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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2006 10:21 
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From ACIG.org

Krishna_j
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Joined: 30 Jul 2003
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Location: Bangalore,India
Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:02 pm Post subject: History of the Indian Air Force

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The definitive and only authorised tome on the History of the Indian Air Force by Pushpindar Singh Pp 655 is on its way - finally an authorised history book on the IAF

Plenty of colour and b/w photos , price approx $ 40 - out in Sept 2006


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 03:17 
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Ride to the local Borders --> 2.00$
Cost of Magazine --> 7.50$
Cost of Scanner to scan the page in it --> 10$
Telling everyone that you beat many other Brit books to be book of the month in one of the top two Aviation Magazines in the UK --> priceless.

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As featured in

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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 03:23 
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Joined: 30 Oct 2005 10:26
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I have always been very impressed with the quality of posters here on BRF and their knowledge base. Even so, this book sounds truly impressive. Please accept my congratulations. I usually buy through Amazon. If you know of perhaps a cheaper avenue (at 20 pounds, it aint exactly cheap) to buy the book, please be sure to share that information.


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 03:36 
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Sadler,

The full price on Amazon is a ripoff, a better option are the zSellers on Amazon, who offer it half the price as Amazon itself. Try airforcebooks on Amazon (thats me - shameless commercial plug)

If in India, buy it directly from the Publisher Manohar Books.


-Jagan


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 03:45 
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Location: USA-ISRAEL
Jagan wrote:
Sadler,

The full price on Amazon is a ripoff, a better option are the zSellers on Amazon, who offer it half the price as Amazon itself. Try airforcebooks on Amazon (thats me - shameless commercial plug)

If in India, buy it directly from the Publisher Manohar Books.


-Jagan


Thanks for the advice. I have always wanted to go to India. And there would be no shortage of friends in Bombay even willing to arrange accomodations for me in their own homes. Just never quite made it there yet. But, i do have a friend going to Bombay in late Sept. I'll ask her to do the needful.

And no need to be ashamed. Self-promotion, if putting out a fine product, is quite acceptable.


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 04:01 
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It is well deserved. The historical portions of the IAF on the net are 97% the work of Jagan and Samir alone. I hope that there will be a high end version of this book, a collectors edition, with all the corrections, maps, new pics, artwork and higher quality of print paper. It may not sell well but editors of major publications (and there are plenty) will surely pick it up.


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PostPosted: 16 Jul 2006 17:52 
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Jagan wrote:
Sadler,

The full price on Amazon is a ripoff, a better option are the zSellers on Amazon, who offer it half the price as Amazon itself. Try airforcebooks on Amazon (thats me - shameless commercial plug)

If in India, buy it directly from the Publisher Manohar Books.
-Jagan


How about an electronic version?

Books like these are excellent reference/research material and in this digital age (instant communications/discussions) an e-book version is sorely needed.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2006 07:16 
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Airavat,

Honestly we have not looked at an e-book variant yet - I think the logistics of it is still new to us and the concept completely alien to the publisher.

The publisher will probably look to do a paperback version first.

-Jagan


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2006 08:15 
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No.20 Squadron recently released their Squadron History in the form of a book "When Lightning Strikes - No.20 Squadron, Indian Air Force 1956-2006 " . The book was released at the recent Golden Jubilee celebrations at Pune. The following is a quick review of the book.

The book is A4 Size - and is 88 pages - printed on glossy paper in multi color format. The book is written by Wg Cdr (Retd) AS Limaye, a former Commanding Officer of the Lightnings from the early 90s and has been published by The Society of Aerospace Studies (Mr. Pushpindar Singh's organisation that also publishes VAYU). There is no price printed on the book nor an ISBN, so I have no idea how much it costs or how to procure it - I got my copy thru Kapil who covered the Lightnings Golden Jubilee for BR at Pune. (That is another story altogether).

This history is only the third in the list of Squadron HIstories that have been published till date (No.7 being the first, No.3 being the second). Approx 60 pages are devoted to the Squadron's history from raising till the current era. Another 28 pages reproduce the very detailed War Diary of the Squadron from the 71 War that was previously published privately by AVM Parker with the help of Wg Cdr Farokh Mehta of Wings Grafiks.

