The Special Operations Executive in Burma, 1941-1945

Secret Agents & Guerrilla Armies in the Second World War

‘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

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 →

Of Mouse and Men: SOE in the Arakan, 1945

From The Royal Indian Navy, 1939-45, part of The Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War, taken from a blog by @GibbinsDavid What follows after a brief introduction are excerpts from the report written by Captain Blathwayt about... Continue Reading →

[5min read] A Far Eastern Dunkirk?

  'It was Dunkirk and the summer of 1940 repeating itself, but instead of the R.A.F. and the Battle of Britain the monsoon and the Assam mountain barrier gave us the time in which to recover for the second round.'... Continue Reading →

[5min read] Li Jui – The Extraordinary Tale of a Chinese Agent in Burma

The 'Panda' Li Jui, TNA, HS 1/6 Li Jui was a Chinese agent who was parachuted into Burma on 29 June 1944.   Li Jui’s operation was designated Hensingham and he was tasked with making his way to Mandalay to find out... Continue Reading →

Lysanders over Burma

Lysander over the Burmese jungle, photograph courtesy of Simon Leney, W/T Sergeant Leney's son: Operation Character, 1945. The Lysander, or 'Lizzie', is well known for its wartime service in Europe.  The aircraft entered service in 1938 and apparently holds the... Continue Reading →

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