Kakching World War-II Memorial Run, Second Edition - 2019, Manipur

Dedicated to The Valient Soldiers of Allied and  Japanese Forces, Azad Hind Fauj & Common People of Manipur, 1944

8th September, 2019

The World War - II Platinum Jubilee Commemoration Run

After an overwhelming support of the people last year, we bring the Second Edition of Kakching World War II Memorial Run, on 08 Sep 2019 at Kakching (Manipur).

Seventy Five years ago, the brave soldiers of Azad Hind laid down their lives fighting for Indian independence. Approximately 250 Azad Hind soldiers laid down their lives during an attack at the Kakching Airfield and nearby areas in Jun 1944. The sacrifices of Azad Hind Fauj soldiers led by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and subsequent fallouts of this campaign largely contributed to ensuring total freedom for the people of Indian Subcontinent from British Rule.

The Manipur Second World War-II, 1944 between the Allied and Axis (Japanese) forces in Manipur changed history of the world.  We are conducting this historic, spiritual, environmental and recreational Run to commemorate sacrifices of all those brave soldiers who fought bravely and laid down their lives in Battle of Manipur.

Come one, come all, be part this historic recreational run, enjoy the bounty of nature, feel the warmth of the people of Kakching, Manipur.

RUN DETAILS

Categories for Men and Women

– 8 km Fun Run: T-Shirt and Breakfast – Rs. 500/-

– 25 km Run: Timing Chips, T-Shirt, Medal, Breakfast – Rs. 1200/-

– Age Categories: (i) Up to 45 years  (ii) Above 45 years

– Senior Citizens: Above 65 years 25 km run (honorarium prizes for all)

– Run Route: At and around Kakching  (i) 8 km : All plains, metaled road  (ii) 25 km: 90% plains, metaled roads, rest undulating hills and unpaved roads

Registration

Online Registration 

Offline Registration

Contact us for form outlets in your area.

Email: kakchingrunners@gmail.com

Mob:  +91-7085862183 (Romesh) ,  +91-8794032432 (Colonel Ranjit)

Recreational Activities

Group Sightseeing, historical, cultural, agri-tourism etc with Local Cuisine Lunch can be arranged on additional payment.

Accommodation

Hotels are available at Imphal 40 kms away. At Kakching homestay, dorm stay etc. are being arranged with separate charges. Please project your requirements.

How to Reach Kakching

Imphal, the capital city of Manipur is connected by Air from most major cities in India. Kakching lies 40 kms South of Imphal. There are buses, cabs running from Imphal to Kakching. In large groups pickups from Airport can be arranged on payment.

For specific requirements and  any query, please contact us at Kakchingrunners@gmail.com. We shall take a collective final decision depending on the number of people subscribing for it.

About the run

The RUN is  dedicated to the  sacrifices of  Azad Hind Fauj  under  Netaji Subash Chandra Bose who fought for the Independence of India, to the peace loving common people of Manipur 1944 on  whom war was thrust upon and suffered silently, to the valiant soldiers of Imperial Japanese, Allied forces who made the supreme sacrifice on  this  sacred land of  Manipur, to show our heartfelt  solidarity to all  those Mothers, Fathers, Spouses, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters for enduring the  irreparable loss of their  loved ones and their lives shattered forever.  The Run is also aimed to preserve and showcase the rich cultural, historical heritage of Manipur, to promote sports, adventure, health, and nature tourism in the state.

MANIPUR WORLD WAR II -1944

Before the Second World War, Manipur was a quiet place on the north-eastern corner of the British India with minimal links with the outside world. People lived with their age old traditional agro based peaceful lifestyle. However, the turn of the events in the world since early 1940s, played havoc and brought in thousands of people from around the world to kill each other on this sacred land.

On 07 December 1941, Japan attacked US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour in the Pacific Hawaiian islands and declared war on the United States and Britain.  They advanced very rapidly in the Far East and South East Asia, invaded Hongkong, Malaya, Singapore and by early 1942, took over Burma.  Their next plan was to invade India. INA of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose sided with Imperial Japanese forces with a dream to gain Indian Independence by military means. 

Over one lakh civilian refugees fled Burma followed by fighting retreat of British Burma Army and Allied Forces through Manipur in 1942. The first bombs fell at Imphal on 10 and 16 May 1942.  This changed everything for Manipur.  Imphal became a very important strategic forward base for Allied defence and counterattack.  War infrastructures, airfields, roads, supply dumps, encampments were built at a pace never seen before.

On 08 March 1944, the Japanese crossed the Chindwin River and launched Operation U-GO along with the Azad Hind Fauj of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. By 29 Mar 1944, Japanese cut the Imphal Kohima road and effectively laid seize to Imphal.  Air transport then became the only  link with outside.  It was a fierce, do or die battle for both sides.  Despite heavy losses, the war saw some of the finest display of military valour, tenacity, human perseverance.  The Allied forces were kept supplied by Transport Aircraft while the Japanese eventually ran out of supply.  On 22 June 1944, Imphal – Kohima – Dimapur road was cleared and the seize of Imphal was over.  Japan ordered to break off the offensive on 03 Jul 2018 and a complete withdrawal beyond Chindwin was approved on 18 Jul 1944.  During its long and arduous withdrawal, many more Japanese soldiers died due to disease, starvation and exhaustion. Till then, it was the worst chronicled Japanese defeat in its history. The battle of Imphal and Kohima has also been declared as the Britain’s greatest battle.  Later on, Allied forces recovered all its lost colonies.

