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Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

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Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby member_201 » 18 Oct 2002 23:09


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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 18 Oct 2002 23:18

Someone call Harshvardhan and Vikrant Chitre.Their labour of love makes Rediff look pale.
Sigh.Rediff quoted Neville Maxwell again.Zindabad. :roll: :whine:

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby member_201 » 18 Oct 2002 23:24

Nitin, can you please explain in detail what the beef is with Neville Maxville on this forum? I don't know, that is why I am asking. Was his report biased, one-sided, what?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 19 Oct 2002 00:32

Rakyman,

Neville's book is a classic - atleast the military part of it narrating the various politco-miltiary decisions on evicting the chinese and the machinations of Lt Gen Kaul, the various actions and fightings that led to a break up of 4 Div etc etc is wonderful to read. (For its time, it was second only to Dalvi's book)

However the Historical part of the book gives more Legitimacy to the chinese claim on Aksai Chin, something which we dont agree at all. Hence the 'beef' with Maxwell.

I posted some info in the Air Force book thread on the Henderson report that maxwell is said to have read. that should be interesting too.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby anil » 20 Oct 2002 10:54

I have the maxwell book - can't see where the beef is unless one cannot stomach the commentary on how despicably the leaders of the nation and the General in charge acted.

The futility of the battles and the bayonet charges when all bullets exhausted makes for chilling reading ... I felt sick to my stmach really ...

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Shankar » 20 Oct 2002 12:51

I was 8yrs old in assam a town called Digboi very close to sino-indian border during this conflict
and was air lifted out of chabua airfield in a royal airforce transporter (if i remember correctly)
a day before china declared an unilateral ceasefire.Digboi refinery was all set to be demolished
and whole plains of upper assam was open.Still remember centurion and sherman tanks rolling thru the town on way to front.It was also the first time radar controlled AAAguns were deployed but used.The most humiliating chapter of Indian defense history .Why the airforce was not used -no one knows except may be cowrdice of politicians.Why the army didnot have
enough ammo -corruption and total mismanagement.Why there were no roads -corruption once again.Why there was not enough medical supplies -ask the babus in delhi.We could have lost all of upper assam -and that is a fact .No one knows why china declared cease fire at a time when it was calling all the shots -may be us pressure or may be they had met the objective of humiliating india before the world.Whatever it was should never beallwed to happen again

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Vaibhav » 20 Oct 2002 14:06

we did gave Chincoms a bloody nose in 1987 samudchung region right??

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Vaibhav » 20 Oct 2002 14:09

Just to ask a silly question but what if IAF was used against Chinese invaders in both ASkai chin and NAFA? Would that have changed the track of the war?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Shankar » 20 Oct 2002 14:23

Only the airforce could have turned the fortunes of the war.The nature of the terrain rugged mountains and dense jungles with lot of big rivers is a logistics night mare for the china
and the supply line could have easily breached with whatever air assets we had at that time.
The *****os would have beed trapped a hostile land and regrouped indian army could have inflicted heavy damge .But that was not to be -our political leadership lost the will to fight
and china smartly declared an uniliteral ceasefire with an arrogantly assumed total military victory.At that time our airforce was better equipped and much shorter distance to fly from the battle zone .Air bases like Tezpur,Chabua,Guahati,Bagdogra ,Mohanbari was all within 200-400
kms and would have allowed max payload delivery and high turn around.The air force morale was high and the pilots ready for revenge .US support was there and so from other western countries .

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Vaibhav » 20 Oct 2002 14:33

We could say leasons learned from China war were properly put to use in Kargil or it was because we had a more firm leadership than lady love Nehru's Congress!

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Vaibhav » 20 Oct 2002 14:34

Now china will never attempt another 1962 on India again!

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 20 Oct 2002 20:31

1962 had a similar effect on India as France's humilation by Germany in 1871, in that, that conflict confirmed France's status as a contintental power that was secondary to Germany.

It was a seminal event, agreed. But the effects need not be permanent.

India and China will roughly be of similar size in population by 2050+(though current predictions for India suggest that birth rates are getting lower faster than expected). We must assume that both countries will have economies of roughly equal size, in the long run, also, therefore. However, it will probably be the case that due to certain cultural factors such as language and discipline inculcated into the Chinese, and due to their larger access to raw materials internally(coal, oil) that they will be able to maintain a larger and more efficient economic autarchy if need be, than India.

