. Her attitude in front of strangers is quiet and demure, but she “knows the wiles of a woman.” She claims to dislike her “profession” and would rather not talk either about it or her family. Because of the kind treatment she received as a prisoner from American soldiers at Myitkyina and Ledo, she feels that they are more emotional than Japanese soldiers. She is afraid of Chinese and Indian troops.

None of the girls appeared to have heard the loudspeaker used at Myitkyina but very did overhear the soldiers mention a "radio broadcast."

They asked that leaflets telling of the capture of the "comfort girls" should not be used for it would endanger the lives of other girls if the Army knew of their capture. They did think it would be a good idea to utilize the fact of their capture in any droppings planned for Korea.

Fate of Comfort Woman India

US military decided not to treat these comfort woman as POWs other than the house masters.

Presbyterian Church missionaries helped scores of refugees to settle down in India. Some perished, some succeeded.

Although not recorded, most of the comfort woman were united with the rest of the thousands of refugees who were coming from Burma and were settled in the north Eastern State of India including Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. Refugees in some cases moved on to Calcutta in later years. Some escaped to Taiwan or Hongkong, some perished, some called India home.

Most of the comfort woman did not want to return to their home country due the baggage they carried. On the other hand they had no where to go.


The entire offensive proved a total disaster on the Japanese side and would stand out as one of the worst of its kind in the ever-chronicled annals of military history. Many died not merely in battle action, but worse still from disease like malaria, dysentery, malnutrition and starvation. Eye-witness accounts from the civilian population of Manipur valley and hills would hauntingly tell stories of the famished Japanese soldiers surviving on edible jungle roots, more like the dead than alive, during those critical days. And many wounded and captured soldiers preferred to commit Hara-kiri, rather than falling into enemy hands.

According to some conservative Allied estimate the Japanese ought to have lost at least 30,000 soldiers between mid-March and mid-June 1944. But according to their own admission, Japan lost no less than 65,000 soldiers:19

Table No. 10-1:
Estimated Loss of Japanese Soldiers in The Imphal Campaign

Formation: Pre-Campaign Strength: Post-Campaign Strength: Casualties:

1) 15th Division: 20,000: 4,000: 16,000
2) 31st Division: 20,000: 7,000: 13,000
3) 33rd Division: 25,000: 4,000: 21,000
4) Rear Units: 50,000: 35,000: 15,000
Total 1,15,000 50,000 65,000

Ultimately the Japanese army realized the eventuality of defeat after braving all these difficulties during the last five-month long assault on Imphal. In the face of the imminent heavy casualty, monsoon and the impossible chance for any further war-operation with the depleted army strength, General Mutaguchi Commander of the 15th Japanese Army gave orders on the 20th July, 1944 to all the fighting troops operating in Manipur to retreat.

This missing 35000 soldiers remained in the various part of Manipur state since they had no place to go. Many of them were wounded and were not able to move. Other soldiers decided to remain in the forest, upon the news of advance and victory of allied forces into Burma and then to China.

Historically, the theory that Manipuris liked and helped the Japanese has surfaced . "Japanese soldiers of World War II have always been depicted as savage people committing atrocities on the conquered. But from whatever information we could glean from people who lived to tell the tale of that invasion, we learnt that the troops were nice to the locals. Locals returned the favor when Japanese were fallen. Hence the connection between Manipur and Japan is inseparable - during the war and after the war.
Many of them committed suicide and many perished due to sickness and malaria. But for sure some survived the jungles.

Only about 500 to 600 soldiers were arrested by allied forces as prisoners of war. Rest survived in the state of Manipur for a long period.

Returning back to Japan never came a realty for many Japanese soldiers who were hiding in jungles. Japans defeat came one after another. Then came the utter defeat of Japan with the dropping of atom bombs by USA

Chiang kai Shek - the man who liberated China from Japan and the West and the formation of Taiwan

Chiang Kai Shek, just like Bose, fought for his country. But at the end he himself wwas chased out of China by Communists.

