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Encyclopedia > India in World War II

The Indian Empire was a key allied nation during the World War II. The Provinces of India (which included most of modern-day India and parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh), being imperial colonies of Great Britain, were by default a part of the Allies of World War II. Several Indian princely states, within the British Raj, provided large donations to the Allies to combat the threat of Nazism and Fascism. Indian troops fought the Axis Powers in South East Asia, North Africa and southern Europe. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Anthem God Save The Queen/King British India, circa 1860 Capital Calcutta (1858-1912), New Delhi (1912-1947) Language(s) Hindi, Urdu, English and many others Government Monarchy Emperor of India  - 1877-1901 Victoria  - 1901-1910 Edward VII  - 1910-1936 George V  - January-December 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1947 George... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Provinces of India or more correctly, the Provinces of British India were formed in 1858 when the British Crown took direct control of India. ... This article is about the independent states that comprised the Allies. ... A princely state or native state was a feudal monarchy in British India ruled by a hereditary ruler, who was nominally sovereign. ... Anthem God Save The King The British Indian Empire, 1909 Capital Calcutta (until 1912), New Delhi (after 1912) Language(s) Hindustani, English and many others Government Monarchy Emperor of India  - 1858-1901 Victoria¹  - 1901-1910 Edward VII  - 1910-1936 George V  - 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1947 George VI Viceroy²  - 1858... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, separated by the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


During World War II, the Army of India under British command helped halt the Japanese army's advance into Central Asia. India's strategic location at the tip of the Indian Ocean, its massive production of armaments, and its armed forces contributed decisively to halting the progress of Imperial Japan in the Pacific Theatre. Army of India consisted of both the Indian Army and the British Army in India between 1903 and 1947. ... Japans honor guard often marches to greet the arrival of foreign dignitaries. ... The ensign of Imperial Japanese Navy was a prominent symbol of Imperial Japan. ... The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) is the term used in the United States for all military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, in World War II. Pacific War is a more common name, around the world, for the broader conflict between the Allies and Japan...

Contents

The Indian stance

The Indian National Congress, was led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Jawahar Lal Nehru, and was opposed to Fascism, Nazism and colonialism. Gandhi, in an open letter to Adolf Hitler, touted tolerance. Several other Indian leaders and politicians expressed concerns over the rise of Fascism and Nazism and supported the British cause. However, the Congress pointed out the inherent contradiction in the British argument of going to war with Nazi Germany for the sake of freedom, since India was denied that same freedom[citation needed]. It was because of this perceived hypocrisy of the British Government, that the Congress refused to align with Britain's fight against the Axis Powers until India was granted independence. Britain could not afford to have to go through the trouble of decolonisation at such a difficult time. At the same time, Britain could not afford to lose India, its most prized possession, especially when it was facing war on all fronts. So, in 1939, the British Governor-General of India, declared India's entry into the War without consulting prominent Indian leaders. Indian National Congress, (also known as the Congress Party and abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869–January 30, 1948) (Devanagari : मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી) was a national icon who led the struggle for Indias independence from British colonial rule, empowered by tens of millions of common Indians. ... Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the closest associates of Mahatma Gandhi. ... Jawaharlal Nehru (जवाहरलाल नेहरू) (November 14, 1889 - May 27, 1964), also called Pandit (Teacher) Nehru, was the leader of the (moderately) socialist wing of the Indian National Congress during and after Indias struggle for independence from the British... Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the interests of the state. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... It has been suggested that Benign colonialism be merged into this article or section. ... Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) (Devanagari: मोहनदास करमचन्द गांधी, Gujarati મોહનદાસ કરમચંદ ગાંધી), called... Hitler redirects here. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Governor-Generals Flag (1885–1947) depicted the Star of India on a Union Flag. ...


