The Ledo Road was an overland connection between India and China, built during World War II to enable the Western Allies to deliver supplies to China, to aid the war effort against Japan — as an alternative to the Burma Road became required, once, cut-off by the Japanese in 1942. It was renamed the Stilwell Road, after General Joseph Stilwell of the U. S. Army, in early 1945 at the suggestion of Chiang Kai-shek, it passes through the Burmese towns of Shingbwiyang and Bhamo in Kachin state. In the 19th century, British railway builders had surveyed the Pangsau Pass, 1,136 metres high on the India-Burma border, on the Patkai crest, above Nampong, Arunachal Pradesh and Ledo, Tinsukia, they concluded that a track could be pushed down the Hukawng Valley. Although the proposal was dropped, the British prospected the Patkai Range for a road from Assam into northern Burma. British engineers had surveyed the route for a road for the first 130 kilometres. After the British had been pushed back out of most of Burma by the Japanese, building this road became a priority for the United States.
After Rangoon was captured by the Japanese and before the Ledo Road was finished, the majority of supplies to the Chinese had to be delivered via airlift over the eastern end of the Himalayan Mountains known as the Hump. Of the 1,726 kilometres long road, 1,033 kilometres is in Burma and 632 kilometres is in China with the remainder in India. After the war, the road fell into disuse. In 2010, the BBC reported, "Much of the road has been swallowed up by jungle." On 1 December 1942, British General Sir Archibald Wavell, the supreme commander of the Far Eastern Theatre, agreed with American General Stilwell to make the Ledo Road an American NCAC operation. The Ledo Road was intended to be the primary supply route to China and was built under the direction of General Stilwell from the railhead at Ledo, Assam, in India, to Mong-Yu road junction where it joined the Burma Road. From there trucks could continue on to Wanting on the Chinese frontier, so that supplies could be delivered to the reception point in Kunming, China.
Stilwell's staff estimated that the Ledo Road route would supply 65,000 tons of supplies per month surpassing tonnage being airlifted over the Hump to China. General Claire Lee Chennault, the USAAF Fourteenth Air Force commander, thought the projected tonnage levels were overly optimistic and doubted that such an extended network of trails through difficult jungle could match the amount of supplies that could be delivered with modern cargo transport aircraft; the road was built by 15,000 American soldiers and 35,000 local workers at an estimated cost of US$150 million. But the costs involved over 1,100 Americans who died during the construction, aside from many more locals; the human cost of the 1,079 mile road was therefore described as "A Man A Mile". As most of Burma was in Japanese hands it was not possible to acquire information as to the topography and river behaviour before construction started; this information had to be acquired. General Stilwell had organized a'Service of Supply' under the command of Major General Raymond A. Wheeler, a high-profile US Army engineer and assigned him to look after the construction of the Ledo Road.
Major General Wheeler, in turn, assigned responsibility of base commander for the road construction to Colonel John C. Arrowsmith, he was replaced by Colonel Lewis A. Pick, an expert US Army engineer. Work started on the first 166 km section of the road in December 1942, followed a steep, narrow trail through territory from Ledo, across the Patkai Range through the Pangsau Pass, nicknamed "Hell Pass" for its difficulty, down to Shingbwiyang, Burma. Sometimes rising as high as 1,400 m, the road required the removal of earth at the rate of 1,800 cubic metres per kilometre. Steep gradients, hairpin curves and sheer drops of 60 m, all surrounded by a thick rain forest was the norm for this first section; the first bulldozer reached Shingbwiyang on 27 December 1943, three days ahead of schedule. The building of this section allowed much-needed supplies to flow to the troops engaged in attacking the Japanese 18th Division, defending the northern area of Burma with their strongest forces around the towns of Kamaing and Myitkyina.
