The majority of the use of the Vickers MG that this site covers is while the countries of Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan were part of British India. As such, they are all covered on this page.
The Great War
An Indian Machine Gun Corps existed during the Great War.
During the period between the Wars, India purchased a number of Commercial Class guns direct from Vickers Limited. The table shows what types and quantities were purchased.
|Class / Type||Calibre||Quantity||Year|
|D||.5″ HV v/664||2||1935|
|“Experimental gas-operated tank machinegun||.55-inch||1||1930s|
|“Double-barrel experimental tank gun”||1 (although two serial numbers)||1930s|
|“Gas-operated experimental guns”||2||1930s|
Aside from these commercial guns sent directly from Vickers Ltd., both India and Pakistan were British colonies until their independence in 1949. They were therefore supplied with British Service guns before that time – and used them for long after. The Indians had significant manufacturing capability and produced some of their own accessories and spares. There were also the relevant Small Arms Training manuals produced with Indian variations and printed in both English and Urdu.
Second World War
During the Second World War, they took on the regular Commonwealth method of forming Divisional Support Battalions of Machine Gun and Heavy Mortar assets. The majority of the infantry regiments of the British Indian Army formed a Machine Gun Battalion in addition to their numbered battalions; however, it is known that a regular battalion was converted. The MG Battalions formed are outlined below, including a brief history.
3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment
The Battalion had been decimated during the battles around Mersa Matruh and in August 1942 the remnants were collected at Mena and the battalion was reinforced. It then began to convert to a Machine-Gun Battalion as it reformed. It remained in Egypt under British Troops in Egypt (BTE) through December 1942 and then moved to Iraq. It joined the 5th Indian Infantry Division as its M-G Battalion in Iraq in March 1943. Its life as an M-G Battalion was short-lived since it left Iraq with the Division in May 1943, arriving back in Bombay on June 6th. After leave in Meerut, it reconverted to an infantry battalion and served with the Division in the Arakan as the Divisional HQ Defence Battalion through April 1944.
3rd Battalion, 3rd Madras Regiment
previously the 12th Malabar Battalion, Indian Territorial Force
Madras District – 3 September 1939 to 4 November 1940
The battalion was located at Cannanore on the outbreak of war on September 3rd, 1939. It remained there until embodied on August 15th, 1940. Over the next few months the battalion organised for garrison duties. It left for Dehli on November 4th, 1940.
Dehli Brigade Area – 4 November 1940 to September 1942
The battalion left for Agra on November 4th, 1940 for internal security duties and was located there less two companies. One was located at Jumna Bridge and the other at Delhi Fort. While at Agra, the battalion was converted to a regular battalion on September 15th, 1941 and entitled the 3rd Battalion 3rd Madras Regiment. It left Agra in September 1942 for the North-West Frontier.
Kohat Brigade – September 1942 to September 1944
It left Agra in September 1942 and moved to the North West Frontier under the Kohat Brigade. It was again retitled as the 2nd Battalion in October 1942. It remained under the Kohat Brigade until September 1944. It was also listed at Thal on February 10th, 1943.
Nowshera Brigade – September 1944 to March 1945
It was then converted to a M-G Battalion and moved to the Nowshera Brigade until March 1945.
25th Indian Infantry Division – March 1945 to 31 August 1945
It then transferred to the 25th Indian Infantry Division as an M-G Battalion and remained with it until the end of the war. It was in India with the division at Dharampuram. It moved to Malaya in September 1945.
5/5th Mahratta Light Infantry
The 5/5th Maharatta Light Infantry served as the Divisional Support Battalion to the 8th Indian Division which saw action as part of the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy.
Machine Gun Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles
Formed 15 October 1941 at Delhi.
Delhi Independent Brigade Area – 15 October 1941 to 25 May 1942
The battalion was raised at Delhi on October 15th, 1941. It mobilised on April 22nd, 1942 and left Delhi for Bombay in May 1942. It embarked at Bombay on May 25th, 1942.
