Second World War
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to support the division through the rest of the North African campaign until May 12th, 1943, when the division was withdrawn to the Misturata area.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 It served with the division at Cassino until it was withdrawn on March 25th, 1944.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 It then was withdrawn to the Campobasso area.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.
- Ryan, David A. (2016). Machine Gun Battalions [online]. Available from: http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/machine-gun-battalions.60788/page-2#post-704255. Accessed: 3 January 2017.