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PostPosted: 28 Sep 2010 00:16 
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I am trying to gather data on Telugu soldiers since the fall of the kaktiyas. i find cursory references to their serving the Vijayanagar, Bahmani Sultanate and its succseeors, the Marathas and the East India Company. Usually there is a refs to Telinga contingents. The big picture is depite the loss of kingdoms and empires the Telugu soldiers carried on the martial traditions. This is quite a neglected part of history.


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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2010 16:40 
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Remembering Indian soldiers on Haifa day. Enjoy


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/a-tri ... -day-54865


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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2010 23:32 
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Some history on the elite 1st Armoured Division.

Special Order of the day 01 September 1940,Raising of 1 Armoured Division
Maj. Gen. TW Corbett MC


"It has been decided to from the 1 Armoured Division. The Occasion is a historic one. The first modern mobile force to be created in India is required to achieve maturity in record time. The units which in their new formation have the privilege of being included in the division are representatives of the best traditions of the British and Indian armies.They bring with them the old spirit of sacrifice, adventure and achievement. That spirit, by inspiring their actions, will animate and fortify the Division and lead it to victory"


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2010 08:46 
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Col Bhagwan Singh's clash with the British
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Colonel Bhagwan Singh, was a Major commanding the 2nd J&K Mountain Battery when World War II broke out. The 1st Mountain Battery had then been earmarked for taking part in the war. Major Bhagwan Singh, like any good soldier, was keen to see the war and had tried his best to get his Battery detailed for it but without success. His enthusiasm, however, died when he saw the Ist Battery moving out of Jammu. Those were the days when the British would not allow Indians to assume independent command of their troops. While Indian Commissioned Officers in the Indian Army were not promoted to ranks which could entitle them to independent command, the State Force Officers, who were in command of units within their States, were deprived of the privilege out side their States by attaching British Special Service Officers (SSOs) to their units.

On boarding the ship at Bombay, Major Bhagwan Singh bulldozed his way to becoming OC troops on board the ship on the basis of being the commander of the Battery. This automatically brought five British Officers, who were also travelling on that ship, under his command, making mockery of the rule that no British Officer could be put under the command of an Indian State Forces Officer. This was too much for the British Officers to bear and the SSOs started looking for an excuse to remove Major Bhagwan Singh from command for inefficiency under authority vested in them for situations where reference to the higher authority could not be made.

Major Bhagwan Singh could thus claim for himself the distinction of being the first Indian to independently command a unit in war. Maharaja Hari Singh who is known to have himself nourished anti British feelings, was so pleased with Major Bhagwan Singh's achievement that he granted him accelerated promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 06:56 
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Krishna Menon's delusions about China in 1962
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Although the Communist Chinese have seized 14,000 sq. mi. of Indian territory, Menon and Nehru have consistently downgraded the incursions as "misbehavior" or a "momentary aberration," called the area occupied by the Chinese "barren mountaintops where not a blade of grass grows.'' Nehru and Menon hoped to appease the Chinese by not protesting the frontier violations. Menon failed to object to Red China's brutal conquest of Tibet, refused to vote in favor of a Tibetan resolution in the U.N. condemning the Chinese action. "What is the purpose of a U.N. debate?" asks Menon. "It does not help the Tibetans at all."

India's appeasement only encouraged the Chinese to go further. China is plainly working to put India into the jaws of a giant Himalayan nutcracker. Recently China concluded a road-building treaty with Nepal, is offering economic aid to the Himalayan kingdoms of Sikkim and Bhutan. The significance of the Chinese pincers movement finally occurred even to Menon. "A stab in the back," he complained last month. "When did you realize this?" gibed Election Rival J. B. Kripalani in Parliament. "The day before yesterday?" But Menon still urged caution against "adventurism," said that the Chinese Communists should withdraw from Indian territory "in the interests of peace and socialism."

Menon claims with some justice that India could not win a war with Red China, though it is a curious stance for a vain Defense Minister. But Menon's critics counter that defending Indian territory against further Red conquests need not lead to war. Trouble is that Menon has neglected to build up India's border defenses. While he and Nehru refuse to give details to Parliament, on the ground that such information would be useful to the Chinese, one fact is clear: north India's population centers are far closer to the frontier than Red China's big cities, but the Chinese have built more roads to the Himalayan passes than the Indians. Most frontier areas can be reached from the Indian side only by muleback or helicopter. India's defensive position would be far better if it were to make common cause with Pakistan, but Menon sneers at the suggestion. Because Pakistan is allied with the West, he argues, Indian-Pakistani cooperation "would plunge us right in the middle of the cold war." Partly because of Menon's attitude, the Pakistanis have lately begun talking about a deal with Red China.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 07:34 
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Menon's clash with Thimayya
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From angry words thrown at India, the Chinese Reds moved to actions against it: the frontier post of Longju in India's North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) was seized; Indian patrols were taken prisoner; Nehru made the shamefaced admission that he had kept secret from Parliament the fact that the Chinese two years before had built a road through Indian territory linking Tibet and the Chinese province of Sinkiang.

Finance Minister Morarji Desai angrily set out to get the facts about the Red road. Cross-questioning India's Army Chief of Staff. Lieut. General K. S. Thimayya, he asked when he first knew about the road. In 1957, said the general, and he had offered proposals to safeguard the security of India, but they were turned down by the Defense Minister, lean, rancorous V. K. Krishna Menon. "Why?" asked Desai. "Because," replied Thimayya, "he said that the enemy was on the other side [i.e., Pakistan], not on this side."

While the Chinese were boldly occupying Indian territory, Krishna Menon was rising in the U.N. to champion the admission of Peking and to lead the fight against debating the Tibet tragedy. General Thimayya quarreled with Menon and threatened to leave the army. Nehru talked him out of it. With almost one voice, Indians demanded that Nehru defend India's integrity, fire Defense Minister Krishna Menon and, above all, send troops to drive the Chinese invaders from Indian soil.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 09:22 
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^^^And Thimayya, being the upright soldier that he was, also resigned in 1960 due to differences with Menon - one of the primary being appointment of BM Kaul as CGS. Nehru used his good offices with Timmy to withdraw the resignation and assured him to look into the issues with Menon.

However, on being questioned on the resignation in the Parliament, Nehru sided with Menon and called Timmy's reasons for resignation as petty.....this not only undermined the office of COAS but Timmy is said to be a broken man in the last leg of his tenure as COAS. His last words to his troops during farewell were - "I hope I'm not leaving you as cannon fodder for the Chinese..."


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 12:36 
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It is very difficult to judge a man and his actions with the benefit of hind sight. But considering his last comment to his troops as the COAS. Perhaps, had he stayed on as the COAS in those difficult days. The situation on the ground in 62 may not have gotten as adverse as it got.

But that is just my opinion. FWIW.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 13:32 
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^^^Thimayya has a life time of exploits as an Army officer - first Indian Brigadier to lead an Infantry Brigade in combat in British Indian Army being one of them and earning a gallantry award in Myanmar- to show for his abilities as a Soldier and an Officer. Some others are his being in the lead tank which assualted Zoji La in 1948 and also being in the first Dakota which landed in Leh with 'Baba' Meher Singh.

As for his retirement - he was all of 51 when he retired and so was SPP Thorat (Eastern Army Commander) - whose name Timmy had suggested as next Chief - and which Menon turned down. The same SPP Thorat who had in 1960 shown that PLA will win hands down in case of a shooting match (because of ill placed Forward Policy and deployments thereunder).


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 13:41 
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The nation lost because of that.