Another school of thought led by Subhash Chandra Bose of the Indian National Army (INA) allied itself with the Axis based on the principle that "An enemy's enemy is a friend". Bose formed the Indian National Army and the Provisional Government of Free India that was recognised by the Axis powers.[citation needed]..... Subhash Chandra Bose, (Bangla: নেতাজী সুভাষ চন্দ্র বসু ( सुभाष चदंर वसु ) Shubhash Chôndro Boshu) (January 23, 1897 – presumably August 18, 1945 [although this is disputed]note), also known as Netaji, was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement against the British Raj and was a prominent supporter of the Axis dictatorships as... The Indian National Army (I.N.A) or Azad Hind Fauj was the army of the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (The Provisional Government of Free India ) which fought along with the Japanese 15th Army during the Japanese Campaign in Burma, and in the Battle of Imphal, during the Second... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Indian National Army (I.N.A) or Azad Hind Fauj was the army of the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (The Provisional Government of Free India ) which fought along with the Japanese 15th Army during the Japanese Campaign in Burma, and in the Battle of Imphal, during the Second... Flag of the Provisional Government of Free India. ...


Army of India involvement

At the outbreak of World War II, the Indian army numbered 205,000 men. Later during World War II the Indian Army became the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size.[1] These forces included tank, artillery and airborne forces. Indian soldiers won 30 Victoria Crosses during the Second World War[citation needed]. A group of native Indian Muslim soldiers posing for volley firing orders. ...


The North African theatre

An Italian soldier surrenders to an Indian Jawan during the successful allied campaign of Operation Crusader.
An Italian soldier surrenders to an Indian Jawan during the successful allied campaign of Operation Crusader.

The British government meanwhile sent Indian troops to fight in West Asia and northern Africa against the Axis. India also geared up to produce essential goods such as food and uniforms. Ores were mined to support the war[citation needed]. Pre-Independence India provided the largest volunteer force (2.5 million) of any nation during World War II. Image File history File links Operation_crusader_italian_surrender. ... Image File history File links Operation_crusader_italian_surrender. ... Coat of Arms of the Italian Army Dardo IFV on exercise in Capo Teulada Soldiers of the 33rd Field Artillery Regiment Acqui on parade The Italian Army (Esercito Italiano) is the ground defense force of the Italian Republic. ... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Poland Germany Italy Commanders Claude Auchinleck Alan Gordon Cunningham Neil Ritchie Erwin Rommel Ludwig Crüwell Strength 8th Army comprising XIII Corps, XXX Corps and 70th Division. ... A map showing Southwest Asia - The term Middle East is more often used to refer to both Southwest Asia and some North African countries Southwest Asia, or West Asia, is the southwestern part of Asia. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...


The 4th, 5th and 8th Indian Divisions took part in the North African theatre against Rommel's Afrika Korps. Furthermore, the 4th and 5th Indian Divisions took part in the East African campaign against the Italians in Somaliland, Eritrea and Abyssinia. Fourth Indian division during world war two served first in egypt where with western desert force it fought the italians who had decided to invaded egypt. ... Indian 5th Infantry Division fought in several theatres of World War II and more than earned its nickname the Ball of Fire. Lord Louis Mountbatten said: When the Division came under my command in South-East Asia towards the end of 1943, it had already had three years hard fighting... The 8th Indian Infantry Division is a division of the Indian Army which is specialised in tactics and operations in mountainous territory. ... The Western Desert Campaign was the primary early theatre of the North African Campaign of World War II. It is sometimes referred to as the Egypt-Libya Campaign. ... The seal of the Deutsches Afrikakorps. ... Combatants United Kingdom Anglo-Egyptian Sudan British Somaliland British East Africa British India Gold Coast Nigeria N. Rhodesia S. Rhodesia Union of S. Africa Belgium Belgian Congo Free France Ethiopian irregulars Italy Italian East Africa Eritrea Ethiopia Italian Somaliland German Motorized Company Commanders Archibald Wavell William Platt Alan Cunningham Duke... For other territories formerly called Somaliland, see Somaliland (disambiguation). ... This article needs cleanup. ...


In the Battle of Bir Hacheim, Indian gunners played an important role by using guns in the anti tank role and destroying tanks of Rommel's panzer divisions. Maj PPK Kumaramangalam was the battery commander of 41 Field Regiment which was deployed in the anti tank role. He was awarded the DSO for his act of bravery. Later he became the Chief of Army Staff of independent India in 1967.


