Eastern Command (India)

The Eastern Command is one of the six operational commands of the Indian Army. It is headquartered in Fort William in the city of Kolkata in the state of West Bengal. The Command's Area Of Responsibility (AOR) extends from Bengal to Sikkim and then across the entire Northeast India. The Command shares international boundaries with the countries of Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.[1]

Eastern Command
IA Eastern Command.jpg
Eastern Command's insignia today.
Country British India
Branch British Indian Army
 Indian Army
EngagementsWorld War II
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
2020 China–India skirmishes
Lt Gen Manoj Pande
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw
Gen P. P. Kumaramangalan
Lt Gen S. P. P. Thorat
Gen A. S. Vaidya
Gen V. N. Sharma

The Eastern Command was formed on 01 November 1920.[2] The Command is commanded by a three-star rank officer with the title General Officer Commanding-in-Chief(GOC-in-C). Lieutenant General Manoj Pande is the current GOC-in-C, who took over on 1 June 2021.[3]


The Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies of Bengal, Bombay, and Madras became the Indian Army.[4] The Indian Army was divided into four Commands: Bengal Command, Bombay Command, Madras Command and Punjab Command, each under a lieutenant general.[4]

Between 1904-08, the Bengal Command became the Eastern Command. In 1908, the four commands were merged into two Armies :- Northern Army and Southern Army as recommended by then Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army Lord Kitchener. This system persisted until 1920 when the arrangement reverted to four commands again: Eastern Command, Northern Command, Southern Command and Western Command.[4]

On 1 November 1920, the Eastern Command was formed, with its summer headquarters in Nainital and winter headquarters in Lucknow. General Sir Havelock Hudson, become its first Commander.[5]

Eastern Command was renamed to Eastern Army between 1942 and 1943 during the Second World War.[6]

After the war, on 23 March 1947, the Command HQ moved to Ranchi. The HQ was later moved to Lucknow in 1955. However on 1 May 1963, post Sino-Indian War; the Central Command was re-raised and Lucknow was made its HQ, while Kolkata was made HQ Eastern Command.[7]


Currently, the Eastern Command has been assigned operational units under: III Corps, IV Corps, XVII Corps, XXXIII Corps and a 23rd Infantry Division.[8][9] The command in total has 15 Infantry divisions under it. Out of them, 14 are known as Mountain division which are specialized in warfare over mountainous regions.

Structure of Eastern Command
Corp Corp HQ GOC of Corp

(Corp Commander)

Assigned Units Unit HQ
III Corps

(Spear Corps)

Rangapahar, Nagaland Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita 2nd Mountain Division Dibrugarh, Assam
56th Mountain Division Leimakhong, Manipur
57th Mountain Division Likabali, Arunachal Pradesh
IV Corps

(Gajraj Corps)

Tezpur, Assam Lt Gen Ravin Khosla 5th Mountain Division Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh
21st Mountain Division Rangia, Assam
71st Mountain Division Missa Mari, Assam
XVII Corps

(Brahmastra Corps)

Panagarh, West Bengal Lt Gen Rajinder Dewan 59th Mountain Division Panagarh, West Bengal
72nd Mountain Division Pathankot, Punjab

(Trishakti Corps)

Siliguri, West Bengal Lt General AK Singh 17th Mountain Division Gangtok, Sikkim
20th Mountain Division Binnaguri, West Bengal
27th Mountain Division Kalimpong, West Bengal