The War was thrust upon on the common people of Manipur. Most were too simple or illiterate to comprehend the purpose and reasoning of the war. Normal life was thrown astray. People evacuated their homes and stayed in bomb shelters. After the War, there was a near famine situation as no proper cultivation was possible for nearly two years.  Many died due to an outbreak of Cholera.

KAKCHING AND THE WAR

Kakching (Palel) airfield is one of the only two all-weather bitumen surfaced runways, amongst the six airfields constructed in Manipur. Two RAF Squadrons No 34 and 42, flying the legendary Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, accredited with the maximum number of Luftwaffe aircraft shot down during the Battle of Britain, were stationed here in the bomber role. The hillock east of the airfield had camouflaged aircraft shelters.  There was a metalled taxiway all around the hillock and up to the airfield.  The eastern side of airfield had an ATC tower around halfway and two taxy track loops with blast pens.   No 5 Squadron of RAF flying the hurricanes and No 136 Squadron flying the Spitfire interceptors operated from Sapam Airfield, few miles North of Kakching.  There were another airstrip at Wangjing, few miles further north. 

Kakching village is situated 2 kms off the Tamu Imphal road and lies approximately 40 kms south of Imphal.  The Kakching Khullen area east of Theigong (irrigation canal) was evacuated and occupied by allied forces as residents cum offices. The “Laipham Loknung” (Gorges of the Gods) at “Mamang Ching” (eastern hills) of Kakching had many encampments and dugouts all along.  Vehicle depot workshops were at “Irum Ningthou Ikoufam”(water abode of ancestral God Irum Ningthou) area.  At Turel Wangma (western side of Sengmai River) area, a large supply dump was set up.  As per elders, it stored clothing, barbed wires, vehicles spares, fuel cans, armoured vehicle and tanks, mules, arms, ammunition etc. It also served as a sort of transit station.  Often there would be a large concentration of men, material and mules only to find it all gone the next morning.  Once the residents of Turel Wangma were made to vacate for a few days to cater to the arrival of men and supplies.  Further west, between Wabagai and Thongjao, north of the road to Sugnu, a pukka building was constructed as a residential cum office.   

The 20th Indian Division at Tamu, withdrew to Shenam Saddle, few miles south of Kakching and prevented further advance of the Japanese Yamamoto forces.   It is a conglomerate of five hill tops between Shenam and Tengnoupal, overlooking the only metalled road suitable to bring in Japanese tanks and heavy artillery.  From 08 to 22 April 1944, these hill tops were fiercely contested.  There were intense fighting with heavy losses on both sides, especially for the control of Scraggy Hill top. 

Propaganda by infiltrating behind enemy the lines and using leaflets were carried out by Azad Hind Fauj. Having failed to breakthrough to use the Tamu road, the Gandhi Brigade of Azad Hind Fauj led by Inayat Kiyani, bypassed the enemy positions and attacked Kakching (Palel) airfield on the night of 28 Apr 1944.  Short of rations, they pulled back and suffered 250 casualties to shellfire.  In early July 1944, when the Japanese withdrawal became eminent, they carried out two more desperate but successful daring attacks at the airfield destroying many parked aircraft.

There were frequent whaling of air raid sirens, bombings, rattling of anti-aircraft artillery and aerial dogfights at Kakching.  As per elders, at least two Japanese aircraft, referred locally as “Satumbi (sleek body)” fell down at Kakching  Nongjubi Chingol (westen hills) Area. 

The residents Kakching Khullen had to vacate their homes.  People crammed up in school grounds, Temple mandaps or wherever they could manage, stayed in Komjaos (makeshift bomb shelters dug in a zig zag arrowhead shape).  This is known as Lanjenba (dislocation due to war), and lasted approximately 2 to 3 years.  There were general shortage of food.  During the frequent whaling of air raid sirens, people snubbed their Podons (primitive kerosene wick lamps), pine wood fire lamps, kitchen fires, left whatever they were doing and ran for safety to Komjaos.   In one such bombing raid at the northern end of the airfield, few residents of Kakching were killed and wounded.  

Years Ago - Still Afresh

Since 1944, seventy four years have passed and next year it would be a platinum Jubilee anniversary.  However, still many lessons are yet to be learnt and the dust of the war is yet to settle. The war had left a deep scar on the minds of the people of Manipur. Many surviving elders, saw the war in their early youth and has vivid memories of those horrific years.  Every household has some stories connected to the war. Kakching Runners sincerely pray and hope that such days should never return for anyone.

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