The invasion of Italy

Indian forces played a significant part in liberating Italy from fascism. The British Army of India contributed the 3rd largest Allied contingent in the Italian campaign after the US and British forces. The 4th, 8th and 10th Infantry Divisions and 43rd Gurkha mechanised Infantry Brigade were involved, notably the former two at the famous Battle of Monte Cassino and all of them in the torrid fighting on the Gothic Line in late 1944 and 1945. Combatants United Kingdom Indian Empire United States Poland Brazil New Zealand Canada Free France South Africa Italy  (after September 8th) Italy Italian Resistance Germany Italy  (until 8 September 1943) RSI  (until 25 April 1945) Commanders Harold Alexander  (from December 1944) Mark Clark Albert Kesselring Heinrich von Vietinghoff Artillery being landed... The Indian 10th Infantry Division was a war formed Indian division during the Second World War . ... Combatants United Kingdom United States Poland New Zealand Canada Free France India and others Germany Commanders Harold Alexander Mark Clark Oliver Leese Albert Kesselring Heinrich von Vietinghoff Frido von Senger Strength 105,000 80,000 Casualties 54,000 20,000 The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle... German defensive positions in Northern Italy 1944 370th Infantry Regiment walking toward the mountains at north of Prato - April 1945 The Gothic Line, also known as Linea Gotica, formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselrings last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits...


War in Burma

The Indian Army's Gurkha Rifles crossing the Irrawaddy River on 27 January 1945. The Gurkhas were involved in hard fought actions with the Japanese during the early months of 1945.
The Indian Army's Gurkha Rifles crossing the Irrawaddy River on 27 January 1945. The Gurkhas were involved in hard fought actions with the Japanese during the early months of 1945.

The Indian army was the key allied fighting force in the Burma Campaign. The Indian Air Force's first assault mission was carried out against Japanese troops stationed in Burma. The British Indian Army was key to breaking the siege of Imphal when the westward advance of Imperial Japan came to a halt. Image File history File links Royal_Indian_Army. ... Image File history File links Royal_Indian_Army. ... Gurkha Soldiers (1896) Gurkha (or Gorkha) are people from Nepal who take their name from the eighth century Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorkhnath. ... The Irrawaddy (newer spelling Ayeyarwaddy) is a river that flows through the centre of Myanmar (formerly Burma). It is Myanmars most important commercial waterway. ... is the 27th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... Combatants United Kingdom British India Republic of China United States Empire of Japan Indian National Army Burma National Army Thailand Commanders Louis Mountbatten William Slim Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stilwell Aung San(From 1944) Masakazu Kawabe Hyotaro Kimura Renya Mutaguchi Subhash Chandra Bose Aung San(until 1944) Strength Unknown Unknown... The Indian Air Force (भारतीय वायु सेना : Bharatiya Vayu Sena) is the air-arm of the Armed Forces of India and has the prime responsibility of conducting aerial warfare and securing the Indian airspace. ... (Redirected from 14th Army) The British Fourteenth Army, in spite of its name, was a multinational force: most of its units were from the Indian Army and there were also significant contributions from East African divisions within the British Army. ...


The formations included the Indian III Corps, Indian IV Corps, the Indian XXXIII Corps and the Fourteenth Army. The British Indian III Corps was the primary ground formation that took part in the campaign in Malaya in 1942. ... The Indian IV Corps was part of Fourteenth Army during World War II. It operated on the central part of the front, covering the Assam of India and opposite the upper Chindwin in Burma. ... The Indian XXXIII Corps was part of Fourteenth Army during World War II. It was added to the order of battle of Fourteenth Army during the crisis of spring 1944. ... The British Fourteenth Army, in spite of its name, was a multinational force: most of its units were from the Indian Army and there were also significant contributions from East African divisions within the British Army. ...


As part of the new concept of Long Range Penetration Patrols (LRPP), Indian troops were trained in the present state of Madhya Pradesh Under their commander then Brigadier (later Major General) Orde Charles Wingate. These troops were named "Chindits". These troops were then used in the Burma Campaign with a high rate of success[citation needed] in March 1943, thereby aiding the overall Allied effort in the Burma theatre.


Bengal famine

See main article: Bengal Famine of 1943 also bengal The Bengal famine of 1943 is one amongst the several Famines that occurred in British administered undivided Bengal (now independent Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal) in 1943. ...