Before the Ledo road reached Shingbwiyang, Allied troops had been dependent on supplies flown in over the Patkai Range. As the Japanese were forced to retreat south, the Ledo Road was extended; this was made easier from Shingbwiyang by the presence of a fair weather road built by the Japanese, the Ledo Road followed the Japanese trace. As the road was built, two 10 cm fuel pipe lines were laid side-by-side so that fuel for the supply vehicles could be piped instead of trucked along the road. After the initial section to Shingbwiyang, more sections followed: Warazup and Bhamo, 600 km from Ledo. At that point the road joined a spur of the old Burma road and, although improvements to further sections followed, the road was passable; the spur passed through Namkham 558 km from Ledo and at the Mong-Yu road junction, 748 km from Ledo, the Ledo Road met the Burma Road. To get to the Mong-Yu junction the Ledo Road had to span 10 major rivers and 155 secondary streams, averaging one bridge every 4.5 km.
For the first convoys, if they turned right, they were on their way to Lashio 160 km
Joseph Warren Stilwell was a United States Army general who served in the China Burma India Theater during World War II. His caustic personality was reflected in the nickname "Vinegar Joe". Distrust of his Allies and a lack of resources meant, he famously differed as to strategy, ground troops versus air power, with his subordinate, Claire Chennault, who had the ear of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. General George Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, acknowledged he had given Stilwell "one of the most difficult" assignments of any theater commander. Stilwell was born on March 1883, in Palatka, Florida, his parents were Mary A. Peene. Stilwell was an eighth generation descendant of an English colonist who arrived in America in 1638, whose descendants remained in New York up through the birth of Stilwell's father. Named for a family friend, as well as the doctor who delivered him, Joseph Stilwell, known as Warren by his family, grew up in Yonkers, New York, under a strict regimen from his father that included an emphasis on religion.
Stilwell admitted to his daughter that he picked up criminal instincts due to "...being forced to go to Church and Sunday School, seeing how little real good religion does anybody, I advise passing them all up and using common sense instead."Stilwell's rebellious attitude led him to a record of unruly behavior once he reached a post-graduate level at Yonkers High School. Prior to this last year, Stilwell had performed meticulously in his classes, had participated in football and track. Under the discretion of his father, Stilwell was placed into a post-graduate course following graduation, formed a group of friends whose activities ranged from card playing to stealing the desserts from the senior dance in 1900; this last event, in which an administrator was punched, led to the expulsions and suspensions for Stilwell's friends. Stilwell, having graduated, was once again by his father's guidance sent to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, rather than Yale University as planned.
Despite missing the deadline to apply for Congressional appointment to the military academy, Stilwell gained entry through the use of family connections who knew President William McKinley. In his first year, Stilwell underwent hazing as a plebe that he referred to as "hell". While at West Point, Stilwell showed an aptitude for languages, such as French, in which he ranked first in his class during his second year. In the field of sports, Stilwell is credited with introducing basketball to the Academy, participating in cross-country running, as well as playing on the varsity football team. At West Point he had two demerits for laughing during drill. Stilwell graduated from the academy, class of 1904, ranked 32nd in a class of 124 cadets. In 1910, he married Winifred Alison Smith, they were the parents of five children, including Brigadier General Joseph, Jr. served in World War II, Vietnam. Stilwell taught at West Point, attended the Infantry Advanced Course and the Command and General Staff College.
During World War I, he was the U. S. Fourth Corps intelligence officer and helped plan the St. Mihiel offensive, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service in France. Stilwell is remembered by his sobriquet, "Vinegar Joe", which he acquired while a commander at Fort Benning, Georgia. Stilwell gave harsh critiques of performance in field exercises, a subordinate – stung by Joe's caustic remarks – drew a caricature of Stilwell rising out of a vinegar bottle. After discovering the caricature, Stilwell pinned it to a board and had the drawing photographed and distributed to friends, yet another indication of his view of life was the motto he kept on his desk: Illegitimi non carborundum, a form of fractured Latin that translates as "Don't let the bastards grind you down."Between the wars, Stilwell served three tours in China, where he mastered spoken and written Chinese, was the military attaché at the U. S. Legation in Beijing from 1935 to 1939. In 1939 and 1940 he was assistant commander of the 2nd Infantry Division and from 1940 to 1941 organized and trained the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California.
