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Japanese Burma Area Army

Japanese Burma Area Army
Japanese troops firing a heavy machine gun
Active 27 March 1943 - 15 August 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Army
Type Infantry
Role Field Army
Garrison/HQ Rangoon
Nickname(s) 森(Mori = “forest”)
Engagements Burma campaign

The Japanese Burma Area Army (緬甸方面軍 Biruma hōmen gun) was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.[1]


  • History 1
  • List of Commanders 2
    • Commanding officer 2.1
    • Chief of Staff 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
    • Books 4.1
  • External links 5
  • Notes 6


The Japanese Burma Area Army was formed on 27 March 1943, under the control of the Southern Expeditionary Army Group as a garrison force to defend the nominally-independent State of Burma against reoccupation and re-colonization by British forces based in neighboring India.

The Japanese Burma Area Army was not equipped as other nominal units of comparable strength due to the dwindling external supply situation mainly because of increasing US and UK attacks on the Japanese naval supply lanes. As a result, many logistical requirements were locally purchased from Myanmar (Burma), Malai (Malaya), and Thailand. In 1943 the main responsibility of the BAA was to quell insurgencies of the Shan, Karen, and other tribal groups in the remote regions, and react to incursions of the Chindits from British India or Kuomintang forces from Yunnan.

For the campaign season of 1944, Lieutenant General Renya Mutaguchi, the commander of the Japanese 15th Army which at the time was assigned to the Japanese Burma Area Army, pressed for an offensive strategy. The resulting Battle of Kohima and Battle of Imphal were among the worst disasters ever suffered by the Imperial Japanese Army.[2] In subsequent operations in the Burma campaign, the Japanese Army continued to suffer massive losses, and after the Battle of Meiktila and Mandalay and Operation Dracula, was all but driven from Burma.

The surviving remnants of the Japanese Burma Area Army surrendered to the Allied forces at Moulmein on 15 August 1945.

List of Commanders

Commanding officer

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Masakazu Kawabe 18 March 1943 30 August 1944
2 General Heitarō Kimura 30 August 1944 12 September 1945

Chief of Staff

Name From To
1 Lieutenant General Eitaro Naka 18 March 1943 22 September 1944
2 General Shinichi Tanaka 22 September 1944 23 May 1945
3 Lieutenant General Tsunamasa Shidei 23 May 1945 29 July 1945

See also



External links


  1. ^ Madej, Japanese Armed Forces Order of Battle, 1937-1945
  2. ^ Latimer, (2004)
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