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Apart from conflicts, the army has conducted large peace time exercises like Operation Brasstacks and Exercise Shoorveer, and it has also been an active participant in numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions including those in: Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia.

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Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Army fought in many other theatres: the Anglo-Burmese Wars, First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, First, Second and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars, First and Second Opium Wars in China, Abyssinia, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.

A Sikh soldier of the 4th Division (the Red Eagles) of the Indian Army, attached to the British Fifth Army in Italy.

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Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position of great honour.

The Indian Army originated from the armies of the East India Company, which eventually became the British Indian Army, and the armies of the princely states, which finally became the national army after independence.Their mission was internal security and defence against a possible Soviet threat through Afghanistan. By the end of the war it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945.As the war progressed, the size and role of the Indian Army expanded dramatically, and troops were sent to battlefronts as soon as possible. Indian units served in Burma, where in 1944–45, five Indian divisions were engaged along with one British and three African divisions. In the African and Middle-Eastern Campaigns, captured Indian troops were given a choice to join the German Army to eventually "liberate" India from Great Britain instead of being sent to POW camps.It is an all-volunteer force and comprises more than 80% of the country's active defence personnel.It is the 2nd largest standing army in the world, with 1,237,117 The army has embarked on an infantry modernisation program known as Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS), and is also upgrading and acquiring new assets for its armoured, artillery and aviation branches.The United Kingdom made promises of self-governance to the Indian National Congress in return for its support but reneged on them after the war, following which the Indian Independence movement gained strength.

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