Indian Army History Thread

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Aditya_V
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 06 Jun 2018 11:10

Considering A&N islands is still very much with India I would say its hogwash, yes Indonasia had plans to seize the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1965 after what everyone expected would be an easy Pakistani victory and the Indian nation would crumble- based on way History was written that was the expected outcome for the world at large.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Aarvee » 07 Jun 2018 06:53

That particular reddit thread is just fiction I think. I used to follow it a while ago for the interesting scenarios but lost interest quickly.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 27 Jun 2018 02:03

Vizag during WWII and Freedom struggle

http://www.visitvizag.in/worldwar2.asp

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ashthor » 30 Jun 2018 17:36

https://swarajyamag.com/magazine/kings- ... tional-men

About a few exceptional men who wore the scars of battle and the rank on their uniforms with the same pride as the titles they inherited.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 23 Aug 2018 07:08


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 23 Aug 2018 07:14


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 14 Sep 2018 11:30

What a career Lt. Gen..M.K. Lahiri had!

https://www.otasurvivalschool.com/about-chandan-lahiri/

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 19 Nov 2018 10:49

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/tribute-dogra-soldiers/

The Dogra in World War 1 - Tribute to Dogra Soldiers

excerpted from the above
Over 2500 Dogra soldiers fought Britain’s war. 76 % of them never returned home. I was glad to see a decorated bus with a collage of Indian soldiers and inscription, “Thank You, 1.4 million Indian Soldiers: The Forgotten Heroes of WWI, ‘India.1914.com”, going around in London streets to commemorate their glory. Wish similar gesture was displayed in Jammu. British had less forces in East African theatre as compared to Germany and they made a demand on the State Forces. Maharaja Pratap Singh offered 3 Battalions (Bns) and a Mountain Battery (Mtn Bty). British immediately requisitioned them. Maharaja deputed 2 Kashmir Rifles (KR) commanded by Lt Col Raghubir Singh and 3 KR commanded by Lt Col Durga Singh. 2 KR had 50 % Muslims and the rest were Gorkhas. 3 KR had 50 % Dogras and 50 % Gorkhas. A Troop of J&K Horsed Cavalry under Jem, later Maj Hazra Singh, and 1 Mtn Bty also formed part of the Dogra Contingent. Later 1st KR and two Troops of Kashmir Imperial Lancers were dispatched to Egypt in February 1915. Over 2500 rank and file took part in the 1st world war out of which 76 % laid down their lives for their coloniser. They won lot of battle honours and individual gallantry awards. With that casualty rate and awards, valour of J&K State Forces deserve a mention in the media no matter they fought someone else’s war.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Karthik S » 19 Nov 2018 10:59

Yesterday was the anniversary of Battle at Rezang La.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rezang_La#Military_action

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby SBajwa » 07 Dec 2018 01:55

How accurate is this movie about 1967 encounter with China


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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 23 Jan 2019 20:45

When VP Menon cornored a British General
November 5, 2013,

LK Advani in LK Advani's Blog

Last month, I wrote a blog titled: Dr. Munshi’s Historic Letter to Pandit Nehru.

In the Tailpiece to this blog I had recalled what I had read in a recent Pioneer report that Panditji wanted to refer the Hyderabad issue also to the U.N. Security Council and he had strongly disapproved of Sardar Patel’s decision to send the army into Hyderabad.

The Pioneer report was based on a book written by an IAS officer, one MKK Nair. In my blog relating to Dr. Munshi’s letter, I had said that I have been desperately searching for the book on which the news report was based, but I have not been able to locate it at any bookstore or even in any library. Shri Chandan Mitra, Pioneer Editor also had been unable to get it for me. Through this blog, I appealed to all my readers that I would feel “greatly indebted” to whosoever can procure the book for me. I also asked a senior leader of the Kerala BJP, and a former Parliamentary colleague of mine, Shri O. Rajagopal, to try to locate the book.

I am very happy that these efforts have borne fruit, thanks particularly to Rajagopalji. It appears that the book had been written in Malayalam. The news item in the Pioneer was based on that. The book was in the process of being translated into English. The translator, Shri Gopakumar, has now addressed a letter to me, and along with the letter sent me a copy of the translated manuscript which he writes would be published by the publishers soon after appropriate editing.

