Kargil War Thread - VI

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Aditya G
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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 10 Oct 2009 10:59

Nikhil T wrote:NDTV's 20-minute episode on Kargil: Air and Sea operations detailing Op. Safed Sagar of the IAF and the Naval deployment in the western seas.
LINK


Excellent documentary with interviews and gun (pod) camera footage. Though too much stock footage from Akash Yodha has been used

* AFAIK this is the first confirmation that Litening pod was already induced in 1999. Till now we have believed it was French pods being used.

* "Muntho Dhalo attack killed Pak Officers, Men and Mujahideen". Is it confirmed that mujahids apart from regular Army and paramilitary (NLI) forces were present?

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Gaur » 10 Oct 2009 13:59

Aditya G wrote:* "Muntho Dhalo attack killed Pak Officers, Men and Mujahideen". Is it confirmed that mujahids apart from regular Army and paramilitary (NLI) forces were present?

Yes, a substantial no of mujahids took part in Kargil Conflict. It was clear from the start itself.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 31 Oct 2009 12:59

A new article is now available on BR;
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... Menon.html

The article mostly re-states the official IAF line viz-a-viz the request that was made by the Army to the IAF on employment and the timelines. I did not notice any divergence from whatever we know till now.

The author is clear that the Army's ability to detect the invasion, effectively estimate the size and report the same was lacking.

The new information we can glean is:

> IAF was able to deploy a stripped down Mi-35 in the area after the war was over, but only in the winter. But he does not explicitly state the if this deployment will be 'useful' should need arise.

> Lack of radar coverage over the theatre which was unsuccessfullly solved by air lifting a radar unit. MiG-29 came good with its BVR radar.

> Lack of adequate HAS for large deployment in Kashmir vally bases.

> IAF's intial estimate on the MANPADS ability in the area was wrong. The seekers of the missiles work better in the cold. In other accounts the range of the missile is also send to improve given the sparse atmosphere.

The sortie quoted however do not tally with the figures I have, what gives? :( :roll:

The fighter aircraft in the Valley flew more than 2,000 sorties including 250 by night. Mirages and Jaguars flew 150 sorties. Helicopters flew 23 strike sorties and 2,100 sorties for other tasks.


Transport 3427
Helicopters 2474
Fighter 1730
Total 7631

1 Sqn Mirage-2000 234
7 Sqn Mirage-2000 240

Another nugget;

The first was the arrival at Srinagar of a Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) from another command to brief the assembled air crew of his experiences in 'hill flying' operations during a much earlier air campaign flown in Vampire aircraft in the North-east.


Who was this officer? I suppose "the campaign" refers to 24 Sqn in NEFA in '60s?

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 01 Nov 2009 00:29

Aditya G wrote:A new article is now available on BR;
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... Menon.html

The article mostly re-states the official IAF line viz-a-viz the request that was made by the Army to the IAF on employment and the timelines. I did not notice any divergence from whatever we know till now.


The first was the arrival at Srinagar of a Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) from another command to brief the assembled air crew of his experiences in 'hill flying' operations during a much earlier air campaign flown in Vampire aircraft in the North-east.


Who was this officer? I suppose "the campaign" refers to 24 Sqn in NEFA in '60s?


I am sure it was Air Marshal Manjit Singh Sekhon , SASO, EAC. He had experience flying Vampires in the valleys of Kargil and Dras during the 71 War. He even got a Vir Chakra for it. Manjit Sekhon was also a Heli pilot with lots of hours in the valleys and a Shaurya Chakra under his belt. But the gist of it is , regardless of how tempted you may be, best to stay out of the other Command (WAC!)

Another revelation from AM Menons article was that Nachiketas MiG crashed in our territory but he drifted over to Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. Now we know why the Pakistanis never displayed the MiG-27 wreckage.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Umrao Das » 01 Nov 2009 09:37

Manjit Singh Sekhon also brought back a badly hit SU-7 during 1971 war safely to the base.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 01 Nov 2009 10:01

Umrao Das wrote:Manjit Singh Sekhon also brought back a badly hit SU-7 during 1971 war safely to the base.


Wrong number - that was Harcharan Singh Manget

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Raja Bose » 01 Nov 2009 11:23

^^ Mangat - The tail of that aircraft can be seen even today at IAF Museum Palam.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 01 Nov 2009 14:08

He was my CO's cousin!

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 11 Nov 2009 22:59

Not sure if this article by Air Marshal Goel has been posted here before:

http://airmarshalashokgoel.blogspot.com ... ctory.html

Saturday, March 28, 2009
The 1999 Kargil War Not a Generals’ Victory

By Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd)
Published : January 2009

New Delhi. The 1999 Kargil War caused the biggest .utter in the Indian subcontinent, bringing India and Pakistan close to a nuclear holocaust. Despite the fact that the last two wars between the two neighbours had been way back, in 1965 and 1971, it happened because the Indians were lax as usual and the Pakistanis in a mischief mode, also as usual.
Much has been written about the event, including by the Chief of Army Staff at that time, Gen V P Malik, as also by the then Home Minister L K Advani. There was an official inquiry by India’s renowned strategic affairs analyst, K Subrahmanyam, but he has pointed out to this writer that he did not go into operational details and accordingly, could not comment on certain weaknesses some top Indian commanders displayed. The mid-level and younger officers and men though fought well, and even though many of them perished, the victory actually belonged to them.

The Pakistani military leadership as well as its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) have always been indulging in nasty manoeuvers against India. But that they dared to infiltrate troops into India and tried to capture a part of Kashmir yet again was possible because we were negligent, partly because we generally are so by temperament and partly because the government of the day, led by Mr A B Vajpayee, had ordered the forces to be “soft” on Pakistan because of the “positive” talks between him and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif towards maintaining peace and building friendship.
While opportunities for peace must be seized by politicians, there was no reason for the armed forces – the Army in particular – to be lax. In fact, the Pakistani move as it happened had been debated in the Indian Army for years and had been taken up as a strong possibility in periodic exercises. Yet, when it was happening, we were blind to it.

In the foreword to Brig Gurmeet Kanwal’s book, Indian Army Vision 2020, Gen Malik says: “The Fact is that even after 60 years of independence, knowledge and experience of defence and military issues is lacking in most of our political leaders and civilian bureaucrats.”

But the General has not shared the lapses and neglect of responsibilities of the Army leadership, particularly of the sector commanders, and to an extent, his own. Some of these are by now, well known, including the mindset of the 15 Corps Commander, Lt Gen Krishan Pal, who insisted that there were only a handful of infiltrators – 60 to 80 – and that none of them was a Pakistani soldier. He committed troops without allowing them adequate weapons and strength, and if facts given by Lt Gen Y M Bammi in a book are taken into account, he punished an officer, Brig Devinder Singh, who wanted better preparations insisting that there were a large number of Pakistani soldiers inside the Indian territory.
The officer had eight battalions under his charge, and by all accounts, he fought very well, leading the troops from the front. Gen Malik himself has been seen and heard praising this officer at various fora. Yet, Brig Devinder Singh’s career was cut short to save those who were wrong.

To recall, the biggest players of the Kargil War were:

a. The Government at the highest echelon of the Political Leadership;
b. The top rung of the military leadership – The Army Chief, GOC-in-C Northern Command, 15 Corps Cdr , and the 3 Div Cdr;
c. The intelligence agencies, primarily the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW);
d. The Indian Air Force (IAF) and its exercise of Air Power.
e. The dedicated and committed soldiers and the middle and junior level officers.

