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The Special Operations Executive in Burma 1941-1945

Secret Agents & Guerrilla Armies in the Second World War

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Operation Flimwell: A First Failure in Burma

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE On 19 January 1943, Burma Country Section (BCS) dropped their first team back into occupied Burma.  Two Karen agents, Saw Archibald Kino and... Continue Reading →

From Policeman to Force 136: Major Eric Battersby

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE The name of Major Eric Battersby permeates SOE's Burma files.  There are numerous documents signed off 'Eric B, Maj' which put him squarely... Continue Reading →

Counter-espionage in Kachin lands, 1944

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE   Map showing Kachin territory. Picture credit Kachin Relief Fund http://kachinrelief.org.uk/kachin.html One of Burma Country Section's (BCS) earliest missions was to the Kachin... Continue Reading →

On War & Loyalty

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE   Some of the faces of those who fought with Force 136 The predominant narrative for the Burma campaign is that the so-called... Continue Reading →

Historical Breadth versus Historical Accuracy? ‘The Secret War’ & Burma

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE In 2015, Sir Max Hastings published his 'The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas, 1939 - 1945.'  Of course, I was interested to... Continue Reading →

No Betrayal: Lt. Saw Po Hla & Major Seagrim

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE  The exploits of Major Hugh 'Stooky' Seagrim in Burma were first shared with the world in Ian Morrison's book, 'Grandfather Longlegs', published in 1946. ... Continue Reading →

‘Quick, shrewd, cunning and resourceful’: A Panther crossing the Chindwin, 1944.

If you like what you see on my website consider buying my book HERE  December 1944, bridging the Chindwin.  Photo credit: IWM open source, click HERE The following are the comments made in the report of Maung Nyein Maung on... Continue Reading →

‘Pandas’: Training Kuomintang Chinese

If you like what you see on my website conside buying my book HERE  A little while back, I posted the 'The extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Agent in Burma'.  Here is the story of another Chinese agent, one who trained... Continue Reading →

‘I’d rather be shot at than blown up’: A Jungle Ambush

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Photo: Production of Mills Grenades, August 1942. Getty Images The following is a report written by 2/Lt. Joseph Marlam.  Marlam was an Anglo-Indian... Continue Reading →

The Burma Gallantry Medal: Havildar La Shi Naw

Photo credit: Steve Fogden's superb Chindit website The Burma Gallantry Medal (BGM) was established by Royal Warrant on 10 May 1940 to be awarded to Burmese personnel serving in the various units formed for the defence of Burma.    Former soldier,... Continue Reading →

‘If funds short sell rifle’: A glimpse of Operation Heavy

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE This post was inspired by the record of Jemadar Kolu Ban.  Kolu Ban, it seems, had an alcohol problem, which made him unusual;... Continue Reading →

Airpower & Elephant Point: Taking Rangoon, May 1945

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Gurkhas of 50 Indian Parachute Brigade get ready to emplane.  Photograph credit: Here  In early May 1945, it was the troops of 26... Continue Reading →

‘Monkey Nuts are Rotten’

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE   The Mergui Archipelago: Picture Credit Tom H Trip Advisor upload The title for this post comes from the identification password that was... Continue Reading →

Only Rohingya? Burmese Nationalists and Special Operations during the Second World War.

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Map Credit The press has been full of opinions about the current crisis in Rakhine State having its roots in the Second World... Continue Reading →

The Problem with Charlie: A Chin on Special Operations

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Map Credit: Chin Community Ministry Recorded variously as 'Charlie Thangkung', 'Thang Kung' and Lieutenant Thaung Kong, this post is all about the Chin... Continue Reading →

On Leadership: the role of ‘Forgotten Allies’

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE The 'Men of SOE' Roll of Honour on this website has  112 men added to it as of 3 December 2017.  If you... Continue Reading →

SOE Tradecraft: advice for agents going behind the lines

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Ramree island entered the Guinness Book of Records for being the place where the biggest crocodile feast upon human flesh is supposed to... Continue Reading →

Remembrance Sunday in Burma, November 2017.

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE  On the anniversary of VJ Day 2017, the author Philip Davies published his long anticipated book, 'Lost Warriors', about the exploits of two... Continue Reading →

‘Not very promising in appearance’: A Kachin on Special Operations

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE  In my attempt to reveal the diversity of those employed by the Special Operations Executive to help fight the war against Japan in... Continue Reading →

A Doctor on Special Operations

If you like what you see on my website consider clicking HERE, or buying my book HERE Frontispiece from Captain Duncan Guthrie's Jungle Diary Very often, on the TV and in books, the jungle conditions of Burma are given prominence for... Continue Reading →

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