Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Y I Patel
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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Y I Patel » 09 Jan 2004 20:58

Sorry for the confusion - I should have said three strike corps instead of 3 strike corps - I ment three as quantity, not three as numerical designation. 3 Corps (3=designation) was in the Jammu area, the old hunting ground of 1 strike corps. Interestingly, the Indep Armd Bde that was considered to deploy with 1 Strike Corps stayed in Jammu area (IIRC - I skimmed over the article a month ago). So 3 Corps had a fairly substantial armoured component at its command.

Mohan - from what I heard from a friend, it was the other way around. Pakis were intensely aware of where 2 corps was - they could see it :eek:

PS
I am recounting from memory, but there was a very interesting shuffle in divisions. 4 Inf Div, which normally goes with 1 Strike corps, went to 3 Corps. On the other hand, divs that we (at BRF) considered to be with 3 Corps went to 1 Corps. This may have been one thing op Parakram let out of the bag, since the anticipated deployment area and formation of a division is always a very important piece of information. Maybe that was one of the things Raychaudhury is referring to. In any case, the knowledge gained on its actual deployment area is not very helpful after a point, considering how amazingly mobile all formations were. If they could move 100s of kms in one direction, how difficult can it be for them to change direction a bit?

Anoop
21 Inf Div, from my memories of two years ago, went to somewhere in Northern Command (as reported by indain papers - could have been misinfo). Significantly, I have not read anything about it being withdrawn, even when hostilities wound down. But I could be mistaken, since it's been very long. In any case, I think it is very significant that there is no mention of that div in the orbat given by the Paki. He does mention other divs and bdes that stayed back in NE, so why not mention 21? I think the omission is very significant.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby somnath » 10 Jan 2004 10:33

about general roychoudhuri's "negative attitude" about the arjun, doesn't seem quite what he himslef had told me a couple of years back. in fact, he seemed very impressed by the arjun and its capabilities. a good article displaying a new pakistani realisation:

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/ayaz/ayaz.htm

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Cybaru » 10 Jan 2004 11:47

It is unfortunate to see what happened to K Vij. Rotten, bad decision.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Anoop » 10 Jan 2004 19:00

Yogi, point taken about 21 Inf Div.'s absence from the list, even as a stay behind formation. Your statement jogged my (perhaps false) memory of a report in Pioneer about 21 Corps' movement to Jammu area in Sept/Oct. 2001. At that time, it didn't make sense to me why a Strike Corps would move to an area not suited for large scale armour action. Now I realise I might have misread 21 Corps for 21 Div :o .

If you recall, Pakis had conducted an exercise of their own in the area in Nov. or so and one of their Divisions had stayed behind after the exercise. Gen. Paddy had hinted at that presence in his first press conference in Jan 2002 in response to a question of why there wasn't immediate retaliation for the Parliament attack.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Mandeep » 10 Jan 2004 22:30

It was 27 Mtn Div ex-XXXIII Corps, located around Kalimpong in W. Bengal and not 21 which went to Jammu both in 2001 and during Op Parakram.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Anaath » 11 Jan 2004 02:59

For the near future, the military lessons learned from Parakram will remain somewhat under-analyzed for obvious reasons.

Is this an invitation for sundry commentators to conclude that "India is weak"? Difficult to tell.

It must be understood that the India-Pakistan conflict is no mere friendly neighbourhood brawl, it a conflict for the ages.

Matters of victory and defeat will be decided not just by the force of arms, but by competitive grand-national mobilizations that could perhaps last generations. Soft power, encompassing demography, economic robustness (dependent on global trade linkages), cultural resilience and technological prowess will play an important part.

Paying insufficient attention to this reality could produce near-term gratification but long-term disaster. India is not the third Reich and Parakram was probably never intended to be like Barbarossa.

Lightning may strike twice before another opportunity like 1971 comes along but when it does India will likely make the most of it. Powerful people in Rawalpindi realize this and seem to be acting accordingly.