Going through the relevant portions of the book, I find that the cabinet meeting which occasioned a sharp exchange between Nehru and Patel on the Hyderabad issue took place shortly before the so called ‘police action’ actually took place in 1948. This was also a phase when Lord Mountbatten had left for London, and Rajaji had become Governor General.

What follows in MKK Nair’s book is an episode which casts a serious reflection on some British army officials hostile to India. Instead of paraphrasing this episode, or giving just its summary, let me put on record what Nair has exactly said in his book titled “The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will”.

Nair writes:

“On April 30, 1948, Indian Army withdrew fully from Hyderabad. After that, Rizvi and the Razakars began to behave licentiously all over the state. Mountbatten had left and Rajaji was the Governor General. Nehru, Rajaji and Patel were all aware of the dangerous situation prevailing in Hyderabad. Patel believed that the army should be sent to put an end to the Nizam’s wantonness. At about that time, the Nizam had sent an emissary to Pakistan and transferred a large sum of money from his Government account in London to Pakistan. At a cabinet meeting, Patel had described these things and demanded that army be sent to end the terror-regime in Hyderabad. Nehru who usually spoke calmly, peacefully and with international etiquette, spoke losing his composure, ‘You are a total communalist. I will never accept your recommendation.”

Patel remained unperturbed but left the room with his papers.

The situation in Hyderabad worsened day by day. Rajaji wanted to find a solution to the basic issue and also conciliate between Nehru and Patel. He called V P Menon and talked to him. VP let Rajaji know that the army was being kept battle-ready and could be asked to attack at any time. Rajaji invited Nehru and Patel to come to Rashtrapati Bhavan (then the Governor General’s house) next day. V P Menon was also asked to be present. As V P Menon was on his way to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the meeting, an ICS officer named Butch (from the State Home Ministry who had conducted discussions for integration of Travancore and Kochi) stopped him and handed over a letter. It was from the British High Commissioner and protested the rape of seventy year old nuns of a convent two days earlier by Razakars. V P Menon handed over the letter to Rajaji when he reached for the meeting.

The meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan began after Nehru and Patel arrived. Rajaji in his typical style described the situation in Hyderabad. He felt that, to safeguard India’s reputation, a decision should not be delayed any longer. Nehru was concerned about international repercussions. Rajaji then played his trump card – the letter from the British High Commissioner. Nehru read it. His face turned red and veins bulged on his bald head. Anger choked his words. He shot out of his chair, slammed his fist on the table and cried out, ‘Let’s not waste a moment. We’ll teach them a lesson.’

Rajaji immediately told V P Menon, ‘VP, inform the Commander in-Chief to proceed according to the plan’

VP conveyed the order to General Busher. Nehru sat with his head in his hands. He drank tea and remained silent. Rajaji smiled and said: ‘If it is cancer, it has to be removed, even if it is painful.’

VP Menon returned to his office after the meeting and quickly planned the things to be done. The Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan was also an Englishman who nursed feelings of enmity with Indian leaders. When Busher took over from General Lockhart as Commander in-Chief, he had sworn allegiance to India in God’s name. Soon after Busher heard from V P Menon, he instructed Rajendra Singh who asked General Choudhary to begin military action at three next morning. At seven that evening, Busher contacted Karachi and spoke with his counterpart there. The conversation was in French.

Next morning at ten, V P Menon walked into Busher’s room. Assuming that he had come for details of the Hyderabad action, Busher brought him up to date with its progress. VP then said, ‘I know all that. I have come for something else. Did you speak with Pakistan’s Commander in-Chief yesterday evening.’ Hearing this, Busher’s face went pale.

“VP, are you saying that we friends cannot speak with each other?”

“Was that a friendly conversation?”

“Do you doubt it?”

“Why did you speak in French?”

“Have you started tapping telephones?”

“Shouldn’t we if circumstances warrant? Was it really a friendly chat?’

“Of course!”

VP Menon took out a document and gave it to Busher. It was the transcript of the previous evening’s conversation and an English translation which read:

Busher: Attack on Hyderabad begins tonight. Will not last many days. If you must do anything, do so right away.

