The Rescue of British by Chinese at Yenangyaung and Slim’s Flawed Account of the Battle

in Journal of Chinese Military History
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

Chinese and British troops fought shoulder to shoulder against the Japanese at Yenangyaung, Burma, in mid-April 1942. The official military histories of the two nations, however, record the Yenangyaung battle and appraise the Chinese contribution in striking disagreement. To find the truth through reconciling the significant discrepancies in existence for seven decades, materials of various countries have been comparatively studied. The article will present the following conclusions from this forensic inquiry: i) the narrative of the Yenangyaung battle by William Slim, the commanding officer of the British-Chinese joint forces in the battle, is fraught with misrepresentations; and ii) the official British military history errs in denying the Chinese rescue of the British troops.

Sections
References
  • AlexanderHarold. 1942. The Despatch to the Secretary of State for War. London: Gazette.

  • AlexanderHarold. 1962. The Alexander Memoirs 1940-1945. London: Cassell & Company.

  • AmiesB. Memoirs of Colonel Bill Amies. Unpublished manuscript (459681/21/1). Imperial War MuseumLondon.

  • BeldenJack. 1943. Retreat with Stilwell. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

  • CarmichaelPat. 1983. Mountain Battery—Burma 1942. Bournemouth, UK: Devin Books.

  • DornFrank. 1971. Walkout with Stilwell in Burma. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company.

  • EldridgeFred. 1946. Wrath in Burma: The Uncensored Story of General Stilwell. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company.

  • FoucarE. C. 1945. Draft Narrative of the First Burma Campaign December 1941-May 1942. Unpublished manuscript. War Department Historical Section (U.K.). U.S. Army Heritage and Eduation CenterCarlisle, PA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GrantIan L. and Kazuo Tamayama. 1999. Burma 1942: The Japanese Invasion; Both Sides Tell the Story of a Savage Jungle War. Chichester, UK: The Zampi Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Headquarters American Army Forces China Burma and India. The Campaign in Burma March 10 to June 1 1942. Joseph Warren Stilwell papers, Box 49, folder 33. Hoover Institution ArchivesStanford, CA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KirbyS. Woodburn. 1958. The War Against Japan—India’s Most Dangerous Hour. Vol. 2. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

  • Ministry of National Defense. 1966. Dian Mian lu zhi zuozhan [Battles for the Burma Road]. In Kang Ri zhan shi [History of the War Against Japan]. Taibei: History Department, Ministry of National Defense.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • New 38th Division. 1942. Xin 38 shi Miandian zhandou xiang bao [Report on the Battle in Burma]. Folder # 787 File # 11655. The Second Historical Archives of China.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RobertsF. N. The Burma Campaign. Unpublished manuscript. Harry S Truman Presidential LibraryIndependence, MO.

  • RomanusCharles F. and Riley Sunderland. 1953. Stilwell’s Mission to China. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Second Royal Tank Regiment. War Diary of 2nd Royal Tank Regiment. Unpublished manuscript. Bovington Tank MuseumBovington, UK.

  • SlimWilliam. 2000. Defeat Into Victory. 1957. ReprintLondon: Macmillan Publishers Limited.

  • StilwellJoseph W. 1948. The Stilwell Papers. New York: William Sloane Associates.

  • TannerRalph and David Tanner. 2009. Burma 1942: Memories of a Retreat. Stroud, UK: The History Press.

  • WaggAlfred. 1943. A Million Died!: A Story of War in the Far East. London: Nicholson & Watson.

  • War History Department Research Center for Defense Studies Defense Agency. 1967. Biruma kōryaku sakusen. Tokyo: Asagumi shinbunsha.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AllenLouis. 1984. Burma: The Longest War 1941-1945. London: Phoenix Press.

  • “Backing for Medals Imposter Bill.” BBC Section UK PoliticsNovember 252016.

