XXI Corps (India)

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XXI Indian Corps
XXI Corps
Active 1942–1943
Country British Raj British India
Allegiance  British Empire
Branch British Raj Red Ensign.svg British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Type Corps
Role Strike
Part of Southern Command
Garrison/HQ Bhopal
Nickname(s) "Sudarshan Chakra Corps"
Engagements World War II
Lt General Cherish Mathson[1]

XXI Corps is a corps-sized formation of the Indian Army.

World War II[edit]

The XXI Indian Corps was raised in Persia on 6 June 1942 as a formation of the Indian Army during World War II. The corps was commanded throughout its existence by Lieutenant General Mosley Mayne and was part of the Tenth Army. The corps, composed of the 8th Indian Infantry Division (Major-General Dudley Russell) and the British 56th Infantry Division (Major-General Eric Miles), was created as part of the Allied buildup of forces in Persia and Iraq to create Persia and Iraq Command in order to prevent a German invasion of the Caucasus. The invasion never occurred and the corps was disbanded on 24 August 1943.[2]


The corps was reformed as XXI Corps in 1990. It is the only strike corps in the Indian Army’s Poona-based Southern Command (there are three other strike crops - I Corps, II Corps, XVII Corps, but there headquarters are in different places)[3]. After India's intervention in Sri Lanka, the provisional HQ controlling India's expeditionary force, HQ Indian Peace Keeping Force, became HQ XXI Corps in April 1990. It was then moved to Bhopal. This is both a strike corps and would also be used if India were to make another large intervention overseas.[4]

It currently consists of:

  • 31st Armored Division (White Tiger Division) headquartered at Jhansi-Babina in Uttar Pradesh, Central India. 94 Armoured Brigade may be part of the division; it is part of the Strike Corps,[5] and has taken part in exercises with the Singaporean Army under the direction of 31 Armoured Division.[citation needed]
  • 36th Infantry Division (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Division) Sagar. In 2001, the Division Artillery Brigade was at Talbehat, 18 Armoured Brigade at Gwalior,[6] 72 Infantry Brigade at Gwalior, and 115 Infantry Brigade was at Dhana.[7] In December 2013 the 36th Infantry Division participated in Exercise Shahbaaz Ajay in the Thar Desert, to validate fresh war-fighting doctrinal concepts that envisaged rapid deployment, backward integration of strike units and the deep integration of airborne assets in a border scenario.[8]
  • 54th Infantry Division headquartered at Hyderabad/Secunderabad 91 Infantry Brigade at Trivandrum is an amphibious brigade.[9] 47 Infantry Brigade was part of 54 Division during Exercise Tri Shakti in 1986, exercising the air assault role.
  • ? Artillery Brigade
  • Air defence brigade
  • 475 Engineering Brigade

See also[edit]


Indian Army Corps (1947 - Present)
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XVI Corps XXXIII Corps