Headline text

The Indian National Army

Main article: Indian National Army

The Indian National Army, formed by first by Mohan Singh Deb consisted initially of prisoners taken by the Japanese in Malaya and at Singapore who were offered the choice of serving the INA by Japan. Later, after it was reorganised under Subhas Chandra Bose, it drew a large number of civilian volunteers from Malaya and Burma. Ultimately,a force of under 40,000 was formed, although only two divisions ever participated in battle. Intelligence and special services groups from the INA were instrumental in destabillising the British Indian Army in the early stages of the Arakan offensive. It was during this time that the British Military Intelligence began propaganda work to shield the true numbers who joined the INA, and also described stories of Japanese brutalities that indicated, falsely, INA involvement. Further, the Indian press was prohibited from publishing any accounts whatsoever of the INA. The Indian National Army (I.N.A) or Azad Hind Fauj was the army of the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (The Provisional Government of Free India ) which fought along with the Japanese 15th Army during the Japanese Campaign in Burma, and in the Battle of Imphal, during the Second... The Indian National Army (I.N.A) or Azad Hind Fauj was the army of the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (The Provisional Government of Free India ) which fought along with the Japanese 15th Army during the Japanese Campaign in Burma, and in the Battle of Imphal, during the Second... General Mohan Singh Deb (1909-1989), famous for his part in the Indian National Army for the liberation of India from British rule, in which he held the rank of a general, was born the only son of Tara Singh and Hukam Kaur, a peasant couple of Ugoke village, near... Subhas Chandra Bose, (Bengali: , (January 23, 1897 – presumably August 18, 1945 [although this is disputed]note), generally known as Netaji (lit. ...


As the Japanese offensive opened, the INA sent its first forces into battle. The INA's own strategy was to avoid set-piece battles for which it lacked arms, armament as well as man-power.[2] Initially, it sought to obtain arms as well as increase its ranks from British Indian soldiers expected to defect to patriotic cause. Once the Japanese forces were able to break the British defences at Imphal, the INA would cross the hills of North-East India into the Gangetic plain, where it was to work as a guerrilla army and expected to live off the land, garner support, supplies, and ranks from amongst the local populace to ultimately touch off a revolution. The Himalayas in Sikkim North-East India is the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States and the state of Sikkim. ... The Indo-Gangetic Plain is a rich, fertile and ancient land encompassing most of northern and eastern India and parts of Pakistan. ...


