Monday, June 30, 2014

Land of Rhinoceros

Land of Rhinoses.On completion of the course at Roorki university in April1966 Ganesan  moved on to a new route "The North East".23 Mtn Div had Engineer units,56 Field company,32 Field Company,23 Field Company(Bombay sappers)306 Field Park Company(Bengal sappers).Since this was to be formed into 4Engineer Regiment which would be Madras sapper unit the non MEG units were to be moved out.So 44 Field park replaced 306 and similarly 13Field company was to replace 23 Field company. 44which was part 6Mtn Div had taken part in the war and after the war moved to Rangiya.
   13Field Company is one of the oldest field company of Madras sappers which has taken part in almost all the wars India fought from second world war to till date.In the 1947-48 war, the partition war of India-Pakisthan they had fought in J&K and Sub Thangavelu was awarded VIR CHAKRA and the company was awarded Battle honour "Jojila"as they fought in jojila pass.In the Sep 65 war they were part of 19 Div and fought at Baramula,J&K.In the re organisation process they were to move to23 Mtn Div,Rangiya.Maj Bawa was commanding the company.During their move Maj Bawa met with an accident and CaptPillai along with other officers,capt K.S.Rao,Lt.Das  came to Rangiya.
     Lt Col M.K.Basu was the commander engineer along with Maj G.S.Grewal 2i/c capt D.K Sen.Adjt,capt Bhute,IO,capt C.R Rao TEO.
   The other officers were as follows.
    32Field Company.Company commander Maj.S.N.Endlay,along with capt P.K.Agarwal 2i/c,Lt.zakkuma,Lt D.R.Johar,Lt S.N Mukerjee.
    56 Field Company.Maj D.P.Jairath company commander along with capt M.S.Venkatraman 2i/c Lt VK Sharma Lt.IRS.Chopra.
    44 Field park company.Maj HS Grewal company commander along with capt Murali Manohar 2i/c Lt Ganesan Lt.AH.Panicker,Lt R.Krishnamurthy.
   On an auspicious day 02 JUNE 1966,4 Engineer Regiment was officially formed and cane into existence.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Re-organisation of Engineers

Re organisation.
  The corps of engineers role in war and peace was re emphasised as an important one and at the same time  getting together different field companies caused some administrative problems.Hence they were ordered to reorganise into Engineer Regiments comprising all units from one group only.This order came sometime in mid 1965 and in formations where accidentally they were all from the same group they immeditely re organised into Regiments.Ganesan's 44Field Park Company were ordered to move to 23Mountain Division and form into 4 Engineer Regiment.Accordingly an advance party from 44Field Park company was sent to 23 Mtn Div in july 1965 and similarly an adv party from 306 Field Park company(23 Mtn Div) came to 44 Field Park company.But the War situation came in between and units moved as it was along with adv party.
   Immediately after the war the units were ordered to impliment the Regimentation order.23Mtn Div which was located at Rangiya,Assam also took part in the war and had moved to Ludhiana,Punjab.After the cease fire the units were ordered to go back to their original locations.44 Field Park Company which was in Pak territory was ordered to move to Changsari,near Rangiya.
  Ganesan who was at Roorki university was informed about these changes and was ordered to move to Changsari on completion of the course at the University.
   Let us meet at the Land of Rhinoses

Friday, June 27, 2014

In Enemy Territory

India in command.
It is strange to note that some of the events were staged by the cosmic force only to educate and experience Ganesan in a particular way.How he entered battle field and how he came out are events that are not normal.As per Army procedure a casuality who leaves battle field and admitted to hospital is placed in reserve catogory and sent to training centre on discharge from hospital.Here in this case Ganesan should have been sent to his Training centre ie MEG&Centre Bangalore.But by mistake he was sent back to his unit which was in war zone.
   When Ganesan was missing from military hospital a Deserter report was initiated and sent all places.But when he reported back a telegramme was sent to all places requesting no action on the Deserter the telegramme reached first to all places and they were wondering what all had happened.When Ganesan reported back to his unit his commanding officer welcomed,"Hallow! Deserter!" with a smile.So Ganesan was to explain to  many officers the past events.
   Well !The war ended on 16 sep 65 and 6Mtn Div was deep inside Pakisthan,few km short of Sialkot.Ganesan got into routine of Engineer tasks like water supply ,electricity and Road maintanence. In December 65 Ganesan was selected for a training in Roorki university and left the war zone.
   Russia initiated a peace talk between India and Pakisthan and they were to meet at Tashkant.On11Jan 1966 early morning when Ganesan tuned Radio at Roorki university hostel,a thundering news came that Indian Prime Minister Lal Bhahadur shashtri Expired at Tashkant.
    On Kamaraj's initiative the External affairs Minister Indira Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister.
  Ganesan continued the course from jan to april 66.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bombing of Ambala

