THE valour of then Major (later Brig) Kuldip Chandpuri and the Indian Air Force in the Battle of Longewala, the epic battle of 1971, have been highlighted adequately in media and even in the movie ‘Border’. But they were not the only ones to win the battle; the Artillery also played a stellar role. The unsung hero of Longewala finds its place in the book ‘Guns of Longewala’ by Lt Col Kulvinder Singh (Retd).
In the hallowed pages of military history, certain battles etch themselves into timeless saga of courage, resilience, and strategic brilliance. ‘Guns of Longewala’ is not just a book; it’s a gripping narrative that plunges readers into the intense nights of December 1971, where a small Indian post stood defiantly against the formidable might of a Pakistani Brigade supported with an Armoured Regiment.
Lt Col Kulvinder Singh, who took part as Battery Commander during this battle, recounted at Hotel JW Marriot, Aerocity, as to how the events unfolded and the contribution by the Artillery which saved the day for the Indian Army. The untold story that Bollywood’s ‘Border’ movie missed was recounted as if it was happening before you.
The heroic contribution of the 185 Light Regiment, as unsung hero in the Battle of Longewala, finally finds its voice in this meticulously researched and riveting account in the book by the author.
Race against time
One discovered the harrowing race against time faced by the 1853 Light Battery, a Heavy Mortar Battery under the command of Major (later Lt Col) Kulvinder Singh. Positioned under unconventional circumstances and in the imminent threat of a Pakistani armored assault, their story is one of unwavering dedication and lightning-fast preparation.
Watching a rescue mission unfold was a nerve-wracking experience, especially when it involved the daring efforts of the Battery Commander. Major (Later Lt Col) Kulvinder Singh’s strategic prowess and audacious execution of a flawless rescue mission to save an Air Observation Post (AOP) pilot, whose singleengine aircraft had crash-landed in the battlefield, was nothing short of heroic. Major Singh not only succeeded in rescuing the pilot but also thwarted the enemy’s attempt to capture him alive along with his aircraft. The narrative unfolded as a gripping saga of courage and determination on the battleground.
Page to monument
The author, Lt Col Kulvinder Singh is not merely presenting a book; he is advocating for recognition of Artillery role in the battle – about the initiative to immortalise the legacy of the Indian Artillery’s contribution to Longewala by placing old heavy mortars at the Longewala Monument.
The narrative by the author went beyond a historical account – it was a journey into the hearts and minds of those who faced the crucible of war. ‘Guns of Longewala’, written by none else than the person who led the Artillery support during the battle, is not just a book; it’s a gripping narrative that plunges readers into the intense nights of December 1971, where a small Indian post stood defiantly against the formidable might of a Pakistani Brigade with an Armoured Regiment It is a story that deserves its place in the pantheon of valour that defines the indomitable spirit of our armed forces. This narrative went beyond a historical account – it was a journey into the hearts and minds of those who faced the crucible of war. A must-read by all, especially those who are doing research on various battles and the military researchers.