Author Topic: Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire  (Read 4839 times)

Offline RAnDOOm

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Re: Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #15 on: 09-10-2014, 12:10:17 »
A public thank you to Mayhemic.MAD for posting the news in the homepage.

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The Bridge on the River Kwai





Begun in October 1942, using prisoner of war (POW) labour, it was completed and operational by early February 1943.
Both the wooden and the adjacent steel bridge were subjected to numerous air raids between January and June 1945. POW labour was used to repair the wooden bridge on each occasion. Tamarkan is fifty five kilometres north of Nong Pladuk (also known as Non Pladuk), or five kilometres north of Kanchanaburi.

Photographed by the War Graves Commission survey party whose task was to located POW cemeteries and grave sites along the Burma-Thailand railway. They also took the opportunity to recover equipment and documents, which had been secretly buried, under instructions from senior POW officers, in the graves of deceased POWS.



The photograph shows the two bridges built by the Japanese, using prisoner of war (POW) labour, which spanned the Mae Klong river (renamed Kwa Yai river in 1960). The wooden trestle bridge was completed in February 1943, and the steel bridge in April 1943.

This eleven span bridge had been dismantled by the Japanese and brought to Tamarkan from Java in 1942. Both bridges wee subjected to numerous attacks by Allied aircraft during the period December 1944 to June 1945. One span of the steel bridge was destroyed in a raid mid February 1945. Two more spans were dropped during raids between April and June 1945.

Tamarkan POW camp was located adjacent to both the bridges and a nearby Japanese anti-aircraft battery. It also suffered during these air raids, the worst being on 29 November 1944. During this attack on the Ack Ack battery, three bombs overcarried and demolished the top ends of POW huts 1 and 2, burying a number of the occupants.

The POW casualties numbered nineteen killed and sixty eight wounded. During a four hour attack on the bridges and Ack Ack battery on 5 February 1945, a further fifteen POWs were injured. The camp site was littered with great fragments of shrapnel, and one hut and the canteen were burnt to the ground. On 14 February 1945, the Japanese evacuated the remaining POWs to the Chungkai camp which was located approximately two kilometres north on Kanchanaburi, on the bank of the River Kwai Noi.




Offline RAnDOOm

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Re: Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #16 on: 14-10-2014, 13:10:49 »



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Operation Longcloth


In February 8, 1943 in Operation Longcloth, 3000 Chindits, Wingate with them, begun their march into Burma. The original intent had been to use the Chindits as a part of a larger offensive but it was cancelled. Wingate convinced General Wavell to send the Chindits into Burma in spite of the cancellation of the larger offensive. The Chindits crossed the Chindwin River on February 13 and faced the first Japanese troops two days later. They were divided into seven columns. Two columns marched to the south and received their air supply drops in broad daylight to create an impression that they were the main attack. They even had a man impersonating a British general along with them. RAF mounted air attacks on Japanese targets to support the deception. These columns were to swing east at the beginning of march and attack the main north-south in areas south of the main force.



One column successfully carried out demolitions along the railway but the other column was ambushed. Half of the ambushed column returned to India. Five other columns proceeded eastward. Two, those of Michael Calvert and Bernard Fergusson, proceeded towards the main north-south railway in Burma. On March 4 Calvert's column reached the valley and demolished the railway in 70 places. Fergusson arrived two days later to do the same. The railway was put out of action only for a very short period. On many occasions, the Chindits could not take their wounded with them; some were left behind in villages. Wingate had in fact issued specific orders to leave behind all wounded, but these orders were not strictly followed. Since there were often no established paths in the jungle along their routes, many times they had to clear their own with machetes and kukris. A single RAF squadron of 6 planes supplied them by air. Once in Burma, Wingate repeatedly changed his plans, sometimes without informing all the column commanders. The majority of two of the columns marched back to India after being ambushed by the Japanese in separate actions. After the railway attacks, he decided to cross his force over the Irrawaddy River. However, the area on the other side of the river turned out to be inhospitable to operations. Water was difficult to obtain and the combination of rivers with a good system of roads in the area allowed the Japanese to force the Chindits into a progressively smaller "box".




