Operation Dracula

During World War II, Operation Dracula was the name given to an airborne and amphibious attack on Rangoon by British and Indian forces, part of the Burma Campaign.

When it was launched, the Imperial Japanese Army had already abandoned the city.

Rangoon was the capital and major port of Burma (present day Myanmar). In December 1941, Japan entered World War II by attacking United States territory and the Far Eastern colonial possessions of Britain and the Netherlands.

After occupying Thailand, the Japanese attacked southern Burma in March 1942. The British, Indian and Burmese forces were outmatched and forced to evacuate Rangoon. This made the long-term British defence of Burma impossible, as there were then no proper alternate supply routes overland from India. The British and Chinese forces were compelled to evacuate Burma and withdraw into India.

There was stalemate for a year. By 1944, the Allied forces in India had been reinforced and had expanded their logistic infrastructure, which made it possible to for them to contemplate an attack into Burma. The Japanese attempted to forestall them by an invasion of India, which led to a heavy Japanese defeat at the Battle of Imphal, and other setbacks in Northern Burma. Their losses were to handicap their defence of Burma in the following year.

Having invaded Thailand, the Japanese launched an attack on southern Burma in March 1942. The British, Indian and Burmese troops were outnumbered and forced to leave Rangoon, the capital of Burma. As a the Japanese troops kept pooring into Burma, the defense of the country became impossible and the British and Chinese forces left Burma and withdrew into India.