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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2011 00:29 
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OT Alert:
It helps to know who wrote that article. Aakar Patel has been discussed on BRF before and the common consensus is, he writes in the same mould as ARoy, Kuldeep Nayyar etc. These folks have no shame short selling their daughters and mothers so take this one with a large bag of salt. India still has more than her fair share of Jaichands.


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2011 10:00 
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Quote:
Aakar Patel began at his family-owned textile business in Surat. He switched to journalism, joining the Asian Age as trainee sub-editor. In a year, he was elevated to Editor of the Mumbai edition, he then moved to the Deccan Chronicle and thereafter to Dorling Kindersley.

After a stint as Group Editor-In-Chief, Mid Day Aakar Patel decided to leave the Mumbai's only convergent media company, to join the same position at Divya Bhaskar.

link


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2011 12:34 
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The funny part is this
http://www.livemint.com/articles/2011/0 ... -8216.html
"Pakistani writer Mustansar Husain Tarar thinks that Porus actually defeated Alexander at the battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum). He believes Greek historians later papered over this humiliation by saying Alexander turned back because his army was disheartened (“sipah baddil ho gayi”). Alexander wouldn’t have retreated, Tarar argues, had the Indians not given the Macedonians a hiding. Funnily, Tarar says Pakistan has raised a monument to Alexander the Great (“Sikandar-e-Azam”) on the banks of the Chenab because they mistakenly think he was a Muslim who defeated the Hindu Porus." :lol:


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2011 13:06 
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x-posting from the misc pictures thread

Vijayanta tanks being assembled & tests at Avadi
http://www.aame.in/2011/07/india-main-b ... ta-at.html


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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2011 09:36 
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uddu wrote:
Funnily, Pakistan has raised a monument to Alexander the Great (“Sikandar-e-Azam”) on the banks of the Chenab because they mistakenly think he was a Muslim who defeated the Hindu Porus."

There is nothing funny about this.. they even think Tipu-Sultan as a Pakistani. Next they will claim boxer Mohammed Ali as their hero... Pakees have this habit of co-opting everything they like, everything good (which they know is not theirs - which is whole wide world) as Part of Pakistaniyat or atleast Islamic and make it part of their folk-lore. in decades to come, Mohd Azarudding would become a paki hero, ditto for some Indian Muslim Generals, industrialists like Premji. one thing they have not done is to claim the greatness of the immigrant Sindhi community in India who were originally from Karachi?


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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2011 21:34 
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Tank museum in Maharashtra talks historic tales.

Army tanks bear a testimony to history. But what purpose would history serve if it cannot be shared with enthusiasts?

The Cavalry Tank Museum in Ahmednagar addresses this point to share the glorious history and interesting tidbits about tanks which play an important role in the country’s security.

The museum, one of its kinds in Asia, houses some of the rare tanks used in wars world over during different periods. The armoured vehicle was first designed by the British. The tank made its first appearance at the Battle of Somme in 1916.

The museum established by Armoured Corps Centre and School, Ahmednagar, was inaugurated by former Army Chief (late) Gen BC Joshi in 1994. The 48 tanks, self-propelled guns, specialist vehicles and armoured cars standing amid the scenic beauty silently narrate the tales of battles and wars.

The evolution and history of tanks unfolds as one takes the beautiful entrance with trees on both sides. Descriptive boards inform the visitor about each tank as one moves around. The armoured corps was incepted during World War I to replace horse cavalry with armoured vehicles for more mobility of the battlefield to overcome the strategic trench warfare.

It was in the 19th century that the tanks underwent vital changes for bitter warfare. The simple models were later developed by replacing wheels with tracks and equipped with a mounted gun for fire.

Many of the tanks captured during World War II are on display. These are mainly Japanese and German tanks. Pakistani tanks which took part in India- Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971 are also
exhibited.

Rolls Royce, a prized asset of the museum placed at the outset, welcomes the visitor. It is the oldest tank in the museum which was made in 1914 and has seen World War I and II. It was the most successful armoured car weighing 3,861 kg and was powered by water-cooled petrol engine.

It saw action in France, Egypt, East Africa, Russia, guerrilla warfare in Arabia and was later used for internal security duties in India in 1945. A model belonging to this class of armoured cars was used by General Dwyer during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

History researcher from Ahmednagar Bhushan Deshmukh told DNA, “Ahmednagar was a strategic location for the museum as the city was a centre of military activities since the time of the Mughals. Many tanks used in various wars were made here.”
One of these called Vijayanta is exhibited here.

It was important during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.‘Amphibious’ tanks like Sea Lion can be seen at the museum which could be used on land and in water. It was originally called Sherman Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle which could work in up to 9 ft of water.

Besides war tanks there are specialised tanks which were developed for aircrew recovery, bridge laying and mine detonation.The mine-detonating tank displayed at the museum has a revolving drum with heavy chains which detonated the mines laid by the enemy for the troops and made their passing safe.

The memorabilia of the cavalry is displayed in two memory rooms. The tales of the heroes of Armoured Corps in the Heroes’ Gallery makes one feel proud of our army.

In the museum also stands Farah Bagh, an impressive monument with striking Persian features built in 16th century, which is worth visiting.


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PostPosted: 23 Aug 2011 08:30 
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x-posting from the misc pics threads

some photographs of Filed Marshal KM Cariappa taken from his book. you'll have to download the pictures to view it in full size

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/E ... BuamDkrcng

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/l ... Gym9wmTyRA

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Y ... dEFhpkEpSQ

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/p ... snxYTjfSrg

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k ... dWlpgqrooA

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/G ... YmMAhusNIQ

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/e ... 7GOGn_oRrg

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7 ... FVlug9sJEQ

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k ... cS_9IRd9Fg

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/t ... pc4A75vUGw

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/z ... Xd24Fei2tg

people knowing more would've already known it, but I learnt it only yesterday: Despite being promoted to Field Marshal Mankeshaw was given no associated benefits
it had nothing to do with govt apathy or indifference :lol:


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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2011 23:29 
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Inder Malhotra in Ind Express:

Dark October, Black November

More like Bleak November!

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Dark October, Black Novemebr

Inder Malhotra

After the massive Chinese invasion along the Himalayas, it was no longer possible to continue the farce of the border war being commanded from a sickbed in Lutyens’ Delhi. Yet, General B.M. Kaul was opposed to any change and had the full backing of Defence Minister Krishna Menon. Even so, the change eventually came, but so fitfully and reluctantly as to make things worse. The shockingly inept performance of both the political and the army leadership cannot be explained without unveiling some ugly details.

