During the 1943 dry season, things started off badly. The Japanese attacked Stilwell and his Chinese troops in the north and Slim and his Anglo-Indians in the centre. Casualties were heavy, but the lines held. Distracted, I neglected to provide air support to the troops holding the river line north of Chittagong. A heavy Japanese attack broke through and assaulted my southern base at Comilla. In order to restore the situation (the river, with mangrove swamps covering the seaward flank, is the only good defensive position in the south), I had to commit all my bombers, leaving the main Imphal front without sufficient air cover. Losses were severe as a result. I survived until the monsoon, barely holding Imphal and Kohima, but couldn't replace all my losses. Bigger mistakes were to come in 1944.