It was there that his leadership style – which emphasized concern for the average soldier and minimized ceremonies and officious discipline – earned him the nickname of "Uncle Joe." Just prior to World War II, Stilwell was recognized as the top corps commander in the Army and was selected to plan and command the Allied invasion of North Africa. When it became necessary to send a senior officer to China to keep that country in the War, Stilwell was selected, over his personal objections, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his old friend, Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, he became the Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, served as US commander in the China Burma India Theater, was responsible for all Lend-Lease supplies going to China, was Deputy Commander of South East Asia Command. Despite his status and position in China, he became involved in conflicts with other senior Allied officers, over the distribution of Lend-Lease materiel, Chinese political sectarianism and proposals to incorporate Chinese and US forces in the 11th Army Group.
Barbara W. Tuchman records that Stilwell was a lifelong Republican: "...he retained the family Republicanism and joined in the exhilarating exercise of Roosevelt-hating" and "At home Stilwell was a conventional Republican who shared the sentiments and adopted the tone of the Roosevelt-haters
Putao is the northernmost town of Kachin State, Myanmar. It is the principal town in Putao Township, it can only be reached by road during summer, but is accessible year round by air if there are sufficient tourist groups to justify a plane. The area around Putao is famous for the variety of endemic birds and rare orchids, which grow naturally. Many orchid lovers are attracted by the so-called "Black Orchid" that can be found in the mountains east and west of Putao. Hkakabo Razi and other snow-capped mountains are visible from Putao. Putao attracts enthusiasts, hiking to Hkakabo Razi base camp, located close to Tahaundam. Hkakabo Razi Mountain and other snow-capped mountains are visible from Putao. Putao attracts enthusiasts, hiking to Khakaborazi base camp, located close to Tahaundam. Hkamti Long is the former name of one of the outlying Shan States, it was a princely state around the city of Putao settled by the Hkamti Shan people. The name means "Great Place of Gold" in the Hkamti Shan language.
Nowadays, there are Rawang and Lisu people, who are regarded as Kachin nationalities. The seven-day-trek to West-Putao's mountain region, in which explorers found that there are Hta Lone ethnic whose height are lower than four feet; the population of this ethnic minority is so few nowadys that they are facing the threat of being extinct. The area covered by Hkamti Long may have included parts of what is now Kachin State as well as that of Shan State; the climate of Putao is a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate with high amount of precipitation throughout the monsoon season. Average temperature in January is 13.1 °C, August is the hottest month with 25.9 °C. Putao Airport Putao Tourism Information A Trip to Putao, Kachin State, Myanmar Glossary of Burmese terms
50th Parachute Brigade (India)
The 50th Parachute Brigade is a brigade-sized formation of the Indian Army, first formed in 1941. The brigade was raised as part of the Indian Army during World War II, it was formed during the Second World War, as an independent parachute brigade. It was one of two parachute brigades in the 44th Indian Airborne Division, its main force is formed of battalions of the Parachute Regiment. The brigade's initial composition included 151st British Parachute Battalion, 152nd Indian Parachute Battalion, 153rd Gurkha Parachute Battalion; when the British battalion was recalled to the United Kingdom, it was replaced by a 154th Gurkha Parachute Battalion. Other components of the brigade included 411th Parachute Squadron, Indian Engineers and 50th Medium Machine Gun Company; the brigade took part in the Battle of Sangshak, credited with delaying the Japanese forces moving up for the Battle of Imphal which allowed British and Indian reinforcement to reach Kohima. The 50th Parachute Brigade saw extensive action in the Kashmir operations of 1947-48.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Parachute Regiment each won a battle honour in their respective sectors. The brigade commander, Brig. Mohammad Usman, was killed in action on July 3, 1948, awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously; the brigade took part in the annexation of Goa along with 17th Indian Infantry Division. Although the 50th Parachute Brigade was charged with assisting the main thrust conducted by the 17th Division, its units moved across minefields and four riverine obstacles to be the first to reach Panjim. On the morning of 18 December, the 50th Parachute Brigade moved into Goa in three columns; the eastern column, comprising the 2nd battalion, Parachute Regiment, advanced via the town of Ponda in central Goa. The central column, comprising the 1st battalion, Parachute Regiment, advanced via the village of Banastari; the western column - the main thrust of the attack - comprised the 2nd battalion, Sikh Light Infantry as well as an armoured division which crossed the border at 0630 hours in the morning and advanced along Tivim.