Army chief Thapar’s first impulse was to follow his profession’s long-established norms and ask the divisional commander, Major-General Niranjan Prasad, to officiate as corps commander as well. But the orders could not be conveyed to Prasad for two reasons. First, the divisional commander — who had stayed on at his highly vulnerable headquarters at Zimithang all through the day and night despite the disintegration of 7 Brigade right before his eyes — decided the next morning to move southwards to Tawang or beyond. For him and his staff this meant a two-day march through treacherous terrain. Consequently, for 48 hours between Lucknow, where lived the GOC-in-C of Eastern Army Command, Lieutenant-General Sen, and the battlefield, “there was no one in command”. Moreover, on high mountains and deep forests, electronic messages did not reach.


Secondly — and this was far more important as well as complicated — the selection of a corps commander was intertwined with a vital strategic problem. Some army leaders were having serious second thoughts about their earlier plan to make Tawang the base for Indian defence if Namkachu and surrounding areas were lost. Also the prevailing doctrine was never to withdraw from a position unless attacked and pushed back.

The administrative and political importance of Tawang was great. But, in the eyes of several experts, most notably the director of military operations, D.K. Palit, it had no tactical value. On the contrary, there were so many routes through forested mountains that the Chinese could easily bypass Tawang and box the Indian forces there.

Their plea therefore was that Indian defence line should be moved further south to the more defensible Sela Pass, with a back-up garrison at Bomdila 90 km to the rear. Those who opposed this idea were equally emphatic in arguing that the country wanted the army to defend every inch of its soil and never withdraw from anywhere out of fear that the Chinese would overrun it. Eventually, Nehru agreed that building up Sela and Bomdila was a better idea, especially because the army felt so.

At this stage, Thapar decided that he would announce all the changes in plans or personnel at Tezpur, and simultaneously directed Sen to temporarily take over command of IV Corps too. By the time the army chief, together with Palit and Intelligence Bureau Chief Mullik reached the IV Corps HQ, the situation had taken a strange new twist. Angered by Prasad’s vacation of the divisional HQ without the Eastern Army Commander’s permission, Sen had sacked him. Major-General Anand Singh Pathania was Prasad’s replacement.

It was in this confused and confusing state of affairs that New Delhi finally appointed Major-General (later Lieutenant-General) Harbaksh Singh the acting GOC of IV Corps, and he was at Tezpur immediately. There are far too many accounts of the 1962 war by a large number of participants and equally numerous others. Inevitably, these differ from one another, sometimes widely. But on one point there is striking unanimity. Harbaksh’s very presence, to say nothing of his brisk interaction with all formations under his command, boosted the sagging morale of the entire corps. (No wonder, this tall soldiers’ soldier was to be the unquestioned hero of the war with Pakistan three years later.) Sadly, this was too good to last.

For, on October 28, Kaul, declared fit by army doctors, returned to Tezpur and reclaimed his command. Again, all accounts agree that this did not go down well with either the men or younger officers. In any case, it had no impact on the ground situation because, having achieved their immediate objectives astonishingly fast, the Chinese had halted the first phase of their assault by the morning of October 25.

As is well known, China’s main purpose for this lull was to derive as much diplomatic and propaganda advantage as possible. On October 24, Zhou Enlai made a three-point cease-fire offer to Nehru that was totally unacceptable to this country. Beijing also issued an obviously pre-prepared note in which China told the world that on October 20, India had “started a massive offensive in both the eastern and western sectors of the Sino-Indian border. In these circumstances, the Chinese frontier guards had no choice but to strike back in self-defence”. According to Dorothy Woodman, an eminent British scholar of that time, this Chinese claim was “obviously nonsense”. In Nehru’s words, the Chinese “posed that they were meek lambs set upon by tigers” — and therefore they “were devouring Indian territory”. Ironically, China and its dutiful Western propagandists continue with the Chinese mythology to this date, but that is a separate story.

However, to go back to the lull in fighting, the Chinese also needed time for an operational design of theirs. Pursuing and ambushing the survivors of 7 Brigade at Namkachu, and outflanking Indian positions, they had arrived at Tawang by Octover 24. They had even blown up a vital bridge at a river crossing called Jang that Prasad was hoping to use to stop them, even if temporarily. Having done this, they immediately started constructing a road fit for the use of heavy trucks. Twelve years after the event, Mullik wrote in his book My Years With Nehru: The Chinese Betrayal that the Chinese built this road “with tremendous speed and completed it within two weeks, a really marvellous engineering feat, exhibiting a much superior road-building technique in this high plateau than that of our engineers”.

Much has doubtless changed since those dark days, to our advantage. But with great reluctance and much greater regret, one has to admit that the gap between the Chinese skills and techniques and ours in the construction of the state-of-the-art infrastructure on the India-China border is not yet bridged.

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator



He should write more till end of November 1962. Why the half measure?


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PostPosted: 06 Sep 2011 09:51 
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Compare the above article - or even series of articles - on the happenings in NEFA and lack of any such -ve opinion on battle in Ladakh. It clearly shows that if you let the professionals do their job, they can very well do it. The blaim for 1962 lies squarely at the feet of Nehru, Menon, Mullick and IA leadership - for complete lack of spine and professionalism.

One the Chinese halted their advance in NEFA, Nehru finally brought in Manekshaw as IV Corps commander and his first orders were, "There will be no more withdrawl without my orders and, there will be no such order".

The orders to implement the Forward Policy in Ladakh were issued to Western Command (there was no Northern Command then). The Western Command had done a major table top exercise called "Sheel" in 1960, which clearly showed the limitation of Forward Policy and predicted that with the troop level then given for Ladakh and their spread in penny packet as per Forward Policy, should the PLA decide to go on offensive, the PLA will have a cakewalk in the region. Here it is important to note that IB was of the opinion that Chinese will not go on offensive in the region and had greatly underestimated their strength in the region.

The Western Command appraised the AHQ and MOD about the same and asked for permission to move more troops to the region, rationalize troop deployment (scrap Forward Policy) but the request was turned down. There was an Army Order which clearly asked Western Command not to move troops from Pakistan border and stick to Forward Polciy.

However, realizing the gravity of situation, Western Command issued internal orders - which was contrary to the AHQ Order - and devised a more robust strategy for defence of Ladakh. It called for Outer and Inner Circles for defence and concluded requirement of Division level troops. The outer defence circle lay on the line DBO-Phobrang-Chusul-Dungti while inner circle lay on holding Khardung La and Changla with strong troops in Leh. The logistic problem meant that we had ~4 battalions + limited arty support + two troops of tanks. This was all under 114 Brigade at Chusul and we did not have any reserves. Yet, the original appreciation of the situation and clear chain of command ment that IA feared much better in Ladakh Sector.


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2011 21:08 
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The excellent and in-depth details of Nathu La incident from someone who was present there.

This has been taken from the website of CLAWS - Center for Land Warfare Studies (http://www.claws.in/index.php?action=details&m_id=856&u_id=26).