A thorough analysis of their actions in J&K and Balochistan would attest to this.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Anoop » 11 Jan 2004 06:23

Mandeep, thanks for the clarification. Can you comment on the disposition of Pakistani forces during Op. Parakram? Particularly elements of the XI and XII Corps. I ask because I came across a comment on BRF that the fact that these remained on their western border suggested that Pak believed that no attack was forthcoming.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Mandeep » 12 Jan 2004 21:44

Originally posted by Anoop:
Mandeep, thanks for the clarification. Can you comment on the disposition of Pakistani forces during Op. Parakram? Particularly elements of the XI and XII Corps. I ask because I came across a comment on BRF that the fact that these remained on their western border suggested that Pak believed that no attack was forthcoming.
Well the Pakis had to leave elements ( and I mean elements, not the whole Corps or even the HQ ) of both XI and XII Corps in situ to handle the AQ/Taliban problem. While XII Corps was around Rahim Yar Khan, XI Corps mobilised as Army Reserve Centre with an inf div and an indep armd bde. This was variously reported as being seen around Sheikhupura or Suleimanke. I'm certain that after the shift of Indian II Corps towards South-Western Punjab in June 2002, ARC did move to Suleimanke/Vihari in response.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 14 Jan 2004 08:38

I don't want this topic to fall out of the bottom of the forum - but I have not yet done the possibly useful job of reading the Parakram book I have, but I will blabber something nevertheless.

Mobilizations are like foreplay, and whether they are followed by any action of not, mobilizations have taken place at various times.

1.Quoting from memory, I would say that there was no "general mobilization" during the 1947-48 hostilities when jihadis grabbed the part of Kashmir now occupied by Pakistani forces. (WAR)

2.A General mobilization, and a wide-front war took place in 1965 (WAR)

3.Another general mobilization and another wide-front war took place in 1971 (WAR)

4.A possible general mobilization took place during Brass Tacks - leading to panic and worries of war- when was that - 1989? (NO WAR)

5.In 1999 - another local "Kashmir war" (Kargil)- and like 1947-48, no general offensive mobilization (WAR)

6.Then in 2001, another general mobilization, no war. (Parakram) (NO WAR)

7. Terrorism against India is a low grade war. (WAR)

8. Pakistanis love to include 1984 action in Siachen as a conflict. Perhaps it is. (WAR)

In 57 years, there have been 4 general mobilizations - two have involved wars. (50%)

In this period, there have been 6 actual fighting wars, and 4 of them have not involved general mobilization , that is 66% of the fighting wars have not involved general mobilization.

Having said that, out of 8 face-offs between India and Pakistan, 6 have involved fighting (75%), and of these , 4 - i.e. 50% have been localised wars/fighting.

Of the 4 occasions on which "general mobilization" has occured - war happened on both the occasions when Pakistan had initiated the mobilization. War did not happen on both the occasions that India initiared the mobilization.

Looking at "ongoing localised war" (Siachen/terrorism) between India and Pakistan - the action is restricted to a level that both countries can afford to maintain indefinitely.

Comparing relative strengths of armed forces: teh India army (after allowing for China) has a minor 1.2:1 edge over Pakistan. The IAF too, after allowing from teh North, has only a 1:1 (maybe a bit better) ratio over Pakistan. Only the India Navy enjoys a 2:1 edge.

Comparing countries, India has 4 times the land area and 7 times the population of Pakistan. If India had invested in the army/air force to the extent that Pakistan has done, India should have had a 4:1 or 7:1 edge over Pakistan - on theory more than enough to overrun Pakistan.

I will not compare the economy GNP etc - but I think the Indian GNP actually outstips Pak GNP by more than 7:1 and the per capita debt burden and per capita aid received are both lower for India.

It appears that India has never had the intent to overrun Pakistan militarily. If India needs to do that India will require a 3 million man army, or al least a 3000 aircraft modern air force with 1500 combat aircraft. The Indian "thrust" for 56 years has been merely to keep the Indian armed forces just strong enough to avoid defeat from Pakistan or any other force. "Whatever your length, I will stay 1 cm longer"

Indians perhaps need to be thankful to both China and Pakistan for having woken Indian leaders up enough to allow this basic minimum in armed strength. I am not at all sure that this defensive stalemet is leading to any solutions. As the economy improves - I think India needs to invest in a seriously modern and seriously potent armed forces machinery that can be used to apply the coercive force required to handle the riff raff in our region.

Any move by India to do that will be opposed by all the riff raff that India has belligerent intent. But history does not bear that out - India has been as docile as a mouse and need to be more assertive.

JMT

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 03 Feb 2004 05:51

http://in.news.yahoo.com/040202/43/2b9kz.html

"The massive deployment was preparatory to going to war," Padmanabhan said, referring to the mobilization of troops on the border following the December 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based outfits.

"The windows were there, one gigantic open window (to launch war)", but the cabinet decision never came, he said, adding the decision to launch operations had to be taken at the political level.

