RESTRICTEDBATTLE OF KOHIMA – IMPHAL 1.On 15 January 1942 the Japanese invaded Burma, and try by mid June theremnants of Burcorps were completing a retreat of 1,000 miles to the hills of Assam onthe Indian frontier, having lost most of Burma to the enemy including its important oilfields. For the defense of the Indian frontier region he could call on resources from Indiaand some help from Chinese Nationalist Armies fighting under the prickly Americancommander, Vinegar Joe’ Stilwell striving to keep open the Burma Road into China,virtually the only lifeline for that embattled country. It was soon cut. The situationlooked back indeed.2.The Japanese High Command was aware that an Allied counter-offensive wasbeing planned, and although they had earlier decide against an attack upon Imphal setamidst the inhospitable and communication starved Assam hills, in January 1944 theyissued orders for the a pre-emptive offensive to take Tiddim, Kohima and Imphal in orderto smash Fourteenth Army’s logistical bases and close the single all weather road linkingBurma with India. It is doubtful whether they ever intended to march on Delhi, but majordemonstration of Japanese strength on India’s north-east frontier within range of Calcutta
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Burma Campaign, Battle of Kohima, Battle of Imphal