The Ava bridge, Sagaing.

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by High Wood, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    photo 001.JPG This is a sequence of aerial photographs of the Ava Bridge at Sagaing taken on the 24th January 1945. The destroyed spans can clearly be seen on the Sagaing side of the bridge and also the massive sandbank caused by the physical obstruction from the fallen girders.

    I have placed the photographs together in an ad hoc fashion until I can photograph in their correct position without damaging them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
    sol likes this.
  2. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Nicely done HW. Sandbank created by fallen girders on the SW is clearly visible. Thank you for sharing. Can you tell me how you get those photos, are they from some archive?
     
  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for sharing HW. Glad you spotted these sol. :)
     
  4. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Sol,

    they were listed on everyone's' favourite online auction site recently. I seem to have been the only bidder as they were not listed with an adequate description. They seem to have been taken by 673 Squadron but I am not sure that I am reading the code number correctly as 673 Squadron were formed with gliders in early 1945.

    Simon.
     
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    From the AWM collection:

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02491.043

    Sagaing, Burma. 26 March 1945. Passing close to the famous Ava bridge across the Irrawaddy just south of Mandalay, troops of the British 14th Army are ferried across the river. The Ava bridge was blown up by our retreating troops in 1942.


    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02491.044

    Sagaing, Burma. 26 March 1945. Men and transport of the British 14th Army waiting at a bridgehead just below the famous Ava bridge just south of Mandalay to be ferried across the Irrawaddy River in pursuit of the Japanese in Burma. The Ava bridge was blown up by Allied retreating troops in 1942.
     
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02491.295

    Mandalay, Burma. c. February 1945. A terrific concentration of bombs bursting in the target area during the heaviest raid yet made on any Japanese target in Burma was carried out by RAF Liberator bomber and US Army Air Force B-24 aircraft of Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command on Japanese positions and supply dumps in Mandalay and Sagaing. Wing Commander John Martyn DFC of Charley Hall, Loughborough, one of the pilots summed the raid up with these remarks, 'The best show we've had in this theatre of war so far. It was perfect bombing, the target areas were absolutely smothered and on our way home black smoke was rising to 8,000 feet which could be seen from twenty miles away.' The raid was in support of the British 14th Army's drive from Shwebo to Mandalay.


    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P02491.317

    Mandalay, Burma. 26 March 1945. Twisted rail metals and destroyed railway wagons lying on a railway embankment near Sagaing, just south of Mandalay. Japanese communications are being relentlessly pounded in support of the British 14th Army.


    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/MED2005/

    Mandalay, Burma. 26 March 1945. Much devastation has been caused by relentless bombing by the RAF of Japanese communications. At Sagaing just south of Mandalay Japanese railway wagons blown off the line are lying on the embankment. There are numerous Australians in RAF heavy bomber squadrons engaged in these operations.
     
  7. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P00767.008

    AVA, BURMA. 1941. CAPTAIN JOCK GROSSETT, INTERPRETER OFFICER ATTACHED TO THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINGENT TO THE BRITISH MILITARY MISSION 204, AND WARRANT OFFICER JACK SANDELL DURING A DEMOLITION RECONNAISSANCE ON THE MASSIVE AVA BRIDGE ACROSS THE IRRAWADDY RIVER, NEAR MANDALAY. (DONOR D. MACDOUGAL)
     
    sol likes this.
  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Hi Simon

    You got yourself some nice photos there. Almost every general book about the Burma Campaign have air-photo of the Sittang Bridge. It shows a bridge itself and little of both banks including part of the Pagoda Hill. I'm hopping to find more of the photos of the area. Thanks again

    Enes
     
  9. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Hi Dave

    Nice photos, especially the last one. I quite like this old video from 1942

    http://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/record/index/16088

    It is nice to see the Ava Bridge while it was still standing. Little over one month after this scenes are taken bridge was blown up. It is also interesting to see a (unknown) Burma unit equipped with, what looks like, US M1903 Springfield rifles.

    Enes
     
  10. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hopefully you won't have to hop too far.

    The AWM has a sequence of 4 photos of a bombing attack on the road / rail bridge at Sittang




    Hi Simon

    You got yourself some nice photos there. Almost every general book about the Burma Campaign have air-photo of the Sittang Bridge. It shows a bridge itself and little of both banks including part of the Pagoda Hill. I'm hopping to find more of the photos of the area. Thanks again

    Enes


     
  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    img167.jpg I have a snapshot size copy of PO 2491.044 in my collection along with a few others that belonged to a soldier in the 2nd Division. I have enlarged a section of it to show how the bridge was kept open as a foot bridge to enable river crossings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  12. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Ava bridge.jpg

    Another photograph of the walkways built across the top of the fallen spans. This photograph was taken from the Sagaing side of the Irrawaddy
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  13. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Ava gun.jpg A gun crew in a posed photograph on the Sagaing (West) side of the Irrawaddy, March 1945.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  14. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Sadly, I have no photographs of the Sittang Bridge in my collection.

    Simon.
     
  15. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    You were the only bidder because they were vastly over-priced, I'm afraid.

    Photos taken by 681 Sqn RAF.
     
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  17. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Interesting comment. Twenty 9" x 7.5" aerial photographs and an original 1:25,000 map of Sadaung Road at a cost of £3.33 pence each plus postage. The IWM don't seem to have them but would charge more for a same sized copy if they had.

    There are four different sets of photographs ranging from 26th December 1944 to 24th January 1945 and only those dated 15th and 24th January are marked 681.
     
  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Not my area of research, but I'd be pretty pleased to have something similar for Italy or North Africa at that cost - particularly the map.
    Thanks for the preview.
     
  19. Charpoy Chindit

    Charpoy Chindit Junior Member

    Yes, you may be right. I'm just poor.
     
  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I used to have a healthy disposable income to spend on such things; now I find it's been pre-disposed on milk, nappies and designer baby clothes!
     
    bamboo43 likes this.

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