The western column, facing no resistance, reached the town of Betim at 1700 hours, just a 500 metre wide river crossing away from Panjim, the capital town. In the absence of orders, the units set camp at Betim and proceeded to secure areas up and down the riverfront; the order to cross the river was received on the morning of 19 December, upon which two rifle companies advanced on Panjim at 0730 hours and secured the town without facing any resistance. On orders from Brig. Sagat Singh, the troops entering Panjim removed their steel helmets and donned the Parachute Regiment’s maroon berets; as the men marched into the town, they were welcomed as liberators by the locals. In 1971, the brigade saw numerous actions both in the western theatres. For the first time in the annals of independent India's history, an airborne infantry battle group, formed around the 2nd battalion, Parachute Regiment, was dropped at Tangail, which contributed to speeding up the liberation of Bangladesh. Elements of 2 Para became the first Indian troops to enter Dhaka.
The 50th Parachute Brigade saw action in Bangladesh with 2 Para in the airborne role, 7 Para as the advance guard, the rest of the brigade in a ground role. The brigade moved to assist its sister brigade in the western sector, thus becoming the only formation to see action on both fronts. In response to an attempted coup d'état in the Maldives and on the request of Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Indian Army launched Operation Cactus; the operation started on the night of 3 November 1988, when Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft of the Indian Air Force airlifted elements of the 50th Independent Parachute Brigade, commanded by Brig. Farukh Bulsara, from Agra Air Force Station and flew them non-stop over 2,000 kilometres to land them over the Malé International Airport on Hulhule Island; the 6th battalion, Parachute Regiment, the 17th Parachute Field Regiment made up the first wave, followed by the 7th battalion, Parachute Regiment as the second wave. The paratroopers arrived on Hulhule in nine hours after the appeal from President Gayoom.
They secured the airfield, crossed over to Male using commandeered boats and rescued President Gayoom. The paratroopers restored control of the capital to President Gayoom's government within hours; the 50th Parachute Brigade, at the time consisting of the 6th, 7th and 1st battalions of the Parachute Regiment and an ATGM detachment of the 19th battalion, Brigade of the Guards, was deployed in the Mushkoh valley as the Army HQ reserve. Elements of the brigade were awarded with the COAS Unit Citation for the their performance in clearing the Mushkoh valley intrusions; the 50th Parachute Brigade comprises the following units: 2 airborne infantry battalions 1 special forces battalion 1 Parachute Field Regiment 60 Parachute Field Hospital 411 Parachute Field Company 622 Parachute Composite Company 50th Parachute Brigade OFP 50th Parachute Brigade Signal Company 2 Parachute Field Workshop Company 252 Air Defence Battery 50th Parachute Brigade Provost SectionThe President's Bodyguard forms part of the brigade as the pathfinder company.
The airborne infantry battalions of the Parachute Regiment rotate to form part of the brigade, alternatively serving their field tenures in counter-insurgency/high altitude areas. One of the eight special forces battalions too serves in the brigade on rotation. One of the two field regiments forms part of the
Field Marshal Sir Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, was a British Army commander during the Second World War. He was a career soldier who spent much of his military career in India, where he rose to become Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army by early 1941. In July 1941 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Middle East theatre, but after initial successes the war in North Africa turned against the British, he was relieved of the post in 1942 during the crucial Alamein campaign. In June 1943 he was once again appointed Commander-in-Chief, where his support through the organisation of supply and training for Slim's Fourteenth Army played an important role in its success, he served as Commander-in-Chief, India until the Partition in 1947, when he assumed the role of Supreme Commander of all British forces in India and Pakistan until late 1948. Born at 89 Victoria Road in Aldershot, the son of Colonel John Claud Alexander Auchinleck and Mary Eleanor Auchinleck, Auchinleck attended Eagle House School at Crowthorne and Wellington College on scholarships.
