The work of the British Colonial forces is so often overlooked in British military history, but in this photo, it’s incredibly clear. The 11th East African Division was made up of soldiers from present-day Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Tanzania — as well as Indian soldiers of the Fourteenth Army. Here, the Colonial forces are seen as they cross the Chindwin River before moving towards Shwegyin village during the Burma Campaign. They were an integral part of the pursuit of Japanese forces. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost during the campaign — and some estimates put Burmese civilian deaths at up to a million.

colonial forces

Near Shwegyin, Sagaing Region, Burma (Myanmar).

December 1944.

Credit: Anti-Worlds