Second World War
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 After this brigade was withdrawn, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies took up positions at Dilpara and Lambaguna covering Maungdaw.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.
- 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.