Written by: Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, SM (Retd), commanded the Nathu La Brigade and an Infantry Division in the Ladakh Sector

Article:

Quote:
The Nathu La skirmish: when Chinese were given a bloody nose

After the debacle of 1962, nothing could have enhanced the self esteem of the Indian Army than the mauling that was given to the Chinese at Nathu La in Sikkim on 11th September 1967 and at Chola on 1st October 1967. It must have come as a rude shock to the Chinese Army and also its political leadership. And by a happy coincidence, the Indian Army leadership which got the better of this eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation was the same that went on to create Bangladesh in 1971. Maj Gen Sagat Singh was GOC Mountain Division in Sikkim, Lt Gen Jagjit Aurora was the Corps Commander and Sam Manekshaw was the Eastern Army Commander.

I too served in Nathu La. After finishing my young officer’s course, it was on 21 July 1967 that I reported to my Unit, a mule pack artillery regiment in Sikkim. Those days young officers were made to have their professional mailing by sending them on long-range patrols (LRP) for area familiarisation, take part in khad race to increase their stamina and sending them to remote observations ports on Sikkim-Tibet border for a month. Having done my share of LRPs and having taken part in the khad race, I was sent to the main Sabu La observation post on the Sikkim-Tibet Border. This observation post is about a kilometre south-west of Nathu La. It dominates Nathu La by virtue of taking on higher ground and commands an excellent view of the pass as also the Chinese defense on the feature known as North shoulder. There were two observation posts at Sabu La and had a good old radio set 62 and PRC-10 and of course line communications to the guns deployed in the rear.

Nathu La at 14200 feet is an important pass on the Tibet-Sikkim border through which passes the old Gangtok-Yatung-Lhasa Trade Route. Although the Sikkim-Tibet boundary is well defined by the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 17 March 1890, the Chinese were not comfortable with Sikkim being an Indian protectorate with the deployment of the Indian Army at that time. During the 1965 War between India and Pakistan, the Chinese gave an ultimatum to India to vacate both Nathu La and Jelep La passes on the Sikkim-Tibet border. For some strange reason, the Mountain Division, under whose jurisdiction Jelep La was at that time, vacated the pass. It remains under Chinese possession till date. However, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh, true to form, refused to vacate Nathu La. Incidentally it is at Nathu La where Chinese and Indian forces are deployed barely thirty yards apart, closest anywhere on the 4000 km Sino-Indian border and the border remains undemacrated. Chinese hold the northern shoulder of the pass while Indian Army holds the southern shoulder. Two dominating features south and north of Nathu La namely Sebu La and Camel’s back were held by the Indians. Artillery observation post officers deployed on these two features have an excellent observation into Chinese depth areas whereas from Northern shoulder, Chinese have very little observations into Indian depth areas. This factor proved crucial in the clash that ensued. At the time of the clash, 2 Grenadiers was holding Nathu La. This battalion was under the command of Lt Col (Later Brigadier) Rai Singh. The battalion was under the Mountain Brigade being commanded by Brig MMS Bakshi, MVC.

The daily routine at Nathu La used to start with patrolling by both sides along the perceived border which almost always resulted in arguments. The only one on the Chinese side who could converse in broken English was the Political Commissar who could be recognised by a red patch on his cap. Sentries of both the forces used to stand barely one meter apart in the centre of the Pass which is marked by Nehru Stone, commemorating Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s trek to Bhutan through Nathu La and Chumbi Valley in 1959. Argument between the two sides soon changed to pushing and shoving and on 6 September 1967 a scuffle took place in which Political Commissar fell down and broke his spectacles. These incidents only added to the excitement. I developed excellent rapport with Capt Dagar of 2 Grenadiers and a few days before the clash we had gone to Gangtok together on “liberty” to see a movie. Little did I know that within a week, Dagar would be a martyr.

In order to de-escalate the situation it was decided by the Indian military hierarchy to lay a wire in the centre of the Pass from Nathu La to Sebu La to demarcate the perceived border. This task was to be carried out by the jawans of 70 Field Company of Engineers assisted by a company of 18 Rajput deployed at Yak La pass further north of Nathu La. The wire laying was to commence at first light on the fateful morning of 11 September 1967.

That morning dawned bright and sunny unlike the normal foggy days. The engineers and jawans started erecting long iron pickets from Nathu La to Sebu La along the perceived border while 2 Grenadiers and Artillery Observation Post Officers at Sebu La and Camel’s Back were on alert. Immediately the Chinese Political Commissar, with a section of Infantry came to the centre of the Pass where Lt. Col Rai Singh, CO 2 Grenadiers was standing with his commando platoon. The Commissar asked Lt Col Rai Singh to stop laying the wire. Orders to the Indian Army were clear. They were not to blink. An argument started which soon built up into a scuffle. In the ensuing melee, the commissar got roughed up. Thereafter the Chinese went up back to their bunkers and engineers resumed laying the wire.

Within a few minutes of this, a whistle was heard on the Chinese side followed by murderous medium machine gun fire from north shoulder. The pass is completely devoid of cover and the jawans of 70 Field Company and 18 Rajput were caught in the open and suffered heavy casualties which included Col Rai Singh who was wounded. He was awarded MVC later. Two brave officers – Capt Dagar of 2 Grenadiers and Major Harbhajan Singh of 18 Rajput rallied a few troops and tried to assault the Chinese MMG but both died a heroic death. They were posthumously awarded Vir Chakra and MVC respectively. 2 Grenadier opened small arms fire on North shoulder but it was not very effective. Within the first ten minutes, there were nearly seventy dead and scores wounded lying in the open on the pass. Within half an hour, Chinese artillery opened up on the pass as well as in the depth areas but it was mostly prophylactic fire due to lack of observation and failed to do much damage. Meanwhile we as artillery observation post officers asked for artillery fire, permission for which came a little later. Because of excellent domination and observation from Sebu La and Camel’s back, artillery fire was most effective and most of the Chinese bunkers on North shoulder and in depth were completely destroyed and Chinese suffered very heavy casualties which by their own estimates were over 400. The artillery duel thereafter carried on day and night. For the next three days, the Chinese were taught a lesson. On 14 September, Chinese threatened use of Air Force if shelling did not stop. By then the lesson had been driven home and an uneasy ceasefire came about. The Chinese, true to form, had pulled over dead bodies to their side of the perceived border at night and accused us of violating the border. Dead bodies were exchanged on 15 September at which time: Sam Manekshaw, Aurora and Sagat were present on the Pass.

