Last time we spoke about the beginning of the Japanese counteroffensive on Bougainville, action on the Burma front and New Guinea. General Hyakutake was under immense pressure to dislodge the Americal force from Bougainville. He unleashed a grand counter offensive trying to break the American defensive lines. Both the Japanese and Americans began suffering heavy casualties, yet neither side wavered in its resolve. Over in the Burma front, the Galahad unit, aka Merrills marauders joined their British, American and Chinese allies in pushing the Japanese back. There were some issues involving friendly fire, but overall the allies were making gains in a theater where the Japanese had dominated for years. Over in New Guinea, the Japanese were continuing to retreat to Madang. Things were going so terribly, units were now being deployed to defend the western part of New Guinea. Japan was simply not winning the war of attrition. 

This episode is the Operation Thursday

Welcome to the Pacific War Podcast Week by Week, I am your dutiful host Craig Watson. But, before we start I want to also remind you this podcast is only made possible through the efforts of Kings and Generals over at Youtube. Perhaps you want to learn more about world war two? Kings and Generals have an assortment of episodes on world war two and much more  so go give them a look over on Youtube. So please subscribe to Kings and Generals over at Youtube and to continue helping us produce this content please check out If you are still hungry for some more history related content, over on my channel, the Pacific War Channel you can find a few videos all the way from the Opium Wars of the 1800’s until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. 

Things have really been heating up on the Burma front. General Mutaguchi basically tricked his own superiors into allowing him to invade India under the guise of Operations HA-GO and U-GO. This saw Japanese units advancing towards Imphal and Kohima. On the other side General Stilwell’s forces were advancing upon Myitkyina in the north, as General Slim’s 15th corp were clashing with the Japanese in the Arakan region. Americans, British, Indians, Chinese were all performing operations to halt Japanese attacks and push further into Burma, but on top of all of that, we now need to talk about our favorite child born from the onion eating madman Wingate, the Chindits. 

All the way back in early February, Operation Thursday was in development. The operation was basically an extended version of the first Chindit raid, this time in two waves, with 3 brigades making long marches across the Chindwin. The first wave would go into the enemy territory, then 2-3 months later the second wave would come in to reinforce them. There were large issues with the operation, namely a lack of aircraft. Aircraft were being used for the Arakan campaign and flying supplies over the Hump. Chiang Kai-shek would not part with any aircraft set to go over the Hump and not even Mountbatten had the authority to touch the issue. Regardless Thursday would be authorized and its goals were as follows; to assist Stilwell’s advance; to create favorable conditions for the Y-Force to gord the Salween and to inflict maximum damage to the Japanese in northern Burma. Their principles targets were the Shwebo-Myitkyina railway and the Myitkyina-Bhamo-Indaw road. There would be 4 strongholds to be designated, Piccadilly, Chowringhee, Broadway and Templecombe, the last one later renamed Aberdeen. The US 900th airborne engineer company would clear strips suitable for Dakotas to land.

On February 4th Wingate and Stratemeyer, commander of the Eastern Air command issued the essential guidelines for Thursday, stressing this raid would require the wounded being flown out from the strongholds rather than to be abandoned as was the case with the first expedition. Stratemeyer added orders to bomb the stronghold areas prior to their establishment, thoug

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