13 Things You Didn’t Know About India’s Contribution To The First World War.
The World Wars are one of the most unfortunate events to have been inflicted upon by humans on them, though majorly the WWI was fought between the Allies and Germany but India had a huge part to play in it. We’ve dug up quite a few facts about India’s contribution to WWI.
1. India contributed with more soldiers than Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa combined.
2. Indian soldiers won 11 Victoria Cross honors, Britain’s highest military honors. Overall 13,000 medals were won by the Indian Corps.
3. Troops from India fought in all the major theatres of war, from the Western Front in Europe to Africa and China.
4. 53,486 Indian soldiers lost their lives, 64,350 were wounded and 3,762 went missing or were imprisoned.
5. Mesopotamia proved to be the deadliest battle ground, with 30,000 Indian casualties and 32,000 wounded.
6. It wasn’t just the wounds of battle that killed the Indian soldiers. Nearly 9,000 died due to severe winters in France.
7. Apart from men and material, India also contributed with 100 million pounds of wealth.
8. Not just combatants, there were 43,737 men who worked in the Indian Labor Corps.
9. Indian Royalty served in the war as well.
Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh, the Maharaja of Bikaner, commanded the Bikaner Camel Corps that served in France, Egypt and Palestine. He also represented British India in the Imperial War Cabinet. Maharaja Of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh fought in the Gallipoli Campaign, in present day Turkey.
10. Within weeks of the war being declared, India also supplied 70,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, 600,000 rifles, motors and machine guns.
11. During the four years of war, the Army Clothing Department produced 41,920,223 garments.
12. By the end of the war, 1,302,394 personnel, 172, 815 animals and 369.1 million tonnes of supplies had left Indian shores.
13. The total value of India’s war contribution amounted to £ 80,000,000. That’s about Rs. 7,420,800,000 in today’s money.