Rays of the Rising Sun

Armed Forces of Japan's Asian Allies 1931-45 Volume Two: Burma and India

Philip Jowett

Publication date:
January 2013
Publisher :
Helion and Company
No associated books available.


This second volume of three covering Japan's Asian Allies tells the story of the Burmese and Indian nationalists who fought on the side of the Japanese Empire from 1941 until 1945.

Although achieving mixed results the Indian and Burmese who fought with Japan had the ultimate aim of independent homelands. Burmese aspirations were at least superficially met with the independence of Burma within the Japanese co-prosperity sphere in 1943. Her fledgling independence army had fought initially in the campaign to 'liberate' Burma from the control of Britain and was to go on to form the 15,000 national army of an independent Burma 1943-45. In 1945 the Burmese National Army was to turn against its Japanese sponsors and change sides to support the Allied advances into its country.

Indian nationalists under the leadership of the enigmatic nationalist politician Subias Chandra Bose were never to achieve even a fleeting independence. Based in Singapore, Thailand and finally Burma as a virtual army in exile the most they could achieve was to fleetingly capture a tiny part of their motherland. Raised mainly from amongst the vast number of British Indian troops captured at the fall of Singapore in February 1942, the Indian National Army was a 40,000 strong force which spent much of its existence in the vain hope of leading a 'liberating' invasion of India. Its heavy defeat fighting alongside the Japanese army in the bitter Imphal campaign of 1944 virtually spelled the end of the army.

The death of Subias Chandra Bose in a plane crash at the end of the war closed the chapter on the nationalist's military attempts at achieving independence from India.