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Jitra (Chinese: 日得拉) is a mukim in Kubang Pasu District, Kedah, Malaysia. It is the fourth-largest town in Kedah after Alor Setar, Sungai Petani and Kulim.



Jat clans


During World War II, when the Japanese attacked Malaya, Jitra was on the one of main lines of defence set up by the British. One of the fiercest battles during the British defence of Malaya were fought here.

The Battle of Jitra was fought between the invading Japanese and Allied forces during the Malayan Campaign of the Second World War, from 11–13 December 1941. The British defeat compelled Arthur Percival to order all Allied aircraft stationed in Malaya to withdraw to Singapore.

Allied defences at Jitra were not complete when the Pacific War broke out.[1] Barbed wire lines had been erected and some anti-tank mines laid but heavy rains had flooded the shallow trenches and gun pits. Many of the field telephone cables laid across the waterlogged ground also failed to work, resulting in a lack of communication during the battle.[2]

Two brigades of Major General David Murray-Lyon's 11th Indian Division held the front line. On the right was the 15th Indian Infantry Brigade, composed of 1st Battalion The Leicestershire Regiment, the 1st Bn 14th Punjab Regiment and the 2nd Bn 9th Jats; on the left was the 6th Indian Infantry Brigade, composed of the 2nd Bn East Surrey Regiment, the 1st Bn 8th and 2nd Bn 16th Punjab Regiments. Batteries from the 155th Field Regiment, the 22nd Mountain Regiment and the 80th Anti-tank Regiment provided the artillery support. The 28th Indian Infantry Brigade, consisting of three Gurkha battalions was placed in divisional reserve.[3]

The British front line was as long as 14 mi (23 km), stretching across both roads and a railway and far beyond on either side, from the jungle-clad hills on the right, via flooded rice fields and a rubber tree estate to a tidal mangrove swamp on the left.[4]

After Operation Matador—a forestalling attack into Thailand—was cancelled, the 11th Indian Division moved back to defensive positions around Jitra.[5] The Jitra position was still in an extremely poor condition on 8 December 1941 and Murray-Lyon needed time to complete the defences. Malaya Command came up with a secondary plan to delay the Japanese; three mini-Matadors (Krohcol, Laycol and an armoured train), that would hopefully keep the Japanese away from Jitra long enough for Murray-Lyon to get his defences in shape. Krohcol invaded Thailand from south-east of Jitra and was partially successful in delaying the Japanese but unsuccessful in its main objective.[6] The other two columns, Laycol and the armoured train operated from north of the Jitra position.

Jats in the Battle of Jitra

General Mohan Singh - The British force in the northern part of the Malaya Peninsula including Captain Mohan Singh's battalion, 1/14 Punjab Regiment, was fleeing towards the south. Mohan Singh's own forces had been outgunned and destroyed by superior Japanese forces at Jitra. Captured by Japanese troops after several days in the jungle, Singh was taken to Alor Star to Fujiwara and Pritam Singh at a joint office of the F-Kikan and the IIL. Fujiwara, later self-described as "Lawrence of the Indian National Army" (after Lawrence of Arabia) is said to have been a man committed to the values which his office was supposed to convey to the expatriate nationalist leaders, and found acceptance among them.[7][8]

Jat History

Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria)[9] writes .... When the Saka people moved still further in the far eastern countries, they founded a city named Vaisali[10] in Burma, which became the capital of Arakan, ruled over by the Hindu dynasty of

The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations: End of p.196

Dhanyawati from 8th century AD. to 11th century A.D., and which is now identified with Vaithali village, surrounded by monuments ancient Vaisali. It is further interesting to note that the ancient Kambuja[11] (modern Cambodia and Cochin-China, or Kampuchia Kambojia, Thailand-Dahiland?) and Ayuthya = Ayodhya, which was made capital by a chief of Utong, who assumed the title of Ramadhipat in 1350 A.D. in Siam (Thailand or Dahiland) are unmistakably reminicent of the migrations and settlements of the Sakas, Kambojas and probably Manvas (Manns) [12] also in those countries in olden times[13] (For ancient Indian Literature in Java and Bali islands, see Weber, 1914; 189 195, 208,229, 271, 280). Jitra or Jatra, a place name in the plains of Malaya, may well be attributed to the old Saka Jats (Mall or Malli from ancient Malloi) in that peninsula, probably known as Malaya after them.


  1. Smith, Colin (2006). Singapore Burning. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-101036-6. pp. 229–264
  2. Wigmore, Lionel (1957). "Chapter 8: Invasion of Malaya". Part II: South–East Asia Conquered. The Japanese Thrust. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 – Army. IV (online, 1st ed.). Canberra, ACT: Australian War Memorial. pp. 137–152. OCLC 464084033. RCDIG1070203.pp. 137–152
  3. Wigmore, 1957, pp. 137–152
  4. Wigmore, 1957, pp. 137–152
  5. Wigmore, 1957, pp. 137–152
  6. Wigmore, 1957, pp. 137–152
  7. Fay, Peter W. (1993), The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence, 1942-1945., Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press., ISBN 0-472-08342-2., p. 75
  8. Lebra, Joyce C. (1977), Japanese trained armies in South-East Asia, New York,Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-03995-6., p. 24
  9. The Jats:Their Origin, Antiquity and Migrations/The Scythic origin of the Jats, p.196-197
  10. Mathur op.cit., p. 883. Radha Kumud Mukerji, Anc.Ind. Allahabad, 1966, pp. 489f
  11. Radha Kumud Mukerji, op.cit., p. 492.
  12. Ibid. Mathur, op.cit., p. 37. Takakusu, A record of the Buddhist Religion as practised in Ind. and the Malay Archipelago, Delhi, 1966, p. 41. Chaturvedi, Vimalkant: Bankok City of Buddha Temples. in 'The Suman Sauram' (Hind i), Jhandewala Estate, Rani Jhansi Marg, New Delhi, May 1988, p. 49. The city was destroyed by the Burmese army.
  13. Ency. America, No, 28, p.107. about 100,000 Indians [of Jat tribes of Dahiya (Dahae) and Mann?) migrated to Vietnam in prehistoric time. (within brackets mine).