« Last Edit: 14-10-2014, 19:10:00 by RAnDOOm »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Imphal - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #17 on: 21-10-2014, 12:10:52 »



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Battle of Imphal, India, March 15, 1944



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.




Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Imphal - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #18 on: 24-10-2014, 10:10:03 »
« Last Edit: 24-10-2014, 11:10:13 by RAnDOOm »

Offline Korsakov829

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Re: Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #19 on: 24-10-2014, 15:10:09 »
From Alaska, to India! BANZAI!

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Kohima - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #20 on: 27-10-2014, 17:10:27 »
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Battle of Kohima, India, April 5, 1944



The Battle of Kohima was the turning point of the Japanese U Go offensive into India in 1944 in the Second World War.

Early in 1944 the Japanese 15th Army commanded by General Renya Mutagushi launched a pre-emptive strike across the Chindwin River. It’s primary aim and purpose was to encircle and destroy the British IV Corps at Imphal to prevent the launch of a British & Indian attack across the border to retake Burma.

To achieve this Mutagushi ordered 2 of his divisions, the 15th & 33rd to encircle and destroy the British and Indian forces on the Imphal Plain. His 3rd Division, the 31st, commanded by Lt Gen Sato was to strike west to cut the road between the great supply depot and railhead at Dimapur thus preventing reinforcements from going to the aid of IV Corps. The road was to be cut at the small hill station of Kohima which sat at the pass through the hills. Once this was achieved, Mutagushi further planned to head off into India proper. He had been convinced that the Indians would then rise up in support against the British. This, the Japanese claimed, was the start of their march on Delhi.

The British of course knew that the Japanese were heading towards Kohima but they didn’t fully appreciate the numbers and the speed of approach. The Japanese 31st Division comprised about 13,500 men!!




Kohima was almost like a transit camp, with soldiers coming and going all of the time as the buildup in Imphal progressed, there was a field bakery, a hospital, vehicle repairs, a leave camp and a battle casualty reinforcement camp. With the constant movement of men, the best estimate is that the Garrison, commanded by Colonel H.U.W. Richards, consisted of about 1,500 combatant troops. These were mainly about 420 officers & men from the 4th battalion of the Queens Own Royal West Kent regiment who together with the remainder of their brigade, the 161st from 5th Indian Division had been airlifted out from the Arakan to meet the threat.

Elements of the Assam Rifles and Assam Regiment together with the soldiers from the leave & reinforcement camp formed the remainder. The Japanese arrived in the Kohima area on the 4th April and by the 5th they were fully engaged with the garrison. Slowly, day by day the defenders were inexorably driven in on their final defensive position – the Deputy Commissioner’s tennis court and his bungalow.

In the meantime, the British 2nd Division was some 2000 miles away in the south west of India at Belgaum. To meet the emergency the Division was rushed across India by road, rail and air. Speed was the essence because the Japanese had also cut the Dimapur / Kohima road as well and the small Garrison was completely surrounded. In Kohima itself, the Garrison was holding on, but was very nearly at the limit of its endurance. There was no time to form a proper divisional concentration at Dimapur and, as units of the 2nd Division arrived, they went straight into action, piecemeal.




On 12 Apr 44, 1st battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, with artillery and tank support, attacked and destroyed the Japanese position near the thirty-seventh milestone. 2nd Division’s operations to relieve 161st Brigade and the Kohima Garrison went on rapidly and on Tuesday 18th April 1944, the small garrison was relieved and the siege lifted. The Japanese advance had been checked. The invasion of India had been halted. From the time orders were received at Belgaum more than 2,000 miles away the British 2nd Division had taken only thirty one days to collect, organize and transport itself to engage with the enemy and to begin to push it back.

