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  • Mysore Lancers’ tryst with Haifa

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    The Mysore Lancers march at Haifa, a port city in Israel, on Sept 23, 1918. | Photo Credit: from the collection of Mr. Raja

    The Mysore Lancers march at Haifa, a port city in Israel, on Sept 23, 1918. | Photo Credit: from the collection of Mr. Raja

    They fought hard to liberate it in 1918

    A long forgotten slice of martial history related to Mysuru will be revisited when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to fallen Indian soldiers at the Haifa cemetery in Israel.

    The Mysore Imperial Service played a big role in the liberation of Haifa on September 23, 1918, from Ottoman Turks and Germans, by allied forces. This is seen as one of the fiercest battles in the west Asian theatre of World War I in which India, as a British colony, fought German and the Ottoman troops.

    The Mysore Lancers were in the 15th Imperial Service as the forces sent by the princely states of Mysore, Jodhpur and Hyderabad. Historian M. Shama Rao in “Modern Mysore” published in 1936 says troops of native States, who were seen as fit only for ceremonial parades, proved their mettle.

    General Sir Edmund Allenby’s despatches of October 31, 1918, on the occupation of Damascus and Aleppo, found in the book, make a special reference to the Mysore Lancers during the capture of Haifa.

    A special recruitment drive was conducted in the princely State and 5,000 men drafted for the war. The then Mysuru Maharaja Nalwudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar sent his troops to defend the empire and even gave nearly ₹50 lakh to the India War Fund.

    Raja Chandra R., son-in-law of the last Maharaja, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar told The Hindu that the ruler Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV sent a spirited message to the men on the front.

    The book “Mysore’s Part in the War: 1914-1918” cites Sir Allenby and says over 1,350 prisoners and 17 guns were taken in the operation between the spur of Mount Carmel and the marshy banks of river Kishon, about two miles from Haifa road. Mr. Raja Chandra said a memorial at Bengaluru to the participants lies forgotten.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Sharath S Srivatsa / Mysuru-Bengaluru, July 04th, 2017

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