Competition resulting in direct military conflict will be suicidal for both countries, despite any huffing and puffing and posturing on the part of Chinese chavanists who wish to pretend that any such event will be a cakewalk for China.

Both countries are large regional powers who have a history of colonialism and of being gobbled up by opportunistic neigboring groups following alternate philosophies and religious or militaristic ideologies. For this reason I think both countries will want to avoid a WWI like conflict.

So I am ruling out direct conflict right?

Ok, that leaves us with areas where we can contend with China non militarily. When it comes to civilization influence I think we are at the very least a match for China. Our languages, our arts and now lately again, our sciences, are spheres in wich collaborative or even competitive activities can be pursued and 'face' earned vis a vis China, internationally.

We dont have to fight China to assuage any hurt pride over 1962, just learn the lessons, prepare for a repeat - therefore assuring that it will never come. We may have to fight China on the peripheries, through proxies, in Myanmar, Central Asia, SE Asia and Indo-China. We will be aided in this through the Chinese bullying posture, this will not make them any allies, especially if we show the spine to back up any nation on the Chinese periphery which turns to us. In the case of a militaristic China attempting expansion in SE Asia and Indo China, the West will aid us, as will Japan. Ready allies are available. Memories of China's inscrutable historical arrogance are all to fresh throughout East Asia.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Harsh » 21 Oct 2002 03:28

Rakesh,

Jagan is quite correct in saying that in terms of tactical descriptions of the conflict Maxwell ranks up there.

However, the whole basis of his argument is arbitrary and illogical. Briefly, he accepts as given the following:

1. The Chinese claim to Tibet was and is legitimate. Therefore, the Chinese invasion of Tibet was legitimate. With a wave his hand and a stroke of his pen, he dismisses entire volumes of evidence showing otherwise.

2. Neither Tibet nor India had legal, historical or cultural claim to Aksai Chin, nor did they have any basis to accept the McMahon line demarcation. And, besides, any Tibetan and Indian argument became irrelvent as India had accepted Chinese suzerainty over Tibet, thus obviously and completely (and legally!) retroactively legitmizing Chinese historical claims :( ...

5. Well, ok, one more: Neville seems to revel in character assasination. Indian political and military leaders are at once belligerant, sheepish, naive, arrogant, bumbling, etc. depending on, it seems, the mood he was in when he sat down to write. Now while in many respects, this asessment was right on the mark, the extent Maxwell dwells on this is misleading - especially when you realize that Maxwell feels that the the highly respectable PRC leaders are all that Indians aren't and a bag of fortune-cookies.

I'll end it there, for now.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

These are not trivial points. It underscores the very fact that Maxwell flamboyantly manipulates facts and accounts to fit his notion that India is solely to blame, while apportioning nothing to China. If the same intellectual microscope - even without something comparable with Maxwell's pathological anti-Indian dementia - were aimed at Chinese claims, Chinese actions and the motivations of the Chinese leadership, the sheer vacuity of his Chinese-groveling arguments are exposed.

Indeed, recent books, using much the same source material, plus referring to legal and historical material regarding Tibetan claims to independance, Indian claims Aksai Chin - and the baselessness of China's claims to both - have done much to refute his hypothesis. Among latter-day historians, apart from a few of the Maxwell devout, Maxwell's reasoning is crude, sensationalist and belies his political bias.

Interestingly enough, outside of China, it is in India where Maxwell has the most devoted following - though why, I honestly cannot fathom - usually from the pseudos who infest Indian intelligentsia and give Maxwell more than his deserved respect, perhaps because he is not of brownish hue. Maxwell and his brood of little Maxwellions who envision the book to be Gospel should take this bit of advice to heart:
To be a critic to all is to be critical.
To be a critic to one is to be prejudiced.


Well, so much for being brief,
Harsh
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
A webmaster of:
The 1962 Sino-Indian War Website.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby karthik.k » 21 Oct 2002 09:58

Harsh,
When you say,
Indeed, recent books, using much the same source material, plus referring to legal and historical material regarding Tibetan claims to independance, Indian claims Aksai Chin - and the baselessness of China's claims to both - have done much to refute his hypothesis.
which books are you referring to ?

