"Main purpose is to show that we have a big WW II heritage"

In what is quite literally a blast from the past, the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation has set up a museum in Imphal to mirror that period through relics, artefacts, arms and ammunitions, and a warplane engine.

The museum was set up on the initiative of the tourism department of Manipur. Manipur is a repository of historical information since it is often considered one of the most significant theatres of World War II.

Co-founder of the museum Aramabam Angamba Singh, on Monday spoke of the need to restore the history of World War II in the State, which might be lost in the coming decades.

“The main purpose of the mission is to understand that we have a big World War II heritage which is in danger. It might be lost in another 10-20 years. Moreover, we wanted our younger generation and future generations to know what really happened in World War II.”

Thousands of soldiers were killed and several maimed in the twin clashes of Imphal in Manipur and Kohima in Nagaland, which have been named the greatest battles involving British troops by the National Army Museum of London. The relics have been restored with continuous excavation processes at over 10 sites in the State which witnessed waves of actions during the war.

The restored World War II artefacts include barrels of rare Arisaka guns and bullets, a radio compass of a Dakota aircraft, artillery shells, Allied khaki shirts, war manuals, type 97 Japanese grenade, type 91 Japanese grenade and oxygen cylinders used by aircraft pilots.