17 Indian Division - 42
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Christmas 1945 ]

 

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17th Indian Infantry Division Christmas Card 1945
I'm indebted to Paul Lamprill for photos of the divisional Christmas Card for 1945.  Paul - I have some information for you however my email is being returned by your ISP.  Please contact me with a different email address.  To see the cards, please click here.
17 Indian Division formation sign 1942 (10712 bytes) Divisional sign until Jun-42(?) 17 Indian Infantry Division

Burma 1942

               
01-Jul-41 Raised as a War Office Reserve Division in Ahmednagar in July 1941. Officially mobilised on 01-Dec-41.
Divisional badge was a black cat on a khaki square background. Fought against the Japanese for longer than any
other British or Indian formation.
The division was to be sent to Iraq in 1941 for training and equipment for desert warfare as a fully mechanised division.
In Nov-41 moved to Dhond for training. In December 1941 the division was incomplete and unfit for active operations.
     

Commanders

01-Jul-41 Maj Gen HV Lewis

01-Nov-41 Maj Gen JG Smyth VC

01-Mar-42 Maj Gen DT Cowan

 

17th Indian Division Orders of Battle

The division was continuously reorganised during the 1942 campaign.  Orders of battle for selected actions are presented below.

1. Moulmein - 18 January 1942

2. The Bilin River Action - 15 January 1942

3.  17th Indian Division after the Sittang Disaster - 25 February 1942

  

 

1.   17th Indian Division at Moulmein - 18 January 1942

 

 

Divisional Troops
Artillery

Mountain Batteries

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (Moulmein)
Engineers

Field Companies

60th Field Company, Madras Sappers and Miners (Moulmein)
    

Brigades
         
16 Indian Infantry Brigade (Kawkareik)

1st Battalion, 9th The Jat Regiment (1/9 Jats) (Kawkareik)

1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7 Gurkhas) (Kawkareik)

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles (4 Burif) (Kawkareik, attached from 2 Burma Brigade Group)

4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12 Frontier Force) (Moulmein, detached to 2 Burma Brigade Group from 09-Jan-42)

           
46 Indian Infantry Brigade (Bilin area, from Rangoon where just arrived from India)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (3/7 Gurkhas) (Bilin area)

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment (7/10 Baluchis) (Bilin area)
5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (5/17 Dogras) (Rangoon)
              
2 Burma Brigade Group (Moulmein, under command 17th Indian Division from 1st Burma Division)
2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles (2 Burif) (Mergui, awaiting evacuation to Rangoon)
3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles (3 Burif) (Moulmein, less two companies the remnants of which retreating to Moulmein from Tavoy)
4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles (4 Burif) (Kawkareik, detached to 16th Indian Brigade)
6th Battalion, The Burma Rifles (6 Burif) (remnants retreating to Moulmein from Tavoy)
8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles (8 Burif) (Moulmein)
4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12 Frontier Force) (Moulmein, attached from 16 Indian Infantry Brigade from 09-Jan-42)
FF2, Burma Frontier Force (attached - Mergui, awaiting evacuation to Rangoon)
The Kokine Battalion, Burma Frontier Force (attached detachments at Moulmein and Mergui, Tavoy detachment dispersed)
The Tenasserim Battalion, Burma Auxiliary Force (attached - Moulmein, less one company)
12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (attached - Moulmein)
1st Burma Field Company, Burma Sappers and Miners (one section attached - Moulmein)
3rd Indian Light Antiaircraft Battery (Moulmein, 'C' Troop only attached)

 

 

 

2.  17th Indian Division at the Bilin River - 15 February 1942

 
Divisional Troops
Artillery

Antitank Regiments

2nd Indian Anti-Tank Regiment  (In Rangoon during the Bilin River action)

Mountain Batteries

15th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (Rangoon, not able to come forward until around 20-Feb-42 due to need to improvise truck transport)

28th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (Rangoon, not able to come forward until around 20-Feb-42 due to need to improvise truck transport)

Mountain Regiment

28th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery (Headquarters)
Engineers

Field Companies

24th Field Company, Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners

60th Field Company, Queen Victoria's Own Madras Sappers and Miners
Infantry

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment

2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles (Papun, attached)

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles (Shwegyin, attached, one company)

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment (7/10 Baluch) (250 strong, reforming at Kyaikto)

8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles (Kamamaung, one company attached )

Burma Frontier Force

FF2, Burma Frontier Force (attached.  No. 1 Column on the coast, No.2 Column to the north based on Melan)
           

Brigades
         
16 Indian Infantry Brigade (defending the Bilin River Line)

1st Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment (between Shwehle and Bilin)

1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (Brigade reserve, area west of Bilin village))

2nd Battalion, The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (Danyingon, Paya and Yinon, north of Bilin, attached)

5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (Bilin-Thaton road, 3-4 mls south-east of Bilin village, attached from 46 Indian Infantry Brigade)

8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles (Bilin village, less one company detached to 17 Indian Infantry Division)

Armoured Cars

1st Armoured Car Company, Burma Auxiliary Force (one section (3 X cars) attached)

Artillery

Field Batteries

5th Field Battery, Royal Artillery, Burma Auxilliary Force (Rangoon Field Brigade) (attached. 2 X 18pdr field guns in the anti-tank role)

Mountain Batteries

12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (attached)

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery (attached)
                   
46 Indian Infantry Brigade (defending the Kyaikto area)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (reorganising and resting)

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles (reorganising and resting, attached, less one company 17 Indian Infantry Division)

4th Battalion The Frontier Force Regiment (Kyaikto with one company at Kyaikkatha, attached but without heavy weapons and stores)
              
48 Indian Infantry Brigade (Divisional reserve, holding position from Taungzun and Thebyuchaung and patrolling the Kyaikto-Bilin road)

1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles

1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles

2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)

 
2 Burma Brigade Group  (to Nyaunglebin on 16-Feb-42, attached from 1 Burma Division)

3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles (Mokpalin)

7th (Burma Police) Battalion The Burma Rifles
 

3.  17th Indian Division after the Sittang Disaster - 25 February 1942

 
Divisional Troops
Artillery

Antitank Regiments

2nd Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery In Rangoon

Mountain Regiments

28th Mountain Regiment, Indian Artillery RHQ, to Army command

Mountain Batteries

5th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached, re-equipping at Mandalay

12th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery less one section re-equipping at Mandalay

28th Mountain Battery, Indian Artillery detached, re-equipping at Mandalay

5th Field Battery, Royal Artillery, Burma Auxilliary Force (Rangoon Field Brigade)  all guns lost east of the Sittang River

Heavy Antiaircraft Batteries

8th Indian Heavy Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery in support from Army Command

Light Antiaircraft Batteries

3rd Indian Light Antiaircraft Battery, Indian Artillery in support from Army Command
Engineers

Field Companies

24th Field Company, Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners

60th Field Company, Queen Victoria's Own Madras Sappers and

Miners
Infantry

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment to Pegu Force on/after 18-Feb-42. 

2nd Battalion, The Burma Rifles attached
                 

Brigades
                  
16 Indian Infantry Brigade

'A' Battalion, "The King's Own Dukes"

2nd Battalion The Duke of Wellington's Regiment temporarily amalgamated with 2nd Battalion KOYLI to

form 'A' Battalion - the "King's Own Dukes"

2nd Battalion, The King's Own Yorkshire Light

1st Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment (1/9th Jat) ('B' Battalion)

'C' Battalion a composite battalion formed after the Sittang

Bridge disaster - formed from survivors of the following battalions:-

7th Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment (7/10th

4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment (4/12th FFR)


5th Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment (5/17th Dogra)

3rd Battalion, The Burma Rifles

4th Battalion, The Burma Rifles

8th (Frontier Force) Battalion, The Burma Rifles
46 Indian Infantry Brigade Broken up 25-Feb-42
48 Indian Infantry Brigade

1st Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles (1/4th Gurkha Rifles)

"5th Battalion, 3rd Gurkha Rifles (Composite Battalion)"

1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha

Rifles (1/3rd Gurkha Rifles)

2nd Battalion, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier

Force) (2/5th Gurkha Rifles)

"7th Gurkha Rifles (Composite Battalion)"

1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (1/7th Gurkha Rifles)

3rd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles (3/7th Gurkha Rifles)
7 Armoured Brigade attached

2nd Royal Tank Regiment

7th Queen's Own Hussars

1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) attached

Artillery

Antitank Batteries

'A' Battery, 95th Anti-Tank Regiment, RA

Royal Horse Artillery

414th Battery, Royal Horse Artillery
'Pegu Force' formed 18-Feb-42 

1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment

Burma Military Police detachments 

FF6, Burma Frontier Force

 

 

Please e-mail Steve Rothwell with comments, additional information and requests for help

British & Commonwealth Orders of Battle Website