THE ROLE OF THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

The NDA government was at its pinnacle in May 1998, having successfully conducted the nuclear test that month and having put India in the list of Nuclear Weapon States (NWS). The aim now was to resolve the Kashmir issue by seeking wellmeaning diplomatic and economic relations with Pakistan.

Mrs Indira Gandhi had also attempted that, after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, by trying to tell the then Pakistani leader Z A Bhutto that only peace between the two neighbours would ensure their long-term economic prosperity and growth. In fact, she went out of the way to ensure a comfortable stay for Bhutto, personally choosing even the tapestry of the room he was to stay in Simla during the 1972 summit between them, and by telling Indian officers that the Pakistani leader must be given the respect due to a visiting head of government or state, and not that of a country which had lost war. She agreed to Bhutto’s request to release nearly 96,000 Pakistani POWs, and Bhutto promised to work for peace with India.

Needless to say that he backed out.

Mrs Gandhi did what was right in those circumstances. But the lesson for the Indian leadership was to understand that Pakistan is never to be trusted. Islamabad built a network of nuclear capability and missiles by smuggling and deceit, lying even to Washington which gave it liberal aid as a friend and mentor.

Prime Minister Vajpayee and his deputy, Advani, tried to establish a political dialogue with Pakistan. Coupled with the nuclear tests, a success with Islamabad would give them respect in the history books forever.

Intelligence organizations were told to be easy, and the armed forces stopped looking for periodic information from them. There was the February 1999 Bus Yatra (journey) by Vajpayee to Lahore to meet with his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif. It was a goodwill mission, seemingly wellresponded by Sharif.But the fact that the then Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, Gen Parvez Musharraf, did not pay due respects to the visiting Indian leader during the visit, should have been an indication of the Pakistani army’s intentions; that it had no intention to accommodate the rapprochement that the political leadership in Islamabad perhaps then wanted.

It may be noted that as a Brigadier on assignment with a think tank in London, Musharraf had written in a thesis that Pakistan must capture Kashmir to secure water from the Himalayan rivers for itself. As a Chief of Staff, he would certainly try to realize his thoughts.

It is a well known fact that the Srinagar-Leh axis runs closest to the Line of Control (LOC) in the Dras–Kargil Sector. Also, the terrain on the Indian side is hostile to defend, whereas the terrain on the Pakistan side is favorable to launch an offensive. Strategically, Pakistan has always intended to block, disrupt or permanently dislocate it.

My first posting after being commissioned into the IAF in 1963 was to Jammu in Squadron 43, flying Dakotas. The main task was to operate to Kargil and Thoise to provide logistic support to the troops deployed in forward areas. I was fortunate to be deputed as the Base Commander of Air Force clement at Kargil from Feb to May 1964, working along with 121 (Ind) Infantry Brigade.

It was an education.

Brig Chopra, an Armoured Corps officer who was the Brigade Commander, always used to say that the Dras-Kargil Sector was the most sensitive because of its close proximity to the LOC as well as the terrain factors.

Much later, during a course in 1980-81 at the Army’s prestigious College of Combat at MHOW, now renamed Army War College, this lesson was repeated by none other than the Commandant, Lt Gen K Sunderji.

He became the Chief of Army Staff later, and had a sand-model exercise conducted, visualizing exactly what the Pakistanis did to occupy Kargil. A counteroffensive plan was discussed at the 15 Corps Headquarters. I was privy to that along with Lt Gen B C Nanda, Army Commander Northern Command, Air Marshal M M Singh, AOC-in-C Western Command and some other officers.

That in 1998 and 1999, the top brass in the same sector was oblivious to the risk from the Pakistani Army, is absolutely un-understanable.

RAW’S AVIATION RESEARCH CENTRE (ARC)

Till mid-1997, a user could approach ARC only through the RAW HQ for its operational tasks. This used to delay the process by a week. The legendary Billy Bedi, who headed ARC for several years, initiated userfriendly steps, and a required mission could be launched within hours. Analytical reports were delivered ASAP, within hours if required.

Top 3-star officers from the services were invited and informed of the ARC’s capabilities in airborne electronic intelligence, and the then Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis, commended the ARC.

THE KARGIL SURPRISE

In May 1999, once reports of Pakistani infiltration had come in, Army’s Directorate General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) sought Air Reconnaissance Mission in the Dras-Kargil sector.

I personally flew missions beginning May 13 and soon, on May 18, we had pictures of six Pakistani Army MI-17 helicopters parked in the Mushok Valley area on the Indian side. These photographs were shown to the then Defence Minister George Fernandes, who was aghast and observed that this could have happened only after months of planning and preparation.

Gen Malik also praised ARC for the inputs but strangely, till some three weeks after this input, Lt Gen Krishan Pal still seemed to believe that there were only a few infiltrators on the Indian side. He himself said in a TV statement that he revised his opinion only after India lost many lives in the Battle of Tololing (June 13).

Did the Army HQ fail to convey him the confirmation of the Pakistani helicopters, and presence, inside India? Or he just insisted on ignoring reality?

Perhaps, the Army should come out with the truth after an honest introspection.

For record, Gen Malik had told ARC that he had no hesitation in admitting that its inputs enabled the Army to correlate its operational plans and that otherwise the causality figures could have been much higher.

The gap between this statement and Lt Gen Krishanpal’s observation is glaring, and led to a tragic loss of lives.

THE INDIAN AIR FORCE

IAF does not have combat helicopters for high altitude offensive operations, and on May 25, it was decided to commit aircraft to neutralize the Pakistan-occupied positions on the Indian side.

Initially, IAF lost two aircraft and one Mi 17 helicopter.

An IAF spokesman pointed out that the air operations in Kargil had taken place in an environment that was totally new in the history of world military aviation. The IAF had to unlearn what had been taught before, as it was operating with a new set of paradigms such as the ballistic trajectory of weapons in high altitude operations.

A well-respected Air Marshal Vinod Patney, Air Officer Commanding in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command, conducted the air operations after a short course to his officers in precision bombing.

THE SUBRAHMANYAM COMMITTEE

The Subrahmanyam Committee did not attribute any intelligence failures to RAW or ARC, but highlighted equipment inadequacies like the lack of high resolution, all-weather and sub-meter imaging capability.

Lack of UAVs and better coordination between the security agencies was also mentioned but it acknowledged that the IB Director did convey certain inputs on activities in areas under the Gilgit-based FCNA (Force Commander orthern Areas) of Pakistan to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the Cabinet Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director-General Military Operations (DGMO).

There is apparently a general lack of awareness of the critical importance of, and the need for, assessed intelligence, at all levels. Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) reports do not receive the attention they deserve at the political and higher bureaucratic levels. One officer in a listening post mentions that a senior bureaucrat asked him about some entertainment programmes only in a span of one year.

It is clear that a Kargil-type situation could have been avoided either by plugging gaps as in Siachin, or by a credible declaratory policy of swiftly punishing wanton and willful violation of the sanctity of the LOC, as the Committee observed.

THE NUCLEAR TANGLE

Kargil was a stupid adventure for Pakistan.

Threats from Islamabad about using nuclear weapons were considered but dismissed as Pakistan would not have been more stupid to invite destructive retaliation.

The Kargil War has also helped strengthen India’s doctrine that while India would not first use nuclear weapons, it would retaliate by inflicting massive destruction.

CONCLUSION

There is much evidence available to suggest that the intelligence agencies, RAW and IB, had in fact provided their political masters and military commanders with ample warning about Pakistani intentions and activities.