Padmanabhan disagreed the 10-month-long deployment was a "futile exercise" and said it was used for intensive training of troops in war-like conditions.

He brushed aside suggestions that Pakistan's nuclear deterrence had prevented the war, saying Islamabad had no credible deterrent at that time.

"They were naked," he contended.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-470792,curpg-1.cms

In a throwback to the days of Indo-Pak tensions following the terror attack on Parliament, the then Army Chief Gen S Padmanabhan today said "favourable circumstances and tides" were allowed to "pass" during the year-long full-fledged army deployment in Operation Parakram which was "conceived for specific operational purposes".

Strongly rebutting a suggestion that Pakistan's nuclear deterrence had acted as a "dampener" to any cross border operations by India, he said, "Pakistan's response had been adequately studied and factored in. No, they had nothing. We had them by the tail".
...
While refusing to go into specific war plans saying that service restrictions did not allow him to disclose them, he said that during the operation "circumstances and tides were very favourable to India. They passed time and again".



He said Op Parakram deployment was "cogent" and in place by January 8 and said whether to launch or not to launch operations was political.

Asked if US intervention had stalled the operations at the last moment, Padmanabhan said, "I would not like to talk about it".

For the first time, the former army chief said that during the operation even army commanders were not given the nuclear button which remained with the Chairman, Chief of Staff Committee who held it for political high command.

...

The General said that preparations for "operations" were "almost on the cards till the Republic day" but were changed by the country's political leadership.

 

To a volley of questions whether the deployment had served its purpose, he said that at no time during the entire 7 to 8 months period any fatigue or morale problems were noticed among the troops.

During the hour-long news conference, Padmanabhan said that twice the "operations" came very near to being launched first in the opening months of deployment and later again in autumn.

He said troops had been pulled out in summer from the international border but the deployment was in place in Jammu and Kashmir. Enhanced manpower was used to launch vigorous anti terrorist operations which yielded immense benefits, he said.

To questions to the deployment having been too long, the former army chief retorted that deployment was for bigger period of time in both the 1965 and 1971 wars. This time the difference was we came back without fighting a war".

Incidentally, in his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations commitee, Uneven Cohen, (in his wisdom and knowledge of what Indians are thinking) says:


Indian Generals could not promise that a limited war against Pakistan would not go nuclear, and the political leadership concluded that the risks of war were too great.
hmmmm :roll:

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby SaiK » 06 Feb 2004 03:15

http://www.hindu.com/2004/02/06/stories/2004020604461200.htm

Gen. Padmanabhan mulls over lessons of Operation Parakram

According to Gen. Padmanabhan, the kinds of limited strikes some were pushing for would have been "totally futile." "If you really want to punish someone for something very terrible he has done," he said, "you smash him. You destroy his weapons and capture his territory." "War is a serious business," he continues, "and you don't go just like that. When December 13 happened, my strike formations were at peace locations. At that point, I did not have the capability to mobilise large forces to go across."

Military doctrine — problems

"You could certainly question why we are so dependent on our strike formations," he said, and "and why my holding Corps don't have the capability to do the same tasks from a cold start. This is something I have worked on while in office. Perhaps, in time, it will be our military doctrine."

Correctives being taken

"Everyone seems to feel that the U.S. held us back," Gen. Padmanabhan says. "Perhaps they did; perhaps they didn't. I don't know anything specific on this. I do know that that there was great consternation on the other side, Pakistan, because of the huge Indian build-up. Finally, it was a decision that had to be made by our political masters."

..

lessons of the Kargil war remained unlearned.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby ramana » 10 Feb 2004 20:58

Ranjit Rai in Pioneer, 2/10/2004....

In the Army now...

Ranjit B Rai

The Indian Army can lay claim to one of the largest repository of combat experience, having held its own against world class Armies like the Germans, Japanese and Turks in the two World Wars of the last century. The Indian




Army deserves to be congratulated for its post-independence service and sacrifices for the nation and claim to be one of the most combat-tested militaries in the world. It has, since 1947, fought five major short-duration and high-intensity conflicts Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in 1947-1948, against China in 1962, and against Pakistan in 1965, 1971 and 1999.



In addition, it has a wealth of experience in the genre of low-intensity conflict. It has combated insurgencies in the North-East, a vicious terrorist movement in Punjab, and has almost succeeded in taming a fault-line jihad in J&K. It is this tradition and experience of battle that makes the Indian Army regiments so loyal, that they are the envy of many nations.



