Honda, Lieutenant General Masaki, 1889-1964

Honda was the Commander of the Japanese Thirty-third Army in Burma and one of the most able Army Commanders of the Burma Campaign. Honda’s Army fought in the long battle of retreat following the failure of the Kohima and Imphal offensives in 1944. He had orders to hold a line from Lashio to Mandalay in January 1945 but his troops fought as far north as Mogaung and Myitkyina and held up the combined US and Chinese troops trying to open the Burma Road. In mid-February 1945 General SLIM’s 14th Army made a brilliant maneuver which threatened to cut off Honda’s forces and take Meiktila. The Japanese Commander Kimura put Honda in charge of operations outside Meiktila and Honda nearly cut off the British troops who had broken through to the city. The British had superior resources and Honda was forced to fight a long and bitter retreat through southern Burma.

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