Indian Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiments

The defeat in Burma and the retreat from Burma in 1942 brought to for the various limitations in training and organisation of the commonwealth formations and units. Not only were the troops not trained for jungle warfare but the units and formations were ill-equipped and ill-organised. There was an over-reliance on Mechanical transport and the weapons were more suited to the warfare in plains.

During the reorganisation carried out, post retreat, the number of vehicles was reduced in the 7th, 20th and 23rd Indian divisions, which were renamed Mixed Transport divisions and later called Animal and Mechanised Transport divisions (A & MT) rather than MT divisions. 

The 17th and 39th Indian divisions were converted to Light Divisions of two brigades, with six mule companies and four jeep companies each, in order to be able to operate away from the road. Other changes in the Light Divisions included abolishing the anti-aircraft and gun platoons in the British units. The gun platoon was replaced by a medium machine-gun platoon.

The other changes included the formation of a jungle field regiment in each division of which two batteries were equipped with eight jeep-towed 3.7in. howitzers (modified .with pneumatic-tyre wheels for towing) while the third battery had sixteen 3in. mortars to give artillery support where 25-pdr field artillery guns could not be used. 

To have the required anti-aircraft and anti-tank capability, Light Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tanks regiments were combined to make one Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Regiment with two batteries each of twelve 6-pdrs and the other two batteries each of eighteen 20mm anti-aircraft guns. 

A total of four such Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank regiments were formed. These were 

1stLight Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, IA

1st, 2nd Anti-Tank Batteries, IA

3rd, 4th Light AA Batteries, IA

2ndLight AA/Anti-Tank Regiment, IA

6th and 7th Anti-Tank Batteries, IA

205th and 208th Light AA Batteries, IA 

7th Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, IA

27th, 39thAnti-Tank Batteries, IA

25th, 26th Anti-Tank Batteries, IA

15thPunjab Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, IA

These Regiments served with Indian Army formations during the Burma Campaign with distinction with No AAA/5562,          Havildar Surat Singh of  2 LAA/AT Regiment winning the Indian Distinguished Service Medal.

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