Patiala, January 30
Brigadier Advitya Madan shared numerous historical and interesting facts about the Patiala state forces, now known as 15 Punjab, during his presentation at the Military Literature Festival, which concluded at Khalsa College here last evening.
He said ‘Rajindra Sikhs’ had tasted blood during the World War-I, well before India gained Independence. “It lived up to its reputation of ‘Har Maidan Fateh’ (every battleground will be captured). In August 1947, the battalion had just returned after six years of bloody fighting in Burma, Java, Sumatra and North West Frontier Province when Maharaja Yadavindra Singh received a telephone call from then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru conveying the earnest request from Maharaja Hari Singh for military intervention by ‘Rajindra Sikhs’ to save the honour of the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Brigadier Madan said.
He added, “The state was being raided by a mix of Pashtun tribes, Razakars and irregulars. As a matter of pride for all Patialvis, the 15 Punjab created an unbeatable record in the Indian Army by being the only battalion, which won eight Maha Vir Chakras, 18 Vir Chakras in one war”, Brigadier Madan said.
He said the 15 Punjab struck fear in the minds of Pakistanis. It was also airlifted to capture Zojila Pass, the only gateway to Ladakh, which was at 11,575 ft above sea level. “Had the unit not captured this strategic pass, we would have lost Leh to the enemy,” he said.
He said the soldiers of Patiala proved to be blue-eyed boys of Army commanders at all levels. “Even Major General Kulwant Singh, the General-Officer-Commanding of the Jammu and Kashmir force, fondly nicknamed the unit as ‘Mobile Patiala’ as it was always on the move,” Brigadier Madan recalled.
Unit was nicknamed ‘Mobile Patiala’
Soldiers of Patiala proved to be blue-eyed boys of Army commanders at all levels. Even Major General Kulwant Singh, GOC of the J&K force, fondly nicknamed the unit as 'Mobile Patiala' as it was always on the move. — Brigadier Advitya Madan
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