Burma Star Association
Burma Star Association


3rd January 1945
There are British landings at the Northwest top of Akyab Island in the Arakan area. 'A' Commando and the Indian Brigade are involved but there is little resistance from the Japanese. Inland troops of 33 Corps take Yeo in their advance to the Irrawaddy. (Click here for wartime maps of Burma).

10th January 1945.
Whilst the advance of 33 Corps to the Irrawaddy is attracting the Japanese attention, 4 Corps is moving southward to the west of the Chindwin with the intention of crossing the Irrawaddy near Meiktila. Gangaw is taken in this advance.
The 19th Indian Division takes bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy north of Mandalay, at Kyaukmyang and Thabeikkyin. Fierce Japanese attacks in these areas begin immediately. In the Arakan, there are landings of British Commando troops near Myebon on the mainland between Akyab and Ramree.
20th January 1945
On the Ledo road, the Chinese forces have only a few more miles to clear. The advance from Yunnan has reached Wanting on the border, and from the other direction, Mu-Se is taken only 10 miles away.
21st January 1945
There are British landings at the northern tip of Ramree Island. The 4th British and 71st Indian Brigades are put ashore. The battleship 'Queen Elizabeth' and an escort carrier are in support but there is little resistance. In the 33 Corps sector on the mainland, Monywa on the Chindwin, is taken by the 20th Indian Division.
22nd January 1945
The British 4 Corps takes Tilin in its continuing advance towards the Irrawaddy to the south.
23rd January 1945

Myinmu is taken by the 20th Indian Division. This Division, and other 33 Corps units, which have crossed the Irrawaddy north of Mandalay, are attracting important Japanese counter attacks. This is exactly what General Slim has hoped for. 4 Corps prepares the real advance further south.
26th January 1945
There are British landings on Chedube Island, south of Ramree. A small force of Royal Marines go ashore on the first day and they are later reinforced by the 36th Indian Brigade. On the mainland, the 81st African Division takes Myohaung. Inland, in the advance of 4 Corps to the Irrawaddy, Pauk is taken by the 7th Indian Division.
27th January 1945

the Ledo Road into china is finally cleared when Chinese troops from Burma and Yunnan, link up near Mongyu. General Sultan who leads the British, American and Chinese is this area, has in fact announced the road opens from the 22nd January. Sultan's forces are now moving south towards Mandalay and Lashio by several routes.
9th February 1945
In the Arakan area, the 26th Indian Division completes the capture of Ramree Island.
12th February 1945
West of Mandalay, 33 Corps units begin to take their second series of bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy. The advance here is by 20th Indian Division opposite Myinmu. To the south, 4 Corps has reached the Irrawaddy at Myitche and Seikpyu and is preparing to cross. British and U.S. units of Sultan's Northern Area Combat Command are advancing south towards Lashio and Kyaukme, but are being held for the moment in heavy fighting near the River Shweli.


13th February 1945
The 20th Indian Division has now established a solid bridgehead over the Irrawaddy despite fierce Japanese attacks.
14th February 1945
The 7th Indian Division from 4 Corps begins to cross the Irrawaddy near Myaungu. There is only slight Japanese opposition because most of the Japanese forces having been withdrawn to defend Mandalay. North of Mandalay, the 19th Indian Division takes Singu despite the efforts of the defenders.
17th February 1945

The British operations in the Arakan continue with successful landings at Ru-Ya, 40 miles south east of Myebon. Heavy fighting continues in the area of 33 Corps bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy and along the Shweli River farther north, especially near Myitson.
21st February 1945
The 17th Indian and supporting tank units begin to break out of 4 Corps bridgehead at Myaungu and advance towards Meiktila. The Japanese know of the presence of British units in this area but do not realise such strong forces are involved, because the advance of 4 Corps has been well disguised. Farther north, troops of the British 33 Corps, step up their efforts to attract the main Japanese forces, when the British 2nd Division crosses the Irrawaddy near Ngazun, to line up with the 20th Indian Division who already have a bridgehead near there. Further north still, the British 36th Division takes Myitson.
24th February 1945
In their advance on Meiktila, the 17th Indian Division takes Taunetha.
26th February 1945
The advance of the 17th Indian Division towards Meiktila continues to go well. Mablaing and the Thabutkon airfield are taken - reinforcements for 4 Corps will be flown into this airfield.
28th February 1945
The British 4 Corps begins to attack Meiktila in strength. The Japanese command has known of the presence of this force, but has believed it to be only lightly armed in the Chindit pattern. They have therefore, left it to the local troops at Meiktila to defend their own base. This is a serious error because Meiktila is a vital communications centre, serving all the Japanese forces around Mandalay and to the north.
3rd March 1945

