Introduction

Tiger hills written by General Ved Prakash Malik it is a very good story. The story explains the present situation of the Tiger Hills in which the main character saves the tigers of the hill and be saved becomes a hero. The hero names the hill has the “Tiger Hill”.

Important Names

  1. M.P.S. Bajwa: Commander of 192 Mountain Brigade
  2. Captain Sachin Nimbalkar: commanding officer of Delta Company
  3. Balwan Singh: a Ghatak Platoon Commander
  4. Mohinder Puri: the Chief that 18 Grenadiers
  5. Subedar Nirmal Singh: Led the attack with 18 Grenadiers and 8 Sikh
  6. Naib Subedar Karnail Singh: was deployed on the reverse slope of area Helmet
  7. Krishan Pal: an Indian politician
  8. Nirmal Chander Vij: Then appointed as the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) and held that post during the 1999 Kargil Operations.
  9. Brajesh Mishra: the national security advisor at the time
  10. Nawaz Sharif: Prime Minister of Pakistan

Attack at Tiger Hill

Tiger hill is higher than all other mountains nearby located almost 10 kilometers north of the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway which was dominated by the enemies. After the recapture of Tololing, removing them became their priority.  At the top of Tiger Hill, the highway was clearly visible from the highway and almost seemed impossible to capture again. The media showed the entire episode as a national challenge.

Brigadier M.P.S. Bajwa, commander of 192 Mountain Brigade, allotted the mission of capturing Tiger Hill to eighteen commandoes who rested and recovered after their achievements at Toloing and Hump and also to eight Sikh who were already positioned at its base. Both these group were assisted by a crack team from the High-Altitude Warfare School with maximum guns, engineering, and other military supplies.

Mission to recapture

In the last week of June 1999, eighteen commandoes examined the enemy’s defenses and look out for suitable routes for attacking. The commanding officer of the 41 Field Regiment drew up a long shooting plan. Individual guns were lined up to cover each objective. An automatic double-barrelled antiaircraft gun was used for direct firing.

On the day of the attack nearly 120 Field and medium guns, 122-mm multibarrelled Grad rocket launchers, and mortars caused too many deaths and destruction on the enemies at Tiger Hill. The Air Force attacked Tiger Hill as well on 2-3 July and hit the target many times during its missions.

The battle was live telecasted

It was for the first time in Indian military history that a TV channel telecasted the battle live. Tiger Hill extends about 2200 meters from west to east and about 1000 meters north to south. The first, approximately 500 meters west of Tiger Hill is named ‘India Gate’ and after 300 meters is named as ‘Helmet’.

At 7:00 pm on 3rd July, eighteen commandoes began their multidirectional attack under the cover of bad weather and darkness relying on guns and explosives. The company ‘A’ captured on the middle position called Tongue at 1:30 am on 4th of July. The Tiger Hill Top was blocked because of constant firing by the enemy from India Gate, Helmet, and Top.

Captain Sachin Nimbalkar led the ‘D’ Company attack from the east. His approach was successful in occupying the eastern portion of Area Collar, which lay within 100 meters of Tiger Hill Top. Lieutenant Balwan Singh led the ‘C’ Company and Ghatak (commando) platoon.

At 4:00 am on 4th July Sachin Nimbalkar and Balwan Singh along with their men approached Tiger Hill’s top by climbing the very thin cliff and caught the enemy unexpectedly. After hand-to-hand fighting, they captured the place. When the surprise attack ended the enemy prepared to counterattack.

The most difficult task

The most difficult task during the battle was to maintain control of the places captured before the next attack can be launched. The next morning the battle continued, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav and his team showed extraordinary courage during the battle. At this stage 8, Mount Division realized that it would not be easy to remove the enemy from Tiger Hill completely.

Mohinder Puri and M.P.S. Bajwa ordered eight Sikh to attack and capture Helmet and India Gate so that the enemies don’t recapture the Tiger Hill Top. Major Ravindra Singh led the team of eight Sikh and lieutenant R. K. Sherawat which constitute four JCOs and fifty-two soldiers who succeeded in capturing the India Gate after a tough fight. Subedar Nirmal Singh led the battle and was even engaged in hand-to-hand fighting till the end.

Mission successful

Despite heavy loss, 8 Sikh successfully captured Helmet on 5th July. The enemy launched two counterattacks with forty to fifty soldiers but 8 Sikh fought heroically and were able to fight with them. Naib Subedar Karnail Singh and Rifleman Satpal Singh were part of the operation on the reverse slope of Helmet and showed exceptional courage. In one of these attacks, Captain Karnal Sher Khan of the Pakistan army was killed. His body was handed over to the Pakistan army and the dead bodies of other Pakistani soldiers were properly buried.

Krishan Pal, GOC 15 corps called at 6:00 am to inform that the 18 Grenadiers had captured the Tiger Hill Top.  Brajesh Mishra and the Prime minister also informed about the good news. 4th July 1999 is an important date for many reasons as Nawaz Sharif was supposed to meet US President Bill Clinton and about ten to fifteen hours before their meeting, the whole world came to know about the recapture of Tiger Hill.

For some time, Pakistan denied the existence of such a mountain and labeled the entire operation as fake. However, on 8th July after the entire Tiger Hill objective was cleared and the situation stabilized. 18 Grenadiers hoisted the Indian tricolour on the Tiger Hill Top.

Conclusion

Tiger Hills is a mountain in the area of Ladakh, India. It is one of the highest peaks in the area. It was subject to battle during the Kargil War in 1999. Ved Prakash Malik was the army chief during the Kargil War. The battle to recapture Tiger Hill was a major turning point in the operation Vijay Campaign. The capture of Tiger Hill provided a major psychological boost to Indian Operations. It also hurt the morale of Pakistani troops.