Personal info

  • Name: Parkash Singh CHIB
  • D.O.B: 1st Apr, 1913
  • D.O.A: 16th Feb, 1945
  • D.O.D: 17th Feb, 1945
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Jemadar, 14th Battalion 13th Frontier Force Rifles, 100th Brigade, 20th Division, Indian Army
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 3
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Sources & Acknowledgements

The Second World War 1945


By the beginning of 1945 the war was in its last stages and at the Yalta Conferencebetween 4 and 11 February 1945 Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin began to map outthe post-war administration of Europe. Victory, however, had still to be achieved.The desperate last German offensive, the ‘Battle of the Bulge’ in the Ardennes, which hadopened on 16 December 1944, was routed in January 1945. It left Hitler with no further militaryreserves and confronted by seven Allied armies along Germany’s West Wall, while theRussians advanced inexorably from the east. However, the German Army, now called on todefend its homeland, was in no mood for surrender.On 20 January 1945 the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower, divided theforthcoming campaign into three phases, the destruction of all enemy forces west of theRhine, the establishment of bridgeheads across the Rhine and the advance into Germany.In fact, the first phase had already begun and by 10 March 1945 the Allies had reachedthe Rhine. Despite their losses the Germans had withdrawn in good order, destroying allbridges behind them except those at Remagen and Oppenheim. The Allies now crossed theRhine but a dispute arose between them over priorities. The British were eager to make adash for Berlin. However, by 31 March the nearest western Allies were still 275 miles westof the German capital, while a Russian army, one million strong, was only 40 miles east ofit. Roosevelt supported Eisenhower’s decision that the Russians should be allowed to takeBerlin, while the Americans headed for the River Elbe and Leipzig and the British on theirleft flank aimed for Bremen and Lübeck.Meanwhile, the German army in Northern Italy was being rolled back. Despite the transferof manpower from this theatre, which had precluded a faster conclusion to the campaign,the Allies had maintained pressure on the Germans’ Gothic Line and their winter objectivefor 1944 had been a line from La Spezia on the west, through Bologna to Ravenna in theeast. Given the Germans’ determination to hold on to the North Italian Plain, this had provedoptimistic though Ravenna had been captured on 4 December 1944. The Allied 1945 SpringOffensive in Italy opened on 9 April 1945. In the east Eighth Army crossed the River Senioand by 17 April V Corps had taken Argenta and the Argenta Gap. There were now no furtherrivers between them and the Po. On 21 April American and Polish forces captured Bologna.Two days later, on 23 April, the Allies crossed the River Po. On 25 April, Mantua, Parmaand Verona were liberated. In the west, Fifth Army took La Spezia, with its naval base, on 24April and on the 27th entered Genoa.The complete destruction of the Axis powers in the west had now been accomplished. On29 April in a meeting at Allied Headquarters, Caserta, General Vietinghoff, agreed the surrenderterms for the one million German troops under his command in Italy, to take effectfrom 2 May. The day before Mussolini had been caught by Italian Partisans and shot. By 25April the Russians had encircled Berlin. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April and the cityfell on 2 May. On 4 May 1945, at Montgomery’s headquarters on Luneburg Heath, Germanenvoys signed the unconditional surrender of all forces in Northern Germany. On 7 May, atEisenhower’s Headquarters in Rheims, in the presence of representatives of the USA, GreatBritain, France and the USSR, General Jodl and Admiral Friedeburg signed the surrender ofall German forces. VE Day, Victory in Europe, was celebrated on 8 May.Though victory was now equally certain in South East Asia and the Far East, the wardragged on there for several months. In Burma Arakan had been largely cleared of theenemy. The port of Akyab was recaptured on 4 January 1945 while the Battle of Kangaw atthe end of the month and the actions that followed had aimed with mixed success to preventJapanese forces retreating across the Arakan Yomas into the Irrawaddy valley. However, thesecuring of the forward airfields at Akyab and Ramree helped make possible the advance ofFourteenth Army towards Rangoon. The British crossed to the east bank of the Irrawaddy inFebruary. The attack on Mandalay began on 8 March, while Meiktila eventually fell on 20March 1945. The British now began moving south down both the Irrawaddy and the mainrailway from Meiktila, destroying a Japanese blocking force at Pyawbwe in April. They werenow within striking distance of Rangoon when on 2 May the Monsoon began. Fortunately,fearing that they might be delayed, Mountbatten had already set in train Operation Dracula,an amphibious assault on the city. On 1 May, 50th Indian Parachute Brigade, dropped fromthirty-eight Dakotas, knocked out the Japanese coastal guns protecting Rangoon. Next day,the British made an unopposed seaborne landing and liberated Rangoon. This left 100,000scattered Japanese troops in the country trying to retreat east of the Sittang estuary and withdrawinto Thailand.In the Pacific also the Japanese were being driven back on all fronts. On Bougainville,they were forced into three small pockets on the island. In New Guinea the Australiansadvanced east along the North Coast from Aitape towards Wewak, which fell in May. Theremaining Japanese were penned into the Prince Alexander Mountains. In April 1945, withAmerican help, the Australians began an offensive to recapture the Netherlands East Indies,while the Americans were busy with their own reconquest of The Philippines. On 1 May theAustralians landed in Borneo.At this stage, it was still thought the war might continue to mid-1946 or even 1947. Malayaremained in enemy hands and the conquest of Japan itself presented a formidable challenge.An amphibious assault on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu was planned for November 1945,and on the main island, Honshu, near Tokyo, for spring 1946. Hostilities were, however, dramaticallycut short when the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on 6 August1945 and on Nagasaki on 9 August. The Japanese agreed to a ceasefire on 15 August, VJDay, though this decision took time to reach all their forces. In Burma some fighting continuedeast of the River Sittang until the signing of the preliminary surrender agreement on28 August 1945. On 2 September, General MacArthur accepted the Japanese unconditionalsurrender aboard the USS Missouri. The Second World War was over. It had lasted six years.