There are several rare photographs of the current day Sukhois in the book - including one image of the aircraft carrying Air to Air Missiles, shots of the interiors of the cockpit and an extremely rare photo (albiet small in size) of a USAF F-16 caught in the HUD video of the Sukhoi - from the recent Cope India exercises.

Though the quality of the printing and binding is top class, the content of the book is really not upto the detailed standards that the BattleAxes or the Cobras Histories have achieved. perhaps unlike the first two which start from 1941 onwards, this history starts from 1956 and has relatively less material to work with. I really cant put my finger on whats missing, but I found the history sparse. And some of the stalwarts of No.20 Squadron might be disappointed in not finding their names in it.

There is however some good history of the Squadron from its Thunderbolts era - and the 1990s, some of which was relatively unknown.

Overall, I would say this is a welcome addition to any IAF historian's library. If not for nothing, the wardiary of the squadron from 71 war in itself makes the acquisition worth it!


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PostPosted: 21 Jul 2006 01:05 
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There has been a lot of speculation after foreign transfers of a/c to the PAF
during the 1971 war (besides the RJAF F-104s). The following book has some details,

The White House & Pakistan : Secret Declassified Documents, 1969-1974/selected and edited/F.S. Aijazuddin. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2002,

If someone has this book now, please post the details about wartime transfers to the PAF by other countries.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2006 04:55 
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I'm also looking for a long lost book on the 1971 war. Identification features,

1. Captured tank on the front cover
2. A day by day account of the war, including the airwar
3. Pics of Khaibar, Shah jehan, Ghazi and the tangail paradrop


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2006 05:26 
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Harry wrote:
I'm also looking for a long lost book on the 1971 war. Identification features,

1. Captured tank on the front cover
2. A day by day account of the war, including the airwar
3. Pics of Khaibar, Shah jehan, Ghazi and the tangail paradrop


Try coming up with more identifying features? Any idea on what the name of the author might be? Quite a few books from that time featured pics of Khaibar, Shah Jahan Ghazi, Tangail, the three sabre shoot down etc.

Two books i remember that had the above pics are DR Mankekars Pakistan Cut to Size and DK Palits Lightning Campaign. I dont have an idea as to the dust jacket so dont know if it had a captured tank on it.


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2006 07:22 
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Its not Pakistan cut to size and I have the relevant portions from that book. The book I'm talking about also has a chapter or a subsection titled "How the Starfighter met its doom"


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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2006 19:09 
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Harry wrote:
subsection titled "How the Starfighter met its doom"


Sounds vaguely familar but i cant place it ...


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PostPosted: 30 Jul 2006 18:18 
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The Indian Express did a review of our book - it is a two page spread -clearly they loved it!

http://www.indianexpress.com/sunday/story/9548._.html

The Class of ’65
Rakeshsinha&shivaroorPosted online: Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email
Related Stories PAF has the advantage, we are sure to have losses: Arjan told Chavan



In an interview to The Indian Express last week, Air Chief SP Tyagi, concerned over his force’s fleet strength, said he had asked the government to “order more aircraft of the types we already operateâ€


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PostPosted: 12 Aug 2006 21:31 
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NEW BOOK THE EAGLE STRIKES - The Royal Indian Air Force 1932-1950

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Books ... rikes.html

For the first time an excellent book with hundreds of rare photographs of the Royal Indian Air Force has been published. Polly Singh has reviewed the book for our Book Reviews section


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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2006 00:38 
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http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... cle49.html

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Portraits of Valour: India's Highest Gallantry Awards and their recipients -
edited by S S Gandhi
Published by The Defence Review, New Delhi 2006, Price: Rs.1500, Pages: 738 Pages.

This is one book that should be on the shelves of any self-respecting military historian interested in the Indian sub-continent's military history. The book details with all individual acts of gallantry that result in one of the three wartime 'Vir Chakra' series of awards. The editor, S S Gandhi, compiled the first edition in the 1970s. Having felt inspired by the men who earned the war time gallantry awards, he undertook this massive task that no-one else has ever attempted till then, or had attempted ever after. He decided to research all the gallantry award recipients, namely those who earned the Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and the Vir Chakra awards from 1947 onwards. It was no easy task - There were over a 1000 awardees at that time. Gandhi spent years in the national archives and other libraries researching the gazette notifications. He followed it up by writing to the awardees, or to their units, or families. He procured the citations, photographs and personal details of all the recipients. Thousands of letters were exchanged, and knowing that the writers of that time did not have things like email and the internet, one can imagine the effort it took.

