FHT Battle of Imphal 1944
FHT Battle of Imphal 1944
General information
Status Active since v0.51
Date March 15, 1944
Theatre Burma
Belligerents Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Japan vs Great Britain Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Game Type Conquer
Style Jungle
Flags Imphal
Kangpopki mission
Lower Imphal
15th Division
Imphal Temple
Milestone 109
Shenam Shaddle

From March until July 1944 Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Indian IV Corps blocking their invasion to India at Imphal. In detail, under the name Operation C the Japanese 33rd Infantry Division under Lieutenant-General Motoso Yanagida would destroy the Indian 17th Infantry Division at Tiddim, then attack Imphal from the south; Yamamoto Force, formed from units detached from the Japanese 33rd and 15th Divisions under Major-General Tsunoru Yamamoto, would destroy the Indian 20th Infantry Division at Tamu, then attack Imphal from the east; the Japanese 15th Infantry Division under Lieutenant-General Masafumi Yamauchi would envelop Imphal from the north and in a separate subsidiary operation, the Japanese 31st Infantry Division under Lieutenant-General Kotoku Sato would isolate Imphal by capturing Kohima, then exploit to Dimapur. Because the Allies were planning to take the offensive themselves, Indian IV Corps units were thrown forward almost to the Chindwin River and widely separated. Mutaguchi intended to cut off and destroy the Allied units in their forward positions and then capture Imphal. Indian IV Corps in Imphal was commanded by Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Scoones, and was in turn part of the British Fourteenth Army under Lieutenant-General William Slim. When they received intelligence that a major Japanese offensive was impending, Slim and Scoones planned to withdraw into the Imphal plain and force the Japanese to fight with their logistics stretched beyond the limit. However, they misjudged the date on which the Japanese were to attack, and the strength they would use against some objectives. The Japanese launched their troops across the Chindwin River on 8 March 1944. Scoones only gave his forward divisions orders to withdraw to Imphal on 13 March. From the beginning of April, the Japanese attacked the Imphal plain from several directions. 33rd Division attacked from the south at Bishenpur, where they cut a secondary track from Silchar into the plain. Yanagida, its commander, was already pessimistic and depressed by the failure to trap the Indian 17th Division. He had also been rattled by a garbled radio message which suggested that one of his regiments had been destroyed at Milestone 109. He therefore advanced cautiously. By doing so, he may have lost a chance to gain success while the Indian 17th Infantry Division was resting after its retreat and Bishenpur was held only by Indian 32 Brigade (from 20th Division). Mutaguchi removed him from command. Meanwhile Yamamoto Force attacked the Shenam Saddle on the main road from Tamu into Imphal. The Shenam Saddle was ideal defensive terrain. Despite using heavy artillery and tanks, Indian 20th Division's well-sited defences could not be destroyed. 15th Division encircled Imphal from the north and its 60 Regiment captured a British supply dump at Kangpokpi on the main Imphal-Dimapur road,but the depot had already been emptied of food and ammunition. 51 Regiment seized the vital Nunshigum Ridge, which overlooked the main airstrip at Imphal. This was a major threat to IV Corps, and on 13 April the Indian 5th Division counter-attacked, supported by massed artillery and the M3 Lee tanks of the 3rd Carabiniers. The Japanese regiment had no anti-tank weapons, and their troops were driven from the ridge with heavy casualties.

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