Eastern Command (India)

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Eastern Command
Insignia of the Eastern Command
Country India
Branch Indian Army
HeadquartersFort William, Kolkata, West Bengal
EngagementsWorld War II
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
2020 China–India skirmishes
Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM
Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa
Gen Rajendrasinhji Jadeja
Gen K S Thimayya
Gen P. P. Kumaramangalan
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw
Lt Gen S. P. P. Thorat
Gen A. S. Vaidya
Gen V. N. Sharma
Gen V. K. Singh
Gen Bikram Singh
Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag
Gen M. M. Naravane
Gen Anil Chauhan
Gen Manoj Pande

The Eastern Command is one of the six operational commands of the Indian Army. It is headquartered in Fort William in the city of Kolkata in the state of West Bengal. The Eastern Command was formed on 1 November 1920.[1] The Command is commanded by a three-star rank officer with the title General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C).

Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita is the current GOC-in-C of Eastern Command.[2]


Early history[edit]

The Presidency armies were abolished with effect from 1 April 1895 when the three Presidency armies of Bengal, Bombay, and Madras became the Indian Army.[3] The Indian Army was divided into four Commands: Bengal Command, Bombay Command, Madras Command and Punjab Command, each under a lieutenant general.[3]

Between 1904 and 1908, the Bengal Command became the Eastern Command. In 1908, the four commands were merged into two Armies – Northern Army and Southern Army – as recommended by the then Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army, Lord Kitchener. This system persisted until 1920 when the arrangement reverted to four commands again: Eastern Command, Northern Command, Southern Command and Western Command.[3]

On 1 November 1920, the Eastern Command was formed, with its summer headquarters in Nainital and winter headquarters in Lucknow. General Sir Havelock Hudson, become its first Commander.[4]

Second World War[edit]

In 1942, the command had the following formations under it:

In April 1942, the command was re-designated as Eastern Army and its headquarters moved to Barrackpore to fight the World War II. The Chindits were raised and launched into operations in 1943, by the 77th Indian Infantry Brigade, a unit of the Eastern Command.[5]

In October 1943, the Fourteenth Army was formed and was given responsibility of the area east of the Meghna River. With this, the Eastern Army retained responsibility of the area west of the river.[6]

After the war, on 23 March 1947, the Command HQ moved to Ranchi. The HQ was later moved to Lucknow in 1955. However on 1 May 1963, post the Sino-Indian War; the Central Command was re-raised and Lucknow was made its HQ, while Kolkata was made HQ Eastern Command.[7]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[edit]

Pakistan's Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi signing the Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt. Gen. J. S. Aurora, the head of Indian Army's Eastern Command, on 16 December 1971, in Dhaka.

The Command had the overall responsibility of the eastern theatre of the 13-day war. The command had the two existing infantry corps – IV Corps and XXXIII Corps and raised another – II Corps. Apart from this, the 101 Communication Zone was re-organised as a Division-sized combat formation. Lieutenant General J S Arora, as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command, commanded all Indian and Bangladesh Forces in the eastern theatre. The Order of Battle of the Eastern Command during the war was:

II Corps (HQ - Krishnanagar) (GOC - Lieutenant General T N Raina)

  • 50th Independent Parachute Brigade (less 2 Para Bn Gp) – Brigadier M Thomas
  • 8th Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 58th, 68th and 263rd Engineering Regiments
  • 9th Infantry Division (GOC - Major General Dalbir Singh)
    • 32 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier M Tewari
    • 42 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier J. M. Jhoria
    • 350 Infantry Brigade – Brigadier H. S. Sandhu
    • 9th Artillery Brigade
  • 4th Mountain Division (HQ - Krishnanagar) (GOC - Major General M S Barar)
    • 7th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Zail Singh
    • 41st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tony Michigan
    • 62nd Mountain Brigade - Brigadier Rajinder Nath
    • 4th Mountain Artillery Brigade

IV Corps (HQ - Agartala) GOC - Lieutenant General Sagat Singh

  • Corps Artillery Brigade
  • Three Independent Tank Squadrons
  • 8th Mountain Division (GOC - Major General K. V. Krishna Rao)
    • Echo Force Brigade – Brigadier Wadeker
    • 59th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier C. A. Quinn
    • 81st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier R. C. V. Apte
    • 2nd Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 57th Mountain Division (GOC - Major General B.F. Gonsalves)
    • 311th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Mishra
    • 73rd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tuli
    • 61st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tom Pande
    • 57th Mountain Artillery Brigade
  • 23rd Mountain Division (GOC - Major General R.D. Hira)
    • 301st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier H. S. Sodhi
    • 181st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Y. C. Bakshi
    • 83rd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier B. S. Sandhu
    • 23rd Mountain Artillery Brigade
    • Kilo Force Brigade – Brigadier Ananda Swaroop[8] containing:
    • Mizo Range Hills Brigade[9]

