|39th Indian Infantry Division|
|Branch||British Indian Army|
|Major General James Bruce Scott|
39th Indian Infantry Division (originally the 1st Burma Division) was an infantry division of the Indian Army during World War II, which became a Training Division in 1943 after its recovery into India from Burma.
History[edit | edit source]
The 1st Burma Infantry Division was formed 14 July 1941 at Toungoo in Burma. The Division was part of the British Burma Army.
On the outbreak of war, the division was commanded by Major-General James Bruce Scott. It consisted of the 1st and 2nd Burma Infantry Brigades, and the 13th Indian Infantry Brigade. Throughout the Japanese conquest of Burma, the division interchanged many units with its fellow Burma Corps component, 17th Indian Infantry Division. At various times the 7th Armoured Brigade, 16th Indian Infantry Brigade, 48th Indian Infantry Brigade, and 63rd Indian Infantry Brigade came under command of the division, though only the original three brigades finally entered India as part of the division at the end of the arduous retreat, reduced to fractions of their original strength.
The 1st Burma Division changed to an Indian formation at the end of the 1942 campaign. While the majority of the Burma Army was reconstituted elsewhere in India, the division headquarters was retained at the front.
The 39th division was soon re-roled as a Light Division with two infantry brigades and Mule and jeep transport companies. However this change happened more in name than in anything else as it never actually began to convert to an entirely mule and jeep based transport and supply system.
The decision to convert the division to a training role was undertaken after the poorly executed Arakan offensive when it was realised that the troops being sent into the field, both British and Indian, while not lacking conventional military fighting skills, lacked the necessary knowledge and training to operate in the Burmese jungle. The 39th was joined in its training role by the 14th Indian Infantry Division which had been the main operational unit during the Arakan offensive and had suffered badly both in terms of casualties and morale as a result.
Formation[edit | edit source]
106th Indian Infantry Brigade[edit | edit source]
- 2nd The Duke of Wellington's Regiment
- 2/7th Rajput Regiment
- 1/9th Jat Regiment
- 1/8th Gurkha Rifles
- 5/19th Hyderabad Regiment
- 7/15th Punjab Regiment
- 9/16th Punjab Regiment
- 15/14th Punjab Regiment
113th Indian Infantry Brigade[edit | edit source]
- 1/18th Royal Garhwal Rifles
- 2nd The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
- 5/1st Punjab Regiment
- 2/13th Frontier Force Rifles
- 29th Gurkha Rifles Training Battalion
- 7/9th Jat Regiment
- 7/12th Frontier Force Regiment
- 17/18th Combined Training Unit
- Indian State Forces Training Unit
Divisional troops[edit | edit source]
- 7/10th Baluch Regiment
- 2nd The Duke of Wellington's Regiment
- 24th Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery
- 9th Field Regiment Royal Artillery
- Malerkotla Field Company, Indian State Forces
- 26th Field Company, Indian Engineers
- 82nd Field Company, Indian Engineers
Assigned brigades[edit | edit source]
All theses brigades were assigned or attached to the division at some time during World War II
Attached when Burma Division[edit | edit source]
- 1st Burma Infantry Brigade
- 2nd Burma Infantry Brigade
- 13th Indian Infantry Brigade
- 48th Indian Infantry Brigade
- 7th Armoured Brigade
- 63rd Indian Infantry Brigade 
Attached when light division[edit | edit source]
Attached when a training division[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "1 Burma Division units". Order of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6002&Tab=Sub. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- "39 Division units". Order of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6017&Tab=Sub. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
- "39 Training Division units". Order of Battle. http://www.ordersofbattle.com/UnitData.aspx?UniX=6401&Tab=Sub. Retrieved 2009-10-22.
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