4th Indian Infantry Division – 8 June 1942 to 31 August 1945
The battalion arrived at Suez on June 8th, 1942. On arrival, it moved to Khataba Camp on June 9th. It remained there until the end of June 1942 training. It joined the 4th Indian Infantry Division in Egypt on arrival in Egypt and remained with it for the rest of the war. After the battle of Alamein, the battalion formed a flying column with 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles and some artillery in pursuit of the Afrika Corps from November 5th-7th, 1942. The column took in a large quantity of prisoners. Battalion detachments accompanied the assaulting battalions of the 4th Indian Division during the battle of Wadi Akarit on April 5th, 1943. It continued to support the division through the rest of the North African campaign until May 12th, 1943, when the division was withdrawn to the Misturata area. On July 1st, the battalion left Misturata for Alexandria, Egypt. It moved to Quastine, Palestine on July 15th, 1943 and to Dejide Camp, Syria on October 16th, 1943
The battalion arrived in Italy on December 8th, 1943 and moved to Potenza with the 4th Indian Division on arrival. It trained with the division there and then one month later moved to the Orsagna sector. The division moved from there on January 21st, 1944 to the Cassino sector. Two companies of the battalion served under the 7th Indian Brigade in the first attack on Cassino on Point 593 on February 12th, 1944. During the February 24th attack, the battalion was used as porters. It served with the division at Cassino until it was withdrawn on March 25th, 1944. The division returned to the Orsagna sector during the second week of April 1944 and was involved in operations there from May 14th until mid-June 1944. It then was withdrawn to the Campobasso area.
At the end of June 1944, the division was back in the central front and relieved the 10th Indian Infantry Division on July 8th, 1944 in the Monte Bastiola area. Each brigade had one company of the battalion under command during the remaining operations in Italy. The 4th Indian Division was relieved in mid-August 1944 by the 10th Indian Division and withdrew for rest before the Gothic Line battles. 4th Indian Division fought in the Gothic Line from August 30th to October 5th, 1944 supported by the battalion. It began to be relieved by the 10th Indian Division on October 3rd, 1944 and withdrew to the Lake Trasimene area to rest. Instead the division was designated for operations in Greece.
The battalion arrived in Salonika, Greece on December 1st, 1944 with the Central India Horse and relieved the 7th Indian Infantry Brigade. The battalion remained with the division in Salonika until the end of the war. It returned to India in January 1946.
Machine Gun Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
Formed 15 April 1942 at Fategarh.
Central Command – 15 April 1942 to 1 August 1942
The Machine-Gun Battalion was raised at Fategarh on April 15th, 1942 and organised in this role until July 7th, 1942 when it received orders to convert to a Light Armoured Regiment. It then moved to Lahore on July 25th, 1942.
Service as 52nd Regiment, Indian Armoured Corps
The Machine-Gun Battalion was converted to 52nd Regiment, Indian Armoured Corps on August 1st, 1942 at Lahore. It came under command of the 267th Indian Armoured Brigade and had two Carden Lloyd Light Tanks. It remained with the brigade until September 15th.
43rd Indian Armoured Division – 15 September 1942 to 1 October 1942
The 52nd Armoured Regiment, IAC was redesignating as the 17th Battalion 7th Rajput Regiment on September 15th, 1942 and served under 43rd Indian Armoured Division as a motor battalion.
268th Indian Infantry Brigade – 1 October 1942 to 31 August 1944
It came under command of the 268th Indian Infantry Brigade at Secunderabad on October 21st, 1942. After two months at Secunderabad, it moved to Jangaon and in July 1943 it moved to Calcutta with the brigade and to Kulna on arrival. It served in Burma from April 1944 to August 1944 with the brigade.
17th Indian Infantry Division – Attached – 31 August 1944 to January 1945
On August 31st, 1944, it moved to Ranchi to come under 17th Indian Infantry Division. It did not leave Ranchi when the division returned to Burma in January 1945 but remained there. It was to have been employed under the division in a special role to operate with tanks.
151st Sub-Area – January 1945 to 22 June 1945
When the division left for Burma, the battalion remained in Ranchi. It then returned to its role as a machine-gun battalion but retained the designation of 17th Battalion. It finally left Ranchi in June 1945 and moved to Visapur. There it came under the 36th British Infantry Division from June 22nd, 1945 until the end of the war as its Machine-Gun Battalion.
Machine Gun Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment
Formed 15 October 1941 at Bareilly.
