RIP Brigadier Kuldeep Singh Chandpuri: Hero Of Battle of Longewala



Today the whole nation bids Adieu the rare Indian flesh & blood stronger than the steel armor of battle tanks. The man whose company managed to frustrate the Pakistani attempt to advance past the Longewala post for an entire night on 4-5 December 1971. 

Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was born on 22 November 1940 at Montgomery in the Punjab region of undivided India. His family then moved to their native village, Chandpur Rurki in Balachaur. He was an active member of the NCC and cleared the NCC examination when he graduated from the Government College, Hoshiarpur in 1962. Kuldeep Singh is the third generation of officers to serve in the army. Both his younger uncles were pilot officers in the Indian Air Force. 

Chandpuri was recruited into the Indian Army in 1962, and commissioned from Officers Training Academy, Chennai in 1963 into the 23rd Battalion of The Punjab Regiment, which is one of the oldest and highly decorated units of the Indian army. He took part in the 1965 war in the western sector. After the war, he served in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) at Gaza (Egypt) for a year. He also served twice as an instructor at the prestigious Infantry School, Mhow (MP) where the elite of the Indian army are imparted instructions and combat training. 



BATTLE OF LONGEWALA- 1971

Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was major in the Indian Army's 23rd Battalion, Punjab Regiment when the Pakistani army attacked the Longewala post in the state of Rajasthan, India, early in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Chandpuri and his company of 120 soldiers, defended the post, in spite of considerable odds, against the 2000-3000 strong assault force of the Pakistani 51st Infantry Brigade, backed by the 22nd Armored Regiment. Chandpuri and his company held the Pakistanis at bay for a full night until the Indian Air Force arrived in the morning.

Chandpuri inspired his men, moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them to beat back the enemy until reinforcements arrived. Kuldip Singh Chandpuri and his men inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy, and forced them to retreat, leaving behind twelve tanks. For his conspicuous gallantry and leadership, Chandpuri was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) by the Indian Army.

Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri retired from the army as a brigadier and died today as he was suffering from cancer. 

LEGACY

Border, a 1997 Hindi film directed by J.P.Dutta was an adaptation of the real-life battle, with Major Chandpuri being portrayed by Hindi film actor Sunny Deol.


CITATION

MAJOR KULDEEP SINGH CHANDPURI
Operation: 1971 Cactus Lily
Date of Award: 05 Dec 1971

Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri was commanding a company battalion of the Punjab Regiment occupying a defended locality in the Rajasthan Sector. On the 5th December 1971, in the early hours of the morning the enemy launched a massive attack on this locality with infantry and tanks. Major Chandpuri exhibited dynamic leadership in holding his command intact and steadfast.

Showing exceptional courage and determination, he inspired his men moving from bunker to bunker, encouraging them in beating back the enemy till reinforcements arrived. In this heroic defence, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy and forced them to retreat leaving behind twelve tanks.

In this action, Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri displayed conspicuous gallantry, inspiring leadership and exceptional devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Army

Service Before Self

Sir, May your soul REST IN POWER.  

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