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.
In line with the British Army, the infantry battalions of the British Indian Army had machine gun platoons and companies in their establishment. This included the Regular Army and the Auxiliary Force (India). They were all equipped with British-manufactured Mark I guns. The regiments of the British Indian Army are listed here, with more information on each regiment on its own page.
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 listed below and more information can be found on their specific pages:
- 3rd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment
- 3rd Battalion, 3rd Madras Regiment
- 5/5th Mahratta Light Infantry
- Machine Gun Battalion, 6th Rajputana Rifles
- Machine Gun Battalion, 7th Rajput Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 9th Jat Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles
- 9th Battalion, 13th Frontier Force Rifles
- Machine Gun Battalion, 14th Punjab Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 16th Punjab Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 17th Dogra Regiment
- Machine Gun Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment
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.