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PostPosted: 01 Dec 2010 14:15 
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Thimmayya whilst still army chief had taken the unilateral decision to sponsor a spying expedition into tibet using the services of an amateur Welsh mountaineer. it was at great political risk that he did so, but the 3 man team (also Kiwi and Indian) crossed into tibet and verified that the PLA were already in Aksai Chin (despite denials) and building a strategic road from Xinkiang to Tibet. the men were taken prisoner by the PLA and tortured and eventually released in winter and told to walk back to India over the high Himalaya, with insufficient rations. through extreme courage and endurance they managed to make it back. and the strangest thing is that they did it for a gentleman's sporting wager and the thrill of adventure, and the Kiwi and Indian didn't know that they were on a spying mission!


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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2010 02:14 
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^^ thats a fascinating story. What are the names of these men?


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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2010 06:57 
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Even Lt.General 'Zoru' Bakshi, as a young subaltern, went on a spying mission into Tibet dressed as a buddhist monk to assess the situation first hand.


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PostPosted: 05 Dec 2010 05:11 
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Wiki links on History of Indian Army Corps. The links to other formations are in the box on the right...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Corps_%28India%29


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2010 03:34 
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X-post

Sandipan wrote:
http://telegraphindia.com/1101215/jsp/frontpage/story_13302722.jsp
Quote:
Bhutan attack was betrayal, says Ulfa leader
- 7 years to the day, mama relives Operation all Clear
The women cadres were making pithas for the King of Bhutan while the men were sprucing up the camp to welcome him when the first shots rang out, breaking the morning calm.

The gunshots signalled the launch of Operation All Clear, which, by the time it ended after three days, not only left Ulfa in utter disarray, but, more importantly, dealt a crippling blow to its confidence and the fight for a sovereign Assam. That was on December 15, 2003.

Seven years later and free for the first time since then, Ulfa’s adviser Bhimkanta Buragohain or Mama, a term of endearment and respect, relives those defining moments till his arrest in a conversation with Ripunjoy Das at his ancestral house at Ahomgaon in Dhola of Tinsukia district


For the archives. Op All Clear should be remembered as a successful foreign operation after Pawan.


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2010 09:24 
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Today, on the 39th anniversary of this landmark event that reshaped the subcontinent, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (Retd), who was then Chief of Staff of the army’s Eastern Command, recalls the events leading to Pakistani troops laying down arms before the Indian forces

Quote:
There has been much disinformation put out in India about the 1971 operations. My book — Surrender at Dacca — was published in 1997 and copies were given to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and Lt Gen J.S. Aurora in 1997. There were no rejoinders. The book has been translated into Chinese, Thai, Persian, Arabic, Bengali, Marathi and Hebrew and is taught in military institutions and some universities across the world.

Following is an extract from the book Crossed Swords, authored by Shuja Nawaz, brother of a former Pakistani Army chief: "In the words of a later Pakistan's National Defence College study of the war, the Indians planned and executed their offensive against East Pakistan in a text book manner. It was a classic example of thorough planning, minute coordination, and bold execution.”

Pakistan’s commander in the east, Lt Gen A.A.K. Niazi, had sent a cease fire proposal that specified a withdrawal of the armed forces, para-military and ethnic minorities under the UN along with handing over of the government to this this international body. No war crime trials were to be held. There was no mention at all of India in his proposals. The ceasefire proposals were rejected outright by Z.A. Bhutto in New York, where he was to attend a meeting of the UN Security Council. Bhutto tore up the resolution vowing to fight on. A ceasefire was announced by India on December 15.

On the morning of December 16, Manekshaw asked me get a “surrender”. The UN Security Council was in session. I had sent a draft Instrument of Surrender to Manekshaw some days earlier, which the latter declined to confirm. I took this draft that I had earlier sent to Delhi with me to Dacca (now Dhaka).

At Dacca I was met by representatives of the UN, Marc Henry and Kelly, who asked me to accompany them to take over the government. Fighting was still on in Dacca between the Mukti Bahini forces and the Pakistani Army. I thanked them but regretted their offer and proceeded in a Pakistan Army staff car accompanied by a Pakistani brigadier. A few hundred yards down the road the Mukti Bahini fired at the car. I was unhurt. They had wanted to kill the brigadier, but I persuaded the Mukti Bahini to let us proceed.

I negotiated the surrender with Niazi at his headquarters. On the draft Instrument of Surrender that I had earlier sent to Delhi but still remained unconfirmed, in a span of about four hours, a ceasefire proposed under the auspices of the UN was converted into an unconditional public surrender of 93,000 troops. This was the only public surrender in the history of modern warfare. The German Field Marshal, Von Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad with 90,000 troops during the Second World War.

Here, it is relevant to quote the Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission of Inquiry, that had investigated Pakistan's failure in 1971 (see box), questioning Lt Gen Niazi : "General Niazi, when you had 26,400 troops in Dacca and the Indians only a few thousand outside and you could have fought on for at least two more weeks, the UN was in session and had you fought on even for one more day, the Indians would have had to go back, why did you accept a shameful, unconditional public surrender and provide a guard of honour commanded by your ADC ?' (sic)

Niazi replied : 'I was compelled to do so by General Jacob who blackmailed me into surrendering,…. etc., etc." This he has repeated in his book, Betrayal of East Pakistan.

Suppose I had failed to convert Niazi's proposed cease fire under the auspices of the UN into an unconditional public surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, the UN would have ordered a withdrawal the next day and taken over the administration of East Pakistan. I did not fail.

A new nation — Bangladesh — was born. And India became a regional super power.

Due credit for the victory must go to our officers and men who fought so gallantly. About 1,400 were killed and 4,000 wounded. Let us not forget their sacrifice. The rifle and helmet placed at Amar Jawan Jyoti on Rajpath in New Delhi have been recovered from the battlefield at Jessore. These once belonged to an unknown soldier who played an incognito yet an indispensable part in history. Situated in south-western Bangladesh, Jessore was the first district to be liberated from Pakistan on December 7, 1971.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101216/edit.htm#6


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2010 09:38 
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Credit must also be given to Gen Jacob for snatching the biggest surrender of the 20th century from a draft ceasefire. If he hadn't done that, Bangladesh would have become a UN mandate territory and who knows what.


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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2010 14:43 
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Aditya G wrote:
^^ thats a fascinating story. What are the names of these men?



Simon Wignall (leader), John Harrop, Damodar SuWAL

slightly different account from Damodar (actually Nepali, not Indian) published recently

Nepal Times

but the basics of Simon Wignall's book - "Spies on the roof of the world" are substantiated


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PostPosted: 19 Jan 2011 00:07 
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http://ravenair.blogspot.com/2010/11/am ... diary.html

AMBUSH AT POINT PEDRO
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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2011 01:05 
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Pioneer book review

Quote:
AGENDA | Sunday, January 23, 2011 | Email | Print | | Back


What went wrong in 1971

January 25, 2011 1:23:49 AM


Myths and Facts: Bangladesh Liberation War
Author: BZ Khasru
Publisher: Rupa & Co
Price: Rs 595


The book looks into the reasons that led to the Bangladesh war and how the world powers tried to shape its outcome, says Ved Marwah

The Bangladesh liberation war was perhaps the most important event in post-Independence India. The author, BZ Khasru, lives in the US and is the editor of a financial publication in New York. In the book, Myths and Facts: Bangladesh Liberation War, based on the recently declassified secret US Government documents, the author pieces together a coherent but tragic story of what went wrong during those fateful days of 1971. He analyses what led to the war, how it was conducted and how the world powers allowed and shaped its outcome.

India, China, the US and the USSR played the most crucial role. In this fascinating story, Khasru exposes the hypocrisy of the then American Government and how it completely ignored the colossal human tragedy which could have been prevented had the US played a positive role instead of looking through the prism of what it then regarded as its national interest. In addition to the ruthless military rulers of Pakistan, the US and, not surprisingly, the Chinese Governments were primarily responsible for the terrible and unforgivable event.

