The Glorious History of Indian Navy - Defence News

Mandeep Singh Sajwan
The Glorious History of Indian Navy - Defence News

The history of the Indian Navy can be traced back to the time of 1612 when they defeated the Portuguese. The trouble caused by the pirates in this encounter forced the British East India Company to maintain the small Troop to fight in the water near Surat (Gujarat). 

The first squadron of battleships arrived on 5 September 1612, which was then called up by the Marine Corps of the East India Company. It was responsible for the protection of the East India Company's trade at the Gulf of Khambhat and at the Cusp of the Tapti and Narmada rivers. Officers and personnel of this military force played an important role in the survey of Arabic, Persian and Indian coastlines.

Although Bombay was ceded to the British in 1662, they physically took possession of the island on 8 February 1665, which was taken for handing it over to the East India Company on 27 September 1668. As a result, the East India Company's maritime army also became responsible for the protection of the Trade of Bombay.

By 1686, the name of this force was changed to Bombay Marine, with British commerce mainly shifting to Bombay. This force rendered unique service and clashed not only with the Portuguese, Dutch and French, and also fought with pirates infiltrating various countries. The Bombay Marine participated in the war against the Marathas and the Sindhis and in 1824 also took part in the Burma War.

In 1830, Bombay Marine was renamed Her Majesty's Indian Navy. After the capture of Aden by the British and the establishment of the Indus Flotilla, naval commitments increased manifold and its deployment in the China War in 1840 is sufficient proof of its proficiency.


The strength of the navy continued to grow, despite its name changes over the next few decades. It was named Bombay Marine from 1863 to 1877, after which it became Her Majesty's, Indian Marine. At this time, two divisions of this marine force were made, the Eastern Division located at Calcutta under the Superintendent, the Bay of Bengal and the Western Division at Mumbai under the Superintendent of the Arabian Sea.

Its title was changed to the Royal Indian Marine in 1892, recognizing the services rendered during various expeditions, by which time it had more than 50 ships. During the First World War, when the mines in Bombay and Aden were unearthed in action with a fleet of Royal Indian Marine Ministers, patrol vessels and army carriers, they were mainly patrolled, carried troops and carried to Iraq, Egypt and Used to carry war reserves of East Africa.

The first person commissioned as an Indian was Subedar Lieutenant D.N. Mukherjee who joined the Royal Indian Marine in 1928 as an engineer officer. In 1934, the Royal Indian Marine was reorganized into the Royal Indian Navy, and in 1935 Kings Colors were presented in recognition of their services. As World War II progressed, eight warships were inducted into the Royal Indian Navy. By the end of the war, their number had risen to 117 warships and 30,000 personnel were brought in who were seen carrying out various actions.

At the time of India's independence, the Royal Indian Navy had 11,000 officers and personnel with 32 suitable old ships for coastal patrol. Senior officers were drawn from the Royal Navy, including R Admin, ITS Hall, CIE, being the first Commander-in-Chief after independence. The prefix 'Royal' was removed on 26 January 1950 when India was formed as a republic. 

The first commander-in-chief of the Indian Navy, Admiral Sir Edward Parry, KCB, handed over the administration in 1951 to Admiral Sir Mark Peezy, KBE, CB, DSO. Admiral Peezy also became the first Chief of the Navy in 1955 and was followed by Vice Admiral SH Carlill, CB, DSO.

On April 22, 1958, Vice Admiral RD Katari assumed office as the first Indian Chief of the Navy.

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