Books that cover Indian Armed Forces and its History

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Re: Books that cover Indian Armed forces and its History

Postby klemen » 01 May 2004 00:20

I have the Dogra Regimental History publication with me... the 3/17th became the 3rd Dogras if i am not mistaken. If you have any questions about the Dogras you can e-mail me at...
WOW, Sachin!!!! :) Also any information about the regimental history of the 15th Punjab Regiment in WW2 are most welcomed.

Do the Regimental centers maintain copies which can be purchased by the general public?
Something what interests me too. ;) I also wonder what is the story with the Indian WW2 Official Volumes? I couldn't find anything on net about the current Publishing House "Orient Longmans" from Calcutta, which published most of the Indian WW2 official volumes, so I presume they are "out of work" too. My wild guess would be that they store such copies at the regimental centres and or in the Indian Military Historical Department (Section). ;) One of the options to get the information on the regimental level is also to order the photocopies from the regimental war diaries. I think most of them are available at the Public Records Office and from what I have heard the fee for xerox copies are not too high.

lp,

Klemen

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Re: Books that cover Indian Armed forces and its History

Postby klemen » 08 May 2004 18:37

I was wondering ( :roll: )if anyone of you might posses one of the following three books. I would like to ask some questions concerning the battle at Jitra on 11th and 12th December 1941 and the Soerabaja Uprising in September-November 1945.

* Abhyankar, M.B.: "Valour Enshrined" - A History of the Mahratta Light Infantry [1968-1947]"; Orient Longmans, 1971
* Stevens, G.R.: "History of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles (Volume III)", 1984
* Lawford, MC Lieut-Col J P and Catto, Major W E: " Solah Punjab, The History of the 16th Punjab Regiment"; Gale & Polden Ltd, Aldershot, UK, 1967

Klemen

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Postby Babui » 31 Dec 2004 04:08

Just came across a gem of a book. Possibly the best historical war fiction I've read on the Indian army. Its "Legion of the Brave" by DP Ramachndran ('DPR'). DPR is an ex-cavalry officer who saw action in the '71 war on the Eastern Front. He mentions in the book that he always wanted to write a factual account of the exploits of his unit but didn't have the time to research all the after battle facts. So he wrote his book as fiction. Yet the detail in the book and the description of tank and infantry battles is so authentic and so tautly written that I could not stop reading until I had finsihed the book in one session. The battles are described from the point of view of a captain in a cavalry unit complete with the fog of war as experienced by a tank squadron commander. THe infantry charges are also well described. The book starts a few days before the start of the war and ends after the war is over. The detail in the book about how soldiers in the IA behave and talk to each other is very authentic. It is clear from reading this book, that the author went through the battle experiences himself. A must read.
[I picked this book up in Calcutta's New Market]

Another book that is useful to military buffs is Maj Gen Ian Cardozo's, 'Paramvir'. It is a description (including citations) of the battles fought by the Paramvir Chakra winners with some useful background of the winners themselves. A very good reference book.

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Postby ramana » 29 Jan 2005 01:11

From Pioneer, 29 Jan., 2005

The Gentlemen Soldiers

Brigadier Amrit Kapur

The gallant dogras: An illustrated history of the Dogra Regiment, By Lt Gen Shankar Prasad, Lancer Publishers, Rs 2500



Traditionally, the history of the Dogra soldier goes back to over three thousand years way back to 1200 BC. The main invasion route for centuries was across the Hindukush mountains through the Khyber Pass to reach Delhi via Punjab. The hilly region on the Eastern and North Eastern hanks of this route inhabited by the Dogra clan disallowed penetration for centuries due to their steadfastness and tenacity. To the Dogra, soldiering is a family tradition that brings him joy and contentment. This illustrated history with rare photographs traces ethos and growth of the Dogra Regiment over the past 117 years.



Inhabitants of 'Duggar', or Dogra land, hail from the Jammu region and the hill tracts of erstwhile Punjab Hill states and for their courage, chivalry, and military genius were recruited in large numbers in the Indian army. The book lists out the saga of challenges faced and victories won by the Regiment post-1947. The extraordinary achievements in various battlefields have been vividly recorded through easily discernible and well-produced maps. Special mention needs to be made of Dogras contribution in addition to 1 PARA in the Battle Of Gitian which turned the tide in 1965 in the Hajipur sector. The text supported by simple but well-illustrated maps includes a crisp account of the battle fought by valiant Dogras. In recognition of the bravery by the Dogras, the objective was named 'Dogra Hill'.



The profile of the Dogra soldier that emerges from the book in war against terrorism, battle in Siachin and peace keeping in Sri Lanka is one of the dedicated professionalism, mixed with compassion for the common man. This in turn has endeared him to one and all, raising the image of the Army as a whole. Possibly the most interesting chapter with excellent photographs of training in the book is on the Dogra Regimental Centre. This being the crucible into which are thrown young, gawky boys from villages, who than within eleven months are transformed into the most sought after gentlemen soldiers. The battle accounts of important battles fought by the Regiment are well researched and chronically described which makes interesting reading. The book also gives the pride of place to the cutting edge of the Dogra Regiment through brief but comprehensive account of each of its 27 Battalions. They climbed new heights with General NC Vij, the first officer to be commissioned directly in the regiment took over as the Chief of the Army Staff - a first in the annals of the Dogra Regiment.