/kk

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 21 Oct 2002 15:25

Harsh,
Accurate summary.
Also may i add,Neville is regarded as a Rah Rah boy by the Chinese and justly so.For he -deliberately-chooses to gloss over anything which may portray the Chinese decision making apparatus in a bad light.
In fact ,if you read his "magnum opus"..and a long time back i did so,with chai and chai....the general tone/theme throughout-is one of "India fought,but what the heck they deserved it."..China *had* to do what it did.

A much better and factual account comes from the Chinese themselves.Xinhui has written on the "Active Defense Concept" wherein China recognises a threat and preempts by striking first and withdrawing after creating chaos.. *before* the enemy can organise itself and bring back favourable ratios/saving face/inflicting losses on the raiders in high amounts.This is what happened in 62..and much later in the Sino-Vn wars wherein China practically created a buffer zone in Vn territory; had considerable casualties in both but aim was achieved.In the latter of course,the aim was not just to "teach a lesson" but to ensure that Vn couldnt use its border facilities to do-if i may say so- a "pakistan" on "india".

In 62,the IA planned to throw all it had,including the proverbial kitchen sink,into a counter offensive to wrest back its losses.Before this admittedly bloody counterpunch would have been launched,the Chinese withdrew having "humiliated" India.
As simple as that.
Also their logistics were overextended and they felt exposed to air attack.(if launched).

Anyway,the decision that India was a threat was based on part misunderstanding,part aggression and partly pure xenophobia.

Read Chou En Lai's (transcripts )conversation with Nixon!Chou refers to India as a hegemon and wanting to usurp neighbours ,this,that...also a whole bunch of crock about india being an artifical entity.

The Chinese Politburo/whudever has large streaks of paranoia and this influences its decision making too.In 62 ,yes,this did occur.

Maxwell ignores *all* this.The premise,nay the inference is cut and dried.India provoked China,India got whupped.

The Indian side is portrayed as highly incomptent and bumbling(and yes,who can deny the effects of Kaul and Menon)but the Chinese are more or less perfect.

Maxwell has published *many* revised versions of the original,but the theme is the same.

In fact,as i mentioned earlier,China likes Maxwell's book.WHy wouldnt they?
Apparently ,Chou presented a copy of the same to Nixon as the "account of 62".Official acceptance ,wot?
This i think is in one BRM article too on the Nixon-Chou talk.

Net,Maxwell is to China and 62 what Fricker was to the PAF and 65.

Just to gloss over the politicos and their incompetence(secrecy my a$$),the Henderson Brooks report hasnt been released.Since it hasnt ,Maxwell and his ilk can make hay.

Again comparisons with Frickers -Alam janaab e Azam and till Pushpindar Singh, and the BR triad..punctured it.A "history" which stood unchallenged for God knows how long.And patently untrue to boot.Same here.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 21 Oct 2002 15:41

I always wondered, Has china ever published military histories of this war? Even though for them it could have been a 'border' action, have any publications documentation come out of it?

I would like to know what formations they used, the commanders they had, and finally the casualities.

Neville Maxwells book doesn't have anything from teh Chinese miltiary perspective.

Anyone with info on the above? the Chinese lurkers here?

Added later

A much better and factual account comes from the Chinese themselves.Xinhui has written on the "Active Defense Concept" wherein China recognises a threat and preempts by striking first and withdrawing after creating chaos.. *before* the enemy can organise itself and bring back favourable ratios/saving face/inflicting losses on the raiders in high amounts.This is what happened in 62..
Nitin,

is this a book or a url off the net.. can you tell me more about it?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby JCage » 21 Oct 2002 16:05

Jagan,
I believe Xinhui is preparing an Orbat of the Chinese side for Orbat.com,Rikhye has mentioned it before ; The Sino Indian War Webmasters are also iirc working on the same.

The casualty figures wagehra-from the Chinese side-are greatly exaggerated against India.The usual, xxxxxx people killed,xxxxxx wounded,xxxxxx surrendered and xxxxxxx seen running etcetc.IIRC,it was posted on BR sometime back and some glaring erors were apparent.