After attending the Royal Military College, Auchinleck was commissioned as an unattached second lieutenant in the Indian Army on 21 January 1903 and joined to the 62nd Punjabis in April 1904. He soon learnt several Indian languages and, able to speak fluently with his soldiers, he absorbed a knowledge of local dialects and customs: this familiarity engendered a lasting mutual respect, enhanced by his own personality, he was promoted to lieutenant on 21 April 1905 and spent the next two years in Tibet and Sikkim before moving to Benares in 1907 where he caught diphtheria. After serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at Aldershot he returned to Benares in 1909 and became adjutant of the 62nd Punjabis with promotion to captain on 21 January 1912. Auchinleck was an active freemason. Auchinleck saw active service in the First World War and was deployed with his regiment to defend the Suez Canal: in February 1915 he was in action against the Turks at Ismaïlia, his regiment moved into Aden to counter the Turkish threat there in July 1915.
The 6th Indian Division, of which the 62nd Punjabis were a part, was landed at Basra on 31 December 1915 for the Mesopotamian campaign. In July 1916 Auchinleck was made second in command of his battalion, he took part in a series of fruitless attacks on the Turks at the Battle of Hanna in January 1916 and was one of the few British officers in his regiment to survive these actions. He became acting commanding officer of his battalion in February 1917 and led his regiment at the Second Battle of Kut in February 1917 and the Fall of Baghdad in March 1917. Having been mentioned in despatches and having received the Distinguished Service Order in 1917 for his service in Mesopotamia, he was promoted to the substantive rank of major on 21 January 1918, to temporary lieutenant-colonel on 23 May 1919 and to brevet lieutenant-colonel on 15 November 1919 for his "distinguished service in Southern and Central Kurdistan" on the recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force.
Auchinleck attended the Staff College, Quetta between 1920 and 1921. He married Jessie Stewart in 1921. Jessie had been born in 1900 in Tacoma, Washington, to Alexander Stewart, head of the Blue Funnel Line that plied the west coast of the United States; when he died about 1919, their mother took her, her twin brother Alan and her younger brother Hepburne back to Bun Rannoch, the family estate at Innerhadden in Perthshire. Holidaying at Grasse on the French Riviera, on leave from India at the time, met Jessie on the tennis courts, she was a blue-eyed beauty. Things moved and they were married within five months. Sixteen years younger than Auchinleck, Jessie became known as'the little American girl' in India, but adapted to life there, they had no children. Auchinleck became temporary Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General at Army Headquarters in February 1923 and second-in-command of his regiment, which in the 1923 reorganisation of the Indian Army had become the 1st battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment, in September 1925.
He attended the Imperial Defence College in 1927 and, having been promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 21 January 1929 he was appointed to command his regiment. Promoted to full colonel on 1 February 1930 with seniority from 15 November 1923, he became an instructor at the Staff College, Quetta in February 1930 where he remained until April 1933, he was promoted to temporary brigadier on 1 July 1933 and given command of the Peshawar Brigade, active in the pacification of the adjacent tribal areas during the Mohmand and Bajaur Operations between July and October 1933: during his period of command he was mentioned in despatches. He led a second punitive expedition during the Second Mohmand Campaign in August 1935 for which he was again mentioned in despatches, promoted to major-general on 30 November 1935 and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Star of India on 8 May 1936. On leaving his brigade command in April 1936, Auchinleck was on the unemployed list until September 1936 when he was appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff and Director of Staff Duties in Delhi.
