The Queen's in Burma 1943-1945
After the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942 the Japanese came sweeping west and the impetus of their attack carried them naturally to Burma. The British were not able to hold them and were forced to retreat across the River Chindwin and over the jungle ranges into India. In a few weeks almost all the land of Burma was in enemy hands.
The Japanese appeared to have three main objectives:-
1. To protect and consolidate their gains in the South West Pacific.
2. To cut off China from her Western supplies.
3. To mount an invasion-of India and to march on Delhi.
The Allied campaign in Burma defeated these plans. China was never quite isolated; a new road was forced through from the north and a line of communication was established by air over the 'Hump' between Calcutta and Chungking.
The Allied armies, under General Slim, fighting back from the frontiers of India turned the invasion of India into a Japanese retreat that ended with their surrender in Singapore on 12th September 1945.
Both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Queen's splayed their part in defeating the Japanese.
This story is written by men who were there forty years ago and is in addition to the Regimental History.
We take the 1st Battalion first.
At the outbreak of War in 1939, they formed part of the peacetime garrison of India. In October 1940 they moved to Waziristan to guard the North West Frontier, and there to become involved in operations against the Faqir of Ipi who was formenting trouble against the British presence. It was not until December 1942 that the Battalion joined 33 Brigade of the 7th Indian Division for training in jungle warfare, but while on the Frontier the Battalion had no mechanized transport but had much experience in handling their complement of 56 mules and in the training of Regimental muleteers, which was to be of great assistance in the battles to come.