Meiktila is completely occupied by 4 Corps units. They immediately dig in. The main route for supplies to the bulk of the Japanese forces in Burma is therefore cut, and they will be compelled to turn away from the fighting further north, and to try to clear their lines of communication. At the same time they must do something to hold off 33 Corps to the north.
5th March 1945
Japanese counter-attacks against 4 Corps begin. The small town of Taungtha is retaken by the Japanese and the 17th Indian Division is almost cut off in Meiktila.
6th March 1945
In their slow advance down the Burma road, units of the Chinese 1st Army reach and capture Lashio.
8th March 1945

The 2nd British and 20th Indian Divisions begin to break out of the bridgeheads over the Irrawaddy to the west of Mandalay.

9th March 1945
The southward advance of the 19th Indian Division reaches the outskirts of Mandalay. Other 33 Corps units are advancing towards the city from the west. The fighting around Meiktila is still very fierce as the Japanese continue to bring troops from the Mandalay area in a desperate attempt to free their communications.
11th March 1945
Mongmit is captured by a converging attack by the two brigades of the British 36th Division which moved in from the west.
12th March 1945

Myotha, southwest of Mandalay, falls to the 20th Indian Division.
14th March 1945
Maymo, to the east of Mandalay is taken by the 62nd Indian Brigade. The last rail line to Mandalay is therefore cut. Other units of the 19th Indian Division are still fighting in Mandalay but have captured much of the city in a bitter house to house engagement.
15th March 1945
The Japanese step up their efforts against Meiktila, but can make no important progress against the 17th Indian Division which is receiving supplies, reinforcements and ground attack support, from the air.
17th March 1945
Units of the Chinese 6th Army take Hswipaw on the Burma road, 50 miles southwest of Lashio. The Chinese 1st Army is still trying to advance along the road from Lashio to clear it of Japanese road blocks. The British 2nd Division takes Ava on the bend of the Irrawaddy only a few miles south of Mandalay. The heavy fighting in Mandalay and around Meiktila continues.
19th March 1945
Mogok is taken by the British 36th Division. The 19th Indian Division completes the capture of Mandalay. The Fort Dufferin position has been among the most stubbornly defended by the Japanese. 'On the Road To Mandalay', the theme song of the British forces in Burma, becomes a reality achieved and has remained so for all time, from the 19th March 1945.


23rd March 1945
As well as capturing Mandalay, 33 Corps units have been striking south. Wundwin is taken by the 20th Indian Division on one flank of this advance.
28th March 1945
The Japanese have failed in their efforts to retake Meiktila, and while they have been involved in this area, 33 Corps has been making important gains to the north. General Kimura commanding Japanese forces in Burma, decides that with his main communications cut, he must try to retreat as best he can. Many of the Japanese will manage to escape via Thazi to the east of Meiktila.
30th March 1945
Kyaukse is taken by the 20th Indian Division. The British forces now hold most of the important positions on the road between Mandalay and Meiktila. The Japanese forces in central Burma have been brought to battle and defeated, exactly as General Slim had hoped. The Japanese have not been able to slip away largely intact as they intended, and instead have been compelled to fight the main action with improvised forces, against the carefully organised British defence around Meiktila.
31st March 1945

Northeast of Mandalay, the British 36th Division and units of the Chinese 6th Army, take Kyaukme. The Burma road from Mandalay to Lashio is now clear.

