This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: JFU 144).


Part 1: Jeeps with trailers cross a Bailey bridge. A sign reads 'Speeders beware! Mark my words / Wait and see / You'll get caught / Just like me' and gives the speed limit as 25mph next to an image of a naked woman covering herself with a towel. Motor vehicles drive up a steep slope with a tented camp in the distance. Jeep drive along a hillside road; the slope has been revetted with logs and stakes to prevent slippage. Jeeps on a wide road with trees either side. Shot of a very long bridge, apparently still under construction, with a pontoon bridge alongside. Motor transport cross the pontoon bridge. A jeep, towing a trailer, turns off the road and crosses rutted ground. Tents can be seen in background. A second jeep follows; it is marked with the insignia of 36th Division (two overlapping rings) and has 'Military Police' written on the bumper. Two officers talking; one appears to be wearing overalls and the other, sitting in a jeep, has a 36th Division patch on his hat but appears to be wearing RAF wings on his shirt. Further he wears a non-RAF rank badge on his epaulette which appears to be a crown or coat of arms. The man in overalls salutes him. Jeeps leave camp followed by various views of jeeps on dusty hillside roads. Shots of two roadsigns which both feature pictures of women; the first reads 'Go Easy On The Curves' and the second 'I Love My Soldier - Drive Carefully. Speed limit 25mph'. Jeeps are loaded onto rafts. A jeep is reversed onto a raft. A log is tied across the barge to keep the jeep in position. A trailer is loaded aboard.

Part 2: Abandoned wooden carts, possibly Japanese artillery limbers. Men advancing through the abandoned village of Pinbaw; their posture is heavily stooped as if expecting action. One checks underneath a house built on stilts while two others go to check a ramshackle shelter or bunker. Men advance cautiously beneath a building. An Ordnance 3.7-inch Mountain Howitzer is manhandled into a firing position in thick undergrowth at Pinlon. Series of good views of the howitzer being loaded and fired. Panning view of Pinbaw with shattered trees and damaged buildings. Second view of Pinbaw; a dog wanders around in the middle distance. Soldiers board an assault boat to cross a river. One man in British uniform appears to have an American M1 Garand rifle, rarely seen in use by British troops and usually only in Commando units. The boat is hauled across and men step ashore. Men file along a track. A battalion conference hosted by an unnamed Lieutenant-Colonel; one of the officers attending has a 29th Brigade patch on his bush hat. View of the colonel's map. A jeep crosses the river seen earlier. The jeep gets bogged down; a British brigadier and an American soldier stand on the bonnet of the jeep along with a small black dog. The brigadier wades across the river. The jeep is hauled out. A large American howitzer (M114 155mm?) crewed by Chinese gunners, is loaded and fired several times. American trucks tow 3.7-inch howitzers along a muddy road. Close-up of truck wheels squelching through mud. Column of jeeps. The jeeps negotiate rutted roads.

A convoy of jeeps sets out to resupply 36th Division at Mogaung via the Ledo Road before the village of Pinbaw is shelled and cleared by British troops.


While this film is a single reel, it appears to have been shot in two sections and is documented on two different dopesheets, hence the division above.

36th Division's advance southwards through Northern Burma formed the right flank of a combined Allied offensive comprising 36th Division, Chinese Sixth Army, Chinese First Army, and the American Mars Task Force. The Division advanced from Mogaung in August 1944 to Kyaukme before being transferred to 14th Army on 1 April 1945.

The footage of the village being cleared is probably staged. Even so, the movement of the men is fairly well directed and the footage is probably still valuable as a record of the location. Geoffry Foster (the division's Assistant Director of Medical Services), writing the history of 36th Division in Northern Burma (a copy of which is held by the Museum's Department of Printed Books), describes Pinbaw as 'really only a collection of wooden houses on stilits, situated in a sea of mud, slime, filth and smells'.



  • 36TH DIVISION OPERATIONS BEFORE PINBAW (18/8/1944) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
11 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
933 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
War Office Directorate of Public Relations
Govan, H W (Sergeant)
Park, Roland (Sergeant)
Production company
SEAC Film Unit



Production Organisations