8th March, 1942 – Taukkyon, Burma
During the retreat, Lt. Basil Young leads his troop from B Squadron, 7th Hussars supported by infantry from the KOYLI to breakthrough one of the roadblocks formed by infantry from the Japanese 33. Division.
Despite a lucky arrival, and only half the Japanese platoon being in defence positions, the attack did not go well.
A Japanese anti-tank team managed to infiltrate near the Stuarts as they arrived and a well thrown bomb wrecked Lt. Young’s tank. Although the Japanese team went down to fire and took cover, it showed that caution was required in an advance when sadly speed was of the essence. To make up time, two of the British trucks took a side path through the undergrowth and instantly the lead truck hit a mine killing several men of the KOYLI PHQ.
To add insult to injury, a Japanese salvo from their 75mm guns slammed into the column on the road and to the shock of all, destroyed another truck and knocked out a second Stuart. Panic struck the British and desperation saw the carrier lurched forward to deposit a Vickers MG
team to given the column covering fire. The team were shot down as they tried to set up their gun by a Nambu MG
among the rocks on the slope covering the road.
British mortar fire now changed events as a strike took out infantry and some of the MG
team while the last Stuart led a charge along the road with its MGs
cutting down Japanese infantry along the roadblock. All remaining British vehicles rushed the roadblock and for a time it looked like this dash of bravery old work as Japanese reinforcements arrived too late and too car from the fighting. However one truck crashed at the roadblock and a close range firefight developed as the British Infantry got out but with more KOYLI in support and a carrier roaring off down the road to secure the ruined house, a glimmer of hoped appeared for the British.
It was now the British Forward HQ
decided to mount up in their car as the approaching Japanese were getting close. After traveling a few yards off road the vehicle promptly broke down and was soon surrounded by Japanese infantry and the occupants killed or captured. This brought the engagement to an end and the Japanese had a firm blockade across the road to Mandalay.