15th Infantry Division (India)
|15th Indian Division|
|Active||7 May 1916 – March 1919; 1964 - onwards|
|Country|| British India|
|Branch||British Indian Army|
|Engagements||World War I|
The 15th Indian Division was an infantry division of the British Indian Army that saw active service in the First World War. It served in the Mesopotamian Campaign on the Euphrates Front throughout its existence. It did not serve in the Second World War, but was reformed at Dehradun in 1964 as part of the post-independence Indian Army
The division was formed on 7 May 1916 to replace the 12th Indian Division on the Euphrates Front. It remained on the Euphrates Front until the end of the war. It took part in the Action of As Sahilan (11 September 1916), the Capture of Ramadi (28 and 29 September 1917), the Occupation of Hīt (9 March 1918) and the Action of Khan Baghdadi (26 and 27 March 1918). The division was not attached to either of the army corps operating in Mesopotamia, the I Corps and III Corps.
At the end of the war, the division was rapidly run down and it was disbanded in March 1919.
The division was re-raised on 1 October 1964 at Clement Town, Dehradun and assigned to XI Corps (India). In the 1965 war it was under XI Corps, Western Command, and had 20 Locating Regiment under its command. In 1971, it had the 66th Armoured Regiment (India) under command as its integral armoured unit.
The divisional headquarters is now at Amritsar.
Order of battle, First World War
The division commanded the following units, although not all of them served at the same time:
- 1/5th Battalion, Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
- 2nd Battalion, 39th Garhwal Rifles
- 1st Battalion, 43rd Erinpura Infantry
- 90th Punjabis
- 128th Machine Gun Company
- 12th Light Trench Mortar Battery
- Joined the division on formation and left for the 17th Indian Division in August 1917
- 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
- 31st Punjabis
- 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry
- 114th Mahrattas
- 129th Machine Gun Company
- 1/4th Battalion, Devonshire Regiment
- 1/4th Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment
- 1st Battalion, 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
- 2nd Battalion, 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
- 2nd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles
- 130th Machine Gun Company
- 42nd Light Trench Mortar Battery
- Joined from the 17th Indian Division in September 1917
- 1st Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
- 6th Jat Light Infantry
- 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs
- 24th Punjabis
- 1st Battalion, 97th Deccan Infantry
- 256th Machine Gun Company
- 50th Light Trench Mortar Battery
- VII Mountain Brigade, Indian Mountain Artillery (21st Kohat and 26th Jacob's Mountain Batteries)[a]
- CCXXII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (375th, 1070th, 1072th, 77th (H) and 429th (H) Batteries)[b]
- CCXV Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (816th, 1087th, 1088th and 524th (H) Batteries}[c]
- Volunteer Battery[d]
- M, N and O Light Trench Mortar Batteries[e]
- X.15 Medium Trench Mortar Battery
- 15th Divisional Ammunition Column
Engineers and Pioneers
- 4th Field Company, 1st King George's Own Sappers and Miners
- Malerkotla Sappers and Miners, ISF
- 448th (Northumbrian) Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 450th (Northumbrian) Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 451st (Northumbrian) Field Company, Royal Engineers
- 15th Division Signal Company, Royal Engineers Signal Service
- 48th Pioneers
- 275th Machine Gun Company
- 3rd, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 34th, 105th and 108th Combined Field Ambulances, RAMC
- No. 16 (renumbered No. 6) Mobile Veterinary Section, AVC
- 15th Division Train, ASC
Battles and engagements
The division was involved in the following actions:
- Action of As Sahilan (11 September 1916)
- Capture of Ramadi (28 – 29 September 1917)
- Occupation of Hīt (9 March 1918)
- Action of Khan Baghdadi (26 – 27 March 1918)
- VII Mountain Brigade, Indian Mountain Artillery joined in May 1916 and left in April 1917.
- CCXXII Brigade, Royal Field Artillery joined in October 1916. It was originally the III Home Counties Brigade of the Home Counties Division, Territorial Force, plus the 375th and 77th (H) Batteries. 429th (H) Battery replaced 77th (H) Battery in October 1918.
- CCXV Brigade, Royal Field Artillery joined in October 1917 from 3rd (Lahore) Division. It was originally the I Wessex Brigade of the Wessex Division, Territorial Force, plus the 816th and 524th (H) Batteries. 816th Battery was originally 2/1st Nottinghamshire Royal Horse Artillery.
- The Volunteer Battery left in April 1918 for 17th Indian Division.
- M, N and O Light Trench Mortar Batteries joined in September 1917 and were assigned to the infantry brigades in February 1918.
- Kempton, Chris (2003a). 'Loyalty & Honour', The Indian Army September 1939 – August 1947. Part I Divisions. Milton Keynes: The Military Press. ISBN 0-85420-228-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Moberly, F.J. (1923). Official History of the War: Mesopotamia Campaign. London: Imperial War Museum. ISBN 1-870423-30-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- "15th Indian Division on The Regimental Warpath 1914 - 1918 by PB Chappell". Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 2015-06-13.
- British Empire has list of all Indian Army regiments with pictures of their regimental badges.