The people of India and Bangladesh had to bear the brunt of the Pakistani Army’s atrocities. Millions of hapless refugees crossed over to the Indian side to escape the relentless persecution. The book also analyses how “political leaders, blinded by their misguided personal ambitions, plunge their people into untold miseries, and how an inaccurate reading of diplomatic subtleties leads to disastrous policies”. ZA Bhutto’s dubious role comes for special mention. US President Richard Nixon looked at the unfolding tragedy in terms of how it would affect the balance of power in fighting the war against communism. He had no compunction in egging on China to stop India from intervening in the tragic situation. Nixon’s “disdain” for India and its leadership blinded him from seeing the situation from the human angle.

The author traces “America’s disdain for India to the pre-Partition time as far back as 1942 — when a US technical mission invited by the Indian Government to investigate India’s industrial resources, to recommend production of war materials, came under harsh criticism in the Indian press”. China was another country that had its own reasons for disliking the Indian leaders from Nehru’s days. “China’s disdain coincided with Nixon’s own”. All the key US officials — Nixon, Henry Kissinger and William Rogers — blamed India for the war to justify their support for Pakistan.

Kissinger’s negative role in that period has also been highlighted in the book. The American miscalculations about the war were primarily based on its misperceptions. Kissinger articulated them on more occasions than one. He was convinced that India did not want an independent Bangladesh and would ultimately back off from precipitating a war with Pakistan. The US “saw a foothold in Pakistan as an essential ingredient in ensuring the West’s continued grip on West Asia and its oil, the lifeblood of the West’s economy”.

The US Government was fully aware of the tragic event, but instead of pressurising the Pakistani generals to stop the genocide, it put its weight behind them. It is doubtful if they would have dared to do what they did if they were not fully confident of the American support. “The US Embassy in Islamabad...opposed any action by Washington, describing the military action as a reasonable action by a ‘constituted’ Government using force against citizens accused of flouting its authority.” The US Government chose not ask the question: How could the martial law administration call almost the whole Bengali population opposing the military rulers ‘miscreants’? Khasru brings out why despite opting for autonomy in the December 1970 elections, Bengalis had little choice but to harden their stand against the Pakistani Government as a result of its crackdown in March 1971.

The author is right when he says that “India’s involvement in the Bangladesh war was perhaps more fortuitous than preplanned. New Delhi’s war policy evolved gradually, shaped by events at home and abroad”. The Indian Government remained in favour of a united Pakistan till the end. When the Pakistani military cracked down in East Pakistan, India’s estimate of its own best interest shifted in favour of an independent Bangladesh under a moderate leadership. Delhi supported the formation of a provisional Government by the escaped leaders in India, but withheld the formal recognition of this Government-in-exile. Mrs Indira Gandhi maintained that Delhi was not involved except because of the large influx of refugees into India. There is an interesting account about how internal differences and rivalries among the Awami League leaders had cropped up even among the members of the provisional Bangladesh Government in Calcutta. India was also aware that Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, the Foreign Minister of the provisional revolutionary Government, was an “admittedly pro-Western”, right-wing politician who was “maintaining independent contacts with the US”. These rivalries came to the fore soon after the liberation of Bangladesh and played a key role in the later events in the country. He headed a Government after the assassination of Sheikh Mujib.

According to Khasru, “India’s Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram and several other military rulers had opposed a ceasefire until India had taken certain unspecified areas of Kashmir and destroyed the war mechanism of Pakistan”. But Mrs Gandhi decided to declare a unilateral ceasefire. The decision, according to him, “resulted from strong pressure put on her by Moscow, which incorrectly perceived Nixon meant business when he dispatched a naval fleet into Bay of Bengal”. After the Indo-Soviet treaty, Moscow did not want to take the risk of precipitating events that could escalate the conflict and drag the USSR into it. There is an interesting observation about how the Pakistani military ruler suffered from the delusion that “his brave Muslim warriors would prevail against Hindu soldiers, whom he perceived to be timid”. It is unfortunate that many senior Army officers still continue to suffer from this delusion. Ever since their defeat, they have been preparing to avenge the humiliation Pakistan suffered in 1971.

Differences among Mrs Gandhi’s advisers — India’s Ambassador in Washington LK Jha, Principal Secretary PN Haksar and Foreign Secretary TN Kaul — played a minor role in the US assessment. “Jha, unsurprisingly, blamed Haksar and Kaul for India’s trouble with the US. Haksar, he said, was on his way out: Maybe Kaul, too” during a meeting with Kissinger on October 11, 1971.

The book contains photocopies of many secret US documents that have now been declassified. It also includes a number of fascinating pictures of the international leaders of that period who were closely connected with the event. Many of the facts given in the book may not be new to the Indian reader, but coming out as they do on the basis of facts culled out from the declassified American documents they make interesting reading.

It is a well-researched book and should be read by not just those who are interested in the history of Bangladesh, but all who want to know how events in our region are messed up by superpowers in their own misperceived national interests.

-- The reviewer, a retired IPS officer, is former Governor of Jharkhand, Manipur and Mizoram


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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2011 20:53 
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Found an interesting link when browsing through the Railway Fan's web site.
An old Military coach used by IR


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PostPosted: 17 Feb 2011 05:41 
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Reminiscence Of An Old Soldier: H Bhuban Singh of Manipur
Quote:
During the siege of Imphal, my eldest and only brother Captain Baruni Singh was to join his unit. He got an RIAF flight-permit from the Admin Comdt of Imphal valley and I went to see him off. At the Tulihal Airfield, I saw Squadron Leader Arjan Singh from a distance. Now, Arjan Singh is Marshal of the Indian Air Force with five-star ranking. I also saw Captain Ayub Khan at Chingmeirong, Imphal. Ayub Khan ultimately became Chief of Pakistan Army also Dictator of Pakistan. He was killed in a pre-arranged air-crash plotted by his detractors. Mr. T A Sharp ICS who was President, Manipur State Durbar of 1939 Nupilal fame got killed by the Japanese Army while he was travelling on foot from Imphal to Silchar via Bishenpur-Silchar road, known as Tongjei Maril, when the Japanese occupied the hills and encircled Imphal Valley.

Quote:
Sometime in October 1956, Headquarters, Southern Command Poona (Pune) gave 624 ATE, the task of extending Bhuj Civil aerodrome by about 600 yards to enable IAF fighter planes to land and take off because there were border skirmishes between Indian troops and Pakistani troops at the Rann of Kutch. We had to defend. An Infantry Brigade was given the task. It was commanded by Brigadier Ajit Singh Guraiya whose Brigade Headquarters were located at Ahmedabad.

Major Dhaliwal of 620 Electrical and Mechanical Company of Corps of Engineers, was our officiating Commander Engineers. I was again selected to execute this task. Because of the fighting, Brigadier Guraya had established a TAC HQ at Bhuj, which was a tiny Princely State ruled by a Maharaja. Brigadier Guraya had deployed a Rajput battalion for the job of defending the Rann of Kutch.

The Rann was a treeless, shrub less, white and shining patch of miles of space without any road. Its area from Oxford School Atlas (70 km long and 30 km wide) is about 2100 square kilometres, nearly about the same size as Imphal Valley of Manipur State. During the monsoon, the Arabian Sea used to flood the Rann and deposit salt. When the 6” to 9” layers of salt dried up, the Rann became a white patch and the reflected rays of the sun used to glare our eyes. We had to use dark glasses or snow goggles to protect our eyes from damage by infrared rays of the sun.

Once the salt layer got broken, vehicles used to sink in the wet and slimy sand. We drove our jeeps following old track marks or by use of compasses at night. Vehicles often got bogged down in the salty sand and we had to retrieve by pulling with another jeep and pushing by manpower if required.

We completed our work of extending the runway within about a month’s time. While waiting for railway wagons to be placed for loading machineries, earth moving plants and other equipments we went to company locations of the Rajput Regiment facing the Pakistanis. Since the Pakistan Army was a part of Indian Army about eight or nine years back only, their company weapon system like the old .303 rifles, light machine guns, two-inch mortar guns were the same.

