Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Great Victory (5)

Maing-yang Battle(Young Major Tin Aung Myint Oo was awarded the Thiha-Thura medal)

Frontline IB-14 (Kha-la-ya 14)

As soon as the news of Maing-yang battle reached the TOC-881 in Maing-khat and then LID-88 in Kengtung other army units in the area were put into action to support and reinforce the IB-11 inside Maing-yang Town.

Expecting that action CPB also sent out a large force to the Maing-lway area to intercept the army reinforcements and stop them there. Followings are the actions and engagements with the enemy of other army units sent into the Maing-lway and Maing-yang.

September 23

LID-88 CO Brigadier Thein Han had immediately sent three rifle companies of IB-14 kept as the reserve at Kengtung to Maing-yang that day once the news of the Maing-yang Battle reached him.

Battalion CO Lt. Colonel Aung Kyi and his three companies left Kengtung on midday and reached Maing-khat on the midday of September 24. He left one of his companies at Maing-khat as the reserve for TOC-881 and continued onto Maing-yang with two companies as the First Column of IB-14.

September 25

The IB-14’s First Column and its two companies marched the whole night of September 24 and reached Maing-lway at about midday of September 25. They engaged with about 100 strong CPB forces waiting for them at the Maing-lway Monastery.

The battle lasted for the rest of the day while the enemy there was multiplying by the new arrivals. By evening the enemy strength had reached to more than 400 and the IB-14 First Column had to tactically withdraw in the darkness as their casualties were alarmingly increasing.

September 26

In the morning of September 26 the IB-14’s First Column continued onto Main-yang as planned and reached the Village of Yang-khaing at 10 in the morning. The Column continued onto the Yin-kwe Mountain.

Meanwhile the IB-14’s Second Column was marching to engage the CPB forces at Maing-laway in September 27.

At there in the afternoon the First Column engaged with about 200 strong CPB forces waiting for them. The battle ensued but the casualties were low and the enemy finally withdrew towards east at about 6:30 in the evening.

September 28

In the morning of September 28 the IB-14’s First Column marched back to Main-lway to meet up with the IB-14’s Second Column clearing the CPB forces at Maing-lway.

The road to Maing-yang was wide open for the army reinforcements as the CPB blockages had been removed by the IB-14 Frist Column led by Lt. Col. Aung Kyi.
TOC-881 (Na-ba-ha 881)

September 25

TOC-881 Commander Colonel Ye Myint had to wait for the arrival of First Column and Second Column of IB-14 coming from Kengtung.

IB-14’s Second Column with two companies led by DCO Major Aung Myo Lwin left Kengtung on the midday of September 25 and reached Maing-khat on September 26. TOC-881 there and IB-14’s Second Column then started heading towards Maing-laway the same day.

September 27

TOC-881 and IB-14’s Second Column reached Maing-lway on midday September 27 and engaged with the enemy waiting there. About 150 strong CPB forces attacked them at the Maing-lway Monastery but later withdrew after a heavy battle involving hand-to-hand combats resulting heavy casualties on both sides.

September 28

In the morning of September 28 TOC-881 and IB-14’s Second Column met up with IB-14’s First Column in Maing-lway and they continued towards Maing-yang. At 3 in the afternoon the whole column reached Pharpun-phayar Hill near Maing-yang and engaged with some CPB forces there.

Captain Kyaw Zeya’s Company left in Maing-kaht also left there that night and by September 29 night our TOC-881 and the whole IB-14 were ready to reinforce the Maing-yang Garrison.

September 30

The whole column of TOC-881 and IB-14 left for Maing-yang early that morning and reached there at around 9 in the morning. They immediately cleared the La-min and Yan-shin hills used by the enemy as the bases in attacking our Aung-da-ghun Hill.

Our columns finally reached Aung-da-ghun Hill that afternoon. Various skirmishes some large and some small were still occurring around town as our columns continued on to clear the enemy remnants still in the town and the surrounds.

