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Imphal-kohima 1942,india and Burma Part Three

The Battle of Imphal-Kohima 1942,India and Burma part three.

Major-General O.WINGATE 1st expedition into burma on foot ,there came a dramatic change in the Japanese thinking due to the pressure excerted by the forceful Mutaguchi whose opinion carried weight in high places. He was impressed by the way in which Wingate had overcome the problems of operating in the wilderness of the mountains,jungle and rivers. He became convinced that given good weather and having adequate preparation an offensive operations on a loarge scale were both desireable and possible. The other factors had bearing the British preparations the airfields the building of roads forward etc. had not gone unnoticed . The Japanese realized that an offensive could not be long delayed. The Japanese know that the Chinese had reorganized and were pressing for an Allied offensive. Morale at home had been deteriorated as the result of the land and sea defeats suffered at the hands of General MacArthur.

The capture of Imphal therefor had much to recommend it in the eyes of the Japanese High Command in Tokyo. It would raise morale among the Japanese people and undoubtedly lead to panic in India. The consequent embarrassment to the Indian Government and also depriving the British of their base. It would rule out any possiblitity of  a British offensive into Burma for a long time to come and thereby deal a serious blow to the Allied cause. A series of confrences and much coming and going between Tokyo ,Singapore and Rangoon .The decision to capture Imphal was taken in September 1943.

General KAWABE in command of Burma Area Army a new headquaters introduced to control all operations in Burma. Mutaguchi now promoted to the command of the 15th Army ,prepare plans for Operation U-Go in other words the invasion of MANIPUR. To carry out his task Mutaguchi was alloted the 15th,31st and the 33rd Divisions and the 1st Indian National Army  Division. Which was of unknown quality being made up of prisoners of war taken in Singapore and other theatres in the Far East. Nevertheless members of Mutaguchi’s own staff who doubted the wisdom of the undertaking on the grounds that the troops available were insufficent and the difficulties of supplying them once across the Chindwin too great.

I hope you all like this story and let me know what you think of it.

George T Saviel

24 November 2010

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