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n alumnus of La Martiniere College, Lucknow, the National Defence Academy, Pune, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Mukul Deva was commissioned in December 1981, into the Sikh Light Infantry of the Indian Army. He took early retirement from the Army after fifteen years of service, including a decade of combat operations in India and overseas. Now settled in Singapore and widely acknowledged as the ‘Change Maker’, Deva is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and an executive, business and creativity coach. He has also served as a mentor with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Afghanistan Fellowship.

Other books written by Mukul Deva:

Time After Time … It All Happened,
(Minerva, 2000)

M.O.D.E.L.: The Return of the Employee,
(Sage, 2006)

(HarperCollins India, 2008)

Salim Must Die,
(HarperCollins India, 2009)

(HarperCollins India, 2010)

(HarperCollins India, 2011)

The Dust Will Never Settle
(HarperCollins India, 2012)

S.T.R.I.P.T.E.A.S.E: The Art of Corporate Warfare,
(Marshall Cavendish, 2012)

(Westland Ltd, 2012)

F.C.U.K. Your Way To Success (Westland Ltd & Marshall Cavendish, 2013)

Weapon Of Vengeance
(Macmillan, USA, 2014)

And Death Came Calling
(HarperCollins India, 2014)

For more about the author, please visit his website

‘The God of all things… it is tough describing Mukul Deva.’

Business World

‘Deva has a Nostradamus touch.’

The Statesman

‘India’s literary storm trooper.’

Business Standard

‘You can smell the gunpowder. Such is the power of the words of Mukul Deva… India’s first military action thriller writer.’

The Hindu

‘Here comes India’s Clancy or Ludlum or Forsyth.’


‘Mukul Deva wears the crown of India’s premier military thriller writer with great skill and panache.’


‘India finally has a writer of international caliber in the genre of military fiction.’

First City

‘Deva is a quintessential literary storm trooper… his books are fast-paced thrillers that have broken new ground.’


westland ltd

61, Silverline Building, 2nd Floor, Alapakkam Main Road, Maduravoyal, Chennai 600 095

No. 38/10 (New No.5), Raghava Nagar, New Timber Yard Layout, Bengaluru 560 026

93, 1st Floor, Sham Lal Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002


First published in India by westland ltd, 2014


Copyright © Mukul Deva 2014


Mukul Deva asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.


All rights reserved


First ebook edition: 2014


ISBN: 978-93-84030-54-4


Typeset by PrePSol Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.


Printed at Thomson Press (India) Ltd.





This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, circulated, and no reproduction in any form, in whole or in part (except for brief quotations in critical articles or reviews) may be made without written permission of the publishers.





This book is a testimonial of Mrs Jane Himmeth Singh’s dedication to her late husband, Lieutnant General Himmeth Singh PVSM.


And to the valiant officers and men of 4 Guards (1 Rajput).



To acknowledge the debt of honour that India owes to

these brave men and their families, the proceeds of this book

will be used for the welfare of these veterans, war widows and

their children


ajor Mukul Deva has written this book in the style of a raconteur talking in a fireside manner. Mrs.Jane
Singh, the widow of Lt.Gen. Himmeth Singh has been of great help to the author providing resources and encouragement for writing this book. The author discussed the operations of
erstwhile I RAJPUT in the Bangladesh war of 1971, four decades earlier with its surviving officers who had taken part in that war. They recalled their own experience in that war and acts of gallantry and supreme sacrifice made by their comrades in that lightening war. They also recalled various personal and humorous incidents which showed the bonhomie and team spirit among the officers of the battalion. This must have been forged and promoted by their then Commanding Officer, Lt.Col.Himmeth Singh. Such camaraderie among Officers in a unit can be a battle winning factor. The author got a lot of material from a CD among the papers of late Colonel Pyara Lal recording the interview he had with Himmeth Singh soon after that war. With all this material he has put together a day by day account of the battalion’s operations starting from Agartala across a most difficult riverine terrain and reaching the outskirts of Dhaka. The battalion led the advance of 4 Corps which culminated in the improvised heliborne operation across the formidable Meghna River to Dhaka. This hastened the surrender of 92,000 Pakistani soldiers at Dhaka and the birth of a new Nation. The gripping account of these operations brings to life the horrors of war and how surmounting all odds, the Indian Army won a most decisive victory in the country's history of thousands of years. Despite
being flush with modern weapons holding various well prepared
strong points on the border, the Pakistan Army was trounced and
lost the will to fight.