Every battle has its own share of heroism, faint heartedness, drama and humour. The Nathu La skirmish was no exception. 2 Grenadiers were initially shaken up due to the loss of Capt Dagar and injury to their CO but found their man of the moment in Lieutenant Atar Singh who went round from trench to trench to rally the troops and was later promoted as Captain on the spot. On the lighter side was one artillery observation post officer, my colleague at Sebu La whose radio set was damaged due to shelling and he was out of communication with his guns. He rightly decided to go back to the base at Sherathang in the depth to get another radio set. While he was on his way back, Commander Artillery Brigade was coming up. He stopped the young captain, accused him of running away from the battle and sent him back after reducing him to his substantive rank of a second lieutenant. Casualties could not be evacuated for three days and nights as any move to do so invited a hail of Chinese bullets. Some wounded may well have succumbed to cold and rain. There were awards for bravery as also court martial for cowardice. However, what stood out was the steadfastness of the commanders and bravery of the jawans and junior officers. Indians refused to blink and the mighty Chinese dragon was made to look ordinary.

The situation again flared up twenty days later when on 1 October 1967 a face-off between India and China took place at Cho La, another pass on the Sikkim-Tibet border a few kilometers north of Nathu La. Despite initial casualties, 7/11 GR and 10 JAK RIF stood firm and forced the Chinese to withdraw nearly three kilometers away to a feature named Kam Barracks where they remain deployed till date. Cho La Pass is firmly in Indian hands. Indian Army had got better of the Chinese yet again.

No wonder, Sino-Indian border has remained peaceful ever since to the extent that today Chinese soldiers come and ask their Indian counterparts at Nathu La for cigarettes, rum and tea, mail is exchanged twice in a week in a hut constructed specially for this purpose and border personnel meeting takes place there twice a year. It was my privilege to command the Nathu La Brigade many years later and conduct the first border personnel meeting at Nathu La is 1995


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2011 01:50 
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Rohit, Do we know what type of artillery was used in the above Nathu La incident? Growing up I vaguely recall some press reports in Ind Express of those days.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2011 11:11 
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No idea, sir. But could be 75/24 Howitzer. Let me check.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2011 16:02 
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ramana wrote:
Rohit, Do we know what type of artillery was used in the above Nathu La incident? Growing up I vaguely recall some press reports in Ind Express of those days.


Just checked some historical references. The guns could have been 3.7inch howitzers; the same were mainstay of Indian Mountain Artillery Regiments. From what I remember, this 'mountain' nomenclature was/has been dropped now.

See the image of 3.7inch howitzer here (you'll need to scroll down a bit):

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?89961-Indian-Armed-Forces/page339


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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2011 07:24 
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How the retreat turned into a rout: Inder Malhotra (1962 war)

Quote:
It is well known that the Chinese had scheduled the second phase of their advance into NEFA for November 15, but it started a day earlier, on November 14, which coincided with Nehru’s birthday. The reason for this was an Indian action in the Walong sector of the Lohit frontier division that is to the east of the main battleground in the Kameng division, where lie Namkachu, Tawang, Se-la, Bomdila and so on.

In their first wave the Chinese had pushed out the Indian formations from Kibithoo on the India-Burma border, whereupon the Indian side had built up a strong defensive position at Walong. While doing so, it had overlooked two higher hills — quaintly named the “Yellow Pimple” and the “Green Pimple” — from where the Chinese were dominating Indian deployments. The army, therefore, launched a battalion-strong attack on the “Yellow Pimple” with a view to retaking it from the invaders, but the effort failed. The Chinese converted their counter-attack into a general offensive all along the Himalayan front.

Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Kaul, who had visited Walong on November 12 and 13 and authorised the attack on the Yellow Pimple, returned there on November 15 when the war situation was deteriorating fast. He left only on the afternoon of November 16 in the last-but-one helicopter to leave Walong after its defences had collapsed. Because of his prolonged absence from the IV Corps HQ, Kaul had remained broadly unaware of the much greater disaster, indeed catastrophe, unfolding in the main battleground in the Kameng division.

Before departing Walong, Kaul had sent the army headquarters in Delhi a signal that had triggered shockwaves through South Block. For, in this message, after giving the details of the Walong battle and warning the government of the “extreme gravity of the situation”, he had starkly asked for “foreign military intervention to save the situation.”

Director of Military Operations Palit commented: “Bijji (Kaul’s petname) sounds so desperate as to be almost demented”. “Bijji has finally lost his mind”, remarked Army Chief Thapar, “he expects us to invite the Americans to fight our battles. We’ll have to show this to the PM.” Nehru read Kaul’s signal grimly but said nothing.

Thapar then decided to go to Tezpur the next day in the hope that his presence might improve the morale of the corps commander, and told the Lucknow-based Eastern Army commander, Lieutenant-General Sen, to be there. On November 17, it was Sen who received the army chief and his DMO when they landed. Kaul was at Chabua to be with the troops withdrawing from Walong. Meanwhile, the atmosphere at the Corps HQ seemed be depressing, if also confused and confusing.

According to Lieutenant-General (retired) A. M. Vohra — who, in a junior rank, was then Kaul’s chief of operations — the GOC of the 4th Division, Major-General Anant Singh Pathania, had been pressing for permission to withdraw from Se-la, a formidable defensive position. In the corps commander’s absence, his staff sent a clear directive to Pathania that there was to be no withdrawal from the prepared positions at Se-la. Beyond that no other written directive went to the divisional commander, adds General Vohra.

Yet, this does not seem to have deterred Pathania. For, according to Palit and others present at the Corps HQ, as well as other accounts of the border war’s history, an obviously panicky divisional commander persisted in demanding sanction for withdrawal. Palit has lamented that neither Sen nor Thapar would accept his plea that they should instruct Pathania to give up any idea of withdrawing from Se-la. Neither wanted to interfere with Kaul’s command. Pathania spoke to Kaul more than once after his return to his HQ, and Kaul, as usual, gave ambiguous verbal instructions that could be interpreted either way.

To cut a long story short, at about 11 pm, when Thapar and Palit left for the circuit house where they were staying, they were convinced that Kaul’s instructions to Pathania were to defend Se-la all through the night and “discuss” the situation with him the next morning. However, when Palit arrived at Kaul’s residence early on November 18 morning he learnt how wrong he and the army chief were in their assumption.

For, Kaul stunned the DMO with the news that during the night, Pathania had withdrawn not one but two battalions defending Se-la, even though there was no engagement with the Chinese. Moreover, Pathania had also told the corps commander that because of the Chinese threat he was closing down the divisional headquarters at Dirang Dzong and shifting elsewhere. However, instead of going to Bomdila, the last remaining Indian stronghold in NEFA, he headed towards the Assam plains, asking the accompanying troops to do the same. No wonder, all attempts by Kaul to establish contact with Pathania failed.

