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Day 37 – Q 2. Discuss the contribution of Indians in the two World Wars.

2. Discuss the contribution of Indians in the two World Wars.

दो विश्व युद्धों में भारतीयों के योगदान पर चर्चा करें।


The two world wars fought between 1914-1918 and 1939-1944 were watershed movement in the 20th century geopolitical history.

Indians too were dragged in the war by the British to fight for them


Contributions of Indians in world wars:

World War 1

1) Role of Indian Army

  •  Approximately 13 lakh Indian soldiers served in World War I out of which over 74,000 lost their lives
  • Indian Army served in France, Belgium, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Sinai among other locations
  • India also supplied various equipment for war along with animals required for battle
  • The Indian Army fought the German Empire on the Western Front and German East Africa (a German colony in the African Great Lakes region)
  • The Western Front became the main theatre of WWI when it was opened by Germany by invading Luxembourg and Belgium which bordered France

2) Economic contribution of India in world war 1: India gifted as high as 100 million British Pounds (Rs 893 crore) to Britain to fund their war in hope of dominion status and home rule in return. India also supplied as much as 37 lakh tonnes of supplies to the British.

World War 2

1)Role of Indian Army

  • Approximately 2.5 million Indian soldiers served in World War 2. Over 36,000 Indian soldiers lost their lives, 34,000 were wounded and 67,000 were taken prisoners of war. Indian soldiers of the British Army earned 17 Victoria Crosses, the highest military honour under the British.
  • Noor Inayat Khan –The well-known Spy was torture and executed by Germans.
  • The Indian soldiers, on the ground, fought courageously in every battle and built an envious reputation which the Indian Army has carried forward to this day. Their exploits were seen in East and North Africa, Italy, Burma, and as far out as Singapore, Malay Peninsula, Guam, and Indo China. The role played by Air Force pilots from India are legendary and well documented. Pilots like MS Pujji and Prithpal Singh’s feats are among many who left their mark. The list of names and achievements is indeed long.
  • In the East, the Indian soldiers, as part of the British Indian Army, fought against the Japanese and were responsible for ultimately securing South East Asia that included Singapore, the Malay Peninsula and Burma.

2) Contributions beyond Army  :

  • Indian doctors and nurses were deeply involved on the British soil and other countries. In 1939, the Indian Comforts Fund (ICF) was established at India House in Aldwych that was run by Indian and British women. Between 1939 and 1945, the ICF supplied over 1.7 million food packets to soldiers and Asian prisoners of war, besides putting together warm clothes and other supplies.
  • The nation contributed by collecting food and other material to support the war. Kolkata was the Allies’ Rest and Recreation point, where American and British soldiers stopped to rest and recuperate before heading back to war .
  • India was also home to Italian POWs. As early as 1941, a batch of Italian POWs, which included four Generals, arrived by ship at Mumbai. Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand today, had a camp where POWs were housed.

Indians thus contributed substantially in world wars. Their efforts are now beginning to be more substantially recognised worldwide.

Best Answer: Suraj Sharma

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