World War II Ammunition and Bayonets Discovered In Manipur

The discovery was made during an excavation initiated by the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation and MMTA, leading the team of experts to a collection of ammunition, bayonets and fragments of bombs previously used by the Japanese forces. The pieces were found at Lamdan hills.

Manipur was a place of high significance for the Second World War times and the battles carried on there, between the Japanese and the Allied forces. The battles of Imphal and Kohima for example, saw thousands of soldiers dead and several thousands wounded, in what the greatest battles involving British forces,  by the National Army Museum in London.

The excavation is conducted as part of the World War Two Imphal Campaign Foundation’s 70th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Imphal. The commemoration of Manipur’s engagement in the Second World War will begin in March and will end in July, according to one of the key members of the foundation and of the Burma Campaign Society, Yumnam Rajeshwar.

Rajeshwar said that a war museum will be opening at the residence of Arambam Pradip, former Manipur IGP, who during the Second World War, served with the  Indian Army’s 6/11 Gorka Regiment Emergency service. His son, Arambam Angamba is also an important member of the foundation.

According to Yumnam Rajeshwar, other excavations are being conducted at the moment, at other 10 sites in Manipur, where the conflict unfolded decade ago. The ten excavation sites are at Sangshak, Point 7378, Kanglatongbi, Torbung, Motbung, Nungshigum, Runaway Hill, Kameng, Laimaton and parts of Bishnupur.

All the memorabilia that has been found so far will be going on display at the museum, this way achieving another one of the foundation’s goals, that to promote war tourism in Manipur and make research easier, The Times Of India reports.

If you visit the museum between March and July, you will be able to see some extraordinary artifacts, including barrels of Arisaka guns and bullets, a radio compass that belonged to a Dakota aircraft, khaki shirts of the Allied troops, shells, books, Japanese grenades and oxygen cylinders.

Rajeshwar said that the Japanese forces and the Allied troops fought along the Laimaton hill for over 3 months, including at Lamdan, which is located about 38 km south of Imphal, making it clear why the artifacts were found in that area.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE