Western Command (India)

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Western Command
पश्चिमी कमान
IA Western Command.jpg
Western Command's insignia today
Active 1920 - 1938
1947 - Present
Country  India
Branch India Indian Army
Type Command
Garrison/HQ Chandimandir
Lieutenant General Surinder 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 Surinder Singh is the present commander.[1]


The Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies became the Indian Army.[2] The Indian Army was divided into four Commands (Bengal Command, Bombay Command, Madras Command and Punjab Command) each under a lieutenant general.[2]

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).[2] 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.[3]

Commanders prior to Independence[edit]

Commanders included:[4]
General Officer Commanding Western Command

General Officer Commanding Western Independent District


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.[5]

This command, initially named Delhi and East Punjab Command was raised in Delhi on 14 September 1947 with Lt Gen Sir Dudley Russell, KBE, CB, DSO, MC as the first commander. It had under it :[5]

  • Delhi Independent Area.
  • East Punjab Independent Area.

On 26 October 1947, following the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, Western Command was put in charge of all Indian Army operations to seize the area for India.[5]


  1. ^ "Lt Gen Surinder Singh takes over as GOC-in-C". Indian Express. 18 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Northern Army". Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "British Military History". British Military History. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ Army Commands
  5. ^ a b c 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. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.