Highest War Zone on Planet Earth: Siachen
At an altitude of over 5,400 meters; brave soldiers of Indian Army; stay atop the 76 kilometers long glacier of Siachen, watching out for the Pakistani forces, all year round. A temperature of even 15 degrees Celsius makes the majority of us take out our sweaters and jackets. But these true heroes protect our country, in a place where temperature goes down to negative 60 degrees Celsius, every day.
The bullet won’t kill you here, but the cold will. A place where instead of Sun; life is prolonged and kept up by Kerosene; our soldiers present a perfect example of strength and courage by defying death in its face and protecting our country’s frontiers every single day of the year.
We sleep in peace in our warm blankets and wake up to the warm morning sun and a cup of coffee. Never ever we think of living conditions in a place where hot water bottles don’t work, sleep doesn’t come at night and our bodies start to deteriorate. A place where you couldn’t even survive for a minute; these strong men, leaving their families behind, protect every inch of our land from our distrustful neighbor at the cost of their own lives.
Things You Should Know About Indian Soldiers in Siachen
- At such a high altitude the levels of oxygen in the blood of a healthy soldier are similar to a person with severe lung disorder at sea level. Now at sea level person would be admitted to hospital’s intensive care unit. But our soldiers remain in bone-freezing cold ready to battle 24/7.
- Fresh food is a rarity at Siachen. A place where an apple freezes to the hardness of a cricket ball in no time our soldiers survive on tinned and preserved foods.
- Army pilots deployed for dropping food at Siachen usually have less than a minute to do their task as the enemy is quite nearby. That too, if conditions are bad, half of the food is eaten up by snow.
- Clean drinking water is obtained by melting snow.
- Army men are constantly under the exposure of high levels of ultraviolet radiation.
- Apart from harsh environmental conditions soldiers have to battle severe isolation. Where we live in the warmth of heater in winters; our soldiers have to cramp up in a small igloo; with kerosene stove; being the only source of warmth.
- Soldiers use special anti-frostbite gloves as touching a piece of metal, like a gun trigger, with bare hands for over fifteen seconds could result in severe frostbite that could lead to amputation of fingers or toes.
“A Local Saying: The Land is so Barren and the Passes so High that Only the Best of Friends and Fiercest of Enemies come by”
- Snowstorms in Siachen can last up to 3 weeks with yearly snowfall over 3 dozen feet. At the time of snow storms, minimum 3-4 soldiers have to constantly use shovels to remove snow. Otherwise, the military post will be history.
- Sometimes even sweat inside the gloves freezes to ice. This too can lead to finger amputations. Soldiers when brought down to sea level often suffer from problems related to eyesight, hearing problems and memory loss.
- Speech problems, nausea, sleep deprivation and even depression are common. Even with such great difficulties, Indian soldiers stay strong over Siachen.
Even with such inhospitable and life-threatening conditions, there has been never a shortage in Indian Army of volunteers for Siachen. Indian Army has even built the world’s highest helipad at Sonam in Siachen to bring in supplies all year round.
“A Devout & Sincere Salute To These Super Soldiers Who For Our Tomorrow Gave Their Today”
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