This book would be of great interest to military historians as history has deftly been tucked into pictorial representation- a collector's item in terms of excellence in publishing. The quality and design of the book shows that Indian publishers are now competing successfully with international standards.


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Postby Babui » 10 Feb 2005 23:27

Has anybody read 'Buddhas Warriors' by Mikel Dunham ? I glanced through it while browsing at B&N. Seems interesting and detailed with photos. Its the story of Tibet's resistance during the Chinese invasion. The author interviewed the actual fighters who are now living in India and Nepal. This book is not strictly 'Indian Armed Forces' but there could be info in it of any Indian participation/help.

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A Packee Reviews Admiral Nanda's book

Postby CPrakash » 06 May 2005 02:09

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/books/books11.htm

Defending the high seas


By Najeeb Anjum

Image

The prime minister would invariably look at her watch at the end of this and ask in a nonchalant manner, ‘Admiral do you have anything to say?’

The Man who Bombed Karachi, a memoir of Admiral S.M. Nanda, former chief of the Indian naval staff, is a welcome addition to the existing South Asian maritime literature. It is ironical that this writing has mostly been done by senior Indian naval officers. For some unknown reasons their Pakistani counterparts have shied away from chronicling their experiences for posterity and enriching our naval history. Admiral I.A. Sirohey, former CNS and CJCSC, is the only exception on our side. In the absence of a well balanced portrayal of events the readers tend to accept the Indian version.

Born in a Punjabi middle class family from Gujranwala, Admiral Nanda spent his early childhood in Manora, then a sleepy island with a population of 400, mostly KPT workers. In 18 chapters, he gives an account of his early years in the Indian Navy followed by a brief mention of his ascent through the naval ranks which included his first command at sea and also his placement as the DG of the naval dockyard expansion scheme.

After assuming the command of the Indian fleet and western naval command, he went on to become the chief of naval staff (1970-73) playing a pivotal role during the tumultuous months of the 1971 war. Admiral Nanda, a communication specialist, served at the Signal School HMIS Talwar at Bombay (during the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in Feb 1946 by the ratings of the communication branch). He observes that the naval mutiny prompted the British government to hasten the granting of independence to India.

Recollecting his days at HMIS Talwar, he recounts his association with Admiral A.R. Khan, Admiral S.M. Ahsan and Cdre M.A. Asif Alavi with nostalgia. The admiral also writes about the final settlement of the prize money awarded to the RIN at the end of the Second World War along with his old shipmate Asif Alavi when they were posted as director of personnel at their respective headquarters in 1955. He also describes his meeting with his old colleague Admiral A.R. Khan, the defence minister of Pakistan at the time, on his way back home on a passenger ship that had docked at Karachi.

While giving the details about the acquisition of new platforms for the Indian navy from the British and the US government, the author states that the western suppliers did not want the Indian navy to grow beyond a modest level. It was only then that India turned to the Soviet Union for its naval maritime needs; the Soviets agreed to meet the Indian requirements on easier terms.

The latter part of the book which highlights the events of 1971, however, does not provide a deeper insight to the reader in any provocative way, since a sizeable literature has already been produced shedding light on the 1971 Indo-Pakistan naval operations. These include Transition to Triumph: History of the Indian Navy 1965-1975, We Dared: Maritime Operations in the 1971 Indo-Pak War, War in the Indian Ocean, No Easy Answers and Story of the Pakistan Navy 1947- 72.

The book under review is thus another attempt to highlight the Indian perspective on the 1971 war. Therefore, at the end of the book the reader is left wondering whether the book is an honest attempt by the author to pen down his memoirs or is aimed at self glorification. Interestingly, the title of the book (suggested by Khushwant Singh according to the author) seems to be a reminder to the Indian nation of the exploits of the navy in the 1971 war, resurrecting the author’s image in the hope of being conferred the rank of a five star admiral, as the army and air force chiefs had already got their share.

The admiral’s name cropped up in the famous Tehelka scandal — an allegation that was confirmed by a former CNS Admiral Bhagwat stating in the Lok Sabha: “Admiral Nanda was the agent of several arms transactions for import of arms.”

Expressing disdain for the marginal role of the navy in the armed conflicts of 1962 and 1965 (though the Indian navy was bottled up in the Bombay port after the Pakistan Navy’s successful attack on Dwarka), the Admiral recalls with hurt ego events prior to the 1971 war when “Mrs Gandhi would hold a daily meeting of the three defence chiefs at her office. S.H.J.F. Manikshaw would offer his suggestion followed by Air Chief Marshal P.C.Lal. The prime minister would invariably look at her watch at the end of this and ask in a nonchalant manner, ‘Admiral do you have anything to say?’ that itself would suggest that the navy stands low in the scheme of things.”

