Hutchinson's Pictorial History of the War, Series 24 No.1

HUTCH IN SONS PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE WAR DOUGLAS DAKOTA TRANSPORT Known in America as the “Sky Train,” the Douglas Dakota D.C.3 iias a range of 2,125 miles with a load of 8,750 lb. and atop speed of 230 m.p.h. yards o f a patrol that was on the lookout for them, and still not be seen. And so it is no fault either o f the air or o f the land troops on either side if raiding columns penetrate deeply into hostile territory. All that matters in this event is whether the raiders can maintain themselves for sufficiently long to cut effectively the line o f communications and thus starve out their surrounded enemy. If the enemy, however, can be supplied by the air, and if he has air superiority, he can stay put on his prepared positions and fight it out. Thus the raiding party will not achieve its object and sooner or later will be pinned down and wiped out. This is what happened in Arakan in February, when the 14th Army had its first considerable success. And so the game goes ono f everybody encircling everybody else. We were beginning to outflank the Japanese in Arakan towards the end o f January, so they at once retaliated by going round our eastern outposts and sitting on the Nyakyedauk Pass— generally known as the Oke-doke Pass. And again, as soon as General Stilw ells threat to the Japanese from the north became serious the enemy made his thrust towards Im phal, although at that moment we were in the process ol putting a large force, mainly by air, into the heart of Burma. Here it is playing the mischief with his communications. The battle o f Arakan lasted for just over a month it was fought over an area o f 50 square miles and we won it. The situation with which we are faced to-day is that the battle for Im phal and theM anipur Road covers an area nearly 300 times as big. So the enemy has a much greater opportunity o f making a nuisance o f himself. In addition, we suffer from the handicap that our line o f communications from Assam to Im phal and T iddim lies parallel to the battlefront. I would remind you that the mountains here run north and south, and for engineering reasons it was only possible to drive this road, which is almost entirely a war-time feat o f engineering, along the run o f the valleys. The Japanese, therefore, can attack the road along its length, and this, indeed, is what they have done. They have sent three columns, one north-westward on Tiddim ,one westward on Im phal and one cutting down south-west onto the Imphal-Assam road. It is probable TANK OF THE 25TH DRAGOONS A tank of the 25th Dragoons in Burma moving forward to attack Japanese positions 011 the Arakan front during infighting the Ngakyedauk Pass area. A BIG LIFT BY A BOXER Warrant-Officer A. Warren, a well-known boxer in peacetime, shows his comrades in Burma the way to lift a 250-lb. bomb—if you are strong enough. that the main objective is the Im phal plain. Once in possession o f this, the only flat area for many miles, the enemy could bring effective air attack to bear on General Stilw ells only line o f communication. It would also be possible for him to raid the railway with mobile columns. By this means the present most serious threat to the Japanese position in Burma— the allied advance toward M ichina— would be liquidated. But we hold the Im phal plain strongly with tanks and guns against what the Japanese can carry 011 their backs and through forest paths, and we are sitting on the only two roads from the south, along which the enemy can bring tanks and heavy guns. Our forward troops can be regularly supplied by air, so there is no strategic insignificance the cutting of theM anipur byRoad small parties of Japanese. Tactically it is a great nuisance. The Japanese arc like rats in the underbrush. One small hill about 150 feet high and a few hundred feet across was held by an enemy force. When we attacked it we discovered that tunnels had been driven right through the hill in four directions, and in these tunnels
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