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The British Indian Army was a critical force for the primacy of the British Empire both in India and across the world.Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Army fought in many other theatres: the Anglo-Burmese Wars, First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, First, Second and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars, First and Second Opium Wars in China, Abyssinia, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.As the war progressed, the size and role of the Indian Army expanded dramatically, and troops were sent to battlefronts as soon as possible. Indian units served in Burma, where in 1944–45, five Indian divisions were engaged along with one British and three African divisions. In the African and Middle-Eastern Campaigns, captured Indian troops were given a choice to join the German Army to eventually "liberate" India from Great Britain instead of being sent to POW camps.
Indian officers were given a King's commission after passing out and were posted to one of the eight units selected for Indianisation.
The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, which finally became the national army after independence.
The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in a number of battles and campaigns across the world, earning a large number of battle and theatre honours before and after Independence.
and it is commanded by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general.
Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position of great honour.
In 1939, British officials had no plan for expansion and training of Indian forces, which comprised about 130,000 men (in addition there were 44,000 men in British units in India in 1939).