31st Armored Division

Mandeep Singh Bajwa


The White Tiger of Rewa

Modern history


31 Armored Division was raised in 1975 using 2 (Independent) Armored Brigade as the nucleus.  A new armored brigade was added along with raised along with an artillery brigade (which included 2nd (I) Brigade's SP 105mm Abbot regiment), and divisional troops, both combat support and combat service support.

The Key Location Plan for the Division was Jhansi-Babina in Uttar Pradesh, Central India which it remains till this day.

However the famous Fleur-de-Lis symbol of 2 (Independent) Armored Brigade was not approved by the new General Officer Commanding and his staff, much to the disappointment of the brigade and the armored corps.

The Division's role was to act as a strike formation with one of India's Strike Corps, for operations in the plains North of Abohar in the Punjab. Concurrently, it trained for a strike role for the deserts and the semi-desert area. In 1987-89 two regiments from the Division served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.


The Armored Corps lobby had been demanding the revival of the Fleur-de-Lis for a long time, projecting it as a historical symbol of great value. Finally the Armored Corps won. The HQs of 2nd Armored Brigade and 54 Sector were interchanged. The sector was in fact an independent armored brigade. When its flag shifted to 31st Division, this brigade was given a new designation.


31 Armored Division's Orbat now is:


Division HQ


Reconnaissance Regiment

Divisional Signal Battalion

Defense & Encampment Company

Attack Helicopter Squadron (Mi-35)[1]

Engineer Regiment

Provost unit (Military Police)


Armored Brigade

2 x armored regiments

2 x mechanized infantry battalions


Armored Brigade

2 x armored regiments

1 X mechanized infantry battalion


Armored Brigade

2 x armored regiments

1 x mechanized infantry battalion


Armored Artillery Brigade

3 x medium SP regiments

SATA battery with UAVs (Surveillance and Target Acquisition)


Independent Mechanized Air Defense Brigade[2]

Tungushka SP Gun/Missile regiment

SAM-6 regiment


EME Battalion (Electrical & Mechanical Engineers for maintenance)



Truck companies

Tank Transporter unit


3 Field Ambulances[3]

Other units


Division History During the British-Indian army Period


31 Armored Division was raised in September 1940 as 1 Armored Division, and was redesignated 31 Armored Division in December 1941.  It served in Iraq, Persia, Palestine, and North Africa.  It had two armored brigades, 1st and 2nd, the designations of which were changed to 251 and 252 Armored Brigades.  43 Lorry Brigade later replaced 251 Armored Brigade.


On September 1, 1945, the division was once again redesignated as 1 Armored Division.


Thanks to David A. Ryan and Todd Mills www.regiments.org





[1] Indian Air Force, under command during operations.

[2] Not technically part of the division due to lack of government permission, but it is an integral part of the division for practical purpose.

[3] Medical companies for attachment to armored brigades