Pakistan C-in-C: Thanks. Shall inform Liaquat Ali. Jinnah is on his deathbed.

Busher: After I do my duty, I shall be in your hands.’

Busher who had pretended to be offended by telephone-tapping was sweating now. He looked sorrowfully at V P Menon and said, ‘What should I do, VP? I have made a mistake. I am sorry.’

V P Menon asked him, ‘Did you not swear allegiance to India in the name of God, with your hand on the Bible?’

Busher: ‘VP, please save me. I am willing to atone for what I have done. Don’t humiliate me. Help me for our old friendship.’

V P Menon obtained a letter from Busher that read, ‘I resign on personal and health grounds. Please accept it immediately’ and left. General Cariappa was then given charge of the Indian Army
.

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby ArjunPandit » 23 Jan 2019 21:00

^^this should not come as a surprise, given the entire Gilgit baltistan episode was instigated by the brishits.

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby arshyam » 23 Jan 2019 22:14

That guy should have been been court martialled and stripped of his rank, with a corresponding jail term right here in India. Price for treachery. By making him just resign, he probably went back home to a comfortable pension.

On the other hand, our government refused to reinstate any soldier from the INA as they had deserted the Army earlier. A far less crime of conscience than that of these gora traitors.

Any idea what happened to this guy?

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby sudeepj » 23 Jan 2019 22:49

The meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan began after Nehru and Patel arrived. Rajaji in his typical style described the situation in Hyderabad. He felt that, to safeguard India’s reputation, a decision should not be delayed any longer. Nehru was concerned about international repercussions. Rajaji then played his trump card – the letter from the British High Commissioner. Nehru read it. His face turned red and veins bulged on his bald head. Anger choked his words. He shot out of his chair, slammed his fist on the table and cried out, ‘Let’s not waste a moment. We’ll teach them a lesson.’


So the murders of 50,000 Indians and no doubt, the rapes of thousands of Hindu women were not enough to move Nehru the great and weigh the scales. It took the rapes of a few Englis nuns. :lol: :|

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby arshyam » 23 Jan 2019 23:00

Being the last Englishman to rule India, why is it surprising?

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 23 Jan 2019 23:35

arshyam wrote:That guy should have been been court martialled and stripped of his rank, with a corresponding jail term right here in India. Price for treachery. By making him just resign, he probably went back home to a comfortable pension.

On the other hand, our government refused to reinstate any soldier from the INA as they had deserted the Army earlier. A far less crime of conscience than that of these gora traitors.

Any idea what happened to this guy?


The offence was treason.

He would have been cashiered and sent out in disgrace.

his best option thereafter would have been to put a gun to his mouth.

no general could have survived a proven charge of treason without taking matters into his own hands.

yindoos are forgiving onlee.

the pakis would have skewered him then and there, immediate arrest followed by a very short court martial.

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Re: Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

Postby Singha » 23 Jan 2019 23:46

I checked his wiki
He retired as a honorary general and must have got a good pkg

He was armchair general and never saw combat
Hence a ideal banditji certified candidate for coas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Bucher

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 24 Jan 2019 05:38

Thank you chetak for posting this.

Gaddari Ki Saza, Maut Hai - Major Gaurav Arya (retd).

And this picture was taken at Roy Bucher's retirement send off. I will never call him General again. He does not deserve that title.

I got that picture from this link, which has some very interesting info ---> http://normanby.info/bucher.htm

General Sir Roy Bucher (the outgoing C-in-C) and Lady Bucher at Government House, New Delhi, when they lunched with his Excellency, Shri. C. Rajagopalachari, and the new Commander-in-Chief, General K. M. Cariappa.

Image

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby chetak » 26 Jan 2019 03:28

x posted from the Indian Army thread


The Sikh Regiment, the most highly decorated Regiment of the Indian Army, is the only one that salutes twice on Republic Day: Once to the President of India, and once at Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib to honor Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, who was beheaded at that spot by Aurangzeb.

Jai Hind!



