– Sushila Singh
Tributes were paid to Indian soldiers who lost their lives in World War I on Thursday in the coastal city of Haifa in northern Israel. The city was occupied by the combined forces of the Ottoman Empire, Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I. The soldiers of India played an important role in the liberation of this city from the occupation of the combined forces.
It was necessary to win this battle because the sea route for the Allied armies passed through it. 44 Indian soldiers were killed in this battle fighting on behalf of the British government, which is seen as an example of the last major battle of cavalry in history.
The city of Haifa of Israel celebrates Haifa Day every year on 23 September in memory of these soldiers and pays tribute to the three brave Indian Cavalry Regiments Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers who were part of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
Harinder Mishra, a senior journalist present in Israel, says, this day was started in Israel from the year 2003. But this year around 23 September there were many festivals in the country due to which the celebration could not take place on this date and it was postponed to 7 October.
According to the news agency PTI, while addressing the gathering at the cemetery of Indian soldiers in Haifa, India’s Ambassador to Israel Sanjeev Singhla called the brave attack of the Indian soldiers an action, which is in the era of fighting the war with the help of machine and technology. This was probably the last battle of its kind for the cavalry.
Why Israel considers the iron of Indian soldiers
Igal Griver, a local historian, told PTI that India’s cavalry regiment had swords and spears in this battle and drove off their enemies with their traditional bravery on the rocky slopes of Mount Carmel.
Journalist Harinder Mishra told the BBC, this war was such in which Indian soldiers fought an army that had ammunition and machine guns. At the same time, Indian soldiers fought bravely with swords and spears on horseback.
He further quotes the historian Igal Griver, saying that it was impossible to go there because of the climb, yet the Indian soldiers marched and it was understood that everyone would die. But only six Indian soldiers died though many were injured. Indian troops finally captured Haifa.
Dalpat Singh Hero
The people of Israel and especially Haifa are stunned by the courage and valor of Major Dalpat Singh and express their gratitude to the ‘Hero of Haifa’. Harinder Mishra tells that Dalpat Singh’s father was a respected horseman in the royal family and from here Dalpat Singh also became proficient in horse riding.
History books tell the story of Haifa’s independence and the contribution of Indian soldiers in Haifa to school children studying in classes III to V. Harinder Mishra explains, in books it is taught that Dalpat is the ‘Hero of Haifa’, because he made the impossible possible.
The Indian troops won the battle but Dalpat Singh was killed before the last attack and the responsibility was given to Captain Aman Singh Bahadur. Dalpat Singh was later awarded the military honor Military Cross.
At the same time, Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafdar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit for showing their bravery in this war. Apart from this, Captain Anoop Singh and Second Lieutenant Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross.
Haifa Square in India
Teen Murti Chowk, located in the capital Delhi, was renamed as Teen Murti Haifa Chowk. The then Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu also attended this ceremony in India. Both these leaders had also signed and written messages in the visitors book of the memorial. The relations between India and Israel are old and good.
Harinder Mishra explains that it is being seen that the respect for Indian soldiers has also increased in the minds of people and information is also coming that Haifa Memorial Society will now try to know what Indian soldiers did in the World War. paths were taken. Discussions are also being held to study this.
India’s 61st Cavalry was formed after independence by amalgamating three cavalry units. In the year 2018, the 61st Cavalry also went to Israel to attend the 100th anniversary of this war. Israel also issued a stamp in the year 2018 in memory of these Indian soldiers.