In the first phases of the present war, the Japanese were
highly successful in jungle fighting. A captured Japanese
manual reveals the instructions given to Japanese troops
prior to these attacks; some of the important passages are
2. THE MANUAL
The main object is to crush the British and Chinese forces, especially
the latter. A failure to achieve these ends may likely
have a serious effect on the Great East Asia War.
Before a general engagement takes place, an effort must be made
to destroy the British and Chinese in their respective areas. Held
frontally, the main enemy forces are to be cut off and destroyed
by a big encircling movement.
Friendliness of the inhabitants, absence of roads, and the difficult
nature of the country outside the areas chosen for encirclement
are an advantage for us.
b. Plans (concealment)
Carefully chosen troops are to be used for infiltration and
encirclement before the main general encircling offensive starts.
To avoid enemy air or ground observation, they should choose
terrain where there is natural concealment and also utilize periods
of darkness. When the enemy is met, he should be denied information
of our plans, encircled, and attacked immediately.
It is essential that encircling units have extreme mobility. They
must be capable of overcoming all difficulties and reach
their objectives at a given time. If necessary, all local means of
transport must be used. Transport should be arranged in advance
so that the troops can be moved at short notice. When these
troops are moving to an objective they should keep contact with
troops in the rear. (Editor's note: This was not done in many
The enemy usually constructs strong points on roads but neglects his flanks.
British and Indian troops do not destroy roads, so a motorized
thrust is of value. Even the Chinese do not destroy roads properly
in Burma because the local inhabitants--whose help is needed--are
hostile to them.
Encircling troops must consolidate the positions they occupy--strong points
and antitank obstacles are to be built.
In mopping up, every encircled enemy is to be killed.
Complete cooperation must exist for all units, both in the air
and on the ground.
Encirclement may extend several hundred kilometers (1 kilometer equals
about 5/8 mile) so close cooperation with air is necessary
in mopping up. Prearranged signals should always be given
to the planes.
Waiting for supplies from the rear impairs mobility; therefore
troops must be prepared to live off the country, and guard and
conserve their ammunition.
e. Local Inhabitants
The attitude of the local inhabitants affects the outcome of the
campaign; therefore always be nice to them. Respect and protect
all Burmese temples so that the monks may be of assistance.