GOC in Burma. The INA Chief Bose agreed with Japanese generals in regards to the following code of conduct by respective armies:
The two armies would work on a common strategy.
Officers and men of the INA would be under their own military
law and not under that of Japan.
Liberated territories were to be handed over to the INA.
A definite independent sector would be allotted to the INA.
The only flag to fly over the Indian soil would be National
No indiscriminate bombing was to be carried out in Calcutta.
Any Japanese or Indian soldiers found looting and raping was to
be shot at once.
The first success of INA was recorded in Arakan's Mayu Valley when Major L.S. Misra's unit quickly cut off the 7th Indian Division on 4th of February 1944. The foreign minister of Japan Sigimitsu congratulated Bose and his INA:
Your Excellency! Allow me to tender to your Excellency my heart-felt congratulations upon the splendid achievements of your gallant troops who have demonstrated their prowess in fighting shoulder to shoulder with Nippon forces.
The success stories continued in the Arakan and Kaladan sectors. Seatabin, Taung Bazar, Lanacot and Fort White were occupied in early March. The INA Gandhi Brigade, Subhas Brigade and Azad Brigade marched ahead towards the promised land - Free India.
Kohima fell to INA's Subhas Brigade on 8th April under the command of Col. Thakur Singh (2IC). Moirang fell to INA on 14th April, Col. S. Malik raised the Tri-color flag. The wonderful work done by Major Gen. Kiani's troops, and by Subhas Brigade under Shahnawaz Khan's command allowed INA to surround the British troops in Imphal for around three months.
The battle of Imphal turned out to be a protracted battle – for which INA's timing was too late in summer. Soon monsoon, not the British army, was to become their biggest adversary.
'With continuous pounding of the only connecting link between the INA Headquarters and the Advance forces' by British B29 bombers and nothing to combat them with it was getting tougher by the day. Worse still, INA did not have any aerial cover of their own - as most Japanese planes left the area to fight the Americans elsewhere. This inevitably meant that it was almost impossible to ensure continuity of supplies. Further, with the onset of monsoon, extensive rainfalls caused widespread flooding.