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India and World War IIWar, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939–45$
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Kaushik Roy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463534.001.0001

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From Defeat to Victory

From Defeat to Victory

Burma, January 1942–August 1945

(p.290) 7 From Defeat to Victory
India and World War II

Kaushik Roy

Oxford University Press

The 1942 Burma Campaign was an extension of the Malaya–Singapore Campaign. During the conquest of Burma in the first half of 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) displayed the same tactical skill which it had displayed in the Malayan jungles and in Singapore. And also during the ‘long retreat’ from Burma, the BURCORPS displayed the same weaknesses which A.E. Percival’s composite army exhibited during their retreat from north Malaya to Singapore. The demands of Japanese grand strategy prevented the IJA from launching a full-scale invasion of India in either late 1942 or during 1943. Japanese inactivity allowed India Command the respite which the latter desperately needed to build up the air assets and for training British and Indian infantry. This chapter shows how India Command and general headquarters from 1943 onwards, through creative rigorous training and propaganda, were able to instil combat professionalism among the Indian soldiery. And they along with the nascent Royal Indian Navy and miniscule Royal Indian Air Force led Field-Marshal Bill Slim’s 14th Army to victory in Mandalay–Meiktila and Rangoon during 1944–5.

Keywords:   Malaya–Singapore Campaign, 1942 Burma Campaign, Imperial Japanese Army, IJA, BURCORPS, A.E. Percival, India Command, Royal Indian Navy, Royal Indian Air Force, Bill Slim, Mandalay–Meiktila, Rangoon

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