Kawkareik, Burma: When war broke out in the Far East, the British were certain that, regardless of Japanese intentions regarding Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, they would not invade Burma. On the 16th of December, 1941, the Japanese occupied Victoria Point and its airfield on the extreme southern tip of Burma on the Kra Isthmus and began moving north, quickly grabbing the airfields at Tavoy and Mergui by the 9th of January, 1942; all of this without resistance from the Commonwealth Frontier Forces. Further south, Commonwealth forces were reeling from the Japanese onslaught of Malaya and the British Commander in Chief, General Wavell was convinced that the Japanese forces operating in Burma were but mere detachments. On the 10th of January, the bulk of the Japanese 55th Division crossed into Burma from Raheng, Thailand and on the 20th arrived near Kawkareik, Burma, where the Commonwealth 16th Indian Brigade was guarding the exits from the Dawna Hills which separated Burma from Thailand. Immediately the Japanese began skirmishing and infiltrating through the jungle; moving to encircle the lone Indian Brigade. On the 22nd a "larger scale" Japanese attack developed.