Originally, the island was a trading post for the Kingdom of Mrauk-U, with fishing villages spread across it. , (On 26 January in Operation Sankey, a Royal Marine force landed on Cheduba island, about 6.2 mi (10 km) from the south-west coast of Ramree Island and found it unoccupied.) Men of the Wiltshire Regiment from the 26th Indian Infantry Division prepare a meal beside a temple on Ramree Island. Some British soldiers, including the naturalist Bruce Wright, who participated in the battle, claimed that the large population of saltwater crocodiles native to the mangrove swamps on Ramree Island preyed on the trapped Japanese force at night and ate many soldiers.  On 14 January, the 26th Indian Division was ordered to attack Ramree on 21 January, as a Royal Marine detachment from 3 Commando Brigade occupied Cheduba Island. One island in Burma called Ramree Island is considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world after harbouring a dark secret. The navy and the 26th Indian Infantry Division then concentrated on blockading the chaungs (small streams) on the east coast to prevent the Japanese from escaping to the mainland. If Wright was correct, the Ramree Island crocodile attacks would have been the worst recorded in history. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left.... Of about one thousand Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about twenty were found alive. Bruce Stanley Wright, 17 September 1912 – 19 April 1975, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Ramree_Island&oldid=991768765, World War II operations and battles of the Southeast Asia Theatre, Military history of Burma during World War II, Naval battles of World War II involving the United Kingdom, Land battles of World War II involving the United Kingdom, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, II Battalion (reinforced to 1,000 men), 121st Infantry Regiment, This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 18:52. Although the Burma Campaign is one of the most overlooked episodes of the Second World War (it is often referred to as the ‘forgotten front’ of the conflict), it was also one of the bloodiest. For 6 weeks during January and February of 1945, the swamp-covered island of Ramree, located in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Burma, was the setting for a bloody battle between Japanese and Allied forces.The Battle of Ramree Island was part of the Burma Campaign during World War II, and was launched for the purpose of dislodging Japanese Imperial forces that had invaded the island in … In 1945 the Allied Forces unlocked the Burma Mission with the purpose of pushing the Japs out of Burma. Request PDF | On Mar 1, 2001, S.G. Platt and others published Man eating by estuarine crocodiles: The Ramree Island massacre revisited | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate It took until 16 April for the airfield to be used for transport sorties, Akyab having come into use on 1 April. Sightings of crocodile tracks on Landfall Island in the far north suggest that the species is also present there. The Battle of Ramree Island was fought for six weeks during January and February 1945, as part of the Indian XV Corps 1944/45 offensive on the Southern Front of the Burma Campaign during World War II. It is not difficult to imagine what happened to the Japanese who took refuge in the mangroves! The Guinness Book of World Records lists the Battle of Ramree Island as the “worst crocodile disaster in the world” and that it had the “most number of fatalities in a crocodile attack.” Land area: 1350 km² (521mi²) Estimated population: 400,000; Main town: Kyaukpyu (50,000 residents) State: Rakhine State; Airport: Kyaukpyu (IATA: KYP, ICAO: VYKP) History. Two days later Mayin was occupied and the troops reached the Yanbauk Chaung the next day. When pulled into a “death roll,” fight like crazy. On February 19, 1945 during a fierce battle on the island of Ramree (Burma), the English naval landing lured the Japanese army into mangrove swamps, in which thousands of combed crocodiles lived. , The early capture of Akyab made the 26th Indian Infantry Division (Major-General Henry Chambers) available for an attack on Ramree Island, 110 km (70 mi) to the south, the island being 80 km (50 mi) long and 32 km (20 mi) wide, flat and an obvious site for airfields. What the British do know for sure is that 20 men came out of the swamp alive and were captured. In January 1945, the Allies launched an attack to retake Ramree and its neighbour Cheduba Island, to establish airbases on the islands for the supply of the mainland campaign. The pipelines enable China to rely less on ocean-transported oil and gas through the treacherous Strait of Malacca and also cut two weeks off the transport time. A population was once present within a freshwater wetland on North Reef Island, but following the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami of 2004 the swamp dried up and the land became elevated, resulting in the disappearance of crocodiles from the island. The invasion force was led by three Joint Assault Commanders, Captain Bush RN, Major-General Cyril Lomax and Wing Commander H. Smith. A Japanese air raid on 11 February seriously damaged a destroyer with a near miss and forty small craft were sent by the Japanese from the mainland to rescue the survivors of the garrison. Ramree Island This island, off the coast of Myanmar (Burma), is famous for a gruesome incident that occurred during the Second World War. An army of 1000 Japanese soldiers was decimated by saltwater crocodiles during the Battle of Ramree Island of World War II. The following day, the 4th Indian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier J. F. R. Forman) landed, took over the beachhead and occupied Kyaukpyu and on 23 January, the 71st Infantry Brigade advanced southwards, down the west coast. