Sunday, November 05, 2006

Powerful Group "Grenadiers"

The name The Grenadiers I heard in 1999 when its brave soldiers established Indian tri-colour on Tiger hill in Drass sectore during the Kargil war. I was working on Kargil file at that time and collecting all the pictures and information about Kargil war and Indian soldiers. That time I got a picture in which a group of soldiers was showing Tiranga as victory mark. After cutting that picture from India Today I placed that in my file and gave a caption “Duniya me jitna ooncha jaoge isse (Tiranga) har jagah paoge.” I couldn’t forget that picture.
In my collage I joined NCC and after some day I saw my officer with a grenadier’s badge in his cap and title on his shoulder then both the things recalled my memory and remembered that picture of my file.
Basically The Grenadiers is one of the regiment in Indian army. The earliest grenadiers (in the late 16th century) were infantry soldiers particularly selected and trained to hurl grenades. The grenade of the time was a hollow iron ball, filled with gun powder and sealed with a wooden plug which contained the fuse. To ignite the grenade the grenadier carried a burning piece of cord called a slow match. Exceptional strength and courage were needed for hurling the grenade, and accidents were not uncommon. Grenadiers earned higher pay, received special privileges, and were distinguished by their height, dashing uniform, and tall, mitre-shaped headdress (shako). During the 18th century there was a gradual decline in the use of grenades, but grenadiers were retained as elite troops.
The 113th Infantry united with 101st Grenadiers, 102nd King Edward's Own Grenadiers, 108th Infantry, 109th Infantry, and 112th Infantry, to form 10th Battalion, 4th Bombay Grenadiers in 1922. Infantry regiments formed after 1922 were not numbered. Infantry regiments omitted their numbers in October 1945 (except Punjab Regiment). Thus 4th Bombay Grenadiers came to be known as The Indian Grenadiers in 1945 and was given to India. On the eve of independence and partition between India and Pakistan the army was partitioned in the ratio of 2:1. In 1950, it was renamed as The Grenadiers. In order of precedence it came after Punjab and Madras regiments. Brigade of Guards was raised in 1950 (1st Grenadiers became 2nd Battalion, Brigade of Guards). Parachute regiment was raised in 1952. Mechanised Infantry regiment was raised 1979 (7 Grenadiers converted to 9 Mechanised Infantry Battalion). The new order of precedence of infantry regiments in 1990 was: Guards, Parachute Regiment, Mechanised Infantry, Punjab, Madras and then Grenadiers.
The Grenadiers have one of the longest and unbroken records of existence in the Indian Army. They played an integral part in the Kargil War of 1999 against Pakistani military intruders. Their gallantry was displayed during the battles of Tololing, Point 4590, Three Pimples and most significantly in their historic re-capture of Tiger Hill on the night of July 3-4, 1999. Over its history in post-independence India, the Grenadiers have earned three Param Vir Chakras which are the highest gallantry award of the Indian Army. They have also won two Ashok Chakras, seven Maha Vir Chakras, four Kirti Chakras, two Param Vishisht Seva Medals, two Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, two Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, thirty three Vir Chakras, sixteen Shaurya Chakras, three Yudh Seva Medals, seventy one Sena Medals and twenty seven Vishisht Seva Medals.
During my four years training they feed the feeling of patriotism and a load of endurance. Sub major Joginder sing, Hawaldar Hoshiyar sing, Subedar Brijraj sing and colonel Amar Sing Sawant they all trained us for platoon attack, section attack, firing, drill and for national competitions like Republic day camp, Night march, obstacles and map reading. After completing my training I am not with them but they made me like them. And I feel always their war cry in my self “SARVADA SHAKTI SHALI” (Always powerful).