Western Command (India)

Western Command is a Command-level formation of the Indian Army, active since 1947. It has seen action during the Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971. The Command's Area Of Responsibility (AOR) covers the states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Jammu.[1]

Western Command
IA Western Command.jpg
Western Command's insignia today
Active1920 - 1938
1947 - Present
Country India
Branch Indian Army
TypeCommand
Garrison/HQChandimandir
Commanders
Current
commander
Lieutenant General RP Singh
Notable
commanders
Field Marshal K M Cariappa
Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh
Lieutenant General K P Candeth

The Command is commanded by a Three Star General Officer of the rank of Lieutenant General with the title General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command (GOC-in-C). Lieutenant General Ravendra Pal Singh is the current GOC-in-C, who took over on 1 October 2019.[2]

HistoryEdit

The Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies became the Indian Army.[3] The Indian Army was divided into four Commands (Bengal Command, Bombay Command, Madras Command and Punjab Command) each under a lieutenant general.[3]

In 1908, the four commands were merged into two Armies (Northern Army and Southern Army): this system persisted until 1920 when the arrangement reverted to four commands again (Eastern Command, Northern Command, Southern Command and Western Command).[3] In 1938 Western Command was downgraded to Western Independent District commanded by a major-general. Northern Command was re-formed again as North Western Army in April 1942 to guard the North West Frontier and the independent district was absorbed by the new North Western Army at that time.[4]

Re-raisingEdit

After the partition of India, the erstwhile command headquarters of which north India formed a part, Northern Command, went to Pakistan. The communal violence of partition necessitated the raising of a new command headquarters to relieve Army Headquarters of the day to day overseeing of operations of the two independent areas in north India.[5]

This command, initially named Delhi and East Punjab Command was raised in Delhi on 14 September 1947 with Lt Gen Sir Dudley Russell, KBE, CB, DSO, MC as the first commander. It had under it :[5]

  • Delhi Independent Area.
  • East Punjab Independent Area.

On 26 October 1947, following the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, Western Command was put in charge of all Indian Army operations to seize the area for India.[5]