In 1925, the Kuomintang started establishing a rival government in the southern city of Guangzhou. The economy of the north, overtaxed to support warlord adventurism, collapsed in 1927–28. General Chiang Kai-shek, who became KMT leader after Sun's death, started his military Northern Expedition campaign in order to overthrow the central government in Beijing. The government was overthrown in 1928 and Chiang established a new nationalist government in Nanjing. He later cut his ties with the communists and expelled them from the KMT.
There was industrialization and modernization, but also conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanjing, the Communist Party of China, remnant warlords, and the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to war with Imperial Japan when the Imperial Japanese military launched a full-scale invasion of China in 1937. The Nationalists' Y Force drove back the Japanese in Yunnan during a May–June 1944 offensive, but otherwise military results were disappointing. With the Japanese unconditional surrender in 1945, the Allies had finally achieved total victory, but the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union led to renewed fighting between the KMT and the communists. In 1947, the Constitution of the Republic of China replaced the Organic Law of 1928 as the country's fundamental law. In 1949, the Communists established the People's Republic of China, overthrowing the Nationalists on the mainland, many of whom retreated to Taiwan.


Following the Surrender of Japan, Taiwan was handed over from Japan to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945 (Retrocession Day).[25] Toward the end of the war, United States Marines were used to hold Beiping (Beijing) and Tianjin against a possible Soviet incursion, and logistic support was given to Kuomintang forces in north and northeast China. To further this end, on 30 September 1945 the 1st Marine Division arrived in China, charged with security in the areas of the Shandong Peninsula and the eastern Hebei Province.[26] During the war, China was one of the Big Four Allied Powers of World War II and later became the Four Policemen, which was an precursor to the United Nations Security Council.

The Rape which ousted Americans and Chiang Kai Shek

On Christmas Eve, 1946, US Marine Corporal William Gaither Pierson and Private Warren T Pritchard stopped Shen Chong, a Peking University student, on her way home and forced her into the Peiping Polo Field. A mechanic from a nearby repair shop reported the crying girl being dragged into the field, first to his peers, then to the police. The mechanics were driven away by the soldiers when they tried to intervene, even with a policeman accompanying in the second attempt. By the time a high officer arrive the scene, Pritchard had already left.[1] Later Pierson was convicted by US Marine Court led by Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzgerald for raping, but the verdict was overturned by the US Department of Navy for insufficient evidence.

On Christmas Eve (the night of December 24) at eight o’clock, a freshman Peking University student surnamed Shen emerged from a movie theatre and was followed by two American soldiers, one on her left and one on her right. They forced her into the trees of the Peiping Polo Field near Chang’an Street, where they raped her.
According to the newspaper, the crime was witnessed by another man, apparently a soldier, who notified police. It was later reported that men overhearing the struggle had tried to stop the two soldiers, US Marine Corporal William Gaither Pierson and Private Warren T Pritchard, but had been driven away.

Later known as the Peiping rape case, the Shen Chong case sparked widespread anger in China and helped marshal resistance to the presence of American troops in the country. On January 8, 1947, the People’s Daily reported that “patriotic students” across the city had launched a petition campaign against the “savage acts perpetrated by the U.S. Army.”

As high-level Kuomintang officials in Beiping [Beijing] busied themselves discussing how they could ensure that the U.S. Army passed a pleasant Christmas holiday, a horrific rape was committed by American soldiers, and it occured right on the eve of Christmas.

Public Anger

Pierson and US consular official Myrl Myres claimed that Shen Chong was a prostitute. This claim contributed to the public anger. Shen Chong was reportedly from an elite family of Shen Baozhen and Lin Zexu, and studying in the most prestigious university of China, thus the prostitute claim was viewed as adding insult to injury. Selective reporting of US media and later acquittal of soldiers added more fuel to the public rage against American military presence in China .


With the capture of Tamu, giving the Allies another important air strip, British forces have crossed the Burma frontier from India, leaving very few able-bodied Japanese in India. What remains of fighting Japanese in India are being pressed backward in the small southern part of Manipur State.
After the British 14th Army marched into Tamu, one and one-half miles beyond the Indian frontier, they found more than 200 Japanese in bamboo huts, dead and dying of wounds and starvation. The skeleton-like bodies of the Japs were full of sores but even after they were given food and medicine, they were too tired to brush the insects from off their faces. Many dead and dying were found in occupied villages to the north and along the valley roads.
Abandoned enemy equipment was found all along the line of Japanese retreat even over the border inside Burma.
So fast was the Jap retreat in many places, obvious demolitions were not made. Some bridges were blown up. Other bridges, landing stages, ferries and conveyors were left intact.

