Indian States Forces cavalry regiments

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by RobG64, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. RobG64

    RobG64 Active Member

    To DRyan67
    I was wondering if you could shed any light on the mechanisation of the five I.S.F. cavalry regiments that provided service to the Crown in WW2. I have brief details as set our below but do you have any specific dates about when and what equipment they received and their service?

    NB: All regiments mobilised as mounted cavalry regiments. I have not included the Bikaner Ganga Risala as it remained a camel unit throughout the war

    3rd Gwalior Lancers I.S.F. - Mobilised in September 1940 but returned to State in September 1941. Mobilised again in March 1942 at Meerut on a mounted/mechanised basis (H.Q. plus Mounted Wing (two mounted companies) and Mechanised Wing (two carrier companies)). Assigned to 25th Indian Division August-September 1942 and 7th Indian Division from January 1943. Both Wings served in Arakan. Withdrawn August 1944 to fully mechanise (carriers and trucks?) before moving to Baluchistan

    1st Hyderabad Lancers I.S.F. - Mobilised in November 1940 and assigned to 8th Indian Division and then 34th Indian Division. To Delhi and mechanised with Humber and Daimler armoured cars from January 1942 with 23rd Indian Division. Under command XV Indian Corps from June 1942 on the Bihar coast. Under command 19th Indian Division April 1943 to April 1944 and then Southern Army until November 1944 when it was sent to Aden

    2nd Hyderabad Lancers I.S.F. - Mobilised in March 1942 and mechanised at Quetta from May 1942 with Humber and Daimler armoured cars. From January 1943 it was under command Risalpur Training Brigade until it moved to Mhow in March 1944. In January 1945 the regiment moved to Syria

    Jodhpur Sarda Risala I.S.F. - Mobilised in January 1940 and assigned to 6th Indian Division. Ordered to mechanise from February 1941, it received trucks to train with from May 1941. Earmarked for 19th Indian Division the regiment moved to Secunderabad in October 1941 and was issued carriers and trucks from November 1941 to March 1942. Served with 20th Indian Division, Southern Army, 19th Indian Division and 25th Indian Division to February 1944. Issued Marmon-Herrington III armoured cars from early October 1942. These were replaced by Humber and Daimler armoured cars from April to June 1943. In March 1944 the regiment was nominated for overseas service. It left all its vehicles behind and moved to Iraq in May 1944. It relieved Poona Horse in the oilfields and took over their Humber armoured cars

    1st Patiala Lancers I.S.F. - Mobilised in November 1940 and served in Delhi. In April 1941 it moved to Lorali on the NWF and from January 1942 (January 1943??) "A" Squadron received Humber armoured cars whilst "B" & "C" Squadrons remained mounted. The regiment moved to Quetta in June 1942 and then under command Risalpur Training Brigade from March 1943 to March 1944 before serving in Central Command at Khandwa. In May 1945 the regiment moved to Palestine and then into Egypt


    Best regards
    RobG64
     
  2. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I will take a look into this and get back to you.
     
  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    1st Patiala (Rajindra) Lancers

    RHQ
    Patiala
    Class
    3 Squadrons Sikhs, 1 Squadron Mohammedans
    Indian Government Service
    6 November 1940 - 30 March 1946

    The regiment was raised in the early 19th Century as an irregular unit. It became part of the Imperial Service Troops on 11 April 1889. The regiment also included some Hindus by July 1944.
    It moved to Delhi from the state on 5 November 1940 and served there until 13 April 1941. It then left Delhi for Loralai in Baluchistan and served under the Zhob Brigade. It moved to Quetta by horse on 20 September 1941 and was ordered to mechanize there in December 1941, becoming one of five Indian State Force cavalry units mechanized with armoured cars during the war. It first received Ford trucks for training purposes and continued training with these through 1942. In September 1942, it began to equip with South African armoured cars and was organized with HQ Squadron and three squadrons each with one troop of armoured cars, two troops of wheeled carriers, and one troop of riflemen.
    In March 1943, the regiment moved to Risalpur for further reorganization. On arrival it was reorganized as an Animal/Armoured Fighting Vehicle Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment with two wings. ‘A’ and the Support Squadron were mechanized, while ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons were horsed. The complete organization was HQ Squadron, ‘A’ Squadron with Humber IV Armoured Cars with Squadron HQ (2 ACs), three troops of three ACs each and one troop of riflemen and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadrons horsed. The Support Squadron had one troop of 2-pounder anti-tank guns, one troop of 3” mortars, and one troop of tracked armoured carriers.
    The regiment moved to Khandwa in Central India in April 1944, where it was again reorganized. It completely mechanized with Humber IVs in HQ and the three armoured car squadrons and abolished the Support Squadron. The regiment remained at Khandwa until it embarked at Bombay for the Middle East on 28 April 1945.
    It arrived at Port Said, Egypt on 9 May 1945 and moved to Haifa with squadrons at Jerusalem and the oil refinery. It moved to Cairo in October 1945 and sailed for Aden in November, where it stayed until it returned to India and Patiala on 30 March 1946. It left its armoured cars at Aden on departure from there.


