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  • Date: 7 March - 18 July 1944
  • Location: Manipur and Nagaland States (in modern-day India)
  • Campaign: Second World War (1939-45)
  • Combatants: Britain and British India against Japan and the Indian National Army (INA)
  • Protagonists: Lieutenant-General William Slim, Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Scoones, Lieutenant-General Montagu Stopford and Colonel Hugh Richards; Lieutenant-General Renya Mutaguchi and Lieutenant-General Kotoku Sato
  • Outcome: British and British Indian victory


beryl jones
20 November 2016, 9.08pm

My great uncle pvt Leslie

My great uncle pvt Leslie Wain was in the 2nd Battalion Border Regiment and i think they were involved in the battle for Imphal,he must have survived the battle as he was killed by a japanese sniper on 3rd feb 1945.any photos of the 2nd please.

brian lee
12 October 2016, 6.44pm

MY father lance cpl George

MY father lance cpl George Lee was killed at Jotsoma close to Kohima.April 28 1944.He was in the RAC & Is buried in the cemetary at Kohima.Wish i could find more details.I do have the diary he kept up till a few days before he was killed.

Amena Rahman
7 October 2016, 8.50am

My grandfather was part of

My grandfather was part of this as well although as mentioned quite a bit of the role of people of Indian origin during that time has not been publicized much. I came upon the link with the references to fighting over a tennis court as getting any historical records from other sources has been rather futile. I think anyone subjected to the horrors of war are likely to face PTSD--taking another human life can not be trivial--even under the aegis of patriotism.

Historically this was one of WWII's geopolitical great games and figuring out access to natural resources and manpower. At the time, India was under British rule, so the Japanese used that to their advantage under the Asia for Asians movement from the propaganda and psychological angle. Lee Kuan Yew captured it quite well with the following statement:

"My colleagues and I are determined that no one--neither the Japanese or the British --had the right to push and kick us around. We were determined that we would govern ourselves and bring up our children in a country where we can be self-respecting people."

Even now--see how we form global alliances as the concept of colonization had lost it's allure in the current century. When leaders chose to be divisive based on religion, ethnicity, sex, what have you and at the same time rely on a global supply chain for resources, it probably requires a cold hard look and some introspection of what we have learned from history.

R V Tetso
1 September 2016, 8.38am

A man named Vikeyienyu Nagi

A man named Vikeyienyu Nagi (V. Nagi) is still alive here in Kohima, Nagaland in India's Country, who was the British Labour Corps Commander during the 2nd World War under the leadership of Army Major General JOHN M.L GROVER, 2nd Division, British Army. He was born in 1919 and is 97 years old and still alive today by Gods Grace. He was awarded three Medals by the British Empire 1. Burma Star 2. 1939-1945 Star and 3. British Empire Medal. During that time, DC Pawsey was in charge Naga Hill District, DC Adam- Chadu Pallel to Salween, DC Wims- Ration incharge Kohima, DC Eric Lambert- Battle of Kohima & Civil Administration and Mr. V. Nagi worked with this man and so he knows the life of Army Major General JOHN M.L GROVER, 2nd Division, British Army, According to him Lt. General William was never in Kohima or never fought the battle of Kohima with British Army. Mr. V. Nagi is from Jotsoma Village and Major. General JOHN M.L GROVER resided here in this Village. Now the villagers of Jotsoma have built a monument and erected a large stone at the place where Major General Gover resided in remembrance of him as he had saved this village from this ferocious battle. The Japanese Army came from Burma to fight the battle where Lt.General. Kotuku Sato was the Army General. Their base camp was at Jakhama Village (My Village). You need to know more email me.

Stephen Ford
3 July 2016, 9.04pm

My Father was in the relief

My Father was in the relief troops 1/8th Lancashire Fusiliers,
He had been at Dunkirk as well.

carol bridges nee culmer
28 June 2016, 7.17pm

My father Edward Thomas

My father Edward Thomas Culmer was in Kohima and took part in the battle of the tennis courts. He was awarded the military medal but we don't know what for as he was at dunkerque first. Would be grateful for any information regarding my dad.

