The Glorious Traditions Of The Indian Military Academy


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World War II(1939-45)
The severest professional test of the officers trained at the Academy took place just few years after the founding of the Academy in 1939, when Britain declared war against Nazi Germany and other Axis Powers. The performance of the Indian forces, led in many cases by Indian Officers, who had passed out from the Academy was in the best traditions of bravery and courage. Indian-British Forces fought the War in Europe, Africa and the Far East. The glowing moment for the Academy came when 2nd Lt. P.S. Bhagat was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British decoration, for showing exemplary courage and leadership in the campaign in Italy.


Manning a forward post at Tobruk


Indian Troops driving out the Nazis from Iran​

Kashmir War(1947-48)
Just on the eve of Independence, irregular tribal militia invaded Kashmir supported by the Pakistan regular Army, with the intention to wrest Kashmir forcibly. The Indian Forces were dispatched to the valley to protect the civilians at the request of the Maharaja. The soldiers led by their officers fought bravely and repulsed the invaders. Many of the alumni of the Academy who participated in the Kashmir Operation were decorated for their courage and leadership and the crowning glory was the award of the highest war decoration, the Param Veer Chakra to Maj Som Nath Sharma, posthumously.


Maj Som Nath Sharma: First PVC awardee


Clearing Baramula-Uri Road-Kashmir Operation

Chinese Aggression(1962)
China attacked the Himalayan frontiers of the country in 1962 under the garb of Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai (Indian and Chinese are brothers). The Indian Army was caught unawares and being ill-prepared suffered heavy losses. In the face of most challenging circumstances, the Indian Forces were overwhelmed by the Chinese Forces many times over; but the Indian soldiers protected the frontiers with sheer grit and courage that has become part of legend. A bitter lesson was learnt in 1962 - An Army that prepares in peace can win wars.

Indo-Pak War(1965)
In 1965 bolstered by the weapons supplied by USA and the stress suffered by the Indian Forces in 1962, Pakistan once again tried to wrest Kashmir by force. Pakistan launched a surprise attack in the Chhamb-Jaurian sector, popularly known as Chickens-Neck. Swift and timely response by the Indian forces, forced them to suffer severe losses and worse the Indian Forces came quite close to knocking at the very doors of Lahore and Sialkot. Even though the Pakistani forces were at an advantage due to the element of surprise and better equipment such as the famed Patton Tanks, their attack was repulsed. The command of the Indian Ground Forces in the Western Sector during this war was under an Ex-IMA officer, Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh.


Hoisting the Tricolour atop Haji Peer Pass


Old campaigners get together at Haji Peer

Bangladesh War(1971)
The Indian Forces were forced to enter the Bangladesh freedom struggle on behalf of Mukti-Bahini because of the grossest of human rights violations by the Pakistani Forces and the consequent refugee crisis in India. It turned out to be the highest moment of glory for the Indian Army and IMA. In a short and major offensive, both in East and West Pakistan, a decisive defeat was inflicted on the Pakistani Forces by the Indian troops. At the end of the War more than 90,000 personnel of the Pakistani Forces in Bangladesh, surrendered to the Indian and Mukti-Bahini Forces led by Lt.Gen.J.S.Aurora in East Pakistan and Lt.Gen.G.G.Bewoor in West Pakistan. Both these officers were alumni of the Academy. The Indian Army also occupied large parts of Pakistani soil in the West, which were generously returned to Pakistan. The Bangladesh War marked unambiguous victory for India under the over-all command of Gen.Sam Hormuzji Fromji Jamshedji Manekshaw of the first course(The Pioneers). As a result of this grand victory of the Indian Forces under his command, he was promoted to the emeritus rank of Field Marshall. This was perhaps the greatest achievement in leadership by an IMA alumnus.