He was appointed to command the Meerut District in India in July 1938. In 1938 Auchinleck was appointed to chair a committee to consider the modernisation, composition and re-equipment of the British Indian Army: the committee's recommendations formed the basis of the 1939 Chatfield Report which outlined the transformation of the Indian Army – it grew from 183,000 in 1939 to over 2,250,000 men by the end of the war. On the outbreak of war Auchinleck was appointed to command the Indian 3rd Infantry Division but in January 1940 was summoned t
William Slim, 1st Viscount Slim
Field Marshal William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim known as Bill Slim, was a British military commander and the 13th Governor-General of Australia. Slim saw active service in both the First and Second World Wars and was wounded in action three times. During the Second World War he led the 14th Army, the so-called "forgotten army" in the Burma campaign. After the war he became the first British officer who had served in the Indian Army to be appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff. From 1953 to 1959 he was Governor-General of Australia and is regarded by many Australians as an authentic war hero who had fought with the Anzacs at Gallipoli. In the early 1930s, Slim wrote novels, short stories, other publications under the pen name Anthony Mills. William Slim was born at 72 Belmont Road, St Andrews, the son of John Slim by his marriage to Charlotte Tucker, was baptised there at St Bonaventure's Roman Catholic church, Bishopston, he was brought up first in Bristol, attending St Bonaventure's Primary School St Brendan's College, before moving to Birmingham in his teens.
In Birmingham, he attended St Philip's Grammar School and King Edward's School. After leaving school, his father's failure in business as a wholesale ironmonger meant that the family could afford to send only one son, Slim's older brother, to the University of Birmingham, so between 1910 and 1914 Slim taught in a primary school and worked as a clerk in Stewarts & Lloyds, a metal-tube maker. Despite having no other connection to the university, in 1912 Slim joined the Birmingham University Officers' Training Corps, he was thus able to be commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 22 August 1914, on the outbreak of the First World War, he was badly wounded at Gallipoli. On return to England, he was granted a regular commission as a second lieutenant in the West India Regiment. In October 1916, he rejoined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in Mesopotamia. On 4 March 1917, he was promoted to lieutenant, he was wounded a second time in 1917. Having been given the temporary rank of captain, he was awarded the Military Cross on 7 February 1918 for actions in Mesopotamia.
Evacuated to India, he was given the temporary rank of major in the 6th Gurkha Rifles on 2 November 1918. He was formally promoted to captain and transferred to the Indian Army on 22 May 1919. Slim became battalion adjutant with the 6th Gurkha Rifles in 1921. On 1 January 1926, he married Aileen Robertson, daughter of Rev John Anderson Robertson minister of Cramond near Edinburgh, they had one daughter. That year Slim was sent to the Staff College, Quetta. On 5 June 1929, he was appointed Second Grade. On 1 January 1930, he was given the brevet rank of major, with formal promotion to this rank made on 19 May 1933, his performance at Staff College resulted in his appointment first to Army Headquarters India in Delhi and to Staff College, Camberley in England, where he taught from 1934 to 1937. During this period, he wrote novels, short stories, other publications under the pen name of Anthony Mills, in order to further his literary interests, as well as to supplement his modest army salary. Attending the Imperial Defence College in 1937, the following year he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles.
In 1939 he was given the temporary rank of brigadier as commander of his battalion. On 8 June 1939, he was promoted to colonel and appointed head of the Senior Officers' School, Belgaum in India. On the outbreak of the Second World War, Slim was given command of the 10th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 5th Indian Infantry Division and was sent to Sudan, he took part in the East African Campaign to liberate Ethiopia from the Italians. Slim was wounded again during the fighting in Eritrea. On 21 January 1941, Slim was hit. Recovering from his wounds but still unfit for active service, Slim was temporarily employed on the General Staff at GHQ in Delhi, he was involved in the planning for potential operations in Iraq. By early May 1941 Slim had been appointed Brigadier General Staff to Edward Quinan the commander designate for operations in Iraq, arriving in Basra on 7 May. Not long afterwards, Major-General Fraser, commanding Indian 10th Infantry Division, fell ill and was relieved of his command, Slim was promoted to take his place on the 15 May 1941 in the acting rank of major-general.