Bareilly Area – Meerut District – 15 October 1941 to 12 June 1942
The battalion was raised at Bareilly on October 15th, 1942, but was not complete until January 1942. It was organized with ‘A’ (Mussalman Rajput), ‘B’ (Jat), ‘C’(Punjabi Mussalmen) and ‘D’(Jat) Companies. It moved to Comilla on June 12th, 1942.
14th Indian Infantry Division – 12 June 1942 to June 1943
On arrival in Comilla, it joined the 14th Indian Infantry Division. It arrived in mid-June 1942 and the companies were allotted to the units of the 47th Indian Infantry Brigade; ‘B’ Company was attached to the 5/8th Punjab Regiment at Bhaburia Ghat near Fazilpur, ‘A’ Company to the 1/17th Dogra Regiment at Daulatgunj, ‘C’ Company to the 2/1st Punjab Regiment at Feni, and Battalion HQ and ‘D’ Company to the 14th Divisional HQ at Comilla. In mid-October 1942 the companies were concentrated with the battalion at Chittagong under command of the 55th Indian Infantry Brigade, except for ‘B’ Company at Cox’s Bazaar under the 123rd Indian Infantry Brigade.
The battalion then served under the division in its advance south in mid-December 1942 into the Arakan. ‘B’ Company advanced with the 47th Brigade and supported the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in its attack on Donbaik on January 8th, 1943. The attack failed after two days. ‘A’ Company then joined the brigade as well. Both companies supported another attack on Donbaik on January 18th by the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 1/7th Rajput Regiment. Both companies supported further attacks on February 1st, February 18th and March 18th. After that ‘C’ Company relieved ‘A’ Company in the foothills and ‘B’ Company was sent to protect Kyaukpandu and Indin on March 24th. ‘C’ Company came under command of the 6th British Infantry Brigade on April 5th at Indin. After this brigade was withdrawn, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies took up positions at Dilpara and Lambaguna covering Maungdaw. When ‘C’ Company relieved ‘A’ Company in February, it moved from Donbaik to reserve at Buthidaung. It was placed under command of the 55th Brigde at Htizwe on March 14th and went into action with the brigade on arrival there. The brigade withdrew from March 16th/17th to Taungmaw and was relieved there by the 71st Indian Infantry Brigade. The 55th Brigade then withdrew to Buthidaung. ‘D’ Company had been kept on coast defence near Chittagong in the earlier part of the campaign, but was ordered to join the 71st Brigade at Taungmaw on March 1st. It withdrew with the brigade to Buthidaung on May 1st. Also, by this time, ‘A’ Company took up positions south of Buthidaung under the 55th Brigade. After the 55th and most of the 71st Brigades withdrew north of Buthidaung, ‘D’ Company assisted the 1st Lincolnshire Regiment in defending the town. By May 10th, all units were to withdraw to Maungdaw and ‘A’ Company arrived there to find the Battalion HQ, which had been there since mid-January 1943. At this time, the M-G Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment arrived at Maungdaw to relieve the battalion in the Arakan. Maungdaw was abandoned four days later and the battalion concentrated at Chittagong. The battalion then moved to Ranchi in May 1943 and then to Bareilly in June to refit and reorganize. Toward the end of the first Arakan campaign, the companies were retitled ‘W’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’.
Central Command – Meerut District – June 1943 to 9 February 1944
At Bareilly, the four companies were formed into three larger companies titled ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’. After reorganization, the battalion left Bareilly and by February 9th, 1944 to concentrated at Wangjing near Imphal.
