May 1942 (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

Burma Road cut by the Japanese Burma Road cut by the Japanese

1 – 20 May – the Japanese 18th and 56th divisions in Burma were swift in their victory cutting through the Chinese 5th Army’s defenses and taking Mandalay.  The 33rd Division captured Monywa to the west and then drove up the Irrawaddy Valley.  On the 8th, Myitkyina, an important rail terminus and air base in the north, was taken.  Heavy monsoon rains, made jungle trails impassable and did slow the enemy down, but by 12 May, when the 20th Division arrived, Burma was conquered.  The Japanese suffered about 7,000 casualties, while the British, Indian and Burma troops lost 13,463 KIA.

Mandalay is taken. Mandalay is taken.

The Australian Coastwatching Service again reported an enemy sighting past New Georgia on 2 May and the 50 Australian servicemen, at the Tulagi base in the Solomons, were evacuated.  The Japanese landed on the island the following day.  4 May, the 

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