Last time we spoke about the defense of India. General Mutaguchi’s megalomaniac dream of invading India was tossed into motion. Battles were raging over countless features and against formidable allied boxes such as the Lion Box. Yet Mutaguchi had relied far too heavily on seizing the allied supply depots while promising his subordinate commanders they would have ample supplies for their tasks. Those like General Sato became so angry with their superior they pretty much were acting insubordinate. The effort to take Kohima fully and thrust into India was falling apart battle by battle. Meanwhile within China, General Chennault's 14th air force was causing major problems for the Japanese, forcing them into action. Operation Ichi-Go was formed, a colossal offensive to neutralize airfields and perhaps end the China Problem once and for all. Meanwhile the Royal Navy received some breathing room in the mediterranean sea and were now moving into the Pacific Theater.

This episode is Operation Ichi-Go Unleashed

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. 

The Imperial Japanese Army, largely because of the losses incurred by the Imperial Japanese Navy and logistical constraints, was virtually powerless to stop the allied advance in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Imperial HQ predicted further losses in early 1944 and General Douglas MacArthur was expecting to sweep up the northern New Guinea coast so he could retake the Philippines. New Guinea was thus seen as a holding operation to delay the allied advance. With its shorter supply line, the Philippines was now being regarded as a good location to block MacArthur’s advance towards the home islands. Everyone of course was still waiting for the decisive naval battle. But back on the mainland, the IJA were not dependent on the IJN, their logistical constraints were not the same at all. Hence suddenly in 1944, the IJA decided to unleash incredibly large and bold offensives in Burma, Northern India and of course in China. 

On New Years day of 1944, Chiang Kai-Shek cabled President FDR warning him that the strategy they and Stalin had agreed on at the Tehran Conference in November of 1943, fully emphasizing the European Front was leaving China open to a major attack. “Before long Japan will launch an all-out offensive against China.” Yet western intelligence disagreed with Chiang Kai-Shek’s sentiment. While General Stilwell was completely focused on recapturing Burma, Chiang Kai-Sheks fears were about to be proven correct. In April of 1944, Operation Ichi-Go was launched. It was the largest military operation in Japanese history, it was also a last ditch effort to finally solve the so-called China Problem. It was obvious to the IJA, the IJN were losing the maritime war in the Pacific, thus they were determined to toss the dice in China. If they were successful, overland supply lines from Burma to Korea could be secured. In addition it would be a hell of a bargaining chip when negotiating with the Americans. If they could finally end Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang government, America would be facing the extremely formidable task of having to invade and reconquer China. Of course the immediate war aims were to knock out General Chennault’s air force some he wo

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