The last an final incredible journey is very different from the earlier two. Which the earlier two were point-to-point journeys, the series of moves shown below happened as part of a gradual military retreat:
Click here to go to the interactive Google map.
After the submarine journey to Asia in early 1943, Netaji allied himself with the nascent Japanese empire, based himself in Singapore and Rangoon (then under Japanese control like the rest of south east Asia) and raised the Indian National Army of over 30,000 troops (Indian PoWs as well as fresh civilian recruits). The INA fought alongside the Japanese in the failed offensive on Imphal and Kohima between Mar – Jun 1944. During this time, Netaji moved his base to Maymyo, a small hill town near Mandalay in Burma. This was as close as he would ever come to returning back to Kolkata. (I have not shown these moves in the map above).
By Feb 1945, the tables were turned with the British pushing into Burma and the INA defending the Irrawady river crossing south-west of Mandalay. This time Netaji went up to the front and was with his troops at Meiktila when the British broke through the INA defenses and crossed the Irrawady. Thus began Netaji’s final journey, this time one of retreat (see map above from here on).
Falling back to Pyinmina with the British just a few miles behind him, Netaji proceeded to Rangoon but Rangoon was no safe haven for too long. A further retreat from Rangoon ensued a month later with the Jhansi Rani Brigade of INA (the women’s brigade). Under fire from the British-American air force, Netaji retreated on foot most of the way to Moulmein where there was still a semblance of Japanese defense. A final hop brought him to Bangkok on May 15, 1945 thus effectively completing the retreat.
For the next two months Nethaji operated between Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and his original based in Singapore until the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug 6th and 9th 1945. The resulting Japanese surrender brought things to a head (“So, that is that”, Netaji is reported to have said, “What next?”). The only two options left now were to either surrender to the British (as the Japanese had done) or find a new ally (most promising option being Russia). Bose chose the second option and thus began his last and final escape.
A series of flights on Japanese war planes took Netaji from Singapore back to Bangkok, to Saigon, Da Nong and finally Taipei where it all ended. The next flight to an unspecified destination crashed immediately after take off cutting off an incredible life.