Hemant Singh Katoch’s The Battlefields of Imphal focuses on a little known aspect of WW2 — how the north east of India was an important theatre of war. Indeed, in 1944, the British Fourteenth Army and the Japanese Fifteenth Army clashed around Imphal. The battles in Manipur involved 200,000 soldiers from many different nations and had a definite impact on the lives of the Manipuris themselves.Sadly, it’s a chapter of history that few Indians know about today.
Using oral testimonies and archival material, Katoch has mapped the battlefields where so many died and throws new light on the fighting that took place there between the British forces and the Japanese and also the efforts of Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army.
Here’s the author speaking about the book
Hemant Singh Katoch’s book manages to present the perspective of the British Army, in which many Indians served with distinction, of the Japanese, of the INA, and of the Manipuris who bore the brunt of the battles. Listen to him read excerpts from The Battlefields of Imphal: