THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 9th Battalion of the Madras Regiment, stationed in Thiruvananthapuram and the oldest state force battalion of the army, celebrated the 274th anniversary of the Colachel War at the war memorial at Colachel on Tuesday.
Brigadier Samir Salunke, Station Commander, Pangode Military Station, was the chief guest on the occasion. Major General (Retd) V D I Devavaram, former Colonel Commandant of the Madras Regiment, Kanyakumari district collector Sajjan Singh R Chavan and Colachel municipal chairman Nazeer A were present.
A major landmark in Indian history, the Colachel Battle of July 31, 1741, (as per Julian calendar) saw the Dutch naval forces led by Eustachius De Lannoy being defeated by the forces of Travancore on land and sea. It was the first amphibious victory of an Asian power over a leading European sea power. De Lannoy was later assigned by Marthanda Varma to train his army. To mark his victory, Marthanda Varma erected a victory pillar at Colachel, which lies 68 kms from Thiruvananthapuram.
The 9th Battalion has a special connection with the Colachel battle as it was one of two battalions - the other being the 16th - inducted into the Madras Regiment after Independence by integrating the Travancore State Forces.
Every year, the Military Station, Pangode, celebrates Colachel Day by offering tributes at the victory pillar.