Second World War is most cruel war ever fought between different ideas. It was the war in which millions of people lost their life. Millions fought to save their motherland but many among them fought for someone else survival. Indian Army or British Indian Army was one among them, an army raised on land of Bharata and fought for British.
The number of active army personnel during 1939 in British India army were 194,373 including 34,515 non-combatants. It comprise of 96 infantry battalions and 18 cavalry regiments.On number game British Indian Army always won but on weaponry side they always faced acute shortage, managing such a huge manpower was one of the challenge of that time.By 1945 British Indian Army had become largest volunteer army in the world, during Second world war 24, 338 Indian soldiers were killed 64, 354 were wounded and 11,754 were missing.
Royal Indian Navy (RNI) fought in Red Sea, Atlantic Oceans, and way of Bengal and also participated in every major operation. During Second World war RNI was a very strong force with 117 combat ships and 30000 active personnel.The Indian Air Force (IAF) played very crucial role during war time, in recognition of its role King George VI conferred Royal title on IAF.
Field-Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 1942 affirmed that the British “couldn’t have come through both wars if they hadn’t had the Indian Army.” Churchill acknowledged “The unsurpassed bravery of Indian soldiers and officers.”Mark Barnes in his book “NOT ORDINARY MEN The Story of the Battle of Kohima” documented the war efforts of British Indian Army.
The soldiers of British Indian Army won 4000 decorations and 38 Victoria Cross during world war two.The Indian Army fought on multiple fronts in Ethiopia, in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and Japanese Army. 79,489 British Indian Army personnel become prisoners of war (POW), these bravest fought for Brirtish crown but eventually become forgotten soul.
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