XXXIII Corps (HQ - Siliguri) (GOC - Lieutenant General M L Thapan)

  • Corps Artillery Brigade
  • 471st Engineering Brigade – Colonel Suri
  • 235th Army Engineering Regiment
  • 2 Para Bn Gp
  • MF Brigade – Brigadier Prem Singh
  • 71st Mountain Brigade – Brigadier P. N. Kathpalia
  • 20th Mountain Division (HQ - Balurghat) (GOC - Major General Lachhman Singh)
    • 66th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier G. S. Sharma
    • 165th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier R. S. Pannu
    • 202nd Mountain Brigade – Brigadier F. P. Bhatty
    • 3rd Armoured Brigade – Brigadier G. Singh Sidhu
    • 20th Mountain Artillery Brigade
    • 340th Mountain Brigade Group – Brigadier Joginder Singh
  • 6th Mountain Division ( HQ - Cooch Behar) (Eastern Command HQ Reserve) (GOC - Major General P C Reddy)
    • 9th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Tirit Varma
    • 99th Mountain Brigade
    • 6th Mountain Artillery Brigade

101st Communication Zone (HQ: Guwahati) (GOC - Major General Gurbax Singh Gill)

  • 312 Air Defence Brigade
  • 342 Ind. Air Defence Brigade
  • 95th Mountain Brigade – Brigadier Hardev Singh Kler
  • FJ Sector Brigade – Brigadier Sant Singh[10]
  • 167th Infantry Brigade – Brigadier Irani (allotted after 8 December 1971)
  • 5th Mountain Brigade (allotted after 8 December 1971)

On 16 December 1971, the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces surrendered at Dhaka. East Pakistan ceased to exist and Bangladesh was born. Lt Gen J S Arora accepted the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender, signed by Lt Gen A. A. K. Niazi at Dacca Racecourse. Approximately 90,000[11] to 93,000 Pakistani servicemen were taken prisoner by the Indian Army, which included 79,676 to 81,000 uniformed personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including some Bengali soldiers who had remained loyal to Pakistan.[11][12][13]


The Command's Area Of Responsibility (AOR)[14] covers the following states of India:

The Eastern Command has been assigned operational units under: III Corps, IV Corps, XVII Corps, XXXIII Corps and the 23rd Infantry Division.[15][16]

Structure of Eastern Command
Corps Corps HQ GOC of Corps

(Corps Commander)

Assigned Units Unit HQ
III Corps

(Spear Corps)

Rangapahar, Nagaland Lt. Gen. H. S. Sahi[17] 2 Mountain Division Dinjan, Assam
56 Mountain Division Likabali, Arunachal Pradesh
57 Mountain Division Leimakhong, Manipur
IV Corps

(Gajraj Corps)

Tezpur, Assam Lt. Gen. Manish Erry[18] 5 Mountain Division Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh
21 Mountain Division Rangia, Assam
71 Mountain Division Missa Mari, Assam
XVII Corps

(Brahmastra Corps)

Panagarh, West Bengal Lt Gen Savneet Singh[19] 59 Mountain Division Panagarh, West Bengal
23 Infantry Division Ranchi, Jharkhand
72 Mountain Division Pathankot, Punjab

(Trishakti Corps)

Siliguri, West Bengal Lt Gen Tarun Kumar Aich[20] 17 Mountain Division Gangtok, Sikkim
20 Mountain Division Binnaguri, West Bengal
27 Mountain Division Kalimpong, West Bengal

Precursors (1902–1947)[edit]

Following is the list of precursors to the Eastern Command and their commanders:[21]

Eastern Command (1902–1907)[edit]

General Officer Commanding Eastern Command
Rank Name Appointment date Left office Unit of commission
General Sir Alfred Gaselee October 1904 June 1907 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment of Foot

Eastern Command (1920–1940)[edit]

General Officer Commanding Eastern Command
Rank Name Appointment date Left office Unit of commission
General Sir Havelock Hudson November 1920 February 1924 Northamptonshire Regiment
General Sir George de S. Barrow February 1924 April 1928 Connaught Rangers
General Sir John S. M. Shea April 1928 April 1932 Royal Irish Regiment
General Sir C. Norman MacMullen April 1932 April 1936 Unattached
General Sir H. B. Douglas Baird April 1936 April 1940 Unattached
Lieutenant General Sir Charles N. F. Broad April 1940 July 1942 Royal Field Artillery