He led the Indian 10th Infantry Division as part of Iraqforce during the Anglo-Iraqi War, the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, the invasion of Persia. He was twice mentioned in despatches during 1941. In March 1942, Slim was given command of Burma Corps known as BurCorps, consisting of the 17th Indian Infantry Division and 1st Burma Division. Slim was made acting lieutenant general on 8 May 1942; the corps was under attack in Burma by the Japanese and outclassed by the more mobile and flexible Japanese, was soon forced to withdraw to India. On 28 October 1942, Slim was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Slim took over XV Corps under the command of the Eastern Army, his command covered the coastal approaches from Burma to India, east of Chittagong. He had a series of disputes with Noel Irwin, commander of Eastern Army an
Myanmar the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west and Laos to its east and China to its north and northeast. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 5,876 km forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea; the country's 2014 census counted the population to be 51 million people. As of 2017, the population is about 54 million. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometres in size, its capital city is Naypyidaw, its largest city and former capital is Yangon. Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations since 1997. Early civilisations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Bamar people entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Kingdom in the 1050s, the Burmese language and Theravada Buddhism became dominant in the country.
The Pagan Kingdom fell. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Mainland Southeast Asia; the early 19th century Konbaung dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British took over the administration of Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar was granted independence as a democratic nation. Following a coup d'état in 1962, it became a military dictatorship under the Burma Socialist Programme Party. For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and its myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011, the military junta was dissolved following a 2010 general election, a nominally civilian government was installed.
This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners, has improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions. There is, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of ethnic minorities, its response to the ethnic insurgency, religious clashes. In the landmark 2015 election, Aung San Suu Kyi's party won a majority in both houses. However, the Burmese military remains a powerful force in politics. Myanmar is a country rich in jade and gems, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP stood at its GDP at US$221.5 billion. The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government; as of 2016, Myanmar ranks 145 out of 188 countries in human development, according to the Human Development Index. Both the names Myanmar and Burma derive from the earlier Burmese Mranma, an ethnonym for the majority Bamar ethnic group, of uncertain etymology.
The terms are popularly thought to derive from "Brahma Desha" after Brahma. In 1989, the military government changed the English translations of many names dating back to Burma's colonial period or earlier, including that of the country itself: "Burma" became "Myanmar"; the renaming remains a contested issue. Many political and ethnic opposition groups and countries continue to use "Burma" because they do not recognise the legitimacy of the ruling military government or its authority to rename the country. In April 2016, soon after taking office, Aung San Suu Kyi clarified that foreigners are free to use either name, "because there is nothing in the constitution of our country that says that you must use any term in particular"; the country's official full name is the "Republic of the Union of Myanmar". Countries that do not recognise that name use the long form "Union of Burma" instead. In English, the country is popularly known as either "Burma" or "Myanmar". Both these names are derived from the name of the majority Burmese Bamar ethnic group.
Myanmar is considered to be the literary form of the name of the group, while Burma is derived from "Bamar", the colloquial form of the group's name. Depending on the register used, the pronunciation would be Myamah; the name Burma has been in use in English since the 18th century. Burma continues to be used in English by the governments of countries such as the United Kingdom. Official United States policy retains Burma as the country's name, although the State Department's website lists the country as "Burma" and Barack Obama has referred to the country by both names; the government of Canada has in the past used Burma, such as in its 2007 legislation imposing sanctions, but as of the mid-2010s uses Myanmar. The Czech Republic uses Myanmar, although its Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentions both Myanmar and Burma on its website; the United Nations uses Myanmar, as do the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Russia, China, Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland. Most English-speaking international news media refer to the country by the name Myanmar, including the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation /Ra