The war Expands.
 The day Ganesan landed at Madras,the punjab city Ambala was bombed.But it was a desperate attempt by Pakisthan as the war already gone out of their hands and Indian Army was victorious in most of the places.India lost Chanb,Jourian the two villages across Munaver Thavi river.Over all India was on dictating terms.The war came to cease fire on 17 September.
Ganesan with great difficulty managed to spend his sick leave here and there moving with his plastered right leg.It was tough time to convince his mother that he has not lost his leg and it was only an injury.At the end of sick leave he reported to MH Madras.The plaster was opened and x-Rayed.It was perfect healing.Army has to convene a medical board and declare that he is medically fit.Diwali came when he was in hospital and Ganesan wanted to go to his village and show his leg to his mother that it  is intact.But medical people refused leave as he is a patient.Ganesan got out pass from 0800hrs to2000hrs for two days.He requested the duty sister to manage one night between 2000hrs to 0800hrs and left for his village.He came back on the third day to hospital and was straight away under military arrest.
The duty doctor came arround on the day Ganesan left for his village and found Ganesan missing.Since he was given out pass he directed the duty sister to report the time of arrival of Ganesan.But unfortunately Ganesan did not return the whole night.In accordance with Military rules Ganesan was declared Deserter and accordingly telegraphic messages were sent to Army Headquarter and other places.Ganesan was shocked to know the mess he landed and awaiting for orders.He was marched to commandant military hospital on a charge sheet.The commandant asked Ganesan as what happened.Ganesan explained the entire war scenario till he came to MH and his mothers anguish about his leg.Since he was denied leave he had no option but to meet his mother as he would be going back to war zone on discharge from hospital.
The commandant LT.Col Venkatachalam had a hearty laugh and shouted at those who did not give leave to Ganesan,especially when he had come from war zone.
     Ganesn was discharged from hospital immediately and sen to his unit  which by that time was near Sialkot-Pakisthan.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The casuality train.

The Casuality Train.
   "Operation Ablaze"the code word for the April May 1965 Army movements continued till Aug and for the fresh offensive  in Sep 65 was named " Op Riddle" The casuality train from Pathankot started late night with out light as war was going on full swing,including intermitent Air raids.I t is something strange to travel in a 2nd world war type train with war wounded soldiers.The train reached Delhi on the 3rd day and was waiting in the platform as they were not permited to get down.
  The military hospitals in Delhi were over flowing with casualities.Casuality trains from Amtirsar and Ferospore had come earlier and were unable to be accomodated.So the authorities decided that the Pathankot train would be diverted to Lucknow.The train left Delhi for Lucknow.Ganesan was  a walking wounded casuality and he had no belongings,not even another pair of dress as everything was with his unit.On reaching Lucknow they were received a heroic welcome by the senior military officer and were accomodated in the military hospital.Ganesan purchased some essentials from military canteen and kept it in a towal.Since the hospitals were unable to handle the heavy casualities it was decided to send soldiers on sick leave especially those who do not require immediate medical attention.Ganesan's name came in the first list and he was asked where he would like to go.Ganesan,hails from a village and how he can spend leave with a plastered leg..He wanted to go to Pathankot to his military unit.Authorities refused that as war is still going and he will have no alternative but to go to his village.
  Ganesan was discharged with 6 weeks sick leave and reached Madras on 15 Sep.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The war contd....

The war of guts and determination...contd
The Officers life is certainly Royal in the Army.But in case of war there is no discrimination of officer or other ranks.The bullet passess through as aimed.The Paks straffing  and air attack was not an aimed fire and hence Indian troops were hit  indscriminately and it was unfortunate that Ganesan was hit.He got up from where he was thrown with unbearable pain in the right leg. As there was no external wound he opened the right boot and stood up.suddenly a jet of blood sprang just above right toe.Not bothered about this minor injury and as the air raid was over got into his jeep and started looking for his unit.On 05 sep he located his unit which was about to move to an area near samba.The CO was very sad to see Ganesan wounded and right leg  swollen badly he asked Ganesan to report to military hospital immediately.Ganesan went to MH Pathankot which was flooded with war casualities.xRay was taken on Ganesan'sright leg and declared that it was a fracture and he was admitted there itself.The hospital was shaking up by the 130mm shells of Pak firing.The Air field was next door to MH,Pak'sfiring on to the air field equally damaged MH also.Pakistan has dropped para troopers to link up with ground attack pers.
Since casualities were pouring in  MH decided to shift some of the light injury pers to down south hospitals.So on 09 sep special military casuality train carrying about 250 light injury and who can stand travel  left Pathankot for Delhi.Needless to mention that Ganesan was part of this casuality train.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The war contd...

The great war of 1965.
After the 1962 debacle India changed her  national policy of "non alligned"that if you want peace be prepared for war and hence fully prepared to meet any external challenges.So when Pakistan launched attack,Indian Army swung into action.6Mtn Div which had already moved to Ambala was ordered to go into offensive  near Kathua,short of jammu.The Div was already on wheels and hence moved immeadietly.Ganesan's engineer unit had loaded size 4 small dozers on to 3ton lorrys to fecilitate fast moving.But it was seen next day that lorry's road springs were upside down and tyres bulging out.Since the units had started moving out,the commanding officer ordered Ganesan to get the mechineries unloaded and book them through train to Pathankot and later join the unit.One jeep was left for Ganesan's use and the formation moved out.It was 03 Sep and the war was on full swing.Ganesan completed the job at the Railways and started moving by Road.When he reached Pathankot,it was under terrible air attack by Pak saber jets and the indian troops were running helter shelter taking cover here and there.The paks were using medium machine guns fixed in the Aircraft and  STRAFFING THERE BY KILLING THOSE IN THE TRENCHES ALSO.Ganesan halted and ran for cover.The air attack will last for 15-20 mts and break for some time as aircrafts return to the base.and repeat again.In the process of moving and then taking cover Ganesan was going ahead.But suddenly he was hit from unknown direction and he was thrown.

