12 February 1943
The columns left camp after Wavell’s inspection, still marching on the metalled road, but by day on the two-way stretches. They headed east, Fergusson reaching Lokchau on February 12. Wingate knew he had to conceal the location of the main river crossing. He decided the southern group would cross the Chindwin at Auktaung, acting as a feint, while the main body, the northern group led by Wingate himself, would cross at Tonhe. There was even a “second feint”, with a small party ordered to cross south of Auktaung.