Victory in Burma Frees Troops for China
The situation in Northern Combat Area Command about 30 January was that the 112th and 113th Regiments, Chinese 38th Division, which had made the final link with China, were now at the junction of the Ledo and Burma Roads around Mong Yu with orders to fight down the Burma Road to Lashio. The Japanese 56th Division, using both the Burma Road and bypass trails in the hills to the east, was successfully making its way past the Chinese 114th and MARS Task Force, which NCAC had placed in the path of the 56th with very restricting orders. At this time, the 5332d's headquarters was at Man Wing, in the southwest end of the Shweli valley.
The Chinese 30th Division, which had fought in the Namhkam area of the Shweli valley, had been ordered to move to the Hosi-Namhpakka area north of the MARS Force.1 The leading regiment of the 30th Division, the 89th, left the Namhkam area 25 January and met Japanese resistance almost at once. The Japanese held their hill and ridge-top positions for almost two days, then broke contact on 26 January. Next day the Chinese were in the area around Man Ning village, three miles west of the 124th's positions. Given the roughness of the terrain and the heavy woods which so restricted visibility, the Japanese facing the 30th Division probably did not find it difficult to move east through the gap between the 124th's lines and those of the Chinese 114th Regiment. From the vicinity of Man Ning, the Chinese moved around to the north of the 124th's position and finally established themselves on a prominent hill about one and one half miles north of Hpapen village, which in turn was a mile northeast of the cavalry position.2
In moving past the entrenched Chinese and Americans, the Japanese were executing one of the most delicate operations in war, a movement along the____________________