The Indian army in WW 2

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Sarevok
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The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Sarevok » 2012-06-05 02:43am

So I learned that one of my friends grandfather was with the British Indian army fighting in the desert campaign. A pity he passed away many years ago so no chance of talking to him. It surprises me how little the subject of Indian involvement in WW 2 is discussed here in the subcontinent. It's largely overshadowed by the event of India gaining indepedence and partitioning into multiple states. So in school texts or media the subject is largely ignored. So my question is twofold.

1. How important was the British Indian army to Britains war efforts ?

2. What are the significant battles etc that troops from India helped win ?
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Spoonist
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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Spoonist » 2012-06-05 08:43am

1. Very.
2. They were everywhere almost. But mostly in west and southeast asia.

The wiki should be a decent primer for you if you have not checked it out before.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India_in_World_War_II

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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby PainRack » 2012-06-07 03:19am

Sarevok wrote:So I learned that one of my friends grandfather was with the British Indian army fighting in the desert campaign. A pity he passed away many years ago so no chance of talking to him. It surprises me how little the subject of Indian involvement in WW 2 is discussed here in the subcontinent. It's largely overshadowed by the event of India gaining indepedence and partitioning into multiple states. So in school texts or media the subject is largely ignored. So my question is twofold.

1. How important was the British Indian army to Britains war efforts ?

2. What are the significant battles etc that troops from India helped win ?

very. Prior to WW2,India was the only readily source of manpower to meet Britain Imperial commitments. As such,it served to garrison everywhere from sechyelles islands to Burma.

It would continue to provide valuable manpower for Britain Africian campaigns. For example,5th Indian division actipns in the Sudan against the Italians. Essentially,Britain could not have fought and won any Africian or Middle East campaign if those units werent there,at least,not without sacrifices or delays. Also,barring the invasion of Persia.

By the end of 1943,Indian forces were increasingly committed against the Japanese and thus played a decreasing role in the European theatre of war.
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Brother-Captain Gaius
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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Brother-Captain Gaius » 2012-06-12 10:06am

Indian troops played a pretty significant role at Cassino (and by extension Italy in general). Some of the most violent fighting was between the 4th and 8th Indian Divisions and 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision in the mountains around the town and monastery.
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lord Martiya
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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby lord Martiya » 2012-06-14 05:30pm

My knowledge is limited, but I do know that Indian troops fought the Italians and the Afrika Korps in Egypt since 1940 and took part to the conquest of Italian East Africa.

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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2012-06-15 02:50pm

IIRC, Indian troops were also used in the invasion of Madagascar after the fall of France, and for a variety of colonial operations in Africa outside of the "main" theaters of the war.
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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Captain Seafort » 2012-06-15 02:55pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:IIRC, Indian troops were also used in the invasion of Madagascar after the fall of France, and for a variety of colonial operations in Africa outside of the "main" theaters of the war.


The only campaign I don't think they fought in was NW Europe in 1944-45. Everywhere else they were not only present, but were frequently the bulk of the allied forces.
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Re: The Indian army in WW 2

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2012-06-15 03:54pm

Captain Seafort wrote:The only campaign I don't think they fought in was NW Europe in 1944-45. Everywhere else they were not only present, but were frequently the bulk of the allied forces.


Well, I guess you could also point to the New Guinea campaigns, which were primarily ANZAC and American, but yeah, for the most part the Indian Army was omnipresent.
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