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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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Special Operations Executive

Antelopes & Tigers: Operations East of the Salween (Part 2)

Photo from the private papers of Captain Tony Bennett In March 1945, six Shan parachuted into Burma east of the town of Moulmein. They were part of team Antelope, led by Major Ian Abbey, Captain John Bryant, and their W/T... Continue Reading →

Tigers & Antelopes: Operations East of the Salween River

In April 1945 at the Force 136 training camp in Ceylon known as ME25, a team of six men was formed up for operations east of the Salween River in south east Burma. There were two Captains in the team,... Continue Reading →

Special Delivery: RAF SD Squadron Operations Reports

A Daylight drop to Operation Character, Team Mongoose courtesy of Simon Leney In February 1944, 1576 Special Duty Flight, hitherto consisting of exhausted Hudsons, became 357 SD Squadron, equipped with Liberator. Force 136 finally had the aircraft capable of turning... Continue Reading →

Mr Newton Joseph: IFBUs, Imphal, & a Commission?

On Christmas Day 1944, just after lunch, a jeep carrying more persons than was considered safe, flipped over on the track inside Fagu camp in India. Fagu was the home of the Indian Field Broadcasting Units (IFBU), later known as... Continue Reading →

In the Delta: Team Panda

The Delta Region today, not much different from how team Panda would have experienced it. Photo from Pandaw Irrawaddy Delta Cruises Throughout the war in Burma, from the time preceding the Japanese invasion to after the formal end of hostilities,... Continue Reading →

Jemadar Maung Wah & Major Seagrim

The story of Major Hugh Paul Seagrim continues to attract attention, from the first book about him published by The Times correspondent Ian Morrison in 1947, to the more recent book by Philip Davies seventy years later. Even more recently,... Continue Reading →

The RAF & SOE in Burma

On 7 December, 1945, exactly four years since the Japanese opened hostilities against Western targets in the Far East, Colonel Mount Stephen Cumming of Force 136 wrote a letter of thanks to the commander of RAF Jessore, in India.  Addressing... Continue Reading →

Force 136 Intelligence

SOE was not supposed to be an intelligence organisation, with clear lines of responsibilty set out so it did not stand on the toes of the Secret Intelligence Service. Intelligence naturally came with SOE operations, however, and became quite a... Continue Reading →

Getting Started: Operational Frustrations in 1943

More plentiful times: a supply drop in Burma, 1945.  Photo credit Sgt. Roger Leney In his history of SOE in the Far East, the official historian, Charles Cruickshank, claims that the organisation existed in a 'funcional vacuum' due to its... Continue Reading →

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