Talk:Battle of Yenangyaung/Temp
|Battle of Yenangyaung|
|Part of the Burma Campaign|
| National Revolutionary Army, China
|Imperial Japanese Army, Japan|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Sun Li Jen
John Henry Anstice, James Bruce Scott
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Yenangyaung (Chinese: 仁安羌大捷, Great Victory at Yenangyaung) was fought in Burma, now Myanmar during World War II. The battle of Yenaungyaung was fought in an area of about 20 square miles formed to the north by the Pin Chaung and the south by the Yin Chaung in the vicinity of Yenangyaung and its oil feilds.
The battle for the Yenangyaung oil fields started on 11th April and continued for a week. One action was against 48th Indian Brigade at Kokkogwa were the Japanese attacked in strength on a dark night in violent thunderstorms. At dawn on 12th April 'B' and 'C' Squadrons, 2 RTR, were in action. Some of the 7th Hussars' tanks captured in the earlier Shwedaung battle had been repaired and went into action with Japanese crews. 2 RTR were again in action near Magwe at Thadodan and Alebo.
From 13th to 17th April 1942, tanks of the 2 RTR were kept busy, carrying the 2nd Battalion, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry up the main road to Milestones 310, then 336 and killed 50 Japanese in the village of Tokson while loosing a tank destroyed when it was hit six times at very close range by a 75mm gun. On several occasions Japanese roadblocks split the British Burma Frontier Force, 1st Burma Division, 7th Armoured Brigade HQ and 2 RTR into three forces. The situation became so critical that General Alexander asked Lieutenant General Joe Stilwell to move the Chinese 38th Division immediately into the Yenaungyaung area.
The Japanese 33rd Division cut the Magwe road between Slim's two divisions, who were about 50 miles apart, 1st Burma Division retreated northwards bombed and machine-gunned by Japanese aircraft. On April 16th, 1942, almost 7000 British soldiers, and 500 prisoners and civilians were encircled by an equal number of Japanese soldiers from the Japanese 33rd Division at Yenangyaung an oil field in Burma. A rescue request came over the phone from the British Major General Bruce Scott commander of 1st Burma Division to General Sun Li Jen soon after the New 38th Division entered Burma from China. General Sun requested to lead the entire New 38th Division in the operation, but the Chinese Field Commander Gen. Lo Cho-ying refused. On April 17th General Sun instead led the 113th Regiment with only 1121 men for the rescue mission.
Because the Chinese regiment had none of its own artillery or tanks, Lt. Gen. Slim decided to offer what artillery and tanks he could, to support Sun's attack. Brigadier J. Anstice, commanding 7th Armoured Brigade, was able to cooperate successfully with Lt. General Sun, who was inexperienced with tanks but would consult with Anstice before employing them. By now Lt. General Slim's only link with Major-General Scott was by radio from 7th Armoured Brigade HQ to the command tank of 'A' Squadron 2 RTR.
During the fighting, 'C' Squadron, 2 RTR were part of a small mixed brigade supporting the Chinese infantry division in the area of the Magwe oil fields. It was agreed that 2 RTR tanks would carry 10 to 15 Chinese soldiers on each tank, then penetrate as far into the jungle as possible before dropping them off and then cover their attack with their weapons while the Royal Horse Artillery 25-pdr guns provided more support. For the next three days the Chinese 113th Regiment, with 'B' and 'C' Squadrons, 2 RTR, attacked southwards.
Meanwhile, led by their commander Major General Scott, 1st Burma Division formed up in a column, with a spearhead of Stuart tanks and infantry followed by guns, wounded in ambulances, and then trucks, until the track turned into sand. Abandoning their transport the Division fought its way to and across the Pin Chaung river. Once there the survivors concentrated around Gwegyo meeting up with the releif column on April 19th after suffering heavy casualties on both sides.
On 19th April the Chinese 113th Regiment, with the British tank and artillery support, took Twingon, a key suburb of Yenangyaung, rescuing from the Japanese 200 prisoners and wounded men of the 1st Battalion, Inniskilling Fusiliers. On the next day with 2 RTR they attacked toward the rest of Yenaungyaung and Pinchaung where the Japanese suffered heavy casualties. But the Allied forces were too weak to hold the oil fields and had to retreat. 1st Burma Division was withdrawn 40 miles north to reorganise, having lost most of its equipment, 7th Armoured Brigade covered its withdrawal.
For the next week 'C' Squadron, 2 RTR, and a troop of Essex Yeomanry 25-pdrs remained with the Chinese New 38th Division and the tanks of 2 RTR who covered the withdrawal northward and carried many of the wounded infantry in their Stuarts during the retreat.
- Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), 2nd Ed. ,1971. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung , Chung Wu Publishing; 33, 140th Lane, Tung-hwa Street, Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China. Pg. 377
- The 7th Armoured Brigade Engagements - 1942