British eventually gave up on pursuing Japanese due to other war time responsibilities else where in the west. Defeat of Nazis and rest of the drama overtook the incidents in Manipur and Nagaland. For Japanese soldiers north east Indias local population which include Singhpos, Tibetans, Gurkhas, Nepalese, Chinese became an asset to blend in.


Lekie, who lives in Thembang village on the route of the Chinese invasion, describes her response: "We were happy that China was leaving and that the Government of India would come back. Even though India's officials and army had run away, we knew they would do good for us when they returned. But if the Chinese were to stay, we were afraid that they would kill us."

Such steadfastness from a people who had experienced the Indian administration did not occur by accident.

Arunachal is today a full-fledged and enthusiastic Indian state and the only one among the Seven Sisters of the northeast that has never had a separatist movement



The novel Journey to the West was based on historical events. Xuanzang (602–664) was a monk at Jingtu Temple in late-Sui dynasty and early-Tang dynasty Chang'an. Motivated by the poor quality of Chinese translations of Buddhist scripture at the time, Xuanzang left Chang'an in 629, in defiance of Emperor Taizong of Tang's ban on travel. Helped by sympathetic Buddhists, he traveled via Gansu and Qinghai to Kumul (Hami), thence following the Tian Shan mountains to Turpan. He then crossed what are today Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, into Gandhara, reaching India in 630. Xuanzang traveled throughout the Indian subcontinent for the next thirteen years, visiting important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, studying at the ancient university at Nalanda, and debating the rivals of Buddhism.

Xuanzang left India in 643 and arrived back in Chang'an in 646.

Genghis Khan

In 1196, Genghis Khan became the supreme ruler of the Mongols and their Turkish and Tartar allies, and proceeded to lead them into China, taking Beijing in 1215. At the same time, he sent his troops west as far as Poland and Hungary. When he died in 1227, his empire was split into several smaller units ruled by his various sons. The Mongols would continue to rule the steppes well into the 1400's, Ivan III finally liberating Moscow in 1480!

It was THIS PASSAGE Genghis Khan had travelled in the 13th century, eventually conquering Bagan and even before this it was know as the southern Silk Road, an alternative route from China to the Middle East.

On this NORTH EAST CORRIDOR lives the Burmese, the Jinpos, the Shan, the Inya, the Dacoit, the Bai, and the Naxi people. Original people living simple lives with there own beliefs and customs that still remain precious to them and have avoided the globalisation of other societies.

BURMA THE REAL INDO CHINA- "Myanmar is the most ethnically diverse country in the world with over 150 different groups, each with its own language, customs and beliefs."

In 1368, the Mongols were driven out of China, and the Ming dynasty begins. It had a strong contralized government founded on solid Confucian principles. The capital was moved to Beijing in 1421, where it would remain until the present day. The Great Wall was extended to 2450 km (about 1500 miles).


The Ming dynasty oversaw another renaissance, with novels, maps, great architecture, porcelain, and a new medical technique we call acupuncture. On the other hand, they didn't want too much to do with the world beyond the empire: European trade was limited to the Portuguese colony of Macao.

From 1644 all the way to 1911, China was again ruled by "barbarians," this time the Manchu from the northeast of China. The Manchus, being of limited numbers, were anxious to use the existing structures of Chinese bureaucracy and blended themselves with the native population as much as possible. In fact, they saw the greatest population growth in history and expanded the empire to its present extent. At first, they encouraged trade with the Europeans, but later would close the empire to foreign trade.





In 2015 the Arunachal Pradesh government decided to immediately start building new roads to the remotest villages on the India-China border, which can only be reached after trekking for days. According to government sources, the Cabinet agreed to recommend a proposal for connectivity to unconnected habitations on border areas of the state under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) as a special case.

Edited 45 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2017 12:08AM by administrator.

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