The Special Operations Executive in Burma, 1941-1945

Secret Agents & Guerrilla Armies in the Second World War

The Problem with Charlie: A Chin on Special Operations

Map Credit: Chin Community Ministry Recorded variously as 'Charlie Thangkung', 'Thang Kung' and Lieutenant Thaung Kong, this post is all about the Chin W/T operator who was referred to by these names in the SOE files.  It is not clear... Continue Reading →


On Leadership: the role of ‘Forgotten Allies’

The 'Men of SOE' Roll of Honour on this website has  112 men added to it as of 3 December 2017.  If you are one of the many visitors to this page, you will know that the aim is to... Continue Reading →

SOE Tradecraft: advice for agents going behind the lines

Ramree island entered the Guinness Book of Records for being the place where the biggest crocodile feast upon human flesh is supposed to have happened.  After the Allies invaded in January 1945, the Japanese are said to have taken to... Continue Reading →

Remembrance Sunday in Burma, November 2017.

On the anniversary of VJ Day 2017, the author Philip Davies published his long anticipated book, 'Lost Warriors', about the exploits of two extraordinary Second World War soldiers.  There are, of course, many extraordinary tales of heroism and bravery that... Continue Reading →

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

  In my attempt to reveal the diversity of those employed by the Special Operations Executive to help fight the war against Japan in Burma, this next post is all about a Kachin leader.  While his brothers have the 'lion's... Continue Reading →

A Doctor on Special Operations

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 being so inhospitable.  Conditions certainly weren't easy, but perhaps it is all relative.  Special Operations in the... Continue Reading →

[4min read] Mahout 2: The Frailty of Special Operations

This post follows on from Mahout 1 A Second World War Parachutist: Credit here After Sunil Datta Gupta (SDG) landed in June 1943, he was supposed to rendezvous with his fellow Mahout 1 agent, but after months of trying he... Continue Reading →

Mahout 1: An Indian Agent in Burma

The work of Force 136 in Burma was not all about training Karens and Kachins to fight as guerrillas.  In an earlier blog post, the story of a Chinese agent called Li Jui was told.  Here is the story of... Continue Reading →

The ‘Interrogation’ of Rifleman Bhimbahadur Rai

What follows is a transcription from the original found in the National Archives.  I have made no changes from the original except to add in square brackets where one word was unintelligible.  Afterwards, some context and issues with the source... Continue Reading →

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