What was India’s role during World War II? While other people think that India was a relatively safe place to live in during the years of the war, the country served as a supply ground for the Allies—against the Japanese—in the Southeast Asian region. In battles of the Tobruk, Kohima, Imphal, and Monte Cassino, many Indian soldiers risked their lives to protect their land and faction. The Fourteenth Army, composed of Indian, African, and British forces, strived to take Burma back for the Allies.
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Not all Indians went to war as soldiers to support the Allies. Many of them worked behind the scenes as mechanics, shoemakers, cooks, and tailors. There were also women who mined coal until they gave birth. Their work was not as glamorous as fighting enemies, but they made sure the people on their team kept going.
Many Indians died in industrial accidents, like in an explosion in Bombay harbor in the 1940s. A ship full of cotton and explosives was set on fire, which blew warships and left 80,000 locals homeless. Dock and factory workers also suffered from aerial suffocation. These people did not write their memoirs of the war because the fiery, bloody conflict made a way for them to live by getting paid to work. There were also elite South Asians who made a fortune because of the war.
History does not acknowledge much of the importance of India during World War II. India was not directly an ally, but the people did their best to serve their side. Some historians say that India’s effort in the war was not forgotten, but was just simply unknown to many.
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