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8 February

Brigade sets off from Imphal. Once in Burma, the plan was for the force to divide into a diversionary No.1 Southern Group and the main No. 2 Northern Group.

Northern Group would march at night to avoid detection by the enemy while Southern Group would march and receive supply drops in daylight in an attempt to mislead the Japanese of the intentions of the force and divert Japanese forces away from the main group.

Column Commanders

  • Southern Group - Lt-Colonel Alexander
  • No. 1 Column - Major Dunlop
  • No. 2 Column - Major Emmett
  • Northern Group - Lt-Colonel Cooke
  • No. 3 Column - Major Calvert
  • No. 4 Column - Major Conron/Major Bromhead
  • No. 5 Column - Major Fergusson
  • No. 7 Column - Major Gilkes
  • No. 8 Column - Major Scott
13 February

Wingate gives final instructions and issues Order of the Day. The force then divides into -

No.1 Southern Group Composing Group HQ, Columns 1 and 2 (Gurkha Rifles) numbering 1,000 men and 250 horses and mules. Plan for the group was to cross the Chindwin at Auktaung, attack the railway near Kyaikthan en route, then proceed to Mongmit to meet with the main body of the brigade or await further instructions.

No. 2 Northern Group
Brigade HQ250 men
Group HQ120 men
Burma Rifles HQ150 men
Columns 3,4,5,6,7 and 81680 men
Totalling 2,200 men and 850 horses and mules. Their plan was to cross the Chindwin at Tonhe then proceed to attack the railway at Indaw.
14 February

Northern Group begin crossing of Chindwin River.

15-18 February

1st airdrops for Northern group. 70,000 pounds of supplies were dropped over 3 nights in 16 sorties.

22 February

Northern Group concentrate at Tonmakeng to receive a large air drop on night of 24th.

24/25 February

Cols. 3,7,8 sent to attack Japanese troops at Sinlanmaung. The enemy had hurriedly evacuated before they arrived. Stores and quarters were destroyed.

1 March

Group bivouacked near Pinbon. 4 Col ordered to ambush Pinlebu–Mansi road, bypassing Pinbon. 3 & 5 Cols ordered to attack railway near Nankan and Bongyaung. Remaining columns to create diversions by advancing towards Pinlebu to draw Japanese away from the railway.

4 March

7+8 Cols diversion supported by RAF bombing of Japanese at Pinlebu

4 March

4 Col proceeding to re-join the main force but encountered a superior Japanese force. Forced to retreat and having lost much vital equipment and unable to contact the rest of the group, they had little option but to return to the Chindwin.

13 March

Japanese discover that the Chindits were supplied by air after an airdrop to HQ, 7+8 Cols had to be aborted due to a Japanese position close to the drop zone.

6 March

Major battle at Nankan as 3 Col fought off Japanese to allow demolition teams to perform their tasks. The Japanese eventually fled after suffering 50 casualties and destruction of 3 motor-trucks. 3 Col had successfully cut the railway in 70 places and brought down 3 bridges

5 col had beaten off an enemy patrol before demolishing the bridge at Bon Chaung and the railway track was blocked by dynamiting the gorge.

18 March

HQ 7+8 col cross Irrawaddy unopposed.

30 March

Final Supply drop for Northern Group who then divided into dispersal groups for their individual returns to the Chindwin.

13 March

Col 3 came under attack while preparing to cross the Irrawaddy but rearguard troops held off the attack. The crossing was eventually completed successfully but some of the mules, ammunition and medical supplies had to be left.

10 March

5 Col crossed Irrawaddy under cover of darkness just in time. The Japanese arrived just as the last boat was mid-stream.

27 March

Northern Group head north to begin their return journey, discarding all non-essential equipment and turning loose unneeded mules.

23 March

Emergency supply drop for 5 Col, column then re-joins main group.

24 March

After consultation with Wingate on possibilities of further operations, IV Corps gave order to Wingate to withdraw.

27/28 March

Final supply drop for 3 Col who then divided into 10 dispersal groups for the return journey.

23 March

3 Col ambush enemy company inflicting heavy casualties.

24 March

3 Col ordered to return to Chindwin independently.

14/15 February

Southern Group crosses Chindwin at Auktaung 14/15th after receiving two successful daylight supply drops on 13th/14th.

18 February

Southern Group had their first skirmish and inflicted some casualties. Some mule loads were lost and the column delayed by having to make a detour.

2 March

2 Col ambushed and there were heavy losses in personnel, equipment and animals. In the confusion the column was divided with some continuing east hoping to join other columns and the rest retreating back to the Chindwin.

3 March

1 Col cut the railway at Kyaikthin in 5 places, destroyed bridge and laid mines

10 March

Southern group reach Tagaung on 9th and crossed Irrawaddy on 10th unopposed.

15 March

Southern Group had been unable to contact HQ Col by radio but meets 3 Col and then proceeds towards Baw to meet Wingate.

22 March

Southern Group receive air drop, it would turn out to be their final one.

31 March

Southern Group located by the Japanese and a battle ensued.

6 April

Southern Group turns back to return to the Chindwin.