During World War II, Burma became a major front in the Southeast Asian. After the initial success of the Japanese in the Burma Campaign, the British were repulsed from the most of Burma territory, the Allies counterattacked. To July 1945 they had retaken the whole country. Burmese fought for both sides in the war. They fought in the British Army in Burma from 1941 to 1942.
In 1943, Chin Levies and Kachin Levies were formed in the border districts of Burma and still under British control. The Burma armies fought as part of the Chindit under General Orde Wingate from 1943 to 1945. In the later stages of the war, the Americans created commando team Kachin-United States also fought for the Allies. Many other Burmese fought for the British SOE. The Burma Army was independent under the command of Aung San and the Arakan National Army fought for the Japanese from 1942-1944, but rose up against the Japanese in 1945.