Charlie Company of 13th Kumaon and the Battle of Rezaang La


1. Rezaang La Pass, Chushul Valley, near Leh. Elevation - 17000 ft. The last stand of "Charlie Company", 13th Kumaon Regiment. 18th November 1962.

2. "C" Company of 123 men is led by Major Shaitan Singh (Param Vir Chakra - Posthumous).

3. A company formation, fights to the last man standing, to almost a regiment level Chinese assault which begins at 0330 hrs on 18th Nov 1962.

4. The official citation of PVC awarded to Maj Shaitan Singh reads " for every man lost to us, the enemy lost four or five". Un-official eye-witness records puts it to 2500 enemy soldiers killed.

5. In hand-to-hand combat after Chinese run over the post, Naik Singh Ram (Vir Chakra - Posthumous) killed 10 enemy soldiers by smashing their heads against the stones.
When his body was later discovered, it was covered with a blanket and his bayonet and helmet were placed next to it. That was a gesture of homage by the enemy.

6. 109 soldiers of Charlie Company out of 123 men formation are martyred on 18th Nov 1962 in 3 hours from 0330 to 0630 hrs. It includes the CO Maj Shaitan Singh and senior most NCO of "C" Company, Company Havildar Major Harphool Singh (Sena Medal - Posthumous).

7. Subedar Major Hari Singh, lit the pyres of 96 bodies that the unit managed to recover.
Struck by grief, he suffered heart attack minutes after litting those pyres. He was cremated at the same spot with other martyrs, whose pyres he had just lit.

8. In February 1963, a Red Cross team visited Rezang La, they found frozen bodies of more than 90 soldiers, many still in the firing position.

9. And frozen in the snow were, A medic who still had a syringe in his hand, soldiers with the hand glued to the guns and mortar position to lowest elevation possible to engage the waves of enemy soldiers charging in, moments before the post was run over.

Due to the valiant defence by Charlie Company, 13th Kumaon, the Chinese regiment suffered so many casualties that they never crossed Chushul and Leh was saved...

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