Bangladesh Army is the ground branch of the Bangladesh Armed Forces . It is the largest branch of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. The primary responsibility of the Army is to provide the necessary strength and manpower for all kinds of security and defense assistance, including the protection of the integrity of the territory of Bangladesh. All activities of the Army are regulated by the Army Branch of the Armed Forces Division. In addition to its primary responsibilities, the Bangladesh Army is constitutionally committed to assisting the civilian administration in any national emergency.
The military history of Bengal extends to the time of the original kings and maharajas. At that time the chief of the army was called Senapati or Mahasenapati . Those armies were made up of infantry, cavalry, war elephants and warships. The arrival of Muslims in Bengal and the establishment of the Bengali Sultanate further strengthened the military. The Sultanate had a well-organized and well-organized army. Cannons and artillery were introduced in Bengal during the Mughal rule. During the British colonial rule, Bengal was a symbol of British power in the South Asian region. In 1757, British forces led by Lord Clive, the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daulah's army, led 50,000 troops in the wilderness of Plassey in 1764 the British forces defeated the kareparabartite the Battle of BuxarDefeated the Bengal forces led by Nawab Mir Qasim. The British established the Army of Bengal in Bengal which later became part of the British Indian Army in 1895 . The western part of British India was a priority for police and army recruitment. Prior to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, cavalry and spearmen were all part of the region. After the revolt, recruits were recruited from various units with Bengal prefixes, such as Bengal Sappers and Bengal Cavalry, Bihar, Banarasi, Uttar Pradesh, etc., as these areas were then under the Bengal Presidency . To collect troops from Bengal during the First World War Bengali platoon was established. In 1918 the British government established the Bengali Double Company. These soldiers were trained in Karachi and later deployed in Baghdad. At the end of the war, these troops helped suppress the 1919 Kurdish uprising in Baghdad.
Pioneer Corps, the Eastern Command of the British military during World War II Established an auxiliary force called those who were somewhat engineers and somewhat infantry. Most of the troops of this force were recruited from East and West Bengal. These forces mainly helped the main forces by building roads and air defenses. However, if necessary, they also fought with Japan as an infantry force. These forces were organized into different companies and attached to different regiments of the Indian Army. Captain Gani was a company commander and he led his forces on the Burma Front. At the end of the war, Pioneer Corps troops gathered at various locations in India and Japan, waiting to return home. In 1947, Captain Gani, the then Adjutant and Quartermaster of the Pioneer Corps Center at Jalna, came up with the idea of forming an infantry regiment with the returning Pioneer Corps soldiers in East Bengal and sought permission from the Central Command. Later, British rule in India came to an end and two new states, India and Pakistan, were born. Chief of the Pakistan Army With the permission of General Sir Frank Mezarvi , Captain Gani formed a Bengali platoon with the troops of East Bengal , which was the main base of the later infantry regiment.
At the time of the creation of Pakistan, Captain Abdul Ghani, with the permission of the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, General Majervi, started the formation of the East Bengal Regiment with the youth of East Bengal . "You will prove to the world that the Bengali army is as capable as any other nation in the world," said Captain Gani at the farewell ceremony of the Pioneer Corps in Mumbai on 16 August 1947. With these encouraging words, Captain Gani returned to Dhaka in September 1947 with two pioneer companies and took up a position at Peelkhana (now the BGB headquarters). He later asked the administration for suitable accommodation for the soldiers. He identified Kurmitola, north of the capital, as a suitable place for cantonment. Barracks, parade grounds etc. are built by clearing the forest through day to day hard work.
On 15 February 1947, the flag of the 1st East Bengal Regiment , the pioneer of the Bangladesh Army, was hoisted. Captain Gani was in charge of everything in this battalion but the first commanding officer was Lieutenant Colonel VJE Patterson . And the officer commanding was Major Abdul Wahed Chowdhury. After the formation of the 1st Battalion, the second battalion was allowed to be set up and Captain Gani started recruiting troops. On 8 February 1949 , the flag of the 2nd East Bengal Regiment was hoisted . Before the War of Liberation in 1971, a total of 6 battalions of the East Bengal Regiment were formed.
