Pacheez,<BR>its always good to hear from a non-indian who is aware of the Indian contribution to WW2.<BR>It is unfortunate that the Royal Canadian Legion does not see it your way and requires Sikh veterans to remove their turbans if they seek entry to the Legions Clubs.<BR>They were good enough to fight alongside but not good enough to drink with.<BR>The main reason I will not buy a poppy from them on Remembrance day.<P>admins - if this post is not in keeping with the thread please remove.<P>Shahid,<BR>I just bought a book "The Warrior Saints" - it is about Sikh military history, has a few details/pics of WW1 and WW2 with pics of indian troops, VC winners etc - I don't have a scanner but if I manage to get one I will scan the pics for you.
To those interested in Maps..<P>World War II Maps from the Burma Front..<BR> <A HREF="http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al11.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al11.htm</A> <P>** Checkout the Indian Divisions under Malaya Command.. <A HREF="http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al7.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al7.htm</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al40.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al40.htm</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al41.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al41.htm</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al42.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/dhistorymaps/wWIIPages/wWIIPacific/ww2al42.htm</A> <P><BR>Few Historical Maps..<BR> <A HREF="http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/indo_china_1886.jpg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/indo_china_1886.jpg</A> <BR> <A HREF="http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/birman_empire_1827.jpg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/birman_empire_1827.jpg</A> <P><P>------------------<BR>Jai Bharat
The Field Coys were part of the Madras, Bengal or Bombay Engineers not the Bengal Lancers which were part of the Cavalry/Armoured Corps. <p>[This message has been edited by Mandeep Bajwa (edited 02-07-2001).]
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shahid Zaki:<BR><B>I have just obtained a new book, named 'the Unforgettable Army' gives an extensive review of Indian Army units in Burma theater. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Shahid details please!!<P><BR>
Rupak,<BR>The book's details are as follows:<BR>Title: The Unforgettable Army;<BR>Last published: 1998<BR>ISBN:<BR>1862270503<BR>Author: Michael Hickey.<P>Description: It is about the 14th army (which was majoritily Indian Army) Battle against the japanese forces in Burma and North East India. Has got Battle reviews, Unit actions, exploits of soldiers and much more. <P>Let me konw If you want to have a look, maybe I can mail it you, if you are in the US.<P>Thanks<p>[This message has been edited by Shahid Zaki (edited 01-07-2001).]
Found this inspiring piece<P> <P><B>1st Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifles, Monte Cassino,Martyrdom on Hangman's Hill</B><BR> The Gustav Line was one of the major barriers to an advance by the United States Fifth Army on the western side of the Italian peninsula, and the heavily fortified monastery at Monte Cassino was the chief obstacle in the drive to the Rapido River. All attempts to capture this key feature failed. An Allied aerial bombardment reduced the monastery to rubble, but this actually improved the defensive capability of the place. <P> It was here that the 1/9th [1st Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifles] endured a martyrdom, clinging for sixteen days [starting 17 March] to a position known as Hangman's Hill [Point 435] in the shadow of the monastery. The Germans tried to cut off all communications and supplies, and nearly succeeded. The troops there could only take out their casualties and bring in supplies at night, even then they were under shellfire. An attempt to airdrop supplies was only partially successful; half the containers rolled down the mountain out of reach. Men were killed trying to retrieve them. For a time Hangman's Hill became a focal point for the battle, both sides striving with all their strength for this tiny piece of terrain. <P> The Gurkhas' opponents were the German 1st Parachute Division, which had been described as 'one of the greatest fighting formations ever to take the field'. The Gurkhas were taking daily losses, they were on short rations, and it was obvious that they could not advance. Efforts of a New Zealand corps to relieve them failed. Even so, Gurkha morale remained high. When told that they were going to pull out, some asked, 'But who is going to relieve us?' <P> To effect a withdrawal, every effort was made to deceive the enemy. During the day an airdrop was made. With the help of a rum ration, the last to leave sang and played music while their comrades stole away. Then it was over. Only eight officers and 177 other ranks survived out of nearly a thousand. General Sir Francis Tuker [commanding 4th Indian Division] said of this battle that it 'will go down to history as one of the most stubborn ever fought'. Today, on a giant boulder near Hangman's Hill is carved the badge of the 9th Gurkha Rifles. <P>Source: The Gurkhas. Byron Farwell. Copyright © 1984, Byron Farwell. publ. W W Norton, 1984. pp. 199-201. ISBN 0-393-01773-7. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Shahid Zaki (edited 07-07-2001).]