List of CommandersEdit

Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office Unit of Commission References
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command
Lieutenant General Sir Havelock Hudson November 1920 February 1924 Northamptonshire Regiment, 19th Lancers [10]
Lieutenant General Sir George Barrow February 1924 April 1928 Connaught Rangers, 35th Scinde Horse
Lieutenant General Sir John Shea April 1928 April 1932 Royal Irish Regiment, 5th Bengal Lancers
Lieutenant General Sir Norman MacMullen April 1932 April 1936 Unattached
Lieutenant General Sir Douglas Baird April 1936 April 1940 Unattached
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Army
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Broad April 1940 July 1942 Royal Field Artillery
Lieutenant General Noel Irwin Jul 1942 May 1943 Essex Regiment
Lieutenant General Sir George Giffard May 1943 October 1943 Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command
Lieutenant General Sir Mosley Mayne October 1943 December 1944 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers
Lieutenant General Sir Richard O'Connor January 1945 October 1945 Cameronians
Lieutenant General Sir Arthur Smith October 1945 January 1946 Coldstream Guards
Lieutenant General Sir Francis Tuker January 1946 November 1947 Royal Sussex Regiment, 2nd Gurkha Rifles
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command (Indian Army)
Lieutenant General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa November 1947 January 1948 88th Carnatic Infantry [11]
Lieutenant General Rajendrasinhji Jadeja January 1948 November 1948 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) [12]
Lieutenant General Thakur Nathu Singh November 1948 January 1953 Rajput Regiment [13]
Lieutenant General Sant Singh January 1953 September 1956 1/14th Punjab [14]
Lieutenant General K S Thimayya October 1956 March 1957 19th Hyderabad Regiment (Kumaon Regiment)
Lieutenant General S P P Thorat May 1957 May 1961 1/14 Punjab [15][16]
Lieutenant General Lionel Protip Sen May 1961 April 1963 10th Baluch Regiment
Lieutenant General P P Kumaramangalam May 1963 November 1963 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General T. B. Henderson Brooks November 1963 March 1964 Maratha Light Infantry
Lieutenant General P P Kumaramangalam April 1964 November 1964 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Sam Manekshaw November 1964 June 1969 12th Frontier Force Regiment, 8 Gorkha Rifles
Lieutenant General J S Arora June 1969 February 1973 2nd Punjab Regiment, Punjab Regiment
Lieutenant General N. C. Rawlley February 1973 July 1974 Brigade of the Guards
Lieutenant General J F R Jacob August 1974 July 1978 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General E A Vas August 1978 May 1981 9 Gorkha Rifles
Lieutenant General A S Vaidya June 1981 Aug 1983 9th Deccan Horse
Lieutenant General K Chiman Singh August 1983 January 1986 Rajputana Rifles
Lieutenant General J K Puri February 1986 May 1987 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General V N Sharma June 1987 April 1988 16th Light Cavalry, 66th Armoured Regiment [17]
Lieutenant General R M Vohra May 1988 May 1990 4th Horse (Hodson's Horse)
Lieutenant General K S Brar June 1990 September 1992 Maratha Light Infantry [18]
Lieutenant General Jameel Mahmood October 1992 May 1993 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General R N Batra June 1993 February 1996 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Ravi Eipe March 1996 February 1998 Rajput Regiment
Lieutenant General H R S Kalkat April 1998 July 2002 Maratha Light Infantry
Lieutenant General J S Verma August 2002 December 2004 63rd Cavalry (India)
Lieutenant General Arvind Sharma January 2005 December 2006 4th Gorkha Rifles [19][20][21]
Lieutenant General K S Jamwal January 2007 February 2008 Regiment of Artillery [22][23]
Lieutenant General V K Singh 1 March 2008 31 March 2010 Rajput Regiment [24]
Lieutenant General Bikram Singh 1 April 2010 30 April 2012 Sikh Light Infantry [25]
Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag 16 June 2012 31 December 2013 4/5 Gorkha Rifles
Lieutenant General M M S Rai 1 January 2014 31 July 2015 Bombay Sappers
Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi 1 August 2015 31 July 2017 Skinner's Horse
Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna 1 August 2017 25 September 2018 Rajputana Rifles [26]
Lieutenant General M M Naravane 25 September 2018 31 August 2019 Sikh Light Infantry [27]
Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan 01 September 2019 31 May 2021 11 Gorkha Rifles [28]
Lieutenant General Manoj Pande 1 June 2021 Incumbent Bombay Sappers [29]

World War IIEdit

In 1942, the command had the following formations under it:

In Apr 1942, the command was re-designated as Eastern Army and its headquarters moved to Barrackpore to fight the World War II.The Chindits were raised and launched into operations in 1943, by the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, a unit of the Eastern Command.

In October 1943, the Fourteenth Army was formed and was given responsibility of the area east of the Meghna River. With this, the Eastern Army retained responsibility of the area west of the river.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971Edit

Pakistan's Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi signing the Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt. Gen. J. S. Aurora, the head of Indian Army's Eastern Command, on 16 Dec' 1971, in Dhaka.