1971: War of Independence and birth of Bangladesh Army
The Bangladesh Awami League led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the 1970 elections . But the military junta in power refused to hand over power, leading to widespread discontent. On the night of March 25, 1971, the Pakistan Armed Forces launched Operation Searchlight and attacked the civilians of East Pakistan.Pakistani forces and allied paramilitary forces killed thousands of civilians and civilians. On 26 March, the then Major Ziaur Rahman declared the independence of Bangladesh on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.In March, the Bengali soldiers of the East Bengal Regiment revolted and the war of liberation of Bangladesh began. Later, East Pakistan Rifles (EPR) troops also took part in the armed resistance. The Mukti Bahini was formed by the military as well as the civilians . On 16 April the expatriate Bangladesh government was formed and Colonel (retd) Mohammad Ataul Gani Osmani was given the responsibility of leading the Bangladesh army.
The Sector Commanders Conference was held on 11-18 July 1971. The conference established the Bangladesh Bahini Command with Lt. Col. Abdur Rob as Chief of Staff, Group Captain AK Khandaker as Deputy Chief of Staff and Major AR Chowdhury as Assistant Chief of Staff. The conference discussed the structure and layout of different sectors, problems of the sector, various strategic aspects and manpower growth of Bangladesh forces. In this conference Bangladesh was divided into eleven sectors and sector commanders were appointed in each sector. All activities in the sector were controlled by the Sector Commander. Some sectors were divided into multiple sub-sectors to facilitate control. Sector 10 was directly under the command of the Chief of the Bangladesh Army and the manpower of this sector was mainly naval commandos.
After the conference, Bangladesh forces started a long-term guerrilla war. The force was later reorganized and divided into three brigade-sized armies:
- K Force , led by Major Khaled Musharraf, consists of 4th, 9th and 10th East Bengal Regiments.
- S Force , led by Major KM Shafiullah, consists of 2nd and 11th East Bengal Regiments.
- Z Force , led by Major Ziaur Rahman, consists of 1st, 3rd and 6th East Bengal Regiments.
On 21 November, the Bangladesh Armed Forces was officially established with the military members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. After the establishment, along with the guerrilla warfare of the freedom fighters, the armed forces started the traditional war. The surrender of the Pakistan Armed Forces to the joint forces of Bangladesh and India on 16 December 1971 marked the end of the nine-month war of independence and independent Bangladesh was liberated.
After 1971: Development of Bangladesh Army
After the end of the war of liberation, the members of the liberation forces were included in different branches of the army. Officers and soldiers returning to Pakistan in 1964 were inducted into the Bangladesh Army.
Between 1972-73, the Army consisted of Engineers , Signals , Services , Ordnance , Military Police , Horse Livestock and Farm and Medical Corps. In 1974, Comilla cantonment at the Bangladesh Military Academy was established. On 11 January 1975, the first short course passing out parade of the Bangladesh Army was held. The Presidential Guard Regiment (PGR) was formed in 1975 .
Incidents such as the inclusion of civilian members of the Liberation Army in the army and the creation of the National Guard created suspicion and mistrust between the members of the then army and the government.All these suspicions and misunderstandings led to various disagreements between the professional army officers and the present government which resulted in the bloodiest chapter in the history of newly independent Bangladesh.
Coups, insurrections and assassinations
On 15 August 1975, President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family were assassinated at their private residence in Dhanmondi by some disbanded army officers, chaotic low-ranking army officers and the NCO . The two daughters of the President, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, survived as they stayed abroad. Five of these officers were executed in 2010. Another fugitive was executed in 2020. The rest are currently hiding outside the country.After the assassination, a government led by Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed, backed by the rebels, seized power. Khandaker Mushtaq issued the Indemnity Ordinance which exempted the murderers from trial.
Three months later, on November 3, 1975, a group of high-ranking army officers led by Major General Khaled Musharraf and Colonel Shafayat Jamil and the NCO overthrew Khandaker Mushtaq's government in a coup d'etat. On the same day, the assassins of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassinated four national leaders, Syed Nazrul Islam , Tajuddin Ahmed , Muhammad Mansur Ali and Kamaruzzaman , who had led the liberation war, at the Dhaka Central Jail. Army Chief Major General Ziaur Rahman was placed under house arrest.
