Indian Army in the Korean War

by- General O'hara from Defence Matrix Discord



India was a nascent nation, barely out of the horrors of the Partition and the First Kashmir War, when the Korean War broke out. The world at large was still reeling from the devastation caused by the Second World War, when it again seemed that two world superpowers were going to butt heads.After World War 2, Korea was partitioned along the 30th Parallel Line, with the north becoming a communist dictatorship and the South becoming a democratic republic
 In June 1950, North Korea led by Kim-Il-Sung began a massive invasion of the south. Seeing this the Western Powers quickly passed a resolution in the UNSC to condemn the invasion and formed the United Nations Task Force, the first ever international unified command in history and the first attempt at a UN Security Force.

While the task force was commanded and composed of mainly American, British and British Empire troops, India too played a small but vital part in it. As part of the 1st Commonwealth Division, a Parachute Regiment battalion-sized medical unit, the 60th Parachute Medical Ambulance was sent to Korea, where they treated and nursed Allied troops and Korean civilians.

Lt.Col Rangraj

In command of this unit was Lt.Col. A.G Rangraj, a skilled paratrooper and recipient of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is recorded in the South Korean National Archives that the Indian medical battalion treated over 2.2 lakh patients during the 3 year long war. In honour of the Indian Army medics, the South Korean Ministry of Defence put up pictures of Lt.Col. Rangraj in their War Memorials in June 2020. 
The 60th Para Medics had been initially deployed in the city of Pyongyang, treating civilians and wounded soldiers. The unit also saw frontline actions throughout its deployment, including a massive airlift operation in coordination with the US 8th Army called Operation Tomahawk.
By the end of the war, the unit’s casualty count was at 3 dead and 23 wounded.