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Thread: Forgotten Army

  1. #1
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    Default Forgotten Army

    We, military history enthusiasts, often hear of Slim and the 'Forgotten XIV Army, but how many appreciate that many of the Fourteenth Army were British Imperial troops?

    Here are extracts from the BBC docu Forgotten Volunteers:
    (Might be worht mentioning that not all Brits agree with Bernard Manning, particularly those that fought alongside the volunteers.)

    Part 1 of 5
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPB1S...eature=related

    Part 2 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGbma...eature=related

    Part 5 of 5

    Part 3 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amSHz...eature=related

    Part 4 of 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_nan...eature=related
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-19-2009 at 07:24 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    That's really good mate, nice finds.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Thank you, Winston.

    Nice to see the shoulder flash of the BlackCat Division in the 'Burma' stained glass window at Sandhurst. The Black-Cats often fought and defeated elements of the crack, Japanese 'White Tigers' Division.

    The Sikhs were especially brave sodiers, coming from a warrior culture.

    http://www.sikhs.org/summary.htm
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-19-2009 at 09:25 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    I find it rather ironic that for all the demands for independence, Indenpendence Day is celebrated by 'Beating Retreat' - with Pipe Bands - how much more British can we become?

    The ceremony of Beating Retreat has its origins in the practicalities of early warfare when the drum was used for all signals on the battlefield. Beating the Retreat was a signal for troops to disengage from combat as light faded. This custom was also used to warn outlying troops to withdraw to the confines of the encampment before the picquets were set for the night.

    Check out the Royal Marine drummers Beating retreat 2009

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?...inburgh+tattoo

    http://www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk/retreat/

    British Indian Army Regiments

    http://www.britishempire.co.uk/force...fantry1903.htm
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-19-2009 at 12:13 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Thought you'd like to see the Memorial Plaque to Slim and the 14th Army in Bristol
    Attached Images Attached Images
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Thank you for that, Amrit.

    I attended the Bourma Star Association Service of THanksgiving and Remembrance of the 64th Anniversary of V.J. Day at the church of St Martin of Tours in Epsom, last Sunday.

    Didn't see any Indians there, but did chat with a chap of Anglo-Indian origins. Captain in the S.O.E. Burma. Forget the tile of the force he was a part - interesting chap.

    Can never resist stopping to look at this one

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...a%3DN%26um%3D1

    I took part in Slim's Funeral Procession at Windsor in 1970, will nevr forget it - representatives from all over the Commonwealth in full ceremonials.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-19-2009 at 02:17 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Didn't see any Indians there,
    I doubt many Indians of the 14th Army are around now, especially in Britain. The few who maybe will be in their late-80s/early 90s.

    And one wonders how many are "in the loop" for reunions etc

    but did chat with a chap of Anglo-Indian origins. Captain in the S.O.E. Burma. Forget the tile of the force he was a part - interesting chap.
    Force 136
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    New there was a 3 and a 6 in there somewhere.

    http://images.google.com/images?q=Fo...title&resnum=4

    There weren't many British vets there either. Age catches up. I had a couple of uncles in Burma, one with the Chindits, but they're both gone now.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    There were many unsung heroes in Burma, the Lushai Brigade stood tall among them:

    In March 1944, the Japanese Army invaded India. As the available British and Indian forces were besieged in Imphal, there was a danger that Japanese units would infiltrate through the Lushai Hills, which were rugged and heavily forested, but not guarded other than by lightly armed levies and guerillas of V Force.

    To guard against this threat, the commander of the British Fourteenth Army, Lieutenant General William Slim, formed four unbrigaded Indian infantry battalions into an ad-hoc brigade, the Lushai Brigade.


    http://www.reference.com/browse/Lushai+Brigade


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    I might have read this previously - as I've read the bok a couple of times - but I don't remember it. Wondered if anyone had any knowledge of this weapon and its usage?

