http://www.wwiireenacting.co.uk/forum/v ... 87&t=32713
An account of an engagement between Lance Corporal Shinsaku Honma, 2nd Machine gun company, 2nd battalion, 215 Infantry Regiment, 33 Division and a small Chindit force
While we had been enjoying a peaceful occupation of Monywa, we were told that a British force had penetrated into Burma, and our 2nd Battalion arrived at Kanbalu railway station (about 100km south east of Pinlebu) from Monywa on 23 February 1943. It was on 3rd march that our battalion commander, Major Ichiro nasu, was killed in an unexpected clash with Ghurkhas in the jungle. In order to trap the enemy ten men, including myself from the Machine gun Company, were attached to 7th Rifle Company and advanced towards Yu River.
We arrived at the village as ordered, but we found no sign of the enemy and the village people welcomed us and showed us dances by Burmese girls. When we woke the next morning there were no girls or children in the village and soon all the village people disappeared. At that time we did not suspect that our move had been disclosed to the enemy. It was when we were taking a sleep wearing only underpants that we heard the noise of British planes. I did not mind the sound as I thought they would go and bomb our rear. But then I noticed something strange and went outdoors and found the planes circling over the village. I cried "Air Raid,Air Raid" and everybody dressed only in underwear ran out of the village.
At that time a plane came diving on us, so I cried "Quick", escape to the jungle as you are now!Quick we left or rifles and kit in the house. Before we could run 50 metres, 2 bombs fell in the centre of the village and exploded. The second plane was already diving which caused a fire in a house and a palm tree fell down. We all sat still in the jungle. The fire was terrifying as well as the bombs. When the bombing by the forth plane was over we carried our guns and ammunition and kit from the house. As soon as we entered the jungle, the planes started raking the ground with 20mm machine guns, but fortunately without any damage. The planes left and half the houses in the village were burnt down.
A messenger came from 7th Company telling us to move to a jungle 1km northeast. Arriving there, we found the traces of camping and horse droppings. They must have been the enemies. The place was suitable for camping with a water source and big trees. As the enemy were on a strict mission they must avoided entering villages and tried not to be informed on to the Japanese army. We spent the rest of the day building toilets and putting up tents. Another plane came and flew low over the village but did not attack it. We judged the plane came because the enemy was nearby.
Next morning suddenly we were ordered to fight. We carried mess kits wrapped in camouflage nets, canteen and 15 rounds of ammunition. We came to a place where there was a river 50m wide with water 30cm deep because of the dry season. To the right there was a wide marshland with reeds, and beyond it tall palm trees where probably there was a village.
The leading section suddenly started to run and we heard someone cry "Enemy"--it was so unexpected that we had no time to fire. The enemy poured into the marshland. I assembled the gun so it could be carried by 4 men, though the platoon did not order this. We did not know the strength of the enemy. Lt Takizawa, commander 7th company, ordered us to encircle the marshland and our machine gun was located in the centre on a cliff above the river. A few minutes later I heard the sound of broken reeds about 40m ahead. Our plan was to fire at them with machine gun and grenade launchers and to threaten them that we were a large troop, and then the rifle sections would pursue them. My MG fired 5 rounds into the area where we heard the noises. Grenade launchers were also fired. Enemy soldiers came out one by one; all were captured without any bloodshed. The plan of Lt Takizawa had been successful. We took them to the ox-cart road and examine their belongings. The senior man was a medical officer who had more than 200 1 rupee silver coins on him in a cotton bag.
We moved our camping site to a foot of a mountain 1.5km from the former position. For the next 2 or 3 day we had no information on the enemy. Probably on the forth day about 15 enemy soldiers came in a single file at a leisurely pace on the road at which our MG was aiming. All of us were tense. Distance, 200m. The enemy had not noticed us. On one side of the enemy was a river, the other was reed bushes. Our rifle units were ready to charge. I did the accurate aiming and awaited the order of the commander.
I pressed the trigger as soon as I heard LT Takizawa order,"Fire"-- before I had fired 1 round the entire enemy lay flat on the ground. There happened to be drift wood nearby and the enemy hid behind it. While I was consulting with the section leader whether I should fire to intimidate them. Lt Sakamaki came running to us holding his Japanese sword in one hand and ordering me to cover the charge of the rifle units. As 5 or 6 men who were still on the road started to move, I fired about 20 bullets. A white cloth tied to a stick appeared behind the driftwood and was waved. The rifle platoon advanced with bayonets on rifles. There were only 8 men behind the driftwood; all were captured. It was the officer who held out the white flag. The remaining 15 men ran into the reeds. I thought there should be 7 or 8 in there. Around midnight I heard men walking in the river about 50m below our gun, so everybody took up their positions. But it was so dark that we could not see 10m ahead. They were lucky: they must have returned to India safely.
Because our sleep was disturbed we slepted well after breakfast. At about 10 o clock I was roused by the sentry, alarm. Again 7 or 8 soldiers came walking leisurely with rifles on shoulder straps. I knew I should not let them escape into the jungle again. If they reached the driftwood it would be a repeat of yesterday. I aimed exactly at the waist of the man in front, so that even if he lay flat the bullets would hit the men in the rear. I reported "Enemy" but the order to shoot did not come. I am supposed to fire by the order of the platoon leader. I made up my mind that I would not care to be scolded later, and pressed the trigger. The leading three men fell down one by one. Then I moved my aim to the remaining men who lay flat and fired another 30 bullets; 7th company ran to the enemy and found 2 men killed and 5 wounded. I was impressed by the excellent performance of the type 92 medium machine gun. Enemy soldiers captured yesterday and today wounded (British) were delivered to battalion headquarters at Mawleik.