However, it needs to be understood that the performance of the Indian Army in the post-Independent period at the level of operational art has been an attrition-based philosophy for victory, resulting in loss of many lives, and no gain in territory. In Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan between 1987-90, the Army was bruised badly and at the 6th Asian Security Seminar held recently by IDSA at the Vigyan Bhavan Sri Lanka's former Foreign Minister Lakshmanathan Kadirgamar made much of it to explain how deadly the LTTE is.



There is dire need of outgrowing this attrition-based Pakistan-centric mindset, and make a transition from attrition to manoeuvre and joint intelligence and air and land based warfare, to obtain clearly defined political aims. This is the call of the day and it rankles many thinkers of how to go about it with such a huge Army.



The Army can no longer go it alone in the future without air power support as the two Iraq wars and Kosovo operations showed, or without a base of the technological inputs of net centric warfare and clear cut political direction. This is the philosophical message of General S Padmanabhan. He took over the Indian Army after the Kargil war in 1999, which had taken many unnecessary lives and for the first 20 days of the war, regrettably air support was lacking despite a powerful and capable Air Force. The inquiry findings were released without the chapter on this aspect. This is the reason the Indian Navy pressed for Gorshkov as no blue water Navy can operate with out integral air support.



General S Padmanabhan, who saw the Indian Army through Operation Parakram, the longest mobilisation of an army in recent history, to depict how in 2017, India befriends China and over-runs Pakistan's POK, and when America tries to intervene the Indian Armed forces give it telling times for 60 hours. India's secret and superior technology cripples American banks with cyber war and the US agrees to many Indian terms. By now POK is in Indian hands, and Pakistan agrees to live in harmony with India, now a power to reckon with. It is Indian DRDO technology that enables fictitious characters like a Scientific Adviser, an Army Chief, an IAF Air Marshal, a Naval Admiral and two bureaucrats in the IFS and IAS to become friends in the book like the gang of five to think out things and make it clear to the reader what the author is getting at.



General Padmanabhan has, in a fictitious future scenario, attempted to depict how India should prepare to meet aggression by any developed country including the US. The propensity of the US to act unilaterally against other countries in disregard of the UN in what President Bush calls "preemptive defence" was clearly demonstrated in the Iraq war in 2003, and the author brings this out. He affirms that it should indicate to India that it too could face military action by the US, under certain circumstances.



The General also makes a strong case for strengthening the UN and endowing it with the wherewithal to make its writ run. Failure to do so, the author apprehends, will impose on the nations of the world, a Pax Americana, which will have as infelicitous an end as Pax Romana or Pax Britannia. The other message of the book makes interesting reading for the incisive reader to appreciate India's military-cum-political workings. It first explains how India's defence apparatus works and how the MOD, MEA and the scientific community work with the Government.



The message for the Indian Army is it cannot go it alone and technology and homegrown ideas "out of the box" are the call. This is essential and India can do it, is the simple proposition that General Padmanabhan has tried to convey

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Sunil » 10 Feb 2004 23:32

Hi,

The average time to conc area or forward deployment for *ANY* Pakistani formation is about 1 week. The times for Indian formations are about double that. (Refer to the Pakistani article about Parakram).

The entire conventional Pakistani strategy relies on being able to gain escalation dominance by placing their formations in strength at positions of advantage before India can get its act together. This was in part what Ravi Rikhye, S P Cohen and a lot of other scholars were referring to during the Parakram standoff and this is precisely what changed. Indian formations got to their conc areas before the Pakistanis could get their defence lines worked out.

The speed with which Indian formations moved threw the Pakistanis off completely. As YIP points out the inability to see this coming must have created absolute panic in GHQ.

The Pakistanis won't be caught off guard by this same move again. The lesson from Parakram is that this sort of thing can only work once and to gain an advantage in the war that may come, the Armed forces need to think beyond the limits that they set to their thinking for the last 20 something years. The concept of mere mobility now needs to give way to a broader concept of flexibility.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Umrao » 10 Feb 2004 23:35

The Pakistanis won't be caught off guard again. The lesson from Parakram is that this sort of thing can only work once and to gain an advantage in the war that may come, the Armed forces need to think beyond the limits that they set to their thinking for the last 20 something years. The concept of mere mobility now needs to give way to a broader concept of flexibility.
The above was exactly my bone with "War of Thousand threats" of yogic vision.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Sunil » 11 Feb 2004 01:22

Jumrao,

I am not sure I follow what you are saying, so let me clarify what I have said there.