In any case, lack of strategic intelligence could have been made up by the observation on the ground through scouts and patrolling. One did not have to get basic inputs about the Pakistani infiltration from shepherds, which as a matter fact, happened. After all, the Pakistani infiltration was spread over a large front.

India deliberately limited its response to the eviction of Pakistani soldiers.

But many of our officers and men died needlessly as we were neither prepared for the war nor ready to absorb the inputs towards efficient and better coordination between the security forces.The victory indeed belonged to those officers and men who fought, died or survived, but won.
Not the Generals.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby ramana » 11 Nov 2009 23:35

Some of the chapters in KRC are classified. The rumor is they deal with command failures in both civilian and military areas.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Umrao Das » 12 Nov 2009 01:59

So it was Akhand Bumbling from top to bottom.

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I cant but laugh at Indian leadership be it nationalist under NDA or internationalist under UPA

Chalta hai ji

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby ramana » 12 Nov 2009 02:08

While there was bumbling all along, it was ABV's stance that India will clear out the incursions from India that helped get an upper hand and defeated the original goal of bringing in nuclear flashpoint rehtoric. By appointing the KRC he ensured that the history is documented and published and not hidden like Henderson Brooks.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 15 Nov 2009 01:09

A must read article for historians of this war. There continue to be competing views on where the failure lied for the intrusion.

http://claws.in/index.php?action=master ... 33&u_id=26

The Ghost of Kargil: Myth and Reality: A First Person Account

Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, SM (Retd)
E-Mail-thapli@sify.com

The Tenth Anniversary of the Kargil war was given a lot of prominence by the media. Both print and electronic media were full of visuals, talks, views and interviews on Op Vijay. Amidst a plethora of articles, I read one written by Praveen Swami where he extensively quoted letters written by Brig Surinder Singh, former commander of the Kargil-based 121 Infantry Brigade and Col Pushpinder Oberoi, one of the commanding officers. Both claimed that they had given warning of impending intrusions but no one in the hierarchy took them seriously. I remembered a story done by Outlook magazine during the Kargil war where similar claims were made by Brig Surinder Singh. He had specifically mentioned his briefing of Gen VP Malik, the then Army Chief in the Operations Room of 121 Infantry Brigade on 29 August 1998. He had claimed that he had sent his briefing for approval to his superior Maj Gen VS Budhwar, then GOC 3 Infantry Division as per procedure and I remember the then Congress spokesman quoting that letter number to insinuate that Gen VP Malik had been told of a likelihood of intrusions by Brig Surinder Singh, a full nine months before these actually took place. This is a myth.

The reality is somewhat different. While I have great regard for Praveen Swami as a writer, he has obviously been fed doctored versions by both Brig Surinder Singh and Col Oberoi. I therefore thought of bringing to his and others notice, what really transpired. I, as a Brigadier was Military Assistant to Gen Malik in 1997-98 and therefore had accompanied him to Kargil on 29 August 1998. We flew from Srinagar to Kargil in a helicopter and landed at Kargil around 9 AM. At the helipad, the Chief was received by Lt Gen Krishan Pal GOC 15 Corps, Maj Gen VS Budhwar, GOC 3 Infantry Division and Brig Surinder Singh. Apart from me, Brigadier (later Lieutenant General) MC Bhandari from Military Operations Directorate also accompanied the Chief. Gen Malik was thereafter briefed by Brigadier Surinder Singh in the Operations Room of 121 Infantry Brigade. It was a routine briefing with no mention of the possibility of any infiltration or intrusion. Kargil had been a dormant sector for over fifteen years and nothing out of the ordinary was expected there. After the briefing, a copy was handed over to Brig Bhandari for Military Operations Directorate Records.

After the briefing, Brigadier Surinder Singh took the Chief and his entourage around Kargil Garrison. When Chief saw the ammunition dump, he remarked that it was wrongly sited as it was in direct line of fire from Pakistani positions across the Shingo river. In fact it was under their visual observation. The Chief gave directions that it must be shifted at the earliest. It was not done by Brigadier Surinder Singh and it was blown up by Pakistani artillery during the Kargil War.

We thereafter proceeded to Dras where Col Pushpinder Oberoi, commanding officer of Grenadiers battalion briefed the Chief just below the Tololing feature. I remember the Chief asking Col Oberoi if there was any deployment on this feature. There was none. The Pakistanis later occupied this feature which dominates the national highway completely.

I was playing golf on a Saturday morning towards the end of June 1999 when I got a message to meet the Chief immediately in Army House. By then I had finished my tenure with him and was posted in the Perspective Planning Directorate of Army HQ. On reaching the Army house, I found the Chief closeted with Maj Gen SK Sanan, the Judge Advocate General and Maj Gen (later lieutenant general) Arjun Ray, his then media advisor. Chief handed me a copy of Outlook magazine where an article on the Chief’s briefing had been published which quoted Brigadier Surinder Singh claiming that he had brought to the Chief’s notice likelihood of intrusions in the Kargil sector. Chief asked me to check this with the briefing copy in Military Operations Directorate. There was some discussion on the line of action to be taken and legal/security implications if any. I suggested to the Chief that the copy of Brigadier Surinder Singh’s briefing of 29 August 98 be given to Outlook magazine to enable them to see the facts for themselves. Arjun Ray and the Judge Advocate General advised the Chief against making a classified briefing public. I told the Chief that there was nothing classified in the briefing. The Chief then said he would take a decision on Monday.

On Monday morning I went to the office of the Chief’s Military Assistant – Brigadier (later lieutenant general) Ashok Kapur and asked Brigadier Mohan Bhandari to come to the office and bring with him the copy of Brigadier Surinder Singh’s briefing. We compared it with what was published in Outlook. It was obvious that the briefing had been doctored and references to intrusions made in the copy published in the magazine. Brigadier Surinder Singh had at that time denied that he had leaked that briefing to the media who were having a field day blaming the Chief for ignoring the warning. When the Chief came to the office, I, along with Brigadier Bhandari showed him the copy of the original briefing which had no mention of any possibility of infiltration/intrusion in Kargil sector. I also told him that there was nothing classified in the briefing and that it should be given to the media. Chief said he will give it some thought. Unfortunately, the view of Arjun Ray prevailed and the briefing was not given to the media which, to my mind was a mistake. Giving a copy of the briefing to the media would have diffused the situation and saved Gen Malik much adverse and unfair criticism which persists to this day.

Kargil was a failure of all intelligence agencies – military, RAW and IB and field intelligence units of the Army deployed in Kargil Sector. Unfortunately no one was held accountable nor taken to task. It was also a failure of commander and staff and commanding officers of 121 Infantry Brigade who had become lax due to the long dormancy of this Sector. If inter-battalion patrolling of large gaps in the defences had been properly carried out, intrusions would have been detected while they were still in progress and necessary action taken to choke them off.

It must also be mentioned that once intrusions were detected, senior Army hierarchy took energetic action to concentrate forces, specially artillery, isolate the intrusions and eventually evict them. The decision not to cross the Line of Control was a political one and unfortunate. It meant that our troops could not go behind the entrenched enemy lines to cut him off and instead had to launch frontal attacks to evict the enemy resulting in so many casualties. It is to the great credit of the Indian soldier and young officers that no one flinched even in the face of certain death. So long as we have an Army like this, the nation need not fear anyone.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Babui » 15 Nov 2009 08:46

Not sure if this has been posted before. Some stories of the heroes and families http://forums.ratedesi.com/showthread.php?t=300490

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 16 Nov 2009 09:54

Excerpts from an e mail I received from Brig VK Sharma.

