They were originally intended as pathfinders for German forces in Asia, but were soon sent to help guard the Atlantic Wall. Few who were part of the Free India Legion ever saw any combat, and very few were ever stationed outside Europe.
Indian Army - Wikipedia
At its height the Free India Legion had over 3, troops in its ranks. With the fall of Singapore in , about 40, Indian soldiers were captured. They were given a choice and over 30, joined the Indian National Army.
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Similar organisations were also formed in Germany and Japan. Upon independence and the subsequent Partition of India in , four of the ten Gurkha regiments were transferred to the British Army. The rest of the British Indian Army was divided between the newly created nations of India and Pakistan. The Punjab Boundary Force , which had been formed to help police the Punjab during the partition period, was disbanded,  and Headquarters Delhi and East Punjab Command was formed to administer the area.
The departure of virtually all senior British officers following independence and their replacement by Indian officers meant many of the latter held acting ranks several ranks above their substantive ones. For instance, S. Shrinagesh , the ground forces commander of Indian forces during the first Indo-Pak War of and the future third COAS was first an acting major-general and then an acting lieutenant-general during the conflict while holding the substantive rank of major, and only received a substantive promotion to lieutenant-colonel in August Candeth was an acting brigadier substantive captain at the same time.
Cariappa 's taking over as the first commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher , the last British commander-in-chief of India, on 15 January With effect from 26 January , the date India became a republic, all active-duty Indian Army officers formerly holding the King's Commission were recommissioned and confirmed in their substantive ranks.
Immediately after independence, tensions between India and Pakistan began to boil over, and the first of three full-scale wars between the two nations broke out over the then princely state of Kashmir. The Maharaja of Kashmir wanted to have a standstill position. He signed the Instrument of Accession to India on 26 October Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar from 27 October dawn onwards. An intense war was waged across the state and former comrades found themselves fighting each other.
Pakistan suffered significant losses.
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A number of UN resolutions 38—47 were passed calling for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmir to determine accession to India or Pakistan only after Pakistan withdrew its army from Kashmir. Pakistan would withdraw all tribesmen and Pakistani nationals brought in to fight in Kashmir. With Pakistan refusing to pull back there could be no further dialogue on fulfilling the UN resolution. After the partition of India, the State of Hyderabad , a princely state under the rule of a Nizam , chose to remain independent. The Nizam , refused to accede his state to the Union of India.
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The following stand-off between the Government of India and the Nizam ended on 12 September when India's then deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ordered Indian troops to secure the state. Five Indian Army infantry battalions and one armoured squadron were engaged in the operation. The following day, the State of Hyderabad was proclaimed as a part of the Union of India.
Major General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri , who led the Operation Polo and accepted the surrender of the Nizam's forces on 18 September , was appointed the military governor of Hyderabad — to restore law and order. In the aftermath of the war, an Indian infantry brigade formed the Custodian Force of India as some of the soldiers were also sent to Korea as part of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Committee to assist in the exchange of prisoners of war.
Even though the British and French vacated all their colonial possessions in the Indian subcontinent , Portugal refused to relinquish control of its Indian colonies of Goa , Daman and Diu. A small contingent of its troops entered Goa, Daman, and Diu to capture and secure the territory. Goa, Daman and Diu became a part of the Republic of India.
The cause of this war was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions. Aksai Chin, claimed by India to belong to Kashmir, and by China to be part of Xinjiang, contains an important road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China's construction of this road was one of the triggers of the conflict. Small-scale clashes between Indian and Chinese forces broke out as India insisted on the disputed McMahon Line being regarded as the international border between the two countries.
Chinese troops claimed not to have retaliated to the cross-border firing by Indian troops, despite sustaining losses. Meanwhile, Chinese troops had also made incursions into Indian-held territory, and tensions between the two reached a new high when Indian forces discovered a road constructed by China in Aksai Chin.
However, poor co-ordination among various divisions of the Indian Army, and the late decision to mobilise the Indian Air Force in vast numbers, gave China a crucial tactical and strategic advantage over India. As the fighting moved beyond disputed territories, China called on the Indian government to negotiate, however India remained determined to regain lost territory.
With no peaceful agreement in sight, China unilaterally withdrew its forces from Arunachal Pradesh. The reasons for the withdrawal are disputed with India claiming various logistical problems for China and diplomatic support from the United States, while China stated that it still held territory it had staked diplomatic claim over. The poor decisions made by India's military commanders and, its political leadership, raised several questions. Its report criticised the decision not to allow the Indian Air Force to target Chinese transport lines out of fear of a Chinese aerial counter-attack on Indian civilian areas.