And more than 20 enemy combatants were killed when our columns recaptured the Aung-myay Hill that evening.
Frontline Sixth Burma Rifles Battalion (Tha-na-ka 6)

September 23

TOC-881 Commander Colonel Ye Myint had immediately sent four rifle platoons of Sixth Burma Rifles’ First Column led by the battalion CO Lt. Col. San Thein kept as the reserve at Maing-khat to Maing-yang that day once the news of the Maing-yang Battle reached him.

Frontline Sixth Burma Rifles’ First Column and its four platoons left Maing-khat on the midday that day.

September 24

The Column engaged with some enemy forces and reached Maing-laway the morning of September 24. They merged with some units form IB-11’s First Company at Maing-lway and continued on towards Maing-yang. At around 1 in the afternoon 200 strong enemy attacked our column and after the ensuing battle our forces withdrew back to Maing-lway to re-gather the troops.

September 25

As the Column left Main-lway again and trying to march towards Maing-yang the strong enemy forces waiting at Maing-lway Pha-yar Hill attacked again. The battle lasted the whole day and our column was unable to forward as they were held up in Maing-lway.

September 26

On September 26 our Sixth Burma Rifles’ First Column merged with the IB-11’s First Company at Maing-lway and continued onto Maing-yang. On the way our Column was engaged by 150 strong enemy but they were repelled.

September 27

On September 27, with the heavy-weapon support our column attacked the nearby range occupied by more than 200 strong enemy forces. The enemy finally withdrew towards north.

September 28-29

Our Sixth Burma Column chased the withdrawing enemy and forced most of them to withdraw farther towards east. Our Column occupied the strategic hills around Maing-lway and provided heavy-weapon fire support to the TOC-881 and Frontline IB-14 during the last few days of the Maing-yang Battle.

The Second Battle of Maing-yang was truly over by September 30 as all enemy forces were cleared not just from the Maing-yang Town but also from its surrounds.
Conclusion of the Second Battle of Maing-yang

We had lost 4 officers and 46 other ranks in the main Battle alone. Nine officers and 111 other ranks were wounded. 202 bodies were left by the CPB and according to the radio intercepts and local intelligence at least a thousand were wounded on the enemy side.

As soon as the battle was over LID-88 Commander Brigadier Thein Han traveled to Maing-yang by helicopter and met all the army men there for encouraging congratulations. He also met up with the town folks and thanked them for their help during the siege.

After that he brought Major Tin Aung Myint Oo and other seriously wounded back with him to Kengtung for preliminary medical treatment and then sent the severely wounded to the General Military Hospital at Mingaladon in Rangoon.

The whole IB-11 from Maing-yang was later brought back to Kengtung for a well deserved R&R while the Frontline Sixth Burma Rifles Battalion took on the garrison duty at maing-yang.

The Second Maing-yang Battle was the last major battle of Burmese Communist Party on  Burmese soil. Having huge casualties especially among the majority Wa ranks-and-files from their armed-units the ethnic Wa leaders finally rebelled against the ethnic Burmese leadership of CPB in early 1989.

The Wa captured Pang-sang the CPB HQ in April 1989 and immediately asked our Army for a ceasefire agreement. The spectacular and sudden implosion of CPB after more than 40 years long armed-rebellion in 1989 April was basically the direct result of Second Maing-yang Battle in 1988 September.

The Second Battle of Maing-yang was a strategic turning point in the unfortunate history of long-running Civil War in Burma.

Official Summary for decorating Tin Aung Myint Oo
Despite his serious wounds Major Tin Aung Myint Oo had led his battalion into the battle of Maing-yang occurred from 23-09-1988 to 29-09-1988 when his battalion commander was killed on 23-09-1988.

Being an exemplary commander he had repelled almost countless times the overwhelming CPB bayonet-charges conducted repeatedly with enemy’s massive manpower and heavy-weapon support.

Whenever the air-support arrived he also correctly guided our airforce planes to the precise locations of CPB heavy-weapon crew and thus produced heavy damages on the enemy side and finally turned the battle to our favor.

In addition he had bravely led the battalion during the whole duration of the battle, constantly encouraged the warring men, continuously communicated with the Commands and reported the battle situations, and actively searched the enemy targets for the aerial attacks, all while enemy heavy-weapon shells were falling and exploding all around him and his men.

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