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You are here: Home > Netaji Home > Indian National Army
Bose Takes Over As Ina Chief  
Bose moves away from Germany
Japan's imperialistic intentions
Prov Azad Hind Govt formed
Birth of Indian National Army
The leadership issue
The summer of 1942
Japan begins Enlisting Indians
Chinks in relations with Japan
INA's victory & defeat
Bose took command of the INA on 4 July 1943. His very presence put new life into a disheartened force. All fissures in the INA disappeared. The reorganisation turned the INA into fighting force.

By October 21, 1943, the Provisional Government of Azad Hind had been proclaimed and the INA was already in the battlefront engaging the British forces trying to regain a foothold in Burma by the sea-route, making Akyab the beach-head. The INA fought very well in the Arakans forcing the British force to fall back leaving a vast quantity of small and heavy weapons.

By December 1943, the 1st Division of the INA commanded by Col. Mohammad Zaman Kiani moved to Rangoon. Netaji Subhas Bose's advance headquarters had also been moved from Singapore to Rangoon in the foreknowledge of Japan's decision to launch an expedition to capture Assam to breach the routes of American supplies to Chiang Kai-Shek's Army and also to forestall the Allies' invasion of Burma from the Indian base.

Japan had information of a vast mobilisation of allied forces of nationalities to retake Burma by a combined operation of the air and land forces. Japan's air force, never comparable to what the Allies could field, had been virtually shot out of the sky over Burma.

In the evolution of Japan's policy towards India, Subhas Bose's meetings with Japan's premier Tojo on June 14, 1943 in Tokyo played a decisive part at a crucial stage of the Pacific War in 1943-44.

Having suffered naval reverses in the spring of 1943, and the German forces having failed to break the British barrier in West Asia and the Soviet resistance in the Caucasus, Japan was singly bearing the brunt of the reorganised Allied Forces in the Far East and Southeast Asia.

The German navy failed to rendezvous with the Japanese navy near the Indian coasts. Germany's breakthrough in Urals did not happen. Japan, perennially short of petroleum and war material, was adjusting itself to a defensive position in East Asia.

The Mohan Singh episode had left Japan somewhat disillusioned with the value of the IIL and the INA. Many INA operatives sent by sea and land routes to India had been captured by the British.

The Japanese liaison agency suspected pro-British elements among Indian POWs for these losses. Japan did not realise that besides the efficacy of the Anglo-American spy network in East Asia, the British and Americans had broken Japan's secret code. Anglo-American intercepts gave an almost clear picture of all coded wireless traffic of Japan.

Meeting Bose for the first time on June 14, 1943, Tojo was deeply impressed by Subhas's intellectual grasp of the war situation and the leadership capability. He had not met before an Indian of Subhas Bose's stature.

Thereafter, Tojo decided to risk, with reorganised INA help, an expedition towards the Burma-NEFA borders of India to block American supplies to Chiang Kai-Shek and also to preempt the Allies' invasions of Burma. Bose would have preferred a lunge through the Arakans towards the lower Bengal Districts to create a liberated zone. In the Arakans, the INA gave an account of itself.

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