One of the oldest units of the Indian Army, 4th Battalion of The Rajput Regiment, which has the distinction of having taken part in almost every operation or war ever since its raising, is celebrating its bicentenary at a military station under the Western Command from November 11-14.
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The battalion, which is also known as the Fighting Fourth, was raised as 1/30th Regiment of the Bengal Native Infantry in East India Company in 1815 at Danapur in Bihar. In February 1845, 4 Rajput was among the units of the 7th Brigade of 3rd Division which fought in the Battle of Sobraon in Punjab in an action in which only bayonets were used. The unit earner the Battle Honour ‘Sobraon’ for its feats.
During the Second Afghan War from 1878 to 1880, the battalion helped in keeping open the Khyber Line to Kabul and fought Garra Heights in Kam Dakka area across Kabul river and won its second Battle Honour ‘Afghanistan’ in July 1881.
In the 20th century, in World War 1, 4 Rajput took part in operations in Hafiz Khor in Persia, Aden, Mesopotamia, Suez Canal, Macedonia, Tigris and North West Frontier in India securing a total of ten Battle Honours. In between the two world wars the unit was engaged in quelling Arab rebellion and saw active service in the Second World War, in Middle East and fought battles in Siddi Barani and El Alamein. A senior officer of the regiment informed that the unit also fought against the Japanese in Burma and again won ten battle honours in the Second World War.
Post Independence the unit defeated the Pakistani tribal raiders and regular forces in the Battle of Zojila in 1948 and again won a Battle honour. 4 Rajput also took part in the Liberation of Goa in 1961, the Sino-India War in 1962, Operations in Kargil in 1965 war and the 1971 liberation of Bangladesh. Besdeis having served in the UN Expeditionary Force at Gaza and in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka.
The battalion has a large number of gallantry awards to its credit which include two Distinguished Service Orders, 14 Military Crosses, five Order of British Empire and 17 Indian Distinguished Service Medal in pre-Independence era and one Mahavir Chakra, 11 Vir Chakras, two Shaurya Chakra and 15 Sena Medals in post-Independence service.