Image

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 26 Jan 2019 19:28

Time to Award Bharat Ratna to Sam Manekshaw
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/time ... manekshaw/

By Ganapathy Vanchinathan - Senior Fellow at CLAWS

29 June 2015

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby JayS » 27 Jan 2019 02:58

I remember when Manekshaw died, no senior mantri, Officer from GOI, PM, President attended his funeral. Even all the three Chiefs skipped, not even IA Chief attended funeral of the Field Marshel. When he was alive he had to face issues with pension and all for years. Such is the treatment we give to one of the highest decorated Soldiers, the topmost officer and a War Hero.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Suresh S » 28 Jan 2019 01:29

Ever since the day general Sam bahadur died there is pain in my heart. The disrespect shown to one of India,s great sons is Disgusting. In my book General manekshaw must be given a proper buriel deserving of a great son of India with everyone including the three chiefs and Prime Minister and his cabinet present .He must be given the Bharat Ratna, for once to a man that actually deserves it.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 29 Jan 2019 17:02

www.ourstory.info/library/4-ww2/Tiger/t ... l0k3_42eOM

link to history of ops conducted by the fourth, eighth and tenth Indian Divisions during WW2

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 01 Feb 2019 04:42

https://twitter.com/Prodef_blr/status/1 ... 1444968453 ---> Remembering Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, the first Commander in Chief of Independent India on his birthday today. He was born on 28 January 1899.

Image

https://twitter.com/rashtrapatibhvn/sta ... 3302894593 ---> Being handed the Field Marshal’s baton (bottom photo). Only a Field Marshal/five star general carries a baton and salutes with his baton.

Image

Image

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Prem » 26 Feb 2019 03:55


vsunder
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vsunder » 08 Apr 2019 07:27

wig wrote:http://www.ourstory.info/library/4-ww2/Tiger/triumphsTC.html?fbclid=IwAR31xGSAfA5xKchwLWHugisd2z8EBOOu1yIVFzwntDuHQM-gdl0k3_42eOM

link to history of ops conducted by the fourth, eighth and tenth Indian Divisions during WW2


The very books that you see on this link now belong to me. A convoluted story. Years ago I took them along and had a merry evening with Shiv looking at the pics and stories.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vsunder » 08 Apr 2019 07:33

Yesterday, April 6th was the 75th anniversary of the start of the battle of Kohima that raged till June 1944. Our Paras were bloodied for the first time in the curtain raiser at Sanghshak which helped in giving time to shore up a bit the defences at Kohima. The anniversary was marked by a somber and tasteful ceremony which was attended by both the British and Japanese ambassador's to India and a few of the veterans both Japanese and Allies who are still living. The words over the battlefield are very poignant and transcends all esp. in this troubled time that the country faces. It is a sort of paraphrase of the words of King Leonidas of the Spartans as he prepared to take on the Persians at Thermopylae, the words at Kohima read:

And when you go back tell them of us

For your tomorrow, we gave our today.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3MD4mkmoIc

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vsunder » 10 Apr 2019 20:12

A Phd Thesis (2007) by Michael John Creese at the University of Leicester titled "Swords Trembling in their Scabbards" A study of Indian officers in Cavalry regiments of the Indian Army 1868-1918. A study is made of 4 officers.

https://lra.le.ac.uk/bitstream/2381/863 ... emjphd.pdf

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 10 Apr 2019 20:36

vsunder, Thanks for that.

I had chance to visit the Royal Horse Guards Museum in London and go to see their descendants.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 17 Apr 2019 01:57

vsunder, shiv et al.
A veritable treasure:

India's Wars Since Independence Vol 2

Maj. Gen(R) Sukhwant Singh

Hope to find all the volumes.

