India doubling forces in remote corner of China front Our trusty South Asian Editor predicted this a while ago, but now its really happening. The Indian government is requisitioning several thousand acres of land in the state of Uttrakhand, which used to be Western Uttar Pradesh till it was split off because the residents of ten mountain districts (a district is equivalent to a US county) wanted their own state and Uttar Pradesh was simply too big to administer properly.
·To the right of Uttrakhand is Nepal, and to the left is the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. So since the post-1962 sino-Indian War buildup, the garrison in this area has consisted of an independent mountain brigade (based in Joshimath)
and a mountain division (6 Mountain Division-HQ in Bareilly)
that has also served as an Army HQ reserve. Everytime there is a mobilization emergency, the division leaves the area, because really nothing is happening opposite. China looks to have a border regiment and that’s it. Yawn City and all that. Zzzzzzz.
·Well, no longer. India previously announced it was raising a new mountain brigade
, based almost smack on the China border(Chinese raised the bogey of border dispute first in this area in 1956 related to Barahoti Pass in this area. The two (I) Mountain brigades will cover this axis. So, IA has defensive as well as offensive capability)
. Now steps are being taken to raise a new division (This has not been announced in national media, IMO)
, so that in a few years there will be eight brigades and not four (2 x (I) Mountain Brigades+2 x Mountain Divisions@3 bdes each)
, and because India is also raising fresh mountain divisions for other sectors, the existing division is less likely to be called away on mobilization.
·Given China’s hubris, we doubt very much Beijing devoted any thought to its provocations along the Tibet border for years and years, after India thought it had a peace deal that would lead to demilitarization of the border. But now there is stark proof that for no reason at all, gaining nothing, the Chinese have created for themselves a major headache in a sector most people didn’t know existed. Aside from the plan to get to 8 brigades, India is to construct 13 new forward helipads, and is pushing roads through everywhere. Slowly, yes, but they’re being built. A new corps HQ will inevitably follow, so in a few years there will be 55,000 Indian troops in this region alone. And that’s not counting the very many border forces battalions, which are also being increased.
· That this division is to be raised makes it almost certain that the division the Indian Army has asked for Himachal Pradesh will also be raised.(This will be for the Sugar Sector in HP and NH-22 ends short of LAC - further ahead lies the Shipki-La pass on the LAC - withus but claimed by Chinese
[url]: http://www.mapsofindia.com/driving-dire ... s/NH22.gif
[/url]) Right now there’s the equivalent of an understrength infantry brigade, deployed more as a show of sovereignty than with any intent of fighting. Himachal used to have a division (4th Mountain Division - converted into Infantry Division and now, a RAPID with 1 Corps)
, positioned after the 1962 War, but it left the area over forty years ago for the plains and never returned because the China threat was supposed to have receded. So here there will be a tripling of forces. Two new divisions for the Northeast are in place, two more have been approved, and two for the Northwest are also in the works.
· China doesn’t take India with any degree of seriousness and believes India will never start anything because it lacks the political will. China might like to remember 1986-87, when it was forced to send no less than eight divisions and several independent regiments to reinforce opposite Northeast India, in the dead of winter, because it looked like not only was India going to jump Chinese positions in a village which India claimed, it might just extend its offensive and push for Gyantase and Shigatse, if not Lhasa. Sooner or later PLA GHQ or its equivalent is going to turn around to the government and say: “Dude, there’s 200,000 more troops on our Tibet border, adding to the 250,000 plus that were already deployed or in hand in theatre. That makes 450,000 troops, and isn’t it time we stopped brushing off the lack of intent, and look at the capability?”. For many, many years China has garrisoned Tibet with just two regular brigades. Can Beijing really take the chance that one day India might just start getting ideas?
·By the way, here’s something that Editor has never bothered mentioning because he thought it was so obvious it didn’t need mention till he had a conversation with a visitor from the Indian Army. Suddenly Editor realized that even the Army, by and large, doesn’t understand that the Indian Army can and will deploy its regular infantry divisions against China if needed. It isn’t going to be a question of just 15-16 mountain divisions that China will have to face. The number of divisional HQs that will shift will be limited to perhaps 2-3. But there will be any number of brigades that will arrive to reinforce the mountain divisions.
· Very smart, China. Great diplomacy, creating a major threat where none existed before because you can’t control your bloated ego and have to push everyone around.
· As a historical note: in 1962, China has 2 1/3rd divisions available for operations opposite Towang, which was held by a single brigade. Now India has nine brigades available for the same sector – before reinforcements arrive( 4 Corps AOR)
. India had a single brigade in the Walong sector. Now there are three divisions for operations in this sector e( 3 Corps AOR)
.– again, before reinforcements arrive. In Ladakh India had a single brigade. It now has seven, again, before reinforcements arrive. China in 1962 had nine divisions – albeit smaller than Indian divisions – in Tibet. Now it has two brigades.