52 Facts About Indian Army


Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces.

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The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and its professional head is the Chief of Army Staff, who is a four-star general.

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The Indian Army was formed in 1895 alongside the long established presidency armies of the East India Company, which too were absorbed into it in 1903.

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The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in several battles and campaigns around the world, earning many battle and theatre honours before and after Independence.

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Primary mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity, to defend the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and to maintain peace and security within its borders.

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Indian Army is operationally and geographically divided into seven commands, with the basic field formation being a division.

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Until the independence of India, the "Indian Army" was a British-commanded force defined as "the force recruited locally and permanently based in India, together with its expatriate British officers"; the "British Army in India" referred to British Army units posted to India for a tour of duty.

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British Indian Army was a critical force for maintaining the primacy of the British Empire, both in India and throughout the world.

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Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Indian Army fought in many other theatres: the Anglo-Burmese Wars; the First and Second Anglo-Sikh wars; the First, Second, and Third Anglo-Afghan wars; the First and Second opium wars, and the Boxer Rebellion in China; and in Abyssinia.

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The rest of the British Indian Army was divided between the newly created nations of India and Pakistan.

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Departure of virtually all senior British officers following independence, and their replacement by Indian Army officers, meant many of the latter held acting ranks several ranks above their substantive ones.

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Indian Army signed the Instrument of Accession to India on 26 October 1947.

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In 1962, the Indian Army was ordered to move to the Thag La ridge, located near the border between Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh and about 5 kilometres north of the disputed McMahon Line.

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Meanwhile, Chinese troops had made incursions into Indian Army-held territory, and tensions between the two reached a new high when Indian Army forces discovered the road constructed by China in Aksai Chin.

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Pakistani president Ayub Khan launched Operation Gibraltar in August 1965, during which Pakistani paramilitary troops infiltrated into Indian Army-administered Kashmir and attempted to ignite anti-India agitation in Jammu and Kashmir.

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In retaliation, the Indian Army launched a major offensive all along its border with Pakistan, with Lahore as its prime target.

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Indian Army losses were 88 killed, and 163 wounded, while Chinese casualties were 300 killed and 450 wounded in Nathula, and 40 in Chola.

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In early 1971, India declared its full support for the Bengali freedom fighters, known as Mukti Bahini, and Indian Army agents were extensively involved in covert operations to aid them.

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On 20 November 1971, the Indian Army moved 14 Punjab Battalion, of the 45th Cavalry regiment, into Garibpur, a strategically important town in East Pakistan, near India's border, and successfully captured it.

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The Indian Army won several battles on the eastern front including the decisive Battle of Hilli.

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Arora, elements of the three corps of the Indian Army that had invaded East Pakistan entered Dhaka as a part of the Indo-Bangladesh allied force and forced Pakistani forces to surrender, one day after the conclusion of the Battle of Basantar.

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The Indian Army continues to control all of the Siachen Glacier and its tributary glaciers.

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In 2004, the Indian Army was spending an estimated US$2 million a month to support its personnel stationed in the region.

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Indian Army has played a crucial role in fighting insurgents and terrorists within the nation.

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The Indian Army sent a contingent to Sri Lanka in 1987 as a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

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The Indian Army successfully conducted Operation Golden Bird in 1995, as a counter-insurgency operation in northeast India.

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Once the scale of the Pakistani incursion was realised, the Indian Army quickly mobilised about 200, 000 troops, and Operation Vijay was launched.

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Once the NH 1A area was cleared, the Indian Army turned to drive the invading force back across the Line of Control.

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Two months into the conflict, Indian Army troops had slowly retaken most of the ridges they had lost.

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On 29 September 2016, the India Indian Army announced that it conducted "surgical strikes" against militant launch pads across the Line of Control, in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, and inflicted "significant casualties".

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Indian Army media reported the casualty figures variously from 35 to 70 killed.

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The Indian army has provided paramedical units to facilitate the withdrawal of the sick and wounded.

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Since 2004, and every year since, the Indian Army has been conducting training exercises with the Mongolian Army.

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Indian Army tested its network-centric warfare capabilities in the Ashwamedha exercise.

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Yudh Abhyas exercise is an ongoing series, since 2005, of joint exercises between the Indian Army and United States armies, agreed upon under the New Framework of the India-US Defence Relationship.

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The US Indian Army contingent is from the US Indian Army Pacific, part of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM).

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The twelve-day exercise with the French Indian Army was scheduled to be conducted in multiple modules in order to achieve complete integration between the two contingents at every stage.

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In May 2012, the Indian Army conducted several war games aimed at validating "the operational and transformational effectiveness of various formations under the Western Army Command".

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Current combat doctrine of the Indian Army is based on effectively utilising holding formations and strike formations.

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The Indian Army is large enough to devote several corps to the strike role.

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Indian Territorial Army has battalions affiliated with different infantry regiments and some department units that are from the Corps of Engineers, Army Medical Corps, or the Army Service Corps.

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On 4 June 2017, the chief of staff announced that the Indian Army was planning to open combat positions to women, who would first be appointed to positions in the military police.

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Regiment of Artillery is the second-largest arm of the Indian Army, constituting nearly one-sixth of the Army's total strength.

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The Indian Army is putting large numbers of rocket launchers into service, with 22 regiments to be equipped with the indigenously developed Pinaka multi barrel rocket launcher by the end of the next decade.

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Indian Army Corps of Signals is a corps and the arm of the Indian Army which handles its military communications.

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Indian Army is a voluntary service, and although a provision for military conscription exists in the Indian constitution, conscription has never been imposed.

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Indian Army officers are continually put through different courses of training, and assessed on merit, for promotions and appointments.

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Role of women in the Indian Army began when the Indian Military Nursing Service was formed in 1888.

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In 1992, the Indian Army began inducting women officers in non-medical roles.

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The Indian Army Small Arms System rifle, which has been successfully deployed since 1997, is a product of Rifle Factory Ishapore, while ammunition is manufactured at Khadki, and possibly at Bolangir.

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In 2014, Army chief General Bikram Singh said that if given sufficient budget support, the Indian Army might be able to acquire half the ammunition needed to fight in a major conflict by the next year.

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Indian Army has chosen instead to procure 72, 400 Sig Sauer SIG 716 G2 Patrol high-performance assault rifles for its frontline troops engaged in counter-militancy operations, and the Caracal CAR 816 to meet a requirement of 94, 000 close quarter battle carbines.

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