Sunday, July 17, 2011

Intrestingly, Major H S Sarao traces his roots to Bhati Rajputs of Rajasthan.Having spent his younger days in Lahore ,Patiala, Simla,village Mehraaj(Punjab) , Major H S Sarao had initially joined OTA Bangalore in 1944. A few days before the passing out parade , he and a couple of other cadets , after a heated argument with a British NCO instructor and thereafter having refused to apologise , were ''removed'' from the OTA.At that time his posting order for 10 Baluch had already been recieved!! Later after independence , he again applied for trhe Army and was commissioned from OTA Pune in 1950 as a Gunner officer.
Major H S Sarao being felicitated by the then COAS ,Gen PP Kumaramangalam on being awarded the SENA MEDAL for his role in the battle of Barki.

Soldiers all #4


Major Raja Aziz Bhatti [Urdu: عزیز بهٹی] was a Pakistani soldier who received Pakistan's highest award for valor. He was born in Hong Kong in 1928. He moved to Pakistan before it became independent in 1947, living in the village of Ladian, in the district of Gujrat. There he enlisted with the newly formed Pakistani Army and was commissioned to the Punjab Regiment in 1950.
His father's name was Master Abdullah Bhatti, and his mother's name was Bibi Amna. He had four brothers, Nazir, Bashir, Sardar and Rashid, and two sisters, Rashida and Tahira. He himself had six children, four sons named Major Zafar Javed Bhatti, Dr Zulfiquar Ahmad Bhatti, Rafique Ahmad Bhatti, and Iqbal Javed Bhatti and two daughters named Riffat Bhatti and Zeenat Bhatti. Throughout his career, he was a brilliant officer and stood out in his class. He did very well at the Academy and was awarded the Sword of Honour best in his year's batch of 300 officers, and the Norman Medal. He received his honours from Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was later assassinated.
On 6 September, 1965, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 broke out between India and Pakistan. Major Bhatti was posted in the Barki area of Lahore sector. As the company commander, Major Bhatti chose to move his platoon forward under constant firing from Indian tanks and artillery. For three or more day's he went without rest. He resisted for five days and nights defending a Pakistani outpost on the strategic Ichogil canal. On 10/11 September, he was reorganizing his company and directing Pakistani gunners to shell Indian positions. In order to watch every move of the advancing Indian troops, he had to place himself in an elevated position in a house in Barki village, where he was exposed to Indian Artillery fire. He led his men from the front under constant attack from Indian Artillery batteries till he was hit by an enemy shell in the chest .(widow of Major Aziz Bhatti recieving Pakistans highest award from F M Ayub Khan)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Soldiers all #3

Major H S Sarao is second from the left
Major HS SARAO of 165 Field Regiment was appointed as the affiliated Battery Commander with 16 Punjab at the commencement of OPERATION “ RIDDLE”. On 10 Sep 1965 an Infantry Brigade Group launched a two phase night attack. The second phase of the attack was launched by 16 Punjab with the area of the brigade on the ICHOGIL canal near the village of BARKI as their objective.
''As the battalion was forming up preparatory to the assault on the objective it came under heavy concentration of enemy field ,medium and heavy guns . During this period the forward observation officer with the advancing Infantry lost his way. Major HS SARAO,without a moment’s hesitation went up to the leading company to act as the forward observation officer. He was at this time hit by a splinter in the leg but with utter disregard to the injury he accompanied the leading company and was with them till the objective was captured.
On reaching the objective, the wireless set of the officer stopped functioning. The officer returned to the firm base at BARKI in spite of heavy enemy shelling to get another set from 4 SIKH , the battalion which had captured the village of BARKI in the first phase earlier. With his communication now restored , he effectively engaged possible defensive fire tasks on the WEST of ICHOGIL canal in order to foil any counter attack by the enemy. Phase two of the attack was then successfully completed and the battalion consolidated its gains.
On 11 Sep 65 , after engaging targets on the Ichogil canal bank , Major HS SARAO went and searched a house in BARKI village where he had on the afternoon of 10 Sep 65 suspected an enemy observation post and had also engaged the same from his previous location at BARKA KHURD. To his surprise and satisfaction he found that an enemy OP had in fact been occupying the house on 10 Sep 65. Major HS SARAO recovered from the house the enemy Artillery Task Tables and PAKISTANI maps which were of great assistance in avoiding the areas on our side which the enemy had registered as defensive fire tasks. He saw a pool of blood at the spot and reckoned the the enemy observation post officer must have either been killed or wounded and evacuated". This is the extract from the citation of Major H S Sarao.The OP officer had in fact been occupying an elevated position on the roof of this house in Barki village.WATCH OUT FOR THE NEXT POST.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Soldiers all # 1

Barki Memorial

Consequent to outbreak of hostilities between India and Pakistan , the 7th Indian Division crossed the international border in Punjab at 0530 hours on 06 September 1965 with 48 Infantry Brigade in lead and secured the Hudiara Drain defended by a Pakistani company . 65 Infantry Brigade there-after commenced the advance from Hudiara Drain onwards towards Barki and contaced the BRB canal ( also known as the Ichogil canal) opposite Barki town which was held in strength by elements of Pak 103 Infantry Brigade. Barki , defended by a company of 17 Punjab(Pak) and a company of 12 Punjab(Pak) , was captured by 7 Division employing one battalion (4 Sikh),supported by a Squadron , Central India Horse ,on night 10th/11th September. As part of the Divisional plan ,16 Punjab (India)was tasked to there-after advance through Barki village and contact the Ichogil canal. Col Bhullar was the CO of 16 Punjab and Maj H S Sarao of 165 Field Regiment was the affiliated Artillery Battery Commander with the Battalion. Major Aziz Bhatti who was later awarded the Nishan-I-Haidar was the 17 Punjab Company Commander at Barki.This is the story of two soldiers who fought on opposite sides and were in the same area at the same time. Read on as the story develops.

Soldiers all #2

Major Raja Aziz Bhatti (1928 – September 11, 1965) was a Pakistani Army officer who embraced martyrdom during the Indo-Pak war of 1965. Major Aziz Bhatti was born to a Muslim Rajput family in Hong Kong, his family moved to Pakistan before its independence in 1947. Major Aziz Bhatti’s father Abdullah Bhatti was a school master. Major Aziz Bhatti joined Pakistan Army in 1948. He had excellent student career in the then newly built Pakistan Military Academy, Abbotabad; he was awarded the Sword of Honor and the Norman Medal by the Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. After passing out in 1950, Major Aziz Bhatti was commissioned in Punjab Regiment. During his career of 15 years in the Army; Major Bhatti served at various command and staff appointments of the Pakistan Army.

Major Aziz Bhatti was appointed as the Company Commander of a Punjab regiment before the outbreak of war between India and Pakistan in 1965. As the tensions escalated between the two countries, forces were ordered to get themselves prepared for any eventuality. Major Aziz Bhatti was given the command of Barki sector of Lahore.

In order to see every moment of Indian forces, Major Aziz Bhatti had occupied elevated positions. He directed accurate fire of Artillery from the front inspite of heavy Artillery fire from Indian positions.