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Burma Star

World War II.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
The Burma Star was a British Commonwealth campaign medal presented for service during World War II. The medal was instituted in 1945 and was awarded for service in the Burma Campaign between 11 December 1941 and 2 September 1945.
This medal was also awarded for certain specified service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra between the following dates: Hong Kong - between 26 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, China and Malaya - between 16 February 1942 and 2 September 1945, Sumatra - between 24 March 1942 and 2 September 1945.
Second World War service in China, Hong Kong, Malaya and Sumatra after 8 December 1941 but prior to the above start dates was recognised by the award of the Pacific Star.
Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel qualified through service in an area restricted to the Bay of Bengal, and enclosed by a line running from the southern-most point of Ceylon for a distance of 300 miles south, then to a point 300 miles west of the southern-most point of Sumatra, and continuing east to the western side of the Sunda Strait, including the Strait of Malacca.
The six months service for the 1939-1945 Star had to be awarded, before service could count towards the Burma Star.
Army personnel qualified through service in any part of Burma. Service in the Indian provinces of Bengal and Assam in the period 1 May 1942 to 2 September 1945 also qualified.
Air force aircrew had to make one operational sortie within the designated area. Air Force ground crew had the same restrictions as the Army.
The star was immediately awarded if the service period was terminated by death, disability or wounding.
The medal is of a six–pointed star design and was struck in yellow copper zinc alloy, with a height of 44mm and a maximum width of 38mm.
The obverse of this medal has a central design of the Royal Cypher of King George VI, surmounted by a crown. The cypher is surrounded by a circlet containing the inscription; ‘THE BURMA STAR’.
The reverse is plain, with the recipient's name impressed only on the medals issued to Australian and South African forces. The ribbon is attached to the medal by a ring that passes through the uppermost point of the star.
The ribbon is 32mm wide and consists of a number of vertical stripes. The narrow dark blue stripes represent British forces, the red stripe Commonwealth forces, and the bright orange stripes represent the sun.
The ribbon for this medal, along with those of the other Second World War campaign stars, is reputed to have been designed by King George VI.
British uniform regulations stipulated that the Pacific Star would not be awarded to a prior recipient of the Burma Star. Subsequent entitlement to the Pacific Star was denoted by the award of the Pacific bar.
When the ribbon is worn alone a silver rosette ribbon emblem is worn to denote those who subsequently qualified for the Pacific Star
To wear the Burma Star or the Burma Star bar on the Pacific Star also enables the wearer to join the Burma Star Association.
Further relevant historical context can be found at the foot of this entry.
Dealer Retail Value *
Burma Star
With Pacific bar
* It should be noted that the values quoted above reflect the average price that a medal dealer may expect to sell this medal for - please see the ‘things you should know’ web page for more details about valuing medals.
Further Historical Context
This section contains information on:-
- The Burma Campaign.
- The Pacific Campaign.
The Burma Campaign - The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was fought primarily between British Commonwealth including Canadians, Chinese and elements of the United States forces against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Commonwealth land forces were drawn primarily from British India along with some 100,000 African colonial troops. The Burmese Independence Army was trained by the Japanese and spearheaded the initial attacks against the British forces.
The campaign had a number of notable features. The geographical characteristics of the region meant that factors like weather, disease and terrain had a major effect on operations. The lack of transport infrastructure placed an emphasis on military engineering and air transport to move and supply troops, and evacuate wounded. The campaign was also politically complex, with the British, the United States and the Chinese all having different strategic priorities.
It was also the only land campaign by the Western Allies in the Pacific Theatre which proceeded continuously from the start of hostilities to the end of the war. This was due to its geographical location. By extending from Southeast Asia to India, its area included some lands which the British lost at the outset of the war, but also included the areas of India where the Japanese advances were eventually stopped.
The climate of the region is dominated by the seasonal monsoon rains, which allowed effective campaigning for only just over half of each year. This, together with other factors such as famine and disorder in British India and the priority given by the Allies to the defeat of Nazi Germany, prolonged the campaign and divided it into four phases: the Japanese invasion which led to the expulsion of British, Indian and Chinese forces in 1942; failed attempts by the Allies to mount offensives into Burma, from late 1942 to early 1944; the 1944 Japanese invasion of India which ultimately failed following the battles of Imphal and Kohima; and, finally, the successful Allied offensive which reoccupied Burma from late-1944 to mid-1945.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.
The Pacific Campaign - The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War, was the theatre of World War II which was fought in the Pacific and East Asia. It was fought over a vast area which included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, the South-East Asia, and in China (including the 1945 Soviet-Japanese conflict).
It is generally considered that the Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941, on which dates the Empire of Japan invaded Thailand, attacked British possessions in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and the United States military base in Pearl Harbour. Some Historians contend that the conflict in Asia can be dated back to 7 July 1937 with the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War between the Empire of Japan and the Republic of China, or possibly 19 September 1931, beginning with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
However, it is more widely accepted that the Pacific War itself started in early December 1941, with the Sino-Japanese War then becoming part of it as a theatre of the greater World War II.
The Pacific War saw the Allied powers pitted against the Empire of Japan, the latter briefly aided by Thailand and to a much lesser extent by its Axis allies, Germany and Italy. The war culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and other large aerial bombing attacks by the United States Army Air Forces, accompanied by the Soviet invasion of Manchuria on 8 August 1945, resulting in the Japanese announcement of intent to surrender on 15 August 1945. The formal and official surrender of Japan took place aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.
This information was taken from ‘Wikipedia’. The original article and details of the authors can be found here. It is reproduced on this web-site under the ‘creative commons’ licence which can be found here.