Lt. Gen. A.A.K.Niazi signing the Instrument of Surrender
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Operation Vijay-Kargil(1999)
In the history of independent India, the battle of Kargil (1999) will be remembered as the fiercest and the most valiant of operations conducted by the Indian Army. Operation Vijay which was launched on May 26th concluded on the morning of July 18th with the restoration of the sanctity of the Line of Control. This was undoubtedly a watershed from any strategic perspective. The Battle of Kargil will not only be written in golden letters in the annals of the Indian Army's history, but will also be remembered in the military history of the world as one of the toughest battles fought in the mountains where courage and bravery made the ultimate difference. The battle of Monte Casino fought during the Second World War, said to be one of the toughest of mountain warfare, appears to be dwarfed before Kargil. For their sustained display of the most conspicuous personal bravery of the Platoon and Company level commanders the battle earned the maximum number of gallantry awards. It was also the first war in the full glare of Television. Young alumni of the Academy like Capt Vikram Batra, Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey, Capt Anuj Nayyar, Maj Rajesh Singh Adhikari, Maj Vivek Gupta, Maj Padmapani Acharya, Capt Anuj Nayyar, Capt N Kengurujay, Lt Keishing Clifford Nongrum, Maj Sonum Wangchuk became household names and icons for the younger generations.


Operation Vijay:The top brass


Capturing a hill

Peace Keeping Missions

Even outside India, the alumni of IMA have won credit for their peace-keeping roles on behalf of the UN in Indo-China, Korea, Gaza, Lebanon, Congo, Balkans, Somalia, and recently in Angola. In this connection the name of Capt GS Salaria stands out. Salaria was awarded the second PVC after Maj Som Nath Sharma, for his courage shown while serving with the UN Peace Keeping Forces in Congo.


Iran-Iraq cease fire Conference


Indian Peace Keeping contingent in Cambodia

The success of Indian Forces in peace keeping missions under the United Nations has been recognized the world over. Somalia was an instance where the Indian forces were more successful as compared to the forces from the western countries. The Indian Forces have also been employed to help the countries in its neighborhood, namely Sri Lanka and Maldives against militancy and insurgency. These assignments were not only difficult but also sensitive which the personnel of the Indian Army performed with credit.
I'v never heard a lot of the Indian military history. Well to tell the truth I'v never really bothered to look. But now reading this information I have a very high repspect for those people.

Good job, great article.
I often feel they Indian people do not get the credit that they deserve for that they did during the two World Wars. They recruited the largest ever volunteer army every seen, and their troops fought with great distinction in Africa, Italy, and all over Asia. They won a large number of VC's Britain's highest medal for bravery, also they fought in Branches of the services and were a great credit to their country.
Indian Victoria Cross Recipients

Till 1912 ethnic Indians in the service of the crown were not eligible for award of VC(Victoria Cross-- Great Britain's Highest Mil Award For Gallantry).

From 1912 until 1947, 40 VCs were awarded to Indian soldiers, while in the same time frame 12 awards came to the British officers of the Indian Army.