The "war of a thousand threats" is still possible but to keep that working, we can't simply rely on having a quick mobilization time. There has to be a credible shift to a truly amorphous response, that leaves the Pakistanis in that same relentless fog of war.

For every threat the Pakistanis project India should be able to project atleast 11. This will systematically erode the Pakistani notion that One Pakistani is equal to Ten Indians and push things into a region beyond the range of their mental capability. The Pakistanis will simply not know where the next blow is going to come from, and will be left guessing about what to do to deter it.

The Parakram escalation sequence resulted in India projecting its ability to fight a short and decisive war - something Pakistan simply could not handle. The next escalation should showcase something beyond this.

It is easy for us armchair generals to say these things, but to get military commanders on the field to actually implement something even vaguely similar to this is a very difficult task. It will require a major shift in the thinking of people at all levels. That is the kind of thing that Gen. Paddy is talking about.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 04:45

deep strike attacks to disrupt their communication zone along the Indus at say only 1-2 days of notice is the next step in ladder of capabilities. robust helilift, C3I and airborne para/SF capabilities.

a obvious capability of total air superiority over a theatre is another mode of mental trauma. deliberate airspace violation followed by a quick shootdown of the 2 F7PGs that come racing like terriers to the scene then a leisurely withdrawal.

unexpected pinpoint Smerch attack on a couple of large arms dumps or barracks thought to be beyond indian range.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Kanu » 11 Feb 2004 04:55

Exactly how do we expect to pacify the cities? Maybe I've watched to many movies, but street to street fighting against a fanatical enemy isn't good. I would hate to have to attack the mess that is Karachi. 20 million people!! Will we siege it? Wait for them to declare it a open city or starve them out? I doubt they'll just let us march in!

In the bigger picture has India ever considered a amphibious landing to hit the Pakistani rear with a small but deadly force thus forcing them to fight on two fronts? There was also some stuff that Iran would let India use its terr. to attack from or something.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 05:18

iran is too far away from karachi but india is
seriously upg'ing its amphibious capabilities over the next decade. four more LSTs have been ordered from GRSE and more formations given amphib training.

for paki cities I wasnt aware we planned to conquer and hold territory - just cause as much damage to PA/PAF in a short time and leave. in such circumstances cities are best left alone or shelled to bits from a safe distance if needs dictate.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Abhisham » 11 Feb 2004 05:28

Holding territory is one of the integral parts of any war strategy. It gives you a leverage while discussing terms after the war. Aftermath of wars usually end up each country claiming numerous kills and minimal losses. Lessons are tought not only thru total distruction but occouping something that belongs to your enemy which causes this feeling of loss that is not easily forgotten.

Abhisham

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Kanu » 11 Feb 2004 05:34

Yes, holding terr. will make them sh!t their H&D when we get to the final peace table.

That's why I hope the IA plan to hold atleast significant bits of Punjab, Sindhi and even Balochistan if possible.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby sudipn » 11 Feb 2004 05:49

Guys I Think we ought to a take a leaf on battle tactics from the US and may be improvise/tailor them to suite our conditions. The Concept of total war.
The Idea should be to launch so many attacks at one time that the pakis would need to send reinforcement to as many corners as possible.
This could be done using
1> Airbases in Central Asian republic ..Aini
2> Arial refueling over the Arabian sea and hitting baloochistan..
3> complete blockade of the karakoram highway. Guys if the Nh1 is important to us the karakoram highway is equally important to them.
4> Complete and systematic attack on radar posts rendering them blind and ineffective.
5> Pakistan has a flop transport infrastructure use it against them. Hit vital transport links wherever and whenever..

So much so that if mushy triers to use his sensors to jam another car bomb attack those should be taken out using HARM missiles. :-)
(a bit too much han but what the heck its my take on things )
ne ways
cheers guys.
Sudip

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby JCage » 11 Feb 2004 05:53

The point is that what General Paddy seems to be implying is that the IA needs to invest in overmatch in a big way. Look at the US way of doing things. They dont need to keep most of what they are capable of doing, under wraps, since they are so superior.

In essence, Umrao sahab you should be pleased. The decision makers seem to be waking up and equipping the IA, IAF and IN to a standard wherein overmatch is a given.

The yogic war of a thousand threats...well, each threat say an artillery exchange results in umpteen casualties for the faithful thanks to our UAV's, WLR's and HALO's...then what. The "threat" itself has a painful sting to it.

What a far cry from the days when the faithful used to brag about their tech savvy army vis a vis the heavy obsolete indian horde- which was a blind even then...but now its patently clear as to who has what.