Finally in 1982, he came out with the first edition of the then-titled Encyclopedia of Soldiers with Highest Gallantry Awards, that ran into nearly 630 pages and published in large format - around 11 x 8 inches. In that edition, one got to see almost all the photographs, know the personal details and read citations of all the 15 Param Vir Chakra, 195 Maha Vir Chakra and 1111 Vir Chakra awardees till the year 1980. The book was more than just a compilation of citations for the PVC, MVC and VrC awards - it had plenty of other information of interest to the researcher interested in medals and military history. The book also carried several pages of additional information of interest to the military researcher - including analysis of the distribution of awards among various regiments, states, etc. The only thing missing in the book was some citations and photos from the early 1947-48 Operations. This is true especially in the case of the IAF Vir Chakras. The print quality was not too great when compared with today's publications, but it was the standard of those times.

A second edition subsequently came in 1995 and it was priced at Rs 1500. That covered the additional PVCs, MVCs and VrCs awarded in the interim period - mainly for the Siachen Glacier and Sri Lanka Operations. Both the first and second editions both proved themselves to be indispensable to anyone with a passing interest in the Indian military awards system. Professor Ed Haynes, well-known researcher of the sub-continental medals, has this to say about the volume "These books are (and have been since the moment of publication) extremely difficult books to locate. In all seriousness, the medals they discuss are easier to obtain than the books that give the citations. Even the Gazette of India is easier to find than these books!" Some criticism was directed at the quality of publication and the photographs but the truth remained that these books formed the basic reference sources and there were no other alternative or competing product. Thus these were stocked by many armed forces establishments and private military history enthusiasts.

But they soon became a scarce commodity. Perhaps the scarcity of the availability of the earlier volumes, or the advent of the Kargil War motivated Gandhi to finally come up with a third edition in 2006. The book underwent a drastic change in its quality. It was bought out in a coffee table format and measured __ x __. The quality of the production turned out to be excellent, and the quality of photographs in the book finally caught up with the standards of today. The book underwent a change in title - it is now renamed as Portraits of Valour: India's Highest Gallantry Awards and their recipients. Continuing with the previous format, the book now lists a total of 1557 award details. These are broken up into 21 Param Vir Chakras, 218 Maha Vir Chakras and 1318 Vir Chakras. For every single award or bar, the photograph of the recipient, the personal details of the recipient and the official citation of the award is reproduced.

I was delighted to find the details of all the 97 gallantry awards from the Kargil Operations, complete with citations. Though photographs of the Kargil awardees were not forthcoming in all the cases, the information provided is something that never before made it into the public domain. The book also deals with nearly 100 awards from the Sri Lankan - IPKF fiasco. In addition to the award details, there are several sections of interest in the book. In no particular order, the sections that stood out were:

• Orders of Precedence of the Awards, separate lists for 1952 (which list a mere 12 awards), 1961, 1973 and 1976.
• A section with the Gazette notification on institution of medals. A drawing of the medal and the description taken from the government gazette notification including the eligibility criteria is provided.
• One section that does all the statistical analysis for you, giving tables of the medal distribution by regiment, force, period, war, ranks, schools, state wise and virtually any other combination one can think of.
• The book ends with a listing of Victoria Cross winners and their photos, citations and personal details. The Victoria Cross is the only British Award so covered.

The only grouse that I could come up with was the absence of some citations. One wishes that the Indian Air Force related citations from the 1947-48 War were published. In many cases it was not possible for the editor to find these. Not surprising, for one IAF Veteran who received the Vir Chakra from that war, himself confirmed he never saw his own citation! At least one award from the Siachen Operations was missing in the listings. Then there is the case of the missing ISBN. The lack of an ISBN will create problems in the availability of the book across the world. At least popular websites will not be able to list it without an ISBN. But these are all nitpicks - given a chance I would recommend this book to any one with a keen interest in Post-1947 Indian military history. As expected, the book is quite heavy, and postage overseas will be high, but for those in India at least, the postage is included in the cost of the book.

