THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:The Indian Army will celebrate the 274th anniversary of the Battle of Colachel on Tuesday with a function at the war memorial erected by Marthanda Varma at Colachel, a small fishing township in southern Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.
Brigadier Samir Salunke, Station Commander Pangode Military Station, former Colonel Commandant of the Madras Regiment Major General V D I Devavaram (Retd), civil authorities, police officials, retired officers and local dignitaries will attend the function, the Army said on Sunday.
In this amphibious battle, the army of Marthanda Varma defeated Dutch naval forces led by the Flemish captain Eustachius De Lannoy. ‘’In a most unique amphibious battle the forces of King Marthanda Varma defeated the Dutch, both at sea and land. This earned the House of Travancore the unique distinction of being the only Asian military power to ever have defeated a leading European sea power at sea and land,’’ a defence spokesperson said.
According to the Julian calendar, which was in use then, the battle occurred on July 31, 1741. The victorious Marthanda Varma recorded his victory by erecting a victory pillar erected near the beach at Colachel. This battle is special to the Madras Regiment as two of its battalions, 9th and 16th have been created by inducting the forces of the erstwhile Travancore state.
The highlights of the August 4 event will be the wreath-laying ceremony at the Colachel war memorial, followed by a military band display by pipe band of the Madras Regiment, in remembrance of the heroes of the past battle.