Service No: IC-10082

Date of Birth : Aug 28, 1936

Place of Birth : Muree(Pak)

Service: Army

Last Rank : Major

Last Unit : 8 JAK Rif

Arm/Regt : The J&K Rifles

Operation: Op Riddle

Award: Vir Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Sep 14, 1965

Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma VrC

Major Surendar Mohan Sharma was born on 28th August 1936 in Muree, Pakistan and the family was then settled in Chandigarh. Son Shri Amar Nath Sharma, he joined the Army on 15 Dec 1957 at the age of 21 years. He was commissioned into 3 JAK Rif battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, one of the most decorated infantry Regiments of Indian Army. He later served with 5 JAK Rif and upon re-raising of 8 JAK Rif, he was one of first officers to join the battalion.

 

By the year 1965, he had put in over 7 years of service and had served in various field areas along with his parent unit. As the war clouds were gathering in 1965, Maj Sharma’s unit got deployed in the western sector to deal with any misadventure by Pakistani forces. Pakistan launched ‘Op Gibraltar’ during Aug 1965 which entailed large scale infiltration into Kashmir valley to create disturbances. Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma played a stellar role in defending Kalidhar Ridge in Chhamb area on 15 Aug 1965 despite repeated attacks by Mujahedeens & Rajakars and changed the future course of ‘Chhamb Battle’.

 

Indo-Pak War : 13-14 Sep 1965

 

During Sep 1965 Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma’s unit 8 JAK Rif was deployed in Chhamb sector in J & K. Pakistan launched ‘Operation Gibraltar’ in Aug 1965, wherein thousands of infiltrators were sent across the border to carry out sabotage and subversion. Following the failure of Op Gibraltar, Pakistan invaded Chhamb district on 01 Sep 1965 triggering an aggressive response from the Indian forces. By 13 Sep 1965, 8 JAK Rif had been part of many successful operations and was established at Kalarawanda in the Sialkot Sector in Pakistan. Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma was functioning as a company commander of one of the companies of 8 JAK Rif battalion.

 

On the night of the 13th Sept 1965, Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma’s company, along with a troop of tanks were attacked by the enemy forces comprising an infantry battalion and a squadron of Patton tanks.  The enemy was numerically superior and was supported by Artillery and armour.  After heavy shelling and tank fire, the enemy Infantry Battalion attacked the 8 JAK Rif company positions. Despite, heavy odds, Maj Sharma inspired his men to continue the fight. He kept directing the battle from one platoon locality to the other under intense enemy fire. Although the enemy force had overwhelming numerical superiority and fire power Maj Sharma’s company inflicted very heavy casualties on it. After capturing Kalarawanda Maj Sharma’s company dug in defences. The 6 Frontier Force of Pakistan army led the attack next day on Maj Sharma’s held positions along with the Artillery and an Armour Squadron in the late afternoon. Maj Sharma and his men gave a befitting reply to the enemy despite lacking the resources. However during the fierce battle Maj Sharma got seriously wounded and succumbed to his injuries. Maj Sharma was a gallant soldier and a fine officer who led his soldiers from the front.

 

Maj Surendar Mohan Sharma showed outstanding courage in the face of the enemy beyond the call of duty and laid down his life in the service of the nation. He was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his exceptional bravery, fighting spirit and supreme sacrifice.

Citation for the Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:-

 

On the night of the 13th/14th September 1965, Major Surendar Mohan Sharma’s company, along with a troop of tanks was established at Kalarawanda in the Sialkot Sector in Pakistan. After heavy shelling and tank fire, an enemy Infantry Battalion, supported by a Squadron of tanks and artillery attacked our Company positions. Despite, heavy odds, Major Surendar Mohan Sharma  inspired his men to continue the fight. He kept directing the battle from one platoon locality to the other under intense enemy fire, till he was mortally wounded. Although the enemy force had overwhelming numerical superiority and fire power our company inflicted very heavy casualties on it. The courage, determination and leadership displayed by Major Surendar Mohan Sharma were in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.

