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General Stilwells ad hoc force of Merrill's Marauders, American-trained Chinese divisions, Kachin guerrillas and General Wingate's Chindits conducted a northern Burmese offensive that led to the coup de main seizure of Myitkyina's airfield in May 1944. In August 1944, after a protracted siege, Myitkyina town on the Irrawaddy River fell to the Allies. At the same time elements of General Slim's 14th Army were mounting a defence of northeastern India at Imphal and Kohima against Imperial Japan's 15th Army, Operation U-Go, led by General Mutaguchi, from March to July 1944. Thereafter, the Allies began two major campaigns. First, the northern Burmese Sino-American offensive re-opened the land supply route to China via a newly-built Burma Road, which replaced the American Air Transport Commands Hump airlift that had kept Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese forces supplied. The second offensive was by General Bill Slim's multi-national British 14th Army under, which advanced south-east through the Arakan.
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