The Battle of Imphal raged across most of the state of Manipur in northeast India from March to July 1944. It pitted the British-led Allies against the Japanese and the Indian National Army (INA) in some of the bitterest fighting seen during the Second World War. The British-led Allies ultimately emerged victorious in what is today recognised internationally – together with the Battle of Kohima – as one the main turning-point battles of the entire War.
It was at Imphal and Kohima that the Japanese march across Asia was halted by Allied forces. In April 2013, the National Army Museum in the United Kingdom named the twin battles of Imphal and Kohima as Britain’s Greatest Battle. Its website went on to note – “…the Battles of Imphal and Kohima were the turning point of one of the most gruelling campaigns of the Second World War.”
Here are some of the pictures of world war II then and now. The below pictures are taken from ‘Battle of Imphal’ facebook page.
1. Then and Now “Gurkhas resting during the Imphal-Kohima battle, 1944” (National Army Museum, UK, Image Number 95985). The hill visible here is Gibraltar/Laimatol that is just off the Palel-Tamu Road (Moreh Road).
2. Then and Now – Dakota landing at Imphal, March 1944. This was taken at what is called Koirengei Airfield now; it was known as Imphal Main during the Second World War.
3. Then and Now – “Men of the West Yorkshires and the 10th Gurkha Rifles advance along the Imphal-Kohima Road”. [Imperial War Museum, IND 3469]. Found the location of an old photo of the Battle of Imphal on an interesting morning out on the Imphal-Kohima Road today.
4. Then and Now – Photo showing part of Scraggy hill (Ito), with Malta (Yajima) in the distance and Gibraltar (Laimatol) beyond. The photo caption on the UK’s National Army Museum website (Image No. 95980) erroneously reads “Discarded Japanese equipment on ‘Malta Hill’ seen from ‘Scraggy’ hill”. It should read instead: “Discarded Japanese equipment on ‘Scraggy’ hill”. The photo was taken by Pradip Phanjoubam on our Shenam Saddle
5. Then and Now – Readying to fly out from Imphal (Imperial War Museum). This was taken at Koirengei Airfield, known during the Second World War as Imphal Main. The ‘Now’ photo has been taken at a bit of a distance from the original ‘Then’ location.
6. Then and Now – ‘View of the Imphal plain from the heights where the Ukhrul road climbs into the hills, September 1944’ (Source: The Eagle Strikes). The ‘Now’ photo was taken yesterday en route to Ukhrul.
7. Then and Now: Air Battle of Imphal – ‘607 Squadron at Imphal Main…Visiting B25 in background.’ The Now photo has been taken at some distance from the original location at the present-day Koirengei Airfield.
For more photos and information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/BattleOfImphal. The page aims at raising awareness about the Battles of Imphal and Kohima. It also promotes guided tours to battlefields around both battles in Manipur and Nagaland. So if you need a tour guide for the World War II battles, you may contact them!!!