Brave Indian

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  • Topic: Sikh, Indian Army, Battle of Saragarhi
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Battle of Saragarhi
Coordinates: 33°33′N 70°56′E
Battle of Saragarhi|
Part of Tirah Campaign War|

Burnt-out interior of Saragarhi as it looked on 14th September, 1897| Date| 12 September 1897|
Location| Tirah, North-West Frontier Province, British India (modern day Pakistan)| Result| Afghan Pashtun tactical victory, British Indian strategic victory|
|
Belligerents|
British India| Pashtuns (Afghans)|
Commanders and leaders|
Havildar Ishar Singh  †| Gul Badshah|
Units involved|
36th Sikhs of British Indian Army| Afridis and Orakzais| Strength|
21[1]| 10,000[2][3]|
Casualties and losses|
21 killed (100%)[1]| 180 killed (Afghan claim)[4]
~800 killed[5] (British Indian estimates)*
Many wounded[6] (number unknown)|
* 600 Afghan bodies were found at the battlefield. Some of these were killed by the artillery fire from the British Indian relief party that recaptured the fort.[7][8]|

The map of the battle site
The Battle of Saragarhi was fought during the Tirah Campaign on 12 September 1897 between twenty-one Sikhs of the 4th Battalion (then 36th Sikhs) of the Sikh Regiment of British India, defending an army post, and 10,000 Afghan and Orakzai tribesmen. The battle occurred in the North-West Frontier Province, which formed part of British India. It is now named the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and is part ofPakistan. The contingent of the twenty-one Sikhs from the 36th Sikhs was led by Havildar Ishar Singh. They all chose to fight to the death. The battle is not well known outside military academia, but is "considered by some military historians as one of history's great last-stands".[9]Sikh military personnel and Sikh civilians commemorate the battle every year on 12 September, as Saragarhi Day. The British and Indian armies’ polo teams also commemorate the battle annually by holding the Saragarhi Challenge Cup.

Contents  * 1 Situation * 2 The Battle * 3 Reception * 3.1 British parliament * 3.2 Commemorative tablet * 3.3 Order of Merit * 3.4 In Indian Schools * 3.5 Saragarhi Day * 3.6 Saragarhi Challenge Cup * 3.7 Saragarhi and Thermopylae * 4 Further reading * 5 References * 6 External links| -------------------------------------------------

Situation 
Saragarhi is a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present day Pakistan. On the 20th April 1894, the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Army was created, under the command of Colonel J. Cook.[11] In August 1897, five companies of the 36th Sikhs under Lt. Col. John Haughton, were sent to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, stationed at Samana Hills, Kurag, Sangar, Sahtop Dhar and Saragarhi. The British had partially succeeded in getting control of this volatile area, however tribal Pashtuns attacked British personnel from time to time. Thus a series of forts, originally built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ruler of the Sikh Empire, were consolidated. Two of the forts were Fort Lockhart, (on the Samana Range of the Hindu Kush mountains), and Fort Gulistan (Sulaiman Range), situated a few miles apart. Due to the forts not being visible to each other, Saragarhi was created midway, as a heliographic communication post. The Saragarhi post, situated on a rocky ridge, consisted of a small block house with loop-holed ramparts and a signalling tower. A general uprising by the Afghans began there in 1897, and between 27 August - 11 September, many vigorous efforts by Pashtuns to capture the forts were thwarted by 36th Sikh regiment. In 1897, insurgent and inimical activities had increased, and on 3rd and 9 September Afridi tribes, with allegiance to Afghans, attacked Fort Gulistan. Both the attacks were repulsed, and a relief column from Fort Lockhart, on its return trip, reinforced the signalling detachment positioned at Saragarhi, increasing its strength to one Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) and twenty...
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