The Command had the overall responsibility of the eastern theatre of the 13-day war. The command had the two existing infantry corps - IV Corps and XXXIII Corps and raised another - II Corps. Apart from this, the 101 Communication Zone was re-organised as a Division-sized combat formation. Lieutenant General J S Arora, as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command, commanded all Indian and Bangladesh Forces in the eastern theatre. The Order of Battle of the Eastern Command during the war was:

II Corps (HQ - Krishnanagar) (GOC - Lieutenant General T N Raina)

  • 50th Independent Parachute Brigade (less 2 Para Bn Gp) – Brigadier M Thomas
  • 8th Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 58th, 68th and 263rd Engineering Regiments
  • 9th Infantry Division (GOC - Major General Dalbir Singh)
    • 32 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier M Tewari
    • 42 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier J. M. Jhoria
    • 350 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier H. S. Sandhu
    • 9th Artillery Brigade
  • 4th Mountain Division (HQ - Krishnanagar) (GOC - Major General M S Barar)
    • 7th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Zail Singh
    • 41st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tony Michigan
    • 62nd Mountain Brigade - Brigadier Rajinder Nath
    • 4th Mountain Artillery Brigade

IV Corps (HQ - Agartala) GOC - Lieutenant General Sagat Singh

  • Corps Artillery Brigade
  • Three Independent Tank Squadrons
  • 8th Mountain Division (GOC - Major General K. V. Krishna Rao)
    • Echo Force Brigade – Brigadier Wadeker
    • 59th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier C. A. Quinn
    • 81st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier R. C. V. Apte
    • 2nd Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 57th Mountain Division (GOC - Major General B.F. Gonsalves)
    • 311th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Mishra
    • 73rd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tuli
    • 61st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tom Pande
    • 57th Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 23rd Mountain Division (GOC - Major General R.D. Hira)
    • 301st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier H. S. Sodhi
    • 181st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Y. C. Bakshi
    • 83rd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier B. S. Sandhu
    • 23rd Mountain Artillery Brigade
    • Kilo Force Brigade – Brigadier Ananda Swaroop[30] containing:
    • Mizo Range Hills Brigade[31]

XXXIII Corps (HQ - Siliguri) (GOC - Lieutenant General M L Thapan)

  • Corps Artillery Brigade
  • 471st Engineering Brigade – Colonel Suri
  • 235th Army Engineering Regiment
  • 2 Para Bn Gp
  • MF Brigade – Brigadier Prem Singh
  • 71st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier P. N. Kathpalia
  • 20th Mountain Division (HQ - Balurghat) (GOC - Major General Lachhman Singh)
    • 66th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier G. S. Sharma
    • 165th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier R. S. Pannu
    • 202nd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier F. P. Bhatty
    • 3rd Armoured Brigade – Brigadier G. Singh Sidhu
    • 20th Mountain Artillery Brigade
    • 340th Mountain Brigade Group – Brigadier Joginder Singh
  • 6th Mountain Division ( HQ - Cooch Behar) (Eastern Command HQ Reserve) (GOC - Major General P C Reddy)
    • 9th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tirit Varma
    • 99th Mountain Brigade
    • 6th Mountain Artillery Brigade

101st Communication Zone (HQ: Guwahati) (GOC - Major General Gurbax Singh Gill)

  • 312 Air Defence Brigade
  • 342 Ind. Air Defence Brigade
  • 95th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Hardev Singh Kler
  • FJ Sector Brigade – Brigadier Sant Singh[32]
  • 167th Infantry Brigade – Brigadier Irani (allotted after 8 December 1971)
  • 5th Mountain Brigade (allotted after 8 December 1971)

On 16 December 1971, the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces surrendered at Dhaka. East Pakistan ceased to exist and Bangladesh was born. Lt Gen J S Arora accepted the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender, signed by Lt Gen A. A. K. Niazi at Dacca Racecourse. Approximately 90,000[33] to 93,000 Pakistani servicemen were taken prisoner by the Indian Army, which included 79,676 to 81,000 uniformed personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including some Bengali soldiers who had remained loyal to Pakistan.[33][34][35]


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  3. ^ pande, manoj. https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/lt-gen-manoj-pande-to-take-charge-of-the-eastern-command/cid/1817337. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  30. ^ Islam, Maj. Rafiqul, A Tale of Millions, p318
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  32. ^ Islam, Maj. Rafiqul, A Tale of Millions, p313
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  35. ^ Bose, Sarmila (November 2011). "The question of genocide and the quest for justice in the 1971 war" (PDF). Journal of Genocide Research. 13 (4): 398. doi:10.1080/14623528.2011.625750. S2CID 38668401.

Further readingEdit

  • Richard A. Renaldi and Ravi Rikhe, 'Indian Army Order of Battle,' Orbat.com for Tiger Lily Books: A division of General Data LLC, ISBN 978-0-9820541-7-8, 2011.