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Dogra Regiment
Dogra Regiment Insignia.gif
Regimental Insignia of the Dogra Regiment
Active1877–present
CountryIndia India
Branch
Flag of Indian Army.svg
Indian Army
TypeLine Infantry
Regimental CentreFaizabad, Uttar Pradesh
Nickname(s)Gentlemen Warriors
Motto(s)Kartavyam Anvatma (Duty Before Death)
War CryJwala Mata Ki Jai (Victory to Goddess Jwala)
Mascot(s)Tiger
Engagements
1st Anglo-Afghan War
2nd Anglo-Afghan War
World War I
World War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Kargil War
Decorations2 Victoria Cross
44 Military Cross
1 Ashoka Chakra
13 Maha Vir Chakras
18 Kirti Chakras
16 Yudh Seva Medal
46 Vir Chakras and 1 Bar
1 Padma Bhushan
2 Padma Shri
21 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
24 Param Vishisht Seva Medal
38 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and 3 bar
58 Shaurya Chakras
337 Sena Medals and 15 bar
31 Vishisht Seva Medal
89 Mention-in-Despatches and
313 Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards
Battle honoursJhangar, Rajauri, Uri, Asal Uttar, Haji Pir, Raja Picquet, OP Hill, Siramani, Suadih, Dera Baba Nanak and Chandgram

Theatre Honours

Jammu and Kashmir 1948, Punjab 1965 and Punjab 1971
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt General Jai Singh Nain[1]
Notable
commanders
General Nirmal Chander Vij PVSM, UYSM, AVSM
General Gopal Gurunath Bewoor Padma Bhushan, PVSM
Lt Gen VK Jetley PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM
Lt Gen PN Hoon PVSM, AVSM, YSM
Brigadier Mohammad Usman MVC
Insignia
Regimental InsigniaTiger revered as the mount of the Goddess Durga, who is a widely worshipped deity in the Dogra Hills

The Dogra Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. The regiment traces its roots directly from the 17th Dogra Regiment of the British Indian Army. When transferred to the Indian Army like its sister regiments, the numeral prefix (in the case of the Dogra Regiment, 17) was removed. Units of the Dogra Regiment have fought in all conflicts that independent India has been engaged in, making it one of the most prestigious and most decorated regiments of the Indian Army.

History

A sepoy of the 37th Dogras.
A sepoy of the 37th Dogras.

The Dogra Rajputs, the inhabitants of 'Duggar' or Dogra land hail from the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and the hilly regions of Punjab. The Dogra Regiment traces its lineage to 1858, when the Agra Levy was raised by the British East India Company as part of the Bengal Army. The Dogras were added into the Bengal Army on the recommendation of Sir Fredrick Roberts, the then commander-in-chief of India, who decided to add a Dogra regiment because he was impressed by the loyalty and soldierly qualities of Dogra troops.The Agra Levy was later renamed the 38th Dogras. In 1887 the 37th (Dogra) Bengal Infantry was raised and later renamed the 37th (Prince of Wales's Own) Dogras. In 1900 the 41st (Dogra) Bengal Infantry was raised and also later renamed the 41st Dogras. In 1922 the Indian government reformed the army, moving from single battalion regiments to multi-battalion regiments.[2][page needed] The 37th, 38th and 41st Dogras were all amalgamated into the 17th Dogra Regiment. It dropped '17th' from its title in 1945 and was allocated to India upon its independence in 1947.[citation needed]

The 38th Dogras served in the siege of Malakand in 1897 and during the First World War, served in Aden, Suez and Palestine during the battle of Megiddo. The 37th Dogras took part in the Chitral Expedition in 1895 and during the First World War, fought in the Second Battle of Kut and the capture of Baghdad as part of the 14th Indian Division.[3] The 41st Dogras served in China from 1904 to 1908 as part of an international force, and then served on the Western Front and the Mesopotamia Campaign during World War I.

In 1949, Karan Singh, son of Maharaja Hari Singh, the last maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, was appointed Regent by his father. He wrote the Dogra Regiment's regimental song, 'Dikhi Lai Dogra Desh'.

Perhaps the best compliment given to the Dogras has come from Field Marshal Sir William Slim who wrote to them thus:

The Dogra proved themselves yet again a hardened and courageous fighter. Like his predecessors, he has been proud of his military heritage and has shown himself well versed in the art of war. Nor did he fail to live up to his age old reputation of combining courage with modesty and good manners as a gentleman should. I know from personal experience that in an army with many fine battalions, the Dogras have not merely upheld their brilliant reputation, but have added lustre to the pages of history of both their own regiment and of the Indian Army.

