Burma Intelligence Corps
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The Burma Intelligence Corps was formed to provide liaison personnel, interpreters and guides with Eastern Army, that part of the Indian Army facing the Japanese in Burma.  Initially it was to operate on the Burma side of the Burma-Assam and the Burma-Bengal borders.  In September 1942 it was envisaged that the BIC would consist of a HQ and four platoons and was being raised by Lt Col Phipps (ex Burma Police). Each platoon was to have a CO and eight Liaison Officers with a British section (mostly Anglo-Burman) and an Indian section (Indians who spoke a Burmese language) and an indigenous section of Burmans, Karens and others. The large number of officers was allowed for so that they were available for detachment to formations and units throughout Eastern Army.  The corps began forming in October 1942 with the aim of being  ready for service by December 1942. 

Known sometimes as "Burint", by January 1943 the value of the Burma Intelligence Corps had been recognised by the GHQ Eastern Army and a request was received to form an additional two platoons, with the possibility of two further platoons being required shortly thereafter. Given the requirement that all personnel must be capable of speaking at least one other language (either English or Hindustani) in addition to their own Burmese tongue, the only source for personnel were the 5th Field Battery and the 1st Heavy Antiaircraft Battery of the Burma Auxiliary Force, then based at Mhow.

In May 1943, two additional platoons from Burma Auxiliary Force personnel were sanctioned making a total of 8 platoons. Further sanction was requested for the raising of two more platoons from BAF personnel and two Burma/Indian platoons found from Burmese speaking personnel of Burma Army.  By the summer of 1943, the BIC was under GHQ India Command, for allocation to units and missions.  Proposed war establishment changes were submitted to Eastern Army for approval on 8th July 1943 and to GHQ India by September 1943.

By October 1943, the Burma Intelligence Corps was organised with a Central HQ; 10 Platoons (BAF) and two Platoons (Burma/Indian personnel of the Burma Regiment).

The 5th Platoon, Burma Intelligence Corps served with the 81st West African Division in 1944 and 1945, organised into detachments to work with each brigade.

Members of the 4th Platoon, BIC, courtesy of the Anglo-Burmese Library web site..  Names of the men are available at the Anglo-Burmese Library web site on the War Against Japan page.

This group of BIC men served with the Chindits in 1944.  Courtesy of the Anglo-Burmese Library.

13 August 2014

 

Please e-mail Steve Rothwell with comments, additional information and requests for help

British & Commonwealth Orders of Battle Website