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Kargil War The Turning Point

Author Name: COLONEL M B RAVINDRANATH, VrC | Format: Hardcover | Genre : Biographies & Autobiographies | Other Details

We had to attack Tololing, two attacks had failed to dislodge the Pakis. At 16000 feet or so, it was formidable. But we had prepared well, seen the enemy bunkers from different sides, lugged the required ammunition up, and I had planned the fire support bases. My men had trained well too, my subordinate commanders were also on the ball. I knew that the attack was crucial, we needed to open the gates to success and victory. 

The attack commenced with the artillery pounding the entire Tololing ridge line at 1730 hours. By 1800 hours, the guns were firing tons and tons of TNT on the entire Tololing ridge including Hump and Point 5140. Bofors guns were also firing in a direct firing role for the first time. The pounding of the guns on the objective was a sight to remember for every infantry soldier. 

The heavy rounds shattered the rocks into a thousand pieces sending the debris flying high into the sky. The small pieces or the rock splinters which flew in the air sparkled against the fading sunlight. It was a beautiful sight, although we were all aware of their deadly effect once struck by even the tiniest splinter.

On 13 June 1999, we were sitting on Tololing, euphoria swept through my veins, we had captured the enemy position. Then the Pakis started shelling our location, bombs rained on to the feature, and we took cover. We braved the enemy fire assault and held on. This was the Turning Point of the Kargil War - our victory led the way and showed other units how to attack along razor thin ridges in rarefied air in high altitude. 

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"I am the son of the Indian soil, not just your son, and I am ready to sacrifice my life for my motherland." These words were uttered by late Colonel M B Ravindranath, VrC, Commanding Officer 2 RAJ RIF, when he moved his unit into the Drass Sector to evict Pakistani soldiers who had occupied formidable heights overlooking the Leh Highway. Born in 1959 in Davangere District, Karnataka, Ravi (as he was called) joined Sainik School, Vijayapura and went on to enter the National Defence Academy in 1976. He was commissioned into the Madras Regiment and was later transferred to a new raising battalion of the Rajputana Rifles. He served in active operations in Arunachal Pradesh and with Rashtriya Rifles in the Kashmir Valley. Humble, down to earth, Ravi had an excellent rapport with his troops - his leadership in combat was proven when 2 RAJ RIF, in two separate attacks a fortnight apart, captured Tololing and Three Pimples complex despite fierce resistance from Pakistani soldiers. After the Kargil war, Ravi took premature retirement in 2001, to meet family obligations to handle the family business. He passed away on  08 April 2018 due to a massive heart attack, and is survived by his wife Anitha, and two daughters Prerna and Prarthana.



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