Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off against the full-fledged attack by the advancing Pakistani Patton tanks and ultimately forcing them to retreat
New Delhi: In a tragic news, Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri — one of the biggest war heroes of the country — passed away on Saturday in a hospital in Mohali near Chandigarh. He was 78.
Chandpuri, who was an army major during the 1971 India-Pakistan war and company commander of the 23rd battalion of the Punjab regiment, defended his post with just 120 men against 2000 Pakistani men and tank regiments in the famous battle of Longewala in Rajasthan in the same year.
He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for the heroic stand-off against the full-fledged attack by the advancing Pakistani Patton tanks and ultimately forcing them to retreat.
The feat of the brigadier and his men were later featured in the 1997 Bollywood blockbuster movie "Border". His role was played by veteran actor Sunny Deol.
The Battle of Longewala (From December 4 to 7, 1971) was one of the first major engagements in the western sector during the 1971 war, where Chandpuri defended his post in the Barmer district of Rajasthan in the Thar desert.
Though the battle started with Pakistanis having edge over the 23 Punjab troops in every aspect, it ended with the Indian troop in such a dominating position that they had the choice of chasing Pakistani troops while they were retreating after the heavy defeat.
In terms of losses, while the Indians lost only two soldiers while defending their territory, Pakistanis lost 200 soldiers along with a heavy damage to their tanks, which were caused both by the ground troops as well as the HF-24 Maruts who flew at the first light of the day and created havoc among the Pakistani armoured brigade.
Interestingly, despite the heavy defeat, the Pakistanis awarded the losing brigade commander a war medal to cover up for the losses.
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Last Updated Nov 17, 2018, 5:48 PM IST