 At Kanlan Ywathit, in Burma, on the night of 16th-17th February, 1945, Jemadar Parkash Singh, 13th Frontier Force Rifles, was in command of a platoon of a rifle Company occupying a Company defended locality. At about 23.00 hours the Japanese, in great strength and supported by artillery, mortars, medium machine guns and, subsequently, flame throwers, initiated a series of fierce attacks on the position. The main weight of the attack was directed against Jemadar Parkash Singh’s platoon locality. At about 23.30 hours Jemadar Parkash Singh was severely wounded in both ankles by machine gun fire and was unable to walk about in his sector. His Company Commander, on being informed of this, ordered Jemadar Parkash Singh to be relieved and brought into a trench beside Company Headquarters, from where he kept shouting encouragement to all his men. A short time afterwards, owing to his relief having been wounded, Jemadar Parkash Singh crawled forward, dragging himself on his hands and knees, to his platoon sector and again took over command. At 00.15 hours, when his Company Commander visited the platoon area, Jemadar Parkash Singh was found propped up by his batman – who had also been wounded, firing his platoon 2-inch mortar, the crew of which had both been killed, shouting encouragement to his men and directing the fire of his platoon. Having expended all the available 2-inch mortar ammunition, Jemadar Parkash Singh then crawled around the position collecting ammunition for his platoon from the dead and wounded. This ammunition he distributed himself. As one complete section of his platoon had by now become casualties, Jemadar Parkash Singh took over their Bren gun and held the Section’s sector of the perimeter single-handed until reinforcements were rushed up by the Company Commander. He fired the gun at this stage from a position completely in the open as he was unable to stand up in a trench. He was again wounded in both legs, above the knees, by a burst of machine gun fire. In spite of intense pain and the loss of much blood from his wounds, Jemadar Parkash Singh continued firing his Bren gun and dragging himself from place to place only by the use of his hands, as his legs were now smashed and completely useless. At the same time he continued to encourage and direct his men, regrouping the remnants of his platoon around him so that they successfully held up a fierce Japanese charge which was launched against them. At 01.45 hours Jemadar Parkash Singh was wounded for the third time in the right leg and was so weak from loss of blood that he was unable to move. Bleeding profusely and lying on his right side with his face towards the enemy, he continued to direct the action of his men, encouraging them to stay their ground. Although it was obvious that he was now dying, Jemadar Parkash Singh shouted out the Dogra War Cry which was immediately taken up by the rest of the Company engaged in hand-to-hand fighting within the perimeter of his locality. His example and leadership at this period so inspired the Company that the enemy was finally driven out from the position. At 02.30 hours Jemadar Parkash Singh was wounded for a fourth time, this time in the chest, by a Japanese grenade. He died a few minutes later after telling his Company Commander not to worry about him for he could easily look after himself. Throughout the period of intense hand-to-hand fighting and heavy machine gun and grenade fire from 23.00 hours until the time of his death at 02.30 hours, Jemadar Parkash Singh conducted himself with conspicuous bravery and complete disregard of his severe wounds, and there is no doubt that his ceaseless encouragement of his platoon, his inspired leadership and outstanding devotion to duty, though himself mortally wounded, played an outstanding part in finally repelling the Japanese with heavy casualties 

(Supplement to The London Gazette of 27 April 1945. 1 May 1945, Numb. 37056, pp. 2281-82)

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