8th April 1945
The British forces have regrouped following their successes at Mandalay and Meiktila and are ready for a rapid armoured and motorised advance to finish the campaign in Burma. The British 4 Corps is to advance down the Sittang Valley and 33 Corps by the Irrawaddy Valley. All units have been specially organised to make them more mobile.
10th April 1945

Thazi, east of Meiktila, is captured by British 4 Corps.
12th April 1945
The 4 Corps advance is beginning to make progress in the Sittang Valley. There is fighting at Pyawbwe and Yamethin. To the west of Meiktila, 7th Indian Division from 33 Corps take Kyaukpadaung.
15th April 1945

In 33 Corps' advance, Taungdwingyi falls to the 20th Indian Division. Other units of 33 Corps are still fighting farther up the Irrawaddy - then the next objectives for the 20th Indian Division which now moves forward to Magwe and Thayetmyo.
16th April 1945
In the Arakan, Taungup falls to the British forces.
19th April 1945
In the Sittang Valley, Pyinmana falls to the 5th Indian Division which now leads 4 Corps advance. Further north, between Meiktila and the Irrawaddy, 33 Corps completes the clearance of the Mount Popo area and takes Chauk also. To the south along the Irrawaddy, Magwe is taken by the 20th Indian Division which has advanced southwest from Meiktila.


21st April 1945
The 4 Corps' advance in the Sittang Valley is beginning to pull ahead of the parallel efforts in the Irrawaddy Valley. Yedash is taken by the 5th Indian Division which in the rear, the airfields around Pyinmana, are being cleared to be put into Allied service. In the Irrawaddy Valley, Yenangyaung falls to the 33 Corps units, mopping up in the rear of the main advance.
22nd April 1945
In the Sittang Valley, Toungoo falls to the 5th Indian Division.
25th April 1945
In the Irrawaddy Valley, mopping up operations continue. Salin is captured by the British forces. The main 33 Corps' advance is closing in on Allanmyo. The spectacular progress of the 5th Indian Division in the Sittang Valley continues with the capture of Penwegen. The Japanese forces around Rangoon are beginning to withdraw through Pegu to the east, so as to be able to retreat into Thailand.
29th April 1945
In the Irrawaddy Valley, Allanmyo falls to the advances of 33 Corps. The remaining Japanese forces in this area are becoming very disorganised by the British attacks. In the Sittang Valley, the 17th Indian Division has now taken over the lead and after capturing Nyaunglebin, is attacking near Payagyi.
1st May 1945

The British attacks in the Sittang Valley have now reached nearly to Pegu. The monsoon begins in southern Burma. As an alternative in case the land attacks have not made sufficient progress before this break in the weather, an amphibious operation to take Rangoon has been prepared and now goes into action with parachute landings at the mouth of the Irrawaddy on the east bank.

2nd May 1945
Hamburg radio announces the deaths of Hitler and Goebbels.
The British carry out 'Operation Dracula', the amphibious attack on Rangoon. Admiral Martin leads the four escort carriers and other naval units. The 26th Indian Division provides the landing force. There is no Japanese resistance. Admiral Walker leads TF63 with the battleships 'Queen Elizabeth' and 'Richelieu', and two escort carriers as well as cruisers and destroyers, in covering operations in which Port Blair (Andaman Islands) and Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands) are bombed and shelled.
3rd May 1945
Rangoon is taken by the 26th Indian Division without any resistance from the Japanese. Further north on the Irrawaddy, Prome is taken by 33 Corps.
6th May 1945

Troops from the 26th Indian Division advancing north from Rangoon, link with units of 4 Corps at Hlegu. although many scattered forces remain in Burma, west of the Sittang towards Thailand and in the south west of the country, the campaign is virtually over.
Mopping up operations will continue as far as the monsoon weather permits, but British attention will be directed more to preparations for the campaign in Malaya; this because of the next major move. This of course never takes place as the Japanese surrender.


A grand parade is held in Rangoon to celebrate the recapture of the city.
15th June 1945
The mopping up in the Shan mountains area ends.


15TH AUGUST 1945
Emperor Hirohito's broadcast is made to the Japanese people, many of whom cannot accept at first what has happened because the tight control of the government has prevented civilians knowing the full extent of the Japanese weakness.

When you go home

tell them of us and say,

For your tomorrow,

we gave our today

Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945 Lt Gen Slim at Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, in March 1945
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