In 1998 I used to have these 3 volumes near my night stand till some one borrowed and never returned.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby sidp » 21 Apr 2019 08:58

Recently read the book “MISSION OVERSEAS: DARING OPERATIONS BY THE INDIAN MILITARY” by Sushant Singh. The book has a very detailed account of Operation Pawan, the infamous heliborne attack on Jaffna University to capture or kill the LTTE leadership in which 27 members of 13 Sikh LI were martyred. It has firsthand accounts of 10 para officers which includes Major Sheonan Singh which I have never found in any other books related to IPKF operations. The four MI-8 helicopters earmarked for the operation were stripped off their rocket pods so that they can carry more men and materials and they were not expecting heavy resistance due to bad intelligence. But when they did encounter heavy firing from the LTTE from the university roof tops and drop mission was aborted halfway, instead of leaving the soldiers on the ground on their own, I wonder why didn’t the MI-8s were re-equipped with rockets pods and sent back to raze the buildings from where the fire was coming? I know out of four two helicopters were pretty badly damaged, but we still had two more. Was it maybe we didn’t want to raze a university building to avoid bad publicity? From the book it is pretty evident that there was severe shortage of good leadership at the regular infantry level. Unnecessary ignorance towards the capabilities of LTTE fighters and lack of care shown towards our own foot soldiers by army higher ups definitely contributed to the higher casualty numbers.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 03 May 2019 19:30

Lt. Gen. HANUT SINGH- A PERSONAL TRIBUTE
By Maroof Raza

In April this year, Lt. General Hanut Singh ascended to the heavens. And since then, my mail box - like that of so many others in the serving and retired military fraternity – has been flooded with emails about the man, who had acquired a legendary standing in the Indian army. I cannot recall any General, other than Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw, who received the kind of adulation and respect that General Hanut has received. Many in the younger generation of officers may not have even heard of him. But for those who knew him, he was truly a man apart. A professional to the core, and an officer who feared neither his enemies nor his superiors; he simply had no equal in the army. He received fierce loyalty from those who served under him, specially so for his magical feel for military operations and the battlefield, but was scorned and reviled by lesser, even near incompetent cohort of big-talking cavalry generals, whom he chose to ignore.


Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh is perhaps the first officer, in independent India, to live and eventually die like a sanyasi. He passed away, while he sat erect in meditative dhyan, and was cremated in that position too! Amongst today's generation of officers he is perhaps less known because the likes of him aren’t encouraged in an army where few are allowed to stand up for their professional and personal beliefs; but instead are required to say and do all the right things to rise up the professional ladder. Those who admired him were unable to emulate him and therefore Hanut Singh's conduct and style of command will remain an enigma. And for those of us who knew about the General and served during his time, he clearly stood apart.
Tall and lean with piercing eyes and an impressive moustache, Hanut Singh came from Jasol, near Jodhpur in Rajasthan, from a family of Cavalry Officers. A product of Colonel Brown’s school, JSW and IMA, he chose to join the Poona Horse, and eventually became its most iconic officer. From his youngest days he was totally committed to life in the Army and at some stage took to meditation for long hours every day. He spent, from what we know, very little time if at all, in frivolous activities that was part of peace time soldiering in the army. Instead, when not undertaking professional and regimental duties, he would either immerse himself in reading books on matters military or pray and meditate to enhance his spiritual quotient. His professional skills ensured his steady rise in rank, and his moral standing inspired all. But, perhaps his most memorable professional moment came during the1971 war, when he was in command of the Poona Horse during the battle of Basantar. In so many ways, he had prepared himself and his Regiment, for this moment, all his life.


As the battle began and Hanut apparently became irritated by the constant needling by his brigade commander, and so shut off radio communication with him, to concentrate on the battle in front. At some stage thereafter, the leading tanks of Poona Horse, hit a mine field (in one of which was, 2/Lt Arun Khetrapal, who eventually earned the PVC). Legend has it that, having received the contact report of the action being taken by his leading tanks, Lt.Col Hanut Singh apparently ordered on the radio set of his Regimental net, that there would be no transmissions until he would revert with instructions. As the battle ensued, Hanut Singh apparently meditated in his tank to seek Divine intervention. Some 10-15 minutes later, he came back on the radio net and announced that all his tanks should follow him – by looking out for the blinkers at the rear of his tank- as he lead the way through the minefield. It is said, Hanut Singh and his Regiment went through the minefield, without any casualties. Once on the other side they engaged in battle with Pakistani tanks, and in the words of one historian, he "demoralized and then demolished the opposition". Poona Horse was bestowed the title of ‘Fakr-e-Hind’ from its Pakistani opponents, and Lt.Col Hanut Singh, the Mahavir Chakra.