<B>Battle of Kohima and Gurkha Rifles</B><P> -Elwin Yesca<P> High as you climb up the trendy hills;<BR> You’ll come by a place fancy ville;<BR> Where folks live a life quite and still... <P> Composing this kind of lines is what anyone may just get inspired to write for a poem or song<BR> whenever you reach Kohima, a beautiful hill station and the capital of Nagaland state in northeast<BR> India.<P> It is where the soldiers of the 2nd division of the then British India fought gallantly in the Battle of<BR> Kohima, Imphal Road, in April 1944 during World War II. Consequently, the advance of the Japanese<BR> forces heading towards India was halted by the combined forces consisting of India contingent, Gurkha<BR> Rifles and British soldiers. In the annals of the world war histories, the battle of Kohima is recorded as<BR> the world’s longest distance battle fought between two countries. According to legends, the invasion<BR> would have been successful but the Japanese failed to reinforce their mighty armed forces in time due<BR> to fuel crisis.<P> As a commemoration and citation for the supreme sacrifice made by the officers and men during the<BR> battle, a symbolic war memorial was raised by British Commonwealth. It is located at the heart of the<BR> capital town. Each grave is supported by a bronze plaque with heart touching epitaphs. An inscription<BR> on one monolith inside the memorial reads: “When you go home tell them of us and say for your<BR> tomorrow we gave our today.” This peice is believed to have been written from the battlefield by the<BR> young British officer in a chit to his friend in the headquarters.<P> It is not known why Japan did not construct any war cemetery in memory of their brave soldiers as<BR> well, who laid down their lives fighting for their country. However, there was a proposal in 1977 when<BR> the then foreign minister of Japan visited Kohima to pay homage to the departed soul.<P> In one corner of the cemetery, there are more than 40 rows of graves of men from the Gurkha Rifles.<BR> The cemetery consists of more than 2000 graves and inscriptions of names of dead soldiers on marble<BR> walls.<P> Probably, a few places was given in this world historical place to Gurkha soldiers for their outstanding<BR> courage in the war, for the local legend and history has different sides of tales to tell about their roles<BR> in the war.<P> To begin with, the early birth of Gurkha Rifles took place in the far western Nepal in 1814. Lt. Robert<BR> Ross founded the first Gurkha Rifles from the Malwan Regiment and subsequently second Gurkha<BR> Rifles from the Sirmoor Regiment. For the first time in 1876, they were sent overseas and deployed in<BR> Malaya. Later on, before the outbreak of World War I, the second Gurkha Rifles was sent to Cyprus for<BR> the first time during the Russian - Turkish war.<P> With the advent of World War II, the Japanese marched forward and occupied China Hills and also<BR> captured most of the Indians borders. Meanwhile, the British command was losing control of the fierce<BR> battle in the frontiers. During this time, in 1940, three battalions of Gurkha Rifles were brought from<BR> Nepal and deployed in the frontiers as always against the advancing Japanese forces.<P> The ferocity of the battle was at its peak during this period. On one occasion, a young head constable<BR> of Gurkha Rifles, Gaje Ghale climbed a summit nicknamed Snowdon and single-handedly fought<BR> ferociously with a khukuri and captured the enemy’s position. For this act of valour, he was awarded<BR> the Victoria Cross. The other recipient of this award was Gurkha Rifleman Ganju Lama who intrepidly<BR> blocked two approaching Japanese tanks and destroyed them with a PIAT (project, infantry anti-tank)<BR> machine gun. The Victoria Cross is the most coveted gallantry award in the world. When King George<BR> IV visited Nepal, he announced the Victoria Cross for the first time to Gurkha Rifleman Kulbir Thapa<BR> who fought in the Battle of Laos on September 1915.