Meanwhile, the strength of the 48 Brigade, defending Bomdila, had been reduced to just six companies in a perimeter threatened by double that number, and yet Kaul was insisting, over the protests of Brigadier Gurbax Singh, that some more platoons be sent to block the Chinese infiltration routes. These instructions were too late and pointless; the Chinese had used all routes on either side of the 90-km Se-la-Bomdila axis and were present even around Bomdila by then.

They were not only attacking the Indian positions frontally but were also engaged in wide enveloping movements, occupying bunkers vacated by Indian soldiers and ambushing the troops withdrawing from Se-la and Dirang Dzong in the most haphazard, indeed chaotic, manner. In one of the ambushes, Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, commander of 62 Brigade who withdrew from Se-la only when threatened with court-martial, was also killed. Under these circumstances, every Indian retreat was turning into a rout.

Thapar and Palit reached Delhi at night to be greeted with the news of the fall of Bomdila. The last hope of stemming the Chinese tide was finished. By then the famous fourth division had virtually disintegrated in its entirety. The Indian army had obviously reached its nadir. But who was to know that something far more mortifying would happen over the next two days!

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator


Last edited by abhishek_sharma on 20 Sep 2011 06:29, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2011 01:28 
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abhishek_sharma wrote:


This is the history thread! Please post the content in case it lapses years from now.

Inder Malhotraji obviously wants to write the history to ensure it is read and preserved.


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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2011 06:35 
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abhishek_sharma wrote:
How the retreat turned into a rout: Inder Malhotra (1962 war)

Quote:
In one of the ambushes, Brigadier Hoshiar Singh, commander of 62 Brigade who withdrew from Se-la only when threatened with court-martial, was also killed.



Did a bit of about-turn on reading this till I realized that the Brigadier Hoshiar Singh I was thinking about was only a Major 9 years later, in 1971. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 20 Sep 2011 09:23 
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Indian soldiers to get a rare honour in Israel

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In a tribute to Indian soldiers, the municipality of Haifa has decided to include the stories of their valiant efforts in liberating the city during the First World War by incorporating them in Israeli school curricula as part of the history textbooks.

"The residents of Haifa have learnt to appreciate the contribution of the Indian soldiers and as a mark of recognition, the stories of their brave deeds will be taught at schools here to preserve the city's history and heritage," acting Mayor of Haifa, Hedva Almog, said addressing a gathering assembled to pay respects to the fallen Indian soldiers.

A large number of Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in this region during the First World War and nearly 900 are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel.

India's Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna released a book, Memorials of Indian soldiers in Israel, on the occasion as part of an initiative that will spread more awareness and greater recognition for the supreme sacrifice made by these soldiers.

"It was no ordinary battle because the Indian soldiers, hailing from various parts of the country and belonging to different faiths, fought bravely for the British here while back home Indians were fighting against them for Independence," Sarna said.

The commemoration is "a part of a mosaic of this very wide ranging Indo-Israel ties," the Indian envoy said. He also thanked the role of the Haifa Historical Society which has done an extensive research on the role of the Indian Army in the region

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110920/world.htm#6


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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2011 05:59 
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On of the last interviews of FM SAM Manekshaw interviewed by Karan Thapar

Parts still relevant





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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2011 06:48 
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uddu wrote:
The funny part is this
http://www.livemint.com/articles/2011/0 ... -8216.html
"Pakistani writer Mustansar Husain Tarar thinks that Porus actually defeated Alexander at the battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum). He believes Greek historians later papered over this humiliation by saying Alexander turned back because his army was disheartened (“sipah baddil ho gayi”). Alexander wouldn’t have retreated, Tarar argues, had the Indians not given the Macedonians a hiding. Funnily, Tarar says Pakistan has raised a monument to Alexander the Great (“Sikandar-e-Azam”) on the banks of the Chenab because they mistakenly think he was a Muslim who defeated the Hindu Porus." :lol:


Anybody who defeats Hindus are Muslims in nature!


Quote:
If the United Nations raised an army and paid in dollars, would Indian and Pakistani jawans line up to get in? I believe so. And they would get in too, because they are brave, disciplined and loyal fighters, particularly when led by quality officers of the sort the British empire produced.

And why not? Our elites flee India to work in the West the first chance they get. Why insist jawans are different from other Indians? We only express our patriotism at Wankhede, but they must do it at Kargil and at Siachen. We transfer all responsibility for patriotism to them through slogans, but that’s unfair.


Concept of nation state came only in the last 100 years


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PostPosted: 03 Oct 2011 05:38 
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Panic, pandemonium, ceasefire: Inder Malhotra

Quote:
As if the disgraceful disintegration of the famous 4th Division on November 18 (‘How the retreat turned into a rout’, IE, September 19) wasn’t enough, the next day it was the turn of the IV corps commander, Lieutenant-General B.M. Kaul, to panic and decide to withdraw his HQ and other troops from Tezpur to Gauhati (as it was then spelt) in the plains of Assam. This was contrary to the desultory discussion at the Tezpur airport the previous evening, when Kaul was seeing off the army chief, General P.N. Thapar, and the director of military operations, Brigadier D.K. Palit.
While Thapar listened, Palit had emphasised that even though the continuing Chinese advance made the IV Corps HQ on the northern bank of Brahmaputra vulnerable, the troops to the north of the river must put up a fight, if only to delay the Chinese. Moreover, argued Palit, the corps should go only to the south of the Brahmaputra and build up defences there with the help of a new division that was arriving there. Thapar said nothing, and Kaul kept his counsel.

What appears to have accentuated Kaul’s fears was a rumour on the morning of November 19 — which was later disproved — that just as the Chinese had outflanked Bomdila earlier, Chinese soldiers were also seen to the south of the foothills, that is, on the way to Assam plains. So he ordered not only the troops under his command but also the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to withdraw from Tezpur. By this time he was convinced that the Chinese could “paradrop” enough troops at the Tezpur airport and a solitary one nearby to make the position of the Indian army totally untenable. He said so to the then Assam minister (later the republic’s president), Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

Nothing is more contagious than panic, especially the one resulting from continuous military defeat. When the army started withdrawing from Tezpur, the civil administration followed suit. For this no blame attaches to Kaul. Whatever he told the Assam minister was immaterial. The Union home ministry in Delhi had issued an order for the withdrawal of the civilian administration, and the director-general of civil defence had personally carried it to Assam.

Meanwhile, both the army and the government leadership in the nation’s capital were also in disarray. Kaul had neither consulted nor informed the army headquarters of his moves or his future plans. All attempts to contact him were futile. The army’s top brass was divided over the defence of Assam. One view was that the army must have a plan for a firm defence of Assam rather than leave the northeastern state to the mercies of the Chinese. The rival view was that the army was in no position to do this. Collectively, however, the army leaders would take no decision either way. A complicating factor here was that General Thapar, a man of honour, had resigned and the selection of his successor, Lieutenant-General J. N. Chaudhury, was proving difficult, which is a separate story by itself.

