First News : 2020-08-14

SPECIAL REPORT : 13 : 13

SPECIAL REPORT

13. SPECIAL REPORT Issue 739 14 – 20 August 2020 FirstNews Left: Lieutenant General William Slim was in charge of the 14th Army during the campaign to recapture Burma. Right: Captain Sir Tom Moore pictured during his army days in World War 2, when he served under William Slim THE FORGOTTEN ARMY the troops fighting in the Pacific War were often poorly supplied compared to their comrades in Europe. The distance also made communicat­ion difficult, and a lack of reporters in the area meant that the public back home didn’t really know much about what was going on there. Many of the foreign fighters in the 14th Army also complained of the way they were treated by the British. Some said that they were forced to join up, many said they were paid less than white men, and lots more said they were abandoned by the UK Government after conditions with little food and water, and around 30,000 are thought to have died from exhaustion, starvation and disease. Many were beaten or executed, and Red Cross food parcels were deliberate­ly kept from POWs. The Imperial War Museum says that nearly a quarter of all Allied troops held by Japan died in captivity. However, after all the 14th Army went through and all its achievemen­ts, it was destined to become nicknamed the Forgotten Army, even though around a million men had fought as part of it. In December 1941, the UK and US had agreed to make the war in Europe the priority, so To fight this new war in the Far East (often known as the Pacific War), Britain created the 14th Army in November 1943. It was one of the most diverse regiments in British history, and was made up of soldiers from Britain, India, Nepal, a dozen African countries and other parts of the Commonweal­th. The conditions were tough, and soldiers had to deal with diseases such as malaria, cholera and dengue fever, and there was also the risk of poor treatment by Japanese soldiers if they were caught. Many POWs (prisoners of war) were forced to work in awful the war. WHEN CAME