We teased the Pakistanis by firing a few rounds of our weapons and their immediate response was interestingly belligerent. So the whole night, there would be a sort of Diwali. But since we were inside well-covered bunkers, we were quite safe. It was my first real battle-experience with live rounds, LMG fire and mortar explosions.

Quote:
War clouds were gathering. My regiment moved to Udhampur in J&K under XV Corps. We were Corps troops engineers, though operationally, we were at the battle location of Chhamb under 191 Infantry Brigade of 10 Infantry Division. We were deployed as infantry on a hillock overlooking a vital bridge over Manawar Tawi river at Chhamb and were guarding bridge over River Manawar Tawi. We visited the front line which was about two kilometres away and saw Pakistan Rangers through binoculars. We presume that the distance separating the two Armies must be about 400 yards.

Somehow, the Div Comdr decided to pull us out and thus leave the vital bridge over Manawar Tawi River unguarded. The war started on 3 Dec 1971. Major General Tikka Khan, commanding the Pakistani Division almost wiped out 191 Infantry Brigade and attacked our Regiment of Medium Artillery by crossing the waist or chest high waters Manawar Tawi river. If 106 Engr. Regt. was not pulled out, we could have detected the presence of the Pakistan Infantry Battalion marching and thus alerted and saved the Medium Regiment, as well as the bridge for any counter-attack by Indian Army.

In this battle of Chhamb Bridge, our detachment of Sappers led by Captain S P Dhingra and Subedar Bakhshish Singh got embroiled. Dhingra who was leading the column in a jeep was killed in the wee hours of the morning of 5 Dec near the bridge. We recaptured the bridge in the afternoon and got Dhingra’s dead body at night only. He was given a funeral with full military honours on 6 Dec on the bank of River Chenab at Akhnoor.

The Manawar Bridge was demolished after 191 Infantry Brigade was pulled out from the west bank of river Manawar. But the Pakistanis continued their attack relentlessly. 18 Field Company of 106 Engr Regt provided Engineer support to Infantry Battalions.

Our mine laying party at night got bumped into the FDL and killed one enemy soldier. The captured weapon is now kept as war trophy in Bombay Engineer Group and Centre, Kirkee.

As the war continued, our Regiment constructed an Advance Landing Ground (ALG) at Jaurian and we were examining the trial landings, when we heard the booms of Pakistani Artillery. From the sounds, we would assess where those shells would land. So, we continued standing and did not bother much. But some jawans who were not battle-hardened used to run for cover.

In the rear at Akhnoor, 19 Field Company was busy ferrying across at night 9 Horse, 72 Armoured Regiment and one squadron of 38 Cavalry. The entire operation was done during one night. It maybe mentioned that the Akhnoor bridge was not wide enough and strong enough for tanks. Enemy tanks which came upto Palanwala on 10 Dec were destroyed and pushed back and Manawar Tawi became the Line of Control when Cease Fire came after fourteen days of fighting.


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PostPosted: 22 Mar 2011 00:05 
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Hi All,

I compiled the PBG history article for BR. Please take out some time to go through it & lemme know if you like it.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... cle&id=407


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PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011 12:13 
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Portugal still in denial over Goa http://www.deccanherald.com/content/149 ... r-goa.html
Devika Sequeira in Panaji

Image
Brigadier Sagat Singh of India's Maroon Berets, Parachute regiment, accepts the surrender of Portuguese forces at military camp in Bambolim, Goa.Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva will be in East Timor later this year to attend the country’s independence celebrations. No such diplomatic gesture will be extended to Goa where celebrations have begun to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Goa’s accession into India in 1961.

Portuguese historians Paulo Varela Gomes and Teotonio De Souza argue that the two cases bear no comparison. East Timor, part of a small island in the Indonesian archipelago between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, was colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Dutch colonisers took over the west of the island. In 1975, Portugal unilaterally withdrew from East Timor as it began to dissolve its colonial empire. The withdrawal was followed quickly by Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor. An UN-sponsored report said at least 100,000 Timorese were killed during the 25-year Indonesian occupation, which ended after the referendum in 1999. Portugal’s diplomatic intervention helped pave the way to East Timor’s independence in 2002 and the two countries have maintained excellent relations since.

Soon after India’s independence, Nehru initiated moves for a diplomatic solution to the Goa case. Portugal, then under the dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar rebuffed all such approaches, forcing India’s hand in the military intervention that began on December 17, 1961. Thirty-six hours later, India was in possession of Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli which had been a part of the ‘Estado da India’ (Portugal’s colonial holdings in India) for 451 years. The issue of Goa’s accession echoed as dramatically in the UN Security Council as it had on the ground.

A US-sponsored resolution supported by the UK, France and Turkey that wanted the withdrawal of Indian troops was vetoed by the Soviet Union. The Soviet move was heavily criticised in the West and Portugal went into virtual mourning, scaling down Christmas celebrations that year. Media reports also said the Salazar government had put out a reward of $ 10,000 for the capture of the Indian Brigadier Sagat Singh, the commander of the Red Berets, the parachute regiment, which were the first Indian troops to enter Panjim.

Portugal snapped diplomatic ties with India and refused to recognise the decolonisation of its Indian territories. Diplomatic relations between the two countries revived only in 1975 after Portugal itself turned into a democracy. In 1992, Mario Soares became the first Portuguese head of state to visit Goa.

A trenchant critic of the Portuguese regime, Soares had spent long years in jail under Salazar and had many friends in the Goa freedom movement. He received a hero’s welcome in Goa. Following his visit, the Portuguese government opened a consulate in Goa and the cultural organisation Fundacao Oriente set up an office here.

Lawyer Miguel Reis is perhaps among a small minority in Portugal today who believes that Portugal should have shown better diplomatic judgment in officially honouring Goa’s golden jubilee celebrations, just as it celebrated the transfer of Macau back to China. The Portuguese, he says, need to recognise the fact that Goa’s liberation was the first major blow against the dictatorship of Salazar. “It was, in a sense, the preamble to the Portuguese Revolution, of April, 24, 1974,” he says.

“The process of decolonisation of the Estado da India, despite resulting from a military occupation, was far more peaceful than those that occurred in other colonial territories, today transformed into countries with which Portugal has excellent relations," he says.

The 50th anniversary of Goa’s decolonisation coincides ironically with 500 years of the Portuguese arrival here in 1910. Several Portuguese institutions will be joining hands to commemorate the 500 years with a major international academic symposium on contemporary Goa and its history to be held at Lisbon’s Catholic University. In November last year, the Portuguese training vessel Sagres on a voyage to commemorate 500 years of the Portuguese arrival at the Orient and the Far East, drew strong protests from freedom fighters and saffron groups after it berthed at Mormugao harbour.

“If the visit of the Portuguese vessel ‘Sagres’ was to commemorate 500 years of the Portuguese arrival in Goa, it was reprehensible,” says Eduardo Faleiro, former union minister for external affairs.

Before calling at Goa, the Sagres had docked at Jakarta where Portuguese Ambassador to Indonesia Carlos Manuel Leitao Frota said the ship’s journey was “not only to celebrate nostalgia, but also to look forward to the future”. Portugal could have made a beginning with the golden jubilee of Goa’s liberation, but it has chosen not to.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2011 19:42 
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Here is another one I wrote for IDR on Silladar System in Indian Cavalry: -

http://indiandefencereview.com/IDR-Upda ... ystem.html


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2011 20:11 
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finally.. IA jawans will get good shoes.


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PostPosted: 28 Apr 2011 06:52 
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Was there any incident in 1958 time frame with TSP?


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PostPosted: 09 May 2011 22:27 
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We need to look at the institutional culture of the three services to understand where they are today. In particular I would like to look at the relations between British officers and the Indian officers before Independence in the three services to see how the insitituions developed.


