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First Battle of Arakan

21 Dec 1942 - 3 Apr 1943


ww2dbaseOn 21 Dec 1942, British and Commonwealth forces launched a small assault against the Arakan region in western Burma, aiming to capture the Mayu peninsula and Akyab Island's airfield, but the campaign was a failure. The Indian 14th Division was halted at the base of the peninsula early on in the campaign, and repeated assaults proved useless against the fortified Japanese defenders. On 3 Apr 1943 Japanese reinforcements struck the Indian 14th Division, forcing them to abandon their heavy equipment and retreat back across the Indian border.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Update: Oct 2006

First Battle of Arakan Timeline

17 Nov 1942 Archibald Wavell gave up the amphibious component to the planned assault on Arakan Peninsula, Burma (largely due to the lack of landing craft, the majority of which were assigned to Operation Torch in North Africa and to the Pacific Theater), and told Noel Irwin to focus on ground assault through Mayu Hills only.
21 Dec 1942 British and Commonwealth troops crossed the Indian-Burmese border, moving into Japanese-controlled Arakan Peninsula.
25 Dec 1942 Japanese troops fell back from the eastern bank of the Mayu River in Arakan Peninsula in Burma.
7 Jan 1943 The British assault on Japanese bunkers at Donbaik, Burma on the Bay of Bengal coast was halted with heavy losses.
8 Jan 1943 Japanese troops again halted a British assault at Donbaik, Burma.
10 Jan 1943 Japanese troops again halted a British assault at Donbaik, Burma.
17 Mar 1943 Indian troops fell back from Japanese attacks along the Arakan front in Burma.
18 Mar 1943 The Allies abandoned the attempt to drive Japanese from Donbaik, Burma.
20 Mar 1943 Archibald Wavell ordered the offensive in Arakan Peninsula, Burma abandoned, falling back to the Maungdaw-Buthidaung line.
20 Apr 1943 Japanese troops under Koga attacked the British Maungdaw-Buthidaung line in Burma.
8 May 1943 Japanese troops captured Maungdaw, Burma despite being outnumbered and being surrounded throughout most of the offensive.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
16 Aug 2010 08:19:30 PM

Over the years Dad has told me stories about the war years which included the battle of Araka. Very interesting to a young lad but, unfortunately, I didn't take note!

Now, with Dad's 92nd birthday next month, I'd like to know more about his time in Burma. Do you have record of anybody who was attached to 28th Jungle Field Regiment, which was part of 5th Indian Division? I'd love to surprise Dad with the name of somebody he knew! A long shot but wouldn't it be great?

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