People don’t like to talk about the lost battle of 1962 with China. Instead, you should talk about it with utmost pride after you will read about the heroics of Indian soldiers at the battle of Rezang la.
The lost battle of 1962 war turned out to be extremely important it made us realise the need to modernise our army and weaponry. not many people know that Indian soldiers fought till their lost breath without weapons or back up often with his bare hands to protect Ladakh from Chinese soldiers.
On November 18, 1962, on snowy mountains of Chushul in Ladakh, took place the battle of Rezang La that is still considered to be one of the most memorable and talked about battle of all times.
The Charlie company of 120 jawans of 13 Kumaon regiment led by Major Shaitan Singh was protecting Chushul airfield which was vital to save Ladakh from losing.
5,000-6,000 Chinese Soldiers equipped with heavy artillery support attacked Chushul at 3:30 in the morning. What made the condition of Indian soldiers worse was a crest of the ridge that prevented Indian artillery from lending support, leaving the Jawans to fight for themselves. Indian soldiers knew that they were fighting a lost battle, but still they fought till their last breath.
Military experts say that the Indians were at a disadvantage at Rezang La due to an intervening feature that blocked artillery operation, so the Indian infantry had to fight without artillery cover. However, Indian soldiers didn’t give up and kept retaliating with whatever means they had. They Fought till last man, last round, and last breath. It is said that our 120 jawans killed about 1,300 chinese soldiers.
Only 6 of the 120 soldiers survived the war, and 114 were martyred. Those 6 alive soldiers were captured by Chinese as Prisoners of war, but they escaped miraculously.
It is believed that they survived only to tell the story of those 120 brave soldiers.
Honorary Captain Ramchander Yadav who was one of the six who survived the battle 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 fight with bare hands.
Captain Yadav recalls how Naik Ram Singh who 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.
Major Shaitan Singh was awarded Parma Vir Chakra for leading the company and showing valour and bravery beyond imagination. He always knew that they were fighting a lost battle. But he refused to surrender and led his men with unparalleled valour.
Also, The charlie company was awarded 5 Vir Chakras, and 4 Sena medals.
In 1964, bollywood made a film titled ‘Haqeeqat’ based on the battle. Though it efficiently showcased the bravery of our 120 soldiers, but it had some factual errors. The film’s song ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’ can still make our eyes wet.
This was another unknown heroic act of our heroes. We salute them for their sacrifices, although we can never pay them back.