The loser is the one scampering to make mujahid/ cannon fodder battalions and writing editorials about its nuke deterrent sinking in the potomac. ROTFL.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Kanu » 11 Feb 2004 05:54

Yes, we have to totally overwhel their Command, Control and Communications system. Then do a blitz, they shouldn't even know what happened. By the time they figure out what transpired we should be atleast till Lahore and maybe even on the banks of the Indus.

Get their comm, radar, bridges, ammo dumps, forwrd columns. Screw them so bad that they can't organize themselves for any plausible change of tactics or controlled retreat.

We should ideally be like 1/2 or 1 full generation ahead of them in every field. We need quantity and quality. I think that will be accomplished by 2010, we will clearly be superior to them. We already are in many ways, but our minds still seemed to be focused on attrition based warfare. We should not accept casualties, we have to kill them. Everyone knows the Patton quote right! :D

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Anaath » 11 Feb 2004 06:09

Parakram should be seen as three simultaneous contests.

1) Between Bharat Mata and Uncle Sam: Bharat Mata won because Uncle Sam started to(seem to)take TSP's terrorism against India seriously

2) Between Bharat Mata & TSP: Bharat Mata won (peace moves etc.)

3) Between TSP & Uncle Sam: TSP won. Renewed lease of life, H&D, freedom (perhaps not unfettered) to proliferate etc.

Of course these 2 victories and 1 defeat are by no means permanent, but 3) is downright dangerous, as documented by Shri B. Raman

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 07:33

I meant holding territory only until negotiations are over, keeping some slight portions if it helps our security. in that scheme no need for urban fighting. if PA takes cover inside cities, shell the cities mercilessly from outside.

the karakoram highway will be closed by IAF within a few hours of any hostilities.thats been
part of the gameplan ever since it was constructed. I dont think however that its a source of great support/replenishment for PA.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 11 Feb 2004 07:51

Originally posted by Kanu:
Yes, we have to totally overwhel their Command, Control and Communications system. Then do a blitz, they shouldn't even know what happened.
Absolutely.

The point that Paddy is said to have made about "intergral" air power needs to be added to the very pertinent points made by Jasjit Singh in his inimitable clear fashion.

"Integral" air power with any force by itself is no good unless the air power is "intergrated" to work in a seamless fashion with other armed forces.

And again - air power (like sea power/land forces) are a "speciality" to be dealt with by specialists not unlike the need for separate bone surgeons and gynecological surgeons for bone problems and gynecological problems.

For example - look at a situation that Jasjit Singh describes: The enemy attacks a particualr area with a strong armored thrust - as part of a wide front war. Examples would be the Paki thrust at Akhnoor in 1965, or Longewala in 1971. Indian defences are being pushed back in the region - or under pressure. At the same time the attacking forces have a "tail" - a supply line and support from their side.

Now the defending soldier will want direct support on the battlefield. He will want attacking tanks to be picked off and artillery knocked out. He will want enemy support aircraft and helos shot down over the battle field.

But air power is limited, Only x of planes and y aircraft are available - so what to do? For this Jasjit has some very pertinent lessons based on the history of successes and failures in past wars all over the world - starting from before WW2

He says that being tempted to support the army in the battlefield can sometimes lead to loss of the battle. The batlefield bristles with AA guns - both enemy and friendly. Attrition is high and in the confusion of battle nobody knows who is hitting whom. Friendly fire incidents are very common. And while this is going on - the enemy supply line is untouched - because all your planes are busy protecting your soldiers in the battlefield. And the attacking forces keep coming on.

In the middle of this acute crisis - there is no point hitting factories and ports - which can only affect the war after months - we may lose the battle in hours.

Jasjit says that in this sort of situation, with limited air forces - the best thing to do to change the course of the battle is to use your air power to hit the enemy where he is weakest - that is in his supply line. The moving convoys do not have ready and fixed air defences, and the convoys will have further and further to go as the enemy advances into YOUR territory. So hit his command and control, hit his air defences and hit his fuel and food supply. This may mean that your soldier in the battlefront is left with less air cover than he wants, but that is the trade off. Once the enemy supply line is choked off - his attack and advance will peter out.

If you try to hit the battlefront, you have a lot of attrition that you cannot sustain, and the supply line is intact. A battleront is a concentration of firepower - unlike a moving supply line.

All this requires air dominance. And air dominance in the early part of the 21st century involves very high tech electronics - elint, ECM ECCM and smart munitions, UAVs avd UACVs, Satellite comm and intergrated battlefield info systems. Money and effort spent in these areas is most likely to help - at least until the next major tech revolution.

