[pib] Battle of Kangla Tongbi

Mains Paper 1 : Modern Indian History |


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Battle of Kangla Tongbi and Imphal

Mains level : Japanese invasion of SE Asia


  • The Battle of Kangla Tongbi recently completed its platinum jubilee.

Battle of Kangla Tongbi

  • It is considered one of the fiercest battles of World War II, was fought by Ordnance personnel of 221 Advance Ordnance Depot (AOD) on the night of 6/7 April 1944.
  • Japanese forces had planned a three pronged offensive to capture Imphal and the surrounding areas.
  • At Kangla Tongbi, a small but determined detachment of 221 AOD put up stiff resistance against the advancing Japanese forces.
  • The position of 221 AOD was not at all sound from a tactical point of view and was exposed to the enemy from all sides and had to rely on its own combatant manpower for its defence.
  • However their combatant role shook the enemy and forced the Japanese to withdraw leaving many dead.

Significance of the battle

  • This battle is one of those fought during the Battle of Imphal that shook imperialist motives of Japan and made them reconsider.
  • Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Allied forces at Imphal and invade India, but were driven back into Burma with heavy losses.
  • The defeat was the largest defeat to that date in Japanese history with many of the Japanese deaths resulting from starvation, disease and exhaustion suffered during their retreat.
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