(Mumbai; 72.826E 18.96N) One of the most important ports on the Indian Ocean, Bombay was originally built on seven islands that were seized by the Portuguese in 1534. They became British crown possessions in 1661 as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, queen of Charles II. They were turned over to the British East India Company in 1668, which founded the modern city. The original seven islands were merged into one landmass by 1845, when the Mahim Causeway was completed. Bombay's position on the west coast of India limited its strategic value during the Pacific War. The population in 1941 was 1,686,127 persons.

Bombay had become one of the strongholds of the Indian National Congress by the time war broke out in the Pacific.

The climate is dominated by the monsoon, which is a dry wind off the Western Ghats during the winter and spring but reverses direction in the summer, dumping torrential rain as the winds ascend the Ghats. The city lies in an active seismic zone, with earthquakes of up to 6.5 on the Richter scale possible.

The British suffered a disaster at Bombay on 14 April 1944 when the merchant ship Fort Stikine (7142 tons) caught fire while loaded with munitions and exploded. Official casualties were 336 killed and 1040 injured, but eighteen merchant ships and three Indian Navy warships were destroyed or heavily damaged and two docks, half of the municipal grain stores, and much of the city were burned out.

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Climate Information:

Elevation 37'

Temperatures: Jan 83/67, Apr 89/76, Jul 85/77, Oct 89/76, record 101/53

Rainfall: Jan 0.2/0.1, Apr 0.1/0, Jul 21/24.3, Oct 3/2.5 == 71.3" per annum


"Bombay Photo Images" (2011-2-2; accessed 2013-5-11) (accessed 2014-6-8)

Collins (1964; accessed 2012-1-2)

James (1997)

Patel (2013; accessed 2014-6-8)

Pearce and Smith (1990)

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