By December 1944 Christison had four infantry divisions, the 50th Tank Brigade and the 3rd Commando Brigade at his disposal in XV Corps. Intimate naval support was provided by Force 64, comprising the Arakan Coastal Forces of inshore gunboats and the 90-odd minor landing cra too decrepit to have been sent to the Mediterranean in 1943. ese forces had been working closely alongside XV Corps throughout the previous campaigning season together with the corps’ own substantial IWT group, providing waterborne tactical and logistic support along the coast and rivers. In addition Amphibious Force W, which arrived at last from the Mediterranean at the end of 1944 with some 82 landing ships and heavier landing cra , was to support an amphibious assault on Akyab. Christison formed a joint service headquarters to command the forthcoming operations, with Rear Admiral Martin, commanding Force W as the Naval Commander, and Air Vice Marshal the Earl of Brandon commanding 224 Group, as the Air Commander.1