Some Photos from Shenam Ridge

Historical Context. Shenam Ridge carries the road from Moreh/Tamu to Pallel on the Imphal Plain. As such it was the central of three main axis of the Japanese advance onto Imphal.

At some points in time it was their main effort perhaps because Shenam Ridge was the shortest route for the Japanese to get to Imphal Plain.

The Ridge is made of the hills with English names, Nippon Hill was held for most of the battle by the Japanese. This allowed them to based their artillery on it and thus deliver mostly observed i.e. accurate fire down the ridge. There was Crete East and Crete West which were heavily contested with multiple assaults many by The Devon Regiment. Scraggy again heavily contested. Then further back towards Imphal, Malta and Gibraltar.

At one point my father then Major DS Sole was commanding D Company, 2 Border held a depth position along the ridge. In May 1944 this was subject to a determined attack from the Japanese who came up from the valley by passing the Anglo-Indian positions further forward on the Ridge. It was during this engagement that Capt Ian Urquhart won the MC by leading a counter attack.

Photos

These photos are from a visit in 2016.

Shenam Ridge Road

This is the road on shenam Ridge, just visible on the bottom left.

They are of the road that runs along the Shenam ridge. The road is much improved but takes the same line as the road in 1944. Each morning the road had to be cleared of any Japanese patrols which might have reached the road at night.

Nippon Hill

nippon-hill

This photo is of Nippon Hill which was held by the Japanese for most of the battle. They got artillery onto it and were thus able to deliver observed i.e. accurate artillery fire all along the ridge for most of the battle. The photos is taken with zoom from the road beside Scraggy.

Kabaw Valley

kabw-valley

This photo is taken about 3/4 of the way down from the Shenam Ridge to Moreh in the Kabaw Valley. The valley is a very different environment being lower and hotter. It was down in the valley that 20 Division had hoped to fight the Japanese but in the end had to withdraw and fight on the ridge.

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