Made in 1945, BURMA VICTORY is a British documentary about the Burma Campaign during World War Two. It was directed by Roy Boulting. The introduction to the film outlines the geography and climate of Burma, and the extent of the Japanese conquests. The film then describes the establishment of the South East Asian Command (SEAC) under Mountbatten, "a born innovator and firm believer in the unorthodox", and gives a comparatively detailed account of subsequent military events, including the Battle of Imphal-Kohima and Slim's drive on Mandalay, Arakan landings, the northern offensive of the Americans and Chinese under Stilwell, and the roles played by Chindits and Merrill's Marauders. The film ends with the capture of Rangoon and the Japanese surrender. The film focuses on the difficulties of climate, terrain, the endemic diseases of dysentery, malaria, etc., the vital role of air supplies, the shattering of the myth of Japanese invincibility and the secondary role of the Burma campaign in overall Allied strategy.
This film represents a British look at the campaign and was the pet project of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander, South-East Asia, and he planned it as a joint Anglo-American production. But this scheme foundered over the inability of the U.S. leadership and British to agree on the main theme of the film. The British wanted it to concentrate on the drive southwards to liberate Burma. The Americans, anxious not to be seen to be participating in the restoration of the British Empire, wanted to emphasize the heroic building of the Ledo Road and the drive northwards to relieve the Chinese. In the end the two sides went their separate ways. The Americans produced the Ronald Reagan narrated film "The Stilwell Road" and the British made "Burma Victory." It was the final production of the Army Film and Photographic Unit (AFPU) and was directed, like Desert Victory (1943), by Roy Boulting. Not released until after the war was over, it was hailed and promoted as ‘the real Burma film’.
The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II was fought primarily between the forces of the British Empire and China, with support from the United States, against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Empire forces peaked at around 1,000,000 land, naval and air forces, and were drawn primarily from British India, with British Army forces (equivalent to 8 regular infantry divisions and 6 tank regiments), 100,000 East and West African colonial troops, and smaller numbers of land and air forces from several other Dominions and Colonies. The Burmese Independence Army was trained by the Japanese and spearheaded the initial attacks against British Empire forces.
The campaign had a number of notable features. The geographical characteristics of the region meant that factors like weather, disease and terrain had a major effect on operations. The lack of transport infrastructure placed an emphasis on military engineering and air transport to move and supply troops, and evacuate wounded. The campaign was also politically complex, with the British, the United States and the Chinese all having different strategic priorities.
South East Asia Command (SEAC) was the body set up to be in overall charge of Allied operations in the South-East Asian Theatre during World War II. Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten served as Supreme Allied Commander of the South East Asia Command from October 1943 through the disbandment of SEAC in 1946.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com