We still have a way to go before we get there - it is the civilian-military complex that makes the difference here. India is still a "tier two" technological pwer - in fact it is Lower tier two - as opposed to Israel which is upper tier two. India will need to become a tier 1 technical power to "have arrived"

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Khalsa » 11 Feb 2004 08:34

I think we saw a very similar scenario in Iraq 2003 with the Jessica Lynch's convoy getting eliminated. The tail getting sliced. Imagine if Iraqis had this organised and much well supported.

Being fortunate enough to have talked to an Army Officer who spent years in Israel as part of UN he told me that the best protected part of an Israeli Armoured Brigade was its Supply chain and not the front end of Mekrava.

Israelis were the only ones who had almost perfected the protection of their tail as referred above and were able to subsequently make huge dashes into the enemy territory to cut off his tail.

He mentioned that US often sought as an advice, that part of battlefield management from the Israelis. Whether Israelis were forthcoming with that knowledge is not known. Probably not from how they faired Iraq in the 2003.

Just started to read a book about Panzer Divisions in WWII and at almost every place Panzers seem to have been stopped after mostly outrunning their supply chain or their Chain being caugh in an unprepared ambush.

Shiv catches a good point here

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 11 Feb 2004 10:27

Originally posted by Khalsa:

Israelis were the only ones who had almost perfected the protection of their tail as referred above and were able to subsequently make huge dashes into the enemy territory to cut off his tail.
The Israelis of course were the first people in the world to taste the blood of battlefield aircraft attrition in 1973. They were also the first to use the concept of EW / Elint and total air dominance in Syria in the Bekaa valley attacks of 1982 - long before Kosovo or Gulf war 1

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Y I Patel » 11 Feb 2004 21:15

Jumrao: if repetition causes loss of power, why do we chant our maala 108 times?

Anyways. From Sai Krishna's excerpts of Paddy's interview (previous page of this thread)

"You could certainly question why we are so dependent on our strike formations," he said, and "and why my holding Corps don't have the capability to do the same tasks from a cold start. This is something I have worked on while in office. Perhaps, in time, it will be our military doctrine."
Think of how ominous such a development would be, seen from the wrong side of the IB/LOC. To me, this is the one of the most revealing outcomes of Parakram that I have read so far.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 21:24

didnt the german ardennes offensive of 1944-45 winter get halted by lack of fuel and the stopped armour columns mauled by allied planes?

we need about 8 strike corps of equal capability.
1 - rann (embedded with amphib formations)-go for hyderabad in sindh.

4 - rajasthan ( 2 major attacks one on RYK, one on sukkur to absolutely destroy their central and best formations and reach east shore of indus in D+3)
1 - punjab (deal with mangla corps, surround lahore)
2 - jammu chicken neck and LOC (more light, airborne)->point dagger at islamabad from south.
airborne multi brigade invasion of NA and in siachen rear areas.

PA is obtaining about 40 refurbished AH-1Fs this
year under baksheesh. this one must have been their most fervent request after parakram.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Vick » 11 Feb 2004 21:28

The Germans made a tactical error by using their heaviest tanks the King Tigers as the tip of the offensive. They got bogged down after the intial contacts with the unsuspecting enemy. And yes, they eventually ran out of gas and as the weather cleared, the Allied anti-armor aircraft took down the tanks, King Tigers and all.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Umrao » 11 Feb 2004 21:50

Why not agument the mechanised columns to have their own close and low air support theu army aviation corps (equiped with Helicopter Gun ships and 2/3 squadrons of Su-25 tank killer type poor mans thunderbolts) so that IAF is not distracted from what it can do best.

(yes there will be turf wars, but the objective of tight integration is built in right?)

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 21:56

jumrao the army aviation corps already controls
the gunships I believe...and Dhruvs are inbound in hundreds, plus LCH.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby fanne » 11 Feb 2004 22:18

Rudra,
The only change I would make is instead of 4 desert 'strike' formation, have 3 or 2 but have 1 mountain 'strike' or highly mobile formation. Remember, the only land that we will keep after
the war will be POK

rgds,
fanne

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Rudra » 11 Feb 2004 22:52

well i already gave 2 mobile corps to Jammu-LOC and
even sent one of them to clean up POK. the other one penetrates via the chicken neck area where the
terrain is better than LOC and turns north to attack the PA rear along the LOC. this should introduce a massive jolt into the 'system'.

the punjab corps surrounds lahore and kills everyone man, woman, dog, jihadi found in mudrike. it soaks up the mangla corps and whatever else...letting them wash like waves over prepared lines near lahore...turning the PA DCB complex against them. lahore is a prestige issue they cant afford to let it go lest india decide to keep it.