    Risalpur Area from January 1943 until March 1944, and under the Mhow Brigade from March 1944 until January 1945. It then served under 9th Army (Palestine and Syria) from January to December 1945.
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    3rd Gwalior Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia’s Own Lancers

    RHQ
    Morar
    Class
    1 Squadron Mahrattas, 1 Squadron Thakurs, 1 Squadron Mohammedans
    Indian Government Service
    March 1942 - August 1945

    At the outbreak of the war the regiment was under command of the Gwalior Cavalry Brigade. The 3rd Lancers left Gwalior on 25 September 1940 for Quetta and took over the horses of 10th Guide’s Cavalry at Quetta on 26 September 1940. It returned to Gwalior on 11 September 1941 with 326 horses as a gift to the state.
    It again left the state on 1 March 1942 for government service at Meerut having left its horses in Gwalior. It arrived in Meerut on 2 March and began to mechanize as a Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment. It joined 25th Indian Infantry Division in that role but never joined the division. It left command of the division in September 1942 and remained at Meerut. In April 1943, the regiment moved to Ranchi to be organized as a half-horsed and half-mechanized unit. There it joined 7th Indian Infantry Division as its divisional reconnaissance regiment.
    On 2 December 1943, on the arrival of 25th Dragoons at Ukhia in the Arakan, an armoured group was formed with the Mechanized Wing of the 3rd Gwalior Lancers. The regiment was located at Piska, in the Ranchi area on 17 December 1943, except for the Mechanized Wing, which formed part of the armoured group. The regiment did not go to Assam when 7th Indian Division left the Arakan, since the experimental organization of a Mechanized Wing in carriers and a Horsed Wing did not work out. The Horsed Wing had been attached to 7th Indian Division. The Horsed Wing was disposed in the low hills east of Taung Bazaar on 4 February 1944 watching the eastern and south-eastern approaches with two dismounted troops on Point 160. Troops from this wing reported at 900 hours on 4 February that Japanese troops approached Taung Bazaar. An outpost of the regiment went over to the Japanese in the Arakan in 1944. In March 1944, the regiment served under XV Corps with the Horsed Wing under 7th Indian Infantry Division.

    The regiment left 7th Indian Division in March 1944 and returned to Ranchi. It moved to Ferozepore in April 1944 and then moved to Quetta by road in February 1945, where it served under the Khojak Brigade until it returned to the state on 12 February 1946.
     
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    1st (Nizam’s Own) Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers

    RHQ
    Asufnagar, Hyderabad
    Class
    Deccani Mussalman
    Indian Government Service
    4 November 1940 - August 1945

    This regiment was one of five ISF units equipped with armoured cars during the war. It served in the Secunderabad Area from 4 November 1940 until March 1941. It next served under the Delhi Brigade Area from October 1941 until January 1942. On 1 January 1942 it joined under 23rd Indian Division with one armoured car at Delhi . The regiment then became part of XV Indian Corps until April 1943, when it became the Divisional Cavalry Regiment of 19th Indian Infantry Division. It remained under Madras District when the division left for Burma in April 1944. It stayed there until September 1944, when it was sent to Aden. It served in Aden from November 1944 until the end of the war.

    During WW2 the 1st Hyderabad Lancers saw service in the Middle East. At this time the Regiment was commanded by a British Officer, possibly a racist, whose manners and conduct left much to be desired, particularly when compared to the rest of the Hyderabadi officers, most of whom comprised the aristocracy of the State. The CO was rude in his behaviour and often commented adversely on the fighting capabilities of the
    'natives' under his command. On one occasion he even insulted the Nizam. Adi Tarapore who was present took strong exception to this and told his CO, 'You have insulted my country and my King-and I do not mean George VI'. This incident created a furor. The Regiment was kept in isolation and all their ammunition was withdrawn. The matter was finally settled after a visit by Gen El Edross to General Montgomery.
     
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  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    2nd (Nizam’s Own) Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers

    RHQ
    Golconda, Chawani Muhamundi, Hyderabad
    Class
    Deccani Mussalman
    Indian Government Service
    March 1942 - December 1945


    This regiment was one of five ISF units equipped with armoured cars during the war. The regiment formed part of the Jubbulpore Brigade from March to August 1942, the Quetta Brigade from August to October 1942, the Meerut Area from October 1942 to January 1943, the Risalpur Training Brigade from January 1943 until March 1944 and the Mhow Brigade from March 1944 until January 1945. It was then sent to the Middle East and served in Syria from January to December 1945. It was located at Quetta on 20 May 1942.
     
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Jodhpur Sardar Rissala

    RHQ
    Jodhpur, J. Railway
    Class
    2 1/2 Squadrons Rathor Rajputs, 1/2 Squadron Kayankhanis
    Indian Government Service
    8 January 1940 - August 1945
    Title Changes
    Jodhpur Lancers - 1943

    This was one of five ISF cavalry units equipped with armoured cars. The regiment served under 1st Indian Cavalry Brigade at Risalpur from 8 January to October 1940, under the Quetta Brigade from October to December 1940 and under the Risalpur Training Brigade from December 1940 to November 1941.
    It then moved to the Secunderabad Area. The regiment joined 20th Indian Infantry Division on 15 March 1942 at Secunderabad and remained with it until June 1942, when it became the Divisional Cavalry Regiment of 19th Indian Infantry Division. It transferred to 25th Indian Infantry Division in September 1942 and remained with it until February 1944. It did not go to the Arakan with the division, but instead was sent to Persia. It was in transit to Persia from March to April 1944.
    After its arrival, it formed part of 39th Indian Infantry Brigade from May 1944 until January 1945, 24th Indian Infantry Brigade form January to June 1945 and 60th Indian Infantry Brigade from June 1945 until the end of the war.
     
  8. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    That is what I have on the five ISF cavalry units.
     
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I have a copy of Izzat, the massive volume on the Indian Cavalry, but it does not cover the ISF units. The Armies of the Princely States volumes does a good job of covering some of the units, but is short on equipment. Sorry I could not be more helpful.

    David
     
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  10. RobG64

    RobG64 Active Member

    Wow, fantastic as always! Many thanks for the information

    Best regards
    RobG64
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Great info David, you have given Rob something to go there.
     

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