The day by day account graphically brings out the
gripping record of the battalion in that war. Starting with
millions of refugees pouring into India with horrible stories
of atrocities and genocide. 4 GUARDS was involved in that
war from Day One when 4 GUARDS took part in the battle
against Pakistan's heavily defended position at Akhaura to the
end of that war. This book provides a good and detailed insight
to the India's major thrust from Agartala to Dhaka. Throughout
these operations Himmeth Singh led his battalion from the
front, proving to be an excellent battlefield commander.
I had the privilege of knowing Himmeth for many years
serving at different places. He was a few years junior to me. I
remember him when he was a young officer doing the Junior
Commander's tactical course at the Infantry School Mhow now
called War College. Later he did the staff course at Defence
Services Staff College at Wellington. I was an instructor at both
these institutions and he was with me in my syndicate. He was
the best student at these courses befitting his earlier record
of having won the Sword of Honour at the Indian Military
Academy. He combined professional excellence with all the
qualities of an officer and a gentleman. In 1982, Himmeth was
the Corps Commander at Bhatinda when I was the Western
Army Commander. I can vouch for the contribution made by
him in the training and preparation for war of his Corps under
his leadership. I took premature retirement from the Army in
1983. A few years later Himmeth was appointed Commandant
of the prestigious National Defence College. I had just returned
from being Ambassador in Kathmandu and Himmeth invited
me to address the college on Indo Nepal relations. I found him
very popular and much respected by students of that College. That was my last interaction with him. After reading this book
my esteem for him has gone higher for his achievement in
command of 4 GUARD in battle. His battalion was rightly
chosen to provide a guard of honour for the then Eastern Army
Commander, Lt.Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, on his arrival at
Dhaka for taking the surrender of Pakistani Commander in
East Pakistan (Bangladesh). It was also in the fitness of things
that he should be commanding the Parade at Dhaka at which
the President of newly liberated Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur
Rehman took the salute. These recognitions and the gallantry
awards given to the personnel of the Battalion were in the fitness
of things. However I feel that giving its Commanding Officer,
Lt.Col. Himmeth Singh only a Mention in Dispatches was an
inadequate recognition of his outstanding record in that war.

This book also highlights the plight of the war widows
of the Battalion. The nation owes a debt to these widows who
suffered the trauma of losing their husbands who sacrificed
their lives for the Nation. During this war I was the Deputy
Adjutant General at Army Headquarters on the staff of the then
Army Chief, General S. H. F. J. Manekshaw dealing with man
power planning for war and other personnel matters including
pension for war widows. We worked out a generous scheme for
war widows and war orphans of the Army. Apart from lump
sum grants the widows became entitled to the full pay of their
martyred husband till the latter's deemed date of retirement and
full pension for the rest of their lives. A special provision was also
made that the children of the soldiers killed in the war will be
entitled to free education at any school including free boarding,
school uniform and textbooks. When I briefed the three Chiefs of
Staff regarding the new pension code, Gen.Manekshaw cracked
a joke saying that at this rate Army wives will be happy to have
their husbands dead rather than alive. Besides pension, State
Government chipped in to provide other concessions like petrol
pumps and gas agencies for widows and also monetary grants. I am mentioning this because there is a reference in this book to some widows of the battalion in a difficult pecuniary condition.

This book is a captivating record of success by a battalion under good leadership in war. It is inspirational for young Army Officers and it affords a good glimpse of the achievements of a successful battalion in war.


New Delhi,        Lt. Gen. (Retd) S.K.Sinha, PVSM

15th June 2014     (Former Governor of Assam and J & K)

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