Kargil War hero recalls Tiger Hill’s recapture

Tribune News Service

Mandi, July 3

Brigadier Khushal Thakur (Retd) said recapturing the Tiger Hill on July 4,1999, during the Kargil War, resulted in the Pakistan army announcing withdrawal on July 5.

He recalled that the Pakistan army had occupied the strategic heights like the Tiger Hill and Tololing in the Drass sector, choking the Srinagar-Leh highway, a lifeline for the Army to Leh and Ladakh.

Brigadier Thakur said he was the Commander of the 18 Grenadiers and the battalion received orders for the recapture of the Tiger Hill on June 24.

He said the strategy was a three-branched attack to snap the enemy supply lines and use commandos from the rear of the Tiger Hill, using the most difficult and unsuspected approach to gain the element of surprise.

“This worked and a never-ending volley of artillery fire and indiscriminate fire of infantry weapons shocked the enemy and shattered their defensive positions,” he added.

Thakur said the victory raised the morale of the Army. The then President of India, KR Narayanan, hailed its recapture as a “moment of great pride and satisfaction for the entire nation”.

“The defeat demoralised the Pakistan army. Then Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif on July 5 announced the army’s withdrawal from Kargil,” he said.

Brigadier Thakur said, “Even after 22 years, the memories of bravery and supreme sacrifice by men of 18 Grenadiers are still fresh in my mind.”

Enemy taken by surprise

The strategy was a three-branched attack to snap the enemy supply lines and use commandos from the rear of the Tiger Hill, using the most difficult and unsuspected approach to gain the element of surprise

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