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Putao

Putao, or Fort Hertz (97.43E 27.381N),  was the location of an airfield located in the far reaches of the northern Burma jungle. It played a minor role supplying the Allied-sponsored Kachin guerrillas (Northern Kachin Levies), who also scouted for Stilwell's offensive of 1944.

The area is a plain surrounded by high mountains. First settled by the Tai people, it became a British outpost named after the first Resident, W.A. Hertz.

In late February 1943, 114 Regiment of 18 Division began an anti-guerrilla sweep towards the British outpost at Sumprabum (97.569E 26.544N). This was evacuated on 1 March, and by 6 March the British were alarmed over the threat to Putao, from which the Japanese might strike out for Ledo and interrupt the airlift to China. On 12 March, Stilwell sent Chinese reinforcements to Ledo to meet the threat. Other Japanese columns threatened Hkalak Ga (96.084E 27.800N) in the Hukawng Valley, but the Chinese held at Nathkaw (96.217E 26.883N). The Japanese then withdrew, perhaps in response to the Chindit expedition in their rear, but most likely because they had accomplished their mission of dispersing the Karen guerrillas.

A plan to build a pipeline through Fort Hertz to China was abandoned on account of the rugged terrain.

Road connections

Myitkyina


References

Allen (1984)

Romanus and Sunderland (1953)

Tun (1998; accessed 2014-2-7)



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