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World War One: Armed Forces - India

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The Indian Army during World War I contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and the Middle East theatres of war in World War I.

Over one million Indian troops served overseas, of whom 62,000 died and another 67,000 were wounded. In total at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died during the war.

Please link GENi profiles of Indian servicemen to this project.

In 1914, the Indian Army was the largest volunteer army in the world with a total strength of 240,000 men and by November 1918 it contained 548,311 men, being considered the Imperial Strategic Reserve.

It was regularly called upon to deal with incursions and raids on the North West Frontier and to provide garrison forces for the British Empire in Egypt, Singapore and China. It was divided into two armies:

  1. The Northern Army which stretched from the North-West Frontier to Bengal with five divisions and three brigades under command and
  2. The Southern Army which stretched from Baluchistan to southern India and it in turn had four divisions under command and two formations outside the subcontinent.

The two armies contained 39 cavalry regiments, 138 infantry battalions (including 20 Gurkha),[5] a joint cavalry-infantry unit the Corps of Guides, three sapper regiments and 12 mountain artillery batteries.

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