Indian Army History Thread

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Ranj_K
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Ranj_K » 13 May 2019 12:44

I was reading about this battle a few months ago and was interested to see that there were about 10 battalions of the Royal Nepal army taking part which I was unaware of.
I thought the only Nepalese were in the Indian army Gurkha regiments.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ParGha » 13 May 2019 17:46

“India” was an ambiguous concept then — Nepal was little different than any other Indian princely state (Hyderabad, Mysore, J&K, etc), and all were expected to do their feudal duty and contribute troops.

In 1950s everyone fully expected India to formally incorporate Nepal as a state, especially after the plebiscite in Tawang. India had even more in common with Nepal than Tawang (or later Sikkim), so it was thought logical that it would join as a state. The Nepali National Congress had even invited Indian election officers to being work on the polling. Then reactionary elements in Kathmandu (mainly the Rana faction), supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in the Indian plains, nixed it with their delusions of a “Hindu rashtra” ruled by a benevolent autocrat. Nepal remained a closed and backward country, and is now dangerously slipping fully into ChiCom orbit.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby siqir » 13 May 2019 18:41

even indians still getting whitewashed out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCzTO5o88zg

video is nhk docu on the imphal kohima battle broadcast 2017

they project it as loss to brits only

and even got a local singing a patriotic japanese war song
letting the mask slip a bit there lol

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 13 May 2019 19:29

japanese wanted to portray it as a fight against imperialism and encourage large scale revolt in the BIA (spurred by the INA) and in the general population. therefore it was important to them to portray it as a fight against whites (indians not involved so no question of fratricidal civil war)
for most of the whites, especially those higher up, indians only provided manpower and were irrelevant to the bigger picture
it was in both sides interest to whitewash indians out

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Indian jungle green uniforms to Royal Nepal army 1944-Kohima ?

Postby Ranj_K » 14 May 2019 13:28

Just been reading about the battle of Kohima-Imphal 1944 and see that some battalions of the Royal Nepal army (RNA) also fought, which was unknown to me.
I know the 1930s RNA had uniforms like the Indian army gurkha regiments,khaki drill uniform.
But what uniform was worn by the RNA at Kohima 1944 ? The old uniform and equipment or the Indian produced jungle green shirt and trousers with the 1937 webbing ( or early WW1 type pattern) equipment ?
The only undated photo i have found ( from the Dr Prem Basnyat Nepalese army history website) may show the jungle green uniform, but not too sure.
Anyone have information or photos of the RNA at Kohima-Imphal 1944 ?

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Re: Indian jungle green uniforms to Royal Nepal army 1944-Kohima ?

Postby Ranj_K » 14 May 2019 13:47

The Basnyat website-

http://www.premsinghbasnyat.com.np/

To see the photo , click on 'gallery' at top of page,the photo is the third one down in the left column.
But it shows as WW1 rather than WW2, the bren guns are a clue.

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Re: Indian jungle green uniforms to Royal Nepal army 1944-Kohima ?

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 14 May 2019 13:48

Interesting information. Suggest you take this to the Indian Army History thread rather than start a new thread.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Ranj_K » 14 May 2019 21:45

Ok I'll do that, thanks.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vsunder » 14 May 2019 23:15

The definitive history book about this battle is by John Colvin, Not Ordinary Men. He has searched the war diaries, and dispatches and taken oral and written testimony of both sides Japanese and Allied. He has also gone through the Japanese military records and the book has a very large list of his sources. Gorkha battalions figured prominently in this battle and is represented a lot in the bibliography. The book to my memory did not have any specific reference to the contributions of the Nepalese battalions. Perhaps chasing down the biblio might mention the contributions. A partial list of the biblio is

War Diaries: 3/1 and 4/15 Gorkha, Dispatches Maj. R. B. Houston 10th Gorkha,

Oral testimony: Capt. J. Patrick, 1/7 Gorkha

Records of 3/1 Gorkhas, part of 33 Brigade.

This is a partial list of the records of just the Gorkha battalions used by the author. The list of Indian Army battalion records used by the author is quite immense and forbidding.