Re: The URL for the Active Defense Article.

http://www.china-defense.com/history/sino-vn_1/sino-vn_1-1.html

This is also worth a
dekko.

http://www.china-defense.com/history/laoshan/laoshan_1.html

Also FAS about the other "teach a lesson" war.
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/ops/war/prc-vietnam.htm

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 21 Oct 2002 18:43

The war in '62 was inevitable given the overall strategic positioning of India and China. The Chinese saw their position as fully justified and India as the aggressor, and felt they did the right thing - ofcourse this is all assuming that their version of 'traditional boundaries of Tibet' is acceptable. (lots on the geopolitics in 'protracted contest, sino indian rivalry in 20th century', john garver)

India's failure was multi-dimensional - political, strategic and tactical. We overestimated our position, influence and power.

Western influence and concern against Chinese actions probably did more to restrain the Chinese than we realise - the Chinese were probably also interested in seeing how worked up the USSR and USA would get. Note that the '65 war really ended when the Chinese directly threatened to intervene to save Pakistan from being overrun.

The IA senior leadership were not all incompetent - Gen. Thimayya was apparently very active in preparing for a war in the Himalayas but mindful of needing to be covert in case Menon got upset. This is explained in some detail in 'Spy on the roof of the world' by a Welsh Mountaineer - Sidney Wignall, who was secretly recruited by Indian Military Intelligence and sent on a clandestine mission into Tibet to discover what the PLA were upto. he was captured, interrogated and then let out to die in the mountains - his story is fantastic, especially since he came back with the critical information he was sent to get.

The good news is that the IA learned a lot from 62 - Ashley Tellis (India's emerging nuclear posture) writes a great deal about conventional deterrence balance between India and China, largely as a result of better Indian defensive preparation and massive tactical air power superiority - not in the scope of this thread.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby member_2596 » 21 Oct 2002 19:00

Daulet

The 65 war ended because there was a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire. it was in no way hastened by any chinese involvement anywhere.

""The IA senior leadership were not all incompetent - Gen. Thimayya was apparently very active in preparing ""

While you are correct about Gen Thimmayya, he was not the COAS at that point of time. the COAS Thapar was weak and timid, and let himself stepped allover by Kaul. If Timmy was around, we wouldn't have sufferred the defeat that we did. The eastern army commander and the corps commander were also useless in this regard.

With the exception of the generals in aksai chin (the Western GOC by the way is your namesake Daulet Singh) , there are no bright spot in the generals who fought the war.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 21 Oct 2002 21:57

Daulet

The 65 war ended because there was a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire. it was in no way hastened by any chinese involvement anywhere.

""The IA senior leadership were not all incompetent - Gen. Thimayya was apparently very active in preparing ""

While you are correct about Gen Thimmayya, he was not the COAS at that point of time. the COAS Thapar was weak and timid, and let himself stepped allover by Kaul. If Timmy was around, we wouldn't have sufferred the defeat that we did. The eastern army commander and the corps commander were also useless in this regard.

With the exception of the generals in aksai chin (the Western GOC by the way is your namesake Daulet Singh) , there are no bright spot in the generals who fought the war.
I believe that the UN resolution was a compromise between the super powers. All I can say is that the point about chinese threats was made very clearly in 'protracted conflict' - therefore requiring the IA to come to a conclusion on the ground quickly, same story as in 71 but with slightly different dynamics

you are right about Timmy - I believe he died before the 62 war began(?) In fact, the MI handler - a colonel was also killed in action in NEFA

Plenty has been written about the NEFA collapse, and indeed the stout fighting withdrawal from Ladakh

of more importance to the Sino-Indian posturing is the Nathu-La episode - which finally persuaded the PLA that it was going to be more difficult in the future

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Mohan Raju » 21 Oct 2002 22:10

of more importance to the Sino-Indian posturing is the Nathu-La episode - which finally persuaded the PLA that it was going to be more difficult in the future
Details, please (or a brief synopsis)?

Thanks.

