Friday, October 17, 2008

The Hazara Legacy

The Hazarians won seven battle-honours as well as two VrCs in the independent era. A record from its war diary during the Anglo-Afghan war (19th-century end) encapsulates the legend:

“General Williams, recently arrived in India, didn’t have too great an opinion of the country. He remarked, ‘there are only three things worth seeing here – the Taj at Agra, General Gough leading a Cavalry Brigade and the Hazara Mountain Battery, in action on a hillside.”

Artillery Guns of the 4th Hazara Mountain Battery being loaded onto Dakota VP903. These guns were landed at Punch to provide support to the Isolated army Garrison there.

At independence, the Hazara Battery celebrated its centenary in the Rajauri Sector during 1948 J&K war. One troop was airlifted into besieged Poonch. The dare-devil Wing-Commander Mehar Singh, disregarding hostile machine-gun fire from the surrounding heights, landed his Dakota on the Poonch airstrip. The dismantled guns were deplaned in minutes and brought into action at the airstrip. Before nightfall, the machine-guns had been destroyed and Indian troops had secured the vital air-link for the beleaguered garrison. However, Mehar Singh’s Dakota had been hit and still remains on the airstrip - testimony to the indomitable flyer’s gallantry. Hazara’s Troop Commander, Capt (later Col) Gopal Singh was decorated with VrC.

No comments:

Blog Copyright - Capt Rohit Saxena. All rights reserved.