Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Indian National Army

The Indian National Army was an auxiliary force to the Japanese Army in its southern mainland campaign during the Second World War. It was created primarily by the recruitment of Indian prisoners of war who, in the course of service in the armed forces of the British Indian Empire, had been captured by Japanese forces.

The Japanese fostered the INA at least as much for its propaganda value in the portrayal of their war aims as anti-colonial, as for the military value of INA forces in the field.

The Indian prisoners recruited to the INA regarded themselves as freedom fighters attempting to liberate their country from imperial rule. The INA was initially founded under, and commanded by, Captain Mohan Singh, but control later passed to Subhas Chandra Bose once he had made the journey from Germany to Japan via the Indian Ocean.

The troops eventually reached India during the course of Japan's conquest of Burma but made no progress after Japan's retreat started in full.

At the conclusion of World War II, the government of British India brought to trial on treason charges some of the captured INA soldiers. The initial trials collapsed in the pre-independence political climate, after which the British Government and the Congress Party leadership tacitly agreed that the existence of the INA was a shared embarrassment which should be forgotten as soon as possible.

See also: