25th Indian Infantry Division

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25th Indian Infantry Division
25th indian division.svg
Formation sign of the 25th Indian Infantry Division.[1]
CountryBritish Raj British India
Allegiance British Empire
BranchBritish Raj Red Ensign.svg British Indian Army
Ace of Spades

The 25th Indian Infantry Division was an infantry division of the Indian Army during World War II which fought in the Burma Campaign. It was re-raised within the post-independence Indian Army in 1948.[2]


A long line of Japanese officers wait to surrender their swords to the 25th Indian Division in Kuala Lumpur, 1945.
The 25th Indian Division search Japanese prisoners soon after they have been disarmed in Kuala Lumpur.

Originally formed in Bangalore in South India on 1 August 1942 under Major-General Henry Davies the Division was disbanded at the end of World War II.

The division's original role as conceived by Army Commander General Sir W. J. Slim[3] was to meet any attempted Japanese invasion while at the same time training actively for jungle warfare. It first saw action, having become part of Indian XV Corps, at the onset of the third Arakan Campaign in March 1944 where it held and enlarged the Maungdaw Base and established superiority over the enemy.

In May 1944 command of the division was assumed by Major-General George Wood, previously commanding British 4th Infantry Brigade in India. In November 1944, supported by destroyers of the Royal Australian Navy, the division cleared the Mayu Range down to Foul Point and occupied Akyab Island. Following this, with 3 Commando Brigade under command, it made a series of successful seaborne attacks down the coast, supported by sloops of the Royal Indian Navy and winning four Victoria Crosses in the process. These actions included the decisive Battle of Kangaw and landings at Myebon and Ruywa to intercept the retreating Japanese.

In April 1945 the division was withdrawn to South India to prepare for 'Operation Zipper', the invasion of British Malaya, having been chosen for the assault landing (amphibious) role. Although hostilities then ceased, the operation proceeded as planned and 25th Division was the first formation to land in Malaya, occupying the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and then accepting the surrender of the Japanese Army.[4] The division was disbanded in Malaya in February and March 1946.


The division was re-raised within the post-independence Indian Army in 1948.[5] In October 1962 the division was under XV Corps in the Army's Western Command. Its headquarters were at Poonch, and it included the 80th, 93rd and 120th Infantry Brigades.[2]

Composition During World War II

51st Indian Infantry Brigade


53rd Indian Infantry Brigade


74th Indian Infantry Brigade


3rd Commando Brigade


Support Units

  • Royal Indian Army Service Corps
    • 18th, 39th and 59th Animal Transport Coys (Mules)
    • 68th, 81st and 101st Gp Tpt Coys
    • Comp Supply Units
    • Inland Water Tpt
  • Medical Services
    • I.M.S-R.A.M.C-I.M.D-I.H.C-I.A.M.C
    • 51st, 52nd, 53rd and 56th Indian Field Ambulances
  • 25th Indian Div Provost Unit
  • Indian Army Ordnance Corps
    • 125th Ordnance sub-Park
  • Indian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
    • 76th, 77th & 78th Infantry Workshop Companies
    • 25th Indian Div Recovery Company

Assigned brigades

All these brigades were assigned or attached to the division at some time during World War II


  1. Cole p. 82
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wirsing, Robert G. (1998). India, Pakistan and the Kashmir Dispute: On Regional Conflict and Its Resolution. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 352. ISBN 9780312175627.
  3. The Arakan Campaign of the Twenty-Fifth Indian Division (March 1944-March 1945) p.8, Government Printing Works, Kuala Lumpur, December 1945
  4. Alan Jeffreys, Duncan Anderson, 'The British Army in the Far East 1941-45,' Osprey Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1841767905, 51.
  5. Richard A. Renaldi and Ravi Rikhe, 'Indian Army Order of Battle,' Orbat.com for Tiger Lily Books: A division of General Data LLC, ISBN 978-0-9820541-7-8, 2011, 49.
  6. "25 Division units". Order of Battle. Retrieved 2009-10-22.[permanent dead link]


External links