But there is a story to his MVC, as well. True to his style, he first refused the award, and only relented to accept his MVC, when the army’s brass hats pleaded that he accept his MVC, since his brigade commander – who wasn’t quite in the thick of action – had managed to get a bar to his MVC in the 1971 war. In fact, amongst those who know, this same brigadier, had also claimed credit for his role his role in the Battle of Chakra, that was purely an infantry operation. In reality, he and his tanks reached the site after Chakra had been captured! But unlike him, Hanut Singh refused to wear his MVC – apparently even his official portrait at Ahmadnagar, doesn’t have the MVC on his chest – and when asked by a Chief in one his postings at Army headquarters ( at MO Directorate), why he wasn’t wearing his MVC, he apparently replied: “ since there are many contestable MVCs around, I prefer not to wear mine, Sir’.


My exposure to the legend of Hanut Singh happened by chance, in the autumn of 1984, when I had the opportunity to visit the Officer’s mess of the Poona Horse, (with my good friend and his nephew, then Capt. Shambhoo Deora of 10 Para). As I was looking around with curiosity at their large collection that told of this Regiment’s glorious past, I chanced upon a momento that Hanut Singh had left for the Regiment. And three decades later, I can still recall that it was a hand rising above a flame, and inscribed below it were these words: “This hand symbolizes for me as the hand of Brahama in the Abhyam Mudra, reminding Poona Horsemen of his eternal promise, that when I am there besides you, then what is there to fear." Below that were the words, “presented by Lt Col. Hanut Singh on relinquishing command, 1973”. (This is written from purely from my memory so I may be forgiven by Poona Horsemen for transcribing). But as that memento and what was inscribed on it, had a huge impact on me, I began to inquire about the ‘legend that was Hanut Singh’.


As luck would have it, a few days later, I had my first interaction with Lt. General Hanut Singh at the Pokhran field firing ranges ahead of Jodhpur, when I was at short notice, asked to guide him – as he drove down from the Pokhran helipad – to witness the field firing of my brigade. Having heard so much about the man, I was very keen to see him in person, as I stood on that narrow and desolate road with wide stretches of desert sand all around under a kikar tree ! Soon at a distance I saw one solitary Jonga approaching me, with a flag and a star plate. As the Jonga neared I waived it to a stop, and smartly saluted the general, then GoC 2 Corps. I then requested him to follow me, which he did, apparently with a smile. But being a master at tank gunnery, he wasn’t happy with what he saw. And hours later when he left the range, he had left many military reputations shattered.
General Hanut rose in rank even though he abhorred the culture of sycophancy that had taken roots in the Indian Army. He commanded all the key mechanised formations – 14 (Indep) Armoured Brigade, 1 Armoured Div, and 2 Corps – though he was denied the command of an army (and perhaps even the chance to be chief). Instead he was appointed Commandant of the Armoured Corps School (ACC&S), at Ahmednagar. Here he devoted his professional skills in shaping the doctrines that continue to hold relevance for tank warfare for the Indian army, even now. And it was at Ahmednagar, in 1990, that I finally had the occasion to get to know the General – perhaps India’s greatest tank commander - a little more, at a brief stint I had at the MIRC.


One evening, as I sat reading a magazine in the Mess, I was informed that two officers had come looking for me. It turned out, that they were then Captain Nar Singh, a classmate from school and of the Poona Horse, and Captain Shamboo Singh of 10 Para who was General Hanut's nephew. We soon decided to step out for dinner. And as I not met them for long I was engrossed in conversation with them, until I suddenly saw that our vehicle was entering the house of the Commandant ACCS. Taken aback, I asked what were we going in there for, and I was told, that dinner was to be there. Clearly I hadn't quite prepared myself for this surprise. What was even more surprising for me, was to see General Hanut sitting in an all white attire – long kurta and a dhoti - with a string of beads around his neck, and a white shawl on his shoulders, looking every bit a sanyasi that he was, when not in uniform. Behind him was a large oil painting of a cavalry charge.


