Indian Army Corps
Next the line under the Tactical Area Commands are the Corps Headquarters, which are Field Army Headquarters elsewhere. The Indian Army's combat formations are now grouped and tailored under many such Corps Headquarters (with some forces being retained under static Area Commands). As with the American Army, all Corps have numerical designations. They also have names, by which they are more commonly known. These names may derive from the city in which they are headquartered [XVI Corps / Nagrota Corps], or they may be evocative [IV Corps is Gajraj Corps, meaning "King Elephant."
The field force is grouped into Corps. Some of these are defensively oriented and have, over the years, acquired an unofficial - 'Holding'. The others are called reserve or, unofficially again, 'Strike' Corps. The principal offensive formations of the Indian army are the three Strike Corps - 1 Corps, 2 Corps & 21 Corps. These are built around a nucleus of a single armored division and two infantry divisions - probably with more mechanized brigades than basic infantry formations. Strike corps should be capable of being inserted into operational level battle, either as battle groups or as a whole, to capture or threaten strategic and operational objective(s) with a view to cause destruction of the enemy's reserves and capture sizeable portions of territory.
The term "Holding" is really a misnomer since these contain ample offensive potential. The Holding Corps are not so well supplied as the Strike Corps with support, from either CADA or the engineers, and do not possess armored formations larger than brigades and the armored regiments attached to the infantry regiments. These formations have significant offensive capability, but are largely designed to operate in a defensive role.
Corps Headquarters are designed to handle an all-arms field army of three to five divisions or their equivalents. Army Headquarters reserves could be mammoth-size or small, but powerful in either case. Heavy-tracked-Corps are an instance of the former, and the three parachute commandos (battalion-size units), which perform special forces duties, of the latter. Airborne, Air Assault or Parachute troops are usually held centralized. The mounts, in all cases, are provided by the Indian Air Force.
The allocation of specific divisions to Corps is not well attested in the open literature, but such attestations as are available are in considerable agreement. These is some dispute as to whether I Corps is assigned 33 Armored Division (at Hisar, Hissar, Haryana) or 31 Armored Division (at Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh), but geographical propinquity argues for the former.
| Mathura, |
(Hisar, Hissar, Haryana)
| Ambala, |
| Rangapahar (Dimapur),|
Rising Star Corps
XII Corps - Desert Corps
XV Corps / Chinar Corps
Jammu & Kashmir
(Gurez, Bandipora District)
XVI Corps / Nagrota Corps / White Knight Corps
| Nagrota, |
Jammu & Kashmir
1 Strike Corps
Sudarshan Chakra Corps
(Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh)
(Binnaguri, Jalpaiguri district)
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