Logistics and Maintenance of Pak Intruders in Dras and Mushkoh Sector during Operation ‘Vijay’

Brigadier VK Sharma, VSM (Retd)*

Introduction

Whenever ‘battles’ and ‘war’ stories are recorded the ‘administration’ details are meted a step motherly treatment. Only a passing reference is made to varied efforts made by the administrative echelons involved. It will be appreciated, no battles ever have been fought successfully without an adequate logistics support. Operation Vijay which was successfully conducted in the glaciated high altitude areas of Ladakh owes it’s triumph in a large measure to the highly adequate logistics support provided by (largely unsung) services elements involved.

Many sensational stories by the media about the tremendous administrative build up of our adversary were doing the rounds during the initial stages of Operation Vijay. The slow progress of operations and high casualty rate of own troops lent further credence to such views. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) during his visit to HQ 8 Mountain Division on 19 Jul 1999, while making reference to the stories of administrative build up of Pakistani intruders, directed the administrative staff of the HQ to carry out a detailed analysis of the ‘administrative and logistics’ support provided to the intruders, who had encroached in Dras and Mushkoh Sectors.



Terrain and Operational Environment



Prior to proceeding with the detailed analysis of administrative build up of our adversary, it is imperative to highlight salient peculiarities of the environment then prevailing in 8 Mountain Division areas of operations. The terrain in general areas of Mushkoh and Drass is extremely rugged with average heights varying from 4000 to 5000 meters. Move by a foot column in such terrain is restricted to nullahs and ridges. The terrain on the side of our adversary is comparatively easier than on our own side. General area Mushkoh and Drass has an average snowfall of 40 to 50 ft during the winter(commencing mid October) but in winter of the year 1998 the snowfall was less, consequently it led to melting of snow much earlier by mid Apr 1999. A satellite photo of 12 Nov 1998 depicted snow in the nullahs on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control (LC), however, on own side of the LC they were devoid of snow. It is pertinent to point out that it is easier to move in the nullahs full of snow vis-à-vis those devoid of snow.



Likely Ingress Routes. In all probability, the intruders infiltrated along the tracks which generally followed the alignment of nullahs in their own territory. Having crossed the LC they moved along the ridge lines to occupy heights of tactical importance which were



* Brigadier VK Sharma, VSM (Retd) was commissioned into 5/8 GORKHA RIFLES. He was Colonel (Administration) of 8 Mountain Division during Operation Vijay (Kargil War).



either unoccupied or (winter) vacated by own troops. In Mushkoh sub-sector, besides Tiger Hill and Point 4875, Points 4815, 4342, 3909, 4515 were occupied by Pak intruders. In Dras sub-sector, they moved along the Buniyar and Kunar nullahs, as long as they were on their own side of the LC. On our side of the LC there existed an unoccupied gap of approximately 18 kms between own posts Point 5195 and Bhimbat LC, which was exploited by the intruders to occupy the area of Points 4700, 5105, 5060 and 5100 and Tololing.



Logistics Build-Up of the Intruders



Skardu is the major logistics node on the Pakistani side. To support this operation, in all an Intermediate Logistics Nodes (ILN) may have been created at Gultari, Faranshat, Buniyal and Kunar. From here onwards logistics requirements were delivered to Forward Logistics Nodes (FLN), which were located on the LC or else close to LC. FLN were located at Point 4925, Point 3715, Dukas and Point 4340. Skardu, to ILNs the logistics build up was carried out by the means of the road transport, and there onwards to FLN by means of mules/donkeys, yaks, porters, snow mobiles and by helicopters. As per the intelligence reports, large scale forcible recruitment of locals as porters was resorted to. Indications were also received of the employment of the Bajaur and Chitral scouts dressed in salwar-kameez as fighting porters. Some reports also suggested that the Mujahideens who had initially intruded alongwith the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) troops were subsequently relegated to performing the task of ‘fighting porters’.



For logistics build-up across the LC in Mushkoh sector, due to long distance and arduous terrain between the LC and areas encroached by the intruders, as also to ensure that the turn round did not exceed one day between the FLN and the areas held by the intruders, a Logistics Dump was established at Point 4388. The supplies and the ammunition were transported to this location by mules, yaks, porters and helicopters from the FLN at Point 3715. The Dump at Point 4388 provided requisite logistics support to all the enemy held areas in Mushkoh sector including the famous Point 4875 and the Tiger Hill.



In Dras sector due to comparatively easier terrain and the turnaround from the FLN to the areas encroached being within one day, the intruders were maintained from the FLN(s) on the LC at Point 4340. The supplies were ferried forward by the yaks, mules and porters. Even though enemy helicopter was sited close to the LC around Point 5060, yet no evidence was available of supply drops or landings at the areas occupied by the intruders.



State of Logistics



Clothing and Equipment. It is well known that prior to intrusion in the Indian territory , Pakistan had scouted around the world market for snow clothing and equipment. The intruders were, therefore, well equipped in terms of severe winter clothing and equipment. The ‘special’ rock climbing equipment, to negotiate steep cliffs, was provided to the intruders, who also made extensive use of ropes for climbing on reverse slopes. Gas masks were found at various locations hinting that the intruder’s feared use of chemical weapons by the Indian forces, or else, they had their own plans to use them against the Indian troops. However, no chemical weapons were found.



Accommodation. The living conditions were hard. Igloo and snow tents being used were insufficient. no proper bunkers existed. At times intruders resorted to digging tunnels to protect themselves from the wrath of Indian artillery shelling. As per entries in the diary of Captain Hussain Ahmad of the Pak Army, the intruders made use of rocks, boulders and caves for living. FRP huts were found at Points 5140 and 4388. It is appreciated that only the company commanders had a FRP hut to themselves. Due to poor living conditions many enemy soldiers succumbed to harsh winter conditions.



State of Defences. By and large enemy made extensive use of rocks and boulders to construct defences. At places enemy made use of defence works constructed by the Indian soldiers. There were no proper defences – only sangers with overhead protection were found at most places. It is however pointed out that at Tololing iron girders and CGI sheets with Pakistani markings were found. This reflects that due to its location and effective domination of Drass and the National Highway 1A to Leh, enemy had all the plans to convert it into a formidable defensive location.



Supplies



At Posts. In the initial stage of the intrusion, intruders survived on rations carried by them, till the logistics system was put in its place. As per the Report,1 a Pakistani soldier had stated that at times troops had to stay without supplies and depended on ‘Energile’ a protein enriched food pack and ate sugar with ice. It may be an exaggerated account by a soldier to the media, yet it gives a vivid state of the intruders hardships in the Indian territory . After their eviction it came to light that none of the enemy posts had rations for more than 3 to 4 days. The nominal rolls recovered from these enemy posts indicated presence of 16 to 18 persons at each post. 18 GRENADIERS, who hoped to feast on the enemy rations after the capture of the TIGER hill and HUMP, were disappointed to find only a day’s ration left by the enemy. Rations recovered on the capture of Point 4875 were barely enough to last for two to three days. However, items like honey and butter were found in larger quantities suggesting enhanced authorisation of such items in the high altitude areas.



Logistic Dump at Point 4388. No fuel was recovered from any post, perhaps enemy destroyed it before retreating from the area. At Point 4388, empty barrels numbering 50,each with a capacity of 200 litres and 40 jerricans were recovered. The possibility of helicopters dumping filled barrels of kerosene alongwith the supplies is most likely. In all probability mules were used to bring oil in jerricans to refill these barrels. It would be safe to assume that this dump catered for seven days of supplies and kerosene for the intruders. At the scale of 2.7 litres per man per day, 30 barrels (6000 litres) of kerosene could meet the requirement of approximately 317 troops for seven days. Based on this input, it can be appreciated that in all probability three company (plus) strength of the enemy was deployed in Mushkoh sector.



