In the Far East, May 1 1945 saw the launching of Operation Dracula, a British attempt to recapture Rangoon. In one skirmish, where thirty Japanese resisted a Gurkha parachute unit, only a single wounded Japanese soldier survived. But the Japanese had decided not to fight in Rangoon itself; a British pilot, flying over the city that morning, saw written in large letters above the Royal Air force prisoner-of-war camp the words: ‘Japs gone. Exdigitate.’ The British forces did indeed ‘pull their finger out’, and within seventy-two hours Rangoon was liberated.