===============================================
Added later:

Jagan, thanks for the link.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 21 Oct 2002 23:38

Originally posted by Mohan Raju:
of more importance to the Sino-Indian posturing is the Nathu-La episode - which finally persuaded the PLA that it was going to be more difficult in the future
Details, please (or a brief synopsis)?
Thanks.
Nathu La is always used in combination of Cho La. Cho La is here. Both were border clashes that were quite fierce with casualities running into the 100s on both sides.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/History/1960s/Chola.html

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 21 Oct 2002 23:45

Forty years after Indo-China war
Brahma Chellaney
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_87598,0008.htm

I also found this link to Neville Maxwells book. Its a 247KB link

http://www.centurychina.com/plaboard/uploads/1962war.htm

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby putnanja » 21 Oct 2002 23:50

An article by Lieutenant General (retd)Ravi Eipe about his experiences as a captain at the eastern front during the '62 war.

Remembering a War: '...Eyeball to Eyeball'


At a national level, we did not read the enemy's intentions properly. There are letters from Vallabhbhai Patel to the prime minister that are published that ratify all that I am saying: Mr Patel draws the attention of the government to the fact that the Chinese should not be underestimated. Their intentions are not as honourable as they appear. The nation should prepare for the worst. But unless you recognise that an adversary is an adversary, your preparations will never match the situation.

The other thing is that we were deployed in a fashion that could be criticised severely, from a military point of view. Our principle always is that you must occupy heights so that the enemy who wants to attack you climbs up to you, and then you have the advantage of height when you want to deal with him. But here, we were deployed along a nullah or river, so that our attackers got the advantage over us. He could come behind us and on top of us.

This happened because of the belief that the line we occupied was not a defensive line; it was just a political line temporarily to establish our claim to what we are holding. So, there again, we were not very realistic. When our battalion was attacked, we were not only on low ground, but also facing the enemy here with the attack coming from behind.


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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Johann » 22 Oct 2002 09:24

What I've always wondered about is how big a factor the Khampa rebellion of 1956 and the CIA's covert action programme in Tibet were in the PRC's increasingly agressive behaviour 1956-62.

A number of accounts claim that the Khampas despite being poorly armed were able to drive out the PLA from large areas of central and southern Tibet in the late '50s, taking advantage of the PLA's severe logistical challenges. If that were the case a road connecting Sianking with Xizang would have seemed imperative. On it's own of course that's not enough to explain why they would chose a fairly confrontational posture.

The CIA in 1958 initiated a paramilitary programme in Tibet after the Dalai Lama's brother approached the Americans and Eisenhower approved. Calcutta was a major organisational base for recruiting Tibetans and running support operations. While the Indian authorities did not participate in the CIA's Tibetan venture before the war, it is difficult to beleive that IB or the special branch with their tremendous manpower were unaware of the nature of those activities, or that Indian government did not exercise a deliberate choice in allowing them to continue on its soil. Even in the Dalai Lama's 1959 escape from Tibet -the seminal event that turned China's Tibet problem international- involved the CIA, its Tibetan operatives and the highest levels of Indian government. It is certainly possible that to the Chinese it may have looked like that despite its non-aligned rhetoric India was part of the intensifying America's clandestine war against it (With RoC on the other side), and that the Indians were unwilling to change course despite warnings.

It is difficult to do morre than guess what any of this really meant to the PRC's leadership given the sheer opacity of the system.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Johann » 22 Oct 2002 09:30

Something on Nathu La from an otherwise uninteresting essay in Across The Himalayan Gap: An Indian Quest For Understanding China. Ed, Tan Chung. South Asia Books, 1998. I found it a few months earlier when looking for historical information useful in examining how the PLA might apply its current War Zone Campaign doctrine in a conflict with India.

Three years later, in 1965, two significant events took place on the Sine-Indian border. The first was the warning issued to India about Chinese sheep not being allowed to graze on their side of the border by India. This happened in September 1965 when the Indo-Pak war was simmering on India’s western border.

At the same time, in September-December 1965, the PLA sent probing missions on the entire Sikkim-Tibet border. According to one account, there were seven border intrusions on the Sikkim-Tibet border between September 7 and December 12, 1965, involving the PLA. In all these border incursions, the Indian side responded “firmly” without provoking the other. Though details of casualties of these PLA border incursions are not reported, there were reports indicating that the PLA suffered “heavy” casualties against “moderate” loss by India.