This book can be ordered directly from the publisher by emailing them at defrev@nda.vsnl.net.in or by phone/fax;

The Defence Review
1605, B-1, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi - 110 070
Tel: 2689-1598
Fax: 2613-2906


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PostPosted: 30 Aug 2006 22:04 
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The battle of Dograi and Batapore
ISBN: 8181580486
Author: Desmond E. Hayde.
Imprint: Dehradun : Natraj Publishers,
Physical Description: 247 p., [15] p. of plates : ill., 5 folded maps ; 23 cm.
Year: 2005

Its a reprint of the 1991 Battle of Dograi book by Brig Hayde who got the MVC for this battle - only its a revised and expanded version. Nataraj is doing a good job in reprinting previously published books and also showing some improvement in quality. The pricing is great and the book has some photos that are not of too great a quality.

This detailed account narrates the story of 3rd Jat - the first unit to cross the Ichogil canal on Sept 6, 1965, when the iNdian Army counterattacked over the international border. This battle and the subsequent battle of Dograi are told in great detail - every individual act of gallantry is told - whether subedar, naik , or a simple jawan - sometimes the pace of narration is rapid - some incidents I could just about picturise what was going on. Also tells a lot about the weaponry and equipment being used by the IA in those days - the overdependence on the 'Bazooka' 3.5" Rocket launchers (Where did those come from), the scarcity of the 105mm RCL guns, soldiers fighting tanks with rifles.. great reading!

It also mentions the strafing by IAF Mysteres on 22 Sept but does not mention shooting down one of them.


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2006 09:39 
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The above book also mentions an inconclusive dogfight between a Mystere and Sabre.


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2006 21:17 
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Coffee table book on Indian Army Paratroopers released

Quote:
Bangalore, Oct. 13 (PTI): "The Maroon League," a coffee table book on Indian army paratroopers, was released here today.

The book is designed and written in an "easy, comprehensible manner" with 270 photographs, according to a Defence release.

It begins with a general description on paratroopers and then goes into their heritage. Besides a chapter on the history of the Maroon Berets, the book throws light on their tough training regimen and service.

"It goes on to narrate the big battle the Indian Maroons have fought from Sangshak in World War II to the ongoing low intensity conflicts, the missions undertaken by them within the country and overseas as well as the great adventure spirit of every paratrooper that makes him go where others have feared", the release said.

The parting shot looks at the future of the Airborne and Special Forces, it said


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 09:45 
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http://journal.frontierindia.com/index. ... &Itemid=29

A ‘Royal’ Tribute – History of 5th Battalion, Maratha Light Infantry (5th MLI), 1800 to 2005. By Major General (Retd.) E D’Souza, PVSM. (ARB Interactive 2005).A ‘Royal’ Tribute is the bench mark book for all regimental histories. Fortunately, the publishers have bounded it with hard cover as the 750 odd pages hold amazing levels of details; certainly a soft cover would have burst out. The author was with the 5th MLI since 1943. He served the regiment as the Colonel from 1969 until he retired in 1977.

The book includes a special message by current Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General JJ Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC. Gen JJ Singh commanded the 5th Royals before he was appointed COAS.

The Battalion since its birth in 21 Dec 1800 has seen action in Mesopotamia, Persia and Italy in both he world wars.

In free India, the 5th MLI proved it mettle while defending Jammu and Kashmir in 1948. The Battalion participated in the battle of Zoji La. Subsequently the battalion proved its mettle by beating back a Chinese incursion in 1965. Major General (Retd.) E D’Souza was commanding this battle. The 5th Royals were deployed in both western and northern fronts against two different enemy countries in 1965. Subsequently the Battalion participated in the Bangladesh liberation war. The unit won Battle Honor of Suadih. The 5th

There are pictures, diagrams or maps for all major events. They are rare. Some are never seen before. It’s a treat for any historian or enthusiast. Royals were later in Srilanka as the part of Indian Peace Keeping Force. The unit saw a lot of action against the militants of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE). Winning Honors and Awards is habitual for the unit.

The book is again a treasure trove for a historian because of the details like names, ranks, locations etc and etc. Enthusiasts can skip this.

For military enthusiasts, there is ample. Every operation and skirmish is detailed. Did you know that the Chinese lost 15000 men out of which 500 died of hunger and cold, even before the hostilities with India started in 1962?