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PostPosted: 21 May 2011 00:29 
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More Than a Soldier's Confession

Quote:
MORE THAN A SOLDIER’S CONFESSION


J.F.R. Jacob
An odyssey in war and peace: An autobiography By J.F.R. Jacob, Roli, Rs 350


In this book, the soldier-author has covered a wide spectrum from his “early years” to his “abiding impressions”. He shows glimpses of his probity, fair play, objectivity and military common sense. However, J.F.R. Jacob could not overcome his “uniform-personality”, even as a writer. He had, throughout his 37-year-long career, clashed with his superiors and colleagues alike. In his autobiography, he is always ‘right’ while the others are ‘wrong’.

One nevertheless discovers in his writing some fascinating features of the Indian military’s thought, belief and action from World War II to the Bangladesh War of 1971. The author also does well to depict the corrupt British officers in the Indian army.

Some interesting aspects of the soldiers’ psyche are reflected in his writing. “The soldiers of my regiment were Punjabi Mussalman and their sympathy lay with the Indonesians” during post-World War II deployment of the Indian garrison to that country.

In the heyday (1950s) of “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai”, during a Chinese military delegation’s visit to the power demonstration of the divisional artillery, the author was startled by the banquet speech of a Chinese general —“China would never forget that Indian troops took part in the sacking and looting of the Summer Palace during the 2nd Opium War.”


An important revelation about the blatant misuse of defence assets in the 1950s —“We were even required to provide horses and soldiers for the film Mughal-e-Azam” — comes as a shock. One cannot but agree with the author’s comment that “Krishna Menon’s tenure as Defence Minister was to prove a disaster for the armed forces... as he attempted to politicize the forces by promoting and placing in key positions some politically motivated officers of dubious capability.”

The soldier-author’s finest hour was the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Understandably, a great deal has been written about it in the book, some of which stands out —“(the) contribution of the RSS was invaluable. They also helped our troops to dig trenches, and after the war they helped to repatriate the refugees”. The author gives “due credit to the international press correspondents for highlighting the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army on the Bengalis of the east”.

Jacob does not have any praise for the Research and Analysis Wing because “We got very little hard intelligence... and they actually provided us with just two half sheets of data during the entire period (of the war)”. He opines that “There was no suitable machinery for the direction of war at the highest level”. And to make matters worse, it appears that every field general disliked each other. “These personality clashes had an adverse effect on the passage of orders and their implementation”. Is it not a miracle that despite all the internal chaos, confusion, bickering and insubordination, India managed to achieve such a spectacular victory?

Jacob has a racy style of writing. The book is an enjoyable read for its authenticity and prima facie credibility vis-à-vis facts and figures. However, poor editing has not done any good to the quality of the book.

ABHIJIT BHATTACHARYYA


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PostPosted: 08 Jun 2011 09:21 
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Vintage tank recovered from the Ravi
Quote:
The Army recovered a vintage tank from the Ravi near the Lakhanpur area of Kathua district today.On June 5, a few villagers of the area had found a tank-like structure submerged in the Ravi. Immediately, they had reported the matter to the Kathua Deputy Commissioner, Zahida Khan, a defence spokesperson said.

The villagers said it might have been used in the 1965 war and thereafter, it might have submerged during the floods in Punjab.

The spokesperson said during research by experts, it was established that the recovered huge tank-like iron structure was a piece of the Valentine Tank - an infantry tank that was manufactured during the period from 1938 to 1946. Due to the lack of other details, it became difficult to find out the details of the original location of the tank, he said.

“The experts are still trying to get some more information,” the spokesperson added.

.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110608/j&k.htm#4


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011 00:07 
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ramana wrote:
Was there any incident in 1958 time frame with TSP?


Yes.

Major Tufail Muhammad was born in 1914 and was commissioned in the 16th Punjab Regiment in 1943. Upon creation of Pakistan, he joined Pakistan Army. During 1958, with border skirmishes with India in the erstwhile East Pakistan, Major Tufail Muhammad was commanding a company of the East Pakistan Rifles near the town of Lakshmipur. The company encircled an illegal Indian post, which was erected by the Indians in violation of the internationally recognized boundary between the two countries. During the enemy action, Major Tufail was mortally wounded, but did not stop fighting even at close quarters. In the hand-to-hand encounter that followed, Major Tufail continued to lead his troops till the Indians were driven out, leaving four dead and three prisoners. However, Major Tufail himself succumbed to his wounds and embraced shahadat on the 7th August 1958. He was awarded with the second Nishan-e-Haider for his gallantry.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2011 19:48 
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Another book review of Lt gen Jacob's book

Quote:
Arms and the man
June 13, 2011 8:15:01 PM


An Odyssey in War and Peace: An Autobiography
Author: Lt Gen JFR Jacob
Publisher: Roli
Price: Rs 350

Brutally frank in his opinion, Gen JFR Jacob spares no one — neither his colleagues, nor his superiors in the Army — in this remarkable book, writes Ved Marwah

There are not many people like Gen JFR Jacob in today’s world. He is an extraordinary person. Not many would think of writing a book at the age of 88. Brutally frank in his opinion, he has spared no one — neither his colleagues, nor his superiors — in this book.

The author is, more than anything else, a good human being. His holding of many top positions in the Army, besides being the Governor of Goa and Punjab, has not made him arrogant and opinionated, though his latest book may give a few readers that impression. I have known him for many years since his days as Army commander. He is a warm person and I have no doubt that his controversial opinions about important persons are given without any malice. Also, these opinions cannot be ignored as they have been made about persons who have played vital roles in events like the 1962 India-China war and the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

There are not many Army officers in India today who have served in so many war theatres. Gen Jacob was personally involved in some of the major pre- and post-Independence military operations and his criticism or praise is based on his long experience in various parts of the world during World War II and later in the Northeast, Jammu & Kashmir and in West Bengal against the Naxals. But the most fascinating part of the book is his account of the 1971 India-Pakistan war in which he played a key role as one of the top Army generals.

Gen Jacob has made a few uncomplimentary remarks about his then seniors, the Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, and the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Sam Manekshaw. He has also some harsh things to say about Lt Gen BM Kaul, who was the favourite of then Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon. His conduct of the 1962 operation against the Chinese in the Northeast which cost India so much humiliation is too well-known to reiterate, but the fact that he was a scheming Army officer who knew how to ingratiate himself with political masters makes an interesting read. Our political rulers should learn a thing or two from this bitter experience. Personal and party loyalty should not be allowed to supercede national interest. Inexperienced and incompetent civil and military officers can play havoc with the system with disastrous consequences.

Unfortunately, our political masters continue to fall for flattery, false sense of loyalty and manipulations of unscrupulous men and women to appoint them to key posts. Maybe during the 26/11 assault in Mumbai, the tragic human loss could have been mitigated and India’s humiliation on TV screens all over the world avoided had more experienced and competent officers been in command of Mumbai Police in 2008! We are sadly familiar with the goings-on in the civil administration, but that such things are happening even in the Army come as a shock. “Fixing officers” because of personal reasons doesn’t appear to be an uncommon practice, as revealed in the book.

Gen Jacob decided to enter politics after his unhappy experience in the commercial world. He joined the BJP and was appointed the Governor of Goa after the party came to power at the Centre. But here again he did not take leave of his principles and integrity to oblige his political benefactors, and was promptly told to “get lost”. His brief description of various political characters with whom he interacted makes a good read. It shows his ability to judge people. But taking this knack to suggest what appears as simplistic solutions to complex problems like Left-wing extremism is going too far. The Army might have made decisive contribution, as claimed by him, in controlling the outbreak of Naxalism in West Bengal in the late 1960s, but today it is a much more difficult and complicated problem. In fact, the induction of Army into Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where I have served and toured extensively could complicate and aggravate things further. Induction of the Army into these areas must be considered only as a last resort.

