1937-1942 1945-1948

World War II : Burma

Administration . In December 1941, Japan demanded Thailand to grant free passage for it's troops, which was granted, and the Japanese invaded Burma via Thailand. The Japanese installed a Burmese puppet government headed by Dr. Ba Maw.

Battleground Burma . Japanese forces disconnected the Burma Road, a vital supply line passing the jungles of Northern Burma to connect Chiang Kai Chek's Chinese troops (in Sichuan) with British India. The Flying Tigers kept supplying Chiang's China by air, while Merrill's Marauders, an US-American commando unit, operated in the jungles of Burma to create havoc behind the Japanese lines. They were joined by Aung San, who, disillusioned by the conduct of the Japanese occupants, had founded the AFPFL (Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League), a resistance organization directed against the Japanese.
In April 1945 the British, under the command of Lord Mountbatten, launched an offensive and expelled the Japanese from most of Burma (except Tenasserim province).

The Economy . Before the war, Burma had exported significant amounts of rice, mainly to the remainder of British India. In 1942 Burma produced 5.9 million metric tons of rice, by 1945 the figure had dropped to 2.6 million metric tons (IHS p.194).

Social History . J. Lahmeyer estimated Burma's population in 1941 as 16.8 million, that of 1945 as 15.6 million.

Annals of the Flying Tigers, from U.S. Army Air Force in the CBI Web Ring
Homepage of Robert E. Passanisi, a former Marauder
Articles Communist Party of Burma, Thirty Comrades, Aung San, Burma Independence Army, Burma Road, Joseph Stilwell, Louis Mountbatten, Japanese Occupation of Burma, Ba Maw, Merrill's Marauders, Flying Tigers, from Wikipedia
The Economics of the Second World War in Southeast Asia, by Greg Huff
Burma in World War II, from World War II Multimedia Database
DOCUMENTS Myanmar Statesmen, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon)
Myanmar, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
Flags of the Burmese Government 1941ff, from FOTW
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
The Los of Burma, in : Jasper H. Stembridge, The Oxford War Atlas Volume II, 1 September 1941 to 1 January 1943, Oxford : UP 1943 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Statesman's Year Book 1943 pp.178-182 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1944 p.139, 1945 pp.136-138, 1946 pp.159-160 [G]
Article : Burma, in : Americana Annual 1943 pp.118-119, 1944 pp.113-114, 1945 p.122, 1946 pp.132-133 [G]
The Far Frontiers pp.507-523, in : John Gunther, Inside Asia, 1942 War Edition, NY : Harper & Brothers (1938) 1942
VIDEOS The Story of the Flying Tigers

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 12th 2002, last revised on June 17th 2008

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