Forgotten Battle of Imphal the bloodiest of World War Two in British India

 

 

THE WAR IN THE FAR EAST: THE BURMA CAMPAIGN 1941-1945 (IND 3430) The Battle of Imphal-Kohima March – July 1944: Men of the West Yorkshire Regiment clear a roadblock on the Imphal-Kohima Road. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194230

 

The Battle of Kohima and Imphal was the bloodiest of World War II in India, and it cost Japan much of its best army in Burma.”

An outstanding piece from the New York Times on one of fiercest and bloodiest battles of the war. Fought by soldiers of the British Indian Army and the British Army against the Japanese, this was a “no quarter asked no quarter given battle.”

You can find it here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/world/asia/a-largely-indian-victory-in-world-war-ii-mostly-forgotten-in-india.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140622&nlid=46563708&tntemail0=y&_r=0

 

Comments Charles McCain:

With exception of a handful of military historians and students of the British colonial military, the long history of the British Indian Army is almost unknown. Yet a brave and valiant history it is and never was this better demonstrated at Imphal. (Kohima is the name of the campaign and battle to reach the thousands of Indian and British troops surrounded in Imphal).

For a long period of time, tens of thousands of British Indian troops along with a much smaller number of  British soldiers, were surrounded in Imphal and they were sustained by one of the longest continuous airlifts of World War Two.

The US Army Air Force and the Royal Air Force, utilizing almost one hundred C-47s, flew in huge amounts of food, fuel, reinforcements even pack mules. In fact, at one point over an eleven day period, they flew an entire division to the Imphal front to pre-pare for the British Indian counter-attack.

The British Indian Army was largest volunteer army in World War Two with more than 2.5 million men being recruited by 1945.

THE WAR IN THE FAR EAST: THE BURMA CAMPAIGN 1941-1945 (IND 3469) The Battle of Imphal-Kohima March – July 1944: Men of the West Yorkshire Regiment and 10th Gurkha Rifles advance along the Imphal-Kohima road behind Lee-Grant tanks. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205194231

 

 

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/