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Ordinary-Men ... 0850529670

The book should be read in tandem with the curtain raiser The Battle of Sanghsak by H. Seaman (who was also interviewed by John Colvin for his book) that bloodied our Paras for the first time.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 15 May 2019 13:41

Battle at Sangshak is a good read, and with hindsight probably a major factor in the eventual victory at Kohima, despite it being a holding operation
at the time it was not always seen +vely

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jaysimha » 23 May 2019 14:49

https://www.indembassyisrael.gov.in/gallery?id=boYje
Image
Commemoration ceremony of Lt Gen Jack Farj Rafael Jacob, 30 April 2019

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 25 Jun 2019 10:13

Here is something about the Dogras.

The Mighty 2nd to be precise.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/ ... 28966.html

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 25 Jun 2019 10:14

Something else I got from pater familias!!

http://www.coloursofglory.org/hill-called-melrose/

A bit long .. some of you may have read it. It’s for the others .. do read this ⬇.

Interesting article from Dr. Yashwant Thorat son of Lt.Gen Thorat.

*A HILL CALLED MELROSE*

"May I have a light?"

I looked up to see a Japanese – more or less my age – with an unlit cigarette in his hand.

I reached for my lighter. He lit up.

We were on a train travelling from Berne to Geneva in the autumn of 1980.

“Indian?” he asked. “Yes” I replied. We got talking.

He was an official in the UN and was returning to home and headquarters at Geneva.

I was scheduled to lecture at the university.

We chit-chatted for a while; he gave me some useful tips on what to see and where to eat in the city.

Then, having exhausted the store of ‘safely tradable information’, we fell silent.

I retrieved my book – ‘Defeat into Victory’, an account of the Second World War in Burma by Field Marshal William Slim.

He opened the newspaper. We travelled in silence.

After a while he asked “Are you a professor of Military History?”

“No” I replied- “just interested.

My father was in Burma during the war”. “Mine too” he said.

In December 1941, Japan invaded Burma and opened the longest land campaign of the entire war for Britain.

There were two reasons for the Japanese invasion.

First, cutting the overland supply route to China via the Burma Road would deprive Chiang Kai Sheik’s Nationalist Chinese armies of military equipment and pave the way for the conquest of China.

Second, possession of Burma would position them at the doorway to India, where they believed a general insurrection would be triggered against the British once their troops established themselves within reach of Calcutta.

Entering Burma from Thailand, the Japanese quickly captured Rangoon in 1942, cut off the Burma Road at source and deprived the Chinese of their only convenient supply base and port of entry.

Winning battle after battle, they forced the allied forces to retreat into India.

The situation was bleak. The British were heavily committed to the war in Europe and lacked the resources and organisation to recapture Burma.

However, by1943 they got their act together. The High Command was overhauled; Wavell was replaced by Mountbatten and operational control was given to General William Slim, a brilliant officer.

Slim imbued his men with a new spirit, rebuilt morale and forged the famous 14th Army, an efficient combat force made up of British, Indians and Africans.

The Japanese, aware that the defenders were gathering strength, resolved to end the campaign with a bold thrust into India and a simultaneous attack in the Arakan in Burma.

In the ebb and flow of these large events chronicled in Military History, my father, a soldier, played a part – first in Kohima in clearing the Japanese from the Naga Hills, then in Imphal and finally in the deeply forested mountains of Arakan.

Destiny took him there. In the blinding rain of the monsoons in 1943, the Supreme Allied Commander’s plane landed at Maugdow where the All-India Brigade of which his regiment was a part was headquartered.

Mountbatten was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen.. Browning, who had been my father’s Adjutant at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst.

He and the two other Indian commanders – Thimayya and Sen - were introduced to Mountbatten who made casual but searching enquiries regarding their war experience.

Thereafter he was closeted in the ‘conference tent’ with the senior commanders for a long time. As they came out he turned to Reggie Hutton, the Brigade commander and said, “All right Reggie let your All-Indian Brigade do it.