The battle of 1971 and the deployment in Sri Lanka are covered comprehensively. It also has day by day account on the Indian Peace Keeping Force deployments.

http://journal.frontierindia.com/index. ... &Itemid=27


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 19:38 
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jasmeet wrote:
http://journal.frontierindia.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=29

A ‘Royal’ Tribute – History of 5th Battalion, Maratha Light Infantry (5th MLI), 1800 to 2005. By Major General (Retd.) E D’Souza, PVSM. (ARB Interactive 2005).A ‘Royal’ Tribute is the bench mark book for all regimental histories. Fortunately, the publishers have

http://journal.frontierindia.com/index. ... &Itemid=27


Looks interesting - I would get it just for the IPKF stuff!

-Jagan


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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2006 17:32 
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ref: This detailed account narrates the story of 3rd Jat - the first unit to cross the Ichogil canal on Sept 6, 1965, when the iNdian Army counterattacked over the international border. This battle and the subsequent battle of Dograi are told in great detail - every individual act of gallantry is told - whether subedar, naik , or a simple jawan - sometimes the pace of narration is rapid - some incidents I could just about picturise what was going on. Also tells a lot about the weaponry and equipment being used by the IA in those days - the overdependence on the 'Bazooka' 3.5" Rocket launchers (Where did those come from), the scarcity of the 105mm RCL guns, soldiers fighting tanks with rifles.. great reading!

ANS> The 3.5 inch Super Bazooka a US designed Korean War era weapon was supplied by a UK manufacture. The UK convinced US that the 3.5 inch Super Bazooka was a defensive weapon. Like with the UK the 3.5 inch was replaced by the Carl Gustaf 84mm recoiless weapon. The Indian Army kept their 3.5 inch Super Bazookas in service after the UK stopped producing munitions for by purchasing additional antitank rounds from a Belgium manufacture which were actually superior to the US designed antitank round.

Jack E. Hammond


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 Post subject: SS Chilka 1942
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2006 07:30 
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Dear friends!

Does anyone of you have perhaps a copy of this very interesting but rare book on his shelves? I would namely very much like to get the excerpt from this book in which the author speaks about the sinking of SS CHILKA off the coast of Sumatra in March 1942.

I have checked for this Billboard bookshop in Clifton and did not find any such bookshop in any Clifton.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Bi ... gle+Search

Also not the Printcraft Company. :(

"TO HIM I OWE MY LIFE" by K. Sayeed Shahabuddin. Published by Printcraft Company Ltd., Dhaka. Pp 146.

STORY-TELLING is an art in itself. Used effectively, it can turn a routine event into something worth going through. The book under review is an impressive case in point. Revolving around his account of a World War II encounter at sea which he faced on board a Merchant Navy ship, the S. S. Chilka, and the subsequent three years in Japanese captivity, the writer has been able to touch the tender chords with his frank and captivating narration.

Though he wanted to join the Royal Indian Navy after having successfully completed training on board the Indian Mercantile Marine Training ship, Dufferin, he had to settle for a civilian assignment as he was found weak in mathematics, and had a slight speech impediment. He, however, got his due share, or perhaps more so, of the desired wartime excitement when ‘Chilka’ was converted into a troop-carrier, sailing in the Indian Ocean around Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and the Dutch East Indies, as Indonesia was known at the time.

Attacked by a Japanese submarine, the ‘Chilka’ did go down the ocean, but not before some heroic attempt by the crew, including the writer, to ward off the hazard with their not-so-military weaponry. Valiant Voyaging, a book about the history of the British India Steam Navigation Company, has recorded the incident thus: “…. Cadet Shahabuddin manned the three-inch gun, but he was severely injured by an explosion when the ammunition locker was set on fire by a shell. In spite of his wounds he attempted to extinguish the fire with his bare hands and had to be forcibly removed to safety …â€


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2007 10:14 
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WOOT WOOT 8)

http://www.lancerpublishers.com/catalog ... cts_id=299


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2007 02:34 
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Location: Chandigarh, UT, INDIA
Jick Rudra was the first Indian Colonel of the Garhwalis.The Regiment not having had an Indianised battalion (like the Dogras) and therefore not having any senior Indian officers invited General Rudra who was from the 15th Punjab Regt to be their first Indian Colonel in 1949.