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow canal-like strait, which is only 150 metres (490 ft) wide in average. Reconnaissance carried out on 14 January 1945, found that Japanese forces were placing artillery in caves overlooking the landing beaches on Ramree and the Royal Navy assigned the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, the escort carrier HMS Ameer, light cruiser HMS Phoebe, the destroyers Rapid, Napier, Norman and Pathfinder, with the sloops Flamingo and HMIS Kistna. Cheduba Island was not garrisoned and the 22nd East African Brigade was sent to hold Ramree Island. The island is separated from the mainland by a narrow canal-like strait, which is only 150 metres (490 ft) wide in average. Out of about a thousand soldiers only 20 soldiers survived the journey. The oil pipeline was completed in August 2014.  When the British outflanked a Japanese stronghold, the 900 defenders abandoned the base and marched to join a larger battalion of Japanese soldiers across the island. Soldiers fighting on Ramree Island in 1945 faced a more treacherous foe than any human enemy—the saltwater crocodile. As a result, the thousandth detachment was destroyed - eaten by hungry reptiles.The British did not spend a single bullet or shell. The Japanese force tried to cross about 16 miles inside these swamps to connect with the rest of the Japanese force on the island. Ramree island is an island off the coast of Rakhine State, Burma, which has an area of about 1,350 square kilometres (520 sq mi) and the main populated center is Ramree. On 21 January, an hour before the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade (Brigadier R. C. Cotterell-Hill) was to land, Queen Elizabeth opened fire with 69 rounds of 15 in (380 mm)-shell from the main battery, the fall of shot being watched by aircraft from Ameer. Improved in 24 Hours. “Only a handful came out alive.”. The island is also known by Yangbye or Yanbye Island. , The assault troops were slightly delayed when a motor launch and a landing craft struck mines but landed unopposed on the beaches west of Kyaukpyu at 9:42 a.m., securing the beachhead by the afternoon. The pipeline transport fees are a source of revenue for the Burmese government, on top of the sale of the gas. At the close of the battle, Japanese soldiers were forced into the marshes surrounding the island, and saltwater crocodiles are claimed to have eaten 400 (or 980 of them, as only 20 survived according to one account) — in what the Guinness World Records has listed as "The Greatest Disaster Suffered [by humans] from Animals". Added in 24 Hours. The Guinness Book of World Records has variously listed it as the "Worst crocodile disaster in the world" and the "Most Number of Fatalities in a Crocodile Attack" and "The Greatest Disaster Suffered [by humans] from Animals". From a deep water port on Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State and from Ramree Island, oil from the Middle East and gas from Myanmar's ocean coast is transported through the pipelines to China. It resulted in …  The Myanmar section of the gas pipeline was completed on 12 June 2013 and gas started to flow to China on 21 October 2013. , The battle started with Operation Matador, an amphibious assault to capture the strategic port of Kyaukpyu at the north end of Ramree Island and the airfield near the port, south of Akyab across Hunter's Bay. The area of the island is about 1,350 square kilometres (520 sq mi) and the main populated center is Ramree.In the Burmese language it is known as Yanbye Island. The exact number of men killed by crocodiles remains a mystery. Ramree Island (Yangbye Kywan) lies off the Burma coast, 110 km (70 mi) south of Akyab (now Sittwe). In 1965, the British official historian Stanley Woodburn Kirby wrote that the Japanese defence of the island and the escape of about 500 men against "fearful odds", had been courageous and determined. There is a bridge over the strait connecting the island with the continental shore. That night [of the 19 February 1945] was the most horrible that any member of the M. L. [motor launch] crews ever experienced. At the time, British forces needed an airbase in the area of Ramree Island in order to launch more attacks against the Japanese. Just better. Salt-water crocodiles, some of them well over 20 ft in length frequented these waters. Ramree island is the largest island in the entire Rakhine Coast and in Myanmar.  McLynn wrote, Most of all, there is a single zoological problem. , The British official history (War against Japan volume IV, The Reconquest of Burma, 1965 ) referred only to "crocodile-infested mangrove swamps".. There have been reports of Japanese soldiers being eaten by saltwater crocodiles living in the inland mangrove swamps; the Guinness Book of World Records has listed it as "worst crocodile disaster in the world" and "most number of fatalities in a crocodile attack" but scientists and historians have dismissed this as implausible. The Japanese force tried to cross about 16 miles inside these swamps to connect with the rest of the Japanese force on the island. 1998). Battle of Ramree Island - Wikipedia If this is what you are referring to, then serious questions exist to the inflation of numbers at the least. It had been vital to complete the occupation of Ramree Island quickly, as Operation Dracula against Rangoon needed to commence in the first week of May at the latest, to have a chance of finishing before the monsoon. The Battle of Ramree Island (also Operation Matador) was fought in January and February 1945, during the Second World War, as part of the XV Indian Corps offensive on the Southern Front in the Burma campaign. In the Burmese language it is known as Yanbye Island. Ramree Island. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth.  The experience in co-operation between the 26th Indian Division and the navy in the war of chaungs and small ports along the Arakan coast was intended to be exploited in the attack.  Construction began in 2011. The 4th Brigade was to keep the defenders at Yanbauk Chaung under pressure and follow up vigorously should they retire. The Guinness Book of World Records listed this as the largest crocodile attack in history, according to Wikipedia. In his memoir, An Odyssey in War and Peace, Lieutenant-General J.F.R. The area of the island is about 1,350 square kilometres (520 sq mi) and the main populated center is Ramree. , The large number of ships was intended to provide more firepower in support of the landing force. Resistance at the chaung from the troops of the II Battalion, 121st Regiment increased and on 31 January, the 71st Brigade was ordered to move inland, north-east towards Sane, then head south towards Ramree town. , These figures have been disputed by other historians, who call the event an urban myth. , View of Thun Site River from Ramree Island, Burmese junta profits from Chinese pipeline - Telegraph, "Kyaukpyu to Kunming pipeline construction officially commenced", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ramree_Island&oldid=987667462, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Burmese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 November 2020, at 14:38. There is a bridge over the strait connecting the island with the continental shore. Ramree’s mangrove swamps are populated saltwater crocodiles that reach a maximum length of more than 6 meters and weigh more than a ton. June 19, 2020. The British Burma Star Association seems to lend credence to the swamp attack stories but appears to draw a distinction between the 20 Japanese survivors of one attack and the 900 Japanese who were left to fend for themselves in the swamp. Siamese crocodiles have historically been captured for skins and to stock commercial crocodile farms. Ramree Island is a relatively small island located off the coast of Burma (now Myanmar). Trapped in deep mud-filled land, tropical diseases soon started to afflict the soldiers, as did scorpions, tropical mosquitoes and saltwater crocodiles. Demographics. If 'thousands of crocodiles' were involved in the massacre, as in the urban (jungle) myth, how had these ravening monsters survived before and how were they to survive later? On 21 January, an hour before th… The Nile crocodile and, unfortunately for the Japanese soldiers on Ramree, the saltwater crocodile is the species most known to prey upon people. The highest point is Zikha Taung, a 984 feet (300 m) high mountain located near the western shore in the southern part of the island. Of the 1,000 troops who entered the swamp on Ramree Island, only a reported 480 survived. Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre Early 1945, Ramree island is currently under control by the Imperial Japanese Army, but not for long. Ramree Island (Yangbye Kywan) lies off the Burma coast and in 1942 the rapidly advancing Imperial Japanese Army captured the island along with the rest of Southern Burma. Jacob recounted his experiences during the battle, Over a 1000 soldiers of the Japanese garrison retreated into the crocodile-infested mangrove swamps. In 1945, following fighting between British and … We went in with boats and interpreters using loudhailers asking them to come out. The island had been captured by the Imperial Japanese Army in early 1942, along with the rest of Southern Burma. Ramree Island (Burmese: ရမ်းဗြဲကျွန်း; also spelled Ramri Island) is an island off the coast of Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma). World War II was nearing its end. , Ramree Island is also the location of a gas pipeline system that transports oil and gas from the Indian Ocean coast to the province of Yunnan in China. Saltwater crocodiles were still common in the Ramree Island region up and into the 1960s, but the region no longer supports a viable population of crocodiles, likely due to hide-hunting, and by the early 1980s evidence suggested only scattered individuals remained. Battle of Ramree Island Phoebe also joined the bombardment, along with Consolidated B-24 Liberators, North American B-25 Mitchells and Republic P-47 Thunderbolts of 224 Group Royal Air Force (RAF), under the command of HQ RAF Bengal and Burma, that strafed and bombed the beaches. However, death toll estimates vary. , In 1965, the British official historian Stanley Woodburn Kirby wrote that the Japanese defence of the island and the escape of about 500 men against "fearful odds", had been courageous and determined.  