Formation

The regiment was formed in 1922 through the amalgamation of three separate regiments of Dogras into the 17th Dogra Regiment.[4] They were:

The regiment has produced one Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Nirmal Chander Vij. Vij also served as the 10th Colonel-in-Chief of the Dogra Regiment and the Dogra Scouts.

Dogras (along with Highlanders) in a trench with dugouts; Fauquissart, France.
Dogras (along with Highlanders) in a trench with dugouts; Fauquissart, France.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–48

Main article: Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948

Pakistani raiders had besieged and reduced Skardu in early 1948.[5]: 300–305  It was vital that Leh, the next likely target, be relieved before it was attacked by the raiders. Maj. Prithi Chand, along with a band of 40 volunteers from the 2nd battalion, Dogra Regiment, began a hazardous mid-winter ascent of the Zojila pass on 16 February 1948, with rifles and ammunition for the garrison. They reached Leh on 8 March, where an ad hoc force for defence was organised, followed soon by a Jammu and Kashmir State Forces detachment bringing additional weapons.[6]: 195–199 

Sino-Indian War

Main article: Sino-Indian War

A company from the 4th battalion fought in the battle of Walong in November 1962 and suffered significant casualties against a vastly numerically superior Chinese force.[7]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Main article: Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

On September 2, 1965, the 3rd battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. R.B. Nair, was given the task to capture Point 7702 in Jammu and Kashmir. The brigade then planned two battalion attacks with the 2nd battalion, Sikh Regiment on the left to clear the Raja picket and the 3rd battalion, Dogra Regiment on the right to capture point 7702. The battalion left late in the evening on September 5, and successfully sneaked past Raja picket. The two leading companies were to assault from the left flank and cross the start line at 04:00 on September 6 under the able leadership of Maj. Greesh Chandra Verma and Capt. Gurdev Singh Bawa. B and C companies stormed point 7702 at 05:00 on September 6. After a fierce hand-to-hand and bunker-to-bunker fight, the enemy was uprooted from the strongly built defences and the post was captured by 05:45.

Maj. G.C. Verma was wounded in the head and refused to be evacuated. He breathed his last on seeing the success signal being fired from his pistol by Sub. Rattan Singh. Capt. G.S. Bawa, the other assaulting company commander was also wounded fatally while silencing an enemy MMG. The battalion lost two officers, one JCO and 14 ORs while 3 officers, 2 JCOs and 60 ORs were wounded in the battle. 39 men of enemy were killed and 5 were taken as POWs.

In recognition of this valour the battalion was awarded the battle honour Chand Tekri and theatre honour of Jammu and Kashmir 1965.

2nd battalion, Dogra Regiment led the famed OP Hill attack on Nov 2nd 1965, to capture a strategic location in Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir. This is regarded as one of the bloodiest battles fought by the Indian Army. Maj GS Pall led the Delta company up the steep and open hill towards Kala Pathar, a frontal attack under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, with the hillside strewn with landmines, followed by Charlie and Alpha companies. Meanwhile 7th Battalion of Sikh Regiment and 5th Battalion of Sikh Li Regiment troops flanked the enemy. Dogras suffered heavy casualties throughout the night but refused to withdraw, eventually meeting up with the Sikh and Sikh Li troops for the capture. Many awards were earned posthumously, including Officers, JCOs and Jawans. 2rd Dogras earned a Battle Honour for this famed battle. An impressive memorial stands at the site today commemorating the battle and the bravery of 2nd Dogras.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Main article: Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

On the eastern front, the 9th battalion was responsible for the fall of Suadih, a small village in East Pakistan that was a strong bastion of the Pakistan Army's most fortified position in the country. This led to the ultimate liberation of East Pakistan and a victory for the Indian Army. For this task, 9 Dogra was awarded the battle honour of Suadih.

The 5th battalion was posted in Asal Uttar, Punjab, where it was assigned to accord depth to the defences of Khem Karan.

Kargil War

Main article: Kargil War

The 5th battalion fought in the Kargil War to capture Tiger Hill.

UN Peacekeeping

The Dogra Regiment has not only contributed to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in the Gaza Strip, Korea, and the Congo, but has also contributed in providing various military observers in various peace keeping operation around the globe. The 1st, 3rd and 9th battalions have participated in UN peacekeeping missions.