But, by God, it is going to be tough”. Then turning to the three of them he said, “Gentlemen, the Japanese are pulling out of upper Burma. You have been selected to intercept their withdrawal from there into the South. You will concentrate at Akyab, proceed to Myebon by sea, capture Kangaw, penetrate Japanese-held territory and convert the Japanese retreat into a rout. Is that clear?” It was.

My Japanese friend who had been listening intently leaned forward and asked “Did you say your father was in the All India Brigade?”

“Yes”, I replied. Our conversation paused for a while as the waiter served coffee and croissants.

Later, picking up the threads he persisted “Was he a junior officer at the time?” “Not really” I replied. “He was a Battalion commander”.

He digested the information and said “Which regiment?” “The Punjab Regiment” I replied.

His face turned colour. Maybe it was a play of light and shade or maybe it was just my imagination but I thought he was going to be ill.

“Are you okay?” I queried? He nodded. “Please carry on”.

After marching through hostile territory, the brigade finally landed at Myebon.

Their disembarkation was not opposed.

They proceeded to Kangaw little knowing that forty-eight hours later they would be locked in a battle which was to last for a fortnight and claim the lives of three thousand men.

Mountbatten had been right. The withdrawal route of the Japanese was dominated by ‘Hill Feature 170; Melrose.

It was firmly held by the Japanese and gave them the enormous advantage of having the ‘commanding heights’.

Worse, intelligence reported that they had two brigades.

The Indians had one. Brigadier Hutton realised that if the withdrawal had to be cut, the hills would have to be captured irrespective of the numerical disadvantage.

He took the call. The first attack by the Hyderabadis under Thimayya mauled the enemy but did not achieve the objective.

The second by the Baluchis under Sen met a similar fate. It was then that ‘Reggie’ asked the Punjabis to make a final effort.

Artillery and air support was coordinated.

The zero hour for the attack was set at 0700 hours on 29 January 1944.

At dawn as the leading companies moved forward, the Japanese opened machine gun fire.

The Artillery provided cover and laid out a smoke screen.

The Punjabis began to climb the hill. Safe from amongst well dug bunkers the Japanese rained fire on them.

The Indian casualties mounted as men began to drop.

The air cover which was a key part of the plan failed to materialise - bad weather and bad luck.

Taking a calculated risk, the commander pushed on. They were hardly a hundred yards from the top when the Japanese threw everything they had at them.

In the face of such unrestrained fierceness, the advance faltered hovering uncertainly on the edge of stopping.

For the commander, it was the moment of truth – to fight or flee?

As he saw his men being mowed down by machine gun fire a rage erupted within him.

Throwing caution to the winds he ran forward to be with them.

The scales ‘tipped’. The troops rallied, ‘fixed bayonets’ and charged into the Japanese with obscenities and primeval war cries.

A fierce hand to hand combat ensued.

Neither side took or gave a quarter.

The Japanese fought like tigers at bay.

The conflict went on unabated through the night.

The Japanese counter-attacked in wave after wave but the Indian line held firm.

Then the last bullet was fired and there was silence.

Many years later Mountbatten would describe what took place as “The bloodiest battle of the Arakan” and correctly so.

The price of victory was two thousand Japanese and eight hundred Indians dead in the course of a single encounter.

Fifty officers and men would win awards for gallantry.

The battalion commander would be decorated with the DSO for ‘unflinching devotion to duty and personal bravery’.

But all that was to happen in the future.

At that particular moment on the field of battle, the commander was looking at the Japanese soldiers who had been taken prisoners of war.

They had assembled as soldiers do, neatly and in order.

On seeing the Indian Colonel, their commander called his men to attention, stepped forward, saluted, unbuckled his sword, held it in both hands and bowed.

The Indian was surprised to see that his face was streaked with tears.

He understood the pain of defeat but why the tears?

After all, this was war. One or the other side had to lose.

How could the Japanese explain to the Indian that the tears were not of grief but of shame?

How could he make him understand what it meant to be a Samurai?

Given a choice he himself would have preferred the nobler course of Hara Keri than surrender.

But fate had willed otherwise.