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PostPosted: 02 Mar 2007 22:03 
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When it rains, it really pours (For Air Force enthusiasts in India)

AN INCREDIBLE WAR : Indian Air Force in Kashmir War 1947-1948
Air Marshal Bharat Kumar PVSM AVSM (Retd)
Centre for Air Power Studies / Knowledge World India 2007
Price Rs.780.00
Description Hardbound - Medium Format
xxii pages of Foreword, Introduction + 374 pages main text + 36 pages illustrations
ISBN 81-87966-55-6


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 20 Mar 2007 22:20 
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Location: SanFrancisco Bay Area
Here are a couple fo Books I recently acquired

1. India's Army by Major Donovan Jackson, republishied by Low Price Publications, 425 Nimri Colony, Delhi, 11052. ISBN 81-85557-79-9 Originally priced at Rs.60 (was sold at 50, there may be more copies available at the same bookstore). It is also distributed by DK agencies (they are on the web and accept credit cards). The original publicaiton in England was in 1940

I bought it on my recent visit to iindia and Bangalore at Blossom Books tore on Church st (behind Mahatma Gandhi Blvd).

It is a virtual treasure house of pictures and data on every page with a painstakingly compiled index of regiments (invaluble for a historian). thr original book had 584 pages which have been reformated into 1/4 size. The narrative ends at the outbreak of WW II.

The book is not under copyright restrictions (at least none are mentioned anywhere and as time permits i will post selected pages at my site indicstudies.us/History/Indian Armed Forces)

The Indian Army by Boris Mollo , Blandford Press, poole, Dorset, 1981, ISBN 0-7137-1074-8. .

This is also a beautifully produced book with extra thick archival quality paper, and with a lot of paintings(watercolor/oil renderings) in color as well las photographs . I acquired this in a bookstore in Carmel, a fancy upscale town near the SF Bay area . Definitely worth owning.
A version of the following was published in the "Journal of The Orders and Medals Society of America" in the issue marked January-February 1996, Vol.47 No.1

I might consider placing some of the ictures in apassword protected page at my site
indicstudies.us


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PostPosted: 22 Apr 2007 03:49 
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SKYHAWKS
By Somnath Sapru
Publishers: Writers Workshop, Kolkata
Price: Rs 400

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/lif ... 150300.htm

The book has gone in detail into the careers of four young Indians who donned the uniform of the Royal Flying Corps of Great Britain in World War I and fought as combat pilots.
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The author has very boldly undertaken the onerous task of researching, collecting bits and pieces of information from the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada and even Czechoslovakia.
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The Indian Air Force has completed 60 years of glorious service to the nation as its air arm, and 75 in all as the youngest of the three armed forces. The first 15 years were literally full of growing pains, having to produce good professional flying with the cast-off obsolete aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and demonstrating to our then rulers that Indians could handle modern technology and use it for combat flying.

It was this very belief that Indians were unfit for higher command and could not equal the British that was overwhelmingly proved wrong by four young Indians hailing from different parts of the country who donned the uniform of the Royal Flying Corps of Great Britain in World War I and fought as combat pilots over the war-torn skies of Europe.

The book Skyhawks by Somnath Sapru, a senior journalist who in a career spanning over three decades covered the subjects of defence and civil aviation, has gone in detail into the careers of these four young pilots during the War. Ninety years ago, Indians were not thought fit to hold a screwdriver or drive a railway engine or a car and when the role of military aviation was in the process of being defined in the overall military tactics and strategy, what these four achieved is remarkable.

The young men — Hardit Singh Malik, an Oxford graduate from Rawalpindi; Indra Lal Roy from Dacca and living in England from the age of two; S.C. Welinkar from Bombay; and Errol Suvo Chunder Sen from Calcutta — were initially denied commissions as until then no Indian could become an officer in the military services. However, exigencies of war forced the authorities to grant them wartime commissions and thereby history was made.

They together created many firsts. Roy in his final phase shot down nine enemy planes in 11 days of operational flying, being the first and the only Indian to earn the title of "ace" and also being the first Indian to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) before being killed in action. Malik was the first Indian Oxford graduate to become a combat pilot and the first Sikh officer to be permitted to wear a turban as headgear. He was also the first among the four to be commissioned, and served till the end of the war; later, on return to India he joined the ICS. He died in 1985. Sen flew and in a dogfight crashed in enemy territory, was taken prisoner of war and survived. Welinkar was also shot down on the Allied side of the lines and died of his injuries in the field hospital near the front.