RYK, Sukkur and Hyderabad would be targets of
the formations further south. indus in D+4 max.
its only around 100km from jaisalmer-barmer belt.

an a IA amphib brigade launches a 2-day dieppe style raid on karachi to destroy the naval facility and oil farms before withdrawing...just
as panicky reinforcements start arriving from the
afghan border garrison...these are mercilessly picked off by IAF in the open baluch desert roads from quetta.

a smaller force takes out gwader.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Bishwa » 11 Feb 2004 23:04

Why not agument the mechanised columns to have their own close and low air support theu army aviation corps (equiped with Helicopter Gun ships and 2/3 squadrons of Su-25 tank killer type poor mans thunderbolts)

Umrao Jan,
The IAF Mi25/35 are under the operational control of the army. There are 3 Sqns of attack helos and 3 Strike Corps.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shiv » 12 Feb 2004 05:57

Originally posted by John Umrao:
Why not agument the mechanised columns to have their own close and low air support theu army aviation corps (equiped with Helicopter Gun ships and 2/3 squadrons of Su-25 tank killer type poor mans thunderbolts) so that IAF is not distracted from what it can do best.

(yes there will be turf wars, but the objective of tight integration is built in right?)
Jumrao - this is the "ideal" situation - in a sense. Jasjit Singh deals with this.

According to him (of course he is an Air Firce man) it is naive to think of a small limited "air force" operated by the army because once you start thinking like the air force you will want to start doing things that the air force does and then you have to make an air force out of the army, with the attendant resourse crunch for expensive training and equipment. And you may not do it well because you have an "army buddhi" and think like an armyman.

If you are air force with no connection with the army you may end up doing useless things that only YOU can do which does not win the war - eg you may be bombing enemy factories and fortresses while he is busy taking over your territory, defeating your army.

Ulitmately, but within limits, air force is air force, army is army - and both need to be tightly coordinated. They need to train together and officers from one force need to go in with the other force during action to see what assets each force has and how they can help the other force. There must be groups of air force officiers who can see and think like army officers and groups of army officers who can see and think like AF officers.

There will always be "encroachment". The Army gets its own attack helos. The Air Force gets its own commando force etc. There are precedents. The USAF is a late entry - it was US army aviation that took off first. But the US too has learned a lot of lessons in coordination and integration and there are things we can take out of their book within the limits of our budget.

All militaries, all wars, all weapons and all tactics are constantly evolving - with lessons from one era being applied in the next, technology of one era being defeated in the next, or new technology being defeated by older tactics. So the offcier corps have to be thinkers and scholars apart from fighting men to keep abreast with history, technology and management of huge groups of people and equipment.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shaunak » 14 Feb 2004 22:54

Originally posted by ramana:
There was a report that IA is interested in smart mines after the long and ardous demining ops post Op PK.
I'm working on a part of an area-denial anti-personnel landmine which will be rocket delivered and smart, for ARDE, Pune. (Part of my BE Project).

I'm not working on the electronics, but understand that the mines will be such that an active period will be set by the handlers (army personnel) which would range from 10 to 100+ days. After that period, the mine deactivates and the battery needs to be recharged.

I'm sure this will help reduce the number of de-mining casualties.

Cheers,
Shaunak.

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby Jagan » 14 Feb 2004 22:59

The IAF Mi25/35 are under the operational control of the army. There are 3 Sqns of attack helos and 3 Strike Corps.
Bishwa,

Only two Mi-25/35 Units are there, 104 and 125. Never heard of a third unit.

Jagan

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Re: Operation Parakram: An Analysis

Postby shaunak » 14 Feb 2004 22:59

Originally posted by ramana:
Shiv, You forgot soccer balls etc for the recreation of the troops.
Friend's uncle, Brigadier, on IB near Jammu. Before the ceasefire, in the evenings, when the Pakis would play volleyball (the IA could see only the ball going up and down in the distance), a few sharpshooters would compete to shoot as many Paki volleyballs as they could. The Paki army must be supplying their soldiers a lot of Balls (the IA averaged a ball a day), cause their top brass sure ain't got any. :rotfl: :rotfl:

Cheers,
Shaunak


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