Two years later, in September 1967, in spite of their setbacks in 1965, the PLA launched a direct attack on the lndian armed forces at Nathu La, on the Sikkim-Tibet border. The six-day “border skirmishes” from September 7-6 to 13, 1967, had all the elements of a high drama, including exchange of heavy artillery fire, and the PLA soldiers tried to cross the border in large numbers.

The attack was repulsed at all points, According to an account of this incident, from the details of the fighting available, it appeared the Chinese had received a severe mauling in the artillery duels across the barbed wire fence. Indian gunners scored several direct hits on Chinese bunkers, including a command post from where the Chinese operations were being directed. The Chinese were also known to have suffered at least twice as many casualties as the Indians in this encounter between Indian and Chinese armed forces.

The important point to be remembered in this context is that the late Chairman Mao launched his Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) in 1965 and it reached its peak in 1967 to weed out all ‘anti-socialist elements” from the Chinese polity. Though many Sinologists would not like to describe the GPCR in any other manner, for an outsider like me, it was essentially a power struggle between Chairman Mao and his adversaries.

However, for the purposes of this essay, three significant things emerged from the Nathu La episode on the Sikkim-Tibet border. First, the Indian armed forces demonstrated beyond doubt that the PLA is not as strong and motivated as it was made out to be. In fact, there were rumours, around September 10, 1967, that the PLA was planning to bring in the Air Force to escalate the conflict. Sensing that the Indians were getting ready for such an eventuality, the Chinese official news agency, Xinhua, denied having any such plans.

Second, the Indian politico-military leadership quickly realised this myth about the PLA. This was clearly reflected in the unconditional ceasefire proposed by India in a note delivered to the Chinese on September 12, 1967, all along the Sikkim-Tibet border from 05.30 hrs on September 13. Though officially, the Chinese rejected this unilateral ceasefire offer by India, except for an occasional salvo by the PLA on September 13, 1967, there was a lull all along the border. Many observers felt India scored a psychological victory over the Chinese for the latter’s unilateral ceasefire in 1962.
Lastly, the Indian political leadership also realised that the PLA’s behavioural pattern on the border had something to do with the domestic turmoil then going on in China.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 22 Oct 2002 16:34

Johann - the text you quote sounds very similar to the synopsis in 'Protracted Conflict', the summary is that the IA's response at Nathu La was felt to be highly effective and demolished the PLA attack. This was later repeated in Chorbat La (Sikkim) if I remember correctly

Khampa rebellion - again 'protracted conflict' talks of active Indian involvement in this CIA operation, although it is more likely to be in the form of backing the Tibetian movement as a whole on moral grounds (which the Chinese would see as highly offensive)

The situation now is that neither side can wage an offensive campaign against the other and hope to hold territory, China in the Brahmaputra valley, nor India in Tibet due to the serious logistical challenges posed by the Himalayas. The Chinese do not rule out a scenario where the IA crosses into a Tibet in open rebellion and thereby drive the PLA off - which would lead to a possible nuclear retalliation

Indian defences are now very strong and deep and able to quickly reinforce (through lateral movement along the Brahmaputra valley) and contain any PLA thrust - despite the Chinese having an extensive choice of valleys to attack along. The concentration of Indian artillery and tactical air power would then annihilate any PLA forces locked up in the high valleys - who would in any case be unable to deploy armour across the mountains

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 22 Oct 2002 20:58

Rediff.com's Third Installment
"Ill-armed, Ill-clad and illtrained"
Brigadier (retd) Chitranjan Sawant, VSM
http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/22chin.htm

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby dsandhu » 22 Oct 2002 21:25


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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Johann » 23 Oct 2002 00:34

Daulat, I havent read 'Protracted Conflict'. If its something you recommend do please do put up the author or editor.

India was actively involved after 1962 with the Americans and Tibetans. In recent years three excellent books have been written by ex-CIA men that discuss the history of the operation in some detail.

'The CIA's Secret War in Tibet'. Kenneth Conboy. University of Kansas Press 2002

'Orphans of the Cold War: America and the Tibetan Struggle for Survival'. John Kenneth Knaus. Public Affairs, 1999.

