In March 1942 there was a large garrison of British Indian troops in Bago (Pegu), one of the largest remaining since the 17th Divison had been scattered and decimated at the Sittang Bridge disaster. A decision has been made not to contest Yangon(Rangoon) which was quickly evacuated and the Pegu garrison evacuated the city to join the Yangon troops heading north. The Pegu troops included infantry and armour which met the Japanese at the towns of Paya Gyi and Hlegu , where they were successful against the Japanese Ha-Go tanks and “sticky bomb” molotov cocktails, and they pushed through the road block erected to join the retreat north. It was a tactical victory to the British Indian troops – rare during this period.
By April 1945 the advancing allied troops had swept away much of the resitance of the Japanese who were in disorganised retreat towards the Sittang and Salween rivers – hoping to get to Thailand.