On 7 November 1975, a short but very organized coup led by Lt. Col. Abu Taher and controlled by the National Socialist Party (JSD) took place in Dhaka Cantonment. Many army and air force officials, including Khaled Musharraf and ATM Haider , were killed in the coup . Colonel Shafayat Jamil was forcibly retired. Colonel Abu Taher released Major General Ziaur Rahman from house arrest. Ziaur Rahman was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and declared himself Chief of Army Staff and Deputy Chief Military Administrator . He later executed Colonel Taher for his role in the November 7 coup.Later, in a referendum in 1987, Ziaur Rahman became the President. On 30 May 1971, Ziaur Rahman was killed in an army mutiny in Chittagong.
In less than a year, the then Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Hussein Muhammad Ershad , seized power in a silent coup on March 24, 1972. He abolished the constitution and enacted army laws across the country. He held power until December 6, 1990, through authoritarian rule, corruption and electoral fraud. Ershad was forced to step down on 6 December 1990 in the face of violent protests and mass uprisings.
Chittagong Hill Tracts Conflict
The Chittagong Hill Tracts Conflict is a military and political conflict between the Chittagong Hill Tracts Jana Sanghati Samiti and its armed wing, the Shanti Bahini , over the autonomy of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and the rights of the tribes living in the area . In 1978, the peace forces started an armed revolt against the Bangladesh government. The 20-year conflict came to an end in 1997 with the signing of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord between the Government of Bangladesh and the Jana Sanghati Samiti .
When the revolt started, the Bangladesh government deployed troops in the Chittagong Hill Tracts to suppress the revolt. The then President Major General Ziaur Rahman set up the CHT Development Board under an Army General to solve the socio-economic problems of the region . But this institution gradually became unpopular and sparked mistrust and active opposition between the local aborigines and the Bangladesh government. The Kaptai Hydropower Project, built by the government of Pakistan in 1962, failed to address other issues, including the rehabilitation of about one lakh tribes who had lost their land. No compensation was paid to those who lost their land and more than 40,000 Chakma The citizens took refuge in India. In 1970, the Bangladesh government started establishing Bengali settlements in the hilly areas, which resulted in the eviction of some more local tribal settlements and a major change in the demographics of the region. Whereas in 1984, Bengalis were 11.6 per cent of the total population in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, by 1991 it stood at 48.5 per cent.
After the restoration of democracy in the country, peace talks started in 1991. But during the Bangladesh Nationalist Party government led by the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia , progress was limited. Peace talks gained momentum in 1996 during the Bangladesh Awami League government led by the new Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina . The signing of the Hill Tracts Peace Accord on December 2, 1997, marked the end of two decades of conflict.
Most of the army camps in the area were evacuated after the peace agreement was signed. However, three brigade troops are stationed permanently in three permanent cantonments in the three hill districts. The army plays a key role in the region in building various natural disasters and infrastructure.
The next era
After the coup d'etat of 1975, the National Guard was abolished and all the manpower was added to the army. During the rule of Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh was divided into five military zones. Five infantry divisions were in charge of the five regions. When Hussein Muhammad Ershad came to power in 1982, the army had 60,000 members. Since 1975, the army has once again gone through a rapid expansion process. By mid-1969, the army's strength stood at 90,000 (according to many observers, it was close to 80,000), three times the number in 1975. During this time the number of infantry divisions in the army was increased to seven.
In the 1991 Gulf War, the Bangladesh Army participated in Operation Desert Storm as part of a multinational force under the Allied Forces . This was the first deployment of the Bangladesh Army on foreign soil outside the UN mission. The army deployed a team of engineers to clear mines in Kuwait at the end of the war. The deployment was completed under Operation Kuwait Reconstruction (OPK).
The structure of the Bangladesh Army is similar to that of the Commonwealth countries. But with the adoption of the US Army's strategic planning strategy, training management strategy, and NCO education system, the situation is undergoing a major change.
Contribution to UN peacekeeping missions
The Bangladesh Army has been actively participating in UN peacekeeping missions for many years. In 1986, the Bangladesh Army was sent to a UN peacekeeping mission for the first time. That year, troops were deployed to Iraq and Namibia. The deployment was initiated by then-President Hu Mu Ershad. Later, after the Gulf War , the Bangladesh Army sent a mechanical-infantry fleet under a UN mission. Since then, the Bangladesh Army has taken part in 30 peacekeeping missions in 25 countries. These countries include Angola, Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mozambique, Yugoslavia, Liberia, Haiti, Tajikistan, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Eastern Kosovo, Georgia, Kosovo, Georgia. Coast and Ethiopia.