While describing the maritime operations of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan conflict, the author appears too keen to pat himself on the back. The missile boats attack on Karachi that sent shock waves throughout the Pakistan Navy has always been claimed as a major prize by the Indian Navy. But it resulted only in the loss of one destroyer and the sinking of a minesweeper. The author has credited himself by proclaiming “that this idea was essentially mine”. Paradoxically, the accounts of Admiral S.N. Kohli in We Dared and Transition to Triumph: History of the Indian Navy 1965-75 by Vice Admiral G.M. Hiranandani, appear to be at variance from what Admiral Nanda writes. In spite of the fact that it was inhibited by technological inferiority in surface warfare, strategic difficulties, lack of air support and the utter neglect by the powers that be, Pakistan Navy’s performance was respectable. Despite the Ghazi’s loss, Pakistan’s submarine force proved its prowess in the waters and no officer of the Indian Navy of the day denied this fact.

As controversy looms over some contents of this book the perception of the Indian Navy through the eyes of one of its architects makes a compelling read. This book must be read by all naval officers and those who are interested in the maritime affairs of this region.


Admiral S.M. Nanda: The Man Who Bombed Karachi — A MemoirBy Admiral S.M. Nanda HaperCollins. Available with Paramount Books, 152/O, Block 2, PECH Society, Karachi-75400 Tel: 021-4310030. Email: paramount@cyber.net.pk ISBN 81-7223-562-3 320pp. Rs643.85. Reviewed by Najeeb Anjum

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Postby Aditya G » 07 Jun 2005 09:44

Extract from "The CIA's secret war in Tibet". Interesting early history of the ARC.

http://vayu-sena.tripod.com/other-cia-tibet-conboy.html

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Postby Jagan » 07 Oct 2005 01:34

Recent Acquisition

http://sagongs.ipbhost.com/uploads/post ... 157776.jpg

Ian Cardozo, Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle ([New Delhi]: Roli Books, [2003]; ISBN 81-7436-262-2)


The book covers all the PVCs in detail and also the many stories surrounding it, like how it was designed etc. The book attempts to give additional detail on the lives of the PVC Receipents. It suceeds in some cases - like Tarapore, or Rane etc.

The 'scoop' in the book is about Arun Khetarpal. The story narrates how a Pakistani Brigadier hosted the father of Arun Khetarpal when he visited Pakistan in recent years. And towards the end of the trip confessed that he was the person whose tank delivered the fatal shots to khetarpal in the 71 war. Excellent story!

The production quality is excellent and at its price (Rs 250), highly recommended for the shelf.

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Postby Shishir » 04 Dec 2005 04:41

The Gallant Dogras by Lt Gen(Retd) Shankar Prasad, PVSM, VSM,
Lancer Publishers Pvt Ltd 2005
pp 436, Rs 2500
Image

Gentleman soldier
Bidanda M Chengappa


‘To the Dogra, soldiering is a family tradition that brings him joy and contentment’.

This book is an inspiring regimental history of the Indian Army’s Dogra Regiment and is a welcome addition to the existing literature on military history. It is comprehensive with a chapter devoted to the Dogra community— its land, society and customs— that explains how history and geography have conditioned them to be solid soldiers.

It examines the critical battles fought by the Regiment which makes interesting reading, beginning with the World Wars, besides post-independence wars. The British Indian Army successfully fought the Second World War largely because of Indian soldiers like the Dogras who contributed in considerable measure to their victory.

Inhabitants of ‘Duggar’, or ‘Dogra land’ are a handsome race who hail from the Jammu region and the hill tracts of erstwhile Punjab Hill states with names like Jamwal, Mankotia, Jasrotia, Sambial, Katoch, Guleria, Dadwal and Pathania, among others.

Historically, the Dogra soldier goes back to over 3000 years ago (as early as 1200 BC). The main invasion route for centuries was across the Hindukush mountains through the Khyber Pass to reach Delhi via Punjab. The hilly region on the eastern and north-eastern flanks of this route inhabited by the Dogra clan disallowed penetration for centuries due to their steadfastness and tenacity. To the Dogra, soldiering is a family tradition that brings him joy and contentment. This illustrated history with the odd poem explains the ethos and traces the growth of the Dogra Regiment over the past 117 years.

The book highlights the accomplishments of the Dogra Regiment through a brief but comprehensive account of each of its 27 battalions. The Dogras climbed new heights with General NC Vij— the first officer to be commissioned directly in the regiment— who took over as the Chief of the Army Staff. The Third Battalion of the Regiment has the distinction of being the first Indian Army unit to participate in a multi-national assignment during the 1953 Korean crisis and guarded Chinese and North Korean Prisoners of War.

The raw courage of men from 13 Dogra Battalion who fought the Chinese in the Kameng sector in 1962 is heroic. Special mention needs to be made of the Dogras’ contribution, besides that of the First Battalion, Parachute Regiment in the Battle of Gitian, which turned the tide in the 1965 Indo-Pak war in the Hajipur sector. The narrative includes a crisp account of the battle fought by the valiant Dogras. In recognition of their bravery, the territory conquered was named ‘Doga Hill’.

