ABSTRACT

Soon a er the withdrawal from Burma, and following the recommendations of the Cameron Report, GHQ(I) reorganized Indian divisions to improve their ability to operate in the jungle without having to rely entirely on road transport for sustainment. Two divisions, the 17th and 39th, both of which had served in Burma (the 39th Indian Division having been formed from the remnants of the 1st Burma Division a er its arrival in India), were designated ‘Indian light divisions’. eir scale of heavy weapons and equipment was minimized and they were to rely for their artillery on mountain guns, which could be dismantled and carried by jeep or mule. eir second line transport was to be found from six (later eight) mule companies and four jeep companies only. Any other transport they needed would be supplied from corps third line resources as required. Other divisions serving on the eastern frontier were gradually converted to a slightly less Spartan organization, known as the ‘animal and motor transport division’, in which motor transport was reduced in favour of mules but not quite to the same extent as in the light divisions.3 ese changes went far towards enabling Indian formations to ght e ectively in the jungle but a number of other vital improvements were made, and it is these that this chapter examines. First, though, it will be helpful to have some idea of the quantities of supplies that were needed at the front and the problems of the environment in which they had to be delivered.