The solution lies in strengthening the police and the intelligence agencies working in these areas, and training and equipping them to fight these extremists. But more importantly, there is need to develop an integrated strategy, taking into consideration all aspects of the problem — economic, social and political. Delivery of socio-economic justice to the poor, and not the use of brute force, is the key to tackling this growing menace.

The author has vast military experience that stood him in good stead in planning sound strategies to win battles, but when he discusses non-military issues, he tends to jump to conclusions rather hastily. His experience in the civil administration is limited and may not be a sound basis for formulating policies and strategies.

-- The reviewer, a retired IPS officer, is former Governor of Jharkhand, Mizoram and Manipur


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2011 01:41 
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This article has to be posted in full:

http://kanglaonline.com/2011/06/khathin ... of-tawang/

Quote:
Khathing & the taking of Tawang
Published on June 1, 2011 in Articles/Opinion | 0 Comments and 17 Reactions

By Yambem Laba

TAWANG was lately in the news because of the unfortunate demise of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu, who hailed from the area, in an unfortunate helicopter crash. But last year Tawang made headlines for a totally different reason: China`™s reassertion of its claim over the area prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare time and again that Arunachal Pradesh was an integral part of India. The Chinese claim is nothing new. In 1962, they attacked India and occupied the entire area, almost reaching the foothills near Tezpur. The abrupt Indian withdrawal then prompted Jawaharalal Nehru`™s infamous statement that `my heart goes out to the people of Assam`, meaning that the Indian Army was withdrawing to defend the Indian mainland, leaving Assam and the entire North-east to the Chinese.

Why that country withdrew thereafter is for contemporary historians to ponder, but the fact remains that as late as 1951 the entire area up to Dirang Dzong was under Tibetan administration, long after the Indian tricolour had been hoisted at the Red Fort on 15 August 1947. Dzong in Tibetan means a fort, where sat the magistrates or dzongpens to administer the area. That is why the Chinese had once stated that Tawang would have been their territory had it not been for Manipuri adventurer Major Bob Khathing who, in 1951, occupied the area for India. The truth is that while the McMahon Line was laid as early as 1914 between British India and Tibet, with the Chinese refusing to participate in the deliberations, it had never been demarcated `” :roll: meaning the border lines were never laid out on the ground. That was when Khathing became a legend in his own lifetime.

Born Ranenglao Khathing on 28 February 1912 in Manipur`™s Ukhrul district, he was a Tangkhul Naga. He studied initially at Sir Johnstone High School in Imphal, completed his matriculation from Shillong and later joined Cotton College in Guwahati. Though he failed to clear his BA examinations in 1936, he was determined not to return home until he had his degree. So he went to Harasingha in Assam`™s Darrang district, founded a middle elementary school and planted a tree that stands to this day. He cleared his examinations in 1937, the same year SJ Duncan, the British subdivisional officer of Ukhrul, asked him to come back and teach. By 1939, Khathing was serving as headmaster of Ukhrul High School, and when World War II broke out over Europe and soon found reflections across Asia, he bade the blackboard farewell and enrolled at the Officer`™s Training School.

Commissioned into the 9/11 Hyderabad Regiment, he had General Thimaya as his company commander and there was another person who was later to became Chief of Army Staff `” General TN Raina.

By 1942, Khathing was transferred to the newly raised Assam Regiment in Shillong and became a captain. It was in the officer`™s mess at Jorhat that he acquired the name Bob. Apparently the Americans found it difficult to pronounce `Ranenglao` and instead called him Robert, then truncated that to Bob. It was also at this time that the Allied Forces fighting the Japanese decided to raise V-Force, a guerrilla outfit like Wingate`™s famed Chindits but comprising hill people of the region, led by an Allied officer. These people, because of the topography and their ability to live off the land, sometimes operated 150 miles from the nearest supply base and inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese behind their own lines, acting as a screen for the 14th Army of the Allied forces.

Khathing was sent to command a V-Force group in the Ukhrul area, his happy hunting ground. He shed his army tunic, shaved his head like a typical Tangkhul tribesman, with a thick mane running down the middle of his scalp. Mohawk style. On his back he carried a basket with dried meat and salt, rations for two weeks, and concealed his gun in his Tangkhul shawl. It is believed that he himself killed some 120 Japanese soldiers. He was awarded the Military Cross and made a Member of the British Empire.

With the war won, he was, on request by the late Maharaj Kumar Priyabrata Singh, returned to Manipur in 1947 and joined the then interim government as minister in charge of the hill areas. In 1949, when Manipur merged with India following the now controversial merger agreement, the interim government was dissolved and Khathing, by his own admission, found himself `without a job for six months`.

That was when Sir Akbar Hydari, then Assam governor, asked him to join the Assam Rifles as a stopgap measure. He served with the 2nd Assam Rifles in Sadiya and by 1951 he was inducted into the Indian Frontier Administrative Service as an assistant political officer. Summoned by then Assam governor Jairamdas Daulatram, he was asked, `Do you know Tawang?` He was then given a `secret` file to study and told to `go and bring Tawang under Indian administration`. This task could not be implemented by the British for 50-odd years.

On 17 January 1951, Khathing, accompanied by Captain Hem Bahadur Limbu of 5th Assam Rifles and 200 troops and Captain Modiero of the Army Medical Corps left Lokra for the foothills, bound for Tawang. They were later joined by a 600-strong team of porters. On 19 January, they reached Sisiri and were joined by Major TC Allen, the last British political officer of the North East Frontier Agency. Five days later the party reached Dirang Dzong, the last Tibetan administrative headquarters, and were met by Katuk Lama, assistant Tibetan agent, and the Goanburras of Dirang. On 26 January, Major Khathing hoisted the Indian flag and a barakhana followed. The party stayed in Dirang for four days, during which time they received airdrops. On 1 February, they moved out and halted at Chakpurpu on their way to Sangje Dzong. On the third day, they made a five-mile climb to cross Sela Pass and pressed on to what was entered in Khathing`™s diary as the `Tea Place` where water could be collected from the frozen surface to make tea. By 7.30 pm, the party closed in on Nurunang.

On 4 February, they reached Jang village where two locals were sent out to collect information and gauge the people`™s feelings towards their coming. The next day, the headmen and elders of Rho,Changda and the surrounding villages of Jang called on Khathing, who lost no time in explaining the purpose of his visit and told them in no uncertain terms that they were no longer to take orders from the Tsona Dzongpens. That day, he, Captain Limbu, Subedar Bir Bahadur and Jamadar Udaibir Gurung climbed about half a mile on the Sela Tract to choose the site for the checkpost and construct a barracks.

On 6 February they camped at Gyankar and Tibetan representatives of the Tsona Dzongpens came to meet them. It was also Tibetan New Year or Lhosar, the first day of the Year of the Iron Horse. In the evening it snowed heavily and the villagers took this as a very good omen. Tawang was reached on 7 February and two days were spent scouting the area for a permanent site where both civil and military lines could be laid out with sufficient area for a playground.

A place was chosen north-east of Tawang Monastery and a meeting with Tibetan officials was scheduled for 9 February, but they had shown a reluctance to accept Indian authority overnight. Khathing told me in 1985 `” when I`™d accompanied him on his last trip to Tawang `“ that, left with no option, he told Captain Limbu to order his troops to fix bayonets and stage a flag march around Tawang to show he meant business. By the evening it had the desired effect and the Tibetan officials and elders of the monastery came to meet him. They were then given notice that the Tsona Dzongpens or any representatives of the Tibetan government could no longer exercise any power over the people living south of the Bumla range.

On 11 February, Khathing visited the monastery, called on the abbot and presented him and the other monks gifts that comprised gramophone players, cloth and tiffin-carriers. The next day all the chhgergans (officials) of the 11 tsos or Tibetan administrative units were called up and a general order was issued directing them not to take any more order from the Dzongpens or Drekhong or pay tribute to them any longer. That afternoon, Tibetan officials and the Nyertsang called for time and permission to exercise their authority till they heard from the Tibetan government in Lhasa. Khathing put his foot down and told them the `area is ours according to the Treaty of 1914` and there was no question of a reply from their government in Lhasa and, hence, no extension could be given. Thus did Tawang effectively become a part of India from that day on.