Ammunition



Small Arms Ammunition (SAA). The limited quantity of recoveries made of the SAA indicates that not more than one first line of ammunition was stocked at any of the enemy posts at any given time. For instance, at one of the posts (Hump), only 350 rounds of AK-47 rifle ammunition were recovered.



Mortars. 3x 120 mm mortars along with 626 bombs were captured from the enemy mortar position in the general area of Muskoh. A mule has a lift capability of six bombs, whereas four mules are required to carry a 120 mm mortar. Thus enemy required 12 mules to carry the three mortars and 20 mules per day over a period of five days to cart the ammunition. Own troops had noticed a mule column of approximately 30 mules in this area and engaged it with artillery fire. Besides existence of a mule track, a carcass of Mountain Artillery (MA) mule with saddle, East of Point 5060 confirms use of MA mules by the enemy to ferry 120 mm mortars and its ammunition. No move of enemy mule column of more than 30 mules (perhaps to conceal the move) was ever reported by own troops.



Medical. Casualty evacuation was poor. Medical support to the intruders was non existent. Evacuation of the dead bodies was extremely difficult. These had to be buried on the spot.



Assessment. Contrary to media reports (and general belief) that masses of Pakistani intruders were occupying well fortified and adequately stocked positions, when contacted by the Indian troops, the status of their ‘logistics’ state indicated that they were still in the initial stage of their build-up. This is borne out by the following :-



(a) The recovery of rations and kerosene at enemy posts revealed that it was barely enough to last not more than two to three days. Ammunition stocked at the areas vacated by the enemy was not more than one first line. With this state of rations and ammunition, a prolonged fight by the enemy was not possible.



(b) The enemy Logistics Dump at Point 4388 held supplies and kerosene not exceeding seven days requirement for an approximate strength of 320 troops. Another dump at Point 4925 had very limited stocks of supplies and kerosene.



(c) More so, entries in the diary of Capt Hussain Ahmad of Pak army reveal that he was still in the process of carrying out reconnaissance and establishment of new posts in the Mushkoh Valley in mid Apr 1999.



Timings of Intrusion. Some analysts have suggested that enemy intrusions may have taken place in late Nov/Dec 1998 or early 1999. But having assessed the state of defences, recovery of arms, ammunition and supplies at the areas recaptured by the Indian troops one reaches a conclusion that intrusion by the enemy in late winter of 1998 or early 1999 can be safely ruled out. Had it been so, the enemy defences would have been well fortified and stocked, than what they were found to be.



Various sources like troops in contact at the LC, the Gujjars and intelligence agents in the Valley and the Kargil sector would have fed Pakistan authorities with the requisite information about the vacated posts in Drass and Mushkoh valley during winter, after the snowfall, to facilitate in planning their intrusions accordingly. It would be seen that in the winter of 1998, the snowfall was delayed and the full scale snowfall did not take place till mid December, consequently the posts were not vacated till then by the Indians. In all probability enemy commenced probing across the LC in Feb 1999. The same is corroborated by Captain Hussain Ahmad by entries made by him in his diary, wherein he mentions his crossing into the Indian territory with handful of men. Thereafter he continued to probe forward, carry out reconnaissance and establish new posts in Mushkoh till mid Apr 1999.



It may however be conceded that for a large scale intrusion Pakistani authorities may have commenced building-up of stocks of supplies and ammunition at the Intermediate Logistic Nodes at Gultari, Faranshat, Buniyal and Kunar during Nov/Dec 1998 and may have possibly pushed forward minimum of 15 days stocks for the intrusion force to the Forward Nodes at the LC by Dec 1998.



Consolidation of Defences. Late snowfall in 1998 and early melting of snow, enabled early detection of intrusion by the Indian troops, which gave very little time to enemy to consolidate their defences in the areas intruded. Another one and a half month i.e. mid Jun to end Jul 1999, the usual melting time of snow in this area would have given the enemy adequate time to stock up and consolidate their defences.









Morale. The enemy, fed on religious propaganda, was highly elated when they intruded into the Indian territory . But this state of high morale was short lived and was adversely affected by the harsh terrain and weather conditions, poor state of supplies, high rate of casualties and pathetic living conditions. The enemy morale reached its lowest when successful attacks were launched by the Indians, their ammunition stocks were depleted and supplies became erratic with virtually no casualty evacuation facilities.



End Notes





1. Time Magazine July 12, 1999 Issue, page 22 – In Enemy Territory: A Soldier’s Diary

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby manjgu » 16 Nov 2009 15:30

RayC..

q1) so does Brig Sharma agree or disagree that there was indeed tremendous admin buildup by the enemy? atleast the impression i got was that there was tremendous build up to the nodes / forward nodes but not right up to the posts. but inspite of that, they always seemed to come hard or were some posts vacated just becasue they ran out of ammo??

i thought that the fight was quite prolonged inspite of the alleged shortages at enemy posts?? and only prolonged / concentrated arty fire got the IA through ..


q2) wrt to casualty evacuation ... how did Brig Sharma reach the conclusion that it was poor. How many injured soliders did we capture and how many dead bodies were found on the posts ( and how much that constitute as a % of the total strength of the enemy?).

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 16 Nov 2009 17:44

Thanks for that link on CLAW.in - their recent journal issue seems to be a Kargil special. but its not yet available for download

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby SSridhar » 16 Nov 2009 18:46

India's timid response to Kargil led to terrorist strikes - Ex Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Harwant Singh

India’s “timid” response to the Pakistani military ingress in Kargil in 1999 has been blamed by a retired Army General for the series of terrorist strikes beginning with the attack on Parliament in 2001.

He has also come down heavily on the country’s then political, executive and military leadership -- Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Defence Minister George Fernandes, Army chief General V P Malik and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal A Y Tipnis -- for not standing up to the challenge.

“Our (NDA’s political and military leadership’s) timid response at Kargil, laid the foundation for future terrorist attacks on India, starting with the attack on the Indian Parliament,” former Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Harwant Singh says in an article in the coming edition of the Indian Defence Review.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 16 Nov 2009 18:57

From the above article;

Referring to the tussle between the Army and the IAF on employing air power against the intruders at Kargil heights, he says the political and military leadership wasted a week’s time to decide if the IAF’s attack helicopters should be used to pound enemy-held positions, due to fears of escalation of the conflict and the nuclear threat.


Note as another controversy. Was the IAF wrong to approach the govt? Did this cause more delay? Everybody has differnet views.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2009 22:13

Aditya G wrote:From the above article;

Referring to the tussle between the Army and the IAF on employing air power against the intruders at Kargil heights, he says the political and military leadership wasted a week’s time to decide if the IAF’s attack helicopters should be used to pound enemy-held positions, due to fears of escalation of the conflict and the nuclear threat.


Note as another controversy. Was the IAF wrong to approach the govt? Did this cause more delay? Everybody has differnet views.