IV Corps Troops – February 1944 to 1 December 1944
The battalion left Bareilly by February 9th, 1944 and moved to Wangjing near Imphal to train for one month. On March 9th, the battalion concentrated under IV Corps Box as the corps mobile reserve in the hills in Imphal. It moved to Wangjing on March 12th and the to MS 129 on the Tiddim Road to protect the bridge over the Manipur River. ‘Z’ Company was left at MS 100 and then Battalion HQ and the remaining companies were at MS 109. After a Japanese attack, the battalion withdrew to MS 96 on March 19th and MS 82 on March 20th, where ‘Z’ Company rejoined. At MS 82, the battalion came under command of the 49th Indian Infantry Brigade in its defence box. It held this area until April 3rd, when the 17th Indian Light Division withdrew through it to Imphal. After the withdrawal the battalion moved back to MS 41 and the companies were detached in support of the brigades defending all six routes to the Imphal Plain. ‘X’ Company moved to the administrative box at Kanglatongbi on April 6th, but returned to the the battalion on the next day. One platoon of ‘Y’ Company was attached to the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade from April 12th to May 9th on the Ukhrul road and Iril Valley. The battalion remained in action defending the Imphal Plain until the relief of Imphal. It was then withdrawn for a period of rest, leave and training at Wangjing, except for one platoon of ‘Z’ Company, which supported the 5th Indian Infantry Division in its advance down Tiddim road. This platoon did not return to the battalion until November 23rd.
20th Indian Infantry Division – 1 December 1944 to 31 August 1945
The battalion then came under command of the 20th Indian Infantry Division on December 1st, 1944 and supported the crossing of the Chindwin by the division on December 3rd. It crossed at Kalewa on December 25th and then moved down to Maungdaw, where it detached companies and platoons to support brigades and battalions of the division. On February 12th, 1945, the 100th Indian Infantry Brigade with ‘Z’ Company crossed the Irrawaddy, while the 32nd Indian Infantry Brigade with ‘W’ Company crossed futher downstream. ‘Y’ Company was detached to support the 80th Indian Infantry Brigade. The division then moved on Kyaukse and took it on March 30th. The battalion then had six days rest, it moved south with the division on April 10th. The 32nd Brigade moved on Taungdaw, the 80th Brigade moved toward Magwe and the 100th Brigade moved to Taungdwingyi accompanied by their respective companies of the battalion. The Battalion HQ and ‘X’ Company moved to the west of Meiktila on April 11th. By May 5th, the battalion had concentrated at Prome with the divisional HQ. The 32nd Brigade with ‘W’ Company was to advance to Rangoon, but the XV Indian Corps captured Rangoon on May 3rd. The brigade then met the 26th Indian Infantry Division’s advancing force from Rangoon at Tharrawaddy and remained there until June 26th. The Battalion HQ and ‘X’ and ‘Z’ Companies moved to Taikkyi on May 29th to concentrate, but ‘W’ and ‘Z’ Companies remained with their respective brigades. The battalion was then used to prevent the Japanese break out from the Pegu Yomas and was spread from Daik-U to Pya with ‘Y’ Company in the north, ‘Z’ Company in the centre and a combined ‘W’ and ‘X’ Companies in the south. The breakout started on July 19th and by the start of August the battalion was back at Taikkyi in comfortable barracks. It moved to Saigon with the division in October 1945. It left there on February 12th, 1946 for Bombay and then to Bareilly on March 3rd. It was disbanded on August 15th, 1946 at Bareilly.
Machine Gun Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment
Formed 15 April 1942 at Karachi.
Sind Brigade Area – 15 April 1942 to 1 August 1942
The battalion moved to Sialot from Karachi in August 1942.
Service as 53rd Baluch Regiment, Indian Armoured Corps
It moved to Sialkot in August 1942 and was to be converted to a regiment of light tanks. It converted to 53rd Baluch Regiment, Indian Armoured Corps on August 1st, 1942 in Sialkot and was to come 268th Indian Armoured Brigade. It was attached to a tank battalion of the Gordon Highlanders to learn in November 1942. It was renamed 17th Battalion on 15 September 1942.
268th Indian Infantry Brigade – 1 October 1942 to March 1944
Orders were changed and the battalion moved to Secunderabad in November 1942. It was then converted to the 17th Battalion and came under the command of the 268th Indian (Lorried) Infantry Brigade of the 44th Indian Armoured Division. After two months it moved to Jangaon and in July 1943 it moved to Calcutta with the brigade and to Kulna on arrival.
303rd Line of Communications Area – March 1944 to June 1944
It left the brigade in March 1944 and remained in the Calcutta area until June 1944. It left the Calcutta area in June 1944 and embarked at Karachi on July 3rd, 1944.
PAIFORCE – July 1944 to September 1944
It arrived in Basra, Iraq on July 8th, and moved to Tureh on arrival, near the Afridi Battalion.
