(December 1941–August 1945)
A military campaign in south-east Asia in World War II. After taking over military bases in Vietnam in July 1941 through an agreement with the Vichy administration, and securing a free passage through Thailand, Japanese troops under General Yamashita Tomoyuki invaded northern Malaya in December 1941 while Japanese aircraft bombed Singapore. The British, Indian, and Australian troops retreated southwards, where they were taken prisoner after the Fall of Singapore in February 1942. During the retreat a small guerrilla resistance force was organized to conduct sabotage, operating behind Japanese lines. Known as the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA), it consisted largely of Chinese, most of whom were communists. In May 1944 Allied troops, advancing from Imphal, began the gradual reconquest of Burma, and liberated Malaya in 1945.
Subjects: Military History.