The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Moulmein (Mawlamyine; 97.62E
16.49N) is the second largest sea
port of Burma, with a population in 1942 of over 50,000 persons. The port exported teak and rice.
There was also a small airstrip in the vicinity in late 1941. The railroad from Pegu ended just across the river, at Martaban, and Moulmein was reached by ferry.
The town was garrisoned by 8 Burma Rifles Battalion, and 16 Indian Brigade was arriving in the area as war broke out in the Pacific. The brigade was deployed in the Dawna Hills east of the town near the Thai
border, but was driven back to Moulmein by 25 January 1942. The
Japanese infiltrated the area around the town on 26-29 January and
launched a massive attack on 30 January that was initially driven
off. However, the Japanese pressure was irresistible, the Burma Rifles
proved unreliable, and on 31 January the remaining forces in the town were evacuated to Martaban.
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