War  |  Memory  |  Gratitude

The Other Side of the Hill: The Indian National Army in Battle India-Burma 1944-45

The Other Side of the Hill: The Indian National Army in Battle India-Burma 1944-45


The Kohima Educational Trust is delighted to present this webinar and to welcome guest speaker, military historian and author Dr Chandar S. Sundaram.

Dr Sundaram, in conversation with Dr Robert Lyman, talks to us about the Indian National Army (INA) which deployed almost 16,000 men in  northeastern India and Burma in 1944-45.  Most of the historical writing on the INA has either presented a partial picture of the INA, or has peddled partisan biases about it. And, in the West, the INA is generally overlooked and ignored, relegated, at most, to a mere walk-on part in the war.

Therefore, the truth about the INA –  the even-handed, critical and comprehensive historical truth – remains untold. In this talk, military historian and author Dr. Chandar S. Sundaram will give a balanced  picture of the INA’s combat record in 1944-45. Along the way, Dr. Sundaram will touch upon the INA’s recruitment, training, logistics, its important relationship with the Imperial Japanese Army, and briefly, its impact upon India and its struggle for independence from Great Britain.

The recording is now available to view below:


Our speakers:


Dr Robert Lyman - Military Historian, Author and Trustee of KET  Born in New Zealand in January 1963 and educated in Australia, Robert Lyman was, for twenty years, an officer in the British Army. Educated at Scotch College, Melbourne he was commissioned into the Light Infantry from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in April 1982. In addition to a business career he is an author and military historian, publishing books in particular on the war in the Far East. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Robert is married to Hannah, has two sons, and lives in Berkshire. For information about Robert's publications please visit his website: robertlyman.com


Dr Chandar S. Sundaram is a military historian, specializing in the Indian Army in the 19th and 20th centuries. He has published three books. The most recent of these –  Indianization, the Officer Corps, and the Indian Army: the Forgotten Debate, 1817-1917 (Lexington, 2019) – was shortlisted for the Templer Medal, 2020, awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research, UK.  Dr. Sundaram has also published articles, one of which, on the Indian National Army’s (INA’s) battle record, was reprinted in in 2007 in a collection of the best articles on the Second World War published by Ashgate and compiled by Jeremy Black. Dr. Sundaram will be speaking on the INA’s World War II, 1940-1946, which is his current book project.


Sylvia May - CEO of The Kohima Educational Trust Sylvia May was born in New Jersey, USA in 1957. Her parents moved to England in 1963. Educated at High Wycombe School for Girls, she decided to pursue a career in the world of books. Sylvia worked for HarperCollins for 37 years, the last eleven of which she headed up their UK-based International Sales team. Sylvia May is the daughter of the late Gordon Graham, Founder and President of the Kohima Educational Trust. She is proud that her father has inspired many people to share his vision to commemorate those who fought and died in Kohima, and the wonderful Naga people who have done so much for the British in the past. She first visited India in 1994 with her husband Robert, and has returned on numerous occasions, staying in Kohima several times. In 2000, they followed the WWII route of the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders, her father’s regiment. The regiment’s first main engagement in this theatre of war was at Zubza shortly before the Battle of Kohima.

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