- Title: THE ADVANCE TO MEIKTILA [Allocated Title]
- Film Number: JFU 50
- Other titles: BRITISH ARMY OPERATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR [Allocated Series Title]
- Summary: Tanks and men from 255th Armoured Brigade and 17th Indian Division spearhead the advance across the Irrawaddy River towards Meiktila, Burma, and en route an airfield is captured at Thabutkon without opposition.
- Description: A mortar is aimed and mortar rounds are prepared for firing. Troops of 17th Indian Division IV Corps walk through deserted and damaged buildings; they carry various weapons including a Bren gun. A column of Sherman tanks of Probyn's Horse (5th King Edward VII's Own Lancers) cross dusty ground and pass British troops of 9th Battalion Border Regiment lying prone in the scrub. There are some 105mm Priest self-propelled guns of 18th Field Regiment Royal Artillery making up part of the column. A dead Japanese soldier is examined; he has a steel helmet with a star on the front. A Sherman tank is followed by troops of 6th Battalion 7th Rajputana Rifles. A building burns as a column of lorries, jeeps, Sherman tanks and Priest self-propelled guns pass it on the road. An injured Japanese prisoner is treated on a stretcher. British troops mount a Sherman tank and are driven into the distance. The Border Regiment clear a small village and sweep it for enemy soldiers. A CG-4A Hadrian glider is towed across an airfield by jeep and drums of cable are unloaded. A C-47 Dakota (Skytrain) lands and several others taxi. Men of 1st Battalion 3rd Gurkha Rifles disemplane and gather their kit. A Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun is ready for action. A C-47 taxis behind the Bofors gun.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM
- Featured Period: 1939-1945
- Production Date: 1945-02-27
- Production Country: GB
- Production Details: War Office Directorate of Public Relations (Production sponsor) SEAC Film Unit (Production company) Sanders, P A (Production individual)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Indian Army, 17th Indian Division (regiment/service) British Army, Royal Artillery, 18th (Self-Propelled) Field Regiment (regiment/service) Indian Army, 5th King Edward's Own Lancers (Probyn's Horse) (regiment/service) Indian Army, 7th Rajput Regiment, 6th Battalion (regiment/service) British Army, Border Regiment, 9th Battalion (regiment/service) Indian Army, 255th Indian Tank Brigade (regiment/service)
- Keywords: Meiktila, Burma (geography) Thabutkon, Burma (geography) Irrawaddy Crossing 1945, Burma 1942-1945, Second World War (event) Battle of Meiktila 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: 514 ft; Running time: 6 mins
- Notes: The airfield captured is not in Meiktila itself, but is instead probably the field at Thabutkon, which according to the official history was taken at 2pm on 26 February with work beginning immediately to fill in slit trenches and craters. The fly-in of 99th Brigade was undertaken by the US Army Air Force's 1st Air Commando, making 53 Dakota sorties by the end of 27 February, and the fly-in being complete by 2 March. Meiktila was a major battle in which IV Corps sought to destroy a large Japanese garrison and secure a number of key strategic airfields. Meiktila also stood at the head of the main road to Rangoon, and after its initial capture there followed a number of determined Japanese counterattacks throughout March 1945 before it was completely secure.
- Link to IWM Collections page:
Related IWM Collections Objects:
ABY 154 (ACTIVITIES ON MEIKTILA AIRSTRIP [Allocated Title]) JIN 12 (AIRBORNE BRIGADE FLIES IN TO THABUTKON [Allocated Title]) JIN 13 (THE ADVANCE ON MEIKTILA [Allocated Title]) JFU 51 (BREN GUN CARRIERS ON THE ROAD TO MEIKTILA [Allocated Title]) JFU 52 (THE APPROACH TO MEIKTILA [Allocated Title])