8 March 1942
Fall of Rangoon
In 1942: Rangoon falls to the Japanese.At least 2,000 civilians had already died in Rangoon (mainly from Japanese aerial bombing) over the previous 10 weeks; another 400,000 became refugees. The city's dockyards, factories, oil refinery, and railways were all destroyed by the colonial authorities before leaving. Hundreds of offices and shops were looted by ordinary people. The fighting retreat from Rangoon first to Mandalay and then to Assam over the next three months would be the longest ever in British history. One of the most advanced countries in southeast Asia became an economic ruin because of the war. The photograph is of soldiers of the Japanese Fifteenth Army under Lt. General Iida Shojiro (飯田祥二郎) in front of Government House on 8 March 1942.