'Guts and glory are a way of life for men in the services'

Indian armed forces have been an example of flexibility and innovation.

Published: 10th March 2019 05:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2019 09:07 AM   |  A+A-

Squadron Leader RTS Chhina (Retd), Secretary, Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research (CAFHR) | shekhar yadav

Indian armed forces have been an example of flexibility and innovation. The exemplary bravery shown by the Indian soldiers in World War I compelled the British to grant commission to Indian Officers. In 1932, the Air Force became the true Indian force with all officers and the men coming from India alone, with the British engineers attached. Innovation started right from the beginning. During one sortie, a tyre of one of the aircraft burst. Hawai Sepoy Harjinder Singh carved a tyre out of wood and the aircraft was flown back to the squadron where the tyre could be changed.

Flying Officer Karun Krishna Majumdar (Jumbo) joined the No.1 Squadron in 1930. During World War II the squadron under the charge of Jumbo Majumdar was based in Burma. The Japanese Air Force attacked the squadron on the second day of the new location. This enraged the officers of the squadron.

The squadron had Westland Lysander, meant for Army cooperation role of reconnaissance or picking casualty, and not in the capacity of a fighter or a bomber. Harinder Singh was part of this squadron and with his innovative thinking two 500 pounders were underslung. This led to New Zealand air force officers accompanying with their aircraft in this unique air raid.

They raided the Japanese Airbase in Thailand, inflicted damage and came back successfully. The story of the Indian forces is of courage, guts and glory. The battle of Longewala in 1971 changed the face of war.
A company of Punjab regiment troops, under the command of Major (Later Brigadier) Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, held a brigade level attack of Pakistan army for an entire night with his ingenious deployment which confused and delayed the assault of the Pakistan army that was supported by armoured regiment.

The Pakistan army lost about 100 tanks in the battle. With the first light, the IAF came in with aerial support.

As the attack of Sylhet, the battle of Longewala is also an example of flexibility and innovative thinking.
The Indian soldiers have always made the best use of whatever they had. It is a matter of guts and glory, as the services are a way of life. They are an example of apolitical institutions.

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