Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps
Pyinmana during World War Two

event_note History Timeline

20 April 1945

Pyinmana during World War Two

people General Masaki Honda

မြန်မာဘာသာဖြင့် ဖတ်ရန်

On 20 April 1945, Allied forces led by the 5th Indian Division were seizing control of Pyinmana (now Naypyitaw). It was the headquarters of the Japanese 33rd Army and its commander, General Masaki Honda, only just managed to escape in the dark on foot. Hundreds of other Japanese were killed. 

The 5th Indian Division - with Scots, Pathan, Sikh, English, Gurkha, Punjabi and other troops - had fought the Italians in East Africa and the Germans in North Africa, as well as the Japanese at the decisive battles of Imphal, Kohima, Meikhtila, and Mandalay. It was one of the very few Allied formations to battle all three Axis powers. 

Also on the same day, the British Fourteenth Army's XXXIII Corp was ousting the Japanese from the vital oilfields at Chauk. Rangoon would fall less than three weeks later. 

The photograph shows two British soldiers on patrol in the town of Bahe during the advance on Mandalay. This aerial shot taken by the US Air Force in May 1945 shows the Allied bombing of Pyinmana after US B-25 bombers of the Eastern Air Command “saturated the town with incendiary and frag bombs”.  

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