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Southern Command (India)


Southern Command (India)

Southern Command
Southern Command's insignia today
Active 1908-Present
Branch Indian Army
Type Command
Garrison/HQ Pune
Lt Gen Ashok Singh

Southern Command is a formation of the Indian Army, active since 1895. It has seen action during the integration of several Princely States into modern India, during the 1961 Indian Annexation of Goa, and during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistani Wars. Lt Gen Ashok Singh is the present commander.[1]


  • History 1
  • World War II 2
  • Commanders prior to Independence 3
  • Post war 4
  • Notes 5
  • Sources 6


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 1914, the Southern Army consisted of the 4th (Quetta) Division, the 5th (Mhow) Division, the 6th (Poona) Division, the 9th Division, and the Aden Brigade.[3]

During World War II, Southern Command was reformed as Southern Army in April 1942. The formation reverted to the title Southern Command in November 1945 and was finally disbanded in 1947.[4]

World War II

Component divisions included:[5]

Component brigades included:[5]

Commanders prior to Independence

Commanders included:[6]
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Army

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Army

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command

Post war

In August 1947, Southern Command had the Deccan, Madras and Bombay Areas (with HQs at Kamptee, Madras and Bombay). In 1947–48, Southern Command was largely responsible in getting Junagadh and Hyderabad to sign the instrument of accession to India.[2] In 1961, the Indian annexation of Goa was conducted by 17 Infantry Division and 50th Parachute Brigade, under the operational control of Southern Command.

In 1965–66, two further divisions were raised within the command. After fighting broke out in the Rann of Kutch in April 1965, a hastily constituted force, named Kilo Force under Maj. Gen PO Dunn was formed to contain this attack.[2] Kilo Force was later re-designated as 11 Infantry Division. In September 1965, the operational responsibility for the Barmer sector was given to Southern Command and entrusted to 11 Infantry Division. Delhi and Rajasthan Area, with its Advance Headquarters at Jodhpur, fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 under Western Command. On 3 November 1966, this formation was redesignated 12 Infantry Division, under Major General J.F.R. Jacob, and also placed under Southern Command.

Today the command headquarters is located at Pune Cantonment in Pune, Maharashtra.[7] It consists of two corps and two military areas.[2] The two areas appear to be : one at Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the Maharashta Goa and Gujarat Area (MG&G Area), responsible for those states; and one at Chennai, the Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area (ATNK&K Area) responsible for Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.[8]

The Southern Command encompasses nine states and four union territories which covers about 40% of India.[2] In 2005, some changes to the command's boundaries were made when a new South Western Command was established.

Its components include:

  • 41 Artillery Division, headquarters Pune, Maharashtra. The division includes 97 Artillery Brigade,[9] may include 98 Artillery Brigade.[10]
  • XII Corps, headquartered at Jodhpur, Rajasthan
    • 4th Armoured brigade
    • 340th Mechanized brigade
    • 11th Infantry Division headquartered at Ahmedabad
    • 12th Infantry Division headquartered at Jodhpur
  • XXI Corps, headquartered at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa Area headquartered at Mumbai[11]
  • Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area headquartered Chennai


  1. ^ Lt Gen Ashok Singh takes over as Southern Army commander Indian Express, 1 February 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Northern Command". Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "THE INDIAN ARMY 1914". 2001-03-25. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  4. ^ "Southern Army". Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Southern Army Subordinates". Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Army Commands
  7. ^ "Operational Commands of The Indian Army". Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Renaldi and Rikhye, 2011, p. 18
  9. ^ Armed Forces
  10. ^ Army cycle mission to cover 20 forts, Times of India, 4 January 2008
  11. ^ Source for areas' names and headquarters is the Indian Army Southern Command website, accessed August 2010


  • Rinaldi, Richard; Rikhye, Ravi (2011). Indian Army Order of Battle. General Data.  
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