The immediate future, however, was forbidding, for the Japanese still held most of Kohima, and their positions, dug deep into commanding hillsides with interlocking support, were very strong. The fighting went on for a further 7 weeks before the Japanese were finally forced to withdraw from the field. The leading elements of the relieving column from the British and Indian army heading towards Imphal met the advance column of IV Corps at milestone 109 on the 22nd June. TheBattle for Kohima was over!

The Japanese left behind around 7,000 dead and the British & Indian Army had around 4,000 casualties.

In the aftermath of the battle it has been said that there have been longer sieges but there have been fewer that were bloodier.




This was a battle in which everyone took part. There were no onlookers and the fighting was hand to hand for the most part. No-one was spared and 2 more Brigadiers were killed as were 5 Commanding Officers as testimony to the ferocity of the fighting.

The Battle of Kohima, in the opinion of many, was the decisive period of the Burma campaign. Had Kohima fallen it is difficult to see how Imphal could have been relieved in time.

Kohima “was one of the greatest battles of the Second World War, rivalling El Alamein and Stalingrad, though it still remains comparatively unknown. However, to the men who fought there, it remains “The Battle”.

In 2013, the British National Army Museum voted the Battle of Imphal and Kohima 'Britain's Greatest Battle'.



« Last Edit: 27-10-2014, 19:10:40 by RAnDOOm »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Kohima - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #21 on: 27-10-2014, 20:10:24 »
Has a WW2 buff i always like to read everything related to a specific battle. This one is pretty interesting in my opinion.

The history associated to this battle is very detailed.
« Last Edit: 28-10-2014, 10:10:30 by RAnDOOm »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Kohima - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #22 on: 28-10-2014, 19:10:41 »
Click to watch the video
Battle of Kohima
« Last Edit: 28-10-2014, 19:10:11 by RAnDOOm »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle of Kohima - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #23 on: 30-10-2014, 13:10:10 »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle over Mogaung - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #24 on: 05-11-2014, 13:11:25 »
This battle will be played Saturday 8th of November at 19hUTC


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Battle over Mogaung, Burma, June 27, 1944



The 3rd Battalion 6th Gurkha Rifles were part of 77 (LRP) Brigade commanded by Brigadier ‘Mad Mike’ Calvert, acknowledged as Orde Wingate’s most tenacious Chindit commander. In early May, the two 3/6th columns were reunited as a Battalion, now commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Freddie Shaw with Major Jimmy Lumley as his Second-in-Command .

Having held off superior Japanese forces for two months from their stronghold ‘White City’, 77 Brigade were ordered north to bring pressure on the Japanese opposing Stillwell’s Chinese in the area of Mogaung. The 160 mile approach march to Mogaung was marked by a series of bloody encounters. The monsoon had broken and conditions were appalling; malaria and typhus were rife. At the end of May, Stillwell ordered 77 Brigade to capture Mogaung itself. 14th Army intelligence, backed by hazardous patrols from 77 Brigade, showed Mogaung to be held by 4,000 Japanese.
By the time 77 Brigade launched its main assault it was reduced from an original 3,500 to a fighting strength of less than 550 men. The Lancashire Fusiliers, King’s Regiment and South Staffords between them could only muster 300 and the 3/6th Gurkhas had 230 left fit.




The plan was to advance on the town using the Pin Hmi road as an axis . On the 11th June, Captain Michael Allmand’s heroic feat in ensuring the capture of the Pin Hmi Inn road bridge was the first of the exploits for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The second occurred on 13th June in the fighting to secure a ridge closer to the town. By now Allmand had taken over command of B Company because of casualties among its officers.

Over the next few days Chinese forces came alongside 77 Brigade to face Mogaung. Although their infantry played no part in the final attack, their 75mm guns provided 77 Brigade with their only artillery.




