Colonial Indian Navy-Establishment of the Bombay Marine
The English East India Company was established in 1600.
In 1612, Captain Thomas Best encountered and defeated the Portuguese at the Battle of Swally. This encounter, as well as piracy, led the English East India Company to build a port and establish a small navy based at the village of Suvali, near Surat, Gujarat to protect commerce.
The Company named the force the Honourable East India Company’s Marine, and the first fighting ships arrived on 5 September 1612.
In 1686, with most of English commerce moving to Bombay, the force was renamed the Bombay Marine. The Bombay Marine was involved in combat against the Marathas and the Sidis and participated in the Anglo-Burmese Wars. The Bombay Marine recruited many Indian lascars but commissioned no Indian officers until 1928.
Expansion of Her Majesty’s Indian Navy
Sailors of the Indian Navy breaching the Delhi gates during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
In 1830, the Bombay Marine became His Majesty’s Indian Navy. The British capture of Aden increased the commitments of Her Majesty’s Indian Navy, leading to the creation of the Indus Flotilla. The Navy then fought in the China War of 1840.
Her Majesty’s Indian Navy resumed the name Bombay Marine from 1863 to 1877, when it became Her Majesty’s Indian Marine. The Marine then had two divisions; the Eastern Division at Calcutta and the Western Division at Bombay.
In recognition of the services rendered during various campaigns, Her Majesty’s Indian Marine was titled the Royal Indian Marine in 1892. By this time, it consisted of over 50 vessels.
The Royal Indian Marine in World War I
The Expeditionary Forces of the Indian Army that travelled to France, Africa and Mesopotamia to participate in World War I were transported largely on board ships of the Royal Indian Marine. The convoy transporting the first division of the Indian Cavalry to France sailed within three weeks of the Declaration of War, on 25 August 1914. At the outset of the war, a number of ships were fitted out and armed at the Naval Dockyard in Bombay (now Mumbai) and the Kidderpore Docks in Calcutta (now Kolkata). The Indian Marine also kept the harbours of Bombay and Aden open through intensive minesweeping efforts. Smaller ships of the Indian Marine, designed for operations in inland waters, patrolled the critical waterways of the Tigris, the Euphrates and Shatt-al-Arab, in order to keep the supply lines open for the troops fighting in Mesopotamia. A hospital ship operated by the Indian Marine was deployed to treat wounded soldiers.
By the time the war ended in 1918, the Royal Indian Marine had transported or escorted 1,302,394 men, 172,815 animals and 3,691,836 tonnes of war stores. The Royal Indian Marine suffered 330 casualties and 80 of its personnel were decorated with gallantry awards for service in the war. The Royal Indian Marine played a vital role in supporting and transporting the Indian Army throughout the war.
The first Indian to be granted a commission was Sub Lieutenant D.N Mukherji who joined the Royal Indian Marine as an engineer officer in 1928.
The Royal Indian Navy in World War II
In 1934, the Royal Indian Marine became the Royal Indian Navy (RIN). Ships of the RIN received the prefix HMIS for His Majesty’s Indian Ships. At the start of the Second World War, the Royal Indian Navy was very small and had eight warships. The onset of the war led to an expansion. Additionally, Indian Sailors served on-board several Royal Navy warships. The large number of Indian merchant seamen and merchant ships were instrumental in keeping the large stream of raw material and supplies from India to the United Kingdom open.
- The sloops HMIS Sutlej and HMIS Jumna played a key role in the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.
- The sloop HMIS Godaveri sank the German submarine U-198 on 12 August 1944 near the Seychelles.
Indian sailors started a rebellion also known as The Royal Indian Navy Mutiny in 1946 on board ships and shore establishments, which spread all over India. A total of 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors were involved in the rebellion.
The Royal Indian Navy retained its name when India gained independence in August 1947 as a dominion within the Commonwealth. It was dropped when India became a republic on January 26, 1950.
Partition and Independence of India
In 1947, British India was partitioned and the Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom. The Royal Indian Navy was split between India and Pakistan, with senior British officers continuing to serve with both navies, and the vessels were divided between the two nations.
More information: Vessel type, India …
|Frigate||HMIS Tir||HMIS Kukri||HMPS Shamsher||HMPS Dhanush|
|Sloop||HMIS Sutlej||HMIS Jumna||HMIS Kistna||HMIS Cauvery||HMPS Narbada||HMPS Godavari|
|Minesweeper||HMIS Orissa||HMIS Deccan||HMIS Bihar||HMIS Kumaon||HMIS Rohilkhand||HMIS Khyber||HMIS Carnatic||HMIS Rajputana||HMIS Konkan||HMIS Bombay
|HMPS Kathiawar||HMPS Baluchistan||HMPS Oudh||HMPS Malwa|
|Survey vessel||HMIS Investigator|
|Trawler||HMIS Nasik||HMIS Calcutta||HMIS Cochin||HMIS Amritsar||HMPS Rampur||HMPS Baroda|
|Motor minesweeper(MMS)||MMS 130||MMS 132||MMS 151||MMS 154||MMS 129||MMS 131|
|Motor launch (ML)||ML 420|
|Harbour Defence Motor Launch(HDML)||HDML 1110||HDML 1112||HDML 1117||HDML 1118||HDML 1261||HDML 1262||HDML 1263||HDML 1266|
|Miscellaneous||All existing landing craft|
Vice Admiral R. D. Katari was the first Indian Chief of Naval Staff, appointed on 22 April 1958.
Courtesy of Wikipedia.org