'Tears of the Lotus'. Roger McCarthy. McFarland, 1997

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

There is no doubt that the IA and IAF have built an effective conventional deterrent to border readjustment by massing superior firepower and investing in logistical infrastructure.

However the new WZC doctrine does *not* seek to hold land but to meet political objectives by inflicting a visible defeat on its neighbours at a time and place of the PLA's chosing. This would be followed by retreat and a refusal to engage the opponent unless Beijing choses to pursue an escalation. The PLA seems comitted to the steady organisational and equipment transformation that will optimise it for such operations.

How the PLA might actually translate such doctrine on the operational level and its implications for the IA and IAF is something worth thinking about.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2002 00:37

Johann, there is a book "On the roof of the world" by George Pattersen(?). It chronicles some exploits of Khampa rebels. There was also an old Reader's Digest article in late sixties.

I would look for accounts of US personnel on this subject and not GOI and their OSA rules.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2002 01:29


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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby daulat » 23 Oct 2002 21:44

Daulat, I havent read 'Protracted Conflict'. If its something you recommend do please do put up the author or editor.

Protracted Contest, Sino-Indian rivalry in the twentieth century; john w garver; univ. of washington press, 2001, ISBN 0-295-98074-5

i found it to be a very good read, somewhat academic, but good nuggets of information. no combat stories though

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2002 12:35

Posted by Kaushal in Indian Soldiers Thread

http://in.news.yahoo.com/021024/43/1wsls.html

An Indian soldier who lives even after death
By Syed Zarir Hussain, Indo-Asian News Service

Jaswant Garh (Arunachal Pradesh), Oct 24 (IANS) Forty years after his death, an Indian rifleman has become a 'major general' and is still believed to 'command' troops guarding the dizzy heights along the frontier with China.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of the Fourth Garhwal Rifles, an infantry regiment, is perhaps the only soldier in the long and chequered history of the Indian Army who has earned regular promotions even after death.

Rawat remained at his post at an altitude of 10,000 feet and held back advancing Chinese troops for three days all by himself during the winter war with China in 1962 along the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh before he was shot dead.

The rifleman may have died, but soldiers say his spirit lives on.

Rawat gets an unofficial promotion at regular intervals. He is today a major general, and the post he held to repulse the Chinese is called Jaswant Garh in recognition of his courage.

Rawat's bravery has earned him a distinct place in the Indian Army along the unfenced 1,030-km Sino-Indian border. For the troops he is their guardian angel.

Myth, folklore and superstition are so strong among the soldiers that the battle site has been converted into a Hindu temple, with troops giving Rawat the status of 'baba' or saint.

"Troops passing by this route, be it a general or a soldier, make it a point to pay their respects at the shrine of Jaswant Singh or else they invoke his curse," warned Ram Narayan Singh, a soldier.

"A major general once refused to pray at his shrine while crossing the area, saying this was just a superstition. He died in a mysterious road accident a few kilometres away."

The Garhwal Rifles is today deployed along the winding border with China and the unit makes it a point to permanently keep at least half-a-dozen personnel to take care of Rawat as if he were alive.

"For us he is immortal and continues to protect and bless us in this treacherous mountain terrain," a Garhwal Rifles soldier posted at Rawat's shrine said.

Soldiers behave as if Rawat is still alive - an orderly cooks for him daily, makes his bed, irons his clothes and polishes his boots. His shrine is protected round the clock.

"Each morning his bed is found crumpled and his freshly ironed clothes lie crushed on the floor," another soldier said. "He is here all the time although we cannot see him."

According to locals and soldiers posted near Jaswant Garh, Rawat's spirit roams the area. Some claim dreaming about him.

"The respect Rawat commands even after his death is something very rare in the Indian Army," Major Jaideep Ghosh told IANS. "I have never seen anything like this -- a dead soldier still influencing the troops."

Legend has it that the Chinese troops after killing Rawat beheaded him and carried his torso as a trophy because he alone stood guard against the rampaging invaders - armed with just a vintage .303 rifle.

But after the ceasefire, a Chinese commander, impressed by Rawat's bravery, returned the head along with a brass bust of Jaswant Singh. The bust, created in China to honour the Indian, is now installed at the site of the battle.

