Kohima war voted greatest Brit win

  • Reuters, London
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2013 01:43 IST

The Battle of Kohima, when British troops fighting in horrendous jungle conditions turned the tide against the Japanese army in World War II, has been chosen as Britain's greatest battle.

Kohima was picked over the more celebrated battles of D-Day and Waterloo in a contest organised by the National Army Museum.

Rorke's Drift in the 1879 Zulu War and the Battle of Aliwal in the Anglo-Sikh War in Punjab in 1846 brought up the rear.

"Great things were at stake in a war with the toughest enemy any British army has had to fight," historian Robert Lyman said, making the case for Kohima in a debate at the museum.

If Lieutenant General William Slim's army of British, Indian, Gurkha and African troops had lost, the consequences for the allied cause would have been catastrophic, he said.

The contest's criteria included a battle's political and historical impact, the challenges the troops faced, and the strategy and tactics employed.

Waterloo had topped an online poll which produced a list of 20 land battles fought since the English Civil War.

 

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