The Chindits were a covert operations unit formed in 1942 to conduct guerrilla-style attacks on targets within Japanese-occupied Burma. Formed from British and Indian troops, the Chindits were led by Brigadier Orde Wingate who was an expert in unconventional warfare tactics. The Chindits began their first deployment under Operation Longcloth in February 1943 during which 3,000 troops were tasked with entering Burma and launching raids against railways and other key infrastructure that was being used by the Japanese. Behind enemy lines the Chindits relied on mules to carry heavy equipment that could not be carried on the men’s backs and a small RAF force to resupply them via airdrops. The Chindits suffered high casualty rates and often had to leave injured men behind due to the treacherous terrain in which they operated. This led to many within the British military hierarchy in India questioning the usefulness of the Chindits; however, Wingate’s combat tactics contined to impress Winston Churchill.
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