The ancestral sword in his hands had been carried with pride by his forefathers.

Now he was shaming them by handing it over.

All this was unknown – unknowable - to the Indian commander.

He came from a different culture and had no knowledge of what was going on in the mind of his adversary.

Yet there was something in the manner and bearing of the officer in front of him which touched him deeply.

He found himself moved.

Without being told he somehow intuited that the moment on hand was not merely solemn but personal and deeply sacred.

He accepted the sword and then inexplicably, impelled by an emotion which perhaps only a soldier can feel for a worthy opponent, bent forward and said clearly and loudly in the hearing of all “Colonel I accept the surrender but I receive your sword not as a token of defeat but as a gift from one soldier to another”.

The Japanese least expecting this response looked up startled.

The light bouncing from the tears on his cheeks, reflected an unspoken gratitude for the Indian’s remark.

Coming as it did from the heart, it had touched his men and redeemed their – and his – honour.

The Punjabis – Hindus and Muslims - who had gathered around also nodded in appreciation.

Battle was battle. When it was on, they had fought each other with all their strength.

And now that it was over there was no personal or national animosity.

Maybe the Gods who look after soldiers are different from those who look after other mortals for they bind them in strange webs of understanding and common codes of honour no matter which flags they fly.

The moment passed.

He looked at the Signal Officer and nodded.

The success signal was fired. Far away in the jungles below, Brigadier Reggie Hutton looked at the three red lights in the sky and smiled. His faith in his commanders had been vindicated.

He would later explain that at stake that night was not only the battle objective but the larger issue as to whether Indians ‘had it in them’ to lead men in war.

There had been sceptics who felt that his faith was misplaced.

He looked at Melrose and smiled. Its capture had vindicated his faith.

I looked out of the window lost in my thoughts.

Suddenly I heard a sob to find that my Japanese friend had broken down.

He swayed from side to side. His eyes were closed and it was clear that he was in the grip of an emotion more powerful than himself.

He kept saying ‘karma, karma’ and talking to himself in his own language.

After a while he looked up with eyes full of tears and holding both my hands said in a voice choked with emotion, “It was my father who gave battle to yours on Melrose.

It was he who surrendered.

Had your father not understood the depth of his feelings, he would have come back and died of shame.

But in accepting our ancestral sword in the manner that he did, he restored honour to our family and my father to me.

That makes us brothers – you and I.

The train pulled into Geneva station.

We got down. What had to be said had already been spoken.

He bowed.

Goodbye I said. Keep in touch.

Incidentally, would you like me to restore the sword back to your family?

He smiled, looked at me and said “Certainly not. The sword already rests in the house of a Samurai”.

That was the last I saw of him.

Usha tells me that the probability of our meeting defies statistics.

She should know.

She studied economics and statistics.

There was a World war going on. Good.

My father was in the Indian army; his father was in the Japanese army; perfectly okay.

They fought in the same theatre of war – Burma; understandable.

They fought in the same battle; difficult but believable.

The war finished, they went back to their families; plausible.

But that their sons grew up in two different lands, happened to go to Berne at the same time, board the same train, get into the same compartment, share coffee and cigarettes, have a conversation on something that had happened four decades ago, discover their fathers had fought on opposite sides in the same battle – that undoubtedly is insane.

Personally, I do not believe that there are outcomes in life which are necessarily bound to happen?

Yet, sometimes I am not so sure.

You can never connect events by looking into the future; you can only connect them by looking at the past.

Maybe it is comforting to believe that because the dots connect backward, they will connect forward also.

I don’t know.

Perhaps in the end, you have to trust in something.

The sword has a pride of place in our home.

Whenever I see it, my mind goes back to the jungles of Arakan where in the midst of the madness of war, two soldiers were able to touch each other and their compatriots with lasting humanity

By Dr Yashwant Thorat, son of Lt Gen SPP Thorat KC DSO.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Manish_P » 25 Jun 2019 10:42

Wow sir! What an amazing tale..

Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ashvin » 25 Jun 2019 14:27

Very touching story! Thanks for posting!

