Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Indian Military Might & Operation Vijay

 


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Indian Military Might & Operation Vijay

India last saw action in Kargil heights. In the summer of 1999, as snow began to melt in the Kargil heights, local shepherds reported presence of intruders deep inside Indian territory, in the strategic positions that overlooked the only road link between Srinagar and Leh. The intruders had occupied fortified posts, many of them routinely vacated by the Indian Army during winter, as they have been doing over the years. The intruders had artillery cover from Pakistan Army positions in the rear.....

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‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ This evocative epitaph is enshrined on the Kohima war memorial in Nagaland, built to commemorate soldiers of the empire who laid down their lives to repel Japanese assault in 1944 during World War II. Similarly there are stories of bravery of Indian soldiers from different parts of the globe, like in Israel and in some parts of Europe where Indian soldiers fought fiercely and either defeated the Germans or repulsed the attack. There are memorials in memory of the brave Indian soldiers in Israel and Europe. Indian soldiers are in demand for peace-keeping operations conducted by UN. And they are deployed in different countries and war-like zones to maintain peace between the warring groups.

India has send sent over a million soldiers to different parts of the world to fight wars. It is said no country has as many war widows – estimated at 25,000 – as India. In Jammu & Kashmir operations, 1,104 men died in 1948. In China conflict in 1962, nearly 3,250 men lost their lives. In the India-Pakistan war, 3,264 men died. In the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation war, 3,843 men lost their lives. In the 1987 IPKF Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, 1,157 died fighting. And the last Kargil conflict in 1999, 522 men laid down their lives. They all made the supreme sacrifice for their motherland and sometimes fighting for others. That’s the spirit and dedication of these gallant Indian men in uniform.

With an annual defence budget of over Rs2.29 lakh crore, the Indian Army is the third largest force in the world. With the Army – over 38,600 officers and 11.32 lakh men, Indian Air Force with over 12,000 officers and 1.3 lakh other ranks, and Navy with over 9,000 officers and 52,000 other ranks.

The Army with over 382 infantry battalions and over 3,200 main-battle tanks is an effective force.The Navy with 149 warships, including 2 aircraft carriers, 14 Submarines, 8 destroyers and 15 frigates is a strong deterrent. The Air force with over 34 Fighter Squadrons (16-18 jets each) of Sukhoi-30MK Is, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars, MIG-29s, MIG-27s, MIG-21s, Tejas and Rafael’s are a potent force. Kindly note the present day figures of budget, men and machine may vary with new inductions.

India last saw action in Kargil heights. In the summer of 1999, as snow began to melt in the Kargil heights, local shepherds reported presence of intruders deep inside Indian territory, in the strategic positions that overlooked the only road link between Srinagar and Leh. The intruders had occupied fortified posts, many of them routinely vacated by the Indian Army during winter, as they have been doing over the years. The intruders had artillery cover from Pakistan Army positions in the rear.

The Indian Army sent out several patrols over the next few days. They reconfirmed the presence of the enemy. Almost 200 square km of Indian territory was in the control of Pakistan soldiers in the garb of Jihadi militants. Over 1,700 men of the Northern Light Infantry of the Pakistan Army, supported by Special forces and artillery. The enemy was occupying the heights and in a vantage position and the Indians were below. The Indians had to fight on two fronts, the hostile terrain and the intruders perched on the top.

India launched Operation Vijay, mobilizing almost 200,000 troops. About 30,000 soldiers were directly involved in the operations. By May end, an additional division HQ inducted, to take over command of a position of Kargil Sector from Leh-based 3 Infantry Division. This and other moves changed the course of the war. The enemy had to bear the brunt of the Indian offensive which they never expected. They began withdrawing unable to bear the strong Indian assault.

IAF authorized offensive air operations under Operation Safed Sagar with strict instructions to not cross Line of Control. By then, India had lost 35 soldiers in the hostile terrain. In the first week of June, India launched aggressive operations to recapture the key strategic heights and evict the well-entrenched Pakistani soldiers. They lost many of their men and others ran away with Indian tricolor flying on top of the heights.

Faced with the determined Indian offensive and pounding along with international pressure, Pakistan intruders began to pull out taking heavy casualties in the process. Over 520 Indian soldiers were killed in the conflict, many to the impossible hostile terrain. 4 Param Vir Chakras (PVCs), 9 Maha Vir Chakras (MVCs) and 53 Vir Chakras, among other bravery awards and medals were awarded for bravery. The Indian soldiers showed what they are capable off even in the most challenging situations.

The top brass of the Pakistan Army under estimated the Indian response; expected some skirmishes to take place and soon cease fire to be declared by the UN. And that they could hold on to these Indian posts. But they never expected such an aggressive counter attack from India including Air force. And they faltered and ran away taking heavy casualties. Ultimately Pakistan realized it was a futile exercise as the world had labeled Pakistan as the aggressor who had illegally crossed the Line of Control. They lost badly, a large of number of men killed, war machine destroyed and all this had a negative effect on their people and economy too, as the most of the time the Pakistanis are fed with fake news by their media glorifying Pakistan.

After this there have been many cease-fire violations on the Indo-Pak border with India responding effectively. And some months ago skirmishes had taken place on the India-China border with Galwan valley incident in the news and other incidents in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. The army responded in kind and the Chinese had to retreat. The India forces are keeping a strict vigil on the borders and are ready to meet any challenges from the west with Pakistan or north from China.


 

Also read more on the Indian Armed Forces:

Where Meghdoot Force Dare

Have Chinese forgotten the 1967 defeat

Liberation of Goa

Operation Cactus 1988 Maldives Coup

Attack on Muntho Dhalo was the turning point of war

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Shoes on the track!

As MK Gandhi stepped abroad a train on a bright day, one of his shoes slipped off and landed on the track. He was unable to retrieve it as the train was in motion. To the amazement of his companions and co-passengers, Gandhi calmly took off his other shoes and threw it on the track to land close to the first. Asked by a fellow passenger why he did so, Gandhi smiled and replied – The poor man who finds the shoes lying on the track, will now have a pair he can use.

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