0800 Hours, 9 December 1942, Chittagong, India – For General William Slim, commander of the XV Corps things had certainly changed since May. Then he and everyone else welcomed the onset of the monsoons as they covered the ignominious Allied retreat from Burma and saved thousands of soldiers and civilians. Now, Slim could not wait for the monsoons to end. Not only did the rains keep Allied aircraft on the ground, they made the 14th Indian Division’s advance down the Arakan coast that much more difficult. Still, the news was not all negative. The East African and Indian troops holding Akyab were dug in and had easily rebuffed the initial Japanese probes, the assault on Ramree Island was going forward, and when the weather was good, Allied aircraft owned the skies over the Arakan. The biggest concern was the 14th Indian Division’s overland advance toward Ramree Island. The Japanese were holding fortified positions and the Indian troops had encountered something that would plague Allied troops throughout the Pacific and South East Asia for the rest of the war, the coconut log bunker. So well-constructed were these fortifications that the defending Japanese troops had already displayed a willingness to call in artillery strikes against attacking Allied troops on top of the bunkers. Obviously new tactics would be necessary to dislodge the dug in Japanese. Slim also had his staff drawing up contingency plans to send the 6th Infantry Brigade, XV Corps’ reserve formation for a landing on the coast near Ramree Island as soon as the shipping became available. Slim was not quite ready to release his Corps reserve but intelligence indicated that the troops opposing the garrison Akyab were no more than a single division and he was starting to think that the garrison in place would be sufficient to defend the key objective.