    “On the heights of Modbung, the Japanese infantry battalion (II/60 – Matsumura) had no anti-tank guns, nor did he have any defence against a strange-looking gun positioned on the slopes of Ekban, two miles south of Modbung. The nature of this was revealed when two sections of 6 Company/II Battalion 60 Infantry Regiment were hammered by a barrage which sent pillars of flame rising from trenches close by and ten seconds later the Japanese heard shells coming over. Lance-Corporal MUragishi listened to the shell’s flight and the echoing which followed, and judged the gun to be an anti-aircraft gun brought up from Imphal, where it would be of no further use, since there were no Japanese planes in the skies to be shot down. The bunkers on the hill were blown up, and fragments of shattered flesh fell all round Muragishi, who scrabbled away furiously at the hillside to dig himself in. To put one’s head out of the trench was almost suicidal, but Muragishi peeped out during a brief pause in the shelling and saw what looked like a great mass of black iron coming along the ridge fifty yards away. It spat red and white flame, and he screamed ‘Tanks!’, despite his sheer disbelief that a tank could climb the 45 degree slope of their hill. The tank halted by a trench it had already shelled, and turned its gun on the Japanese corpses lying there, pumped a few more rounds in them to make sure, and slowly began to move towards Muragishi. He counted four tanks in all, on the hillside, and knew he could do nothing about it. There no anti-tank guns in the entire battalion. Ten seconds, and one of the tanks was almost on the edge of the trench.

    To Murugishi’s amazement, Lance-Corporal Uehara, beside him, suddenly heaved his body up out of the trench and dashed at the tank, hissing to his companion, ‘I’ll get that tank! Leave it to me!’ Muragishi saw his right fist clutching what looked like a big, round, glass ball. The tank was few yards away, and Uehara hurled the ball at it. At once, the ball shattered against the front of the tank, which was enveloped in a white vapour, like steam, which was sucked inside.

    In seconds, the lid of the gun turret was pushed up and the tank crew hurled themselves out of the tank and down the slope, rolling over and over to escape the smoke. Uhara scrambled on to the turret and threw a grenade. A fiery red pillar rose up from the interior and suddenly the great iron lump was booming and flaming. The grenade had ignited the ammunition.

    What Muragishi had witnessed was a rare instance of the use of poison gas in the Second World War. The gas bomb flung by Uehara was relatively new to Burma and there were not many available. It was, in fact, a German invention, one of the few examples of useful collaboration between Germany and Japan. The Japanese called it 'chibi-dan',the 'tich-bomb', and it consisted of a thick glass ball the size of a base ball containing at it is core prussic acid gas in liquid form. When the tank’s armour plating shattered the glass on impact, the liquid gasified at once in the atmosphere, producing a stream of white smoke which was drawn into the crew space and asphyxiated the occupants. The gas had an enormous killing power; 0.4 mgs in the blood was lethal.”
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 09-12-2009 at 09:51 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Interesting.

    Did the poison gas grenade pose any risk to the thrower?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    That was my immediate thought also. I don't think it did on this occassion. Perhaps it is most lethal in a confined space. Also, by the time it had seeped into the tank and he ran forward to do his grenade thing, the air outside might have cleared. I'll read a little further and see if there is any more on it and get back.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    This is the remainder of that piece, not very enlightening as to your question, R.S.

    "The Japanese also used a TA-DAN against tanks. This so called as a kind of acronym formed by taking the sounds of the first and last characters of the phrase Tai-sensha-senko-DAN , ‘anti-tank perforating shell’, which worked by emitting a gas at ultra-high temperature. When the shell made a slight penetration of the armour on impact, the gas was released and burned its way into the tank."

    Author’s note(Louis Allan)
    When I was first told about the use of the chibi-dan I was sceptical, believing that if the British had known poison gas was being used against them, they would have turned it into a first-rate anti-Japanese propaganda weapon, naturally enough. But my informant, Mr Kuzuma of the Kyoto Shimbun, insisted that he had interviewed Muragishi, whose account appears in his Sakimori no shi, Inparu-hen (Poems of the Guards – Imphal section), Kyoto 1979, pp. 280-6.

