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The Sikhs of Saraghi

The Sikhs of Saraghi

The Sikhs of Saraghi by thezackburg
The Sikhs of Saraghi by thezackburg

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Description
thezackburg
When people think of famous last stands, many would think of the 300 Spartans and their allies during the Battle of Thermopylae against the Persian Empire, or The Texans defense at the Alamo against the Mexican army, but one people tend to overlook is when 21 Indian Soldiers took on 10,000 Afghan Rebels in the battle of Saragarhi in 1897. In 1878,The United Kingdom would invade Afghanistan for a second time after they faced a humiliating defeat in the country in 1842. This was an attempt to expand the empire but also to create a buffer zone with it's rival, Russia, who was also aiming for control of Central Asia. Using the help of Indian Colonial troops, the British would conquer the nation in 1880. However the British like many empires before and after it, taking over the country was easy, keeping control was the hard part. Throughout the years, Afghan rebels would target British Personnel and to the British these rebels would become a problem for them. The British would set up their position near a small town called Saragarhi, where it would be called Fort Lockhart. The 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army was sent to guard the Fort. At first the regiment was originally made up of 912 but several companies were called to help British forces elsewhere thus decreasing the numbers at the fort until only a handful of soldiers guarded the fort. Throughout later August and early September of 1897, Afghan rebels would constantly attack the fort with the Indian Soldiers pushing them back. Until finally on September 12 1897, 10,000 Afghan rebels would band together. With the only 21 Soldiers left at the Fort, the Indian Soldiers were outgunned and outnumbered 100 to 1. At first the Indian Soldiers tried to call for Reinforcement, but the British Commander, Colonel Haugton, told them he couldn't help them. That being said under the leadership of Halvidar (Indian equivalent to Sergeant) Ishar Singh, inspired his men to fight to the bitter end! When the Afghan rebels attacked, the Indians fought hard. At first two soldiers of the company died. At first the leader of the rebels tried to convince the soldiers to surrender but the soldiers refused. The Afghan rebel made two attempts to breach the walls of the Fort, but they failed. The Third time they were more successful. It is here where the Sikhs would face the rebels in one of the most intense moments of hand to hand combat. However, all but one died. One soldier remained by the name of Gurmukh Singh, contacted the British saying he killed 20 Afghans, and that they would have to burn the fort down to kill him. In his last words he yells the Sikh Battle cry "One will be blessed eternally, who says that God is the ultimate truth!" The rebels successful, decided to move on to their next target. But British reinforcements finally came and pushed back the rebels. The Battle of Saragarhi, I believe is one of the most under looked last stands in history. With 21 soldiers of a nation that was conquered by an empire that only saw them as inferior. They fought to the last man, and their heroics should be remembered.

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