Nor were things at the highest level of the government any better. After all, November 19 was the day when, within a span of only a few hours, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote those two panicky letters to President John F. Kennedy, asking for American military intervention by providing India with two squadrons of F-104 fighter aircraft with American crews to stem the Chinese tide, or else China would take over entire eastern India and endanger the rest of Asia. The broad content of these missives was known over the years. But their text was published for the first time last November on this page (‘JN to JFK: eyes only’, IE, November 15, 2010 and ‘Letters from the darkest hour’, IE, November 17).

On the morning of November 20, in the army ops room, Intelligence Chief B.N. Mullik demanded of DMO Palit whether the army intended to “make a stand or surrender Assam”. When informed that Palit had “failed” to obtain a decision, and that some army leaders contemplated “abandoning” Assam, the normally calm Mullik exploded: “Never. I will speak to the prime minister. If the army won’t fight, the police will...” This was no empty boast. Mullik had already mobilised eight battalions of armed police to fight a guerrilla war in any areas the army might vacate. Later in the afternoon he explained his plan to Nehru, adding that he would resign as director of the Intelligence Bureau (DIB) and lead the fight. Unfortunately, this, too, is a long story that will have to be told some other time.

The evacuation of Tezpur is a tale so tragic and squalid that it would not bear retelling. Utter confusion prevailed all through November 20. To make matters worse, while North Assam formations were fleeing, the 27th Division sent from the Punjab border was trying to enter Tezpur. Since the treasury had to be emptied, some currency notes were burnt; some floated in the Brahmaputra. People were terrified. In the evening, Nehru made a broadcast to the people of Assam asking them to “remain steady”. In the words of his intelligence chief, the country thought this was a warning of “worse disasters to come”. No wonder John Kenneth Galbraith’s entry, dated November 21, in his Ambassador’s Journal reads: “Yesterday was a day of ultimate panic in Delhi, the first time I have ever witnessed the disintegration of public morale”.

Early on the morning of November 21, Home Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, accompanied by Mullik and others, was to fly to Gauhati to help the state government overcome the indescribable chaos. Indira Gandhi was also going by a separate, private plane. At Palam, Shastri read in the newspapers of the Chinese announcement of a unilateral ceasefire effective from the midnight of November 22, and subsequent withdrawal. Hurriedly, he and his party drove to the prime minister’s house where he and Mullik woke up Nehru and gave him the news. “I knew this,” commented the PM. “How could the Chinese come any further? They had already come too far... The Chinese, now that they are at the end of their supply routes, want to get a diplomatic victory over us”.

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator.


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PostPosted: 07 Oct 2011 23:13 
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(Not sure if this is right thread)


The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971

Contains good masala regarding unkils decision making mechanism in 70's. How and why they biased against India. Original documents of communication between Kissinger, Nixon, dhaka consulate, yahya khan etc.


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2011 05:07 
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Boreas wrote:
(Not sure if this is right thread)


The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971

Contains good masala regarding unkils decision making mechanism in 70's. How and why they biased against India. Original documents of communication between Kissinger, Nixon, dhaka consulate, yahya khan etc.



Maybe not the right thread, but thanks for posting the link.

BRFis: Follow the link to the famous Blood Cable condemning US support of the Yahya regime. One of the officers who signed the cable was one Howard B Schaeffer.

One learns something new and interesting every day!


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2011 09:03 
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And four signatures above him!


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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2011 05:20 
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The Colombo ‘compromise’: Inder Malhotra

Quote:
The Chinese ceasefire in the 1962 war (‘Panic, pandemonium, ceasefire’, IE, October 3), to be followed by withdrawal by both sides by 20 kilometres from the line of actual control (LAC) “as it existed on November 7, 1959”, certainly was unilateral. But unconditional it wasn’t. Indeed, such were the Chinese conditions that there was no way India could accept them.

For, shorn of diplomatic obfuscation, these meant that even if China did move back from its positions on the ground, critically important frontier areas such as Thagla Ridge, Walong and Longju, would remain under Chinese “police control”. Moreover, in Ladakh, India’s gains from the misnamed “forward policy” would be eliminated. And to make matters immensely worse, the Chinese claims about the LAC differed hugely from anything they held on November 7, three years earlier. They were clearly trying to establish their claim on Indian areas they had occupied only after their aggression on October 20.


On the other hand, given the lamentable state of the Indian army and the great gap between Indian and Chinese power and logistics, it was impracticable to reject the Chinese offer out of hand. So Nehru decided to say nothing about the Chinese declaration. He justified his refusal to comment on it by pointing out that he had received no formal communication from the Chinese government. He thus refused to acquiesce in China’s demands without rejecting them. Chinese withdrawals thus went on.

Meanwhile, Zhou Enlai started exchanging letters with Nehru, repeatedly demanding clarification of the Indian stand on Chinese stipulations. More importantly, the Chinese PM emphasised that officials of both countries should meet to discuss the “implementation” of China’s unilateral declaration of ceasefire and withdrawal.

To this, Nehru’s reply was an emphatic “no”. There could be no talks with China, he wrote, until the Chinese went back to their pre-September 8 positions, that is to say, vacated the areas they had occupied by the use of force. Nehru also rejected emphatically China’s definition of the LAC as it existed on November 7, 1959.

In this rather curt correspondence between the two prime ministers came a stage when, in a sharply worded memorandum, Zhou demanded a “clear and definite” reply to his three questions: “Does the Indian government agree, or does it not agree to a ceasefire? Does the Indian government agree or does it not agree that the armed forces of the two sides should disengage and withdraw 20 kms... Does the Indian side agree, or does it not agree that officials of the two sides should meet to discuss (these) matters... to form a demilitarised zone?” Nehru described Zhou’s questions as being “couched in a peremptory and dictatorial tone replete with factual distortions” and answered that India would do nothing to “impede the implementation” of the ceasefire and Chinese withdrawal, but negotiations would be possible only “on the basis of undoing the further aggression committed by the government of China on Indian territory since September 8, 1962.” He added that India did “not agree to the so-called line of actual control... which is not in accordance with the facts .”

It was around this time that leaders of non-aligned countries bestirred themselves into action to “help” India and China convert the “de facto ceasefire period into a good starting point for a peaceful settlement of the India-China conflict”. With the honourable exceptions of President Gamal Abdul Nasser of the United Arab Republic (Egypt) and President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, all the non-aligned leaders had remained silent all through the month-long war in the high Himalayas, to India’s unconcealed dismay. Now they were obviously trying to make amends to the extent they could.

