Salween offensive file photo [9390]

Salween Offensive

1 Apr 1944 - 27 Jan 1945


ww2dbaseAfter the Chinese-American-Kachin Allied force captured Myitkyina, Burma, Chiang Kaishek finally gave his approval for launching an offensive in Yunnan Province, China. 72,000 Chinese soldiers organized in 12 divisions under the command of General Wei Lihuang attacked the under-strength Japanese 56th Infantry Division, which had little more than 11,000 men, north and east of the Salween River. In late May, the Japanese garrison at Tengchung was wiped out. On 10 Jun, Chinese troops captured Lungling, which was in a strategic location for the eventual re-opening of the Burma Road, but a Japanese counterattack recaptured the the town a week later. The 56th Division held on against the 300-kilometer front until late Jun 1944 before withdrawing forward positions. Lungling was again captured by the Chinese by end of Aug 1944. The Japanese were then reinforced by a division and mounted a counterattack to halt the Chinese advance. In Nov 1944, the Chinese renewed their attacks, taking Mangshih on 20 Nov, Mengka on 24 Nov, Chefang on 1 Dec, and Wanting on 20 Jan 1945. The Chinese pushed across the Burmese border on 22 Jan. On 27 Jan, Chinese troops from China and Chinese troops of the Chinese-American-Kachin Allied force linked up at Muse, Burma, thus marking the successful conclusion of the campaign.

Frank McLynn, The Burma Campaign

Last Major Update: Oct 2006

Salween Offensive Timeline

11 May 1944 Chinese troops crossed the Salween River in Burma.
10 Jun 1944 General Wei Lihuang's Chinese Expeditionary Force having crossed the rugged 10,000-foot Gaoligong Mountains (Postal Map: Kaolikong) captured Longling (Postal Map: Lungling), Yunnan Province, China on the Burma Road, but would soon be driven out again by a counter-attack by the Japanese 56th Division.
20 Nov 1944 Chinese troops captured Mangshih, Yunnan Province, China.
24 Nov 1944 Chinese troops captured Mengka, Yunnan Province, China.
1 Dec 1944 Chinese troops captured Chefang, Yunnan Province, China.
20 Jan 1945 Chinese troops captured Wanting, Yunnan Province, China.
22 Jan 1945 By this date, all Japanese troops in Yunnan Province, China were pushed to the Burma side of the Sino-Burmese border.
27 Jan 1945 Chinese troops from southern China and Chinese troops from India linked up at Muse in northern Burma, signifying the successful end of the Salween Offensive.


Chinese soldiers marching toward the Salween front during the Burma Campaign, 1943.Chinese boy hired to assist troops of Chinese 39th Division during the Salween Offensive, Yunnan Province, China, 1944Chinese troops in Tengchong, Yunnan Province, China, 13 Sep 1944Chinese troops fighting during the Salween Offensive, Burma, circa late 1944 or early 1945
See all 5 photographs of Salween Offensive


Map depicting the Salween Offensive, 11 May-30 Jun 1944Map depicting the Salween Offensive, 3 Nov 1944-27 Jan 1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Jay Sweet says:
5 Aug 2022 12:56:09 PM

My father was part of Y Force, as a US artillery advisor to the Chinese army. We still have one of the captured Japanese battle flags commemorating the battle.

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» The Burma Campaign: Disaster into Triumph 1942-45

Salween Offensive Photo Gallery
Chinese soldiers marching toward the Salween front during the Burma Campaign, 1943.
See all 5 photographs of Salween Offensive

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