Source: The Imphal Free Press (unless otherwise specified)
Disclaimer: Source is responsible for the correctness and accuracy of the news.


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2011 08:31 
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^^^Excellent story. Thanks.


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2011 15:17 
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Indian army chief to visit Dhaka on June 19


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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2011 23:11 
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VinodTK wrote:
Column: An indigenous arms card
.... Interesting read


Even though it appears about R&D it really the whole process of indigenizing the military.

Quote:
Prior to India’s Independence, the PM-in-waiting Pandit Nehru had asked a distinguished British scientist and later a Nobel laureate Sir Patrick Blackett as to how long will it take to ‘Indianise the military’, referring primarily to minimising India’s dependence on foreign equipment and secondarily to Indianise the military manpower structure (overwhelmingly dominated by the British nationals in the officer corps during the time). Sir Blackett answered that it could take 18 months in the short term and many decades in the long term for self-reliance in Indian defence! A similar question was asked in 1925 (where Motilal Nehru and Mohammad Ali Jinnah were members) to Sir Andrew Skeen who submitted a report to the then government (on the creation of a Military College in India), known as the Skeen Committee Report.

Decades of contemplation and action on the Indianisation process of the military have produced what at best can be termed ‘mixed results’. In between, India attained independence and of late flourishing in economic terms, Blackett enforced his ideas of production of previous generation weapons and non-investment in applied research or modern technologies, institutions were created and encouraged to work in silos, defence industries became ‘exclusive’ state controlled entities and defence scientific institutions led by brilliant scientists unfortunately became rigidly vertical institutions while the private industry has still been kept at a safe distance. In between also came some crazy ideas like ‘conversion’ led by Nehru confidant Menon who wanted to produce coffee percolators in ordnance factories!

Some attempts have been made to inject much needed reforms in India’s higher defence management sector in recent times. Institutions like Defence Acquisition Council, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Joint Tri-Service Command and Strategic Forces Command have come up in the past few years while attempts at synergising the civil and military structures through Integrated Headquarters have also been undertaken. A decade of reforms, however, has brought very little desirable results as the Indian defence sector is still grappling with issues like joint-ness in the armed forces as well as intra-departmental coordination, rationalised budgeting, integrated planning, manpower and many other related areas.

Self-reliance in weapon manufacturing and defence technology development are the two critical areas where the Indianisation process has visibly failed. India’s arsenal is still largely filled with foreign equipment while its industrial and military technology bases have largely been found deficient. India has been able to create a huge defence scientific industrial base with 50 DRDO laboratories, 8 larger defence public sector units (DPSUs), 40 ordnance factories with more that 700 scientific and industrial collaborations with universities, specialised research institutions and private industries. Both DRDO and DPSUs are now corporatising their entities, thanks primarily to new initiatives taken by the government, while DRDO is reportedly undertaking reform initiatives as per the recommendations made by the P Rama Rao Committee. Among the notable achievements by DRDO and production agencies are indigenised technologies like ballistic sciences, aerospace engineering, avionics, heavy engineering, propulsion engineering, marine engineering and life sciences, among others. Still, India’s arms import dependency is alarmingly high and its scientific prowess in defence much below global standards.

Six points are flagged here to explain the existing status of Indian defence science technology and industrial base. First, the idea of Indianisation of the military has not been translated into concrete action plans flowing from a stated policy. Hence the need for formulating a national policy on defence scientific and industrial base. Second, defence science & technology and industry suffer from the problem of integration as they have been operating as independent entities. While DRDO is the technology innovator, its interaction with government production agencies (DPSUs) is at best symbolic while with the private industry is non-existent. Third, private industry is supposed to be a locomotive of self-reliance in defence, yet it is structurally situated outside the relevant department. The secretary of the Department of Defence Production does not have a dedicated wing under his command to examine issues related to private industries. Fourth, a trust deficit and sceptical mindsets typify the attitude of the government towards the private sector’s abilities to produce state-of-the-art military equipment. The number of ‘make’ projects (defence projects undertaken by the Indian private sector) constitute less than 5% of the total procurement projects awarded by the MoD to the private sector in the last three years! Fifth, both DRDO and production agencies suffer from a ‘concocted’ model of project management—not been able to prioritise ‘strategic’ from the rest. Almost a third of DRDO laboratories are engaged in ‘non-strategic’ scientific projects while HAL, instead of graduating itself to be a true systems integrator, is still engaged in bulky licence production projects. Last, but not the least, Indian spending on R&D (less than $2 bn) is one-fiftieth of that of the US ($96 bn) and one-fifteenth that of China ($32 bn). At a time when India flaunts its ‘arms card’ (enhanced financial muscle for acquiring weapons) to woo global arms suppliers, its attitude towards strengthening the indigenous R&D base has been pathetic.

Realism emphasises the centrality of state in global affairs and history gives enough evidence of possession of formidable ‘hard power’ by a few states in global politics. India’s Indianisation process of its hard power does not provide sufficient proof of an ascending power. It’s time that the state initiates a fresh multi-disciplinary debate on the ‘Indianisation of the military project’ in order to locate its position in global affairs.

The author is a senior fellow in security studies at the Observer Research Foundation. These are his personal views



Can be x-posted in Strat Forum too for we see the effect of dissonance due to lack of political cohesion.


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PostPosted: 16 Jun 2011 22:59 
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Wiki on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_Force


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PostPosted: 17 Jun 2011 02:47 
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ramana wrote:
Column: An indigenous arms card

Even though it appears about R&D it really the whole process of indigenizing the military.

Decades of contemplation and action on the Indianisation process of the military have produced what at best can be termed ‘mixed results’. In between, India attained independence and of late flourishing in economic terms, Blackett enforced his ideas of production of previous generation weapons and non-investment in applied research or modern technologies,


Can be x-posted in Strat Forum too for we see the effect of dissonance due to lack of political cohesion.

By keeping colonial practice and colonial mind set they are trying to modernise the Indian defence and capability.
Looks like British knew that at the time of independence if they kept the process and mind set the same even after 60 years they will find that it remains till this day.


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2011 21:07 
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Business of Being a Jawan
Should have been titled the Indina jawan thru the ages.

Quote:
The slogan Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, coined by Lal Bahadur Shastri, ennobles the role of warrior and peasant. In reality there is little respect for the profession of soldiery here. Any number of American politicians proudly announce their son’s enlistment as a private, the entry-level soldier. How many Indian leaders send their sons to become jawans? I can think of none. Foot-soldiery in India is for the poor.

In Kipling’s Kim, the one sensual episode is the brief exchange between the Dogra jawan and the Amritsari girl on the train. Kipling suggests she finds the jawan attractive for his status. The truth is that Indian society doesn’t see him that way. But no need for pity. The Indian jawan’s mercenary nature has sent him on adventures around the world. Let’s look at his story, for instruction as much as for entertainment.


Arms and the men: Jawans take position at the battlefront. Getty Images/AP

In his great work Histories, written aaround 450 BC, Herodotus reported the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC. Accompanying the Parsi emperor Xerxes was a group of Indian mercenaries. Herodotus writes that the Indian infantry wore not armour but cotton, and carried cane bows and cane arrows tipped with iron. Indian cavalry was similarly armed, on horseback or in “chariots drawn by horses or wild asses”. Most of the Persian army withdrew with Xerxes in 479 after smashing the Spartans at Thermopylae and flattening Athens. The Indian mercenaries were kept back to fight one final battle at Plataea alongside the elite Persian guard called Zhayedan, the Immortals. This shows us what the quality and reputation of the Indians was.

