Remember and Never Forget: Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore
Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, who was born on August 18, was conferred with the country's highest gallantry award -- Param Vir Chakra -- for his exemplary leadership quality, courage, valour, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice that he displayed during the war with Pakistan in 1965.
Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore was conferred with the country's highest gallantry award -- Param Vir Chakra -- for his exemplary leadership quality, courage, valour, indomitable spirit and supreme sacrifice that he displayed during the war with Pakistan in 1965.
In 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar against the Indian Army. As part of the retaliatory action plan, the Indian Army made a strategy to capture Chawinda and Phillora in the Sialkot sector. Two regiments of the Pakistan Army then occupied the Chawinda area. Lt Col Tarapore-headed 17 Horse planned a surprise attack on Phillora from the rear.
On their movement towards Phillora and Chawinda, the enemy force carried out an attack from the Wazirali side. Holding his ground, Lt Col Tarapore, along with his men, fiercely attacked Phillora, which led to the destruction of the enemy's 13 tanks. A rattled Pakistani Army fled the war site, subsequently leaving Chawinda and Phillora. The Indian forces captured the areas. In the fight, Lt Col Tarapore was seriously injured, but he planned to capture Wazirali, Jasoran and Butur-Dograndi.
On September 13-14, 1965, under the leadership of Lt Col Tarapore 17 Horse and 9 Garhwal launched an infantry attack on Pakistani troops and, within hours, captured Wazirali. He further moved forward with attacks on enemy forces hiding in the areas of Butur and Dograndi.
In a daring task, Lt Col Tarapore destroyed six enemy tanks and captured Jassoran along with 9 Dogra and Butur and Dograndi along with 8 Garhwal Rifles by September 16.
Inspired by his leadership, the Indian Army attacked their armoured and destroyed approximately sixty Pakistani Army tanks. In the fight, an enemy shell set Lt Col Tarapore's tank ablaze, engulfing him in flames.
He attained martyrdom on September 16 in the battlefield leading from the front like a true military leader. Lt Col Tarapore was born on August 18, 1923, to a family of great warrior Ratanjiba, who served in the army of Shivaji. He was commissioned into the 7th Hyderabad Infantry in 1942 but wanted to serve in an armoured regiment.
Maj Gen EI-Edroos, the Commander-in-Chief of the State Forces, was impressed by his courage and presence of mind during routine training. He requested Maj Gen EI-Edroos to transfer him into an armoured regiment. He accepted his request and was transferred to the 1st Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers. He later got his promotion and eventually became the Commanding Officer, commanding his own regiment in the 1965 war against Pakistan.