The war.....Contd

The war. contd......
The mobilisation of the Army of a country to defend her territorial interest is a great task and a well disciplined Army reacts to orders implicitly.For soldiers it would be their life time fortune to participate in war.Ganesan stood there looking at the moving military special and hearing the thundering voice Bharath Maatha ki Jai.As time passed military stores and left over personnels got colleced at Bareilly and finally reached  Kapurthala, a town in punjab near Jullundur Though front line soldiers were in position immediately Ganesan's formation was Army HQ reserve and hence awaiting for the situation to stabilize and in the meantime large scale defence stores were being collected.
     To be Army HQ reserve in war is a great honour as they will be important striking force to turn the fortune of war.Though they miss the initial thrill of going into battle,their performence would be the deciding factor at the final outcome of war.General SK.Kurla a veteran of world  war2,who lead 85 attacks successfully,and was introduced to Field Marshal Slim as the best company commander in south east Asia was commanding 6Mountain Division to which Ganesan belong.
     By the time the Army was ready to be launched,news came that the border at Kutch has stabilised and there will be no war.The Troops were  with drawn from the front line and Ganesan's formation riverted to Bareilly.But it was only a deceptive move of Pakistan.Their spies,who were cought in J&K on 05 Aug 1965 had revealed the out line of their plan.6 Mountain Div immedietelly ordered for an Offencive action.
     The Division was on wheel again and moved to Ambala on 28 Aug.
      It was 01 September 1965,Pakistan attacked India.
To be contd......

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pride and Honour

The war.
The Indian Army had the biggest defeat in 1962 and worldly lough on its conduct not because of their incapability but because of poor and stupid political handling of the situation.The death of Pandit jawaharlal nehru released the political hand cuffs of the Army and not only Army was expanded many fold but also excellent training was imbibed to the young ones.The Indian soldiers of World War 1 and 2 had the greatest appreciations of world FIELD MARSHALS and Generals and that breed cannot be so weak in short the Pakisthan's ambitious plan was squarely met by the Indian Army.
   Young Ganesan got into the crowed at the central station and moved as destiny dragged him.12 persons travelled in a 4 persons first class cabin and reached Tanakpur a terminal to UP-Tibet border.Very heavy military movements were seen every where.As Ganesan was moving up by miltary convoy  enroute he met his commanding officer.The CO told that their camp has been vacated and ordered Ganesan to come back with him.They reached Bareilly,where thousands of military personnels were grouped into military trains and being moved to western border.Ganesan met all his unit personnel and got into the military special train at about 0200hrs.When the train was about to move Ganesan was ordered to get down and stay their itself to gather other rear elements and come after a day or two.As he got down a thundering voice echoed "BHAARATH MATHA KI JAI" and train moved slowly.An emotionally exited Ganesan,tears rolling down stood their with waving hands.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Imbibing Leadership qualities.

Pride and Honour.contd......
The impact of the events during the recce created a strong feeling in the mind of Ganesan that an officer if he is worthy of his salt should always take care of his men firstly by developing himself as a master of his profession and at the same time Physically and mentally fit.This Autto suggestion paved the way for self motivation  and as years passed Ganesan became a name to be recognized.
   From UP-Tibet border Ganesan was sent on a short training course to CME(college of military engineering)Earth Moving Plants Instructor course.Engineers of the Army are equipped with all types of constructoin machineries and some of the officers are trained to be good at it.After that training he was sent on 2 months annual leave.It was april 1965 and ganesan was enjoying his leave with friends near Rameswaram.One day at about 1930hrs All India Radio news came as a shock,Pakistan attacked India,I ndian Army mobilised,all ranks leave cancelled,report immediately to your unit.Ganesan came home packed his luggage and rushed to Madras central station.It was a sight unbelievable,lakhs and lakhs of men in uniform were lying in all the platf
orms awaiting for their turn to board the train.Ganesan got into the crowed and lost in sight,The WAR in my next blog......

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pride and Honour

Serve with Pride.
  The officer-men relationship in the Army is beyond expression and is bonded as a homogenic block.Especially when the officer is physically strong,mentally alert , psychologically understanding and professionally competent and sincerely interested to uphold Honour and Pride of the Army through motivating and inspiring his men.Ganesan understood the language of the Army and started developing that.The initiation  at UP-Tibet border created an indelible mark in the mind of Ganesan and throught his service he kept up that till his retirement.
    In the coming up pages readers can understand this.