The profile of the Dogra soldier that emerges from the book is one of dedicated professionalism, mixed with compassion for the common man. This in turn has endeared him to one and all, raising the image of the Army as a whole.

Possibly the most interesting chapter with excellent photographs is on the Dogra Regimental Centre at Faizabad in UP where the rural Dogra youth are transformed within 11 months into superb soldiers. This book is relevant to military historians as history has deftly been tucked into pictorial representation— a collector’s item.

Link

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Postby RayC » 06 Dec 2005 18:24

Lt Gen JR (Johnny) Mukherjee, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), the former GOC 15 Corps, the Chief of Staff Eatern Command and the Colonel of the ASSAM Regiment's book INSURGENCY IN INIDA'S NORTH EAST was released in Delhi on 17 Nov 05 at the India International Centre New Delhi.

The book will be released at Crossword Kolkata on 9 Dec and there will be a panel discussion with Dr Farooq Abdullah, Gen Shankar Roychowdhury and Lt Gen Arvind Sharma, GOC in C Eastern Command.

The book is a rare analysis for the first time examining the crisis of a region mired by ambiguity, strife and mystery.

The book has been written with empathy and lucidity that combines hard fact with insight looking at the region's landscape, people and history. He analyses the problems intrinsic to the enigmatic region and offers possible solutions wherever feasible.

He has addressed vulnerable issues within the susceptible gamut of internal and forieng policrd of India.

It will be interesting to note that of his 41 years of his service, 23 years was in the North East. And therefore, his insight into the area will be worth interest.

The fact that Mrs Mukherjee is a Mizo gives the book greater authenticity in understanding the aspirations of the people and the military compulsions that has to be addressed so as to be a positive effort in forging national intergration.

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Postby RayC » 06 Dec 2005 18:25

Lt Gen JR (Johnny) Mukherjee, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), the former GOC 15 Corps, the Chief of Staff Eatern Command and the Colonel of the ASSAM Regiment's book INSURGENCY IN INIDA'S NORTH EAST was released in Delhi on 17 Nov 05 at the India International Centre New Delhi.

The book will be released at Crossword Kolkata on 9 Dec and there will be a panel discussion with Dr Farooq Abdullah, Gen Shankar Roychowdhury and Lt Gen Arvind Sharma, GOC in C Eastern Command.

The book is a rare analysis for the first time examining the crisis of a region mired by ambiguity, strife and mystery.

The book has been written with empathy and lucidity that combines hard fact with insight looking at the region's landscape, people and history. He analyses the problems intrinsic to the enigmatic region and offers possible solutions wherever feasible.

He has addressed vulnerable issues within the susceptible gamut of internal and forieng policrd of India.

It will be interesting to note that of his 41 years of his service, 23 years was in the North East. And therefore, his insight into the area will be worth interest.

The fact that Mrs Mukherjee is a Mizo gives the book greater authenticity in understanding the aspirations of the people and the military compulsions that has to be addressed so as to be a positive effort in forging national intergration.

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Hi Guys

Postby rohitvats » 29 Dec 2005 09:54

I will very seriously recommend the book "A Matter of Honour" by Philip Mason. The guy was a civil servant in the british admin. during the colonial ruel in india. he has very beautifully answered the question," what holds an army as disparate in composition as ours together". he traces the origin of indian army, then on to the formative years, the mutiny, ww1 & ww2 and finally independence. he also answers a very critical issue, the metamorphosis of army under the british and how were they able to command the respect of native men. it's amust read. sorry, i don't remember the publication house.

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Postby Jagan » 30 Dec 2005 22:51


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Postby surinder » 03 Jan 2006 11:19

I just finished reading "Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation," by Lt. Gen. J. F. R. Jacob.

Something interesting seemed to spring from the book. The author seems to have not liked Sam Maneckshaw and Gen. Aurora too much. From the detailed descriptions of the book, Aurora seemed to have played a minor role in the war. He had the task of traing and working with the Mukti Bahinis. Seems that the whole strategy of "leave the highways and take the by ways" was by Gen Jacobs. The book seems to imply that Aurora was a favorite of Maneckshaw and not too bright.

Page 69, "Manekshaw's handling of senior officers was not conducive to creating confidence. A typical example of this was when he decided in late September, to address all formation commanders of the rank of Maj. Gen. and above n the operations room of the eastern command. He berated the efforts of all formations, and made no attempt to hide his displeasure at their performance. He behaved like a headmaster scolding his senior form."

P. 154. He quotes from a book by Maj. Gen. Lachhman Singh's book "victory in Bangladesh" to take a shot at Aurora. This is what he quotes: "... He [Aurora] served long years under Manekshaw and was beleived to acquisesce readily to his wishes. He [Aurora] was not regarded in the Army as a commander of distinction ... .. During the 1971 operations Aurora undertook frequent visits to the forward areas but failed to win the confidence of most field commanders. His relations withthe majority of them like oil and water ..."

also, somehow, when we think of 1971, we common people on the street hear of Maneckshaw and Aurora, but not Jacobs. Why is that? It seems from the book that he conducted the whole war.

