THE EXPLORATION OF NUNGSHIGUM
A battalion of the Japanese 51st Regiment (which was commanded by Colonel Kimio Omoto) seized the vital Nungshigum Ridge, which overlooked the main airstrip at Imphal. This was a major threat to IV Corps and on 13 April the 5th Indian Division counter-attacked, supported by air strikes, massed artillery and the M3 Lee tanks of B Squadron of the 3rd Carabiniers. The Japanese had expected that the slopes were too steep for tanks to climb, and indeed Lee tanks had never been tried before on such gradients in action. The Japanese regiment had very few effective anti-tank weapons, and their troops were driven from the ridge with heavy casualties. The attackers also lost heavily; every officer of the Carabiniers and the attacking infantry (1st Bn, the 17th Dogra Regiment) was killed or wounded.