- Title: MEETING OF GENERAL MANSERGH, GENERAL COWAN AND MAJOR CAREW ON THE RANGOON ROAD [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: JFU 219
- Other titles: BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Major-Generals Mansergh and Cowan (commanding 5th and 17th Indian Divisions) confer with Major Thomas Carew (Special Operations Executive, attached to the Burma National Army) at Milestone 141 on the Rangoon road, Burma.
- Description: Generals Mansergh and Cowan talking with Major Carew. In the background a bridge-laying tank can be seen, probably a Valentine bridgelayer (3rd Independent Bridging Troop, Royal Armoured Corps?). Carew wears local dress and is thickly bearded. The two generals consult a map.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-04-27
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) SEAC Film Unit (Production company) Higgins, K G (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Mansergh, Eric Carden Robert (person) Cowan, David Tennant (person) Carew, Thomas Arthur (person) Japanese Forces, Burma National Army (regiment/service) Indian Army, 17th Indian Division (regiment/service) Indian Army, 5th Indian Division (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Armoured Corps, 3rd Independent Bridging Troop (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Rangoon Road 1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Burma 1942-1945 (theme) British Army 1939-1945 (theme)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 62 ft; Running time: 1 min
- Notes: According to the dopesheet, Major Carew had been parachuted behind enemy lines to organise the Burma National Army. This Army had a complex history, its roots being in the 'Thirty Comrades', Burmese men trained by the Japanese to agitate for independence. These in turn became the nucleus of the Burma Independence Army (BIA). With the Japanese invasion of Burma the lack of a clear vision for the BIA's role in provisional government led to its reorganisation as the Burma Defence Army (BDA), moving from an irregular organisation to a more conventional structure. With the Japanese declaration of nominal Burmese independence the BDA was renamed the Burma National Army. As the emptiness of Japanese promises of independence became more apparent, the loyalty of the BNA wavered and by November 1944 the BNA was being armed by Force 136, a branch of the Special Operations Executive. This caused considerable controversy in South East Asia Command, not least because the BNA's commmander, Aung San, was wanted for his subversive activities before the war and for a murder committed in 1942. Aung San led the BNA in an uprising against the Japanese from March 1945. On 16 May 1945 Aung San and his Chief of Staff flew to Lieutenant-General Slim's headquarters at Meiktila to discuss the terms on which the BNA would cooperate with Allied forces. According to Slim's account, Aung San came across as 'a genuine patriot and a well-balanced realist' and a man '[Slim] could do business with'. The BNA was duly renamed Burmese Patriotic Forces and after the war were eventually disarmed. Aung San went on to play a key role in Burmese independence from Britain, but was assassinated on 19 July 1947 by a political rival. Burma became formally independent in January 1948. Aung San's daughter, only two years old at the time of his death, is at the time of writing the imprisoned Nobel Laureate and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. Fittingly for the sensitivity of this material the dopesheet for this film is marked with the triangular SEAC Field Press Censor's stamp which reads 'NOT to be published'. The Imperial War Museum's Sound Archive holds an oral history recording with Major Carew. See related items.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
18357 () Documents.6697 (Private Papers of General Sir Robert Mansergh GCB KBE MC) Documents.6697a (System.Xml.XmlElement) Documents.6697b (System.Xml.XmlElement) Documents.6697c (System.Xml.XmlElement)