Opinion

21 Sikhs fought 10,000 Afghans, story of the worlds most deadliest battle – The battle of Saragarh

After the death of the brave Gurmukh Singh, Saragarhi was destroyed. The Afghans turned their attention to Fort Gulistan nearby without even realizing that the brave fight put forward by the 21 Sikhs has causing them massive causality and they had lost thousands of their soldiers. Meanwhile the  Reinforcements started arriving at Fort Gulistan in the night of 13–14 September and Afgans were forced to step back and run for their life.

The Pashtuns later admitted that they had lost about 180 soldiers in the battle and many more soldiers of theirs were wounded during the engagement against the 21 Sikh soldiers. A total of 600 bodies are said to have been seen around the ruined Saragarhi post when the relief party arrived. However, the fort had been retaken, on 14 September, by the use of intensive artillery fire, which may have caused many casualties. The total casualties in the entire Battle of Saragarhi, numbered at around 4,800. Can you imagine the resistance put forward by these warriors and their love towards their mother land.

All the 21 Sikh non-commissioned officers and soldiers of other ranks who laid down their lives in the Battle of Saragarhi were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest gallantry award of that time, which an Indian soldier could receive by the hands of the British crown, the corresponding gallantry award being Victoria Cross. This award is equivalent to today’s Param Vir Chakra awarded by the President of India.

This battle even to this day is regarded as the most deadliest and the most bravest. Even to this day many counties around the world tell their army men about the The Battle of Saragarhi and the strategy and bravery put up by these 21 Sikh warriors.

They were all born in Majha region of Punjab.

The names of the 21 recipients of the gallantry award are:

  1. Havildar Ishar Singh (regimental number 165)
  2. Naik Lal Singh (332)
  3. Naik Chanda Singh (546)
  4. Lance Naik Sundar Singh (1321)
  5. Lance Naik Ram Singh (287)
  6. Lance Naik Uttar Singh (492)
  7. Lance Naik Sahib Singh (182)
  8. Sepoy Hira Singh (359)
  9. Sepoy Daya Singh (687)
  10. Sepoy Jivan Singh (760)
  11. Sepoy Bhola Singh (791)
  12. Sepoy Narayan Singh (834)
  13. Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (814)
  14. Sepoy Jivan Singh (871)
  15. Sepoy Gurmukh Singh (1733)
  16. Sepoy Ram Singh (163)
  17. Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1257)
  18. Sepoy Bhagwan Singh (1265)
  19. Sepoy Buta Singh (1556)
  20. Sepoy Jivan Singh (1651)
  21. Sepoy Nand Singh (1221)

Tasleem Ibrahim**

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