23 LAA Regiment RA, a well established pre-war TA Regiment, arrived in Ceylon from UK in July 1942, under command of AA Command.
In April 1944, the Regiment moved to Secunderabad to join the newly-formed 44th Indian Airborne Division, but it was not until February 1945 that they were finally reorganised and redesignated as 23 Parachute LAA/Anti-Tank Regiment RA. The regiment moved to Bilaspur later in 1945.
23 Regiment had three batteries (numbered as 73, 74 and 130). It was equipped with 20mm Oerlikon light anti-aircraft guns, 6-pounder anti-tank guns and 3-inch mortars, each weapon held on full regimental scales.
The maintainance and operation of three armaments, each with different characteristics, disciplines and training requirements, was an ambitious challenge, not tested in the short lifetime of the Regiment.
In late 1945, when the war with Japan was over, 159 Parachute Light Regiment moved to Malir (in the Sindh Desert, near Karachi) and 23 Regiment followed in early 1946. Following these moves 159 Regiment gave up its 25-pounders, retaining only the light howitzers.
23 Regiment took over the 25-pounder role from 159 Regiment, gave up all the other armaments and was re-titled 158 Parachute Field Regiment RA in early 1946.
Lt Colonel V E de S Le Marchant
Compiled with the assistance of Brigadier Arthur Sisson.Read More
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