60th Indian Infantry Brigade – September 1944 to August 1945
It became part of 60th Indian Infantry Brigade in September 1944. It moved to Ahwaz in July 1945 and to Haifa, Palestine in August 1945.
3rd British Infantry Brigade – Attached – August 1945 to 31 August 1945
On arrival in Haifa it came under the 3rd British Infantry Brigade.
Machine Gun Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment
Formed 15 January 1942 at Nowshera.
Nowshera Brigade – 15 January 1942 to January 1943
The battalion was organized with one-half Sikhs and one-half Punjabi Mussalmen when it was raised at Nowshera on January 15th, 1942. It was fully motorized by the end of 1942, but continued to train at Nowshera. During November and December, the battalion was attached to 7th Indian Infantry Division at Nowshera and Attock for further training.
7th Indian Infantry Division – January 1943 to September 1943
It left Nowshera in January 1943 and became fully integrated into the 7th Indian Infantry Division on moving to Chindwara with the division. It continued to train with the division at Chindwara. When the division moved to the Arakan in July 1943, it left the battalion behind since the battalion was in the process of converting from a M-G battalion into a support battalion.
151st Sub Area – September 1943 to July 1944
At the end of summer, it moved to Ranchi to train in its new role. It returned to the M-G role in July 1944 and soon after it left Ranchi for Nasik.
19th Indian Infantry Division – July 1944 to 31 August 1945
On arrival in Nasik in July 1944, it joined the 19th Indian Infantry Division. It moved to Moreh, Imphal on November 1st, 1944 with the division and served with the division in Burma until the end of the war. ‘A’ Company was sent to the 64th Indian Brigade at Sittaung and the rest of the battalion came under the 98th Indian Brigade at Thanan. The battalion (less ‘A’ Company) left Tonhe on December 16th and crossed the Chindwin and was located at Lobok by December 28th. It was under command of the 98th Brigade at Kanblu on January 2nd and then located at Kabwet from January 11th to February 2nd, 1945. The battalion then moved to Onbauk and ‘A’ Company returned from the 98th Brigade on February 6th at Kyaukmyaung. ‘B’ Company was also detached from January 8th to February 8th. The battalion helped extend the bridgehead and took Singuj by February 13th.
On March 3rd, the battalion was split among the brigades of the 19th Division with ‘A’ Company under the 98th Brigade, ‘B’ Company under the 62nd Brigade, ‘C’ Company under the 64th Brigade and ‘D’ Company under the divisional HQ. The division then advanced to Mandalay and the battalion was located at Meiktila on April 16th with ‘B’ Company under the 98th Brigade in the Thazi area. The battalion was at Toungoo on April 24th and operated in the Mawchi area from May 17th-28th. On June 1st, the battalion was deployed with the Battalion HQ under the 62nd Brigade at Pyonchaung, ‘A’ Company at MS15 Mawchi Road, ‘B’ Company (less one platoon) under the 8th Light Cavalry at MS211 on Rangoon Road, 1 platoon of ‘B’ Company at Toungoo railway station under the 33rd Anti-Regiment, RA, ‘C’ Company (less one platoon) under the 62nd Brigade at MS10 Mawchi Road, 1 platoon ‘C’ Company under the 64th Brigade in Kalaw area, and ‘D’ Company under the 62nd Brigade on the Mawchi Road. The battalion moved to Kywebwe on June 14th and then took over the Zeyawadi area south of Toungoo from July 23rd until the end of the war. ‘D’ Company was sent to Shwegyin on August 20th.
Machine Gun Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment
Formed 15 January 1942 at Sialkot.
Lahore District – 15 January 1942 to December 1942
The battalion was raised at Sialkot on January 15th, 1942.
26th Indian Infantry Division – December 1942 to February 1944
It moved to Calcutta from Sialkot in December 1942 to join the 26th Indian Infantry Division. It was stationed for four months at Baruipar near Calcutta. It sailed from Calcutta for Chittagong in the Arakan on April 24th, 1943 and by May 5th, 1943 it relieved the 9th Jat Regiment M-G Battalion at Maungdaw. It was in action with the division until withdrawn to Comilla in October 1943. It remained there under the division until February 1944.