Merrill Bate
11 May 2016, 1.12pm

My father Captain Peter

My father Captain Peter Doresa served with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment in Burma, this is his story ......

At first light on April 5 1944, 4th Battalion the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (4 QRWK) was on the move to Kohima, north-east India, to reinforce the garrison which was under increasing pressure from a build-up of Japanese forces. As they approached the town, passing a deserted hospital and a chaos of abandoned stores, their trucks were fired on and they made the rest of the way on foot.
The Japanese closed in on April 6 and, for almost two weeks, the battalion endured relentless bombardment by mortars and anti-tank guns by day; to this was added fire from snipers who strapped themselves into the tops of trees. By night, artillery concentrations were the precursor of charges of massed infantry screaming and blowing bugles.

Sometimes, the enemy’s tactics were more subtle. The crack of a sniper’s rifle at night was often designed to provoke a response and reveal the location of the defenders’ trenches. Then the Japanese would mimic British voices with cries of “For God’s sake let me through – the Japs are after me!”

Time and again, the enemy were found to be dug in and too firmly established to be dislodged by anything less than a full-scale attack, and the casualties that this might incur were unaffordable.
My father, a platoon commander in “D” Company, was ordered to clear the enemy from some huts which were surrounded by an ammunition dump. He went forward and bombed the position, setting the dump ablaze. Shells, mortar bombs, grenades and small arms ammunition exploded, sending shrapnel flying in all directions. The Japanese were driven into the open where they were shot by the remainder of the company. My father shot more than 12 and escaped with a minor wound.

Later in the battle, the Japanese infiltrated 4 QRWK’s positions. Wearing gym-shoes and with their weapons wrapped in cloth to prevent any noise, they slipped through under cover of darkness. My father waited until they were within a few yards of his trench before giving the order to fire. The whole platoon opened up with tracer and parachute flares and forced the Japanese to withdraw. Two of the battalion’s companies inflicted about five times their total strength in casualties on the enemy.

After the battle, witnesses described the survivors as “sleepwalkers, haggard, hollow-eyed, bearded, their uniforms ragged and filthy, their faces caked with dried blood, some seemingly half-crazed with fatigue”.

My father was awarded an Immediate MC. Lance-Corporal John Harman, who served in the same company, was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross for charging a Japanese trench that held five soldiers armed with automatic weapons.

25 April 2016, 11.22am

I am an Indian. In modern

I am an Indian. In modern India, at least among the general public, very little seems to be understood or discussed about the war with Japan. I first read of the battles of Northeast India through Paul Scott's novels of "The Raj Quartet," which I read last year, and today came to hear of the book "Kohima" by Arthur Swinson who took part in that battle. That led me to the Wikipedia page on the battle, and thence to the National Army Museum website. By all accounts the ultimate British victory in these crucial battles prevented Japan from possibly conquering India, which in turn could have (very differently) influenced the outcome of the war as a whole.

Though I was born only in 1979, I have always been fascinated and saddened by the events of the first and second world wars, and I therefore feel great respect for the soldiers on both sides who suffered terribly at these battles of Burma and the Northeast. Whatever be the politics of Empire, more Indians should care about their sacrifice. Indeed it was 'for our future', as mentioned in the war memorial epitaph.

Richard Cullen
6 April 2016, 9.22am

My mother was a nursing

My mother was a nursing sister with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), and served in Burma. I'm pretty sure that she was somehow involved in supporting the defence of Kohima and/or Imphal. She never spoke of it, but I remember my father telling me that there was period when she was uncomfortably close to the Japanese.
Apart from references to a military hospital at Manipur, I have found little convincing detail of the role of QAIMNS personnel in this period, and would welcome any concrete information about this.

frank james harrison
24 December 2015, 1.07pm

My great uncle Ernest

My great uncle Ernest Harrison of the Durham Light Infantry was killed in the battle for the tennis courts. I know very little about him about him as my father and grandfather never spoke of him. I only know his body was never recovered. If anyone can help me with any further information i would be grateful.

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