Taj Mahal Disguised Against Enemy Attack In WWII, 1942 Photo
A rare 1942 news photo of the Taj Mahal disguised against enemy attack in WWII. The enemy refers to the Japanese and Germans with their warplanes in WWII. The Japanese were almost at India’s doorstep, they attacked and invaded Burma in January 1942. Their next potential target was India and they invaded Kohima (Nagaland) and Imphal (Manipur) in 1944.
Although driven back in a grueling Battle of Imphal- Kohima by the British Indian forces. All this created some alarm with the British administration and higher echelons of power on an impending attack from the Japanese or Germans. One of the tasks was to protect the Taj Mahal against any aerial bombing by enemy fighter planes.
Thus to disguise the Taj Mahal it was camouflaged with bamboo scaffoldings erected around the dome. To mislead the enemy pilots into believing that it was a stockpile of bamboo. Unlike today’s electronic sophistication, pilots had to rely more on sight than on electronic gadgetry which was lacking on fighter planes at that time. The two women shown in the picture are Mrs Vijaylaxmi Pandit and Madame Chiang Kai Shek.
Did you know – that bamboo not only protects the famous silhouette but also dims its gleaming white marble that, when bathed in bright moonlight, shines like a beacon in the dark.
Past posts – Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph 1894., Triplicane A Locality In Madras, 1908 Postcard., Brahmin Family In India – Old Print 1861., India Past And Present, Two Volumes, 1903 Books.