Regards.
s

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Postby ks_sachin » 04 Jan 2006 09:01

Shishir wrote:The Gallant Dogras by Lt Gen(Retd) Shankar Prasad, PVSM, VSM,
Lancer Publishers Pvt Ltd 2005
pp 436, Rs 2500
Image

Gentleman soldier
Bidanda M Chengappa


‘To the Dogra, soldiering is a family tradition that brings him joy and contentment’.

This book is an inspiring regimental history of the Indian Army’s Dogra Regiment and is a welcome addition to the existing literature on military history. It is comprehensive with a chapter devoted to the Dogra community— its land, society and customs— that explains how history and geography have conditioned them to be solid soldiers.

It examines the critical battles fought by the Regiment which makes interesting reading, beginning with the World Wars, besides post-independence wars. The British Indian Army successfully fought the Second World War largely because of Indian soldiers like the Dogras who contributed in considerable measure to their victory.

Inhabitants of ‘Duggar’, or ‘Dogra land’ are a handsome race who hail from the Jammu region and the hill tracts of erstwhile Punjab Hill states with names like Jamwal, Mankotia, Jasrotia, Sambial, Katoch, Guleria, Dadwal and Pathania, among others.

Historically, the Dogra soldier goes back to over 3000 years ago (as early as 1200 BC). The main invasion route for centuries was across the Hindukush mountains through the Khyber Pass to reach Delhi via Punjab. The hilly region on the eastern and north-eastern flanks of this route inhabited by the Dogra clan disallowed penetration for centuries due to their steadfastness and tenacity. To the Dogra, soldiering is a family tradition that brings him joy and contentment. This illustrated history with the odd poem explains the ethos and traces the growth of the Dogra Regiment over the past 117 years.

The book highlights the accomplishments of the Dogra Regiment through a brief but comprehensive account of each of its 27 battalions. The Dogras climbed new heights with General NC Vij— the first officer to be commissioned directly in the regiment— who took over as the Chief of the Army Staff. The Third Battalion of the Regiment has the distinction of being the first Indian Army unit to participate in a multi-national assignment during the 1953 Korean crisis and guarded Chinese and North Korean Prisoners of War.

The raw courage of men from 13 Dogra Battalion who fought the Chinese in the Kameng sector in 1962 is heroic. Special mention needs to be made of the Dogras’ contribution, besides that of the First Battalion, Parachute Regiment in the Battle of Gitian, which turned the tide in the 1965 Indo-Pak war in the Hajipur sector. The narrative includes a crisp account of the battle fought by the valiant Dogras. In recognition of their bravery, the territory conquered was named ‘Doga Hill’.

The profile of the Dogra soldier that emerges from the book is one of dedicated professionalism, mixed with compassion for the common man. This in turn has endeared him to one and all, raising the image of the Army as a whole.

Possibly the most interesting chapter with excellent photographs is on the Dogra Regimental Centre at Faizabad in UP where the rural Dogra youth are transformed within 11 months into superb soldiers. This book is relevant to military historians as history has deftly been tucked into pictorial representation— a collector’s item.

Link


Since When did the Dogras get 27 batallions?

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Postby Jagan » 23 Feb 2006 21:51

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Posted: 23 Feb 2006 09:11 pm Post subject: Hawker Hunter in IAF service and 7 Sqn history - books?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi There,

A good friend of mine flew the Hawker Hunter in the Indian Air Force, and I was wondering if there were any books specifically about the IAF Hunters, or books by IAF Hunter pilots?

Also, are there any books on 7 Sqn "Battleaxes"?

Thanks,
Flyboy



There are no dedicated book about Hunters in the IAF. One book does have a chapter on Indian Hunters and that is "Hawker Hunter - The Operational Record" by Robert Jackson. Jackson usually depends on othr published sources to put together his books so chapter on Indian Huntrs is not exactly accurate. If you have Pushpindar Singh's articles on the Hunter then you ahve this book with you..

You should try and locate [b]"The Battle Axes : History of No.7 Squadron 1942-92" by Pushpindar Singh. Very hard to get. IF you are in delhi however yuou can visit Vayu's office at D43 Sujan Singh Park (not exactly sure if its D43). and they might have some spare copies.

Try writing to them at vayuaerospace.in

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Postby ramana » 24 Feb 2006 04:36

Interesting book review from Telegraph, 24 Feb., 2006
IN SEARCH OF THE TOMMY
Sahib: The British soldier in India By Richard Holmes, HarperCollins, Rs 825

The British army was the engine of overseas expansion. Historians have studied the activities of the Tommy in Europe but their role in south Asia remains unexplored. Richard Holmes, an established British military historian, tries to throw light on this hitherto uncharted territory. With the help of archival records, Holmes focuses on the daily lives of the ordinary white soldier and studies their activities from the inception of British rule in India till the beginning of the first world war.

