East Bengal Regiment
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|The East Bengal Regiment|
Cap badge of the East Bengal Regiment
|Active||15 February 1948 – present|
|Size||70 battalions|
|Motto(s)||Grace, Strength, Speed|
|Colours||Colour of coagulated blood (BCC 37)|
|March||Chal Chal Chal|
|Mascot(s)||Royal Bengal tiger|
|Engagements||Battle of Chawinda, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Bangladesh Liberation War|
The East Bengal Regiment was formed on 15 February 1948 following Pakistan's independence and transition from post British rule. The infantry of the new Pakistan Army was made up exclusively of men from the western part of the country. It was consequently necessary to raise a regiment in the east. Two companies of Bengali pioneers from the Bihar Regiment were regimented into the 1st Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel VJ Patterson as Commanding Officer (C.O.) and Major Abdul Waheed Choudhury as Officer Commanding (O.C.) Training Coy. Captain Sami Ullah Khan and Captain Abdul Gani in the lead of two Pioneer Companies (1256 and 1407). Between 1948 and 1965, a total of eight battalions were raised.
1965 Indo-Pakistani WarEdit
Bangladesh War of IndependenceEdit
In March 1971, in response to a crackdown on locals in East Pakistan, the five battalions of the East Bengal Regiment mutinied and actively participated in the Bangladesh War of Independence . The East Bengal Regiment formed the core of the independence struggle forces, which became known as the Bangladesh Forces. The structure and formation of the Bangladeshi Forces during the Independence War of 1971 was determined at the Sector(Division) Commander's Conference that was held from 11 July to 17 July 1971.
General Osmani was appointed Commander-in-Chief of all Bangladesh Forces. Lieutenant Colonel M A Rab was appointed as Chief of Army Staff and Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan was appointed Bangladesh Military Representative to coordinate Guerilla Training at the largest training camp of the war effort at Chakulia, Bihar. Hamidullah Khan was made Chief Military Representative of the Bangladesh government in exile, including the decision of formation of three brigades which were formed with East Bengal Regiments.
Several regiments participated in the war including the 1st, 3rd and 8th East Bengal Regiments. These regiments were formed and was commanded during the war at Teldhala of Tura, Meghalaya, in 1971 by Major Ziaur Rahman. These three regiments principally constituted Sector 11, for a brief stint (22days) was under Major Abu Taher and subsequently came under command of Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan. K Force, commanded by Major Khaled Mosharraf was created with the 4th, 9th and 10th East Bengal Regiments.
S Force, under Major K M Shafiullah, was created in October 1971 and consisted of the 2nd and 11th East Bengal Regiments. Further units were raised to replace those stranded in West Pakistan. After the founding of Bangladesh, these units formed the core of the new army. However, the 7th Battalion was incorporated as the 44th Battalion, Frontier Force Regiment in the Pakistan Army, which led to the raising of the 10th Battalion in 1971.
Today, the East Bengal Regiment consists of about 50 battalions and plays a key role as an infantry force in safeguarding the sovereignty of Bangladesh. The Regiment provides support to the civilian government when called upon. Major A Ghani formed the Bangladesh Infantry Regiment with a small number of units from the East Bengal Regiment. The Bangladesh Infantry Regiment has grown to contain more than seventy regiments and is a key element of the army.
The East Bengal Regiment is the largest formation of the Bangladesh Army, with battalions in each of the nation's fifteen infantry brigades. Its role is to engage and defeat an enemy in frontal combat, within a traditional infantry combat scenario. The regiment also aids the civilian government when called on and contributes regularly to Bangladesh's peacekeeping commitments overseas. Bangladesh is among the countries contributing troops to the United Nations.
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- As of Dec 2008, Bangladesh was ranked second behind Pakistan and ahead of India in terms of numbers of troops deployed on UNPKOS. See official UN figures, available at: http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/contributors/2008/dec08_2.pdf
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