Major Shaitan Singh Bhati was born on December 1, 1924, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan to a military family. His father was Lieutenant Colonel Hem Singh. Lt Col Singh served in France with the Indian Army during World War I and was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British government.
On 1949, Singh joined the Jodhpur State Forces as an officer. When Jodhpur state aligned with India sometime after Independence, Major Shaitan Singh became a part of the Indian Army. He died in the year 1962 at the age of 37, protecting the country.
Major Shaitan Singh’s name has come to signify heroism beyond words. On November 18, 1962, Major Shaitan Singh, 120 jawans of the Charlie Company of the 13th Kumaon battalion fought and killed nearly 1300 Chinese men and successfully pushed back the enemy troops after a hard-fought battle.
This is a story of unimaginable sacrifice-Battle of Rezang La.
Battle of Rezang La: November 18, 1962
In 1962, during the Sino-Indian War, the ‘C’ Company of the 13th Kumaon battalion, commanded by Maj Shaitan Singh, held a crucial position at Rezang La, a pass to the south-east of Chushul Valley in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir) at an altitude of a towering 5,000 metres. The area was defended by five platoons. However, the mountainous terrain isolated it from the rest of the battalion. They expected a Chinese attack on the Rezang La, which came on November 18, 1962.
The climate was unfavourable with a cold and biting wind, and unlike the Indian soldiers, the Chinese were loaded with heavy artillery.