"A nation that does not honour its dead warriors will perish," an army commander remarked as soldiers lit earthen lamps at night at Rawat's shrine.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2002 14:10

Rediff Part Three
http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/oct/23chin.htm
The Confiscation of History by Claude Arpi

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby dsandhu » 24 Oct 2002 20:31

The article regarding Rifleman Jaswant Singh of 4 Garhwal Rifles is pure bakwas , regarding his head bust etc.

Jaswant Singh was killed when he and two others attached a chinese machine gun position which was causing trouble on one of the flanks of 4 Garhwal rifles. These guys managed to put the chinese machine gun out of operation and while Jaswant singh was returing with the machine gun he was hit and died. A Naik the only survivor of the group brought the machine gun back to the Grahwal Rifles positions. Jaswant Singh won the MVC and the Naik got the VrC.

Indian are famous in making shrines and concoeting the story. this is one such example of the bakwas. There was no head chopped off and no bust made by the chinese. This fairy tale was started by the Indians only. There is also a fairy tale of two girls called Rupa and Sela associated with Jaswant Singh and the bakwas goes on to say that the girls fought and died with Jaswant Singh and in their memory the people named two places as Rupa and Sela.

give us a break from bakwas like this

JAI HO!

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Jagan » 24 Oct 2002 20:41

Originally posted by dsandhu: started by the Indians only. There is also a fairy tale of two girls called Rupa and Sela associated with Jaswant Singh and the bakwas goes on to say that the girls fought and died with Jaswant Singh and in their memory the people named two places as Rupa and Sela.

give us a break from bakwas like this

JAI HO![/QB]
Now i know where chetan anand got the idea for haqeeqat ;)

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2002 21:34

Kaushal, Could the 1962 war be considered a part of the Great Game?

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby dsandhu » 25 Oct 2002 21:46

Jagan

It was the other way around, The Fairy tale started after the movie ;) .

Untill the mid sixties there was only a shrine and the defence locality of 4 Garhwal was named Jaswant Garh. Then a temple was built and all the various stories started flying around.

The two other persons who attacked the Chinese machine gun were Trilok Singh And Gopal Singh. Both received the VrC. Gopal was the only one to come back alive but wounded with the gun to the battalion HQ.

There is a similar fairy tale in the J &K sector too. THis is about Capt. Mohr, who was killed on the road between Sonamarg and Zojila in 1948. Untill the mid 70's there was just a marker at the point in his memory. In the 80's it turned into a shrine and in the 90's a temple was built near it. During the Kargil war a number of DDM started some stories about this without knowing that the old 1948 road, known as Thangaraju road and today's road to Zojila are two different roads.

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Re: Remembering a War: The 1962 Indo-China War

Postby Prateek » 27 Oct 2002 10:03

[url=http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=12026]We were done in by Nehru’s stupid ideas’

As Director, Military Operations, during the Chinese aggression in the autumn of 1962, Major General D.K. Palit, then a brigadier, played a key role. Speaking to Saikat Datta, he says he authored War in the High Himalayas, years later, as an ‘‘answer to the lies’’ that had been written about the war so far.
[/url]

Nehru had fixed ideas and was convinced that ‘‘Hindi-Chini’’ were bhai-bhai’’. So he never thought they would attack. We were amateurish and had never fought a war outside the Commonwealth. We were done in by Nehru’s stupid ideas.

When the Chinese attacked, Thapar said ‘‘let us defend Tawang’’. I told him that was impossible because it was on an incline. So we went to Nehru. But he just said, ‘‘I am not a military man, these are decisions you have to take.’’ We had several meetings and only Lt Gen Umrao Singh (commanding XXXIII Corp) kept saying, correctly, that we were not ready. He even asked me, ‘‘what is the chief doing?’’ I told him to go and ask the chief. He never went.

Someone wrongly advised the government not to deploy the Air Force as the Chinese would the attack Indian cities. But they did not realise the Chinese didn’t have air fields in Tibet so they couldn’t have done that. Had we deployed the Air Force, we could have hit targets in Tibet.

Most of the books were pieces of self-justification. There isn’t much in the Henderson-Brooks report. The government must publish an official account because the people have a right to know. I had to back people like Thapar and Kaul because I was merely processing the government’s instructions. But I wanted my book to be an answer to the lies and it’s all there.


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