Burma Road by Nathaniel McCasland
Burma Road was started after the invasion of the Japan. It went from the railroad of Lashio, Myanmar, to Kunming, Yunnan prov., and China. Burma Road was used to transport war supplies that landed at Rangoon. Burma Road, Noun- a road that linked Lashio, Myanmar, to Kunming, Yunnan prov., and China. Used during WW 2. Lt. General Joseph W. Stilwell was retreating from Burma when the Japanese attacked. In eastern Myanmar the Chinese began construction of the road after the outbreak of the Japanese War in 1937 and the occupation of the seacoast of China by the Japanese. Completed in 1939, it functioned for three years as a vital supply route to the interior of China. In 1944, as Allied forces from Assam in eastern India.
In northern Burma, they constructed a supply road from Ledo, India, which finally connected with the Burma Road at a point still in Chinese hands. As traffic increased in importance to China after the Japanese took effective control of the Chinese coast and of Indochina. The Ledo Road (later called the Stilwell Road) from Ledo, India, into Myanmar was begun in Dec., 1942. In 1944 the Ledo Road reached Myitkyina and was joined to the Burma Road. Both roads have lost their former importance and are in a state of disrepair, but India began rebuilding its section of the Stilwell Road in 2007. The road is 717 miles (1,154 km) long and runs through rough mountain country. The sections from Kunming to the Burmese border were built by 200,000 Chinese laborers during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and completed by 1938. It had a role in World War II, when the British used the Burma Road to transport war materiel to China before Japan was at war with the British. Supplies would be landed at Rangoon (now Yangon.) Materials were moved by rail to Lashio, where the road started in Burma. After the Japanese overran Burma in 1942, the Allies were forced to supply Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist Chinese by air. They flew these supplies from airfields in Assam, India over the eastern end of the Himalaya uplift. At the insistence of the United States, and much to the chagrin of Winston Churchill, the wartime leader of Britain, British forces were given, as their primary goal in the war against Japan, the task of recapturing Burma and reopening land communication with China. The road is long and runs through rough mountain country. The sections from Kunming to the Burmese border were built by 200,000 Chinese laborers during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and completed by 1938. It had a role in World War II, when the British used the Burma Road to transport war materiel to China before Japan was at war with the British. Supplies would be landed at Rangoon (now Yangon) and moved by rail to Lashio, where the road started in Burma. After the Japanese overran Burma in 1942, the Allies were forced to supply Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist Chinese by air. They flew these supplies from airfields in Assam, India over the eastern end of the Himalaya uplift. At the insistence of the United States, and much to the chagrin of Winston Churchill, the wartime leader of Britain, British forces were given, as their primary goal in the war against Japan.
Carved through mountains and malarial jungles at a frightful human cost, the infamous World War II Allied supplyline that linked India to China now conveys gold, teak, opium, and the promise of a troubled nation’s future. China, its trade cut off from the world by Japan’s invasion in the 1930s, built the first portion of the Burma Road as a supply track to move needed goods. The second part was constructed in the 1940s by the US Military, a 500-mile extension that would link India, Myanmar,
and China.
The events of 1942 to 1945 in Burma had their origins in Japan's struggle with China, which had begun with the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in 1931 following a faked bomb outrage against Japanese possessions, and their creation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. The League of Nations, to which China had protested, had ineffectually urged Japan to desist from her occupation of Chinese territory, and had been totally ignored. Since, as was always the case, no member of the League was prepared to do more than express displeasure, however grave the crime, it seemed that there was no country prepared to stand up to Japan.
The United States, a neutral and an isolationist power, was not a member of the League of Nations, had a close relationship with China, and was disturbed that another major Pacific power was acting aggressively, so warned Japan that their sovereignty over territory seized by force would not be recognized. Although this achieved little at the time, the gesture strengthened the ties between the USA and China, and created permanent US distrust of Japanese intentions. By 1937, when Japan invaded the Chinese mainland in force, Japan had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Hitler, had made her belief in the destiny of Japan to rule South East Asia clear to those who would listen, and was becoming a formidable military power. By 1939, after a protracted and bloody war, the North and the Eastern coastal strip of China were largely occupied by Japan, but the West and South-West were held by Chinese troops under General Chiang Kai-shek, who continued to fight bravely and well and to contain further Japanese advances. But Chiang Kai-shek had an enemy within as well as the enemy without. Mao Tse-Tung and his Communist revolution sought to dislodge Chiang's hold on China for other reasons, and the USSR, then as now, had every reason to support the revolution that might enable a Communist government to seize power.


The French surrendering to Germany caused supplies going to China through the port of Hanoi in French owned China (which later became Vietnam) to not be allowed in. All goods bound for China had to go into Burma, which was a British colony. In 1940, Britain had to close Burma Road for three months for fear of a Japanese attack. The road was later reopened in Oct. 1940, opening trade in the area once more, and even bringing the chance of retaliation from Japan. Supplies were starting to also enter China once more, helping Chinese guerilla units. Later in October, Japan sent bombers to destroy sections of the road. In 1942 control of Burma Road is given to the US so supplies will continue to flow through the area. But this didn’t stop the powers in the area; Britain, Japan, and the USA to fight for control of the road and trade that occurred on it. Both sides knew that it would be vital to managing some of the trade influence in Asia. (By Zamen)




Resources:

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