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Keel M.

World War 2 Buffs

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Keel M.

I love watching a genealogy show called Who Do You Think You Are?, but the UK version, not the US version. :P Anyway, I'm watching the story of a guy whose father was stationed in India during World War 2 and was involved in the Battle of Kohima. The narrator calls it one of the most significant battles of the war, yet none of the lists I've come across through Google mention this battle at all. I certainly didn't think about the fact that Japan would've tried to invade India during this time, but it makes sense that they would as it was part of the British Empire. Was it truly one of the most significant battles? 

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and then

I consider myself a history buff of the air war in WWII and I've never heard of the battle of Kohima.  Perhaps it was important but I can't imagine it could be called one of the most significant.  I stand to be corrected if anyone cares to enlighten :) 

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South Alabam

Never heard of it. Wikipedia does say it was a turning point. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kohima

If the Japanese were able to gain a strong foothold in India they would demonstrate the weakness of the British Empire and provide encouragement to Indian nationalists in their decolonization efforts.  Moreover, occupation of the area around Imphal would severely impact American efforts to supply Chiang Kai Shek's army in China.

That does sound significant.

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South Alabam
2 minutes ago, and then said:

I consider myself a history buff of the air war in WWII and I've never heard of the battle of Kohima.  Perhaps it was important but I can't imagine it could be called one of the most significant.  I stand to be corrected if anyone cares to enlighten :) 

Same here, brother. WWII air all the way.

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and then
Just now, South Alabam said:

Same here, brother. WWII air all the way.

Ever read Edward Jablonski's AIRWAR?  2 volume set that captured me in the early 70's.  One of the best trips of my life was to see all the War Birds in Osh Kosh a few years back!  It was awesome to see the aircraft that won that war.

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L.A.T.1961

The battle of Kohima appears to be part of a double action including Imphal and is known as the battle of  Imphal-Kohima.  

I found this piece discussing the battles. - 

The two victories over the Japanese, which took place in the same region of north east India over the same period in 1944, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify “Britain’s Greatest Battle”

Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison.”

The battles of Imphal and Kohima saw the British and Indian forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General William Slim, repel the Japanese invasion of India and helped turned the tide of the war in the Far East.

The fight for Imphal went on longer than that for Kohima, lasting from March until July.

Kohima was smaller in scale, and shorter, from April to June - but the fighting was so intense it has been described as the Stalingrad of the East.

When on 18 April the relief forces of the British 2nd Division arrived, the defensive perimeter was reduced to a shell-shattered area only 350 metres square.

The Japanese, who fought alongside some Indian nationalists, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000 casualties.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10008053/Second-World-War-clashes-named-as-Greatest-British-Battle.html

 

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Hammerclaw

It was the Indian Theater of Operation's El Alemein, a pivotal battle and a turning point. It blunted the thrust of the Japanese U Go Offensive and ended their ambition to incite an Indian rebellion against colonial authority. After the battle, the Japanese were on the defensive and never able to threaten India again.

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South Alabam
18 minutes ago, and then said:

Ever read Edward Jablonski's AIRWAR?  2 volume set that captured me in the early 70's.  One of the best trips of my life was to see all the War Birds in Osh Kosh a few years back!  It was awesome to see the aircraft that won that war.

 

No, never read that one. But I still have "There I was flat on my back" about WWII and on air humor. I've never been to Oshkosh but, I grew up south of Lakeland Fla, and they had a mini Oshkosh with warbirds etc..

 

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South Alabam
14 minutes ago, L.A.T.1961 said:

The battle of Kohima appears to be part of a double action including Imphal and is known as the battle of  Imphal-Kohima.  

I found this piece discussing the battles. - 

The two victories over the Japanese, which took place in the same region of north east India over the same period in 1944, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify “Britain’s Greatest Battle”

Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison.”

The battles of Imphal and Kohima saw the British and Indian forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General William Slim, repel the Japanese invasion of India and helped turned the tide of the war in the Far East.

The fight for Imphal went on longer than that for Kohima, lasting from March until July.

Kohima was smaller in scale, and shorter, from April to June - but the fighting was so intense it has been described as the Stalingrad of the East.

When on 18 April the relief forces of the British 2nd Division arrived, the defensive perimeter was reduced to a shell-shattered area only 350 metres square.

The Japanese, who fought alongside some Indian nationalists, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000 casualties.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10008053/Second-World-War-clashes-named-as-Greatest-British-Battle.html

 

 Maybe there just wasn't enough war corespondents to cover the entire theater and Kohima was one of those areas that missed out. It was a relatively short, but deadly battle.

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third_eye

The Japanese were caught in a middle and being pulled apart from both ends ...
 

Quote

 

~

Second expedition (Early 1943 – March 1945)

Between 1942 and 1943, many Chinese soldiers were airlifted from Chongqing to India and trained under American advisors. The X Force was incorporated into the New First Army, which was supported by American Special Forces in their field operations.[14] For most of 1943, the Chinese Army engaged in several conflicts with the Japanese Army while defending the construction of the Ledo Road. In October 1943, the New First Army managed to defeat the Japanese veteran 18th Division at Hukawng Valley.[15] To secure the opening of the Ledo Road, the Chinese Army in India was retitled the "Northern Combat Area Command" (NCAC), and re-entered Burma in the spring of 1944.[16] The Chinese Army engaged and defeated the Japanese forces during various campaigns in Northern Burma and Western Yunnan and recaptured Myitkyina in August. Allied success in these campaigns enabled the opening of the Ledo Road. However, by the time Myitkyina was captured, Allied success in the Pacific theatre was reducing the significance of the China-Burma-India theatre.[17]

Intending to coordinate with the X Force, Wei Lihuang's Chinese Expeditionary Force in Yunnan, known as the Y Force, crossed the Salween River in April and launched an offensive against the Japanese Army.[18] By January 1945, the Y Force had captured the town of Wanting on the China-Burma border and regained control of the land route from Burma to China. The first convoy via the newly opened Ledo-Burma Road reached Kunming in February 1945.[19]

 

~

 

~

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

Kohima was certainly a hard fought battle, but its significance was probably not very great in the grand scheme of things. The Japanese were not anywhere near having the capability in take India and their hope of forming a rebellion was not very realistic. At this time it had become clear that India would become independent in the near future and why should the Indians want to replace on colonial power with another one, when the one they had was likely to leave soon anyway ? In fact more than 2 million Indians voluteered to fight for the British in World War 2.

3 hours ago, South Alabam said:

 Maybe there just wasn't enough war corespondents to cover the entire theater and Kohima was one of those areas that missed out. It was a relatively short, but deadly battle.

The war in South East Asia was very much "the forgotten front". It generally accorded the lowest priority by the allies and for Japan it never had anywhere the same priority as the Pacific or Chinese fronts.

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