Ambassador of India to Egypt Ajit Gupte paid homage to the martyred Indian Army soldiers at the 79th Anniversary of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein in Commonwealth War Graves cemetery on 23 Oct 2021.
According to Thread by the Indian Embassy in Egypt, more than 25,000 of the 2.5 million Indian Army soldiers who fought in the Second World War fought in North Africa, including Egypt.
It added that over 3,000 Indian soldiers of the 4th and 5th Infantry Division died in the famous Battle of El Alamein.
The British Indian Army during World War II began the war, in 1939, numbering just under 200,000 men. By the end of the war, it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945, according to Wikipedia.
Serving in divisions of infantry, armor, and a fledgling airborne force, they fought on three continents in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The British Indian Army fought in Ethiopia against the Italian Army, in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria against both the Italian and German Army, and, after the Italian surrender, against the German Army in Italy.
However, the bulk of the British Indian Army was committed to fighting the Japanese Army, first during the British defeats in Malaya and the retreat from Burma to the Indian border; later, after resting and refitting for the victorious advance back into Burma, as part of the largest British Empire army ever formed.
These campaigns cost the lives of over 87,000 Indian servicemen, while another 34,354 were wounded, and 67,340 became prisoners of war. Their valor was recognized with the award of some 4,000 decorations, and 18 members of the British Indian Army were awarded the Victoria Cross or the George Cross.
Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief of British Indian Army from 1942, asserted that the British “couldn’t have come through both wars (World War I and II) if they hadn’t had British Indian Army.”