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2 Comments
  • C M Sharma

    2018at1:33 am Reply

    Continuous firing of the guns to the fullest for over 40 hours – 14-16 Sept,’65 at Kalarwanda, Sialkot- was an extraordinary sounding of the “Last Post” by the two warring sides to a lion hearted FAUJI, Maj S M Sharma, waiting to be laid to rest.
    To experience such a sendoff and being laid to rest, instead of him, I wish it was me there.

    Having heroically defended Kalidhar Ridge during Aug, 1965, Maj S M Sharma and his unit – 8 JAK RIF – moved into Sialkot Sector operations. In the evening of 13th Sept, 1965, at very short notice, with his company of 8 JAK RIF, Maj S M Sharma, was directed to lead the attack and capture strategic High grounds of Kalarwanda (closer towards Sialkot).

    With the sunset, as heavy enemy shelling commenced Maj S M Sharma led the spirited attack and by mid night 13/14th Sept, 65, the strategically located dominating high ground of Kalarwanda was captured. Through the night and under enemy fire, the Company dug in the trenches to repulse the counter attacks.

    As guns got silenced, just before noon on 14th Sept, 65, chalking out further operations C.O. 8 JAK RIF with Brigade Comdr visited the Kalarwanda. After short lull, heavy enemy shelling and armour fire opened up on the high ground location, sensitively important to Pakistan operations.

    Towards the evening, under cover of heavy shelling and supported with armour, attack by enemy infantry in strength developed. Enthusiastically moving, un-mindful in the face of the superior fire power being faced, the Company took up spirited defence positions on the high ground. Supported by the armour tanks, enemy infantry in strength was moving in. Dauntlessly directing actions in defense on the high ground, Major Sharma inspiringly moved from one Platoon location to another location and from one side to the other side of the high ground.

    While so leading in broad day light, despite Major Sharma got hit by enemy machine gun fire, he continued directing his company from the high ground. As he got further mortally wounded, legendary Peepal Tree took him in his fold, as Kalarwanda continued to be steadfastly defended through the war.

    With ferocity of the then ongoing battle, for over next 48 hours, motionlessly he awaited being laid to rest.

    Soul of Maj S M Sharma would have been heavenly delighted, as amidst heavy shelling and fire spitting armour and “Jai DURGE” -War Cry- RCL gun of 8 JAK flamed Pakistani Tank and lit timeless Jyot. To a soldier being laid to rest, this was a rare and unusual sounding of Last Post salutations.

    Closely following, as his ‘Younger Brother’ and ‘Brother Officer’, fortunately I joined same op location & same men of 8 JAK RIF to continue the legacy. These men of 8 JAK RIF, having lit the pyre of Maj S M Sharma, my brother and with the solemn heroic Last Post, a lifetime bond of our family with the 8 JAK RIF evolved.

    Maj S M Sharma and Kalarwanda inspires, as we salute the spirited inspiring dauntlessly gallant actions of ‘Fauji’.

    Capt C M Sharma (Retd), 8 JAK RIF

  • Capt C M Sharma (R)

    2020at11:28 pm Reply

    2020 – 55 Years on and yet Memories and inspirations as fresh as it was with his Aura.
    We are always Remaining Grateful to 8 JAK RIF.

    Facts need slight corrections with regard to date. Hence need to recall….
    13th late evening, he led the company assault and after capturing Kalarwanda & dug in defences.

    Next day, Today) 14th Sep, while defending against the Pakistan Artillery & Armour Sqdrn supported attack of 6 FF led by their B COY spitting fire, in late afternoon, he was mortally wounded on 14th Sep. Resources lacking did not deter him and the Men to give a tough time….

    The Bn could not resist immediate response. To achieve total surprise, it was avenged with mid night silent attack and before morning dawn, while defending in the night of 14/15th Pakistan suffered loss of their two Tanks.

    Lying under Pipal Tree, witnessing further “Battle of Kalawanda”, until the evening of 16th Sep., & by that time “Pakistan Armour supported 10 Bde attack was repulsed” by the RANVEERS, as their Division Attack was being planned for 23rd Sep.

    Unparalleled great way to move forward, as the Last Post was sounded with Booming Guns, Soldier martyrs under PEEPAL TREE remain eternally protected, Glorious.
    History was written.

    Bar was raised, as RANVEERS live to date With
    “ENEMY GETS NO ELBOW ROOM”.

    Best wishes and warm regards to all.

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