4 Infantry Division / Red Eagle
The Indian 4 Infantry Division was raised as an infantry division of the British Indian Army. The division was formed in Egypt in 1939 and was the first Indian formation to go overseas during the Second World War. As with other formations in the Indian Army prior to independence, it primarily had British officers and Indians in other ranks. However, it did include Indian officers with ranks as high as Captain or Major. During WWII, it took part in campaigns in East Africa (Eritrea and Sudan), Syria, North Africa and Italy. During World War II the Division captured 150,000 prisoners and suffered 25,000 casualties, more than the strength of a whole division. It won over 1,000 Honours and Awards which included 4 Victoria Crosses and 3 George Crosses.
The lineage of the unit is kept alive through a division of the Indian Army. The Division, known as Red Eagle due to its badge of a red eagle on a black background, is now a part of the Indian Army under the Central Command, it is headquartered in Allahabad.
During the 1965 Indo-Pak War, 4 Indian Division was entrusted with a two-fold responsibility - capture Pak territory East of Lchhogil Canal and contain possible enemy attack on Kasur-Khem Karan axis. The 4th Indian Division succeeded in reaching Ichhogil but the powerful Pakistani offensive forced it to fall back on Asal Uttar. The 4 Indian Division settled here to meet the enemy assault. In the new defence plan of the Division, 4 Grenadiers occupied a vital area ahead of Chima village on the Khem Karan-Bhikhiwind road. CQMH Abdul Hamid inspired his comrades to put up a gallant fight to beat off the enemy tank assault. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid was honored with the highest war time gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.
Infantry Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the first Infantry action in independent India. It was on this day, in 1947, that the Infantry troops landed in Kashmir Valley and successfully repelled Pakistani invaders. Being the first glorious chapter in post-independent India, this day is celebrated with elan and pride. At the Red Eagle Division, in 2008 wreaths were laid at the war memorial to honour the martyrs who laid down their lives guarding the sovereignty of the nation. Maj Gen Sumer Singh, General Officer Commanding, Red Eagle Division, Maj Gen MN Rawat, officers and serving soldiers attended the ceremony. The immaculate drill, well co-ordinated movements and sounding of 'last post' paid an equitable honor to departed souls. The get-together at Red Eagle Officers' Mess was marked with the spirit of conviviality. Serving Infantry officers hosted the bon-homie and numerous retired and serving officers graced the occasion with their presence.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|