The Kumaon Regiment is named after the region of Uttarakhand. It is one of the two regiments that are named after the regions of Uttarakhand. The other one is Garhwal Rifles.
It was one of the first troops to be raised in the 19th century. To be precise, it was raised in 1813. The name ‘Kumaon’ did not come up at the beginning but it was known as the19th Hyderabad Regiment till 1945 after which it got changed.
The men of the regiment also belonged to the Russell Brigade of the Hyderabad Nizam. They were known for their valor. The regiment was distinguished by this sign of a demi-rampant lion holding a cross. This same sign was also badged to the coats of arms of the Russell family. More number of Kumaonis entered the composition of the Russell Brigade and the Berar Infantry between 1854 and 1917.
Motto: Parakramo Vijayate (Valour Triumphs)
War Cry: Kalika Mata Ki Jai (Victory to the Great Goddess Kali)
Regimental Centre: Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
Regimental Insignia: A demi-rampant lion holding a cross. The demi-rampant lion is part of the arms of the Russel family, whose ancestor had started the body of troops now formed into the Kumaon Regiment.
During World War I, the first all-Kumaon battalion was formed in Ranikhet on October 23, 1917. It was known as 4/39th Kumaon Rifles and was redesignated as 1st Battalion, 50th Kumaon Rifles in 1918. The 19 was added to the Kumaon badge in 1924 when the Kumaon battalions became part of the Hyderabad Contingent.
The motto of the Kumaon Regiment was ‘Parakramo Vijayate’ meaning Valour Triumphs. They also have three war cries namely, Kalika Mata Ki Jai (Victory to the Great Goddess Kali), Bajrang Bali Ki Jai (Victory to Bajrang Bali), and Dada Kishan Ki Jai.
During World War II, the 19th Hyderabad Regiment fought very bravely in the regions of Hong Kong, eastern theatre in Burma, Malay Peninsula, and Iran.
The Kumaon Regiment attacked Chinese defenses in the Battle of Walong of 1962 and captured them. It is believed that this was the first time that India attacked the forces instead of being defensive.
The 13 Kumaon fought the Battle of Rezang La in which 120 Indian soldiers stood strong against 1300 Chinese soldiers. It was one of the greatest last stands in the history of human warfare. Major Shaitan Singh of 13 Kumaon was honored with PVC for his commendable courage in Battle of Rezand La in which he went from post to post inspiring his men to stand strong against the Chinese soldiers.
Ladakh Scouts along with the Kumaon Regiment were able to achieve a decisive edge over Pakistan in the region of Siachen Glacier which they captured during Operation Meghdoot in 1984. Besides the Kumaon Scouts, the regiment has 19 battalions, three of which are of Naga Regiment.
The Regiment was awarded India’s highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashok Chakra, and not only one but four Ashok Chakras, three of which went to 15 Kumaon and one to 13 Kumaon.
The Regiment has produced the highest number of Army chiefs by any infantry regiment -General S.M. Shrinagesh, General K.S. Thimayya, and General T.N. Raina.
Battle of Rezang La
120 men of C Company of 13 Kumaon, commanded by Maj. Shaitan Singh, made a last stand at the Rezang La pass on 18 November 1962.
The area assigned to C Company was defended by three platoon positions, but the surrounding terrain isolated 13 Kumaon from the rest of the regiment. The Indian artillery was located behind a hill feature blocking the line of fire so the infantry had to fight the battle without artillery support. The Chinese suffered no such disadvantage and brought heavy artillery fire upon C Company.
The Chinese attack, which was expected, came through a dry river bed. It was repulsed with heavy machine-gun fire by the Indian soldiers. The Chinese regrouped and attacked persistently with more reinforcements. Maj. Shaitan Singh went from post to post raising the morale of his men and continued to fight even after being seriously wounded. Of C Company’s 120 troops, 114 men were martyred, Of the 6 survivors, 5 were severely injured and captured by the Chinese. A memorial in Rewari claims that 1,300 Chinese soldiers were killed in the battle.
Maj. Shaitan Singh posthumously won the Param Vir Chakra for his actions, the second for the Kumaon Regiment (the first being won by Maj. Somnath Sharma). Other soldiers defending Rezang La who was awarded Vir Chakras were Nk. Hukum Chand (posthumous), Nk. Gulab Singh Yadav, L/Nk. Ram Singh (posthumous), Sub. Ram Kumar and Sub. Ram Chander.
Army Museum, Ranikhet
Army Museum at Ranikhet is maintained by the Kumaun Regiment and The Naga Regiment of the Indian Army. This museum is the place where you will feel real patriotism, be there and feel the Proud. You will be proud of visiting there because here you will come to know about the bravery shown by this Regiment on the battlefield as well as in peacetime.
At the museum, you will find the heroic story of this Regiment from the First World War till date. You will find the contribution of the regiment in various wars like World War, Indo-China War, and Pakistan War, Stories of Operation Vijay, Operation Pawan, etc. The Kumaon Regiment is the first regiment of the Indian Army that landed in Jaffna, Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan. The captured LTTE boat is available at the museum for display. Also, various weapons that are captured from various wars are interesting to watch.
The museum is beautifully maintained by the Army and you will be also provided with an Army guide who will help you to the history and the Heroics of the Regiment. Photography is Strictly Prohibited inside the Museum. This place is Must be visited when you visit Ranikhet.
At the end just wanna conclude by telling you all that the way this world is endless in the same way the history of the army is never-ending and trust me guys being an army person is not an easy task, so respect our army and spend some time in studying about their valor and tasks in the battlefields.
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