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India 1930 - 1947:

Southern Command, India

Southern Command was one of the four pre-war commands in India. Its Headquarters were located at Poona.


The Command comprised three Districts, namely:

Bombay District (based at Bombay);
Deccan District (based at Bolarum);
Madras District (based at Bangalore).

The Headquarters Deccan District also formed the embryonic Headquarters of the 4 Indian Infantry Division, designated for deployment overseas in event of the outbreak of war. In addition, the Poona (Independent) Brigade Area was located in Southern Command.

On 28 April 1942, with the entry of Japan into the war and the threat of invasion of southern India, Southern Command was redesignated as the Southern Army. The districts were redesignated as Line of Communication (LoC) Areas. The revised arrangements were:

Madras District 105 LoC Area (Bangalore)
Deccan District 106 LoC Area (Bolarum)
Bombay District 107 LoC Area (Bombay Province)

105 and 106 LoC Areas were formed in October 1942 coinciding with the formation of XXXIII Indian Corps, which assumed command of the newly formed 19 Indian Infantry Division, 25 Indian Infantry Division and 251 Indian Tank Brigade.

XXXIII Corps was the operational formation within Southern Army in the event of Japanese invasion. It is likely that 107 LoC Area was also formed in October 1942. The Poona Independent Brigade Area became the 166 Sub-Area of 107 LoC Area.

108 LoC Area was formed in February 1943 from the Bombay Port and Fortress Poona Independent Brigade Area. In May 1944, the 106 LoC Area was downgraded to the 172 Sub-Area within the new 110 LoC Area, and the 107 LoC Area was merged with the 108 LoC Area. Two new LoC Areas were created, the 109 LoC Area covering Bangalore and the 110 LoC Area covering Poona and the Deccan region. The new structure from May 1944 until the end of the war was:

105 LoC Area (Madras);
108 LoC Area (Bombay Province, Port and Fortress);
109 LoC Area (Bangalore);
110 LoC Area (Poona).

In November 1945, Southern Army reverted to the title of Southern Command. The four Line of Communications Areas were redesignated as three Areas consistent with the previous three Districts. These were:

Bombay District (based at Bombay);
Deccan District (based at Kamptee);
Madras District (based at Bangalore).

This situation continued until the partition of India on 15 August 1947 and the creation of the new Indian Army.

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