Dogra Regiment troops, along with a Sikh non-Dogra Regiment soldier, on UN duty.
Dogra Regiment troops, along with a Sikh non-Dogra Regiment soldier, on UN duty.

Recruitment

Dogra regiment has a fixed class composition: 50 percent from Himachal Pradesh, 25 percent from Jammu and Kashmir, and a balance from Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Pathankot, and Rupnagar districts of Punjab. Enlisting in army is seen as honourable pursuit for Dogras; soldiering has not only become a substantial part of the economic structure of the Dogra hills, but created social and cultural traditions built on the people's association with the army.[8]

Regimental Centre

Initially, the Dogra battalions were raised in various different places by the British Indian Army, with each having their own depot. After the first World War, a common depot was formed, which was later termed the Training Battalion (later the 10th Battalion). In 1943, the Training Battalion ceased to exist and was renamed The Dogra Regimental Centre. After independence, the regimental centre was established in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh in 1952. It was moved to Faizabad Cantonment, Uttar Pradesh, in June 1976, where it is currently located.[9]

Units

The Dogra Regiment Marching Contingent passes through the Rajpath, on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day Parade 2018, in New Delhi.
The Dogra Regiment Marching Contingent passes through the Rajpath, on the occasion of the 69th Republic Day Parade 2018, in New Delhi.

The regiment also has 4 Territorial Army battalions.

Other facts:

Affiliations

In the year 1990 affiliations of Indian Navy ships were being done with the Indian Army Regiments, INS Ranvijay was affiliated with the Dogra Regiment in 1997. Apart from this, the Dogras are also affiliated with the Regiment of Artillery (14 Medium Regiment and 15 Medium Regiment).

Battle honours

Two battalions of the 17th Dogra Regiment (the 2nd and 3rd), also fought in the Malayan Campaign. After the Fall of Singapore, a large number of the captured troops later went on to join the Indian National Army.[10]

King's Colour 2/17th Dogra Regiment, 1926–1947
King's Colour 2/17th Dogra Regiment, 1926–1947

Pre-independence

Combined battle honours of 37th (Prince of Wales's Own) Dogras, 38th Dogras, 41st Dogras:[11]

World War I
World War II

Post-independence

Colonels of the Dogra Regiment

Gen. N.C. Vij, the 20th Chief of Army Staff and the first Dogra Regiment officer to hold the title.
Gen. N.C. Vij, the 20th Chief of Army Staff and the first Dogra Regiment officer to hold the title.

Gallantry Awards

Vijay Kumar receiving the 2006 Arjuna Award for shooting.
Vijay Kumar receiving the 2006 Arjuna Award for shooting.

Before Indian independence, the Dogras had to their credit two Victoria Crosses and 44 Military Crosses besides 312 other awards including 2 unit Citations. Some awardees are like :

The following battalions of the regiment have also been awarded the Chief of Army Staff's Unit Citation:

References

  1. ^ Pubby, Manu (14 July 2018). "Lt Gen Ranbir Singh avenges death of soldiers from his Dogra regiment". The Economic Times. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  2. ^ Sumner, Ian (2001). The Indian Army 1914–1947. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-196-6.
  3. ^ British Official History of the Great War, Mesopotamia Campaign Vol. 4
  4. ^ C.T. Atkinson, A history of the 1st (P.W.O.) Battalion: the Dogra Regiment 1887-1947, 37th Dogras, 1887-1923, 1st (P.W.O.) Bn., 17th Dogra Rgt., 1922-1945 (Southampton : printed for the subscribers by the Camelot Press, 1950).
  5. ^ Prasad, S.N.; Dharm Pal (1987). History of Operations In Jammu and Kashmir 1947–1948. New Delhi: History Department, Ministry of Defence, Government of India. (printed at Thomson Press (India) Limited). p. 418..
  6. ^ Sen, Maj Gen L. P. (1969). Slender Was the Thread: Kashmir Confrontation 1947–48. New Delhi: Orient Longman. p. 308. ISBN 0-86131-692-4. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Battle of Walong, 18 Oct - 16 Nov 1962 - Bharat Rakshak - Indian Army & Land Forces".
  8. ^ "Dogra Regiment: A Fact-File On Indian Army's 'Gentleman Warriors' Who Hail From Shivaliks Foothills". 24 August 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  9. ^ "The Dogra Regimental Centre Indian Army Postal Cover". 22 March 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  10. ^ Fay 1993, p. 137
  11. ^ "Infantry Regiments: The cutting edge of Soldiering". 24 January 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2021.