1950: First Param Vir Chakra Winner

India owes its independence to great freedom fighters. However, that freedom required to be defended. Immediately after independence, Pakistani raiders infiltrated into Kashmir with a hope to sever it from India. In fact, they had not counted for incredibles like Maj Somnath Sharma and Lance Naik Karam Singh besides so many others from Indian Armed Forces who were ready to give them a crushing reply. The history of Indian Armed Forces is a saga of such supreme heroics which the world respects and admires.

Major Som Nath Sharma’s leadership, gallantry and tenacious defence were such that his men, though outnumbered by 7 to 1, were inspired to fight the enemy for six hours and avert imminent danger to Srinagar and the Aerodrome on the morning of November 3, 1947.
Major Sharma, with his Company, was holding an important position near Badgaom Village in the Srinagar Valley when an attack against his position was launched by a vastly superior force. Outnumbered and facing withering fire from three sides, he, by his personal example, made his men stick to their position for six hours-Until reinforcements could arrive.
During the operation, Major Sharma, with one arm in plaster exposed himself to the full fury of hostile fire. He laid out airstrips to guide aircraft to their targets in full view of the attackers and, when casualities seemed to deplete the strength of the already meagre force at his command, he started personally filling the magazines and handing them to his gunners. At this stage a mortar shell landed amongst his ammunition resulting in an explosion that killed him. His last message to Brigade H.Q. was: “I shall not withdraw one inch but will fight to the last man and to the last round.”
The official citation adds: “ Major Sharma set an example of courage and quality, seldom equalled in the history of the Indian Army.

(Fauji Akhbar, February 4, 1950)

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First Param Vir Chakra winner, Maj Somnath Sharma