- Japanese Burma Area Army
Japanese Burma Area Army
Japanese troops firing a heavy machine gun
Active 27 March 1943 - 15 August 1945 Country Empire of Japan Branch Imperial Japanese Army Type Infantry Role Field Army Garrison/HQ Rangoon Nickname 森(Mori = “forest”) Engagements Burma campaignJapanese Burma Area Army (January 1945) Parent unit Components
The Japanese Burma Area Army was formed on 27 March 1943, under the control of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group as a garrison force to defend the nominally-independent State of Burma against reoccupation and re-colonization by British forces based in neighboring India.
However, the Japanese Burma Area Army came to be regarded as an army of occupation by the Burmese for its strict control of local politics and society, and its heavy demands on Burmese resources. Through incompetent leadership, mistaken tactics and inadequate supplies and reinforcements, the Japanese Burma Area Army failed to prevent the incursions of the Chindits from British India or Kuomintang forces from Yunnan.
For the campaigning season of 1944, Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi, the commander of the Japanese 15th Army which at the time was assigned to the Japanese Burma Area Army, pressed for an offensive strategy. The resulting Battle of Kohima and Battle of Imphal were among the worst disasters ever suffered by the Imperial Japanese Army.[page needed]
In subsequent operations in the Burma campaign, the Japanese Army continued to suffer massive losses, and after the Battle of Meiktila and Mandalay and Operation Dracula, was all but driven from Burma.
The surviving remnants of the Japanese Burma Area Army surrendered to the Allied forces at Moulmein on 15 August 1945.
List of Commanders
Name From To 1 General Masakazu Kawabe 18 March 1943 30 August 1944 2 General Heitarō Kimura 30 August 1944 12 September 1945
Chief of Staff
Name From To 1 Lieutenant General Eitaro Naka 18 March 1943 22 September 1944 2 General Shinichi Tanaka 22 September 1944 23 May 1945 3 Lieutenant General Tsunamasa Shidei 23 May 1945 29 July 1945
- Latimer, Jon (2004). Burma: The Forgotten War. London: John Murray. ISBN 978-0719565762.
- Madej, Victor (1981). Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945. Game Publishing Company. ASIN: B000L4CYWW.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". Japanese Burma Area Army. http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=6736.
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