<P> One famous incident still talked about in Kohima is the ‘Japanese sniper in the Cherry tree’. The<BR> original tree is still standing in the outskirts of Kohima while a tree grown from the shoot of the mother<BR> tree is preserved inside the war memorial.<P> The Japanese sniper had killed dozens of Gurkhas and British soldiers on that fateful day. Sensing<BR> more casualties and in order to save life of his comrades and officers, Rifleman Bhanubhakta Gurung<BR> exposed himself defiantly in the open ground and thus spotted the Japanese sniper who was<BR> eventually shot down from the tree. Furthermore at a second hold-up, again Bhanubhakta clambered<BR> on top of an enemy pill-box and dropped a smoke bomb through the air-hole. As the Japanese crawled<BR> out choking, he cut them down with his khukuri.<P> The war finally came to an end when the allied forces dropped the first atom bomb on Hiroshima and<BR> Nagasaki. Then the majority of Gurkha Rifles were operating in Burma and Assam. Apart from that, the<BR> Gurkhas were also operating in Greece at the end of the war, fighting the communists, and against the<BR> Indonesians during the nationalist uprising. After the war, the death toll of Nepali soldiers alone rose to<BR> more than eleven thousand five hundred men.<P> To this day, more than fifty years after World War II, a number of relatives, like the children of the war<BR> heroes, visit the memorial to pay their homage and tribute. Mostly the relatives come from Nepal, India<BR> and UK.<P> On some graves, the epitaphs read: “A soldier of the 1939-1945 War, known unto God.” At the time of<BR> taking these photographs at the Memorial, I met one Martin Stanford who is fifty nine years old now.<BR> He had come all the way from Scotland for the first time to offer prayers and to pay a last homage to<BR> his late father whom he had never seen ever since he was four years old. Not only this, but to his utter<BR> dismay, he could not spot his father’s grave though the name is listed on the record book at the office.<BR> There may be hundreds like Martin who can’t guess whose dead body is ‘resting in peace’ beneath the<BR> graves where names are not mentioned. Probably because dead bodies of many soldiers could not be<BR> identified. Perhaps deep in their hearts they reckon - “My father was a soldier of the 1945 war, and<BR> after death not known to anyone, but blissfully known unto God only.”
Zaki<BR> Some great posts in this thread.<P>Can you write a piece about the Gorkhas in WW 2 for the BRM or any other topic of your choice?<P>If we have an article in the BRM then the forum members could have a nice reference.<P>Thanks<P>
Dsandhu,<BR>Thanks for your comments, I can cetainly come up with a piece on Gorkha Rifles. I have had the opportunity to visit 14 GORKHA TRAINING CENTER, Sabathu, Himachal Pradesh,this is the home of the 1st and 4th Gorkha Rifles, both truly historic Regiments.
Shahid,<P>Thanks for a great thread. <P>BR members in Singapore - Could any of you please visit the INA Museum there and do a report and post a few pictures. I once saw a tourist marker pointing towards such a museum in the city centre area.<P>Incidentally is there a memorial for the fallen soldiers of INA in India? If so where?<P>Let us not forget that the INA was made up of soldiers of the Indian Army. Any soldier who fought bravely for his country deserves our gratitude and respect. It includes those who fought for the Allies and those who fought under the banner of Azad Hind Fauj.<P>Just my thoughts.<BR>Rajaram
Queen lays foundation for memorial to colonial troops<BR> <A HREF="http://www.rediff.com/us/2001/aug/02uk1.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.rediff.com/us/2001/aug/02uk1.htm</A> <P><BR>About time. Now when will the GoI build a memorial like this? I'm sure now that the <I>phirangi</I>s are doing it, the <I>babus</I> will think it is a good idea too.