What did their service in war contribute to Indian demand for representation in the officer cadre of the forces? Eventually, the demand for a separate Air Force was conceded in principle as a result of the Skeen Committee Report which discussed this issue. Today, it is of historic importance to the Indian Air Force and the country that apart from political leaders like Motilal Nehru who strongly advocated the creation of a new air service, a combat-battle hardened veteran like Malik also testified before the Skeen Committee, being the only Indian with a combat pilot's experience.

Consequently the Indian Air Force Act was passed and became effective from October 8, 1932; the first batch of six officers passed out of the RAF College at Cranwell and formed the first flight of the IAF at Drigh Road, Karachi on April 1, 1933. Among these newly commissioned officers was Subroto Mukerjee, who was I.L. Roy's nephew and whose example he chose to emulate by training to be a pilot.

An enormous amount of research has gone into this book; there was hardly any material or documentation available either in the IAF's archives or the Defence Ministry's records, as this narrative pertains to an era even before the RAF. All that is known is an extract from a newspaper report published in 1919.

The author has very boldly undertaken the onerous task of researching, collecting bits and pieces of information from the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada and even Czechoslovakia. It was, as the author has himself confessed, a frustrating but rewarding labour of love spanning more than two decades of hard work.

In this platinum jubilee year (2007) of the IAF, it will be appropriate if we remember our heroes of the past; as we celebrate, let us spare a thought for those "who have gone before". Such military aviation history is a must for all Indians who have served or are serving or aspiring to become pilots.

Wing Commander S. Kannan (Retd)


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http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Books ... Hawks.html

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Skyhawks is a new book revolving around the lives of the four Indian airmen that fought in WW I. There is also the story of the little known Dattaraya Laxman Patwardhan who served with the final rank of Hon 2nd Lt in the RAF till 1937.

The book is written by Somnath Sapru, an accomplished journalist with 36 years experience with the Deccan Herald, Pioneer and Indian Express as a defence journalist. Based in Bangalore he has researched for this book since 1971 on his meager resources. He quips that most of his Rs 600 salary went on foreign postage to the British war office and historians in the UK, USA, Canada and most of Europe. The book has been printed in Kolkatta by the Writer’s Workshop with an attempt to keep it as inexpensive as possible. The limited edition is hand embossed in gold, hand stitched, and hand bound in a handloom sari cloth. This limited edition had high quality pictures pasted on the pages rather than printed. This is altogether quite a curious method of packaging a book on such a subject. The paperback is likely to have a B&W still from the movie ‘Hell’s Angels’ on the cover.

Well to start with this is one of those forgotten periods of our aviation heritage that nobody has dared tackle simply because most believe, given the vintage, the resources available must necessarily be very sketchy. Further, many Indian aviation historians have generally given the topic a wide berth for it was really a time well before the growth of aviation in India and was even further removed from the beginnings of the IAF. Although HS Malik’s (the only one to survive from the original four) bearing witness to the Skeene committee about Indians being able fly in combat must surely have played some part in allowing the IAF to be born when it was.

In another first for a book of this ‘aviation history’ genre the author has chosen to write the book by weaving the facts into a novellised narrative almost at the level of ‘A piece of cake’ and ‘Ace’. There’s even a scene of Roy kissing his girl friend Emily. If it works for the younger generation and helps in drawing a larger audience, I guess it must be an editorial call.

The book begins with a description of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, the generally accepted cause of the war. Then starts a very detailed description of the lives of each of the five airmen. For a non- flyer especially, someone who never flew in that era, the descriptions of the patrols and combat is inspired almost to the point of being lyrical. It contains all the ingredients of a Great War memoir; wonderful descriptions of war time France and the Italian front, savage dog fights over the lines, an amazing array of characters including Barker, Mannock and Mc Elroy and the forgotten bravery of young men fighting the most brutal and yet the last gentlemen’s war.