I was introduced to the General, and was informed that I was soon heading to London for higher studies. The General then asked "why to England, Raza?" To this question, I replied that I had always wanted to study in England and now having completed the JC course, I had the time before the next mandatory course (perhaps the SC course), that I would have to possibly attend. And then, I just went on to add, that: “I want to equip myself with qualifications that could assist me to find a job once I would be sacked from the army". This caught everyone by surprise. But General Hanut just smiled and asked, “…and why would you be sacked Raza?”. To which I responded as a matter of fact, that, “as I was increasingly finding it difficult to respect many of the senior officers under whom I was being asked to serve, I knew I would soon be shown the door by the army.” The left everyone in the room stunned. A short silence followed. But then General Hanut smiled and said to me "I like you Raza. At least somebody speaks the truth".


From then on, I was in my elements. We began to talk about books, as dinner was being laid, and somehow the conversation shifted to David Niven’s “The Moon’s a Baloon”. I think I was reading it those days. And to my surprise, the General had read it too, and he even quoted some amusing parts from it, like the one about Niven’s senior subaltern and the ‘dipsomaniacs delight’. And when I went off to England, the General and I used to exchange handwritten letters for a while. Among other things, he was a wild life enthusiast. And at his request, I had sent him a documentary on the Indian tiger by Arjun Singh. This was delivered to the Delhi home of Mr Jaswant Singh, his cousin, and an equally iconic figure, a soldier, scholar and an eminent politician.

I lost touch with the General after he retired to his cottage near Dehradun, and to a life of a hermit. It was here that he lived most of his final years, a life of prayer and piety, till his last day. In his passing away, I salute him and his memory.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Karan M » 03 May 2019 23:27

What an epic tribute to General Hanut Singh.

Much respect for the straight talking Major Maroof Raza as well. Always liked the man.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 04 May 2019 00:13

Wow, I too read David Niven's biography Moon is a Balloon about the same time!!!!
The interesting part is everyone knows Niven as a Hollywood comedy actor but he was also a Sandhurst graduate and went back to rejoin the British Army during WWII.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Karan M » 04 May 2019 03:38

I thought it was common knowledge he was a veteran?

In Guns of Navarone (brilliant movie btw) he plays a sapper.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 07 May 2019 04:08

When the book came out!!!
No wiki then.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Karan M » 07 May 2019 04:24

I saw the movie first, then read the book. I still remember the movie, vivid as day. The movie was re-released in India sometime in the 80s. The churning sea, the climb, the injured captain, every scene was a masterpiece and the actors were a class apart. I read about David Niven in some book about movies in my city's British Library. Speaking of the book, Mc Leans best I think was HMS Ulysses.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 09 May 2019 22:16


Ranj_K
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Ranj_K » 13 May 2019 12:38

vsunder wrote:Yesterday, April 6th was the 75th anniversary of the start of the battle of Kohima that raged till June 1944. Our Paras were bloodied for the first time in the curtain raiser at Sanghshak which helped in giving time to shore up a bit the defences at Kohima. The anniversary was marked by a somber and tasteful ceremony which was attended by both the British and Japanese ambassador's to India and a few of the veterans both Japanese and Allies who are still living. The words over the battlefield are very poignant and transcends all esp. in this troubled time that the country faces. It is a sort of paraphrase of the words of King Leonidas of the Spartans as he prepared to take on the Persians at Thermopylae, the words at Kohima read:
I was reading about this battle and was interested to see that members of the Royal Nepal army also took part .
And when you go back tell them of us

For your tomorrow, we gave our today.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3MD4mkmoIc

Ranj_K
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Ranj_K » 13 May 2019 12:41

vsunder wrote:Yesterday, April 6th was the 75th anniversary of the start of the battle of Kohima that raged till June 1944. Our Paras were bloodied for the first time in the curtain raiser at Sanghshak which helped in giving time to shore up a bit the defences at Kohima. The anniversary was marked by a somber and tasteful ceremony which was attended by both the British and Japanese ambassador's to India and a few of the veterans both Japanese and Allies who are still living. The words over the battlefield are very poignant and transcends all esp. in this troubled time that the country faces. It is a sort of paraphrase of the words of King Leonidas of the Spartans as he prepared to take on the Persians at Thermopylae, the words at Kohima read:

And when you go back tell them of us

For your tomorrow, we gave our today.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3MD4mkmoIc

The royal Nepal army also took part.


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