Operation Vanguard

This was a British unrealised initial version of ‘Dracula’ (ii) for the capture of Rangoon in Japanese-occupied Burma by amphibious and airborne assault, paving the way for an exploitation as far to the north as Pegu between the Irrawaddy and Sittang rivers (mid-1944).

The ‘Vanguard’ original plan was conceived as an alternative to ‘Capital’ (i), and was designed to sever the main lines of communication, except the roads through Chiengrai and Kengtung, of the Burma Area Army, commanded by General Heitaro Kimura since 30 August 1944 in succession to General Masamitsu Kawabe, and so force the Japanese to abandon northern and central Burma. Admiral the Lord Louis Mountbatten’s South-East Asia Command proposed to launch ‘Vanguard’ in January 1945 at the same time that a cut-back ‘Capital’ (i) was launched in the north.