Much of the blame was also targeted at the incompetence of then-Defence Minister, Krishna Menon who resigned from his post soon after the war ended. Despite frequent calls for its release, the Henderson-Brooks report still remains classified. A second confrontation with Pakistan took place in Although the war is described as inconclusive, India had the better of the war and was a clear winner in tactical and strategic terms.
Pakistani leaders believed that India, which was still recovering from the disastrous Sino-Indian War, would be unable to deal with a military thrust and a Kashmiri rebellion. India reacted swiftly and launched a counter offensive on Pakistan. In retaliation, the Indian Army launched a major offensive throughout its border with Pakistan, with Lahore as its prime target.
Initially, the Indian Army met with considerable success in the northern sector. After launching prolonged artillery barrages against Pakistan, India was able to capture three important mountain positions in Kashmir.
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By 9 September, the Indian Army had made considerable in-roads into Pakistan. India had its largest haul of Pakistani tanks when the offensive of Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division was blunted at the Battle of Asal Uttar , which took place on 10 September near Khemkaran. Pakistan's defeat at the Battle of Asal Uttar hastened the end of the conflict. At the time of ceasefire declaration, per neutral sources, India reported casualties of about 3, On the other hand, it was estimated that more than 3, Pakistani soldiers were killed in the battle.
India lost a total of tanks during the conflict. It was widely believed that India's decision to accept the ceasefire was due to political factors, and not military, since it was facing considerable pressure from the United States and the UN to stop hostilities. The Sino-Indian skirmish, also known as the Cho La incident, was a military conflict between Indian troops and members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army who had infiltrated on 1 October in Sikkim , then a protectorate of India.
On 10 October, both sides clashed again. Defence Minister Sardar Swaran Singh assured the Indian people that the government was taking care of developments along the border. In the aftermath of the conflict Indian losses were 88 killed, and wounded, while Chinese casualties were killed and wounded in Nathula , and 40 in Chola. Under the supervision of Indira Gandhi during the president's rule in , the Indian Army and the Indian police launched Operation Steeplechase , a gigantic "counter-insurgency" operation against the Naxalites , which resulted in the death of hundreds of Naxalites and the imprisonment of more than 20, suspects and cadres including senior leaders.
The operation was organised in October , and Lieutenant General J. Jacob was enjoined by Govind Narain, the home secretary of India , that "there should be no publicity and no records" and Jacob's request to be presented with written orders was also repudiated by Sam Manekshaw.
An independence movement broke out in East Pakistan which was crushed by Pakistani forces. Due to large-scale atrocities against them, thousands of Bengalis took refuge in neighbouring India causing a major refugee crisis there.
In early , India declared its full-support for the Bengali rebels, known as Mukti Bahini , and Indian agents were extensively involved in covert operations to aid them. On 20 November , the Indian Army moved the 14 Punjab Battalion 45 Cavalry into Garibpur, a strategically important town near India's border with East Pakistan, and successfully captured it. The following day, more clashes took place between Indian and Pakistani forces.
However, this aerial offensive failed to accomplish its stated objectives, and gave India an excuse to declare a full-scale war against Pakistan the same day.
The Indian Army won several battles on the eastern front including the decisive battle of Hilli , which was the only front where the Pakistani Army was able to build up considerable resistance. The operation also included a battalion-level airborne operation on Tangail, which resulted in the capitulation of all resistance within five days.
Pakistan launched a counter-attack against India on the western front. The battle of Longewala ensued during which the A company, though being outnumbered, thwarted the Pakistani advance until the Indian Air Force directed its fighters to engage the Pakistani tanks. By the time the battle had ended, 38 Pakistani tanks and armoured vehicles were either destroyed or abandoned. About Pakistani troops were killed in action during the battle while two Indian soldiers lost their lives. Pakistan suffered another major defeat on the western front during the battle of Basantar which was fought from 4 December to the 16th.
By the end of the battle, about 66 Pakistani tanks were destroyed and 40 more were captured. In return, Pakistani forces were able to destroy only 11 Indian tanks. None of the many Pakistani offensives on the western front materialised.
Under the command of Lt. General J. Arora , the three corps of the Indian Army, which had invaded East Pakistan, entered Dhaka and forced Pakistani forces to surrender on 16 December , one day after the conclusion of the battle of Basantar. By the time of the signing, 11, Pakistani soldiers were killed-in-action while India suffered 3, battle-related deaths. In , the Simla Agreement was signed between the two countries and tensions simmered. However, there were occasional spurts in diplomatic tensions which culminated in increased military vigilance on both sides. The Siachen Glacier , though a part of the Kashmir region, was not officially demarcated on maps prepared and exchanged between the two sides in As a consequence, prior to the s, neither India nor Pakistan maintained any permanent military presence in the region.
However, Pakistan began conducting and allowing a series of mountaineering expeditions to the glacier beginning in the s.