The Japanese Burma Area Army had set some very optimistic goals for its frontline divisions attacking the Commonwealth forces screening India. Since they enjoyed a massive superiority in airpower and logistics, the British XIV Army was able to counter several enemy attempts to push up the valleys leading to the Imphal plain. In the jungle however, fighting was bloody and ruthless, and relatively even, since initially both sides found it difficult to make effective use of their forces. The Tiddirn Road led south from Imphal through the village ofNingthoukhong, which was suffering from Japanese shelling. On the 21st, the Japanese White Tiger 33rd Division detached a small force of infantry and guns to cut the road at the village. This was the sector of the Black Cat 17th (Indian) Division which quickly responded, sending A Company, I/4th Gurkhas and supporting Grants to restore use of the road. Avoiding the marshy ground near Logtak Lake, Pettit's squadron roared across the open paddies, screening the advancing infantry. Suddenly the fire of two Japanese anti-tank guns erupted (and ironically one was a captured 2 pounder), puncturing the belly armour of several Lee/Grants as they bounced over the paddy banks. Machine-gun firelanes then pinned down the Gurkhas attempting to deal with the AT guns. Eventually a costly foothold was gained in the small town, but then had to be abandoned when the remaining tanks were ordered to withdraw. The White Tigers and Black Cats would spend six more weeks, and many more lives, before ceasing the bloody struggle for this dot on the map.
Attacker: Gurkha / British (Elements of 1/4th Gurkha Rifles and 3rd Carabiniers)
Defender: Japanese (Elements of 214th Regiment, 33rd Division)
Turns: 5.5 Players: 2 OBA: None Night: No
Ningthoukhong, India 1944-04-22
Squads: A:12.0 D:8.0
AFVs: A:3 Grant(a) x 1 Lee(a) x 2
Guns: A:0 D:2 Type 1 47mm AT x 1 OQF 2-Pounder x 1