We owe so much to the Indian Army. They are the reason we sleep peacefully at night, a perfect example of bravery. But there’s still so much we don’t know about our men of steel. Take a look and educate yourself.
1). The Indian Army was formed in 1776, under the government of the East India Company in Kolkata.
2). The Indian Army has about 53 cantonments and 9 army bases, spread across India.
3). India covertly tested its nuclear arsenal in the early 1970s and late 1990s without the CIA even knowing what was happening.
Till date, it is considered to be one of the CIA’s biggest failures in espionage and detection.
4). Unlike other government organisations and institutions in India, there are no provisions for reservations based on caste or religion.
Soldiers are recruited based on their overall merit and fitness based on stringent tests and trials. And once a citizen of India joins the forces, he/she becomes a soldier. Nothing else. Nothing more.
5). Operation Rahat (2013) was one of the biggest civilian rescue operations ever carried out in the world.
It was carried out by the Indian Air Force to evacuate civilians affected by the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. It was the biggest civilian rescue operations in the world carried out by any Air Force using helicopters. During the first phase of the operation from 17 June 2013, the IAF airlifted a total of about 20,000 people; flying a total of 2,140 sorties and dropping a total of 3,82,400 kg of relief material and equipment.
6). The Indian Army built the highest bridge in the world.
The Bailey Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.
7). The Military Engineering Services (MES) is one of the biggest construction agencies in India.
The MES and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) are together responsible for the construction and maintenance of some of the most awesome roads and bridges ever to have been built. To name a few, the Khardungla Pass (the highest motorable road in the world), the Magnetic Hill in Leh, etc.
8). The Indo Pakistan War of 1971 came to end with the surrender of about 93,000 combatants and officials of the Pakistani Army.
This is the largest number of POWs taken into custody since World War II. The war resulted in the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh.
9). India controls the highest battlefield in the world, the Siachen glacier, at 5000 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL).
10). India has the biggest “voluntary” army in the world.
All serving and reserve personnel have actually “opted” for service. There is a provision for conscription (forced recruitment) in the constitution, but it has never been used.
11). Indian soldiers are considered among the very best in high altitude and mountain warfare.
The Indian army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) is one of the most elite military training centers in the world and is frequented by Special Ops teams from the U.S, U.K & Russia. U.S Special Forces trained at HAWS before their deployment during the invasion of Afghanistan.
12). In the Battle of Longewala, on which the famous Bollywood movie “Border” is based, there were only two casualties on the Indian side.
The Battle of Longewala was fought in December 1971 between India and Pakistan, in which just 120 Indian Soldiers with 1 jeep mounted M40 recoilless rifle held the fort against 2000 Pakistani soldiers backed by 45 tanks and 1 mobile infantry brigade. Despite being heavily out-numbered, the Indian soldiers held their ground throughout the night and with the help of the Air Force, were able to completely rout the aggressors.
13). The Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest of its kind in Asia.
14). Indian Army won 2 wars against China that you probably don’t know : The Nathu La Conflict in Sept, 1967 and The Cho La Conflict in Oct, 1967.
15). The Indian Air Force has an out-station base in Tajikistan and is seeking another in Afghanistan.
16). The Indian army has a horsed cavalry regiment. It is among one of the last 3 such regiments in the world.
17). The Indian Army is one of the biggest troop contributors to the United Nations peace making operations.
18). The President’s bodyguard is the oldest armoured regiment of the Indian Army. It was established in 1773, and is currently based in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
19). Another brilliant example of bravery by the Indian army was during the Battle of Saragarhi on 12th September 1897. In this battle, 21 Sikhs fought against 10,000 Afghans.
All 21 Sikhs died in this battle, and there were 400-600 casualties on the Afghan side. This battle is often cited as one of the greatest last stands in history, often compared to the Battle of Thermopylae, where King Leonidas fought Persian army of Xerxes in 480 BC with an army of 300 Spartan soldiers.
20). Talking about the regimental structure, each defense establishment has a place of worship for different religions based on the religious distribution of the army. When there isn’t enough place for all religions, a sarv dharm sthal is created, which serves as a place of worship for all religions.
A highly educated Religious Teacher of the rank of a Junior Commissioned Officer(JCO/Warrant Officer) acts counselor to soldiers and officers to help them during moral and psychological crisis.
21). The Ministry of Defense operates five Rashtriya Military Schools and a Rashtriya Indian Military College as feeder institutions to defense forces, where students undergo a similar curriculum designed according to their age group as they would in services.
The students here are generally called cadets and have an option to join Indian Defense service at the end of their schooling.
22). India is the largest importer of arms, Yet India never invaded nor attacked any country.
The Indian army has never initiated a first attack or engaged in a military coup with the intention of gaining power or governing a nation.
23). Param Vir Chakra, the highest wartime gallantry award has been awarded only 21 times till date, and 2/3rds of these were awarded posthumously.
24). In terms of numbers, the Indian Army is third largest army in the world.
It also has the credit of being the largest volunteer force. It has been the largest contributor to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force (UNPKF), and has taken part in huge number of missions abroad.
25). India gate was built in memory of the 82,000 soldiers who were martyred in World War 1.
26). During World War 2 India produced the largest volunteer army in world history. Nearly 25 lakh Indian Soldiers participated in World War 2.
27). India provides safety for more than 3 lakh refugees from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan & Bangladesh.
Take a bow, Indian Army. #Respect