Southern Asia 1945: Operation Extended Capital

Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 20 Feb 1945 (World War II: The South-East Asian Theater: Operation Extended Capital), showing the following events: Operation Ichi-Go; D-Day; Second East Turkestan Republic; Operation Extended Capital; 1944 Anglo–Ethiopian Agreement.

Following the defeat of the Japanese at Imphal in mid-1944, the Allies resumed their offensive in Burma. By February 1945 they were closing in on Mandalay and had reopened the Burma Road to China.


British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India’s influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.

Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.

The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.

Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or ‘princely states’. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

19 Apr–31 Dec 1944 Operation Ichi-Go

In a bid to open a land route to French Indochina and capture American-used air bases in southeast China, the Japanese launch Operation Ichi-Go against the Republic of China. In the first phase, the Japanese secure the Pinghan Railway connecting Wuhan to Beiping (Beijing); in the second, they move south from Wuhan, conquering large tracts of territory in Hunan and Guangxi provinces and displacing the US air bases there. Overall the operation is successful, with the Japanese losing about 100,000 dead to more than 480,000 Chinese military and 500,000 Chinese civilian wikipedia

6 Jun 1944 D-Day

After extensive aerial and naval bombardment, including the landing of 24,000 airborne troops, 156,000 US, British, and other Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, German-occupied France, in the largest seaborne invasion in history. The landings began at 06:30 and met heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, along with numerous mines and obstacles. Over the day, the Allies suffered at least 10,000 casualties vs about 1,000 for the Germans, but secured their wikipedia

12 Nov 1944 Second East Turkestan Republic

Following the Soviet-supported Ili Rebellion in northern Xinjiang, Republic of China, Turkic rebel groups declare the creation of the second East Turkestan Republic in Khulja. Ali Khan Ture, Marshal of the Ili National Army, is elected as president. With Soviet military assistance, the rebels quickly take control of the Ili, Tarbagatay, and Altay wikipedia

3 Dec 1944–28 Mar 1945 Operation Extended Capital

In Operation Capital, the British 11th East African and 20th Indian Divisions cross the Chindwin into Japanese-occupied Burma at Kalewa and Mawlaik while the 19th Indian Division does so at Sittaung. Facing little Japanese resistance, the British plan is expanded on 18 December to become Operation Extended Capital—a full-scale advance on Meiktila. Coupled with landings in the Arakan and a US-led Chinese push from the north, the Allies reconnect the Burma Road on 27 January 1945, cross the Irrawaddy in February, and capture Mandalay and Meiktila the following wikipedia

19 Dec 1944 1944 Anglo–Ethiopian Agreement

After negotiations beginning in 25 May 1944, the Ethiopian government, supported by the United States, pressured Britain into signing a new Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement to supersede the one signed in 1942. By the renegotiated terms, the British agreed to remove their garrison from Ethiopia, open Ethiopia’s airfields to non-British traffic, end their control of Ethiopian section of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti railroad, and recognize Ethiopia as an independent member of the Allies. However Britain retained its hold on the Ogaden and wikipedia