Major Somnath Sharma

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Major Somnath Sharma was an Indian Army officer who has the distinction of receiving India’s first Param Vir Chakra.

Birth and Family

Major Somnath Sharma was born on January 31, 1923. Major Sharma was born in Dadh, Kangra, Punjab (present day Himachal Pradesh). His father’s name was Amarnath Sharma. He was an officer in the Indian Army and retired with the rank of Major General. His younger brother, Vishwa Nath Sharma, became the 14th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Military Career

Major Somnath Sharma’s military career began in the year 1942, when on February 22, 1942, upon his graduation from the Royal Military College, Somnath Sharma was commissioned into the 19th Hyderabad Regiment of the British Indian Army. Later, this

The regiment was converted into the 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment. He participated in the Second World War on behalf of the British Indian Army. Somnath Sharma was honored with “Mention in Dispatch” in the year 1946 for his combat performance during the Arakan campaign against the Japanese.

Martyred in the battle of Budgam

As soon as the country got independence, Pakistan attacked Kashmir, as a result of which India also had to enter the battlefield. 4, Kumaon Regiment was deployed at the very beginning of the war. Delta Company of this regiment participated in the battle of Budgam under the leadership of Major Somnath Sharma. In this war, Major Somnath Sharma displayed extraordinary bravery and attained martyrdom on November 3, 1947 while leading his company. He was posthumously decorated with Paramvir Chakra for his bravery.

Official Citation

On 3 November 1947, Major Somnath Sharma’s company was ordered to go on a combat patrol to Budgam in the Kashmir Valley. He reached his target with the first rays of the sun on 3 November and deployed on a front south of Budgam at 11:00. The enemy, numbering around 500, attacked his company’s position from three sides, causing heavy losses to the company. Seeing the gravity of the situation and fully realizing the direct threat to Srinagar Aerodrome, Major Somnath Sharma urged his company to fight the enemy tenaciously.

With extreme bravery he ran across the open ground to motivate his columns, exposing them to heavy enemy fire. Maintaining his composure, he skillfully directed his troop on the steadily advancing enemy. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire and laid strips of cloth on the planes to protect our planes from the enemy. Realizing that casualties had affected the effectiveness of his light automatics, this brave officer, with his left hand bound in plaster, personally started the light machine gun.

A mortar shell fell right in the middle of the ammunition dump resulting in an explosion and Major Sharma was martyred. Major Sharma’s company remained at this position and the rest withdrew only when they were almost completely surrounded. His inspiring example resulted in a delay of six hours to the enemy, thus stopping the enemy’s advance and giving us time to get reinforcements into position. His leadership, bravery and tenacious defense were such that his men remained inspired to fight the enemy for about six hours after this brave officer was martyred. He has set an example of courage and qualities that can rarely be matched in the history of the Indian Army. His last message to Brigade Headquarters, moments before he was killed, was, “The enemy is only 50 yards from us. Our numbers are very high. We are under heavy fire. I will not step back even an inch but will fight till the last man and the last round.”

Paramveer Chakra: 21 Paramveers who became immortal in the pages of history

Name Rank Date
Somnath Sharma Major 3 Nov 1947
Jadunath Singh Naik 6 Feb 1948
Rama Raghoba Rane Second Lieutenant 8 Apr 1948
Piru Singh Company Havildar Major 17 Jul 1948
Karam Singh Lance Naik 13 Oct 1948
Gurbachan Singh Salaria Captain 5 Dec 1961
Dhan Singh Thapa Major 20 Oct 1962
Joginder Singh Subedar 23 Oct 1962
Shaitan Singh Major 18 Nov 1962
Abdul Hamid Company Quarter Master Havildar 10 Sep 1965
Ardeshir Tarapore Lieutenant Colonel 11 Sep 1965
Albert Ekka Lance Naik 3 Dec 1971
Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon Flying Officer 14 Dec 1971
Arun Khetarpal Second Lieutenant 16 Dec 1971
Hoshiar Singh Dahiya Major 17 Dec 1971
Bana Singh Naib Subedar 23 May 1987
Ramaswamy Parameshwaran Major 25 Nov 1987
Manoj Kumar Pandey Lieutenant 3 Jul 1999
Yogendra Singh Yadav Grenadier 4 Jul 1999
Sanjay Kumar Rifleman 5 Jul 1999
Vikram Batra Captain 7 Jul 1999

Tribute to 21 immortal martyrs from a grateful nation!

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