New Delhi: The 22 Medium Regiment of the Army, which played a crucial role in the 1962 war with China, has completed a century of its raising.
It was 100 years ago on 29 June that 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 8 Pack Artillery Brigade, but later renamed as 22 Mountain Regiment. The number 22 was taken from 22 (Derajat) Mountain Battery.
Lieutenant Colonel Alan Gordon Haig was designated as the first commandant, Army sources said, explaining the history of the regiment.
While the regiment has participated in World War I and World War II, besides others, one war that stands out, in which it took part, is the 1962 one with China.
“In 1962 war, the accurate fire by the regiment in battle of Bum La, defeated numerous Chinese attacks in support of 1 Sikh,” an Army officer said, adding that the men of the regiment engaged the enemy accurately in battle of Nuranag, including close-range direct engagements of enemy along with 4 Garhwal Rifles.
This is regarded as one of the fiercest defensive actions in the 1962 war.
“The regiment also fought hand to hand combat in the battle of Bomdi La against the belligerents. Twenty gallant men of the regiment, including three officers, were killed in action in this war,” the officer said.
Participation in 1965 and 1971 wars
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.
During the 1971 war, the fire power of the regiment proved decisive in numerous battles, including the battle of Madhumati river and raid of Dhopakali. The war in Eastern Theatre commenced with the salvo fired by 7 (Bengal) Mountain Battery, as part of the regiment, the sources said.
In the period after 1971, the regiment has effectively conducted numerous counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in Northeast, and Jammu and Kashmir.