At first light on 23rd June the final assault was launched. Earlier reconnaissance had pin-pointed the ‘Red House’ as a likely trouble spot. It was Rifleman Tulbahadur Pun’s single-handed gallantry as part of B Company’s attack on the ‘Red House’ which earned him his Victoria Cross. The third specific outstandingly brave action by Tulbahadur’s Company Commander, Michael Allmand, provided the inspiration which lead to the capture of the railway bridge. Sadly, Allmand was mortally wounded and died that night from his wounds. Fierce fighting continued throughout the day and that night. The following morning, a cautious advance into the town found that the Japanese had abandoned it. Mogaung was the first main town in Burma to be re-captured.



The Battalion was now ordered to garrison Mogaung. They remained there until 5th July before marching a further 50 miles to be flown back to India. Whilst in Mogaung, the Battalion took the opportunity to hold a small ceremonial parade and hoisted the Union Jack on a large pagoda, the most prominent building left standing. It was fitting that the Battalion should have the honour of doing this as it had given of its best in capturing a town whose name will ever rank among its finest achievements.

But the cost had been high. Since flying into Burma less than four months earlier, 3/6th had suffered a total of 485 casualties.



« Last Edit: 05-11-2014, 14:11:04 by RAnDOOm »

Offline RAnDOOm

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Battle over Mogaung - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #25 on: 07-11-2014, 16:11:19 »


Offline RAnDOOm

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Operation Thursday - Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #26 on: 12-11-2014, 12:11:46 »
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Operation Thursday, Burma, February 5, 1944.



On February 5, 1944, Fergusson's 16th Brigade left Ledo for Burma. They avoided Japanese forces by traversing exceptionally difficult terrain. The rest of the Brigades were brought in by air to create fortified bases with airstrips. Three landing zones, codenamed Piccadilly, Broadway and Chowringhee were selected. Calvert's 77th Brigade prepared to fly by glider into Piccadilly on the night of March 5. A last-minute reconnaissance revealed Piccadilly to be covered with logs, making landing impossible. In some accounts of the incident, Wingate insisted that the operation had been betrayed and that the other landing zones would be ambushed. To proceed would be "murder". Slim accepted the responsibility of ordering a willing Calvert to proceed with the operation, using Broadway instead. Broadway was a worse landing ground and there were many casualties in crash landings, but Calvert's men were just able to make the strip fit to take transport aircraft. Chindit gliders landed on Chowringhee the next day. It was later revealed that the logs on Piccadilly had been placed there to dry by Burmese teak loggers. The real problem was the failure to maintain observation of the landing zones (e.g. with high-flying Spitfire photo-reconnaissance aircraft) before the forces were deployed.




Over the next week, 600 sorties transferred 9000 men to the landing zones. Chowringhee was abandoned once the fly-in was completed, but Broadway was held with a garrison which included field artillery, anti-aircraft guns and even Spitfire fighters for a brief period. Fergusson's brigade set up another base named Aberdeen north of Indaw, into which 14th Brigade was flown. Calvert's brigade established yet another, named White City at Mawlu, astride the main railway and road leading to the Japanese northern front. 111 Brigade set up ambushes and roadblocks south of Indaw (although part of the brigade which landed at Chowringhee was delayed in crossing the Irrawaddy River), before moving west to Pinlebu.
Ferocious jungle fighting ensued around Broadway and White City. At times, British and Japanese troops were in close combat, bayonets and kukris against katanas. On March 27, after days of aircraft attack, Japanese attacked Broadway for several nights before the attack was repulsed with flown-in artillery and the aid of Kachin irregulars locally recruited.




Offline RAnDOOm

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Click to watch the video
Operation Thursday

Offline Ivancic1941

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Re: Forgotten Hope 1: Last Breath of an Empire
« Reply #28 on: 14-11-2014, 18:11:32 »
Nice looking map!
Floppy Wardisc or Floppy Wierdbear

Offline RAnDOOm

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Nice looking map!

Thanks! It will be played tomorrow in the Campaign at 19h UTC.

Its free and everyone can join.   ;)