Baroda State Army

Baroda State had its own army (and Navy) & was called as Baroda State Royal Army. In olden times, it was one of the most modern & capable army force in India.

Himmat Bahadur Anandrao Kashirao Gaekwad (1857-1917) were the head of the Baroda State Royal Army. They were also known as Senapati or Supremo. 8 million soldiers were stationed under their success. Baroda State Army, Baroda State Police Force, State Vigilance and Baroda Spy Network, all worked with crucial resonsibility.

Baroda Army force had 6 barracks, where 16 small barracks worked below 1 barrack. The 6 barracks were located at Baroda, Navsari Fort, Mehsana-Patan Fort, Dhari Fort of Amreli, Dwarka-Okha bet and Songadh Fort. ~1,08,000 soldiers were under 1 barrack.

Maharaja Pratpsinghrao Gaekwad sent the Baroda Forces to Burma during the 2nd World War to fight against Japanese. After Independence, it was also decided to merge Baroda Forces into Indian Army. Then on 1st May 1959, Baroda State Forces were merged into Indian infantry and two Battalions were raised, 20 Maratha Light Infantry from 1st Infantry Battalion at Dound and 21st Maratha Light Infantry from 2nd Infantry Battalion from Baroda itself. 21st Maratha Light Infantry disbanded after 04 months, and the officers and soldiers were posted in other Maratha Light Infantry units.

The 20 Maratha Light Infantry now 10 Mechanised Infantry is thus the sole successor to carry forward the legacy of Baroda State Forces.

Nanasaheb Shinde were the first maratha general of Baroda State Army to be appointed by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1922. General R H Nissen recommended him, when he retired. Nanasaheb Shinde were also honored with title of Rajratna in 1927 by Sayajirao Gaekwad for contribution to state army from 1922 – 1938. A road is also named after him near Shiyabaug.

Partial Sources: Salute