So far 6 Bangladeshi army personnel have lost their lives in all these peacekeeping missions. The contribution of the Bangladesh Army in peacekeeping missions has been highly praised. In recognition of this contribution, the presence of members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces in senior positions in UN missions has been steadily increasing.The Bangladesh Army has become an expert in peacekeeping operations by conducting peacekeeping and nation building operations in different parts of the world. Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT) for training members participating in UN peacekeeping missionsHas installed. The training center was set up in accordance with the UN General Assembly's resolution on UN peacekeeping operations, which states that "it is the responsibility of each country to provide training to members of the armed forces prior to any deployment."
Forces Goal 2030
The Bangladesh Armed Forces is going through a long-term modernization plan called Forces Goal 2030 . According to the plan, a major expansion and modernization of the Bangladesh Army is underway. According to this plan, the entire force is being divided into three cores called North, South and Central. There are already 16 infantry divisions in Sylhet, 10 infantry divisions at Ramu in Cox's Bazar and 6 infantry divisions in Barisal-Patuakhali which has increased the total number of divisions in the army to 10. An ambitious modernization program called the Infantry Soldier System is underway to modernize the Army Infantry . Night vision goggles for every infantry as part of this activity, Equipped with BD-06 rifles with ballistic helmets , eye protection equipment, bulletproof vests, person-to-person communication devices, portable GPS devices and a collimator site.
Two Paracommando Battalions have been established to enhance special operations capabilities . This battalion and the former 1 Paracommando Battalion is the only Para Commando Brigade in the country. The Bangladesh Army purchased 44 MBT-2000 tanks from China in 2011 . This purchase was the first such tank purchase in the history of the country. Bangladesh Army engineers have upgraded Chinese-made Type-69 tanks to Type-69 2G . At present, 184 Type-59 tanks are being upgraded in the Bangladesh Army Heavy Workshop to upgrade to Type-59 BD Durjoy . 300 different types of armored vehicles such as Russia's BTR- 70 , Turkey's Otokar Cobra , Serbia's BOV M11 have been purchased to increase the mobility of infantry.
To modernize the artillery fleet, 16 Nora B-52 155 mm automatic cannons have been purchased from Serbia . To further increase the capacity, 36 WS-22 multiple launch rocket systems have been purchased. Russian Metis M-1 anti - tank guided missiles and Chinese PF- 96 anti- tank weapons have been purchased to enhance anti- tank capabilities . Two regiments have purchased FM-90 short-range anti-aircraft missiles to improve air defense capabilities . Army Aviation is also undergoing development. In 2012, two Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopters joined the Army.In 2016, 8 MI-161SHs were added to the forceHelicopter. In 2016, a CASA C-295 transport aircraft joined the Air Force. In 2016, 36 Bramo C4I unmanned aircraft from Slovenia were added to the force to monitor and gather information on the battlefield .
List of cantonments
- Alikadam Cantonment , Bandarban
- Bandarban Cantonment
- Chittagong Cantonment
- Comilla Cantonment , Comilla
- Dhaka Cantonment
- Dighinala Cantonment , Khagrachhari
- Halishahar Cantonment , Chhattisgarh
- Jahanabad Cantonment , Khulna
- Jahangirabad Cantonment , Bogra
- Jalalabad Cantonment , Sylhet
- Jamuna Cantonment , Tangail
- Jessore cantonment
- Kaptai Cantonment , Rangamati
- Khagrachari cantonment
- Kholahati Cantonment , Dinajpur
- Majhira Cantonment , Bogra
- Mirpur Cantonment
- Mymensingh Cantonment
- Padma Cantonment , Madaripur
- Postogola cantonment
- Qadirabad Cantonment , Natore
- Rajendrapur Cantonment , Gazipur
- Rajshahi Cantonment
- Ramu Cantonment , Cox's Bazar
- Rangamati cantonment
- Rangpur Cantonment
- Lalmonirhat cantonment
- Saidpur Cantonment , Nilphamari
- Savar Cantonment
- Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment , Ghatail
- Sheikh Hasina Cantonment , Lebukhali Patuakhali
- Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA), Bhatiari, Chittagong
- School of Infantry and Tactics (SI&T), Jalalabad Cantonment, Sylhet.
- Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSC & SC), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka.
