IWM Interview with Richard Rhodes-James

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by mikky, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. mikky

    mikky Member

    IWM Interview with Richard Rhodes-James in 4x½ hour parts

    I think his interview pinpoints the reasons for Blackpool's failure?

    Object description

    British officer served with Headquarters, 111 Bde in India and during Second Chindit Expedition to Burma, 1942-1945
    Content description

    REEL 1 Aspects of officer training with Oxford University OTC and at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, 1939-1942: education at Oxford University; joining British Army, 10/1941; OCTU training at Sandhurst; value of OTC training; character of training at Sandhurst. Voyage from GB to India via South Africa, aboard City of Hong Kong and Windsor Castle. Period with 3rd Gurkha Rifles in India, 1942-1943: question of psychological impact of military disasters in Far East; induction course on arrival in India; period with Regimental Depot at Dehra Dun; courses attended; reasons for wishing for posting. Period as brigade cipher officer with Headquarters, 111 Bde, 3rd Indian Div in India, 1943-1944: work of cipher officer; cipher course; character of training for long-range penetration operations; length of marches; contents of large pack; rations. REEL 2 Continues: character of US K-rations; clothing worn and weapons carried; importance of 3 inch mortars; memories of John Masters and other officers in brigade; character of Orde Wingate; role in signals office and signalling equipment used; use of cipher sent in morse; degree of knowledge of role; question of physical fitness; issue of 'panic maps'; state of intelligence about Japanese forces; objectives of expedition; composition of brigade. Recollections of operations as cipher officer with Headquarters, 111 Bde during Second Chindit Expedition, 1944: character of flight into Burma and landing; problems of crossing River Irrawaddy; consolidation of brigade and operations against Japanese; character of columns. REEL 3 Continues: organisation of columns and their operations; attempt of brigade to block railway line; problems with position chosen; Japanese tactics during counter-attack on brigade positions; reasons for lack of rations and ammunition; withdrawal to positions on lake; fate of badly wounded casualties; use of barbed wire and booby-traps; location of brigade headquarters; range of line of sight; daily routine including supervising use of ciphers; coding and de-coding; reduction of cipher staff from action; last message from besieged position; morale in brigade; question of value of operations; question of attitude of General Joseph Stilwell towards British troops; question of awareness of situation in Burma; impressions of General William Slim. REEL 4 Continues: impressions of Lord Louis Mountbatten; reaction to Orde Wingate's death; Jack Masters taking over brigade; depleted nature of brigade and effect on troop's health after operations; precautions against malaria; evacuation of brigade to India; hospitalisation in Dehra Dun; disbandment of Chindits; question of role of Chindits; importance of air supply; problems of air supply; evacuation of wounded by flying boats; close air support against Japanese concentrations; role of RAF liaison officer; question of keeping a objective assessment of Chindits and lessons learnt from Chindit operations; lack of Japanese Air Force activity; importance of total command of the air.


    Mike
     
  2. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    He had some harsh comments, and honest ones... a charming gentleman.
     

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