Colours: Black on Green
Formed at Salem, Madras, in August 1942, at a time when a Japanese invasion on the Madras coastline was considered highly probably, the 25th (Indian) Division moved to the Arakan in February 1944, under the command of Major-General H. L. Davies, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., and took over from the 36th (Indian) Division in the area of Buthidaung-Maungdaw, being allotted the task of guarding the XV Corps' southern flank.
As soon as the monsoon ended, the 25th, now commanded by Major-General G. N. Wood, O.B.E., M.C., assumed the offensive, the Mayu Peninsula being cleared by the end of December. The Division was now to undertake a series of amphibious operations. On Jan. 3, 1945, it landed unopposed at Akyab and began a long advance southwards. Five days later it took part in landings in the Myebon Peninsula. Advancing inland it was engaged in the protracted struggle for Kangaw.
Fighting continued from Jan. 22 to Feb. 18, the Japanese realizing that Kangaw, lying as it did on the direct supply route and line of retreat of their forces operating farther north, had to be held at all costs. Tanks of the 19th Lancers – the first Indian tanks to take part in a sea landing – did some magnificent work in this area, where the main Japanese escape route from the Arakan was cut.
On Feb. 16, units of the Division landed at Ruywa, which was speedily captured. In March came the seizure of Tamandu, which made a valuable supply base. There was extremely heavy fighting here, and when the mopping-up had been completed the 25th was transferred to India, where it was remustered in the newly-formed XXXIV Corps for the invasion of Malaya. It landed at Port Swettenham, 25 miles S.W. of Kuala Lumpur, after the unconditional surrender of Japan and took part in the rounding-up and disarming of the Japanese forces.