Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 22nd April

Earlier this year, the National Army Museum, Chelsea announced a contest to name 'Britain's Greatest Battle', with an exhibition exploring 400 years of British Army history.

The exhibition gives the key facts, describes the impact and looks at the legacy of 20 of Britain’s greatest battles using selection criteria including political, historical and cultural impact and the innovative use of strategy and tactics.

The National Army Museum held a public poll which produced a shortlist of 5 battles from a list of 20: Waterloo, Aliwal, D-Day/Normandy, Rorke's Drift and Imphal/Kohima.

A day of debate was held at the Chelsea museum on Saturday, 20 April during which 5 historians each gave a 40-minute presentation making a case for one of the contenders. Having seen each of the 5 presentations, the audience then voted in a secret ballot to select the outright winner: the twin battles of Imphal and Kohima, which received almost half of all votes.

Dr Robert Lyman made the case for Imphal and Kohima on the day, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and author of an extensive list of historical works including Japan's Last Bid for Victory (Pen & Sword, 2011).

Dr Lyman said of his victory in the debate:

'I had thought that one of the bigger names like D-Day or Waterloo would win so I am delighted that Imphal-Kohima has won. You have got to judge the greatness of a battle by its politcal, cultural and social impact, as much as its military impact.

'Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison.'

For more information on Dr Robert Lyman's work, visit www.robertlyman.com.

Further Reading

Japan's Last Bid for Victory

Only £25.00

Japan's Last Bid for Victory

(Hardback - 320 pages)
by Robert Lyman

Robert Lyman's deep knowledge and understanding of the war in Burma, and the great battles at Kohima and Imphal in 1944, are well known. In this book he uses original documents, published works and personal accounts to weave together an enthralling account of some of the bitterest fighting of the Second World War. Not only does he use British sources for his research but he has also included material from the Naga tribes of north-east… Read more...

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