Kargil Vijay Diwas

Kargil War: Operation Vijay, Safed Sagar & The Bofors Gun - Trident Of The Glorious Victory

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 0
3671
| July 26 , 2018 , 09:55 IST

The Kargil War of 19999 has its own strategic importance as this historic war was fought at an altitude of around 18,000 ft from the sea level. The victory came up after the sacrifice of around 527 Indian soldiers

The two major operations that led to the splendid victory of the Indian military are Operation Vijay and Operation Safed Sagar.

From The Growling Ground – Operation Vijay

Operation Vijay began on May 8, 1999, and ended on July 26, 1999. 527 Indian soldiers were martyred. On the other hand, Pakistan believes that around 453 soldiers were killed. While the truth is that in this war over 4,000 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

Operation Vijay was an armed struggle between India and Pakistan which lasted for about two months (between May-June-July) in 1999. This started after a shepherd residing in the border areas on May 3, 1999, reported to the nearest army unit that Pakistani soldiers were seen in bunkers on our side of the LOC.

A team led by Capt Saurabh Kalia was dispatched but sadly on 15th May, they were ambushed. They were brutally tortured to death and their mutilated bodies were returned after three weeks on June 9. This inhumane act of Pakistani army outraged India calling for a full-fledged war between India and Pakistan.

ALSO READ: July 26 - The Tale Of Triumph: All You Need To Know About The Kargil War

The war was very difficult for the Indian sides to win as the Pakistanis had an altitudinal advantage which helped them to easily target Indian soldiers who were climbing the mountain.

The Indian brave hearts were in no mood to lose, their undying love for the country kept them moving and winning all key posts.

Finally, on 14 July 1999, Indian Army announced the complete eviction of Pakistani intruders and with this Operation Vijay officially came to an end. However, the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared the end of the Kargil conflict on July 26, 1999.

Operation Safed Sagar

Operation Safed was the code name assigned to the Indian Air Force's strike to support the Ground troops during Kargil war which was aimed to flush troops of the Pakistani Army from the actuated Indian Positions in the Kargil sector along the Line of Control

The Indian Air Force (IAF) first tried to provide air support on 26 May, with the use of helicopters and MIGs flown by Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja and his second in command Flt It Nachiketa. Ahuja was killed during the mission, and Nachiketa captured.

After the IAF was first requested on 11 May 99 to carry out counter surface force operations with armed helicopters against enemy intruders, the Air Force went into immediate preparations for hostilities, commenced large-scale airlift of troops, ammunition and stores into the sector. The IAF also commenced aerial reconnaissance and strike aircrew familiarisation.

The choppers used were Mi-8 and the Mi-17. The transport planes were Avro, An-32 and IL-76 and fighter jets were MiG 21 and MiG 27.

Flying from the Indian airfields of Srinagar, Avantipur and Adampur, ground attack aircraft MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, Jaguars and the Mirage 2000 struck insurgent positions. On May 30th Armed initially with 250 kg "dumb" bombs, No. 7 Squadron led by Wing Cdr Sandeep Chabra on the Mirage 2000 for three days, struck infiltrator positions in Muntho Dhalo, Tiger Hill and Point 4388 in the Drass Sector.

Bofors - The Game Changer Guns

Bofors has a firing range of approximately 24 kilometers. Cannon's firepower has been upgraded and can be set according to the target. These guns purchased after a disputed bargain was used for the first time in the 1999 battle. During the Kargil War, India had very limited amounts of its shells. Bofors is now the main strength of the army on high mountains.

The Bofors FH77 B also known as the Field Howitzer 77 is a fully automatic cannon with a barrel which can extend upto 70 degrees. The gun can travel on its own with a top speed of 7kms/h. This fully automatic cannon can fire upto 3 rounds in just 14 seconds and around 10 rounds in a minute.

During Kargil War, around 130 Bofors guns had fired on the Tololing top to provide support to the Indian infantry and also to destroy the enemy bunkers.