- National Defense College (NDC), Mirpur Cantonment Dhaka
- Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka
- Armored Corps Center and School (ACC & S), Jahangirabad Cantonment, Bogra
- Center of Engineering and School of Military Engineering, Qadirabad Cantonment, Natore
- Signal Training Center and School, Jessore Cantonment, Jessore
- Army Service Corps Center and School, Jahanabad Cantonment, Khulna
- Army Medical Corps Center and School, Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail
- Ordnance Corps Center and School, Rajendrapur Cantonment, Gazipur
- Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT), Rajendrapur Cantonment, Gazipur
- Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Center and School, Saidpur Cantonment, Nilphamari
- Corps of Military Police Center and School, Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail
- Army School of Education and Administration, Shaheed Salahuddin Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail
- Army School of Physical Training and Sports (ASPTS), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka
- Army School of Music, Chittagong Cantonment, Chittagong
- Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka
- Artillery Center and School, Halishahar, Chittagong
- School of Military Intelligence, Mainamati Cantonment, Comilla
- East Bengal Regimental Center , Chittagong Cantonment, Chittagong
- Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Center, Rajshahi Cantonment, Rajshahi
- Non-Commissioned Officers Academy, Majhira Cantonment, Bogra
- Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka
- Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC), Dhaka Cantonment, Dhaka
Future modernization plans
The Bangladesh Army is implementing a long-term modernization plan called Forces Goal 2030 . According to the plan, the army will be divided into three corps namely North, Central and South. Work is underway to set up a river-based brigade at Mithamain in Kishoreganj. According to the government's plan, 97 new units will be added to the army by 2021. Of these, 19 units will be attached to Sylhet cantonment, 22 to Ramu cantonment and 58 to Sheikh Hasina cantonment in Barisal. Some of the infantry battalions and a mechanized battalion Para Battalion transformation is underway. Establishment of two regiments is under consideration.
The Bangladesh Army has launched an ambitious modernization program called the Infantry Soldier System to modernize the infantry . As part of the operation, each infantryman is equipped with night vision goggles , ballistic helmets , eye protection equipment, bulletproof vests, person-to-person communication devices, portable GPS devices and BD-06 rifles with collimator sites. In April 2016, the Bangladesh Army began the process of evaluating the purchase of new assault rifles and submachine guns.
In March 2016, the Army invited tenders for the purchase of 220 anti-tank weapons. The tender shortlisted Russian-made RPG- 6V2 and Chinese-made Type 69-1 anti -tank weapons. In April 2016, the Army issued an assessment notice of guided missiles destroying medium-range tanks.
In November 2016, the evaluation notice of the purchase of light armored vehicles of the army was published.
In September 2016, the Army issued a tender for the purchase of light tanks.
In September 2016, the Army issued a notice evaluating the purchase of 155 mm cannons. In November 2016, the Army began the process of evaluating the purchase of 122mm cannons. In the same month, tenders for the purchase of 105 mm artillery were published. In April 2016, the Army began evaluating the purchase of long-range multiple launch rocket systems . According to the notification, the range of these systems should be 120 to 270 kilometers.
In March 2016, tenders for the purchase of two local warning radars were published. The shortlist includes Groundsmaster 200 from France , TRML 3D / 32 from Germany and Kronos Land Radar from Italy . The military has also issued tenders for the purchase of 161 shoulder-carrying anti-aircraft weapons. Chinese FN-16 , Russian Igla-S and Swedish RBS-70 have been shortlisted for the tender.
The Government of Bangladesh has undertaken a restructuring plan for Army Aviation Group . According to the plan, the name of Army Aviation Group will be changed to Army Aviation and its manpower will be increased from 204 to 604. By 2021, the total number of Army Aviation aircraft will be 27. The Army Aviation Maintenance Workshop with 146 manpower will be restructured and turned into an Army Engineering Workshop with 490 manpower . An aviation directorate will also be set up in the army.
In February 2016, a tender was issued for the purchase of a 30 meter long command ship for use as a command center in the river-based operation of the Bangladesh Army .  The military signed an agreement with Western Marine Shipyard in 2016 to purchase two landing craft tanks . The 8-meter-long ships will be able to carry eight tanks. In January 2016, the Army invited tenders for two Troops Carrying Vessels . These 55 meter long ships will be able to carry 200 troops.Two armies at the same time Landing Craft Tank (LCT) purchase and tender. According to the tender, these ships with a length of 65 to 72 meters should be able to carry 8 tanks. In April 2016, the Army issued tenders for the purchase of two more LCTs with similar features.
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