Brigadier Kuldip Singh is known for his exemplary display of leadership skills during the Battle of Longewala, for which he was awarded the second highest gallantry award of the land, the Maha Vir Chakra. Mr Singh was born on 22nd November, 1940, to a Gurjar family in India’s undivided Punjab, and from where he later […]
Brigadier Kuldip Singh is known for his exemplary display of leadership skills during the Battle of Longewala, for which he was awarded the second highest gallantry award of the land, the Maha Vir Chakra.
Mr Singh was born on 22nd November, 1940, to a Gurjar family in India’s undivided Punjab, and from where he later moved to his family’s native home in Balachaur. He graduated from Hoshiarpur’s Government College where he spent his days as an active NCC cadet.
The Indian Army Officer
In 1962, Brigadier Singh joined the Indian Army and in 1963, he was commissioned in the 23rd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment – the oldest and most reputed Indian Army battalion. Brigadier Singh participated in the 1965 war and post that, worked for a year in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in Egypt.
The Battle Hero
Serving as Major at that time, Mr Singh led his soldiers to defend his Longewala post in Rajasthan against the attack by the Pakistani Army during the early phase of the Indo-Pak War of 1971. Longewala was manned by 120 soldiers of the Alfa Company of the 23rd Battalion of the Punjab Regiment, under Major Singh’s command.
Battle of Longewala, Brig Kuldip Singh
The soldiers fought against mammoth odds, battling Pakistan’s 4 infantry battalions and the 22nd Armoured Regiment. The attack came at 12:30 AM and lasted entire night until help came in the guise of Indian Air Force the next morning. Even though the 23rd Battalion was heavily outnumbered, they persevered and held off the enemy for hours. The IAF then swooped in to destroy 26 tanks and a large number of Pakistan’s Armoured Regiment Carriers.
The Maha Vir Chakra Awardee
For displaying an indomitable spirit, courage of heart, and nerves of steel, Brigadier Singh was honoured with the gallantry award, Maha Vir Chakra. The citation for his award read as follows:
“Citation: Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was commanding a company battalion of the Punjab Regiment occupying a defended locality in the Rajasthan Sector. On the 5th December 1971, in the early hours of the morning the enemy launched a massive attack on this locality with infantry and tanks. Major Chandpuri exhibited dynamic leadership in holding his command intact and steadfast.
Showing exceptional courage and determination, he inspired his men moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them in beating back the enemy till reinforcements arrived. In this heroic defence, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat leaving behind twelve tanks.
In this action, Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri displayed conspicuous gallantry, inspiring leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army.”
~ Source: Indiatimes.com