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 23 Jul 2019 06:03

THE STORY OF THREE GREAT DIVISIONS IN ITALY

Tiger Triumphs: Indian Army in Italy in WWII

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 02 Nov 2019 05:37

Very good article on India in World War II

https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals ... a-1953.pdf

India provided the largest number of troops including UK in any theater.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 12 Nov 2019 01:57

On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice day, 11 Nov 2019 the Guardian had an article on contributions of Indians to WW I.

Contributed 1.5 million men. Sum total was greater than all the other colonies together. Some 34K were killed in action. Total casualties are 74K.

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ssion=true


Recall Johann pooh poohing the Contribution a decade ago.

Sad.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Gagan » 12 Nov 2019 08:38

ramana wrote:On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice day, 11 Nov 2019 the Guardian had an article on contributions of Indians to WW I.

Contributed 1.5 million men. Sum total was greater than all the other colonies together. Some 34K were killed in action. Total casualties are 74K.

Wonder how many men did the UK mainland, just by itself, contribute?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Gerard » 19 Dec 2019 22:56

https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... -63v19/d76

76. Editorial Note
At midnight December 17-18, 1961, an estimated 30,000 Indian troops, under the command of Lieutenant General J.N. Chaudhury, marched into Goa and the smaller neighboring Portuguese territories of Damao and Diu. Portuguese forces were heavily outnumbered and surrendered in all three territories on December 19.

In Washington, Secretary of State Rusk reacted to the first reports of Indian troop movements by calling Indian Ambassador Nehru to protest against the resort to force. (Department of State, Rusk Files: Lot 72 D 192, Telephone Conversations)

In response to an urgent request from the Portuguese Government, the U.N. Security Council met on December 18 to consider the Indian invasion of the Portuguese territories. (U.N. Document S/5030) Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, criticized the Indian military action as a violation of the principles of the U.N. Charter. (U.N. Document S/PV.987) In the course of the debate, Stevenson submitted a draft resolution that called for a cease-fire, withdrawal of Indian forces, and the resumption of negotiations. The resolution was cosponsored by France, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. (U.N. Document S/5033) The resolution failed by a vote of 7 to 4, in that the negative vote cast by the Soviet Representative constituted a veto. (U.N. Document S/PV.987) For text of Stevenson’s statement in the Security Council and the draft resolution he submitted, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, pages 956-960.


FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1961–1963, VOLUME XIX, SOUTH ASIA

Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State

Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India

Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Arun.prabhu » 14 Mar 2020 23:43

X-posted from Indian Air Force thread as it was noted the discussion wasn’t germane there:

Now, don’t shift the goal posts. All I did was state that IG made a strategic error in not prosecuting the main campaign in the west and should have either birfurcated the west or run over the western half. You were the one who countered that the staff advised her that it wasn’t possible. The onus isn’t on me to provide cites for an observation you made. The best you can do is ask me to provide order of battle and movement orders, unit targets, etc for my supposed invasion. I don’t have the staff training to create movement orders for a campaign and I don’t have road, rail and terrain maps of 1971 W. Pakistan and I certainly don’t have our own order of battle, TOE, unit strengths, readiness etc and so can’t create such a plan even if I were trained. I’ll freely admit to being unable to answer that theoretical question to the extent that will stand scrutiny by a trained and experienced general.

What you can’t ask me to do is provide cites for a claim you made. IG asked our staff to invade E Pakistan. All the text I’ve read on the war indicates that. She didn’t lay out the refugee problem before them and give them carte Blanche to solve it.

