Two of the main 'secret war' elements of the Far East campaign were Force 136 of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Long-Range Penetration Groups, better-known as the Chindits.


There was also an RAF 'special duties' squadron operating Lysanders and other aircraft; and vven less well known clandestine  elements of the 'forgotten war' are Z Force and V Force.


Force 136 was the general cover name for a branch of the British World War II organisation, the Special Operations Executive (SOE).


The organisation was established to encourage and supply resistance movements in enemy-occupied territory, and occasionally mount clandestine sabotage operations. Force 136 operated in the regions of the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II which were occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945. Although the top command of Force 136 consisted of British officers and civilians, most of those it trained and employed as agents were indigenous to the regions in which they operated.


British, Americans or other Europeans could not operate clandestinely in cities or populated areas in Asia, but once the resistance movements engaged in open rebellion, Allied armed forces personnel who knew the local languages and peoples became invaluable for liaison with conventional forces.


The Chindits were special operations units of the British and Indian armies which saw action in 1943–1944, during the Burma campaign of the Second World War.


The creation of Brigadier Orde Charles Wingate, the Chindits were formed for raiding operations against the Japanese Army, especially in long-range penetration operations, deep behind Japanese lines, attacking Japanese troops, facilities and lines of communication.


Their operations were marked by prolonged marches through extremely difficult terrain, by underfed troops often weakened by diseases such as malaria and dysentery. There is controversy over the extremely high casualty rate and the debatable military value of the achievements of the Chindits.