During the raj, a large percentage of the white community in India were military personnel. However, life in the subcontinent was hard and many privates perished to diseases like cholera. Yet, people continued to flock to the army. According to the historian, Peter Stanley, British officers in the Bengal Army were an educated lot. As a result, there was a wide social gap between the privates and their officers.

The Duke of Wellington considered British soldiers as ‘scum of the earth’. Most of the British soldiers were born as a result of the dalliances between sailors and ladies who plied the ancient trade near the docks. These poor uneducated young men, bereft of any family support, thus felt that military service was better than an empty belly. Even criminals and vagabonds joined the army.

The military historian, John Hackett, writes that British soldiers were despised by the larger society. This fostered unity in the ranks and helped them to fight and die. The lure of tangible benefits — double rations of rum, the incentive of plunder and batta (extra pay) — kept the soldiers going in a firefight.

Marriages between Indian women and white troops were common affairs and their offspring were co-opted in the army. However, the spread of Christianity and influx of British women in large numbers led to a decline in such unions. The memsahibs, writes Holmes, were responsible for hardening British attitudes towards natives.

The book, though, is rather weak when it comes to analysing facts. The author does not tell us in what proportion the Irish and the Scots joined the British contingents stationed in India. He also fails to mention how the ratio of these two ethnic groups changed with time and the different factors that motivated them to join the army.

Nevertheless, Holmes must be commended for rejecting the romantic vision of the likes of Philip Mason and Charles Allen. His perception of the British soldier was not of a Victorian liberal. Rather, it is based on real facts and is a must read for those who want to know more about military history in colonial India.

KAUSHIK ROY

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Postby Jagan » 20 Mar 2006 21:55

The book that you must have

In an amazing move, the Min of Defence has allowed Natraj Publishers of Dehra dun to reprint the Official History of "Operations in Jammu and Kashmir 1947-48". I believe this is the first Official History to have been published by a private publisher. Hopefully we will get more?

I purchased my copy for Rs595

Details:
Operations in Jammu & Kashmir 1947-48
S N Prasad & Dharam Pal
Ministry of Defence, Govt of India
Natraj Publishers 2005 (Reprint)
ISBN 81-8158-053-2

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Postby Manne » 20 Mar 2006 22:16

Natraj Publishers
17, Rajpur Road
Dehradun - 248 001, (UP)
Ph : 0135 - 26533821, 0135 - 2654584
email : natrajbooks@vsnl.com

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Postby svinayak » 26 Mar 2006 00:10



Hello everyone.

I have always had an interest in World War 2 era history, with an emphasis on Axis history. What really caught my eye was the immense number of foreign troops in the German army. Over 1 million Russian soldiers fought under them, and interestingly enough, so did over 3000 Indian soldiers.
2 years ago, several of my friends introduced me to their hobby of World War 2 reenacting, which is kind of like a mobile museum exhibit, with different events scattered throughout the year that depicts to the visiting public what the life of a soldier was during the war. Whether they are American, German, Russian, British, Polish, most of the major players in the European Theater are represented. We get dressed up in authentic uniforms, carry real weapons, set up actual WW2 era camps, and give touring spectators presentations on what the equipment is and how it was used. Also, mock battles are put on for the public, using real tanks and vehicles and even WW2 aircraft. The 2 major events in the Midwest draw as many as 500 reenactors and thousands of spectators. It's all good fun. Something I've noticed though is the tiny amount of foreign soldiers represented in the Axis forces. So...

What I want to do is to change that. I'm looking for young Indian men in the Chicago/Midwest area who would have an interest in forming a reenacting unit portraying the 950th Indische Infantrie Regiment, also known as the Free India Legion of the German Army. Our goal would be to accurately represent the brave men who fought for the ideal of liberating their home country from the British.

If anyone is interested, you can send me an email at emojoerocks@hotmail.com, or just comment here. I'd really like to teach people about a lesser known part of world history, and not let the memory of the soldiers die.

To read about the Free India Legion, there is an excellent article dealing with its creator and its formation right on this very forum, located at:
http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index ... =azad+hind

To view some photos of some previous reenactments in Indiana and Illinois, here are some links from a group I am associated with:
http://www.25panzergrendiv.com/main_fol ... 1.2001.htm
http://www.25panzergrendiv.com/main_fol ... 2.2001.htm
http://www.25panzergrendiv.com/main_fol ... 3.2001.htm
http://www.25panzergrendiv.com/main_fol ... lery_1.htm
http://www.25panzergrendiv.com/main_fol ... lery_2.htm

Note*
Reenacting groups are entirely apolitical organizations, neither harboring, nor condoning, nor tolerating the beliefs of Nazi Germany, Fascism, or any other radical ideals. The organizations are for the education of the public, and to have a good time doing it smile.gif


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Postby Ananth » 26 Mar 2006 02:20

The following article references several books on built up of Indian Army under Raj.
http://www.aei.org/publications/filter. ... detail.asp

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Postby Jagan » 31 Mar 2006 09:12

Gen V.P. Malik's book "Kargil: From Surprise to Victory",is being released on April 27, in New Delhi. Since General Malik was the Chief of the Army Staff during the kargil war, this book should make an interesting reading both for the defence personnel and the public.

