Today we have a diversion from the narrative the podcast has been following lately. When Japan conquered Southeast Asia in early 1942, it gained access to the Indian Ocean, and the Japanese ventured into that ocean afterwards. This episode will look at what followed: the invasion of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the bombing of Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka), and a battle between the British, French and Japanese for Madagascar. Although this area is not in Southeast Asia per se, I believe you will find the stories interesting, because they are really obscure to those people who don’t live around the Indian Ocean. That includes the host; I did not hear any of this in school! Now listen and enjoy.
This year three holidays fall on April 1: April Fool’s Day, Easter and Passover. Now you have another reason to celebrate; Episode 42 is available! This episode begins coverage of the Burma campaign, a nasty jungle war that would go on between Japan and the Allies for the rest of World War II in the Pacific. Today we will see the Japanese conquest of Burma (modern Myanmar), from December 1941 to May 1942. The conquest did not take five months because of Allied resistance, as was the case in the Philippines, but because of the rugged terrain and the size of the territory that was to be occupied.