the Imphal expedition failed largely because of the failure of the Japanese
military supplies to the front and the complete dominations the British
and American forces had over the skies of Burma, Netaji had to explain
that this was not the end of the war. It was a setback but not the final
the operations too late. The monsoon was disadvantageous to us. Our roads
were submerged. River traffic had to be against the current. Against this,
the enemy had first-class roads. Our only chance was to take Imphal before
the rains started; and we would have succeeded if we had more air support
and if the enemy forces in Imphal had not special orders to make a stand
to the last man. If we had started in January, we would have succeeded.
In all sectors, till the rains began, we either held the enemy or advanced.
In the Arakan Sector, the enemy was held; In the Kaladan Sector, we routed
the enemy and advanced; In Tiddim, we advanced; In Palel and Kohima also,
we advanced; In the Haka Sector, we held them - and all this in spite of
the numerical superiority that the enemy had, plus equipment and rations.
When the rains
came, we had to postpone the general assault on Imphal. The enemy was able
to send mechanized divisions and thus was able to retake the Kohima-Imphal
Road. The question then arose: where should we hold the line? There were
two courses open: either to hold on to the Bishenpur- Palel Line and not
allow the enemy to advance; or to fall back and hold a more advantageous
What are the
lessons we have learnt from the campaign? We have received our baptism
by fire. A body of ex-civilians, who were ordered to withdraw, and with
fixed bayonets they charged the enemy. They came back victorious.
have gained much confidence. We have learnt that the Indian troops with
the enemy are willing to come over. We must now make arrangements to take
them over. We have learnt the tactics of the enemy. We have captured enemy
documents. The experience gained by our Commanders has been invaluable.
Before the campaign started, the Japanese had no confidence in our troops
and wanted to break them up into batches attached to the Japanese Army.
I wanted a front to be given to our men and this was ultimately given.
We have also
learnt our defects. Transport and supply were defective owing to the difficult
terrain. We had no frontline propaganda. Though we had prepared personnel
for this, we could not use them owing to lack of transport. Henceforth,
each unit of the INA will have a propaganda unit attached to it. We wanted
loudspeakers but the Japanese failed to supply them to us. We are now making