    I have edited my first entry on this, above in bold, 32Bravo.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 09-12-2009 at 09:54 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Source of the above http://www.amazon.co.uk/Burma-Longes.../dp/1842122606

    About Louis Allan

    Louis Allen (1922-1991) was born Louis Levy, of Lithuanian Jewish and Irish Catholic parentage, at Redcar in Yorkshire, and was educated at the University of Manchester and the Sorbonne. Japan's entry into World War II in December 1941 gave the intelligence services an urgent need for recruits with a knowledge of Japanese. Having graduated in French from Manchester and joined the Seahawk Infantry Battalion, Louis Levy was one of a small band of talented linguists recruited for the intensive language courses provided for the War Office by the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In February 1943 he was sent on the Services translators' course in Japanese at SOAS, before being posted to New Delhi in 1944, where the headquarters of CSDIC, the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre, and SEATIC, the South East Asia Translation and Interrogation Centre, were located.
    While serving with the 17th Division in Burma in 1945, Levy recognised that a Japanese document captured by a forward patrol was a vital operation order outlining the plans for a massive Japanese break-out across the Sittang River in the final stages of the war. This was a crucial intelligence coup, and Levy was mentioned in despatches. After the Japanese surrender he was employed on liaison work, persuading Japanese soldiers in the jungle that hostilities had ended, and as a language officer for four months at Payagyi camp for Japanese surrendered personnel, north of Pegu in southern Burma, where he was involved in interviewing Japanese staff officers on the development of Japanese strategic planning. In 1946 he was twice posted to French Indo-China to help organise the evacuation of Japanese troops. He kept in touch with some of the Japanese soldiers he encountered until the end of his life, and his war-time experiences set in train his life-long efforts for reconciliation and mutual understanding between British and Japanese.
    After the war Levy adopted his mother's maiden name, Allen. He returned to academic life, and a career as lecturer (later Reader) in French at the University of Durham, but became best known as a historian of Japan and World War II, and as a broadcaster on programmes such as Round Britain Quiz and the arts review Kaleidoscope. He wrote five books on the war in the Pacific, and numerous articles on Japanese history, politics, and literature. Meticulously researched and even-handed in their treatment of evidence, his books sought to extend understanding of the experience of ordinary Japanese as well as British soldiers. This balanced approach at times provoked controversy, seen particularly in reactions to his translation, with Hidè Ishiguro, of Yuji Aida's Prisoner of the British, and in the responses to his own book, Burma, the longest war.
    In retirement Louis Allen continued his work for Anglo-Japanese mutual understanding through increasing involvement in an enterprise to sponsor contacts and exchange visits between Japanese and British ex-servicemen who had served in Burma. He was also active in both the European Association for Japanese Studies, and the British Association for Japanese Studies, of which he was president in 1980.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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    Default Re: Forgotten Army

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    "The Japanese also used a TA-DAN against tanks. This so called as a kind of acronym formed by taking the sounds of the first and last characters of the phrase Tai-sensha-senko-DAN , ‘anti-tank perforating shell’, which worked by emitting a gas at ultra-high temperature. When the shell made a slight penetration of the armour on impact, the gas was released and burned its way into the tank."
    The Ta-Dan was a High Explosive Anti tank round, and as with most HEAT rounds, it worked on the same principle - a hollow charge that created super heated vapour to force its way through armour on impact.

    As for Allen....hum. Though his Burma: The Longest War is a good introduction to the subject, his omissions are as problemmatic as his analyses. He isn't the most sympathetic to certain ethnic troops, and some get virtually no mention at all, even though they played a vital role. One example is the 81 (West African) Division*, which gets no more than a passing mention, and not too complimentary at that. That despite the fact that they were heavily involved in the fighting, as well as providing crucial support services.

    There are many other omissions/dismissals of this kind.

    * For an excellent history of the division have a look at War Bush: 81 (West African) Division in Burma 1943-1945 by J A L Hamilton.

    Other African units included the 82nd (West Africa) and 11th (East Africa) Divisions
    _______________________________________________

    Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC - 43 & 258 Squadron RAF & 6 Squadron RIAF. Hurricanes & Spitfires over France, Tomahawks in North Africa, Hurricanes over Burma.

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