New Delhi, May 1 (ANI): The Indian Army will celebrate 71st Armour Day today to honour the arrival of armoured vehicles in place of horses in the Indian cavalry regiments.
Armour Day is celebrated every year on May 1. On this day in 1938, the Scindia Horse became the first regiment to convert to tanks.
The first equipments they adapted were Vickers light tanks and Chevrolet armoured cars.
With the passage of time, the Indian Army became better equipped. In 1943, the Indian Armour updated itself to the Sherman tanks (M4) of American origin.
This transformation in the army was updated post independence with the coming in of the Centurions Mark 7 and AMX-13 light tanks.
Since then, the Armoured Corps has operated the indigenous Vijayanta tank, the Russian T-54 and T-55 tanks and the T-72 main battle tank, which has been the workhorse of the corps for the past three decades.
With the combination of forces and armoured vehicles, the Indian Army was able to register a first-rate performance in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war. Equipped mainly with Shermans and Centurions, the Army was successful in destroying the sophisticated Pakistani Patton tanks to form the famous graveyard, “Patton Nagar” near Khemkaran in Punjab. Lt. Col.(later General) A.S Vaidya Col Caleb were awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for their gallant performance in the Khem Karan sector.
Lt Col AB Tarapore was posthumously honoured with the Param Vir Chakra for his valiant action against the Pakistanis in the Shakargarh bulge in the 1965 operations.
In 1971, the Corps had was in the forefront of operations. Tanks broke through Pakistani lines both in the Western and Eastern fronts fighting the Pakistan forces.
2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal fought gallantly and sacrificed himself in the battle of Basantar River earning his regiment, the Poona Horse, yet another Param Vir Chakra.
The mechanized forces have time and again shown their supremacy in achieving the desired strategic plans.
The Armoured Corps is continuously modernizing itself. The authorities are renewing the existing task forces to bring them at par with the best. (ANI)