Major Somnath Sharma Birth Anniversary: All you need to know about the first recipient of Param Vir Chakra

S7 News

On 3rd November, 1947, India lost one of its bravest among the brave Major Somnath Sharma, who sacrificed his life for the nation, while fighting the enemies in Badgam, Jammu & Kashmir. The legacy of military is as vast as yhe country itself.

Born of 31st January, 1923 in Dadh village of Himachal Prades, Major Sharma was the real hero of the war, fought between Indian army and Pakistani aggressors on 3rd November 1947, to safeguard J&K after its accession to India. His inclination and valour to do something for mother India can be gauged from the fact that he was unsatisfied that he has not been given an active assignment because of his fractured hand.

On Major Sharma's 98th birth anniversary here's a look at the story of India’s first Param Vir Chakra recipient:

Early life:

Major Somnath Sharma was born in Dadh district of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh (then Punjab province) on January 31, 1923. He was a part of a military family wherein every person in his family like his father, Major General Amar Nath Sharma, his brothers, Lt. General Surender Nath Sharma and General Vishwa Nath Sharma, and sister, Major Kamla Tewari, a medical doctor, all served in the Army.

He did his schooling from Sherwood College in Nainital and by the age of 10, he was enrolled in the Prince of Wales Royal Military College, Dehradun. He later joined the Royal Military Academy. On February 22, 1942, his military career began as he was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, 19th Hyderabad Regiment later he joined 4th Battalion Kumaon Regiment) of the British Indian Army. He was in the same regiment his maternal uncle Captain Krishna Dutt Vasdeva had served.

He fought many battles but one of the prominent ones was World War II under Colonel K S Thimmayya in Burma with the British Army. In the very first posting, he was deployed in Arakan and proved his mettle. In Arakan, while fighting against the Japanese, one of the soldiers got injured.

Battle of Badgam: November 1947

On November 3, 1947, Major Somnath Sharma and his company were ordered to reach Badgam village to take charge of the situation there. His left hand was injured after a hockey match and had to get a plaster cast over it. But the major still insisted on fighting for the nation alongside the jawans. Badgam was one of the most dangerous routes as the Pakistani raiders were marching towards Srinagar.

It was 2:30 PM in the afternoon when a 500-strong force of tribal lashkars (raiders ), supported by powerful mortars, attacked the 50 Indian jawans of Major Sharma’s company. Surrounded by the enemy from three sides, 4 Kumaon began sustaining heavy casualties from the ensuing mortar bombardment. Outnumbered by 7 to 1, Sharma immediately sent a request to Brigadier ‘Bogey’ Sen for reinforcements.

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