As to the rest, my claim was we lost an opportunity to solve the Pakistan problem back then. I did not say it would have been a walk over and I did not claim that our blitzkrieg would have taught the German staff a thing or two on combined arms.

manjgu wrote:1) arun..u shuld give a cite that the mil leadership asked IG to cut w pakistan into two or vice versa and not me. IG had given a free hand to the mil leadership..and the very good mil leadership told to IG what was doable. the reason has already been told..we neither had the training/men material superiority/generals to do the famous 'blitzkreig' as suggested by you. There was v little armour on the eastern front... our armour was majorly on the western front still it could do v little. 2) that the army was not up for blitzkrieg after 24 yrs of independence is clearly a failure of political leadership ..on that point i will agree. the armed forces were neglected till 1962 and post the debacle only we woke up. and u r expecting indian armed forces to do blitzkreig in 1971 !! u can maybe equip a army in 9 years but u cant train it sufficiently to do the combined armed ops which the germans did. None of our generals/senior commanders had experience/training of commanding anything more than a tank regiment. armour was employed in penny packets, did occassional forays etc. my last on the topic...

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Arun.prabhu » 14 Mar 2020 23:52

I concur. The thing to note is that a decision in the west would have made the holding onto east Pakistan untenable at best and ensured that the TSP divisions in the east dies on the vine. It would have been a lot more bloody for us, but who knows what would have happened with a victory in the west.

Manish_P wrote:
Arun.prabhu wrote:And whatever those failings were, we still won stinking in the East and fought W. Pakistan offensive to a standstill. So, tell me again why the units that fought in the west and east could not have taken the western half out if they'd been concentrated in the west?


IMHO our forces could have, but at a very high cost. And holding the land would have been much tougher. In the east we had the local population on our side. were on the side of the local population, who were against the Pakis

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby manjgu » 15 Mar 2020 09:13

arun..then are u asserting that military told IG that cutting W pakistan was doable and IG made a mistake of not going for it?? the political leadership would have taken the mil leaderships inout and would have decided what was doable and what was not ... the logical military outcome of the discussion would have been to cut E pakistan given that we could achieve numerical/material superiority only in E pakistan, have a sympathetic local populace, and seen as supporting a indigenous political movement for independence, solving a human rights crisis etc. in E pakistan the outcome was never in doubt given the force differential. there was no surety of achieving a similar result in the west. In war, its not only about achieving numerical superiority but having trained/excercised/ manoeuvred such large numbers. honestly i will be surprised even if in 2020 the indian armed forces can achieve jointmanship/elan that the germans showed in WW2 !!

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Manish_P » 15 Mar 2020 13:01

Arun.prabhu wrote:I concur. The thing to note is that a decision in the west would have made the holding onto east Pakistan untenable at best and ensured that the TSP divisions in the east dies on the vine. It would have been a lot more bloody for us, but who knows what would have happened with a victory in the west.

Manish_P wrote:
IMHO our forces could have, but at a very high cost. And holding the land would have been much tougher. In the east we had the local population on our side. were on the side of the local population, who were against the Pakis


That would depend a lot of what would be termed as a 'victory', specifically a 'victory in the west', which in turn depends entirely on what was the objective/s.

Was the objective to:
a) just defeat the Pak military (on the western flank) and then pull back and repeat it on the eastern flank -concurrently, slightly staggered, with a gap?
b) was it to defeat and disband the Pak military & establish a civilian government, perhaps backed by our forces?
c) was it to defeat the Pak military, divide Pak into 4-5 pieces, establish civilian governments for each, possibly backed by our forces?
d) was it just to defeat the Pak military in the east, break the province away first (since it was from a military POV the easier to do), set a friendly government there, not needing to station a good amount of our forces (thanks partly to geography, thanks partly to the local population support), pull back and see if other Pak provinces could similarly be set up on the path?
e) something else?

For a, defeating the Pak military on the western front would take more time, higher costs and would allow the US to bring in more pressure (military & diplomatic) faster, which might stall our moves on the eastern side, especially if they were not done concurrently.

For b and c, i think that complete decimation of the Pak military would be a pre-requisite, unless we would be okay with risking being bogged down in a long drawn guerilla type insurgency.

The objectives in turn would factor in our military strengths/weaknesses (including logistics, stocks, safe re-supply lines), economic position, the positions of the cold war players and critically, IMVHO, the support/opposition of the local population.

Not to forget the China factor (with the US already planning/making backroom overtures to court the middle kingdom to reduce the Soviet influence), which was (as proved later) not that significant, thanks to the Soviets.

Who knows, indeed.