There was an agreement that GOI signed about fixed wing aircraft in the mid-1960s as Confidence building measure. Sardar Swaran Singh had neogtiated it under pressure. Hence the IAF approaching the govt for clearance was right. Yes it did create more delay. However if IA had known about the agreement then they could have asked for the support earlier.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 16 Nov 2009 22:30

manjgu wrote:RayC..

q1) so does Brig Sharma agree or disagree that there was indeed tremendous admin buildup by the enemy? atleast the impression i got was that there was tremendous build up to the nodes / forward nodes but not right up to the posts. but inspite of that, they always seemed to come hard or were some posts vacated just becasue they ran out of ammo??

i thought that the fight was quite prolonged inspite of the alleged shortages at enemy posts?? and only prolonged / concentrated arty fire got the IA through ..


q2) wrt to casualty evacuation ... how did Brig Sharma reach the conclusion that it was poor. How many injured soliders did we capture and how many dead bodies were found on the posts ( and how much that constitute as a % of the total strength of the enemy?).



Manjgu,

Without a replenishment and casevac programme no war can be won.

The areas where the Pakistanis infiltrated were no posts. Some were old Indian posts which were abandoned for as the tactical and strategic picture evolved.

To build a post in HAA is a tough task and it cannot be done overnight!

To fight for your life and not be killed is a psychological factor and has no input to the ammunition or food one has!

Indeed the Pakistanis left their people to God and so they expected God to care for them!


Brig VK was an officer who worked under me and I would vouch for what he says!

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 16 Nov 2009 22:36

ramana wrote:There was an agreement that GOI signed about fixed wing aircraft in the mid-1960s as Confidence building measure. Sardar Swaran Singh had neogtiated it under pressure. Hence the IAF approaching the govt for clearance was right. Yes it did create more delay. However if IA had known about the agreement then they could have asked for the support earlier.


Hmm, was'nt the agreement you speak of the on Airspace management that decreed that fixed with aircraft may not approach within 5 km from the border? This was signed in 1991. While some agreement may exist prior to that, I suppose it will not be relevant in 1999. Also the LoC we know today did not exist then.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 16 Nov 2009 23:11

Dear Ray,

Which one of these is closer to the truth:

1. Pakistani stocking and logistics chain was insufficient
2. Pakistani stocking and logistics chain was insufficient in face of Indian counterattack

One aspect Brig Sharma should have mentioned was the kind of arms that the Pakistanis had - Stingers, .50 Cal, anti personnel mines and 14.5 mm Russian MGs and even 105 mm howitzer(s). They also built helipads. I recallin one account that as many as 80 stingers had been fired in the war.

Its raining Kargil opinion it seems:

http://chhindits.blogspot.com/2009/11/c ... versy.html

Subramanium Committee Presentation was hollow with many self censored omissions and retrospectively perhaps unfairly or may be to shield some. For once I was not reassured by Commodore Jasjit Singh Presentation. The then COAS in his presentation concentrated from the point when the Indian Forces were decisively moving forward. Even the Presentation by the Military Groups who played the Kargil War Games with USA acting as Moderator was not that clear.

I am from the NDA[Navy]. I do not have or should not have any bias for my own service, Navy, or the two other services. I have never understood the air power role the way it is played out by my esteemed brothers from the Air Force though I passed the small courses that one does during the career and also the Staff College. Yes it is also true I never had the experience of an eye ball to eye ball with the other side in the conflict. But two things are crystal clear to me. War is not won unless the Army is in control on the ground. The other is War on Peace that follows the Hot War has to be won by the Army on the Ground which may not come for years or even decades.

I have the following to submit:

A. All the blame lay on the Intelligence failure though may be true was hyped to hide many short comings in the System e.g. Political, Bureaucratic and the Military!

B. Commonsense makes it difficult to accept that the Army Chief was not in the picture though delay in his recall may have some other connotations. But I would like to believe that the delay in response of VCOAS perhaps could be due varied reasons. There was military failure to detect and protect the creep into the our territory. So who should take the can. Seeking Air support perhaps was to gain time.

C. Yes I have heard the very Air Chief you have referred to. There were perhaps two things. One was Air Force had not prepared for this contingency. And obviously it is unlikely the Air Force ever put on record as then they to have to register interim measures. Two. Likely Air Chief was not willing to bail out the Army's slumber. When Air Force had registered and found solutions then only joined the activities.

D. If I remember it was Navy Chief as the Chief of Chiefs Staff Committee. Who ever he was, he played safe. I wonder if CDS would deliver. Has any General so far known to have put in his papers when the minimum he is suppose to have has not been provided.

E. Indian Political and Bureaucratic Hierarchies are never known to invest in National and Military Strategies. The multi-tasked National Security Adviser is to confuse and to diffuse the issues. It should never be one man word in this case that of NSA's. It is an accepted principal of the Indian democracy that absolute power should not be rested on any one individual. The Supreme Court too insists on that practice. National Security Commission should have at least 3 Commissioners under an Act passed by the Parliament like the EC have. Why the CDS cannot have more than one General/Admiral/Air Chief Marshal. It is one point that we are talking about not one man!

G. Why the War Book is in name only. Who keeps it up to date. That may be placed under the CDS/ National Security Commission.

H. Why the War Strategy is not revised every year 5 year along with the 5 Year Plan and duly accepted by the Parliament of the Parliament Defence Committee. That should include visit to the business of Intelligence in all its forms and colours.

The contributor is a serving naval officer, and does not wish to be identified, hence photograph, name etc have been avoided.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 17 Nov 2009 11:25

Aditya G wrote:From the above article;

Referring to the tussle between the Army and the IAF on employing air power against the intruders at Kargil heights, he says the political and military leadership wasted a week’s time to decide if the IAF’s attack helicopters should be used to pound enemy-held positions, due to fears of escalation of the conflict and the nuclear threat.


Note as another controversy. Was the IAF wrong to approach the govt? Did this cause more delay? Everybody has differnet views.


Lt Gen Harwant Singh wrote an article on Kargil that has been circulated and published on various blogs (but for the life of me, cant locate it now) - while it was scathing about the Air Force and ACM Tipnis, several senior AF officers have commented that Gen Harwant Singh didnt know what he was writing about.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 17 Nov 2009 11:53

Aditya G,

When I had joined the BRF, I had given a detailed post on what would the tonnage for the Pakistanis requirement if they had to have adequate logistic backup in terms of ammunition, food, medical supplies, batteries etc to hold onto the posts they created.

I don't know if that was archived.

Brig Sharma has mentioned the Forward Logistic Nodes. If there was a build up, then the vehicular movement would have indicated that. Therefore, apparently someone was napping or indifferent. To move that tonnage huge number of porters would be required and the movement to the posts the Pakistani created inside India would have to be carried out in penny packets since a large movement would be detected both from the ground as also from the air. There was snow and so footprints would also be detected by the air surveillance that is done periodically.

Hence, it would be fairly correct to surmise that the Pakistanis were not quite geared up logistically to sustain themselves.

It was a harebrained scheme of Musharraf, who as we have seen is more on the gung ho attitude than practical. I find Op Badr as a militarily juvenile attempt, the result of which was inevitable. Religious fervour that the Pakistanis attempted for sustenance is not a recognised Principle of War.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 17 Nov 2009 12:20

ACM Tipnis is very articulate person. However, with due regards to him, I daresay the IAF was upto the mark. They were not so at least in the Dras sector nor was their PGMs. But one can't blame them. High Altitude does play tricks in delivery of munitions, be it of any type or calibre. It requires practice and new tables. Even the Russian Krasnopol was a failure in Kargil when it was there for trials. Flying and operating in the HAA is totally a different ballgame.

Attack helicopters of the IAF has a service ceiling is 4600m, if my memory does not fail me. As it is, the turbulence makes lighter helicopter flying a problem, therefore one wonders how the huge and heavy AHs would have fared. The pilots have never flown in HAA being based in Chandigarh and most of the time lying idle on the ground for want of spare parts (or so I was told whenever I landed in Chandigarh).

