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Toungoo

Toungoo (96.450E 18.923N) is a city on the Sittang in central Burma.  It was founded in 1510 as Ketumadi by King Minkyinyo and remained the seat of the Toungoo dynasty until 1540. By 1941 it was an important railroad junction, and there was a primitive airfield at nearby Kyedaw.  The American Volunteer Group was training here for operations in China when war broke out in the Pacific, and 1 Burma Division had its headquarters here.

During the Allied retreat into central Burma, the defense of Toungoo was taken over by Kuomintang 200 Division (Tai An-lan). The division had fortified their lines with brick pillboxes and held Toungoo against 55 Division (Takeuchi) for twelve days but received no support from 22 Division (Tu Yu-ming) or the British in the Irrawady Valley. A local counterattack by 7 Armored Brigade near Shwedaung failed to relieve the pressure, and the brigade was forced to fight its way out past the Japanese and elements of Burma Indepence Army. The Chinese were forced to retreat with heavy casualties and without blowing the bridge across the Sittang to Mawchi. Toungoo fell to the Japanese on 31 March 1942.

The town was recaptured by elements of IV Corps on 22 April 1945, after Karen guerrillas led by Force 136 (Operation CHARACTER) rose on 13 April 1945 to prevent 15 Army from advancing down the east bank of the Sittang to defend the town. The British immediately began restoring the airfields to support the final drive on Rangoon, using troops of 1 INA Division who had surrendered to 5 Indian Division.

Rail connections

Thazi

Pegu

Road connections

Mawchi


References

Allen (1984)

Romanus and Sunderland (1953)



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