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Postby Shishir » 01 Apr 2006 07:01

Book on Sikh Light Infantry released
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 8


Image

To present a pictorial exposition of its history the Sikh Light Infantry (LI) has bought out a glossy coffee table book. Titled "Soldering with Faith" the book aims to provide a succinct picture of what the Sikh LI was, is and looks to be in the years ahead.

The book was released by the Vice- Chief of Army Staff, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman, in New Delhi a few days ago. The Vice-Chief is Colonel Commandant of the Bombay Sappers, which has a historic association with the Sikh LI as the regiment traces its origin to the Royal Sikh Pioneers, which were part of the sappers during the 19th century.

Published by the Sikh LI Regimental Centre at Fatehgarh, the book has been edited by Col Harjeet Singh (retd), a regimental officer settled in Chandigarh. According to the editor's note, the book is not a history of the Sikh Light Infantry per se, but an exposition of the regiment in all its facets in peace and war.

The 10-chapter, 200-page book is illustrated with colour as well as monochrome pictures, maps portraits and illustrations, many of which are of historical significance.

Starting off with elucidating upon the spirit of the Sikh LI and its troopers comprising Mazbi and Ramdasia Sikhs, the book traces out the origins of the regiment and details its martial heritage beginning with the capture of Peking during the Chinese campaign in 1860.

Separate chapters, accompanied with pictures, are devoted to campaigns and operations in which the Sikh LI participated as well as to its heroes decorated for gallantry on the battlefield. The book describes in detail, the symbols of the regiment, including the flag, the Colours, crest, motto, the regimental march, uniform and accruements. Regimental institutions, welfare activities, trophies and awards and significant events also find a mention in the book.
Link

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Postby kantak » 04 Apr 2006 19:26


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Postby Surya » 04 Apr 2006 20:15

If anyone has seen the Sikh LI book , does it have any new info on the Jaffna battle.

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Postby Jagan » 04 Apr 2006 22:14

Has anyone read the memoirs of Maj Gen A A Rudra? I believe te book was edited by Maj Gen DK Palit.

If anyone has the copy and had read thru it, can you answer if Maj Gen Rudra wrote anything aboutmeeting Subhash Bose before the Second World War ?

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Postby Mandeep » 04 Apr 2006 23:35

The book 'General Rudra:His service in three Armies and two World Wars' is not the memoirs of General Jick Rudra but his biography written by General Monty Palit. I think Jick Rudra did meet Netaji before the War. He certainly had a lot to do with Gandhiji.

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Postby Jagan » 05 Apr 2006 00:07

Mandeep wrote:The book 'General Rudra:His service in three Armies and two World Wars' is not the memoirs of General Jick Rudra but his biography written by General Monty Palit. I think Jick Rudra did meet Netaji before the War. He certainly had a lot to do with Gandhiji.



Mandeep, I knew you would come forward to answer this query - thanks. Do you have it? Can you let me know what he wrote about his meeting with NEtaji? (Date/Year/Place of meeting and what he discussed?).

And what three armies did he serve? Indian Army before Indep, Indian Army after Indep.. and whats the third???

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Postby Surya » 01 May 2006 21:52

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORC ... /Kaul.html

For IPKF folks - this will be of interest


also for jingos who forget soon what men wounded in battle go through

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Postby ASPuar » 03 May 2006 00:44

To those comments about General Jacob's book... I dont know the particulars of the matter, but I do know that Gen. Jacob played an important role in the Bangladesh war.

his name is consequently certainly heard in that connection. As o his possible dislike of FM Manekshaw, people who have served with sam bahadur may have different opinions from us armchair afficionados.
This has to do with daily working relationships, personality clash, etc etc.

I know other of other senior officers who werent big fans of FM manekshaw.

As to Col. Kaul, unless im much mistaken he is the Colonel Kaul who used to be Principal of the Army Public School, DK.

I think there was some confusion about whether or not he should get an award (VrC) at either Army headquarters or the ministry, until the DCOAS and other officers put their foot down, and insisted.

Unless Im thinking of someone else.

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Postby Surya » 03 May 2006 01:37

Kaul's VrC was richly deserved. If he did not get it then you might as well take back every other VrC.

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Burma 1941 to 1942

Postby Jehammond » 04 May 2006 14:58

Photos below are thumbnail. Please click to see larger image.

Image
Image

NOTE> The author went to great length to get information from those in the Indian Army and not just the British side. This is the war that basically made the modern Indian Army.
Last edited by Jehammond on 04 May 2006 17:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ASPuar » 04 May 2006 21:00

Surya wrote:Kaul's VrC was richly deserved. If he did not get it then you might as well take back every other VrC.


no doubt, no doubt.YOu would be surprised how many richly deserved awards are never awarded, for dozens of idiotic reasons.

