The coastal city of Haifa in northern Israel on Thursday paid tribute to brave Indian soldiers who fought to liberate the city from the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Significantly, the liberation of Haifa from the rule of the Ottoman Empire is described by most war historians as “the last great equestrian campaign”.
The Indian Army observes ‘Haifa Day’ on 23 September every year to pay tribute to its three brave cavalry regiments Mysore, Hyderabad and Jodhpur Lancers. These three regiments liberated Haifa after a daring campaign by the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade.
Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the ‘Indian Order of Merit’ and Captain Anoop Singh and Second Lieutenant Sagat Singh with the ‘Military Cross’ for their bravery in battle. Major Dalpat Singh, popularly known as the ‘Hero of Haife’, was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery.
Addressing a gathering at the Indian Cemetery in Haifa, India’s Ambassador to Israel, Sanjeev Singla, described the Indian troops’ campaign in World War I as “one of the splendid equestrian campaigns of the time that saw industrialization and large-scale machines in the war”. Local historian Eagle Gravier reported that the Indian Cavalry Regiment armed with spears and swords displayed supreme bravery and eliminated the enemy from the rocky paths of Mount Carmel.
Singla said, “In the First World War, more than one million Indian soldiers fought on foreign fronts away from their homes. Today we pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers who fought bravely and made supreme sacrifices. He sacrificed everything at a time when his own family members were waiting for his safe return.