Eastern Army (1942–1943)[edit]

General Officer Commanding Eastern Army
Rank Name Appointment date Left office Unit of commission
Lieutenant General Noel M. S. Irwin Jul 1942 May 1943 Essex Regiment
General Sir George J. Giffard May 1943 October 1943 Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment

Eastern Command (1943–1947)[edit]

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command
Rank Name Appointment date Left office Unit of commission
General Sir A. G. O. Mosley Mayne October 1943 December 1944 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers
General Sir Richard N. O'Connor January 1945 October 1945 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Lieutenant General Sir Arthur F. Smith October 1945 January 1946 Coldstream Guards
Lieutenant General Sir Francis I. S. Tuker January 1946 November 1947 Royal Sussex Regiment
Lieutenant General F. R. Roy Bucher(acting) August 1946 August 1947 Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

List of GOC-in-C of Eastern Command (1947–present)[edit]

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command
Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office Unit of Commission References
Lieutenant General Kodandera Madappa Cariappa November 1947 January 1948 88th Carnatic Infantry [22]
Lieutenant General Maharaj Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja January 1948 November 1948 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) [23]
Lieutenant General Thakur Nathu Singh November 1948 January 1953 Rajput Regiment [24]
Lieutenant General Sant Singh January 1953 September 1956 1/14th Punjab [25]
Lieutenant General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya October 1956 March 1957 19th Hyderabad Regiment
Lieutenant General Shankarrao Pandurang Patil Thorat May 1957 May 1961 1/14 Punjab [26][27]
Lieutenant General Lionel Protip Sen May 1961 April 1963 10th Baluch Regiment
Lieutenant General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam May 1963 November 1963 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Thomas Bryan Henderson Brooks November 1963 March 1964 Maratha Light Infantry
Lieutenant General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam April 1964 November 1964 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Sam Manekshaw November 1964 June 1969 12th Frontier Force Regiment
Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Arora June 1969 February 1973 2nd Punjab Regiment
Lieutenant General Naveen Chand Rawlley February 1973 July 1974 Brigade of the Guards
Lieutenant General Jack Farj Rafael Jacob August 1974 July 1978 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General E. A. Vas August 1978 May 1981 9 Gorkha Rifles
Lieutenant General Arun Shridhar Vaidya June 1981 Aug 1983 9th Deccan Horse
Lieutenant General K. Chiman Singh August 1983 January 1986 Rajputana Rifles
Lieutenant General J. K. Puri February 1986 May 1987 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Vishwa Nath Sharma June 1987 April 1988 16th Light Cavalry [28]
Lieutenant General Raj Mohan Vohra May 1988 May 1990 4th Horse (Hodson's Horse)
Lieutenant General Kuldip Singh Brar June 1990 September 1992 Maratha Light Infantry [29]
Lieutenant General Jameel Mahmood October 1992 May 1993 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General R. N. Batra June 1993 February 1996 Regiment of Artillery
Lieutenant General Ravi Eipe March 1996 February 1998 Rajput Regiment
Lieutenant General H. R. S. Kalkat April 1998 July 2002 Maratha Light Infantry [30]
Lieutenant General J. S. Verma August 2002 December 2004 63rd Cavalry (India)
Lieutenant General Arvind Sharma January 2005 December 2006 4th Gorkha Rifles [31][32][33]
Lieutenant General K. S. Jamwal January 2007 February 2008 Regiment of Artillery [34][35]
Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Singh 1 March 2008 31 March 2010 Rajput Regiment [36]
Lieutenant General Bikram Singh 1 April 2010 30 April 2012 Sikh Light Infantry [37]
Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag 16 June 2012 31 December 2013 4/5 Gorkha Rifles
Lieutenant General Man Mohan Singh Rai 1 January 2014 31 July 2015 Bombay Sappers
Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi 1 August 2015 31 July 2017 Skinner's Horse
Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna 1 August 2017 25 September 2018 Rajputana Rifles [38]
Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane 25 September 2018 31 August 2019 Sikh Light Infantry [39]
Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan 1 September 2019 31 May 2021 11 Gorkha Rifles [40]
Lieutenant General Manoj Pande 1 June 2021 31 January 2022 Bombay Sappers [41]
Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita 1 February 2022 Incumbent Kumaon Regiment [42]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Richard A. Renaldi; Ravi Rikhe (2011), 'Indian Army Order of Battle', Orbat.com for Tiger Lily Books: A division of General Data LLC, ISBN 978-0-9820541-7-8.