Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

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BaronVonWreckedoften
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Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:59 pm

G'day Hive Minders,

I have some questions regarding constructing a dual-purpose platoon from different battalions of the 11th Sikhs for use in N Africa and Malaya. I'm thinking of using Perry 8th Army figures with their own Sikh head conversions, and Perry vehicles wherever possible.

1) Did Indian Army platoons differ in any ways (either in organisation, numbers or equipment/vehicles) from their British counterparts?

2) Would the platoon in N Africa have differed in any way from the platoon in Malaya?

3) Does an Indian Army platoon have more senior leaders to reflect the dual inclusion of British and Indian officers at this level?

4) What integral and external support vehicles (eg carriers, armoured cars, trucks) were available to an Indian Army platoon?

5) Was the 2-pdr A/T gun used by Indian troops? Was it supplied from within the battalion, or as external supports manned by RA gunners?

6) Lastly, any easily accessible books on the involvement of the Indian Army in N Africa and Malaya in the early war?

Any/all answers (including facetious, if funny) appreciated.

BvW
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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by Truscott Trotter » Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:49 pm

OK until soemone that actually knows for certain coems along my 2c from my Malaya research - not sure about NA as much
BaronVonWreckedoften wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:59 pm
G'day Hive Minders,

I have some questions regarding constructing a dual-purpose platoon from different battalions of the 11th Sikhs for use in N Africa and Malaya. I'm thinking of using Perry 8th Army figures with their own Sikh head conversions, and Perry vehicles wherever possible.

1) Did Indian Army platoons differ in any ways (either in organisation, numbers or equipment/vehicles) from their British counterparts?

Not in the basic platoon structure no

2) Would the platoon in N Africa have differed in any way from the platoon in Malaya?

Don't think so in terms of sections - maybe NA got the Boys before Malaya - most Indian troops were sent to NA 39-40 then the left overs were hastily formed for Malaya/Burma 41-42 when the urgency became apparent.

3) Does an Indian Army platoon have more senior leaders to reflect the dual inclusion of British and Indian officers at this level?

No not as far as I know NCO and junior officers Indian actually Lt and Captains too (some Plt commanders British) - Regt / Battalion officers English

4) What integral and external support vehicles (eg carriers, armoured cars, trucks) were available to an Indian Army platoon?

Same as Brits in those theatres except later on Indian Pattern Carrier replaced Bren Carriers sometimes

5) Was the 2-pdr A/T gun used by Indian troops? Was it supplied from within the battalion, or as external supports manned by RA gunners?

Yes but it was a Regimental or Divisional weapon not Battalion or Company level AKAIK so RA,
Eg Indian 11th Div had 80th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery – Lt. Col. William E.S. Napier
Here you go great OOB here https://razor45.livejournal.com/49564.html

6) Lastly, any easily accessible books on the involvement of the Indian Army in N Africa and Malaya in the early war?

Many but here is a good starting point for EW Malaya - The War Against Japan Vol 1 (The Loss of Singapore) by S Woodburn Kirby - cheap on Kindle

Any/all answers (including facetious, if funny) appreciated.

BvW

BaronVonWreckedoften
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:19 am

Thanks, TT - all pretty much what I was hoping for, or suspected was the case. One supplementary question - were the 2-pdr crews of 80 AT Regt likely to be Indian or British? I had considered a Marmon-Herrington armoured car for the Malaya theatre, but it appears these were only available to the Argylls at this time.

Two areas I need to find more info about - how prevalent were Indian Pattern Carriers in both theatres in 1940/41, and also item 3) as I was fairly sure that an Indian battalion had Indian officers "shadowing" their (often younger/less experienced) British counterparts, but with the NCOs all Indian. This would give the platoon an extra senior leader - British Lieutenant/2nd Lieutenant, Indian Jemadar, Indian Havildar/platoon sergeant.

Once again, thanks for your effort, TT - a great help.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

poiter50
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by poiter50 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:45 am

The story of Armoured Cars in Malaya is very interesting. The Argylls (A&SH) had mostly Lanchesters (5 allocated and 1 purloined through mates) but I believe they also had some Marmon Herringtons. The Aussies had Marmon Herringtons and IP ACs but I don't think they were integral. We had a thread on this just a few weeks ago and there were a number of the MH ACs landed but due to lack of training and inexperience, they were damaged and written off to the extent that they were abandoned. Interestingly enough, the victors didn't make a lot of use of the booty afterwards although some were found in photos when they surrendered in 1945.

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by Truscott Trotter » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:52 am

I suspect the RA were all Brits https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/56th_(Kin ... _Artillery

Have not heard about the shadowing thing but if true I am not sure that would count as an extra officer - more confusion in the Chain of Command IMHO

Armoured cars were pretty rare in Malaya 41 a few Lanchesters - a few in Burma too http://www.rothwell.force9.co.uk/burmaw ... CarBAF.htm

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by Truscott Trotter » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:52 am

Bloody stupid URL restrictions - we are still being spammed alot
This may be of interest also https://brill.com/view/book/97890043067 ... 83_010.xml

Good OOB here http://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/pacsingapore.pdf

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by Truscott Trotter » Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:54 am

From that OOB link above
(g) The British 100th Independent Light Tank Squadron and the
Armoured Car Squadron of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force
were virtually the only armour available to III Indian Corps. Vehicles of
these two units were photographed in action together (Vickers Light
Tanks and Lanchester Armoured Cars, respectively), so it is possible
that they fought for at least some of the campaign as a joint unit.

rim66
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by rim66 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:39 am

Hi,

Just to add a couple of things - at Plt level all officers were Indian, British Officers only appeared as Coy OC and Regt Appts such as CO, Adjt etc although there was also a senior Indian Officer at that level as well. An Indian Army Company had one British officer - the OC. Occasionally, a second might be attached and that may be the shadowing to which you are referring, but this was only likely if the coy was on detached duty.

I'm ready to be corrected on this, but I believe the British gunners thing goes back to the Mutiny (using the common term, I know others have different names for that event) after which it was decided that all guns would be European manned.

Kind regards,

Richard

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DougM
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by DougM » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:30 pm

Unfortunately the Kirby book doesn't appear to be available on Kindle in the UK.
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Truscott Trotter
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Re: Indian Army in N Africa/Malaya, 1940/1941

Post by Truscott Trotter » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:53 pm

Thats were I got mine.
Maybe I have misspelled title?

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