Battle of Imphal

English Japanese (日本語)

The Silchar-Bishenpur Track

The Silchar-Bishenpur Track or Old Cachar Road. Two Victoria Crosses were awarded near here in June 1944. The Silchar-Bishenpur Track or Old Cachar Road. Two Victoria Crosses were awarded near here in June 1944. Photo by Hemant Singh Katoch

When Second World War memoirs and military accounts mention the Silchar-Bishenpur Track or the Silchar Track, they are referring to the section of the Old Cachar Road from Bishenpur up to the suspension bridge over the Leimatak River (which was blown up by the Japanese on April 15, 1944).

The fighting in this sector is interconnected with simultaneous events on the Tiddim Road. The Japanese 33rd Division was active on the Track and on the Watershed Range/Thangjing Range it cut through, while facing off for the most part with 32 Brigade of the 20th Indian Division. As always, the Japanese objective was to get through to Imphal, this time from the west/south-west, as well as to block the use of the Silchar Track by the British. As with Shenam, the intensity of the close, hand-to-hand infantry fighting along the Silchar Track and its environs was likened by some to the Western Front in World War I.

Peaks such as Point 5846 (Laimaton Peak), Wooded Hill and Three Pimple Hill / Mitsukobu,  and spots such as Water Piquet and Mortar Bluff were the sites of many a clash in this sector, while mountain villages such as Ngariyan (or the British-named Halfway House), Mollou, Laimanai, Sadu, Tokpa Khul, Kungpi, Kha Aimol, Kokaden, Khoirok, Laimaton, and Nunggang, were on routes used by the Japanese to approach the Silchar Track and Imphal from the west.