But i think that the powers that be of the time, the Generals and the politicians, knew the risks/rewards much more than us, even without the benefit of the hindsight :)

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby manjgu » 15 Mar 2020 22:09

1) one of the imperatives of 1971 ops was to finish it quickly before expected US intervention 2) the performance of Indian higher command in western sector was quite poor if u read Parvals accounts..KK Singh could ingress only 12 km till end of war inspite of having huge armour and having fought in the same area in 1965.. only 3/4 armour regiments really participated with majority of armour sitting twidling their fingers ..v timid/defensive attempts..no imagination.. Candeth's v ambitious war plans were scuttled by indian higher command for a more defensive approach... in the south bewoor was paralysed post longewala...all in all v poor performance... there were no guderians, manstiens on either side... 3) compare this with kind of forces guderian, manstein commanded. in Battle of krusk manstein had forces almost equal to whole of indian armed forces on a 200/300 km front.And it was not only the generals..even the german staff officers were of a different calibre... they were product of generations of training/education.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Adrija » 15 Mar 2020 22:30

https://tinyurl.com/t6xzz4j

Has this book been highlighted and reviewed on this page already? Linking as it deserves WIDE publicity especially by all of us jingoes

Is there a way to pin this to the relevant threads please? And also if there is anything we can do to ensure Lt Gen Sagat Singh gets the glory and credit this brave and worthy son of Bharat mata deserves

Sincere apologies if already done

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby VickyAvinash » 17 Apr 2020 01:49

Recieved in a whatsApp forward. Please let me know if inappropriate:

A HILL CALLED MELROSE

"May I have a light?" I looked up to see a Japanese – more or less my age – with an unlit cigarette in his hand. I reached for my lighter. He lit up. We were on a train travelling from Berne to Geneva in the autumn of 1980. “Indian?” he asked. “Yes” I replied. We got talking. He was an official in the UN and was returning to home and headquarters at Geneva. I was scheduled to lecture at the university. We chit-chatted for a while; he gave me some useful tips on what to see and where to eat in the city. Then, having exhausted the store of ‘safely tradable information’, we fell silent. I retrieved my book – ‘Defeat into Victory’, an account of the Second World War in Burma by Field Marshal William Slim. He opened the newspaper. We travelled in silence. After a while he asked “Are you a professor of Military History?” “No” I replied- “just interested. My father was in Burma during the war”. “Mine too” he said.

In December 1941, Japan invaded Burma and opened the longest land campaign of the entire war for Britain. There were two reasons for the Japanese invasion. First, cutting the overland supply route to China via the Burma Road would deprive Chiang Kai Sheik’s Nationalist Chinese armies of military equipment and pave the way for the conquest of China. Second, possession of Burma would position them at the doorway to India, where they believed a general insurrection would be triggered against the British once their troops established themselves within reach of Calcutta. Entering Burma from Thailand, the Japanese quickly captured Rangoon in 1942, cut off the Burma Road at source and deprived the Chinese of their only convenient supply base and port of entry. Winning battle after battle, they forced theallied forces to retreat into India. The situation was bleak. The British were heavily committed to the war in Europe and lacked the resources and organisation to recapture Burma. However, by1943 they got their act together. The High Command was overhauled; Wavell was replaced by Mountbatten and operational control was given to General William Slim, a brilliant officer. Slim imbued his men with a new spirit, rebuilt morale and forged the famous 14th Army, an efficient combat force made up of British, Indians and Africans. The Japanese, aware that the defenders were gathering strength, resolved to end the campaign with a bold thrust into India and a simultaneous attack in the Arakan in Burma.

