The Battle of Yenangyaung (Chinese: 仁安羌大捷, Great Victory at Yenangyaung) was fought in Burma, now Myanmar during the Burma Campaign in World War II. The battle of Yenaungyaung was fought in the vicinity of Yenangyaung and its oil fields.
The battle for the Yenangyaung oil fields started on 11th April and continued for a week. Japanese attacked 48th Indian Brigade at Kokkogwa at night in a storm. Next day 2nd RTR was in action near Magwe at Thadodan and Alebo. From 13th to the 17th of April 1942, the British fell back under attacks by the Japanese. On several occasions Japanese roadblocks split the British Burma Frontier Force, 1st Burma Division, 7th Armoured Brigade HQ and 2nd RTR into three forces. The situation became so critical that General Alexander asked Lieutenant General Joe Stilwell to move the Chinese 38th Division immediately into the Yenaungyaung area.
On April 16th, 1942, almost 7000 British soldiers, and 500 prisoners and civilians were encircled by an equal number of Japanese soldiers from the Japanese 33rd Division at Yenangyaung and its oil field in Burma. The 33rd Division had cut the Magwe road between Slim's two divisions, who were now about 50 miles apart. A rescue request came over the phone from Major General Scott (British) to General Sun Li Jen soon after the New 38th Division entered Burma from China.
General Sun requested to lead the entire New 38th Division to the rescue mission, but the Chinese Field Commander Gen. Lo Cho-ying refused. On April 17th General Sun instead led the 113th Regiment with only 1121 men for the rescue mission. Because the Chinese had none of their own artillery or tanks, Lt. Gen. Slim supported them with tanks and 25-pdr guns under Brigadier J. Anstice of the 7th Armoured Brigade. For the next three days the Chinese and British force attacked southwards.
Meanwhile, led by their commander Major General Scott, 1st Burma Division fought its way to and across the Pin Chaung river where they met with the relief column on April 19th. On the next day the Allied force attacked south toward Yenaungyaung and Pinchaung where the Japanese suffered heavy casualties. But the Allied forces were too weak to hold the oil fields and had to retreat to the north.
The rescue mission had been a success. King George VI rewarded Sun Li Jen with the BCE, and honored the Regiment Commander F.W. Liu and some other officers with medals.