Six non-aligned nations — Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then called), Ghana, Indonesia and the United Arab Republic — met in Colombo from December 10 to 12 and formulated proposals that, together with subsequent clarifications, they recommended to both India and China. To this country they seemed broadly acceptable.

In essence, the Colombo proposals amounted to a reasonable compromise between Indian and Chinese positions with a discernible tilt towards India, clearly the aggrieved side. For instance, while accepting the LAC shown on the Chinese maps, the Colombo powers suggested that in the western sector, the Chinese should withdraw 20 km from this line but India could stay up to and on it. In the demilitarised zone created by the Chinese withdrawal, both sides could set up civilian posts, but their number and locations was to be decided jointly by the officials of the two countries. In the eastern sector, Indian forces could go back right up to the south of the McMahon Line except for the Thagla Ridge and Longju area.

Even so, when presented to Parliament, these proposals provoked a bitter debate. Many opposition members denounced Nehru for going to China on “bended knees”; the Colombo powers were described as “the cowering satellites of imperialist China.” However, Nehru’s persuasive eloquence prevailed. After receiving the Lok Sabha’s endorsement, his government announced its full acceptance of the Colombo proposals”. Within hours, China also accepted them “in principle” but raised questions about their interpretation, which rendered the Colombo suggestions virtually irrelevant. “No negotiations with China except on the basis of the Colombo proposals” became the bedrock of India’s bedrock. All contact between Asia’s two largest countries was ruptured, except for the exchange of acerbic notes.

This situation lasted for nearly five years. Then, on New Year’s Day, 1968, Indira Gandhi announced that India would be willing to hold talks with China without insisting on the acceptance of the Colombo proposals. She also quietly decided to stop the publication of acrimonious demarches exchanged by the two countries. “This would cool tempers down”, she remarked privately.

Two years later, on May Day, 1970, Mao Zedong smiled at the then Indian charge d’ affaires in Beijing, Brajesh Mishra, and remarked that China and India were “great nations”, and there was no reason why they could not settle their disputes through peaceful negotiations. Before New Delhi could respond, the Bangladesh crisis, inevitably leading to the 1971 war, intervened. India and China were back to square one.

The writer is a Delhi-based political commentator.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011 07:28 
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Question answer session from the 1926 Council of States
ENLISTMENT IN THE INDIAN ARMY OF HINDU JATS FROM THE JULLUNDUR AND LAHORE DIVISIONS

The Honourable Rai Bahadur Lala Ram Saran Das, C.I.E. (Punjab: Non-Muhammadan): Is it a fact that in the Jullundur and Lahore Divisions of the Punjab the Hindu Jats can get enlistment in the Indian Army only with great difficulty?

The Honourable Mr. AH Ley (on behalf of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief): Hindu Jats from the Jullundur and Lahore Divisions are eligible for service in the Indian Army. It is, however, a fact that, apart from those who are Dogras, Hindu Jats are not taken into the Army in large numbers from these two civil divisions.

Q: Will the Government kindly state what is the number at present in the Indian Army of Hindu Jats, Sikh Jats and Muslim Jats, recruited from Ambala Division, and from districts in the Jullundur and Lahore Divisions? Is this number of recruits in the Indian Army, from the different sections of the Jat community in proportion to their respective populations?

A: The information desired by the Honourable Member in the first part of this question is not available, as our statistics do not show the numbers recruited by districts or divisions but by provinces. With regard to the second part, I may state that the extent to which the different castes and classes are enlisted in the Indian Army depends more on their suitability for service as soldiers, than on their total numbers.

Q: Will the Government kindly lay on the table a statement showing the number of soldiers in the Indian Army, recruited from each of the Hindu castes and tribes in each district of the Punjab?

A: I regret that I am unable to furnish the Honourable Member with the information which he desires, since as 1 have just stated in reply to the previous question, our recruiting statistics are not compiled to show the classes and castes by districts but by provinces as a whole: I lay on the table, however, a statement showing the total number of the various Hindu castes and tribes (other than Sikhs) serving in the Indian Army on the 1st January 1925, from the whole of the Punjab Province and I trust that this information will suffice for the Honourable Member's purpose.

DOGRAS (Brahmans 691, Rajputs 8191, Jats 739, other castes of Dogras 793) total: 10,414

PUNJABI HINDUS (Brahmans 604, Rajputs 1027, Jats 4941, Ahirs 1795, Gujars 387) total: 8754

RECRUITMENT OF MUHYAL BRAHMANS OF THE RAWALPINDI DIVISION FOR THE INDIAN ARMY

Q: Is it a fact that in the Rawalpindi Division for some time past the Muhyal Brahmans cannot now get enlistment in the Army? Will the Government kindly state why this is so?

A: The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The second part does not arise. The Honourable Member will be interested to learn that there are now more than half as many more Muhyal Brahmans serving in the Indian Army than was the case before the war.

RECRUITMENT OF PUNJABI HINDU REGIMENTS FOR THE INDIAN ARMY

Q: Is it a fact that in the Indian Army raised from the Punjab, we have regiments known under the names of "Punjabi Musalmans " and "Sikhs"? Is it a fact that in the regiments known as the "Punjabi Musalmans ", there are usually recruits from several Muslim castes and tribes, and similarly in the " Sikh " regiments there are recruits from several Sikh castes and tribes? Is it also a fact that there is in the Indian Army raised from the Punjab no regiment known under the name of " Punjabi Hindus ", and consequently Hindu Jats in the Jullundur and Lahore Divisions, Muhyal Brahmins and Hindu Khattris in the Rawalpindi, Lahore and Jullundur Divisions, and several other Hindu fighting classes in different parts of the province cannot get enlistment in the Indian Army? Will the Government kindly state why no " Punjabi Hindu " regiments as such are raised in the Punjab?

A: There is no regiment known under the name of "Punjabi Mussulmans". There is one regiment known as Sikhs, namely, the 11th Sikhs, but only three of its battalions are composed exclusively of Sikhs. Government do not propose to raise a "Punjabi Hindu" regiment as such.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011 10:29 
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Here's an interesting photo I located on the Dawn newspaper website- it's about an exhibition documenting the history of Pakistan.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/11/19/tracing- ... 3021#mgimg

The photo is of a top secret cable from the Governor of East Pakistan to Army HQ talking about the desperate situation of Paki troops in the face of the Indian army's onslaught. Please expand the photo to read the text of the cable.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011 21:42 
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Toilet for once doesn't live up to it's reputation..Gorkha's do:

Ayo Gorkhali


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011 10:17 
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The Week has a special issue on 1971 war.

Among the heroes was Ln Nk. Albert Ekka who was awarded PVC.