There are mud volcanoes present on the island. English Articles. Ramree’s mangrove swamps are populated saltwater crocodiles that reach a maximum length of more than 6 meters and weigh more than a ton. Unfortunately for the Imperial Japanese Army, the mangrove swamps of Ramree Island are home to an unknown amount of the largest reptilian predator in the world, the saltwater crocodile. Japanese resistance on the island ended on 17 February and the Allied blockade was maintained until 22 February, sinking many of the rescue craft and inflicting many casualties on the Japanese troops hiding in the mangrove swamps; about 500 troops managed to get away. An estimate put naval gunfire support from 4 January to 13 March for the land operations at Akyab, Ramree and Cheduba at 23,000 shells. Wright gave a description in Wildlife Sketches Near and Far (1962), quoted by Frank McLynn. It had been vital to complete the occupation of Ramree Island quickly, as Operation Draculaagainst Rangoon needed to commence in the first week of May at the latest, to have a chance of finishing before the mo… Quite the same Wikipedia. On Ramree, the Japanese garrison put up tenacious resistance but on 1 February, the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade reached Sane and parts of the 36th Indian Infantry Brigade, from reserve, took Sagu Kuyun Island and relieved the marines on Cheduba Island. , On 7 February, the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade and supporting tanks reached the town of Ramree and found determined Japanese resistance. The battle started with Operation Matador, an amphibious assault to capture the strategic port of Kyaukpyu – located at the northern tip of Ramree Island, south of Akyab across Hunter's Bay – and the key airfield near the port. Ramree Island (Burmese: ရမ်းဗြဲကျွန်း; also spelled Ramri Island) is an island off the coast of Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma). The Setup of Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre. 500 ft. off the coast of Myanmar (formerly Burma), and across the Bay of Bengal from the Indian sub-continent, there lies the island of Ramree, about a third the size of New York’s Long Island. However, the veracity of this story has been disputed and the facts suggest that, while a small number of Japanese soldiers were likely killed by crocodiles (the only verifiable mention is of 10-15 men killed by crocodiles while crossing Min Chaung creek near Ramree town), the vast majority likely died due to a variety of other reasons including dehydration, drowning, British gun-fire, dysentery, and perhaps even a small number to sharks as well (Platt et al. Ramree Island, Myanmar Where hungry man-eating crocodiles, malaria carrying mosquitoes, and stinging scorpions get together for meals The swamps on Ramree Island (photograph by Robert Appleton ) Thirty-two years before a woman managed to shoo … Reconnaissance carried out on 14 January 1945 disclosed Japanese forces busily placing guns to sweep the landing beaches on Ramree, so the Royal Navy assigned a battleship and an escort carrierto provide heavy naval support to the task force. The navy also carried 54,000 men, 1,000 vehicles, 14,000 long tons (14,000 t) of stores and 800 animals.. A strategic battle for control of the isle, located just north of Rangoon, Burma, resulted in crocodile attacks on Japanese troops in a mangrove swamp. Not a single one did. British survivors of the battle estimated … The route took the Japanese through 16 km (9.9 mi) of mangrove swamp and as they struggled through it, the British encircled the area.  A plan was ready by 2 January, when it was clear that the advance of the Fourteenth Army (Lieutenant-General William Slim) would soon pass beyond the range of its airbases at Imphal and Agartala; replacements at Chittagong, Akyab and Ramree would be needed. Ramree Island (Burmese: ရမ်းဗြဲကျွန်း; also spelt Yangbye Island or Yanbye Island) is an island off the coast of Rakhine State, Burma.The area of the island is about 1,350 square kilometres (520 sq mi) and the main populated center is Ramree.. Geography. The 4th Indian Infantry Brigade had advanced to Ledaung Chaung and then moved east to reinforce the attack; the town fell on 9 February. Recent. The Japanese Imperial Army had invaded the Ramree Island in Burma located off the Bay of Bengal in 1942. The reptiles can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh 2,000 pounds, but even a midsize saltwater crocodile could easily kill a full-grown adult human, with many being known to eat animals as vast as Indian … During World War II the Battle of Ramree Island was fought during January and February 1945, as part of the British 14th Army 1944/45 offensive on the Southern Front of the Burma Campaign.  The Japanese garrison of Ramree consisted of the II Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment (Colonel Kanichi Nagazawa), part of the 54th Division, with artillery and engineer detachments to act as an independent force. Saltwater crocodiles were still common in the Ramree Island region up and into the 1960s, but the region no longer supports a viable population of crocodiles, likely due to hide-hunting, and by the early 1980s evidence suggested only scattered individuals remained. Out of about a thousand soldiers only 20 soldiers survived the journey. The ecosystem of a mangrove swamp, with an exiguous mammal life, simply would not have permitted the existence of so many saurians before the coming of the Japanese (animals are not exempt from the laws of overpopulation and starvation). Live Statistics. Ramree island is the largest island in the entire Rakhine Coast and in Myanmar.  It took until 16 April for the airfield to be used for transport sorties, Akyab having come into use on 1 April. Languages.