Brigadier Khushal Thakur, a Kargil war hero and then commanding Officer of the 18 Grenadiers, which captured the Tololing peak and fought battle for Tiger hill, says the battle of Tololing was the first major victory – strategic and psychological, which scripted the defeat of the Pakistani army in the Kargil war.
“It was on this day, June 13, 1999, we shot down the enemies occupying the Tololing peak, after 24 days’ decisive battle. Today, I feel proud about the bravery of my men, many of them made their supreme sacrifice for the nation, to protect the country’s boundaries,” Brigd (Rtd) Khushal Thakur told Outlook in Shimla.
As per Brig Thakur the 18- Grenadiers’ victory of Tololing became a turning point in the entire Kargil war though it came with a heavy price. Thereafter, the Indian army captured the other peaks including the iconic Tiger hill within next few days.
“When we set-out for the Tololing, our impression was that only five or six mujahideen or intruders were sitting there. But an intense fire and heavy weaponry attack came on us to finally realise that there were regular forces of the deceitful Pakistani army occupying the peak. We changed the strategy and moved for a final assault,” he recalls.