XV Indian Corps Troops – February 1944 to April 1944
It moved to Bawli Bazaar in February 1944 as XV Indian Corps troops. It arrived at Bawli Bazaar on February 15th and was attached to the 29th British Infantry Brigade. After arrival, each company was despatched to the 5th Indian Infantry Division and fought with the division at Ngachedauk Pass through February 29th. It was then in action with the division at Maungdaw.
25th Indian Infantry Division – April 1944 to October 1944
When the division left, the battalion transferred to the 25th Indian Infantry Division in April 1944. It served in the advance south into the Arakan with the division through September 1944.
26th Indian Infantry Division – October 1944 to 31 August 1945
The battalion was reorganized in October 1944 and returned to 26th Indian Infantry Division. It trained with the division at Rejukha Beach. It served under the 4th Indian Infantry Brigade of the division during the Taungup operation from March 13th-28th, 1945. On March 28th, it returned to Madras with the division and then went back to Ramree Island to prepare for the assault on Rangoon. It landed at Rangoon with the division and then returned to India on June 2nd. It then moved to the Bangalore area to prepare for operations in Malaya and Sumatra. It embarked on November 4th, 1945 for Sumatra with the division.
Machine Gun Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles
Formed 15 January 1942 at Abbottabad.
Rawalpindi District – 15 January 1942 to 20 December 1942
The battalion was raised at Abbotabad on January 15th, 1942 and moved to Tobe Camp near Kakul in March 1942. At the end of May 1942, it moved to Rawalpindi to train. It was mobilized in November 1942 and left Rawalpindi on December 20th, 1942 for Trichinopoly.
25th Indian Infantry Division – 11 January 1943 to March 1944
It arrived at Trichinopoly on January 11th, 1943 and joined the 25th Indian Infantry Division, coming under command of the 53rd Indian Infantry Brigade for administration. From Feburary to September 1943, it operated in exercises under the 19th and 25th Indian Infantry Divisions. It changed its role to a support battalion in June, but retained the title of M-G Battalion. It moved to Malabar at the start of October 1943 and was attached to the 19th Indian Infantry Division in the Nilambur area for training. At the end of November, it returned to the 25th Indian Infantry Division at Ootacamund. It moved to Bangalore with the division in January and remained with the division until the division departed for Burma in March 1944.
Frontier Reserve Brigade – March 1944 to 14 November 1944
The battalion then moved to the North-West Frontier and joined the 3rd Indian Infantry Brigade (now called the Frontier Reserve Brigade) at Batrasi near Abbottabad, where it arrived in April. It moved to Tahlian camp to train in August 1944 and left Rawalpindi for Kohima on November 14th, 1944.
7th Indian Infantry Division – 14 November 1944 to 31 August 1945
It joined 7th Indian Infantry Division on arrival in Kohima and remained with it for the rest of the war. It moved to Tamu on January 2nd and was distributed among the brigades with ‘A’ Company under the 89th Brigade, ‘B’ Company under the 33rd Brigade, ‘C’ Company under the 114th Brigade, and the Battalion HQ and ‘D’ Company under the 7th Divisional HQ. It served with the brigades in the crossing of the Irrawaddy and the advance south. The battalion was located at Yenangyaung during May and June at the end of the advance south. It moved to Prome at the end of June and then to Pegu, where the division concentrated. It moved to Mingladon on August 15th and remained there until the end of the war.
