The Japanese aimed to exploit the overstretched British and Commonwealth forces in India by launching the U Go offensive in the Brahmaputra Valley region of northeast India in March 1944. The Japanese aimed to take the city of Imphal and the town of Kohima to the north, which was an important point on the road between Imphal and the main supply base in the region at Dimapur. The British made hasty defensive preparations, planning to hold a line between Kohima and Imphal, but many reinforcement troops did not arrive until the Japanese attack had begun. The Japanese reached Kohima by 6 April and surrounded the British at Garrison Hill. Meanwhile, the 161st Indian Brigade were trapped at Jotsoma but were able to provide artillery support for the troops in Kohima whilst reinforcements rushed to the area. The fiercest fighting in Kohima took place around the Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow in what became known as the Battle of the Tennis Court.
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