Defence Reporter

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The Story Of The Greatest Last Stand Ever At Rezang La!

New Delhi, Nov 18, 2016: Despite the fact that India lost 1962 war, it made us realise how important it was to modernise our army and weaponry. The only thing that stood out though was the bravado of the Indian soldier - who fought to his last breath without weapons or back up often with his bare hands like in the case of Rezang La.

Updated:Sunday, November 20, 2016, 20:47

 The Story Of The Greatest Last Stand Ever At Rezang La!New Delhi, Nov 18, 2016: Despite the fact that India lost 1962 war, it made us realise how important it was to modernise our army and weaponry. The only thing that stood out though was the bravado of the Indian soldier - who fought to his last breath without weapons or back up often with his bare hands like in the case of Rezang La.

One such story was the legend of Jaswant Singh, the man who saved Arunachal Pradesh from the Chinese. Legend says he himself killed 300 Chinese Soldiers. Another, even lesser-known story is that of the Battle of Rezang La.

On November 18, 1962, on snow-clad mountains of Chushul in Ladakh, took place the battle that is still considered to be one of the greatest last stands in the history of armed forces across the world.

The Charlie company of 120 jawans of 13 Kumaon led by Major Shaitan Singh was protecting Chushul airfield which was vital if India had to hold on to Ladakh.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of 5,000-6,000 soldiers equipped with heavy artillery support attacked Chushul early morning. And to make matters worse, a crest of the ridge prevented Indian artillery from lending support, leaving the Jawans to fight for themselves.

A lesser army might have retreated, but the company led by commander Major Shaitan Singh fought till last man, last round, and last breath. Legend says that the brave 120 killed close to 1,300 enemy soldiers. Only 6 of the 120 member company survived the war, 114 did not.

The remaining six were taken as Prisoners of War (POW) by Chinese, but all miraculously escaped. Out of these six heroes, only four are alive now.

Major Shaitan Singh who was later awarded Parma Vir Chakra (PVR) for leading the company and showing valour beyond imagine always knew that they were fighting a lost battle. But he refused to surrender and led his men with unparalleled valour. The company was also awarded five Vir Chakras, and four Sena medals apart from the PVC awarded to the commander.

Honorary Captain Ramchander Yadav who was one of the six who battled with death and survived recalls that Chinese were ferocious in beginning. They kept attacking despite being repulsed twice. Soon the ammunition of Indian Soldiers finished and they decided to take the fight with bare hands.

Yadav recalls how Naik Ram Singh who was wrestler single-handedly killed many Chinese, he didn’t stop till he was shot in the head by the enemy. Yadav reached headquarters on November 19 and on 22 November was taken to an army hospital in Jammu.

Yadav believes that he survived only to tell the story of 120 brave men who saved Ladakh from the Chinese. He`s fulfilled his destiny in doing this, but it remains to be seen if we remember it and tell the future generations about it.

Source: Indiatimes.com

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