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PM Modi's Israel visit: The Indian connection to Haifa Cemetery

By Chennabasaveshwar
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    The Haifa cemetery, located in the port city of Haifa in Israel, will be witnessing another historical moment as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to the Jewish-nation, will be visiting the cemetery. PM Modi is scheduled to pay homage to the brave Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the liberation of Haifa in 1918.

    Back home, every year on September 23, the Indian Army celebrates 'Haifa Day' to commemorate the Indian soldiers martyred during the Battle of Haifa, hailed as one of the bravely-contested battles of World War I, reports Indian Express.

    PM Modi's Israel visit: The Indian connection to Haifa Cemetery

    Even, Delhi's Teen Murti memorial was constructed in 1922 in the memory of the Indian soldiers who served present day Gaza strip, Israel and Palestine during the World War I under British India Army.

    The soldiers were from three princely states namely Jodhpur, Hyderabad and Mysore of then British Empire of India.

    The Haifa battle:

    Israeli port city of Haifa was a strategic supply base. On September 23, 1918, the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade comprising lancers from the regiments of princely states- armed only with lances (a kind of spear) and swords- attacked positions held by Ottoman Turks in and around the city of Haifa.

    Eventually, the Indian cavalry brigades fighting under the leadership of British General Edmund Allenby helped liberate Haifa.

    A total of 1,350 German and Ottoman prisoners were captured by the two Indian regiments, including the confinement of two German officers, 35 Ottoman officers, 17 artillery guns and 11 machine guns. About eight soldiers were dead and 34 wounded, while 60 horses were killed and another 83 injured.

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