Prem Kumar Sahgal, an officer of the INA once Military secretary to Subhas Bose and later tried in the first Red Fort trials, explained that although the war itself hung in balance and nobody was sure if the Japanese would win, initiating a popular revolution with grass-root support within India would ensure that even if Japan lost the war ultimately, Britain would not be in a position to re-assert its colonial authority, which was ultimately the aim of the INA and Azad Hind. As Japan opened its offensive towards India The INA's first division, consisting of four Guerrilla regiments, participated in Arakan offensive in 1944, with one battalion reaching as far as Mowdok in Chittagong. Other units were directed to Imphal and Kohima, as well as to the protect Japanese Flanks to the south of Arakan, a task it successfully carried out. However, the first division suffered the same fate as did Mutaguchi's Army when the siege of Imphal was broken .With little or no supplies and supply lines deluged by the Monsoon, harassed by Allied airdominance, the INA began withdrawing when the 15th Army and Burma Area Army began withdrawing, and suffer the same terrible fate as wounded, starved and diseased men succumbed during the hasty withdrawal into Burma. Later in the war however, the INA's second division,tasked with the defence of Irrawaddy and the adjoining areas around Nangyu, was instrumental in opposing Messervy's 7th Indian Division when it attempted to cross the river at Pagan and Nyangyu during the successful Burma Campaign by the Allies the following year. The 2nd division was instrumental in denying the British 17th Division the area around Mount Popa that would have exposed the Flank of Kimura's forces attempting to retake Meiktila and Nyangyu. Ultimately however, the division was obliterated. Some of the surviving units of the Army surrendered as Rangoon fell, and helped keep order till the allied forces enetered the city. The other remnants began a long march over land and on foot towards Singapore, along with Subhas Chandra Bose. As the Japanese situation became precarious, Bose left for Manchuria to attempt to contact the Russians, and was reported to have died in an air crash near Taiwan. The only Indian territorry that the Azad Hind govt controlled were the Indian territorries that fell during the Imphal offensive, and the islands of Andaman and Nicobar. However, the latter two were bases for the Japanese Navy, and the navy never really fully relinquished control. Enraged with the lack of administrative control, the Azad Hind Governor, Lt. Col Loganathan later relinquished his authority to return to the Government's head quarters in Rangoon. The Japanese forces is said to have carried out torture on thousands of local inhabitants during the occupation, and some historians inexplicably apportion the blame to Subhas Bose's provisional government.[citation needed] After the war, a number of officers of the INA were tried for treason and Torture, however, with their stories, efforts and hardships coming into limelight within India, popular movement, civil unrest and frank destabillisation in th British Indian Army (which became aware of the true story of the INA now) forced Auckinleck to release these men.[3] ... Flag of the Provisional Government of Free India. ... Combatants United Kingdom British India Republic of China United States Empire of Japan Indian National Army Burma National Army Thailand Commanders Louis Mountbatten William Slim Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stilwell Aung San(From 1944) Masakazu Kawabe Hyotaro Kimura Renya Mutaguchi Subhash Chandra Bose Aung San(until 1944) Strength Unknown Unknown... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about Chittagong as a city in Bangladesh. ... Burma Area Army was a Japanese army organized 18 March 1943 to unify the command of the 15th and 28th Armies in Burma. ... The Irrawaddy (newer spelling Ayeyarwaddy) is a river that flows through the centre of Myanmar (formerly Burma). It is Myanmars most important commercial waterway. ... Combatants United Kingdom British India Republic of China United States Empire of Japan Indian National Army Burma National Army Thailand Commanders Louis Mountbatten William Slim Chiang Kai-Shek Joseph Stilwell Aung San(From 1944) Masakazu Kawabe Hyotaro Kimura Renya Mutaguchi Subhash Chandra Bose Aung San(until 1944) Strength Unknown Unknown... Mount Popa (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ; IPA: ) or Popa Hill is a volcano, said to be extinct, located in central Myanmar (Burma). ... Flag of the Provisional Government of Free India. ... Andaman could mean: Andaman Islands Andaman Sea The book The Andaman Islanders by Alfred Radcliffe-Brown. ... Nicobar could refer to: Nicobar Islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Nicobar Pigeon This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Capture of Indian territory

By 1942, neighbouring Burma was invaded by Japan. By then it had already captured the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As a major possession of the United Kingdom, Japan looked to invade India, as it provided natural resources and could possibly be used as a staging post for an advance into the Middle East and the British oil fields in Persia and Iraq. Japan ceded the Andaman and Nicobar islands to the Provisional Government of Free India on October 21, 1943. In March 1944, Japan initiated an offensive into India's and advanced as far as Kohima in Nagaland. Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Andaman Islands. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Flag of the Provisional Government of Free India. ... is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kohima is the hilly capital of Indias north eastern border state of Nagaland which shares its borders with Burma. ... , Nagaland   is a hill state located in the far north-eastern part of India. ...


Recapture of Axis-occupied territory

Meanwhile the Japanese were facing stiff resistances in the Pacific front. This therefore took preference over the war in Burma. As the Imphal offensive failed, harsh weather and disease and withdrawal of air cover (due to more pressing needs in the Pacific) also took its toll on the INA and the withdrawing Japanese and remnants of the Burma National Army. In 1945, a resurgent United Kingdom recaptured the INA occupied lands. Later that year Japan surrendered. The Burma National Army served as the armed forces of the Burmese government created by the Japanese during World War II and fought in the Burma Campaign. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...


Notes

  1. ^ Compton McKenzie (1951). Eastern Epic. Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN?. , p.1
  2. ^ Fay 1993, p. 292,298
  3. ^ Fay 1993

Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

References

  • Fay, Peter W. (1993), The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence, 1942-1945., Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press., ISBN 0472083422.

See also


 
 

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