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Assam


Digital relief map of Assam region of India

Assam is the region of northeast India centered on the Brahmaputra River valley.  It was an independent kingdom until Britain annexed it to India in 1826.  The British brought in inexpensive labor from other portions of India and began extensive development.  Assam was producing 145 million pounds of tea annually in 1900, and there was some modest oil production at Digboi (320,000 barrels per year.)

Located at the foot of the Himalayas, Assam is geologically unstable and experiences frequent severe earthquakes.  It also experiences a torrential monsoon.

Large airfield complexes were build in the area to support the airlift to China over "The Hump", the southeastern-most Himalayas. However, airfield construction was severely hampered both the the poor transportation infrastructure and the monsoon, and the airfields were still unusable as late as April 1943. Airfield construction received greater priority in 1944, and by the end of July there were hardstands complete for 149 transport aircraft.

References

Romanus and Sunderland (1953)

Van Royden and Bowles (1952)



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