The amazing amount of research shines out in every page. All the letters home, condolence messages including a letter of appointment to Roy from the King of England, Posting records, reports on casualties to personnel and machines, Army intelligence/combat reports detailing all combat kills by Roy, Squadron Autho books and daily returns detailing all missions flown by Malik. The details of serials and aircraft markings are a mine of new information that will satisfy even the most jaded researcher. The author has even tracked down the German airmen who shot down these airmen.

Surprisingly there is only a passing reference of one kill by HS Malik in a war diary/intelligence report of 27 Dec 1917 when with 28 sqn over Roulers. In recent times an authoritative commentator has claimed that it was Malik not Roy that brought down 09 enemy ac. The research in this book de bunks that claim quite resoundingly. Several high quality photos of Malik in full dress uniform and Sen in a German POW camp emerge for the first time which is a pleasant surprise although a BE2 is erroneously marked as an SE 5A.

Finally, several historical tidbits from the war abound (it was the 980th war since the dawn of mankind, the first of 16,623 casualties of the RFC was Sgt Maj Jillings who was hit in his behind by a Ulhan carbine round on 22 Aug 1914 while flying low, the origin of the word Archie!, the first aircraft to aircraft kill was when Lt Harvey Kelly chased a German machine to land, and set fire to the it and took off again when the German pilot ran away and the origin of the word 'Straffe', from the German 'Straffen'-- to punish).

It’s a fantastic story in itself and the era and the subject makes it an absolute must for the book shelf of anybody even remotely interested in Indian aviation and aviation history at large.

Review by Polly Singh


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All for a bottle of Scotch


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Japanese video on INA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQo50RFRemE


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Paul wrote:


Good one. Among the veterans interviewed is Capt SS Yadava of the INA. He had put together a mamoth three volume work on all the members of the INA.

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Frontier India Book Shop

8)


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A RAW Book


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Inside RAW and IB: The Rolling Stones that Gathered Moss

Frontier India Technology, Distributer of Manas Publications announces Launch of the much awaited book â€


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Chinese maps related to 1962 war:
http://www.fyjs.cn/bbs/read.php?tid=13872&fpage=1


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http://www.s1942.org.sg/s1942/indian_na ... /index.htm


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 Post subject: New War Fiction
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2008 13:06 
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Location: Quarter Guard
A riveting action thriller that moves from Delhi to the rugged
mountains of the LOC in Kashmir, to Lahore, Karachi and
Multan, Lashkar is a gripping tale of terror and counter-terror,
and the terrible fall-out of the games governments play...
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Iqbal, a small-town boy from Lucknow, is lured across the Indian
border into Pakistan for training as a jihadi by one of the most
dreaded terrorist organizations in the world. Months later, on 29
October 2005, on the eve of Diwali and Eid, a series of bomb blasts
unleash death on the streets of Delhi. The magnitude of destruction outrages the
normally docile Indian public and its demand for justice rocks the
Indian Government into action. The time has come to call upon the ultra-secret Force 22 (Establishment 22 :wink:) of the
Indian Army to avenge the attack... Also Iqbal looses his kin in those bomb blasts and takes revenge.....


This is published by HarperCollins India.At Rs 195 cover price this is a steal……


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2008 14:45 
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Indian Army Vision 2020/ Gurmeet Kanwal


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Indian Army: Vision 2020 examines the threats and their changing nature, identifies the key operational commitments, makes a comparative ana lysis of how other modern armies are coping and offers a considered guide map for a modern fighting force that is light, lethal and wired to meet the operational challenges of the 21st century. This is a scholar-warrior’s view of the nation’s defence preparedness, especially that of the army, born of experience and a close study of the security environment and how it is changing.
Commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in 1972,
Brig. Gurmeet Kanwal (Retd.) commanded an infantry brigade in the high-altitude Gurez Sector on the Line of Control with Pakistan (Operation Parakram, 2001-03) and an artillery regiment in counter- insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley (Operation Rakshak, 1993-94).
A former Director, Security Studies and Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation; Senior Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses;
Senior Fellow, Centre for Air Power Studies (all based in New Delhi); and Visiting Research Scholar at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, USA, Brigadier Kanwal has authored several books. He has contributed extensively to military journals of repute as well as leading national newspapers. He wrote a regular column for the Statesman for two years. At present he is Additional Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies, New Delhi.

Key facts: 9788172237325/ HBK/ 215X140 mm/358 pp/ 495/-


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