This is the story of a soldier’s soldier, Lt. Gen. Inderjit Singh Gill, PVSM, MC; a legend in the Indian Army but little known outside it, he is a revered figure, particularly among the paratroopers and Special Forces.
Serving Britain behind the German and Italian lines during World War II, Inder Gill was part of a campaign to foment resistance against the Axis powers in Greece and to cripple their transport arteries by blowing up key bridges. Leaving Greece, he served with the Royal Engineers on the slog from Cassino to Bologna, where he was injured twice in explosions, shrapnel from which he carried in his body for the rest of his life.
Joining the Indian Army, he served with the J&K Militia in Kashmir in the troubled times just after Independence, and was involved in peacekeeping operations in Korea and Gaza. Commanding the high passes during Sikkim’s travails, he also headed the Directorate of Military Operations during the 1971 War, before retiring as commander of India’s Western Army. But all the while, the things closest to his heart were the Parachute Regiment and training, both as trainer and trainee.
In these pages are seen the two sides of a soldier, the warrior who trained his men to be ever-prepared for action and the patient teacher who helped create thinking officers and gentlemen, while being ever at odds with conventional authority. An outspoken maverick, he was at the same time obsessed with following the straight and narrow of what he thought was right and wrong despite the trouble it got him into even till the last days of his career. But for one born to dare, it was all in a day’s work.
In this inspiring account, S. Muthiah paints a vivid picture of a soldier who deserves to be better known for his invaluable contribution to the military history of India.
Author: S Muthiah
Features: Black and White Photos