WWII Imphal campaign foundation sets up museum

Imphal, March 11: In what is quite literally a blast from the past, the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation sets up a museum in Imphal to mirror that period through relics, artifacts, arms and ammunitions, and a warplane engine.

The museum was set up on the initiative of the tourism department of Manipur state. Manipur is a repository of historical information and relics of the period since it is often considered to be one of the most significant theatres of World War II and having witnessed many high-pitched battles between the Japanese and the Allied troops.

Co- founder of the museum Aramabam Angamba Singh, on Monday spoke of the need to restore the history of World War II in the state, which might be lost in the coming decades.

“The main purpose of the mission was that to understand the need that we have a big World War II heritage which is in danger. It might be lost in another ten-twenty years. Moreover, we wanted our younger generation and future generations to feel what really happened in World War II and the devastation and whatever the war had brought to our small state of Manipur,” said Singh.

Thousands of soldiers were killed and several were maimed in the twin clashes of Imphal in Manipur and Kohima in Nagaland, which have been named the greatest battles involving British troops by National Army Museum of London.

The relics have been restored with continuous excavation processes at over ten sites in the state which witnessed waves of actions during the war.

The restored World War II artefacts include barrels of rare Arisaka guns and bullets, a radio compass of a Dakota aircraft, artillery shells, Allied khaki shirts, war manuals, type 97 Japanese grenade, type 91 Japanese grenade and oxygen cylinders used by aircraft pilots.

The excavation efforts were part of the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Imphal. (ANI)