The Battles of Imphal and Kohima marked a turning point in the fortunes of the Fourteenth Army after a series of disastrous losses at the hands of the Japanese. These battles opened the way for the subsequent re-conquest of Burma. However, they were not the first Allied victories of the Burma campaign.
Drawing on research for his book ‘Burma ’44’, James Holland will discuss Britain’s first victory in Asia, the Battle of the Admin Box, fought in the Burmese state of Arakan (now Rakhine) in February 1944.
This bloody yet largely unknown encounter was designed by the Japanese to be a feint prior to their primary offensive into north-east India a month later. Not only did the diversion fail, but the battle helped the Allies pioneer means of fighting that would prove invaluable during the subsequent stages of the campaign.
This event has been developed by the Kohima Educational Trust as part of the Kohima 80th Anniversary Weekend.
James Holland is a historian, writer and broadcaster. The author of a number of best-selling histories, he is co-founder of the Chalke Valley History Festival and presents the ‘We Have Ways’ podcast.