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Punjab Regiment to Represent Indian Army in France: History of Punjab Regiment

The Punjab Regiment has been chosen to represent the Indian Army at this year’s Bastille Day celebrations in France. A 269-member tri-services contingent of the Indian Armed Forces will march alongside their French counterparts in the parade.

Punjab Regiment to represent Indian Army at Bastille Day parade in France 1 1

Punjab Regiment at Bastille Day Parade in France

Captain Aman Jagtap will lead the Punjab Regiment contingent of three officers, four junior commissioned officers, and 69 other ranks. Commander Vrat Baghel leads the Indian Navy presence, and Squadron Leader Sindhu Reddy leads the Indian Air Force contingent. A 38-member band from the Rajputana Rifles, the Army’s senior-most Rifle Regiment, is also part of the tri-service ensemble. In addition, four IAF Rafale fighter planes would fly overhead during the procession. On Thursday, the contingent departed from the Air Force Station in Jamnagar for the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris.

History of the Punjab Regiment

The Punjab Regiment, one of the oldest Infantry Regiments of the Indian Army, dates back to 1761 and has served in both World Wars as well as post-independence actions. During World War I, they received 18 Battle and Theatre Honours. The Regiment’s soldiers served in Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Palestine, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Damascus, and France. In September 1915, they took part in an offensive near Neuve Chapelle, gaining the Battle Honours ‘Loos’ and ‘France and Flanders’. During WWII, they received 16 Battle Honours and 14 Theatre Honours. The Regiment’s rank and file are mostly from Punjab and nearby Himachal Pradesh and Jammu regions.

History of the Punjab Regiment

The Indian and French armies have been working together since World War I. Over 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in the war, with approximately 74,000 never returning and another 67,000 injured. On French soil, Indian forces battled fiercely. Their bravery, heroism, and heroic sacrifice not only thwarted the enemy but also helped to win the war. Later, during World Conflict II, 2.5 million Indian soldiers made vital contributions in numerous theatres of conflict ranging from Asia to Africa and Europe. This includes the battlefields of France as well. The courage of Indian forces has been extensively appreciated, with numerous gallantry awards as well as Battle and Theatre Honours awarded to Indian individuals and formations. The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille in 1789 during the French Revolution is commemorated on 14 July as the Fête Nationale Française, or the National Day of France, commonly known as Bastille Day.

This year, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been invited as the honorary guest of the Bastille Day Parade in France. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries. Both countries’ armed services have also been participating in cooperative drills and sharing their expertise.

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