    • Export Citation
  • DraperAlfred. 1987. Dawns Like Thunder: The Retreat from Burma 1942. London: Leo Cooper.

  • Du Yuming. 2005. Wo suo qin li de Yin Mian kangzhan [The India-Burma Campaign against Japan from a Perspective of Personal Experience]. Edited by Wen Wen. Beijing: Zhongguo wenshi chubanshe.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EvansGeoffrey. 1969. Slim as Military Commander. London: B. T. Batsford.

  • Institute of War History Research Armed Forces University. 1978. Guomin geming zhanzheng shi Part 3: Kang Ri yu wu. Vol. 8 [The History of the National Revolutionary War Part 3: The War Against Japanese Aggression. Vol. 8]. Taiwan: Liming wenhua shiye gufen youxian gongsi.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JacksonWilliam G. 1971. Alexander of Tunis as Military Commander. London: B. T. Batsford.

  • Jie Jun [Chieh Ch’un]. 1996. Xiao bing zhi fu [The Father of Young Soldiers]. Taipei: Yuesheng wenhua shiye youxian gongsi.

  • KennedyM. 2016. “MPs Call for ‘Walter Mitty’ Law to Prosecute Fake Military Heroes.” The GuardianNovember 222016.

  • LathropAlan. K. 1981. “The Employment of Chinese Nationalist Troops in the First Burma Campaign.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 12.2403-432.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LatimerJon. 2004. Burma: The Forgotten War. London: John Murray.

  • LewinRonald. 1976. Slim: The Standardbearer. London: Leo Cooper.

  • Liu Weimin. 2007. Liu Fangwu jiangjun yu Miandian Ren’anqiang da jie [General Liu Fang-wu and the Victory of Yenangyaung Battle in Burma]. Shanghai: Jinri chubanshe.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LuntJames. 1989. The Retreat from Burma 1941-1942. Trowbridge, UK: Redwood Burn Limited.

  • LymanRobert. 2004. Slim Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare. London: Constable & Robinson.

  • McLynnFrank. 2011. The Burma Campaign: Disaster into Triumph 1942-45. London: Vintage Books.

  • MillerRussell. 2013. Uncle Bill: The Authorized Biography of Field Marshal Viscount Slim. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

  • MitterRana. 2013. Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II 1937-1945. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  • NicolsonNigel. 1973. Alex: The Life of Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

  • O’ConnorJ. 2014. “Colonials Fight Back After Britain’s Imperial War Museum Snubs Canadian and Australian WWI Generals.” National PostOctober 162014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PearlmanJ. 2014a. “Australia Claims Britain Ignoring World War One Hero as ‘Mere Colonial.’” The TelegraphOctober 152014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PearlmanJ. 2014b. “Imperial War Museum Backs Down Over Australia ‘Mere Colonials’ Row.” The TelegraphOctober 162014.

  • PerrettBryan. 1978. Tank Tracks to Rangoon: The Story of British Armour in Burma. London: Robert Hale Limited.

  • PrasadBisheshwar. 1959. The Retreat From Burma 1941-42: Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War 1939-45. Vol. 1. New Delhi: Combined Inter-Services Historical Section.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Second Historical Archives of China. 2005. Kang Ri zhanzheng zhengmian zhanchang [The Frontal Battlefield of the War Against Japan]. Nanjing: Fenghuang chubanshe.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sun Kegang.1993. Zhongguo jun hun—Sun Liren jiangjun Miandian zuozhan shilu [The Soul of the Chinese Army—Battles under Sun Li-jen in Burma]. Taipei: Taiwan xuesheng shuju.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TaylorJay. 2009. The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TuchmanBarbara W. 1971. Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45. New York: The MacMillan Company.

  • WarrenAlan. 2011. Burma 1942: The Road from Rangoon to Mandalay. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Figures
Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 316 283 26
Full Text Views 199 198 3
PDF Downloads 16 15 0
EPUB Downloads 2 2 0