Ramgarh Training Center file photo [24034]

Ramgarh Training Center

Type   91 Army Base
Historical Name of Location   Ramgarh, Bengal Presidency, India
Coordinates   23.635515970, 85.503592868


ww2dbaseThe camp that would later become the Ramgarh Training Center in Bengal Presidency (now state of Jharkhand), India was originally a prisoner of war camp for Germans and Italians captured by British and Commonwealth troops in North Africa. Ramgarh accessible by rail from the river port of Calcutta (now Kolkata). In early 1942, as Burma became overrun by the Japanese, 9,000 men of Chinese 5th Army fled into India alongside of their British allies; the number was consisted of about 5,000 from Chinese 38th Division under Sun Liren, 2,500 from 22nd Division under Liao Yiaoxiang, 1,200 from 5th Corps also under Liao Yiaoxiang, and smaller numbers from 28th Division, 96th Division, and 200th Division. Ramgarh was selected in Jun 1942 as the new base for these Chinese troops, who were now collectively named "X Force". Although the Chinese had by this time almost five years of fighting experience under their belt, the Japanese having escalated the Sino-Japanese conflict into a full scale war in Jul 1937, most Chinese troops were conscripts who received little or no training. Thus, Ramgarh was immediately defined as a training camp for these survivors of Chinese 5th Army. By the end of Jun 1942, the first of the US Army instructor arrived; the first of the Chinese arrived in the following month by rail. In addition to instructors, the United States would also provide radios, rifles, artillery pieces, tanks, and trucks. Meanwhile, the British provided the large amount of food that this training center would require, and the funding to pay the wages of the Chinese soldiers. The first of the trained units, of 38th Division, returned to the front lines in Apr 1943, followed by units of 22nd Division in Sep 1943; they would play a part in the opening of the Ledo Road supply route. As space at the training center was freed up, units of Chinese 30th Division began to be brought in in Jul 1943. By the end of 1943, the center would turn out 5,368 officers and 48,125 men. Ramgarh would leave the legacy as the first US-manned military training center outside of the United States, and would remain the only one until another training center was established in Kunming, Yunnan Province in southern China later in the war.

ww2dbaseSource: Ramgarh Training Center

Last Major Update: Mar 2014

Ramgarh Training Center Interactive Map


Chinese troops marching in Ramgarh, India, 1943Sun Li-jen inspecting troop training, Ramgarh, India, date unknownHe Yingqin inspecting a suspension bridge built by trainees at Ramgarh Training Center, India, Feb 1943Sun Li-jen addressing Ramgarh Training Center graduates about to return to the front lines, circa mid-1943
See all 9 photographs of Ramgarh Training Center

Ramgarh Training Center Timeline

27 Jun 1942 The first two of many US Army instructors for the newly established Ramgarh Training Center in India arrived.
30 Jun 1942 Brigadier General Frederick McCabe arrived at Ramgarh Training Center, India.
17 Jul 1942 Chinese 38th Division under Sun Liren arrived at Ramgarh Training Center, India.
3 Aug 1942 The first training course, an artillery class, began at Ramgarh Training Center, India.
4 Aug 1942 The first infantry training course began at Ramgarh Training Center, India.
26 Aug 1942 The official General Order No. 1 establishing Ramgarh Training Center in India was issued, although courses had already began on 3 Aug 1942.
15 Sep 1942 General Order No. 4 issued at Ramgarh Training Center in India established a headquarters, a headquarters detachment, an infantry section, an artillery section, and a Chinese language section.
1 Nov 1942 The first tents were erected in what was to become the "Tent City" to augment the barracks at Ramgarh Training Center.
23 Nov 1942 The "Riverside" tent area was set up 5 miles west of Ramgarh Training Center in India to house the inflow of troops.
25 Nov 1942 Ramgarh Trainin Center in India established a special units section; it was to absorb the previously established Chinese language section.
4 Jul 1943 The first of Chinese 30th Division began to arrive at Ramgarh Training Center in India.
1 Oct 1943 A Chinese heavy mortar regiment arrived at Ramgarh Training Center in India for training. Additionally, Chinese 1st Provisional Tank Group was formed at Ramgarh under the command of US Army Colonel Rothwell Brown; it consisted of 1,800 Chinese officers and men and 231 US officers and men, operating between 100 to 125 US-built M3A3 Stuart light tanks.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. WA Earnest says:
25 May 2015 06:37:04 PM

My father served at Ramgarh with the American contingent during WW2. Would love to connect with others with this connection.
2. Hank says:
10 Jun 2015 12:14:14 PM

My Dad was there and served with the 1st Chinese-American Tank Group when they went back into Burma.
3. Mitzi says:
8 Oct 2016 07:13:45 AM

My dad was an instructor at Ramgarh. Mitziss@ yahoo.com
4. Anonymous says:
11 Nov 2016 11:13:04 AM

my father was instructing Chinese troops in the automotive section of Ramgarh.
5. Tom says:
24 May 2017 07:23:21 PM

My dad was an armor instructor there. He went with the Chinese on the Ledo/Stilwell road. He wore out his clothing and returned to a HQ somewhere wearing a Chinese uniform. I want to vist the camp and travel on the road if possible.
6. Anonymous says:
24 Jul 2018 03:59:53 AM

My mother remembers Italian prisoners of war in the camp singing as they went off to work but sadly at 90she can’t remember the song can anyone help?
7. Mitzi says:
4 Jan 2019 09:55:34 PM

My dad was also an instructor there.
8. Anonymous says:
23 Apr 2019 09:35:05 AM

I have a war Diary written by an Italian soldier wich was imprisoned there.
9. donald hurwitz says:
14 Mar 2020 10:23:50 AM

10. Biggie says:
11 Nov 2020 11:21:27 AM

I have a helmet that came from this training center, with the name "J Smith" on the inside. Is there any way I can find personnel records for this place?
11. Lyn C Kirksey says:
13 Feb 2021 02:38:26 PM

My father William H. Kirksey served in the CBI theater in the rifle division training Chinese troops since he was able to speak one of the Chinese dialects. I don't remember which one. They also published a book about the base called Ramgarh " Now It Can Be Told ". I am not sure you can even find one anymore.
12. Brian Sanders says:
15 Dec 2021 03:34:46 PM

My father Francis J Sanders has the Ramgarh label pin. He must have been a trainer. I think it was light mortar. He was then attached to the Merrills marauders. I thought he should have been eligible for the Bronze star. I'm hoping he will be eligible for the Congregational gold medal bring awarded to the Merrills marauders. God bless all the heroes of CBI.
13. Walt Earnest says:
9 Sep 2022 08:24:10 PM

I have a copy of the Ramgahr book…Now It Can Be Told. My Dad served in General Bergen’s office as Staff Sergeant from 42-45.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Ramgarh, Bengal Presidency, India
Lat/Long 23.6355, 85.5036
Ramgarh Training Center Photo Gallery
Chinese troops marching in Ramgarh, India, 1943
See all 9 photographs of Ramgarh Training Center

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