Guaranteed original. Complete & intact. This is an original WW2 Indian Army Ordnance Corps IAOC Shoulder Title for sale. In good condition. Please see our other items for more original WW1, WW2 & post war British military cap badges for sale including other Indian Army Ordnance Corps IAOC shoulder titles.
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The British Indian Army, officially named just the Indian Army, was the principal army of India before independence in 1947. It was responsible for the defence of both British India and the Princely states, which could also have their own armies. The Indian Army was an important part of the British Empire's forces, both in India and abroad, particularly during the First World War and the Second World War. Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the strength of the British Indian Army was 155,000. Either in 1914 or before, a ninth division had been formed, the 9th (Secunderabad) Division. By November 1918, the Indian Army rose in size to 573,000 men. Before the war, the Indian government had decided that India could afford to provide two infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade in the event of a European war. 140,000 soldiers saw active service on the Western Front in France and Belgium - 90,000 in the front-line Indian Corps, and some 50,000 in auxiliary battalions. They felt that any more would jeopardise national security. More than four divisions were eventually sent as Indian Expeditionary Force A formed the Indian Corps and the Indian Cavalry Corps that arrived on the Western Front in 1914.
The high number of officer casualties the corps suffered early on had an effect on its later performance. British officers that understood the language, customs, and psychology of their men could not be quickly replaced, and the alien environment of the Western Front had some effect on the soldiers. However, the feared unrest in India never happened, and while the Indian Corps was transferred to the Middle East in 1915 India provided many more divisions for active service during the course of the war. Indians' first engagement was on the Western Front within a month of the start of the war, at the First Battle of Ypres. Here, Garwhal Rifles were involved in the war's first trench raid on 9-10 November 1914 and Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to win a Victoria Cross. After a year of front-line duty, sickness and casualties had reduced the Indian Corps to the point where it had to be withdrawn. Nearly 700,000 then served in the Middle East, fighting against the Turks in the Mesopotamian campaign. There they were short of transportation for resupply and operated in extremely hot and dusty conditions. Led by Major General Sir Charles Townshend, they pushed on to capture Baghdad but they were repulsed by Turkish Forces.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Indian Army numbered 205,000 men. Later on during the Second World War the Indian Army would become the largest all-volunteer force in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in size. In doing so the Indian III Corps, Indian IV Corps, Indian XV Corps, Indian XXXIII Corps, Indian XXXIV Corps, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st, and 23rd Indian Divisions were formed, as well as other forces. Additionally two armoured divisions and an airborne division were created. In matters of administration, weapons, training, and equipment, the Indian Army had considerable independence; for example, prior to the war the Indian Army adopted the Vickers-Berthier (VB) light machine gun instead of the Bren gun of the British Army, while continuing to manufacture and issue the older SMLE No. 1 Mk III rifle during the Second World War, instead of the Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk I issued to the British Army from the middle of the war.
Please see our other items for more original WW1, WW2 & post war British military shoulder titles for sale including other Indian Army Ordnance Corps IAOC shoulder titles.