9th Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles
This battalion was raised as an infantry battalion on 1 April 1941 at Bareilly as part of the 98th Indian Infantry Brigade and served with the brigade through July 1942. On August 1st, 1942 it was converted to 54th Regiment, Indian Armoured Corp at Lahore and was to be equipped with medium cruiser tanks. It was part of the 268th Indian Armoured Brigade in August and received two light tanks in October 1942. On October 1st 1942, the Battalion was converted back to an infantry battalion and the brigade to the 268th Indian Infantry (Lorried) Brigade at Secunderabad. The battalion did not join the brigade for a month since it was doing internal security duty in the Bezwada District. After joining the brigade it trained with it from March to November 1943, when the brigade was called to Calcutta to perform famine relief duties. The brigade operated in an area thirty miles north of Calcutta from early December 1943 until March 1944. At the end of this period the battalion was moved to Ranchi and half the battalion was given leave. Due to this fact, it was left behind in Ranchi when the brigade was rushed to Burma in March 1944. In May 1944 the Battalion was sent to Quetta to train as a Machine-Gun Battalion and remained there in training through December 1944, when it was posted to the 17th Indian Infantry Division as its Machine-Gun Battalion. Here is its service with the division:
17th Indian Infantry Division – December 1944 to 31 August 1945
The 9th Battalion moved to Ranchi and joined the division in January of 1945 just as half of the division was about to leave for Burma. It joined the advanced elements of the division south of Imphal in early February 1945, except for ‘D’ Company, which flew into Meiktila on February 4th with the 99th Indian Brigade. During the advance south, ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies served under the Divisional HQ and ‘C’ Company served under the 48th Indian Brigade. The battalion crossed the Irrawaddy on February 16th and reached Taungatha on February 25th. It was then involved in the drive on Meiktila from February 28th to March 3rd. On April 1st, 1945, the battalion was organized with ‘A’ Company supporting the 63rd Brigade, ‘B’ Company with the Divisional HQ, ‘C’ Company with the 48th Brigade and ‘D’ Company with the 99th Brigade. After the Meiktila battles, the battalion moved to Pyawbe with the division. It then fought in the battle of the Pegu Yomas. After this battle, the battalion was dispersed with ‘A’ Company at Penwegong, ‘B’ Company at Daiku and ‘D’ Company at Kanguktwin. It remained in service in Burma with the division until the end of the war.
Machine Gun Battalion, 14th Punjab Regiment
Formed 1 July 1942 at Ferozepore.
Lahore District – 1 July 1942 to January 1943
The battalion was raised at Ferozepore on July 1st, 1942. It was organized with ‘A’ (Pathan), ‘B’ (20% Jat/5% Sikh), ‘C’ (Punjabi Mussalman), and ‘D’ (5% Dogra/10% Ahir/10% Gujar) Companies. It became the 15th Battalion on August 1st, 1942.
100th Line of Communications Area – January 1943 to 1 March 1943
In January 1943 it moved to Asansol, Bihar from Ferozepore and mobilized under 100th LOC Area at Patna. It was on railway security duty in the Calcutta area on February 4th, 1943 and was mobilized on February 20th, 1943 and moved to Madras.
105th Line of Communications Area – 1 March 1943 to 12 August 1943
It arrived in Madras on March 1st, 1943.
106th Indian Training Brigade – 12 August 1943 to 31 August 1945
The battalion was to move to Burma on August 1st, 1943, but instead went to the 39th Indian Training Division at Saharanpur on August 12th. It converted to a training battalion on August 14th, 1943 and came under the command of the 106th Indian Training Brigade at Hardwar on September 23rd, 1943. It remained there until the end of the war.
Machine Gun Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment
Formed July 1942 at Ambala.
Lahore District – Central Command – 1 July 1942 to 1 August 1942
The battalion was raised at Ambala on July 1st, 1942. It formed 15th Punjab Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery on August 1st, 1942.
Service as 15th Punjab Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery
This regiment was disbanded in October 1944.
Machine Gun Battalion, 16th Punjab Regiment
Formed 1 July 1942 at Sialkot.
Lahore District – 1 July 1942 to 1 August 1942
The battalion was raised at Sialkot on July 1st, 1942 and remained in Sialkot until it was converted to the 16th Punjab Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery on August 1st, 1942.
Service as 16th Punjab Anti-Tank Regiment, Indian Artillery
The batteries were numbered as the 32nd, 33rd, 34th, and 40th Anti-Tank Batteries during 1942-44. The 40th Battery was dropped in 1945. The regiment became the 16th (Reserve) Anti-Tank Regiment on July 15th, 1943 and served under the 14th Indian Training Division.
Machine Gun Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment
Formed 15 October 1941 at Jullundar.
Jullundur Brigade Area – 15 October 1941 to 17 June 1942
The battalion was raised at Jullundur on October 15th, 1941. It was raised as a fully mechanised unit with 130 vehicles. It trained at Jullunder and when it left there it embarked at Karachi on June 17th, 1942 for Iraq.