Also Read | Aakar’s previous Lounge columns

On 1 October 331 BC, the Parsis lost their empire to Alexander the Great at Gaugamela. Indian mercenaries “from both sides of the Indus” fought in the army of Darius, according to Alexander’s best historian. The Indians fought tactically with 15 elephants, and were placed “in the centre with Darius’s personal guard” (Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander). Though their side lost, the Indians fought well, Arrian reports. They broke clean through the Macedonian lines and made their way to Alexander’s baggage train—to loot it.

Indians would have also fought the previous battle at Issus in November 333 BC, according to Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus, but there wasn’t enough time to hire them before the battle. In his otherwise unreadable and prejudiced work, called The History of Alexander, Curtius Rufus says “the Indian fighters were so tall that the Macedonians’ heads only came up to their shoulders”. It is likely they were Jats from Punjab/Haryana. After Darius was assassinated by traitors, Alexander marched his armies into Punjab.

While Indians offered their mercenary services to foreigners, they also roamed India in bands and fought for whoever paid them. Before the battle against Porus in May 326 BC, Alexander massacred 7,000 Punjabi mercenaries. The men had fought Alexander’s forces to a standstill in a skirmish at a town that had hired them. Arrian says they were then allowed to leave under a compromise. But Alexander worried they would be hired again, and broke his word, setting his soldiers upon them as the Indians left the town fortifications.

In his Life of Alexander, Plutarch writes: “Now the best fighters among the Indians were mercenaries, whose custom it was to travel from one city to another as they were needed: they defended their clients vigorously and caused Alexander heavy losses. So he concluded a truce with them when they were in one city (near Rawalpindi), allowed them to leave, and then attacked them on the march and annihilated them.”

Tactically, I think Alexander was justified in killing them, but the Greek historians were uniformly horrified. Diodorus Siculus described the action in his multi-volume work Bibliotheca Historica: “Not daunted at the greatness of their danger, the mercenaries joined ranks and, forming a full circle, placed their children and women in the centre so that they might effectively face those who were attacking from all directions. Filled with desperate courage and fighting stoutly with native toughness and the experience of previous contests, they were opposed by Macedonians anxious not to show themselves inferior to barbarians in fighting ability, so that the battle was a scene of horror. They fought hand to hand, and as the contestants engaged each other every form of death and wounds was to be seen. The Macedonians thrust with their long spears through the light shields of the mercenaries and pressed the iron points on into their lungs, while they in turn flung their javelins into the close ranks of their enemies and could not miss the mark, so near was the target.”

Diodorus says that the Indian mercenaries’ women also took up arms and “fought beside their men, since the acuteness of the danger and the fierceness of the action forced them to be brave beyond their nature”.

Outnumbered, the Indians were annihilated.

Plutarch wrote: “This action remains a blot on his career as a soldier.” After fighting Porus, Alexander then turned back, sailing down the Indus to the Arabian Sea and then through Persia to Iraq where he died on 10 June 323 BC a month before he turned 33.

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.

The Athenian historian Xenophon, himself also a mercenary, writes in his superb work Anabasis that the Persian civil war between Cyrus the younger and his brother Arsaces featured many mercenaries on both sides. This was during the battle of Cunaxa, fought on 3 September 401 BC. Xenophon, who himself fought on the losing side of Cyrus (who was killed), does not name their nationalities but we can be sure Indians dominated the list. The Indica of Megasthenes is the source of the famous line that “India never invaded another nation”. But Megasthenes adds that India’s mercenaries always responded to Persian summons to invasion. Turk, Afghan, Mughal, Maratha, Sikh, Frenchman, Persian, Dutchman, Portuguese, Briton. The Indian jawan fought for and against all of these as long as someone gave him salary and rations.

Army chief Gen. Vijay Kumar Singh is from the Rajput Regiment (war cry: “Bol Bajrang Bali ki jai!”), raised in 1778. The Punjab Regiment (“Boley so nihaal, Sat Sri Akal!”) was raised in 1761. The origins of the Madras Cavalry and the Madras Regiment (“Veer Madrassi adi kollu, adi kollu, adi kollu!”) go back to 1776, the year of American independence. The Maratha Light Infantry (“Bol Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai!”) was raised in 1768 and the Dogra Regiment (“Jawala Mata ki jai!”) in 1877. Manekshaw’s Gorkha Rifles (“Ayo Gorkhali!”) came in 1824 and the Jat Regiment (“Jat balwan, jai Bhagwan!”) has its origins in 1795. The Sikh Regiment was raised in 1846 and the Kumaon Regiment’s (“Kalika Mata ki jai!”) battalions, raised in 1887, go back to 1813. The Marathis of Mahar Regiment (“Bol Hindustan ki jai!”) defeated Bajirao II’s Maratha armies at Koregaon on 1 January 1818 and this has been our story all along.

If India was independent in 1947, whom did the jawans in these regiments fight and kill for almost 200 years? Other Indians.

Question: Why do only the untouchable Mahars have a patriotic war cry? Answer: Because the regiment was disbanded under the Martial Races theory and then reformed before independence under Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s influence. None of the other regiments had “India” in mind. Jawans fought and died abroad in the tens of thousands for their employer, first a British corporation and then the British parliament. In World War I 74,000, in World War II 87,000, thousands more in the Anglo-Afghan wars. There are Indian mercenaries buried in swathes of western and southern Europe and they spilt and drew blood in some of the most savage battles against the Nazis and the Fascists.

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.

Aakar Patel is a director with Hill Road Media.



The right word should have been sepoy or fauji. Also while they were paid they are more like Blackwater and less like former SAS in Africa who were true mercenaries. Also unlike mercenaries in other lands looks like they fought to death and did not make compromises with the attackers and defect to fight another day.

In other words they took their soldiering seriously. Besides the idea of nation state is a recent thing even in Europe in fact as recent as two hundred years.


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2011 22:47 
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ramana,

"Mercenary" is as good a term for them as "sepoy" or "fauji" -- all equally misleading. Mercenary is someone primarily motivated by money; a sepoy is a Turkic word meaning a mounted soldier (we ironically differentiate the infantry "sepoy" from the cavalry "sowar"), and a "fauji" is a Turkic word for militiaman. None of these really make sense.

The author is being disingenous in his comparisons. Period.

Yes, American politicians have their children in the enlisted ranks -- but what is the terms of their contracts? 2 years? 3 years? It is a brief period of service for them, then they go back to college and their upper-class careers. I am not denying the nobility of their actions, I am just contrasting it with practical Inian realities. In India you contract for 11 years minimum as an enlisted man, and Indian colleges aren't especially welcoming of 32-35 year olds... basically if you go in, you go in for the long-haul. It is only a slightly better story with the officer corps, especially with even the "Short" Service Commission being jacked up from 5 years to 10 years now. People should remember this when comparing with the US. And when the nation really calls, the men will come.... there still ARE some old ex-princes, politicians and industrialists who once held Emergency Commissions in the military and served their time.

A man may put on a foreign force's uniform for his pay and his rations, but he does not court death and win VCs for Rs.8/mo -- he did it because it was a matter of honor of his race and a question of loyalty to his brothers-in-arms. And almost all fighting forces inevitably end up killing more of their own people than any outsiders; yes, even his US Army -- just check the casualty figures of the American Civil War and the Native American Wars, and compare them with all other American wars combined. If you can't understand this basic and universal fact of history, it brings to question your competency to generalize other things.

It is funny to see him phoo-phoo Martial Races theory, but implicitly believe it and advocate it with condescending bull-shyt about Indians and Pakistanis being "brave, disciplined and loyal" fighters under a British Raj like officer corps. If there was one thing he should have learnt from the Americans about service and soldiering, it should have been this simple maxim: There is no such thing as a good-soldier or a bad-soldier... just good-officers and bad-officers. He should think about this carefully before talking about Indian soldiery.


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