An article from the latest sainik samachar<P>A Tribute to the Bravest of the Braves<BR> <BR> <BR> Honorary Captain Gaje Ghale who had won his Victoria Cross at the age of 25 years died on March 28 last at the ripe age of 84 years. He was one of the 31 Victoria Cross winners of the Indian Army of World War II, which was shared by three British, 10 Gorkhas and 18 Indians. He belonged to a battalion of 2/5 Gorkhas, which had set a record of winning three VCs, within a span of one year. They were all won in Burma against the Japanese.<P>Capt Gaje Ghale's battalion was ordered on May 27, 1943 to take part in an assault which was a key enemy position in the Chin Hills. By now a Havildar, he commanded a platoon of 30 Gorkhas. The approach to the Japanese positions was over a knife-edge ridge with precipitous sides bereft of cover. The Japanese were covering this approach with their machine guns and mortars and were to hold it in their classical way of 'last man-last round'. So it was the clash of the Japanese determination against the Gorkha resolve.<P>The platoon moved to its forming up place. And it soon came under heavy mortar fire but Gaje rallied his men and led them forward. In the heavy fire Gaje was wounded in the arm, chest and legs by a grenade but regardless of these wounds and the intense fire, he led his men to close grips and bitter hand-to-hand fighting. Covered in blood, from his neglected wounds, he led assault after assault with the battle cry of 'Ayo Gorkhali'. Led so herocially by this young brave leader, his men stormed and inflicted heavy casualties to the Japanese. He further proved his mettle when he refused to be evacuated until ordered to the medical aid post by an officer.<P>As Gaje climbed up in promotion and rank, he volunteered to fight in all the wars that his battalion fought as part of the Indian Army.<P>As the Subedar Major, I saw him in the Congo exhorting his men against Tsombe's Gendarmes. The battalion again earned laurels there. By 1965, he had been superannuated from the service after a great career of over three decades of war and peace in the country and abroad. The Army, in appreciation of his contribution provided him a government quarter at Almora in Kumaon Hills where he spent most of his retired life. Here too, he took pride in looking after everyone who approached him for help.<P>The local Cantonment Board sought his services in the fading days of his life which he gladly rendered.<P>In 1996, the Congo Brigade celebrated its reunion at Chaubattia. Gaje was a VIP by right, as much as Maj Gen KAS Raja, the first Congo Brigade Commander. It was then I had long chat with him about his legendary life. In one of those moments he said most submissively, "Sahib, I am a small man who by God's grace and human kindness elevated to higher heights than I could ever imagine I would get at". Then he showed me his palms and said, " I had no luck and in all probability I should have died on the day of attack...." I looked at them more interestingly and was delighted to observe that he, in fact , had a crescent on the 'Mount of Jupiter' on his right palm. "You were destined to be great in both life and death," I remarked, with a smile.<P>As a humble man and one of the most gallant people I have known, Gaje leaves a niche in the annals of the history of the Indian Army. The stories of his courage will, of course, continue to resound even after the 'last post'.<BR> <BR>
With the tragedy in New York City, I thought it is appropriate to rememeber the Indians that died in the WTC, they were brave and heroes to their families. <P>Let us remember them and also those who fell in protecting world's freedom in second world war.<P>"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, <BR>For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"
<B>Indian Army Video from WW2 must see</B><BR>Just Click on the link below<BR><A HREF="http://www.westminster-digital.co.uk/realservers/ram?mod/kamal.rm" TARGET=_blank>web page</A>
<B>Indian Navy Video from World War 2 must see</B><BR>Just click on the link below<P><A HREF="http://www.westminster-digital.co.uk/realservers/ram?mod/innavy.rm" TARGET=_blank>web page</A>
we should add BR's own links<BR> IAF in World War Two <A HREF="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1940s/index.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1940s/index.html</A>
Interview with Mahindra Singh Pujji on the BBC web site. Excellent read.<BR> <A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1645000/1645374.stm" TARGET=_blank>http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1645000/1645374.stm</A>
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Raj Kumar:<BR><STRONG>Interview with Mahindra Singh Pujji on the BBC web site. Excellent read.<BR> <A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1645000/1645374.stm" TARGET=_blank>http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1645000/1645374.stm</A></STRONG><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Raj Kumar!<P>MMMahhh Mmmah mmmmahhh...sorry could not resist kissing you for posting such a wonderful link.....<P>Wow...a DFC Winner of the IAF and still alive? (Ofcourse Arjan Singh is alive, isn;t he?) a Treasure of a link.....<P>Mucho gracias...<P>Jagan
Shahid<P>Here is the info you requested about Sikh Li during WW2. Sorry it took that long, my sources in India worked on the Indian Sliding time.<P>The 1st Battalion of Sikh Li was raised at Jullundur on Oct. 1st 1941, 2nd Battalion was raised at Peshawar 1st July 1942, 3rd Battalion was raised at Sialkot on 15 Aug 1942. They were initially named Mazhabi and Ramdasia Sikh Regiment and on 23rd June 1944 were renamed as Sikh LI.<P>!st Sikh Li joined the 17th Div. at Meiktila, Burma front in Feb. 1945. It won the battle honours: Defence of Meiktila, Burma, Rangoon Road, Paybwe and Sittang.<BR>It won the following gallantry awards: 2 DSO's, 1 IOM, 4 MC's, 3 IDSM's and 7 MM's.<P>Hope this helps
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