Western Command's insignia today
|Active||1920 - 1938
1947 - Present
|Lieutenant General Kamal Jit Singh|
Western Command is a formation of the Indian Army, active since 1947. It has seen action during the Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971. Lieutenant General Kamal Jit Singh is the present commander.
The Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies became the Indian Army. The Indian Army was divided into four Commands (Bengal Command, Bombay Command, Madras Command and Punjab Command) each under a lieutenant general.
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). 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.
Commanders prior to Independence
General Officer Commanding Western Command
- Dec 1920 - Jun 1923 Lieutenant-General Sir Walter Braithwaite
- Jun 1923 - Jun 1927 General Sir George Kirkpatrick
- Jun 1927 - Jun 1931 General Sir Charles Harington
- Jun 1931 - Jun 1935 General Sir Torquhil Matheson
- Jun 1935 - Mar 1936 Lieutenant-General Sir Ivo Vesey
- Mar 1936 - Aug 1938 General Sir Walter Pitt-Taylor
General Officer Commanding Western Independent District
- 1938 - 1941 Major-General Edward Quinan
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.
Initially a division sized force Jammu and Kasmir Division was raised on 5 November 1947 under Maj Gen Kalwant Singh for overseeing operations in Jammu and Kashmir. This was later split into two parts - Ja (Jammu) Division (under Maj Gen Atma Singh) and Sri (Srinagar) Division (under Maj Gen K.S. Thimayya) to oversee operations in Jammu and Kashmir respectively.
Today the command reportedly consists of:
- Headquarters Western Command at Chandimandir
- II Corps, headquartered at Ambala, Haryana
- IX Corps, headquartered at Yol, Himachal Pradesh
- XI Corps, headquartered at Jalandhar, Punjab
- "Lt Gen Kamal Jit Singh Promoted Western Army Commander". Press Information Bureau , Government of India. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- "Northern Army". Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "British Military History". British Military History. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Army Commands
- 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.
- 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.