Greatest and Bravest battles/wars of Indian History!

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Kshatriya87, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Opening this thread to consolidate the greatest battles/war in Indian history. We all know about the wars after independence. This thread would show the bravery of Indians before that.

    Let me start with one.


    Battle of Pavan Khind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Battle of Pävankhind was a rear guard battle and a last stand that took place on July 13, 1660 at a mountain pass in the vicinity of fort Vishalgad, near the city of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India between the Maratha sardar Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Siddi Masud of Adilshah. The Marathas held the Adilshahi forces till Shivaji reached the fort Vishalgad. The Adilshahi forces were 15,000 strong against 300 Maratha light infantry.

    Background[edit]

    Shivaji Maharaj defeated Adilshahi generals of distinction one after the other. Hence Adilshah as last measure pulled all his resources and sent Siddi Jauhar on the expedition against Marathas. At the same time he made correspondence with Mughals to attack Shivaji Maharaj. Accordingly, Shaista Khan attacked from Northern side towards Pune.


    Pavankhind as it is today - much wider
    Siddi Jauhar laid the siege to Panhala fort. All attempts to raise the siege were failed. Shivaji Maharaj's senapati (Commander) Netaji Palkar could not break through the siege from outside. Hence Shivaji decided to give a final battle. But instead of suicidal attack, he followed a different strategy. A grand escape was planned to give a battle from the fort Vishalgad.
    Battle[edit]

    Composition of Adilshahi forces[edit]
    It consisted of selected cavalry of Adilshahi which was well known under the command of Siddi Jauhar assisted by Siddi Masud and Fazal Khan.
    Jasvantrao Dalvi of Palavani and Surve of Sringarpur had laid siege to Vishalgarh.
    Composition of Maratha forces[edit]
    Shivaji was assisted by his Sardar Bajiprabhu, Jadhavrao, Bandal and many more. However, the light infantry forces were limited around 600. They consisted of hardened mountaineers of maval region who had remained historically unconquered till that time.
    Movement and clash of forces[edit]
    Siddi Jauhar had laid the siege around Panhala very well, with utmost care. Firstly, Shivaji sent his vakil to Siddi Jauhar saying that he was ready to sign a treaty with him. Siddi Jauhar and his army thus relaxed a bit, foreseeing that their siege going on for months together was going to end. Still, getting through the siege of about 10000 Adilshahi soldiers seemed impossible. According to the plan, on the dead of the full moon night, Shivaji passed through the siege along with some 600 men, led by Bajiprabhu Deshpande. They were surprisingly successful and were speeding towards Vishalgad. When the enemy came to know about Shivaji's escape from Panhala, they chased and caught some portion of his troops. The captured king turned out to be an impostor of Shivaji. He was a barber, named Shiva Kashid. This heroic sacrifice gave the fleeing Maratha force some breathing space.


    Plaque to commemorate the entrance to Pavankhind
    The enemy started the chase once again, led by Siddi Masood, son-in-law of Siddi Johar. By that time, Shivaji had reached a strategic location, Ghod Khind (Horse Pass), a gorge. It was very narrow so as to pass only a few soldiers at a time. Bajiprabhu Deshpande, a gallant general along with 300 of his Bandal sena, took the position to defend the pass till Shivaji reached another fort, Vishalgad.
    Shivaji Maharaj attacked another siege at the base of fort Vishalgad with such vigour that it was broken. Meanwhile, Baji Prabhu, his brother Fulaji and Sambhaji Jadhav successfully defended the pass with 300 soldiers. They were fatally wounded, soldiers of Siddi Masood were taken-aback by the sight of those 300 soldiers bleeding heavily but fighting brutally with swords in both hands they kept fighting and gave up only when they heard the sound of cannons blasted by Shivaji from the fort, indicating that he had reached safely. The pass is now known as Pävan Khind - The Sacred Pass. After crossing the pass, the enemy attacked Shivaji at Fort Vishalgad. But again they were fiercely beaten by Rango Narayan Sarpotdar, Shivaji's young officer on the Fort, and repulsed with heavy losses.
    Honour[edit]
    The sword of honour was given to Bandal. Shivaji personally visited the house of slain Baji Prabhu, situated in the village of Kasabe Sindh near Bhor in the Pune district. His elder son was offered job as chief of a section. Other 7 sons were given honour of the Palkhi. Son of Slain Sambhaji Jadhav, Dhanaji Jadhav was inducted in the forces.
    Outcome and Legacy[edit]

    This was the last major battle between Adilshahi forces and Marathas. Hereafter Marathas were recognised as an independent power. The sacrifice of Bajiprabhu Deshpande and Shiva Kashid is a legend in itself. Even today youths trek on the route taken by Shivaji between the forts of Panhala and Vishal Gadh. The distance is around 70 km.
    Casualties[edit]

    The total casualties of this battle was 3,000 on Adilshahi side and 300 on Maratha side.
     
