Japanese Burma Area Army
|Japanese Burma Area Army|
Japanese troops firing a heavy machine gun
|Active||27 March 1943 - 15 August 1945|
|Country||Empire of Japan|
|Branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Nickname(s)||森(Mori = “forest”)|
The Japanese Burma Area Army was formed on 27 March 1943, under the control of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group as a garrison force to defend the nominally-independent State of Burma against reoccupation and re-colonization by British forces based in neighboring India.
The Japanese Burma Area Army was not equipped as other nominal units of comparable strength due to the dwindling external supply situation mainly because of increasing US and UK attacks on the Japanese naval supply lanes. As a result, many logistical requirements were locally purchased from Myanmar (Burma), Malai (Malaya), and Thailand. In 1943 the main responsibility of the BAA was to quell insurgencies of the Shan, Karen, and other tribal groups in the remote regions, and react to incursions of the Chindits from British India or Kuomintang forces from Yunnan.
For the campaign season of 1944, Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi, the commander of the Japanese 15th Army which at the time was assigned to the Japanese Burma Area Army, pressed for an offensive strategy. The resulting Battle of Kohima and Battle of Imphal were among the worst disasters ever suffered by the Imperial Japanese Army.[page needed] In subsequent operations in the Burma campaign, the Japanese Army continued to suffer massive losses, and after the Battle of Meiktila and Mandalay and Operation Dracula, was all but driven from Burma.
List of Commanders
|1||Lieutenant General Masakazu Kawabe||18 March 1943||30 August 1944|
|2||General Heitarō Kimura||30 August 1944||12 September 1945|
Chief of Staff
|1||Lieutenant General Eitaro Naka||18 March 1943||22 September 1944|
|2||General Shinichi Tanaka||22 September 1944||23 May 1945|
|3||Lieutenant General Tsunamasa Shidei||23 May 1945||29 July 1945|
- Latimer, Jon (2004). Burma: The Forgotten War. London: John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-6576-2.
- Madej, Victor (1981). Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945. Game Publishing Company. ASIN: B000L4CYWW.
- Wendel, Marcus. "Axis History Factbook". Japanese Burma Area Army.
- Madej, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945
- Latimer, (2004)