26th Indian Infantry Division - Monsoon Operations - May-Oct 1943

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by dryan67, Dec 17, 2021.

  1. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    I am trying to locate additional sources in order to research the command, locations and operations of units of the 26th Indian Infantry Division (4th, 36th and 71st Indian Brigades) during the monsoon period from May 13th, 1943 to October 1943, when the 7th Indian Division took over.

    In particular any additional brigade or battalion war diaries would be most helpful.

    I have listed the sources that I have relied upon at this point, which consists of some general histories (my own included), official histories, and regimental histories.

    Does anyone have sources that they can add and possibly share?

    General and Official Histories

    Kempton, Chris. Loyalty and Honour: The Indian Army September 1939 – August 1947: Part I Divisions. Part II Brigades. Part III. Milton Keynes: Military Press, 2003.

    Hughes, David, Ryan, David A. and Rothwell, Steve. The British Armies in World War Two: An Organisational History. Volume 9: The Indian Army in the East. West Chester, Ohio: George F. Nafziger, 2006

    Prasad, Bisheshwar, Ed. Official History of the Indian Armed Forces in the Second World War 1939-45. Arakan Operations 1943-45. Combined Inter-Services Historical Section (India and Pakistan). Calcutta: Orient Longmans, 1955.

    History of the Second World War - United Kingdom - Military Series - Playfair, I.S.O. The War Against Japan: Volume II: London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. 1958

    War Diaries

    1st North Staffordshire Regiment - 1/1/43 to 30/9/43

    Regimental Histories

    Griffin, Maj. Gen. J.A.A. (ed.) History of the Tenth Foot 1919-1950. Aldershot: Gale and Polden, Ltd., 1953.

    Ahmad, Rifat Nadeem and Rafiuddin Ahmed. 8th Punjab Regiment: Unfaded Glory: The 8th Punjab Regiment 1798-1956. Abbottabad, Pakistan: Baloch Regimental Centre, 2007.

    Birdwood, Col. F.T. The Sikh Regiment in the Second World War. Norwich: Jarrold and Sons, 1953.

    Condon, Brig. W.E.H. The Frontier Force Regiment. Aldershot: Gale and Polden, 1962.

    Condon, Brig. W.E.H. The Frontier Force Rifles. Aldershot: Gale and Polden, 1953.

    Rizvi, S. Haider Abhas. Veteran Campaigners: a history of the Punjab Regiment 1759-1981. Karachi: Friend’s Book House [disb], 1984. (Briefly covers the 7th and 9th Bns 15th Punjab Regt)

    Choudhuri, P. 9th Gurkha Rifles: a regimental history, 1817-1947. New Delhi: Vision Books, 1984.
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  2. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    Don't think this will be particularly helpful, but adding just in case there are any useful scraps to be extracted.

    Sandes, Lt.Col. E. W. C, The Indian Engineers 1939-1947, Kirkee: The Institute of Military Engineers, 1956.
    Pages 282 & 283 have some info on 26 Div engineering operations in the Arakan during the 1943 monsoon, with a little tangential discussion of infantry work and HQ locations. A full scanned volume is available for download here:

    I copied just the first few months of 71 Bde HQ 1943 diary on my last visit to TNA. Here's April if it's of any use (bonus Indian MP motorcycle squad photo from a magazine, used as a cover for the war diary):

    Image00001.jpg Image00002.jpg Image00003.jpg Image00004.jpg Image00005.jpg
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  3. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    That is extremely kind of you. Even though the 71st Brigade WD is for April, my work extends on battalion summary histories for the entire war. Therefore it is most useful. I do have a digital copy of the IE history and have gone through it but it is limited. I also should have mentioned that I have the Indian Mountain Artillery history as well.

    Thanks again.
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  4. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    I have a few Indian Army Divisional histories (26 the 7th) that I could send you. I’m not sure if their is much information in them for you but willing to share. I would just need a e-mail (by PM) and I could send you a drop box link (as the files are quite large)…..I could also check to see if I have others you may need….

    I have a habit of downloading unit histories (no matter what the Country or Conflict) and save them….so I may have more. Let me know and I’ll move to Dropbox and send to you
  5. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    You're most welcome, I'll send you the rest of that 71 Bde HQ diary I copied in case it comes in useful for the histories. My research for that brigade focuses on Cannibal so unfortunately only have up to April. It's 50mb zipped so too big to share on the forum - I'll email it to you shortly.
  6. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    I am not sure when 1st Wiltshire Regiment joined 26th Indian Division, I think sometime in October 1943. Their War Diary entries are available online, if they can help you

    Search :: The Wardrobe
  7. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member


    Thanks. I do have the 1st Wiltshire Regiment war diary transcript that I purchased from the museum. It did not join the 26th Division until October 3rd, 1943 when the 4th Indian Brigade had already withdrawn to Mynamatti Camp near Comilla.
  8. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    The next best thing I can offer you is couple of pages from Scott Leathart's "With the Gurkhas". He joined 3/9th Gurkha Rifles in Arakan. There isn't much info there but maybe it could be interesting to you.
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Sol, thanks, but I am pretty well set with the 3/9th Gurkhas since I have the regimental history. You are most kind.

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