Exploring the battles of Pakokku, Nyaung – U and Bagan 14th – 19th February 1945 Part 2.

The dry roads of Nyaung U and Bagan. When the allies landed they were in almost desert conditions.

The dry roads of Nyaung U and Bagan. When the allies landed they were in almost desert conditions.

Unknown to the Allies, Pagan was the boundary between the Japanese Fifteenth and Twenty-Eighth Armies, and the the area north of Nyaung U was given to the Indian National Army to guard. As well as giving heavy resistance to the South Lancashire Regiment, here at Nyaung U they were fighting against 1/11 Sikh Regiment.

The 9th battalion, INA 4th Guerrilla Regiment was made up mostly of Tamils recruited from Malaya and there was heavy fighting in the sandy lanes surrounding and at the rear of the cliffs.

Now started  door to door fight against the Japanese and Indian defenders, the surviving INA having regrouped and began a retreat into Bagan. The Japanese had administrative buildings at Nyaung U, including those of  the Kempeitai (the  military police).

Stubborn Japanese defence

As the battle  progressed into Bagan ( Pagan) the Japanese gave a stubborn defence. They  used pagodas as sniping posts and dug tunnels under temples, and it is a testament to the 14th Army’s effective action against these threats that little  damage was made to these structures (there is no text to the following photos- they were taken during the evening to give a view of the spectacular  panorama of the temples and pagodas at Bagan).

.

Retreat

The Japanese gradually moved south, and the INA retreated towards Mount Popa. The allied forces advanced towards Meiktila, and there was an attempt by the Japanese to retake Nyaung U but it failed. The Japanese and INA were still a threat to the flank of the forces attacking Meiktila, but the INA had lost heart due to losses of personnel, disease and starvation and started to surrender in large numbers. Those who were found attempting surrender by the Japanese were beheaded or had their arms slashed by sword or bayonet, however, the majority surrendered at the village of  Magyigan near Mount Popa.

Mount Popa, the home of the 37 great nats (spirits) and the lesser nats - spirits of water, trees and other natural forms. In 1945 this was a very dry place with few road.

Mount Popa, the home of the 37 great nats (spirits) and the lesser nats – spirits of water, trees and other natural forms. In 1945 this was a very dry place with few road.

The Irrawaddy crossing was successful and the momentum of the allies could not be stopped. The fighting moved south.

Inscription in the Japanese war memorial at Bagan

Inscription in the Japanese war memorial at Bagan

Part 1 is here

For more information on this or other locations in S.E Asia pleas contact www.dtctravel.com

Posted on by TOBY in Asia, Burma, Remembrance Tour, Specials, Tours Leave a comment

Add a Comment