The British Fourteenth Army played a significant part in defeating Japan, and on Saturday, 15 August 2020, the world commemorated the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, aka, Victory over Japan day when on that date Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers. The surrender was formally signed on 2 September, 1945.
Commanded by Lieutenant-General Slim, the British Fourteenth Army were a mixed bunch comprising British and Indian Army as well as West and East African troops in addition to Karen hill tribes. It was also known as ‘The Forgotten Army’, due to the world’s focus on the European as well as the Pacific theatres of war rather than the Burma Campaign.
A particularly vicious battle was that at Kohima, the capital of Nagaland in northeast India. This raged from 5 April to 22 June, 1944. Fighting was savage with no quarter given or taken, many times hand-to-hand. The weather and the land, especially during the monsoon, were unforgiving.
Did I say they were a mixed bunch? Y’know, white skinned, dark skinned…
Fighting alongside each other.
For each other.
The monument to the dead of Kohima is simple, ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’
No matter the odds, they never gave up.
We can learn from that.
‘No one left behind ’
J J Mitchell