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The Burma Road (滇缅公路) is a road linking Burmamarker (also called Myanmar) with Chinamarker. Its terminals are Kunmingmarker, Yunnanmarker and Lashiomarker, Burma. When it was built, Burma was a British colony.

The road is long and runs through rough mountain country. The sections from Kunming to the Burmese border were built by 200,000 Chinese laborers during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and completed by 1938. It had a role in World War II, when the British used the Burma Road to transport war materiel to China before Japan was at war with the British. Supplies would be landed at Rangoonmarker (now Yangon) and moved by rail to Lashiomarker, where the road started in Burma. After the Japanese overran Burma in 1942, the Allies were forced to supply Chiang Kai-shek (also called Jiang Jieshi) and the nationalist Chinese by air. They flew these supplies from airfields in Assammarker, India over the eastern end of the Himalaya uplift. At the insistence of the United States, and much to the chagrin of Winston Churchill, the wartime leader of Britain, British forces were given, as their primary goal in the war against Japan, the task of recapturing Burma and reopening land communication with China. Under British command Indian, British, Chinese, and American forces, the latter led by Vinegar Joe Stilwell, defeated a Japanese attempt to capture Assam and recaptured northern Burma. In this area they built a new road, the Ledo Roadmarker which ran from Ledo Assammarker, through Myitkina and connected to the old Burma Road at Wandingzhen, Yunnan, China. The first trucks reached the Chinese frontier by this route on January 28, 1945. (Winston Churchill, The Second World War, v. VI, chap. 11.)
Women and children using hand tools to build Burma Road

See also


Further reading

  • Jon Latimer, Burma: The Forgotten War, John Murray, (2004). ISBN 0-7195-6576-6.

External links

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