Class Composition of Indian Anti-Aircraft Regiments 1940-45

The maximum manpower for the new raisings was provided by the mountain artillery, whose recruitment area was limited to the province of Punjab. As the Punjabis were wanted by other branches of artillery and other arms and services as well, a shortage developed. It was thus decided that besides converting Indian Infantry battalions, further expansion, especially of AA artillery would be based on the Madrassi class of troops. The expansion planned in AA branch was so enormous that that it could not possibly be met without rendering the mountain artillery non-functional. NCOs required to create the nucleus wee provided by the Royal Artillery units, thus making the new raising into Madrassi-British units.. it was essential to post in some Madrassi Viceroy Commissioned Officers(VCOs)  and NCOs to these new raisings and training centres. To meet this requirement, NCOs ( including some already recommended for promotion) were transferred from Corps of Indian Engineers (Madras Group). A number of reasonable well educated Madrassis were enlisted, with the promise that they would be commissioned as VCOS if they passed the tests after the completion of a stated period of training. The personnel transferred from Engineers, as well as the enlisted Madrassis for direct promotion, proved to be of great help.

The 5th Indian Light Anti-Aircraft battery of the 1st Indian Light A.A. Regiment, was the first Madrassi one to be formed. It proceeded to Malaya in November 1941 with 1 Heavy AA regiment and was one of the first Indian AA units to see action against the Japanese.

The next Madrassi A.A. batteries to be raised were the 6th Indian Heavy in June 1941 and 9th Indian Light in October 1941. 

The year 1942 saw the formation of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Light A.A. and the 6th and 10th Heavy A.A. Indian Regiments, which were composed entirely of Madrassis, while the 9thPunjab Heavy Regiment included one Madras battery, and one and half batteries of Madrassis were in the 5th Indian Heavy A.A. Regiment. 

Finally, in 1943 no less than 5 Light A.A. and 8 Heavy A.A. Regiments (Nos. 10, 11, 12, 17 and 18, and Nos. 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21 and 25 respectively) were formed of Madrassis only, so that by the end of the war, Madrassis preponderated other all other classes in the Indian AA Artillery.

The details of AA Regiments and the class composition therein is as follows:

Class Composition of Indian AA Regiments 


Regiment/ Battery                  Class

HAA Regiments

1 HAA Regiment

2 HAA Regiment

            1 HAA Battery                         Punjabi Mussalman

            7 HAA Battery                         Punjabi Musslaman

            8 HAA Battery                         Ahir

3 HAA Regiment

            5 HAA Battery                         Punjabi Mussalman

            6 HAA Battery                         Madrassi

            11 HAA Battery                       Punjabi Brahmin

5 HAA Regiment

            12 HAA Battery                       Punjabi Musslaman

            13 HAA Battery                       Madrassi

            14 HAA Battery                       Ahir and Madrassi      

6 HAA Regiment                                 Madrassi

7 (Rajput) HAA Regiment

            18 HAA Battery                       Rajput

            19 HAA battery                       Punjabi Musslaman

            20 HAA Battery                       Rajput and Punjabi Mussalman

8 (Rajput) HAA Regiment

9 (Punjab) HAA Regiment

            10 HAA Battery                       Madrassi

            24 HAA Battery                       Punjabi Mussalman

            26 HAA Battery                       Gujjar and Ahir

10 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

11 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

12 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

13 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

14 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

15 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

20 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

21 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

25 HAA Regiment                               Madrassi

LAA Regiments

1 LAA Regiment

            2 LAA Battery                          Punjabi Brahmin

            3 LAA Battery                          Punjabi Mussalman

            6 LAA Battery                          Punjabi Mussalman

2 LAA Regiment

            7 LAA Battery                          Punjabi Mussalman

            8 LAA Battery                          Ahir

            9 LAA Battery                          Madrassi

3 LAA Regiment                                  Madrassi

4 LAA Regiment                                  Madrassi

5 LAA Regiment                                  Madrassi

6 (Punjab) LAA Regiment

            19 LAA Battery                        Punjabi Mussalman

            20 LAA Battery                        Sikh

            21 LAA Battery                        Rajput

7 (Sikh) LAA Regiment

            23 LAA Battery                        Sikh

            25 LAA Battery                        Punjabi Mussalman

            27 LAA Battery                        Sikh     

8 (Sikh) LAA Regiment

9 (Rajputana Rifles) LAA Regiment

            10 LAA Battery                        Ahir

            29 LAA battery                        Rajput

            30 LAA Battery                        Punjabi Mussalman

10 LAA Regiment                                Madrassi

11 LAA Regiment                                Madrassi

12 LAA Regiment                                Madrassi

13 LAA Regiment

14 LAA Regiment

17 LAA Regiment                                Madrassi

18 LAA Regiment                                Madrassi

Reference:- Lt Col E.G. Pythian-Adams, Madras Soldier, Government press, Madras, 1948, pp 147-8

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