Peace Museum Inaugurated
The Imphal Peace Museum at Red Hill was inaugurated to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal. The museum was developed with ith the support of the Nippon Foundation (TNF) in collaboration with Manipur Tourism Forum and Manipur Government.
The Red Hill was chosen for the museum owing to the fact that the last of these battles was fought at Red Hill in Imphal.
Battle of Imphal
Battle of Imphal took place from March to July 1944 in the region around the city of Imphal (Manipur s capital). Japanese armies with a mission to destroy Allied forces at Imphal invaded India. But the retaliation by the British forces led to their withdrawal.
The British Fourteenth Army and the Japanese Fifteenth Army clashed around the town of Imphal, Manipur, in North East India. It is considered among the greatest defeats on land ever for the Japanese. The battle proved to be the main turning point of the Second World War’s Burma Campaign.
How did the Battle Span Out?
- After Japanese forces routed the British in Burma in 1942 Gen. Renya Mutaguchi persuaded his Japanese superiors to allow him to attack British forces at Imphal and Kohima in hopes of preventing a British counterattack and push British farther into India.
- A large number of Indian troops captured after the fall of Malaya and Singapore agreed to join the Japanese in hopes of creating an independent India which was at a turmoil in its quest for independence from British rule.
- The British troops after their withdrawal from Burma had dug themselves in defensive positions in the hills around Imphal Valley, hoping to draw the Japanese into a battle far from their supply lines.
- The Japanese crossed the nearly impenetrable jungles around Kohima and a full division of nearly 15,000 Japanese troops came swarming out of the vegetation on April 4.
- The Japanese encirclement meant that those troops were largely cut off from reinforcements and supplies. The airlift of the necessary resources helped British troops in gaining an upper hand.
- Japanese, without air support or supplies, eventually became exhausted, and the Allied forces soon pushed them out of Kohima and the hills around Imphal.
The combined battle of Imphal and Kohima was voted ‘Britain’s Greatest Battle’ by the UK’s National Army Museum.