Here is his story

Fearless Falcon

Quote:
All he wanted to do was make a living; instead, he made history. This was the single thought that kept running through my mind as I entered the small, humble home of Lance Naik Albert Ekka, who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his gallantry in the Bangladesh Liberation War. I wanted to know about Ekka—who was this man who fearlessly laid down his life in the battlefield for the liberation of my country?
Like millions of his countrymen, Ekka was a man of humble beginnings. He was born in the village of Jari in the district of Gumla in Jharkhand. A member of the Oraon (Falcon) tribe, Ekka joined the Bihar Regiment on December 27, 1962 and was later transferred to the Guard Regiment. He was a man whose sense of duty and courage was only rivalled by his kind heart and his sense of pride in being Oraon and a soldier—it was something he talked about all the time whenever he visited his family on leave. That Ekka took pride in coming from a tribe long known for its valour should come as little surprise. The Oraon have a glorious tradition of bravery in battles in Rohtasgarh against the Aryans, in Chotanagpur against the oppressive zamindars and against the British Army. It was a legacy that Ekka lived up to when his time came to serve.
Curious villagers walked by my side as I approached his home. His elderly widow, Balamdine, hurriedly came out to greet me, leaning on her walking stick. By her side was her only son, Vincent, who was one year old when his father joined the war.
As we talked, Balamdine told me she had heard about Bangladesh and about Gangasagar, the place where Ekka was martyred. I showed her photographs of Gangasagar, the Pakistan defence positions and the spot where he was killed. She touched the photographs gently, with deep affection and held them close to her bosom. She cried softly, the tears sliding off her wrinkled cheeks, her face marked by sorrow, as she tried in vain to dry her face with the edge of her sari. In a quavering voice, she recalled that four or five days after Ekka's death, a group of soldiers came to her house with the bad news. She remembered crying out aloud, feeling that the world had come to a standstill. She also recollected the soldiers trying to console her, saying he was martyred for the cause of the nation and that his act of heroism had saved the lives of his unit soldiers.
Balamdine touched my hand gently. It was the first time she had ever seen a Bangladeshi. She held on to my hand, and Vincent held the other, as if we were connected at that moment by a lifetime of bloodlines and memories. Finally, she broke the silence, curious to hear about Ekka's last battle and about Gangasagar. I quietly recounted the role of 14 Guards in the battles of Dholoi and Gangasagar and how bravely Ekka charged towards the enemy lines, destroying them from bunker to bunker. Despite being wounded, he continued to advance, until he was fatally wounded by machine-gun fire. I narrated everything that I had studied about the battles, and Balamdine and Vincent listened, engrossed. They could not get enough. Finally Balamdine asked: “Did he put up a good show? Did he die well?
Balamdine said she wanted to visit the place, but her own poverty never made that possible. Living on the five acres given to her family by the government after litigation, she makes ends meet with the monthly pension of 05,000. Vincent's auto-rickshaw is out-of-order. I could only assure the “Veer Ramani” that if she desired, it would be my honour to arrange for her visit to Gangasagar.
But ultimately, this soldier who fought and died for a cause greater than his own was a father and a husband, and while the memory of his sacrifice has dimmed with the passage of time, his absence is felt every day and grieved by the ones who loved him the most. I can still see Balamdine weeping bitterly as she said, “I did not want him to die so young and make Vincent an orphan.”
It was time for me to leave. It was dark as the mother and son walked me to the car, but I could make out the deep sadness etched in their faces. I, too, felt a deep sorrow, as if I was leaving a part of my family behind, a tie forged by the blood and sacrifice of a man for a country that was to become my own. As we made our way back, I felt an urgency to stop near the statue of Ekka in the small town square of Chinpur. I stood there for a long time. It was as if Ekka was telling me, “Wait with me for a while, when many others have stopped waiting for me.”
Forty years have passed since Ekka's death, yet so few of us know of him and others like him. In their untimely deaths, each soldier and civilian has asked for very little. Perhaps, they did not expect to be forgotten, their lives, hopes and their sacrifices, erased not just by the passage of time, but our own inability to remember and record that they lived and that their contributions mattered. For the living, this is the ultimate responsibility—the task of documenting the struggles and sacrifices of the ordinary woman, man and child—and that task is far from complete. It is a task we should embrace with humility, urgency and a profound sense of honour and gratitude.
It was my fortune to be able to visit the home of Ekka and pay my respects to his family. Their sacrifice and Ekka's unflinching sense of ultimate duty are forever enmeshed in the history of my country's independence. I am proud to have taken part in the same war with Ekka, and having fought for the same cause. A cause we would all do well to remember and honour.
Sajjad works with the Bangladesh 
government to document friends of Bangladesh in India.



I recall reading about him and wondering who he was and what he did.

My respects sir.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011 10:29 
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I remember Albert Ekka because of the PVC series on Doordarshan. I was i think a 10year old kid then and was very impressed with each one of the PVC winners' bravery. The character who played Lakshmana in Ramayana enacted one of the episodes, Puneet Issar also enacted one of the characters i think. All in all great series and great music at the beginning


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011 11:12 
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^^^ I used to see Param Vir Chakra (PVC) episodes on DD when I was a kid, and liked them. Anyone knows where I would be able to relive those moments and watch those old episodes...


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011 11:22 
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+1.. the author of the Ekka Article is a former Bangladesh Army Officer - with a Bir Protik award - one of their Vir Chakra equivalent awards..(as noted in teh comments)


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2011 12:36 
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jagan

i picked up the week

this will be an excuse for your laziness to meet me


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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2011 02:00 
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Surya, Pick a few for later use as mementos.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011 02:08 
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Maj Gen Ian Cardoza on the Gorkha airborne operation in 71

http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/s ... 111207.htm


The man has a flair for writing -


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011 02:30 
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^^
That was an amazing read Surya. I can't wait to read the next part.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2011 23:09 
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http://www.rediff.com/news/slide-show/s ... 111208.htm


I cut of my leg and ordered them to bury it - Maj Gen Cardoza - interview contd

Sigh i almost got to meet him .. :((


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2011 07:34 
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This is a good thread for this x-post....
nachiket wrote:
Found a nice interview with Brig. RayC:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/interview-with-ray

Talks about Pakistan, US, his experiences with the IA etc.
Didn't know where else to post it.


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2011 08:12 
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ramana wrote:
This is a good thread for this x-post....
nachiket wrote:
Found a nice interview with Brig. RayC:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/interview-with-ray

Talks about Pakistan, US, his experiences with the IA etc.
Didn't know where else to post it.


Very nice. Thanks for posting. I enjoyed his posts on WAB and on BR


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2011 07:39 
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Image


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2011 07:45 
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PVC winners in 1971 war

Sam Manekshaw: A soldier's General

Infanstry strikes

1971 War: A Battle well won

Soldiering Technology

Armoured Artillery


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