As MV Ever Given, the container ship that got stuck in Suez Channel from March 23 till yesterday, traffic resumed on Monday this week. The container ship that has blocked the 194 km long Suez Canal is now been inspected for any further damages in the Great Bitter Lake in Egypt. More than 25 Indians who were present on the ship as its blockage almost created a full-blown crisis have now been applauded for their hard work in rescuing the ship.

Defending Suez Canal

The Suez Canal has Indian connection for more than 100 years now. Indians have played a critical role in protecting the Suez Canal during the First World War. From 1915 to 1917, Mysore Lancers of the British Indian Army were deployed at this important trade route for its protection. After Tipu Sultan's death in 1799, the Mysore Lancers were formed from the remnants of his army. They were the Maharaja of Mysore's personal army. 

Suez Canal
Suez CanalWikimedia Commons

It was part of the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade and also served in Gaza, Megiddo, Sharon, Damascus, and Palestine between 1917 and 1918. Moreover, it also served at Tigris Kut-Al-Amara in 1916–1917 and at Baghdad between 1916 and 1918. The Brigade was created from Imperial Service Troops provided by the Indian Princely States of Jodhpur, Hyderabad, Mysore, Patiala, and Alwar, each of which provided a regiment of lancers.

Mysore Lancers
Soldiers of Mysore LancersCredit: Wikipedia

A Lingaraj Urs and Meer Ashroff Alli, two officers from Mysore have their names at the Bangalore memorial. Venkata Rao Maney, Annaji Dhummal, Rachunatha Rao Birjey, Mohammed Abdul Sattar, Nar Singh, Mohammed Peer Khan, Rahimon Khan, Ganapaty Rao Sindhey, Rama Rao Gaikwad, Manadeva Rao Bobdey, Sheik Ibrahim, Sham Singh, Roya Sundaram, Chithambara Rao Ithapay, and Meer Abdul Latheef are other notable contributors who were killed in action.

Battle of Haifa

The Battle of Haifa, which took place on September 23, 1918, was one battle whose outcome was critical in hastening the war's end. On November 11, 1918, less than two months after the conflict, World War I came to an end. The Battle of Haifa (a town once part of the Ottoman Empire but is now Israel) saw an assault on Ottoman forces that resulted in the town of Haifa being taken. The Allied forces led by Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers compelled the Ottoman forces to surrender.

Mysore Lancers
Mysore Lancers entering HaifaCredit:Twitter

It compelled Turkey to submit and hand over power to members of the Young Turks. The fall of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the abolition of the Caliphate and the establishment of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon as independent states.

On February 21, 1920, the Lancers returned home to a rousing welcome from His Highness Nalwadi Krishna Raja Wadiyar. In 1950, the Lancers were incorporated into the Indian Army, and their distinct identity was lost.