T he Indian Army evokes a sense of pride in all Indians and rightly so. They guard our borders day and night and protect us from external attacks. Here are some little-known facts about the Indian Army that will fill your hearts with pride:
1. The birth of the Indian Army
The army in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay, and Madras were unified into a single Indian Army in 1895. However, for administrative needs, it was divided into Punjab, Bengal, Madras, and Bombay commands. The Indian Army fought many wars for the British Empire.
2. Various foreign troops are trained in India
The Indian Army conducts exercises with troops from many other countries. Some of the major drills that have been held are Yuddh Abhyas (with the US), Exercise Shakti (with France), and Exercise Nomadic Elephant (Mongolia).
3. Not a single attempt to overthrow the government
The Indian Army has never attempted a military coup since 1947. It has also never attacked first. There has not been an intention of gaining power or governing a nation.
4. All are welcome to join the services
There is no discrimination in terms of recruitment. The Services Selection Board chooses the candidates. The selection process is apparently a very tough one and the quality standards are never compromised.
5. The largest surrender has been before the Indian Army
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Over 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to India, at the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War. Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi of the Pakistani army signed the Instrument of Surrender.
6. Guardians of the President of India
The President’s Bodyguard is an elite cavalry regiment. Its main aim is to protect and escort the President of India. The regiment is based in the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It is the senior most regiment of the Indian Army.
7. Building bridges, literally!
The Baily Bridge in Ladhak is built at an altitude of 5,602 meters above sea level. It is 30 meters long.
8. Earned praise from Adolf Hitler
Legend has it that Hitler’s very words were, “If I had Gurkhas, no army in the world could defeat me.”
9. Courage in the face of adversity
The Battle of Longewala was fought in Thar desert in Rajasthan. Major Chandpuri with his battalion of 120 soldiers and a handful of BSF jawans managed to defend the post of Longewala, till help arrived in the morning.
10. A rich legacy
The Assam Rifles has served in a number of conflicts, including World Wars I and II. Since 2002, it has been guarding the India-Myanmar border.
Take a bow, Indian Army. You make us proud.