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Postby Surya » 04 May 2006 21:27

ASPuar:

you are right. It cuts both ways. Many undeserving guys get medals and many deserving guys do not. Also a lot of times many of them correctly receive it or not receive it.

Regading Kaul there isno doubt - The battle of Jaffna was a cauldron and the going in and extricating the para cdos and Sikh LI bodies was tough. Not much to doubt a battle where in 24 hours more than a dozen guys received medals (Dalbir, Sheonan, Kaul and others)

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Postby Mandeep » 04 May 2006 22:25

Jick Rudra served in the British Army during WW 1 (in the ranks), was commissioned into the British Indian Army in Dec 1919 and continued to serve with Free India's Army after Independence.

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Postby ASPuar » 04 May 2006 23:17

General Rudra had some connection to the Garhwal Rifles as well, I suspect... though Im not entirely sure I remember what it was.

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Postby Amitava » 06 May 2006 10:23

Jagan wrote:Gen V.P. Malik's book "Kargil: From Surprise to Victory",is being released on April 27, in New Delhi. Since General Malik was the Chief of the Army Staff during the kargil war, this book should make an interesting reading both for the defence personnel and the public.



excerpts from Shri B Raman's take on Gen Malik's book:

2. .. .. He throws stones at the [intelligence] agencies from his safe sanctuary of retirement, hoping that people would have by now forgotten his sins of commission and omission.

9. . . . as early as June,1998, even before Musharraf had taken over as the COAS, Shri Shyamal Dutta, the then Director of the Intelligence Bureau, had sent a detailed wake-up call to the Prime Minister, the Army headquarters and others, warning of the training of large numbers of Pakistani irregulars across the Kargil sector. He also reported that increased Pakistani military activity had been noticed along the LOC in the Kargil sector. In July,1998, the IB further reported new mine-laying and other ominous activities by the Pakistan Army. The R&AW reported the induction of new Pakistani units into the area. It also warned that the Pakistani troops were being given special training.

11. .. .. As a professional Army officer heading the Army, it was his responsibility to have warned the Government of the various likely scenarios in the light of the intelligence reports and advised on action to be taken. He failed to do this. .. ..

12. .. .. [R. N.] Kao told me that he replied to Shri Vajpayee as follows: " Sir, Gen.Malik went into a happy sleep during the winter. He is now blaming the intelligence agencies for not preventing him from sleeping."

18 .. .. .. The KRC had no representative of the intelligence community. The Committee showed an incorrect eagerness to protect Gen.Malik from any blemish despite indications, .. ..

21. Unfortunately, Gen.Malik was not known for his fairness while he was in service. He was perceived by many in the community of senior government servants and national security managers as a compulsive fault-finder and scapegoat-seeker. Even six years after his retirement, he has not changed. That is evident from his book.

22. One person in the Government of India, who is completely in the picture on the totality of the performance of the intelligence agencies is the Prime Minister of the day. One person, who is totally in the picture regarding their performance in the collection of military intelligence is the Defence Minister.

23. Shri Vajpayee, the Prime Minister at the time of the Kargil conflict, and Shri George Fernandes, the Defence Minister, both denied allegations of intelligence failure immediately after the war was over.

24. Whom to believe---Shri Vajpayee and Shri Fernandes or Gen.Malik?

http://www.saag.org/papers18/paper1788.html

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Postby vonkabra » 16 May 2006 15:56

My two favourites:

1. India's Paratroopers
2. Indian Army AFter Independence ISBN: 1 897829 17 5

Both by Maj K C Praval. Impartial, detailed and also very readable.

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Postby Jagan » 16 May 2006 17:53

vonkabra wrote:My two favourites:

1. India's Paratroopers
2. Indian Army AFter Independence ISBN: 1 897829 17 5

Both by Maj K C Praval. Impartial, detailed and also very readable.


Indeed.. the second one is indispensable in any collection.

unfortunatel Maj Praval wrote only four books - the other two being 'The Red Eagles' and 'Valour Triumphs' - about the 4 Mtn Div and Kumaon Regiment respectively. All the books are eminently readable and written very well. If its possible, I recommend all the four books, but only the Indian army book is readily available in reprints (via Lancer)

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Postby vonkabra » 16 May 2006 18:04

Jagan wrote:
vonkabra wrote:My two favourites:

1. India's Paratroopers
2. Indian Army AFter Independence ISBN: 1 897829 17 5

Both by Maj K C Praval. Impartial, detailed and also very readable.


Indeed.. the second one is indispensable in any collection.

unfortunatel Maj Praval wrote only four books - the other two being 'The Red Eagles' and 'Valour Triumphs' - about the 4 Mtn Div and Kumaon Regiment respectively. All the books are eminently readable and written very well. If its possible, I recommend all the four books, but only the Indian army book is readily available in reprints (via Lancer)


And I was about to mail the BR book store... :cry:


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