Gen KS Thimayya’s Order Of The Day [Must Read]
Here is Gen KS Thimayya’s Order of the Day as GOC 19 Div, when 1 Sikh regiment left the Kashmir Valley –
“I bid farewell to you, Officers and men of the 1st Battalion The SIKH Regiment, on the eve of your departure from 19 Division.
You had the honor of being the first Battalion to arrive by air to Srinagar on the outbreak of hostilities and you reached Srinagar on the 27th October 47. The enemy was then at Baramula when you pushed forward. During this action you lost your gallant commander – Colonel Rai. Owing to the lack of reinforcements and the overwhelming strength of the enemy you were forced to pull back to the outskirts of the city until your whole Battalion was concentrated.
From here, as part of 161 Brigade you made a brilliant advance and pushed the enemy all the way back to Uri causing him heavy casualties. Your speedy advance caused the enemy to run beyond Muzaffarabad. It was purely for other reasons that we stopped you from reaching Muzaffarabad itself.
From then on as part of 161 Brigade you held a secure base at Uri and prevented the enemy from infiltrating into the Kashmir Valley from the West. During this time you had some very fierce engagements with the enemy in which you proved your superiority in every way. For many of you the sight of snow was a novel experience and the way you operated and stayed in that area under intense cold and in difficult terrain was a fine example of toughness and high morale.
Early in spring the enemy infiltrated into the Handwara Valley via the Nastachhun Pass. You were hurriedly sent there to push him back from Sopor and Handwara and there you held him in the hills and prevented him from making further advance.
During this time, apart from the fighting that you carried out, you took the opportunity of befriending the local population and with them you gained great popularity and won the confidence of the peasants, which has been a deciding factor in the political stability of Kashmir.
All this time you were part of J&K Force. In April 1948 Sri Division came into existence and you formed part of 163 Infantry Brigade. In May 1948 Sri Division took the offensive to the West and your Battalion as part of 163 Infantry Brigade took a most prominent part in these operations.
On the night of 16 /17 May in a lightening advance from Handwara you surrounded the enemy HQ at Dogarpur and then continued to capture Chowkibal, the Nastachun Pass and finally entered Tithwal on 23rd May 48. This was an amazing advance under very difficult conditions and in very mountainous country against a Pathan enemy who was highly skilled in mountain warfare. When you pushed through the Nastachun Pass, it was still under ice and snow.
From then on you held the most vital part of the Tithwal area for six months. You occupied a forward position which was constantly under heavy mortar and artillery fire. The enemy made repeated attempts to drive you from this position and the last effort of the enemy on 13 October when he used over three Battalions with heavy Artillery and Mortar support. You beat him back causing very heavy casualties.
During all these operations you suffered the following :-Killed Two Officers, Six JCOs and 101 ORs. Wounded- Five Officers, 15 JCOs and 342 ORs. Missing – One JCO and 15 ORs. Enemy Casualties Killed, 1206; Wounded 1215 and Missing 15.
Before the partition of the Indian Army your Regiment – the SIKH Regiment- had earned for itself a great reputation for gallantry and efficiency in two World Wars and in numerous operations on the North West Frontier.
During these 13 months in the Kashmir Valley, fighting for free India, you have surpassed all previous records and have further enhanced your traditions as a fighting unit.
It has been a great privilege to have had you in my Division in which you have helped to lay the foundations of a great tradition and it is with great sorrow that I bid farewell to your officers and men whom I have come to love and admire.
The Valley of Kashmir will always sing your praises and echo the deeds of gallantry performed by you.
Some of you who are present in the parade have lost all you owned in the West Punjab. You have lost your homes and your families have been displaced and many of you are still without a home. In spite of all this you have fought hard and kept your morale high and enhanced the reputation of the Indian Army.
I hope you will all – in a very short time – be able to take your well earned leave and that you will find your families in great cheer and happiness. I wish you all a well earned rest. May God be with you – JAI HIND!