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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

April 4th, 1944 - The Invasion of Imphal and Kohima

Conflict: World War II (1939-1945)

Combatants: British/Indians vs. Japanese

Location: India

Outcome: Indo-British victory


The Japanese invasion of India began on March 6th, 1944. By April 4th, the Japanese Fifteenth Army had advanced as far as the cities of Imphal and Kohima. The Japanese 31st Division began investing Kohima on the 4th while the 33rd Division approached Imphal from the east on April 5th. The Indo-British troops under command of General Sir William Slim fought through the Japanese lines to relieve Kohima on the 20th of April, but Imphal would suffer a siege lasting eighty-eight days before the British and Indian forces could drive the enemy troops out of the city.


Indian and Gurkha soldiers inspect captured Japanese ordnance during the Imphal-Kohima battle, 1944 by unknown photographer

Points of Interest:

  • The Japanese held tenaciously to Imphal for over two months, but their failure to secure supplies of food and medicine finally took its tole on their fighting strength.

  • By the time the Japanese Fifteenth Army collapsed in September of 1944, they had lost 65,000 men mostly to disease and malnutrition.


General Sir William Slim by a No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit

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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.









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