New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The 22 Medium Regiment (Sittang and Yenangyaung), one of the Indian Army’s artillery regiments, celebrated the 100-year anniversary of its raising on June 29, 2020. The regiment fought in the 1962 war where in Bum La, it defeated numerous Chinese attacks in support of 1 Sikh.
Post-1971, the regiment has conducted numerous counter insurgency operations in North East and in Jammu & Kashmir and also fought terrorists in the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, major commemoration plans were postponed, however wreath laying was conducted to honour the martyrs of the regiment in numerous wars and other operations, the Indian Army stated.
A senior Indian Army officer of the same regiment said, “June 29, 2020 is a momentous landmark in the history of 22 Medium Regiment (Sittang and Yenangyaung), wherein the regiment completed a century of its raising.”
100 years back on this day, the four oldest artillery batteries in British India, 22 (Derajat) Mountain Battery (Frontier Force), 5 (Bombay) Mountain Battery, 4 (Hazara) Mountain Battery (Frontier Force) and 7 (Bengal) Mountain Battery were grouped to raise the artillery regiment as part of the then British Indian Army at Peshawar in present-day Pakistan.
The regiment was initially named as 8 Pack Artillery Brigade and later renamed as 22 Mountain Regiment. The number 22 was taken from 22 (Derajat) Mountain Battery. Lieutenant Colonel Alan Gordon Haig, CMG, DSO was designated as the first Commandant.
Prior to 1920 the four constituent batteries that are Derajat, Bombay, Hazara and Bengal fought numerous legendary battles to include battles of Kabul, Afghan Wars, Battle of Chitral and Battle of Ali Masjid, to name a few. These gunners also fought valiant battles in First World War in German East Africa, Abyssinia and Mesopotamia. These historic actions were honoured by 35 battle honours.
Post-1920, on amalgamation, the regiment fought numerous gallant battles in Second World War in Burma theatre wherein the regiment was awarded with two battle honours, one each for battle of Sittang Bridge and battle of Yenang Yaung. The famous action of Havildar Umrao Singh in battle of Kaladan Valley won him the highest gallantry award of the ‘Victoria Cross’.
The officers of the regiment were also awarded with Nine Military Crosses apart from numerous other gallantry awards.
Immediately after independence, the regiment fought the nefarious designs of the adversary in Battle of Naushera in Jammu & Kashmir. As a rare feat in military history, the regiment was awarded with four Vir Chakras in a single battle.
In 1951, in recognition of the illustrious actions of the regiment and the constituent batteries prior to regimentation, the regiment was conferred with the title of ‘Corps D’Elite’, and granted honour to wear ‘red and dark blue’ lanyard on right shoulder vide Army Order 81/51 by the Chief of Army Staff.
In the 1962 war, the accurate fire by the regiment in Battle of Bum La, defeated numerous Chinese attacks in support of 1 Sikh. The guns and men of the regiment also engaged the enemy accurately in Battle of Nuranag including close range direct engagements of enemy along with 4 Garhwal Rifles which is regarded as one of the fiercest defensive action in 1962 war. The regiment also fought hand to hand combat in the Battle of Bomdi La against the belligerents.
A total 20 gallant men of the regiment including three officers were martyred in this war.
In the 1965 war, the famous battle of ‘Ichhogoil Canal’ was fought under the leadership of Major General Mohinder Singh, Military Cross, first Indian Commandant of the regiment. He was awarded with Maha Vir Chakra during the 1965 operations.
Furthermore, during liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the fire power of the regiment proved decisive in numerous battles to include Battle of Madhumati River and raid of Dhopakali, to name a few. In fact the war in Eastern Theatre commenced with the salvo fired by 7 (Bengal) Mountain Battery, as part of the regiment.
“Post 1971, the regiment has effectively conducted numerous counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in North East and in Jammu & Kashmir. An officer of the regiment fought the terrorists in 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai and was awarded Shaurya Chakra for the same,” said Indian Army.
The men of this regiment have also been the sentinels of Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world from 2017 to 2019.