List of CommandersEdit

Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office Unit of Commission References
General Officer Commanding Western Command
Lieutenant General Sir Walter Braithwaite Dec 1920 Jun 1923 Somerset Light Infantry
Lieutenant General Sir George Kirkpatrick Jun 1923 Jun 1927 Royal Engineers [6]
Lieutenant General Sir Charles Harington Jun 1927 Jun 1931 King's Regiment (Liverpool)
Lieutenant General Sir Torquhil Matheson Jun 1931 Jun 1935 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Lieutenant General Sir Ivo Vesey Jun 1935 Mar 1936 Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Lieutenant General Sir Walter Pitt-Taylor Mar 1936 Aug 1938 Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort's Own)
General Officer Commanding Western Independent District
Major General Edward Quinan Aug 1938 1941 27th Punjabis
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Delhi and East Punjab Command
Lieutenant General Dudley Russell 15 August 1947 19 January 1948 97th Deccan Infantry
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command
Lieutenant General K M Cariappa 20 Jan 1948 14 Jan 1949 Rajput Regiment
Lieutenant General S M Shrinagesh 15 Jan 1949 14 Jan 1953 19th Hyderabad Regiment (presently Kumaon Regiment)
Lieutenant General K S Thimayya 15 Jan 1953 31 Aug 1953 19th Hyderabad Regiment (presently Kumaon Regiment)
Lieutenant General Kalwant Singh 01 Sep 1953 24 Mar 1954 1st Punjab Regiment
Lieutenant General K S Thimayya 25 Mar 1954 14 May 1955 19th Hyderabad Regiment (presently Kumaon Regiment)
Lieutenant General Kalwant Singh 15 May 1955 14 May 1959 1st Punjab Regiment
Lieutenant General Pran Nath Thapar 25 May 1959 07 May 1961 1st Punjab Regiment
Lieutenant General Daulet Singh 08 May 1961 22 Nov 1963
Lieutenant General Sam Manekshaw 04 Dec 1963 15 Nov 1964 12th Frontier Force Regiment
Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh 16 Nov 1964 26 Sep 1969 5 Sikh Regiment [7]
Lieutenant General K P Candeth 27 Sep 1969 21 Oct 1972 Royal Indian Artillery
Lieutenant General M L Thapan 23 Oct 1972 26 Oct 1973 Jat Regiment
Lieutenant General Tapishwar Narain Raina 27 Oct 1973 31 May 1975 Kumaon Regiment
Lieutenant General Inderjit Singh Gill 10 Jun 1975 30 May 1979 Royal Engineers
Lieutenant General K V Krishna Rao 31 May 1979 31 May 1981 Mahar Regiment
Lieutenant General S K Sinha 01 Jun 1981 31 Dec 1982 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
Lieutenant General Krishnaswamy Sundarji 01 Jun 1983 13 Feb 1985 Mahar Regiment [8]
Lieutenant General Hriday Kaul 14 Feb 1985 30 Sep 1986 2nd Lancers [8][9]
Lieutenant General P N Hoon 01 Oct 1986 31 Oct 1987 Dogra Regiment
Lieutenant General V K Nayar 01 Nov 1987 31 Oct 1989 Parachute Regiment
Lieutenant General Sunith Francis Rodrigues 1 November 1989 30 June 1990 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General G S Grewal 01 Jul 1990 31 Jul 1992 Armoured Corps
Lieutenant General B C Joshi 14 Aug 1992 30 Jun 1993 64 Cavalry
Lieutenant General R K Gulati 01 Jul 1993 15 Apr 1995 9th Deccan Horse
Lieutenant General Arun Gautam 16 Apr 1995 31 Oct 1996 Armoured Corps
Lieutenant General H B Kala 01 Nov 1996 14 Oct 1999 Jat Regiment
Lieutenant General Vijay Oberoi 15 Oct 1999 29 Sep 2000 1 Maratha Light Infantry
Lieutenant General Surjit Singh Sangra 1 Oct 2000 31 Mar 2002 Dogra Regiment [10]
Lieutenant General Shamsher Singh Mehta 5 Apr 2002 31 Jan 2004 63 Cavalry [11][12]
Lieutenant General JJ Singh 1 Feb 2004 31 Jan 2005 9 Maratha Light Infantry
Lieutenant General S Patabhiraman 1 Feb 2005 30 Sep 2005 Bombay Sappers [13]
Lieutenant General Daljeet Singh 1 Oct 2005 31 Oct 2007 8th Light Cavalary [14]
Lieutenant General T K Sapru 1 Nov 2007 30 Nov 2009 1/4 Gorkha Rifles [15][16]
Lieutenant General S R Ghosh 3 Dec 2009 31 May 2012 Brigade of The Guards [17][18][19][20]
Lieutenant General Sanjiv Chachra 1 Jun 2012 30 Jun 2013 17 Rajput Regiment [21][22]
Lieutenant General Philip Campose 1 Jul 2013 31 Jul 2014 Mechanised Infantry Regiment [23]
Lieutenant General K J Singh 1 Aug 2014 31 Jul 2016 63 Cavalry [24]
Lieutenant General Surinder Singh 17 Sep 2016 31 Jul 2019 Brigade of the Guards [25]
Lieutenant General R P Singh 1 Aug 2019 Present Mechanised Infantry Regiment [26]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Principal Controller of Defence Accounts | Government of India - Principal Controller of Defence Accounts | Government of India". pcdawc.gov.in.
  2. ^ "Lt Gen Ravindra Pal Singh is next GOC-in-C Western Command, to take over on Oct 1". The Indian Express. 23 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Northern Army". Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  4. ^ "British Military History". British Military History. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Sinha, Lt. Gen. S.K. (1977). Operation Rescue:Military Operations in Jammu & Kashmir 1947-49. New Delhi: Vision Books. pp. 103–127 and 174. ISBN 81-7094-012-5. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  6. ^ Army Commands
  7. ^ "Rediff On The NeT:Lt General Harbaksh Singh: An officer and a gentleman". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b "As Gen Arun Shridhar Vaidya retires, Indian Army reshuffles to appoint new army chief". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Former Western Command GOC-in-C passes away at 85". Hindustan Times. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  10. ^ "The Tribune - Windows - Feature". www.tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Gen J J Singh new GOC-in-C of Western Command - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  12. ^ "The Hindu : Commander-level reshuffle on the cards". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  19. ^ "Lt Gen Ghosh to take charge of Western Command today - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  20. ^ "Lt Gen Ghosh, last of the 1971 war veterans, retires". Hindustan Times. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  21. ^ "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra assumes charge of Western Command - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Keralite is chief of Western Army Command". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 2 July 2013. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 23 October 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  24. ^ "Lt Gen Kamal Jit Singh Promoted Western Army Commander". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Lt Gen Surinder Singh takes over as GOC-in-C". The Indian Express. 18 September 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Lt Gen Ravindra Pal Singh is next GOC-in-C Western Command, to take over on Oct 1". The Indian Express. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.

Further readingEdit

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