52296 - The Battle of Imphal-Kihoma

Remembrance in 2024

The battles of 1944

At the same time as final preparations for D-Day were being made, the Italian Campaign was halted at the major German defensive ‘Gustav Line’. The ensuing assaults of the Battle of Monte Cassino were the bloodiest of the Italian Campaign in which a multi-country Allied force distinguished themselves. The final breakthrough of 18th May enabled the advance north to liberate Rome on 5th June 1944. 

While battle raged across Europe, on the other side of the world Japanese forces invaded India and pushed back the British 14th Army. Outnumbered British and Indian forces withstood weeks of siege and brutal fighting, frequently hand-to-hand, at the Battles of Kohima and Imphal. The defeat of Japanese forces in June (Kohima) and July (Imphal) was a turning point in the war in the east and the springboard for the later Allied liberation of Burma. The 14th Army was a true multinational force, with the majority of its troops from pre-partition India. 

In September Operation Market Garden was a daring attempt to secure key bridges in German-occupied Netherlands in a bid to shorten the war. Some 35,000 paratroopers and glider-borne soldiers landed behind enemy lines to capture towns and key bridges, and were to be supported by a ground force of another 50,000. The courage and tenacity of Market Garden’s troops has made this one of the most famous battles of the war.

The Canadian-led Battle of the Scheldt also involved Royal Marines and Scottish Division units in a bitter campaign to open a vital, secure passage to the port of Antwerp, the second largest European port. Victory was achieved in October at high cost, but it meant the Allies could open the sea lanes into The Netherlands and Belgium for vital supplies and help fuel the continent’s final liberation. 

Each of these battles was a significant turning point in the war, and each was hard-fought and at a significant cost in casualties. Eight decades later we remember the service and sacrifice of the generation that opened the road to freedom. 

Summary of 2024 anniversaries

  • 18 May 2024: 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Monte Cassino  
  • 6 June 2024: 80th anniversary of D-Day and the start of the Battle of Normandy  
  • 22 June 2024: 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Kohima  
  • 18 July 2024: 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Imphal 
  • 25 September 2024: 80th anniversary of the end of Operation Market Garden 
  • 8 November 2024: 80th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Scheldt 
  • Recruits of the Indian Auxiliary Territorial Service, part of the Women's Auxiliary Corps of the British Indian Army

    The Commonwealth

    Men and women from the Commonwealth have served, and continue to serve throughout our Armed Forces and civilian services. We will remember their service throughout our commemorations.
    Commonwealth Contribution
    Nicole Brown in her Royal Navy uniform

    Armed Forces today

    The Armed Forces continue to play a vital role in Britain today, at home and overseas. From peacekeeping and disaster relief, to helping in the fight against COVID-19 we will remember the contribution of those serving in the Armed Forces.
    Teaching Remembrance KS1

    Education resources

    Our Teaching Remembrance resources explain the meaning and impact of service. They explore what service is, the diversity of those who serve from Britain and the Commonwealth, and highlight lesser known types of service.
    Teaching Remembrance

    Remembrance in 2023

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