XXI Corps Troops – June 1942 to January 1943
The battalion arrived at Bandar Shapur, Iraq at the same time that their vehicles arrived at Karachi. On arrival it moved to Ahwaz to become XXI Corps Troops as its machine-gun battalion. It was first located at Kermanshah (Battalion HQ and ‘B’ Company) with ‘A’ Company at Senna, ‘C’ Company at Hamadan and ‘D’ Company at Durad. The battalion was located at Hamadan with detachments at Kermanshah and Senna on September 15th, 1942.
The companies moved about until the battalion was concentrated at Qasi-i-Shirin in November 1942. During this period the battalion was generally attached to the 6th Indian Division.
6th Indian Infantry Division – January 1943 to 1 October 1944
The battalion joined the division at Qasi-i-Shirin in January 1943. It moved to Kifir with the division in April 1943 and then to Karind on the Persian plateau. During the winter of 1943-44 it moved to Qizil Rabat and in the summer of 1944 it guarded the railway to Russia in the southern Persian foothills.
Lahore District – Central Command – 15 October 1944 to 24 December 1945
On October 1st, 1944, it left Basra and fourteen days later it was at Jullundur.
5th Indian Infantry Division – 24 December 1944 to
It moved to Burma on 24 December 1944 and came under the command of the 5th Indian Infantry Division at Jorhat in North Assam on arrival. The 5th Indian Division began to leave Jorhat on March 7th, 1945 and concentrated at Kamye, Burma by the end of the month, having moved by way of Dimapur, Imphal and Tamu. On arrival, ‘C’ Company was attached to the 161st Indian Brigade Group and cleared the Taungtha Hills near Meiktila. A’ Company repulsed Japanese attacked in Meiktila. The 5th Indian Division then left Meiktila in six groups organized as followed: an Armoured Group, the 123rd Indian Brigade Group (including ‘D’ Company), the Divisional HQ Group (including HQ and ‘B’ Company), the 161st Indian Brigade Group (including ‘C’ Company), the Administration Group (including Rear HQ and 1st Reinforcements), and the 9th Indian Air-Transportable Brigade (including ‘A’ Company). The 5th Division pushed out of Meiktila at the start of April and secured Toungoo by April 22nd. Companies of the battalion fought as follows: Meiktila (‘A’), Taungtha (‘C’), Yindaw (‘C), Yamethin (‘D’), Shewmyo Bluff (‘C’ and ‘D’), Pyinmana (‘C’) and Toungoo (‘D’). ‘B’ Company in the Divisional HQ Group also had its share of patrols and air attacks.
The 5th Indian Division was then given the task of securing the Sittang crossing north and south of the blown bridge. The lead was given to the 9th Indian Brigade and ‘A’ Company. It fought with the brigade at Abya and Nyaung Kashe. At the start of July, the 5th Division concentrated at Mingaladon near Rangoon to train for Malaya. The Machine-Gun Battalion was split into six ships with the affiliated groups and left Rangoon on August 30th, 1945. It arrived at Singapore on September 5th. The battalion was disbanded post-war at Jhelum on June 8th, 1947.
Machine Gun Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment
Formed 15 April 1942 at Agra.
Delhi Independent Brigade Area – 15 April 1942 to November 1942
It was raised as a M-G Battalion at Agra on April 15th, 1942, but changed to infantry on August 1st, 1942 as the 9th Battalion.
75th Indian Infantry Brigade – November 1942 to August 1943
It left Agra in November 1942 and came under command of 75th Indian Infantry Brigade at Wah
Razmak Brigade – August 1943 to March 1945
In August 1943 it left the 75th Brigade to go to Razmak.
Peshawar Brigade – March 1945 to 31 August 1945
In March 1945 it moved to Peshawar for the rest of the war. It disbanded on July 16th, 1946.
Post-Second World War
In 1947, India and Pakistan achieved Independence from the British Empire. As such, usage from this period is shown as separate countries. Both countries had significant stocks of Mk. I guns in .303-inch.
On 1 October 1946, the Mahar Regiment was established as a Machine Gun Regiment and used the Vickers as it’s main capability. It remained this way until 1963 when it was reformed as a standard infantry regiment. Detachments from the Regiment accompanied other infantry regiments and were attached to them.