From 1912 to 1947, the following Indian soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross:
  • 4050 Sepoy Khuda Dad Khan, 129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis - 31 October 1914 - Hollebeke, Belgium/France​
  • Jemadar Mir Dost, I.O.M., Bahadur, 55th Coke's Rifles - 26 April 1915 - Ypres, France​
  • 1909 Naik Darwan Singh Negi, 1/39 Garhwal Rifles - 24 November 1914 - Festerburt, France​
  • 501 L/Naik Lala, 41st Dogras - 21 January 1916 - El Orah, Mesopotamia​
  • Risaldar Badlu Singh, 14th Murray's Jat Lancers - 23 September 1918 - Kh. es Samariyeh, Palestine (posthumous)​
  • 2008 L/Daffadar Gobind Singh, 28th Light Cavalry - 1 February 1917 - Pozieres, France​
  • 2129 Rifleman Kulbir Thapa, 2/3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles - 25/26 September 1915 - Manquisart, France​
  • 1685 Rifleman Gobar Singh Negi, 2/39th Garhwal Rifles - 10 March 1915 - Neuve Chapelle, France (posthumous)​
  • 1605 Naik Shah Ahmad Khan, 1/89th Punjabis - 12/13 April 1916 - Beit Ayeesa, Mesopotamia​
  • 3398 Sepoy Chatta Singh, 1/9th Bhopal Infantry - 13 January 1916 - Wadi, Mesopotamia​
  • 4146 Rifleman Karan Bahadur Rana, 2/3rd Gurkha Rifles - 10 April 1918 - El Kefr, Egypt​
  • 1012 Sepoy Ishar Singh, 28th Punjabis - 10 April 1921 - Haidar Kach, Waziristan​
  • 2/Lieutenant Premindra Singh Bhagat, Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners - 31 January/1 February 1941 - Gondar, Ethiopia​
  • IO-7055 Subedar Richpal Ram, 4/6th Rajputana Rifles - 7-11 February 1941 - Keren, Eritrea, Ethiopia (posthumous)​
  • 14696 Havildar Parkash Singh, 3/8th Punjab Regiment - 19 January 1943 - Donbaik, Mayu Peninsula, Burma​
  • 915 Subedar Lal Bahadur Thapa, 1/2 King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles - 5/6 April 1943 - Rass La Zondi, Wadi Akarit, Tunisia​
  • 8638 Company Havildar Major Chhelu Ram, 4th Rajputana Rifles - 19/20 April 1943 - Djebel Garci, Tunisia (posthumous)​
  • 6816 Havildar Gaje Ghale, 2/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) - 24 May 1943 - Chin Hills, Burma​
  • Naik Nand Singh, The Sikh Regiment - 11/12 March 1944 - Kalaparzin Valley, Arakan, Burma​
  • 11460 Jemadar Abdul Hafiz, 9th Jat Regiment - 6 April 1944 - Imphal, Assam (posthumous)​
  • 2931144 Sepoy Kamal Ram, 8th Punjab Regiment - 12 May 1944 - Gari River, Italy​
  • 78763 Rifleman Ganju Lama, M.M., 7th Gurkha Rifles - 12 June 1944 - Ningthoukhong, Impal, Assam​
  • Naik Agan Singh Rai, 2/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) - 26 June 1944 - Bishenpur-Silchar Track, Imphal, Assam​
  • IO-28467 Subadar Netra Bahadur Thapa, 2/5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) - 25/26 June 1944 - Bishenpur, Imphal, Assam (posthumous)​
  • 9192 Naik Yashwant Ghadge, 3/5th Maratha Light Infantry - 10 July 1944 - Citta di Castello, Italy (posthumous)​
  • 10119 Rifleman Tul Bahadur Pun, 6th Gurkha Rifles - 23 June 1944 - Mogaung, Burma​
  • 70690 Rifleman Sher Bahadur Thapa, 1/9th Gurkha Rifles - 18 September 1944 - San Marino, Italy (posthumous)​
  • IO-46921 Subadar Ram Sarup Singh, 1st Punjab Regiment - 25 October 1944 - Tamu, Burma (posthumous)​
  • 24782 Sepoy Bandhari Ram, 10th (16th?) Baluch Regiment - 22 November 1944 - East Mayu, Arakan, Burma​
  • 55537 Rifleman Thaman Gurung, 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force) - 10 November 1944 - Monte San Bartolo, Italy (posthumous)​
  • IO-49170 Jemedar Prakash Singh, 13th Frontier Force Rifles - 17 February 1945 - Kalan Ywathit, Burma (posthumous)​
  • 14922 L/Naik Sher Shah, M.M., 16th Punjab Regiment - 20 January 1945 - Kyeyebyin, Kaladan Valley, Burma (posthumous)​
  • Naik Gian Singh, 15th Punjab Regiment - 2 March 1945 - Kamye-Myingyan, Burma​
  • 18602 Naik Fazal Din, 10th Baluch Regiment - 2 March 1945 - Meiktila, Burma (posthumous)​
  • 44928 Havildar Umrao Singh, Indian Artillery - 15 December 1944 - Kaladan Valley, Arakan, Burma​
  • 10020 L/Naik Bhabbhagta Gurung, 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles - 5 March 1945 - Snowden East, Ramree Island, Arakan, Burma​
  • 18706 Sepoy Namdeo Jadhav, 1/5th Maratha Light Infantry - 9 April 1945 - Senio River, Italy​
  • IEC-5504 Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge, 15th Punjab Regiment - 8 March 1945 - Myingyan, Burma (posthumous)​
  • 26534 Sepoy Ali Haider, 13th Frontier Force Rifles - 9 April 1945 - Senio River, Italy​
  • 87726 Rifleman Lachman Gurung, 4​
thats really very interesting, thanks :)

Always good not to forget countries that fought in the world wars. Seems that people do..
If anyone says world war 2, America, Britain, Germany comes in mind.. hope it changes