Even making a flight to the airstrip at Kargil in a transport aircraft on January 19, Air Marshal Vinod Bhatia, then Chief of the IAF’s Western Air Command, strayed into Pakistani airspace and was shot at by Pakistani troops positioned along the LoC, which runs barely five kilometres from Kargil town. Bhatia, who has since retired, was shunted out of the Western Air Command for his mistake.
Bhatia

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby manjgu » 17 Nov 2009 12:39

RayC,

I am not for a moment questioning credentials of Brig Sharma ...( though trying to understand the gist of his finding and the underlying rationale / basis of his conclusions...)

on the replenishment question - i think the napakis did not plan for this thing to pan out the way it did.. they expected a very tepid indian response ( so the replenishment plan was thought out accordingly....though again bad planning no doubt) and planned for a stalemate kind of situation evolving. But was just curious to find out if any of the positions were vacated by napakis due to supply shortages?

on the casevac question - i think we did not capture many injured napaki soldiers ( so there some kind of casevac going on).. though probably they did not think of taking back their dead.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 17 Nov 2009 13:33

manjgu wrote:RayC,

I am not for a moment questioning credentials of Brig Sharma ...( though trying to understand the gist of his finding and the underlying rationale / basis of his conclusions...)

on the replenishment question - i think the napakis did not plan for this thing to pan out the way it did.. they expected a very tepid indian response ( so the replenishment plan was thought out accordingly....though again bad planning no doubt) and planned for a stalemate kind of situation evolving. But was just curious to find out if any of the positions were vacated by napakis due to supply shortages?

on the casevac question - i think we did not capture many injured napaki soldiers ( so there some kind of casevac going on).. though probably they did not think of taking back their dead.


Brig Sharma is a very competent officer who worked with me in the Kargil Ops. He was the Col Adm (in charge of Logistics) and has a very good idea of logistics.

While one can never know what was in Musharraf's mind (and he will not say so now, now that he has made a fool of himself), what can be surmised is that he thought he could consolidate the places intruded before the Indians realised.

Kargil is otherwise what one could say a 'quiet' sector, given the terrain and the glaciated areas. There is no doubt that complacency sets in when there is no 'activity'. Musharraf was capitalising on this.

If one reads the Pakistani officer's diary, one would realise how from sheer Islamic zeal, he went into a gloom. The shortages and the travails of the climate caught up with him since he and his troops were not equipped or victualled for the 'adventure' as he thought it would be. One thing that strikes out is that they had been fed with Islamic fervour and that is what carried them through. No position was vacated by them. They could not since it would be court martial and disgrace. No soldier can afford this shame, be he Pakistani or Indian!

As I said many times before, to be applauded as a tactician is a soldiers dream and logistics is REMF stigma. Therefore, plans all over the world are dashing and cavalier without scant regards to Logistics. Please read an excellent book "Lifeblood of War - Logistics in the Armed Forces" by Thompson (Brassey Publication) to understand the importance of logistics. It was sent to me by a veteran poster Anoop Chengara (who no longer posts. Sad!)

The terrain in Kargil does not allow roads or tracks to be built surreptitiously and the ridge lines are razor-sharp. Therefore, moving mules is out in most places and one has to do with porters if one wants to launch an offensive or infiltrate and occupy!

I wonder if they had any casevac. They were killed and some may have escaped!

Pakistanis left their Shia dead for the IA to bury!

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 18 Nov 2009 12:29

Army pays tribute to Kargil hero
http://telegraphindia.com/1091118/jsp/n ... 754066.jsp
The army has dedicated a gallery at the Rhino heritage museum here to Kargil hero late Capt. Keishing Clifford Nongrum who was conferred with the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Anoop » 20 Nov 2009 10:42

Ray sahab,

Very kind of you to remember me. I still read BRF and look forward to your posts. Am afraid, I have nothing much to contribute, hence the silence.

Hope you are well. I still have many books that I would like to send over. They are gathering dust here....

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 21 Nov 2009 16:58

The WAC commander of the time differ's in Air Marshal Goel's assessment of intelligence failure but lays it on the army leadership for being lax

http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?226682

'Threat Of Nuclear War In Kargil Was A Bogey'
The man in charge of the air operations during the Kargil war on the command and control failure in the army, the flawed military advice given to the then political leadership and more...

Saikat Datta

As the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal Vinod Patney was the man in charge of the air operations during the Kargil war. He was awarded a Sarvottam Yudh Seva medal for his role in the operations. Soon after Kargil, Patney—commissioned in the fighter stream and awarded a Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1965 war—took over as the vice chief of air staff and was witness to the efforts made to plug the gaping holes in the security establishment post-Kargil.

A week after Outlook published relevant sections of an internal assessment of the Kargil war by the army, Patney spoke to Saikat Datta on various aspects of how the war was fought. He also raises pertinent questions on the command and control failure in the army, the flawed military advice given to the then political leadership and refutes the contention that the Indian air force was in any way responsible for the delay in air operations. Excerpts from the interview:

Much has been made of the fact that air operations were introduced only on May 25. You were the AOC-in-c of Western Air Command, which directed the air operations in Kargil. What is your take on this?


There is a mistaken perception on the reasons of delay if any in using air power to eject the intruders. We were ready, but in the initial stages the army asked us only for our attack helicopters. We pointed out to them that these were no good at such heights. There was a degree of hesitancy within the system and hesitancy to seek the directions of the government. The army was also unsure of the level of ingress in the Kargil sector. Unnecessary discussion as to who should approach the government before using air power was settled when it was decided to call a COSC meeting. Apparently, there was inadequate information and possibly some hesitancy to recognise that there was a serious problem on our hands at the COSC meeting held on the same day.

Which means that the senior military leadership was unaware of the seriousness of the situation?



Exactly. Had the extent of ingress been known early enough there wouldn't have been any hesitancy in going to the
government. Around May 12-13 we (the IAF) started moving our forces into Kashmir as well as using the Leh airfield. Our helicopters as well as fighters were in position. The entire system in the Western Air Command was geared for war.

So where, then, was the problem?

Could any government have stopped from taking a decision about the use of air power had it known about the level of ingress? There have been statements that the government delayed the use of air power and did not allow us to go across. My question is, did the military emphatically advise the government on the military wisdom of crossing the LoC? The decision not to go across goes against every canon of military strategy. I can't think of any other situation where a superior air force operated solely within its border in spite of an aggression from the weaker side.

But General Malik left for Poland on May 11, after the intrusions were discovered and returned much later. Senior officers, like Lt Gen H.M. Khanna, the northern army commander, were in Pune. There are reports that Maj Gen V.S. Budhawar, the divisional commander, was busy collecting animals for his zoo. Could this be construed as a paralysis in command and control?

When I spoke to my man on the ground, Air Vice Marshal Nana Menon, in charge of air operations in Jammu and Kashmir, he told me the military leadership in northern command was still busy discussing exercise Brahma-Astra which was planned earlier.
When I asked him to discuss with the GOC-in-c (Lt Gen Khanna), I was told that he had pushed off to Pune. As far as Gen Malik is concerned, did he elect to stay back (in Poland) even after being told that the situation in Kargil was serious? The fact of the matter is that everyone in the army was convinced that nothing could go wrong. Peace reigned supreme!

In fact, most of the senior officers were awarded medals while the junior leaders were penalised.


Many among us were surprised. But I cannot answer this question and don't want to comment on this as I am not aware of the facts.