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  3. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Battle of Saragarhi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    The Battle of Saragarhi was fought before the Tirah Campaign on 12 September 1897 between twenty-one Sikhs of the 36th Sikhs (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment of British India, defending an army post, and 10,000 Afghan and Orakzai tribesmen. The battle occurred in the North-West Frontier Province, which formed part of British India. It is now named the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and is part of Pakistan.
    The contingent of the twenty-one Sikhs from the 36th Sikhs was led by Havildar Ishar Singh. They all chose to fight to the death. It is considered by some military historians as one of history's great last-stands.[9] Sikh military personnel and Sikh civilians commemorate the battle every year on 12 September, as Saragarhi Day as the battle was giving the honour of a regimental holiday.

    Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present day Pakistan. On 20 April 1894, the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Army was created, under the command of Colonel J. Cook.[10] In August 1897, five companies of the 36th Sikhs under Lt. Col. John Haughton, were sent to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, stationed at Samana Hills, Kurag, Sangar, Sahtop Dhar and Saragarhi.
    The British had partially succeeded in getting control of this volatile area, however tribal Pashtuns attacked British personnel from time to time. Thus a series of forts, originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ruler of the Sikh Empire, were consolidated. Two of the forts were Fort Lockhart, (on the Samana Range of the Hindu Kush mountains), and Fort Gulistan (Sulaiman Range), situated a few miles apart. Due to the forts not being visible to each other, Saragarhi was created midway, as a heliographic communication post. The Saragarhi post, situated on a rocky ridge, consisted of a small block house with loop-holed ramparts and a signalling tower.
    A general uprising by the Afghans began there in 1897, and between 27 August - 11 September, many vigorous efforts by Pashtuns to capture the forts were thwarted by 36th Sikh regiment. In 1897, insurgent and inimical activities had increased, and on 3 and 9 September Afridi tribes, with allegiance to Afghans, attacked Fort Gulistan. Both the attacks were repulsed, and a relief column from Fort Lockhart, on its return trip, reinforced the signalling detachment positioned at Saragarhi, increasing its strength to one Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and twenty troops of Other Ranks (ORs).
    On September 12, 1897, 10,000 Pashtuns attacked the signalling post at Saragarhi, so that communication would be lost between the two forts.
    The Battle[edit]

    Members of the 11th Sikh Regiment in 1860
    Details of the Battle of Saragarhi are considered fairly accurate, due to Gurmukh Singh signalling events to Fort Lockhart as they occurred.[10]
    Around 9:00am, around 10,000 Afghans reach the signaling post at Saragarhi.
    Sardar Gurmukh Singh signals to Col. Haughton, situated in Fort Lockhart, that they are under attack.
    Colonel Haughton states he cannot send immediate help to Saragarhi.
    The soldiers decide to fight to the last to prevent the enemy from reaching the forts.
    Bhagwan Singh becomes the first injured and Lal Singh is seriously wounded.
    Soldiers Lal Singh and Jiwa Singh reportedly carry the dead body of Bhagwan Singh back to the inner layer of the post.
    The enemy breaks a portion of the wall of the picket.
    Colonel Haughton signals that he has estimated between 10,000 and 14,000 Pashtuns attacking Saragarhi.
    The leaders of the Afghan forces reportedly make promises to the soldiers to entice them to surrender.
    Reportedly two determined attempts are made to rush open the gate, but are unsuccessful.
    Later, the wall is breached.
    Thereafter, some of the fiercest hand-to-hand fighting occurs.
    In an act of outstanding bravery, Ishar Singh orders his men to fall back into the inner layer, whilst he remains to fight. However, this is breached and all but one of the defending soldiers are killed, along with many of the Pashtuns.
    Gurmukh Singh, who communicated the battle with Col. Haughton, was the last Sikh defender. He is stated to have killed 20 Afghans, the Pashtuns having to set fire to the post to kill him. As he was dying he was said to have yelled repeatedly the Sikh battle-cry "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal" (Shout Aloud in Ecstasy! True is the Great Timeless One). "Akal," meaning Immortal, beyond death, the Supreme Creator God unbound by time and non-temporal.
    Having destroyed Saragarhi, the Afghans turned their attention to Fort Gulistan, but they had been delayed too long, and reinforcements arrived there in the night of 13–14 September, before the fort could be conquered.[1] The Pashtuns later admitted that they had lost about 180 killed[4] and many more wounded[6] during the engagement against the 21 Sikh soldiers, but some 600 bodies[8] are said to have been seen around the ruined post when the relief party arrived (however, the fort had been retaken, on 14 September, by the use of intensive artillery fire,[7] which may have caused many casualties). The total casualties in the entire campaign, including the Battle of Saragarhi, numbered at around 4,800.
     
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  4. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Request all to please contribute.
     
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  5. lion

    lion Regular Member

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    Kargil War,
    Bangladesh libration war,
     
  6. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Acknowledged. But as the thread suggests, we all know about our bravery after independence. This thread is for the battles before that.
     

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