Could air power have played a decisive role in the conflict? What about fears that this could have escalated the conflict?

For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the IAF was not allowed to go across. Had we been able to hit the enemy's lines of communication or their supply dumps, we could have shortened the war. See how things changed after we hit Muntho Dalo (a supply dump for the Kargil intruders) and the nature of operations changed drastically. I agree that there was a fear of escalation and the Pakistan air force could also have come across. So be it. You have to understand that air power is an offensive platform but we were using it defensively. We had a system where we got least dividends for maximum effort.

Could the fact that both countries were overtly nuclear affect the decision-making process?


To my mind the threat of a nuclear war was a bogey. The value of a deterrent is lost when you shout from the rooftops that you will use nuclear weapons. Here was a case of naked aggression against us. Any attempt to use nuclear weapons would be foolish, not only in terms of international opinion, but also because of the inevitable riposte of our response that would follow.

But was the COSC effective? Can the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) help?

The Group of Ministers recommended that there should be a CDS. But prime minister Vajpayee decided against it during his time and the present government has been in place for several months and is yet to say yes. My question is: is the absence of a CDS an excuse for inefficiency? If so, then I doubt if it will help. We have an Integrated Defence Staff, which has not been awe-inspiring. And to expect that a CDS will be a specialist in all fields by virtue of his appointment will be illogical. First we need to put the ids in order. Why depend on a CDS when the best advice to the government comes from a specialist. The COSC fails to function as well as it should and can because of personalities. There isn't anything wrong with the system as such.

How effective were the air surveillance operations?

Our air surveillance capabilities are severely limited. The assets are used on request from the army. When we are so requested by the army, we fly and forward the photographs with interpretation as called for. The Aviation Research Centre (controlled by the raw) also does strategic reconnaissance and has the capability but have no control over it. As the aoc-in-c, where I have an offensive role, I did not get any input on what is happening across, on the other side. It is a sad story that they (Pakistan) could occupy heights on our side and we had to depend on a few shepherds to tell us what was going on.

What were the broad lessons of Kargil and how much has been implemented?

First, steps must be taken to rectify the terrible intelligence failure. There should be greater synergy between the three services to maximise efforts and there should be a recognition of air power. The COSC must establish the role of individual services so that each knows what it is expected to do. As far as implementation of the various recommendations are concerned, during my tenure I did not see any move of a substantial nature come our way.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Surya » 21 Nov 2009 19:04

Sigh all these guys have their own problems.

Ask another high ranking officer and he will tell you that the others were enamoured with the Migs and it was he who moved the Mirages and changed the game.

It will all dissolve into finger pointing and axes to grind :(

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 21 Nov 2009 19:14

This is the article by Harwant Singh that I was talking about

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcc76s85_43c56m39d7 or
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/2009 ... ement.html

Tip of the hat to D Sandhu

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 23 Nov 2009 07:21

Found something on my hard drive. This was from a MiG-29 pilot who served with No.223 Squadron during Kargil. Aditya G would remember him well.

Sqn Ldr Perumals recovery of the Canberra was a truly great feat. His Mig-29 escorts were indeed from 223 Sqn and were flown by S/L S Aggarwal and F/L Ranawat (now a S/L). I had the oppertunity to go and see the damaged canberra a few days later. The heat seeking missile had homed in onto the right engine and was embeded in the tailpipe. Pieces of the missle were still being taken out. It was lucky for the canberra crew becuase the engines on the Camberra are so far apart, one on each wing that the damage done to the tailpipe of one engine did not effect the other at all and the aircraft could be recovered safely.

But as to how the Pakistanis got to within the firing range was the point which ruled most of the flying in Kargil ops. These shoulder launched missiles normally have a Max range of 3 Km. But even though flying at great alt in that region, since the hill tops come very high, in actual fact the Canberra was more or less at low levels over the ground where this incident took place. Also it was carrying out a racecourse pattern for the recce and it was only in the second or the third run that it got shot. To launch a shoulder fired missile suddenly and on the first run when u are not expecting an ac is a very difficult task for even a trained soldier. But since our ac were in a racecourse pattern over the same general terrain, the shooter on the ground probably got enough time to get his launcher. The path of the Canberra was quite predective and this would have helped the shooting.

After this incident, all flying in the valley was done above a alt of 10 KM, taking into account the max ht of the hills so as to stay out of the envelpoe of shoulder launched missiles. All bombing was done from a very high level even though it was inaccurate and we actually in the AF had not trained for this kind of high level stuff. Only when the Mirages started using the precision munitions (LGBs), did the other side start feeling an effect. Before that our bombing was more of a nuisance than anything else. Also with so much of ordnance that we dropped (irom Bombs), we ran out of bombs very early in the conflict and the replinishment did take some time. We as an AF were not prepared for this.



Clarifications about the F-16s. Firslty, I can't be sure that they were F-16s, as everyone is saying they were, because we never spotted them. Intelligence reports suggested that F-16s were operating from Skardu and on only that basis can we make an educated guess that the enemy fighter activity in that regoin at that time, keeping in mind our use of our modern ac in the sector and Pakistans need to counter us with their best ac, we can say they were F-16s. Secondly the RWR warnings that we got when we turned away and they used to lock on to us was comensurat with the F-16 radar transmissions.

The other thing is about the lock-ons. Two ac were defenitley painted on the our ac radar scope but once one locks on, its just on one target. So there was a lock by me , but it could have been only on one ac. Having a lock merely is of no great consequence. What is more important is to convert it to a kill. That didn't happen so frankly i can't understand the hype the press has given to this episode of our having a lock on to the F-16s.

This is from the horse's own mouth so should present a true picture to a lot of people.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Rahul M » 23 Nov 2009 08:24

Jagan, didn't kaiser tufail's articles confirm that those were indeed F-16s ?

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Jagan » 23 Nov 2009 18:21

Yeah he did. F-16s from Sargodha and F-7s from Skardu.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby RayC » 23 Nov 2009 23:28

Anoop wrote:Ray sahab,

Very kind of you to remember me. I still read BRF and look forward to your posts. Am afraid, I have nothing much to contribute, hence the silence.

Hope you are well. I still have many books that I would like to send over. They are gathering dust here....


Anoop,

The boiok on Logistic that you sent, apart from others, was a gem!

Being in the infantry, I too was not that keen on the logistics hassles, but it opened up my eyes and I have recommended tio many who are in service.

You have done a great serviice.

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Aditya G » 23 Nov 2009 23:38

In Akash Yodha the CO of Baaz sqn said that they "chased away" pakistan fighters. I dont recall if he mentioned F-16 though. F-16s were definitely involved given the RWR signal. In PAF's Op Sentinel in 2002 the F-16s operated from Skardu

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby rajkumar » 24 Nov 2009 00:11

Anoop wrote:The boiok on Logistic that you sent, apart from others, was a gem!

Being in the infantry, I too was not that keen on the logistics hassles, but it opened up my eyes and I have recommended tio many who are in service.

You have done a great serviice.


Anoop,

Could you please let me have the name of the Logistic book please. I have a number of serving relatives in the IA who would be most grateful for it?

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Re: Kargil War Thread - VI

Postby Prem Kumar » 24 Nov 2009 01:56

Jagan wrote:This is the article by Harwant Singh that I was talking about

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcc76s85_43c56m39d7 or
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/2009 ... ement.html

Tip of the hat to D Sandhu


Very interesting read. Lt Gen Harwant Singh talks about 2 instances ('62 and '99) of the "escalation bogey" paralyzing our response. With 26/11, make that 3. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, ???"


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