In the ebb and flow of these large events chronicled in Military History, my father, a soldier, played a part – first in Kohima in clearing the Japanese from the Naga Hills, then in Imphal and finally in the deeply forested mountains of Arakan. Destiny took him there. In the blinding rain of the monsoons in 1943, the Supreme Allied Commander’s plane landed at Maugdow where the All-India Brigade of which his regiment was a part was headquartered. Mountbatten was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Browning, who had been my father’s Adjutant at the Royal Military College in Sandhurst. He and the two other Indian commanders – Thimayya and Sen - were introduced to Mountbatten who made casual but searching enquiries regarding their war experience. Thereafter he was closeted in the ‘conference tent’ with the senior commanders for a long time. As they came out he turned to Reggie Hutton, the Brigade commander and said, “All right Reggie let your All-Indian Brigade do it. But, by God, it is going to be tough”. Then turning to the three of them he said, “Gentlemen, the Japanese are pulling out of upper Burma. You have been selected to intercept their withdrawal from there into the South. You will concentrate at Akyab, proceed to Myebon by sea, capture Kangaw, penetrate Japanese-held territory and convert the Japanese retreat into a rout. Is that clear?” It was.

My Japanese friend who had been listening intently leaned forward and asked “Did you say your father was in the All India Brigade?” “Yes”, I replied. Our conversation paused for a while as the waiter served coffee and croissants. Later, picking up the threads he persisted “Was he a junior officer at the time?” “Not really” I replied. “He was a Battalion commander”. He digested the information and said “Which regiment?” “The Punjab Regiment” I replied. His face turned colour. Maybe it was a play of light and shade or maybe it was just my imagination but I thought he was going to be ill. “Are you okay?” I queried? He nodded. “Please carry on”.

After marching through hostile territory, the brigade finally landed at Myebon. Their dis-embarkation was not opposed. They proceeded to Kangaw little knowing that forty-eight hours later they would be locked in a battle which was to last for a fortnight and claim the lives of three thousand men.

Mountbatten had been right. The withdrawal route of the Japanese was dominated by ‘Hill Feature 170; Melrose. It was firmly held by the Japanese and gave them the enormous advantage of having the ‘commanding heights’. Worse, intelligence reported that they had two brigades. The Indians had one. Brigadier Hutton realised that if the withdrawal had to be cut, the hills would have to be captured irrespective of the numerical disadvantage. He took the call. The first attack by the Hyderabadis under Thimayya mauled the enemy but did not achieve the objective. The second by the Baluchis under Sen met a similar fate. It was then that ‘Reggie’ asked the Punjabis to make a final effort. Artillery and air support was coordinated. The zero hour for the attack was set at 0700 hours on 29 January 1944. At dawn as the leading companies moved forward, the Japanese opened machine gun fire. The Artillery provided cover and laid out a smoke screen. The Punjabis began to climb the hill. Safe from amongst well dug bunkers the Japanese rained fire on them. The Indian casualties mounted as men began to drop. The air cover which was a key part of the plan failed to materialise - bad weather and bad luck. Taking a calculated risk, the commander pushed on. They were hardly a hundred yards from the top when the Japanese threw everything they had at them. In the face of such unrestrained fierceness, the advance faltered hovering uncertainly on the edge of stopping. For the commander, it was the moment of truth – to fight or flee? As he saw his men being mowed down by machine gun fire a rage erupted within him. Throwing caution to the winds he ran forward to be with them. The scales ‘tipped’. The troops rallied, ‘fixed bayonets’ and charged into the Japanese with obscenities and primeval war cries. A fierce hand to hand combat ensued. Neither side took or gave a quarter. The Japanese fought like tigers at bay. The conflict went on unabated through the night. The Japanese counter-attacked in wave after wave but the Indian line held firm. Then the last bullet was fired and there was silence.

Many years later Mountbatten would describe what took place as “The bloodiest battle of the Arakan” and correctly so. The price of victory was two thousand Japanese and eight hundred Indians dead in the course of a single encounter. Fifty officers and men would win awards for gallantry. The battalion commander would be decorated with the DSO for ‘unflinching devotion to duty and personal bravery’. But all that was to happen in the future.

At that particular moment on the field of battle, the commander was looking at the Japanese soldiers who had been taken prisoners of war. They had assembled as soldiers do, neatly and in order. On seeing the Indian Colonel, their commander called his men to attention, stepped forward, saluted, unbuckled his sword, held it in both hands and bowed. The Indian was surprised to see that his face was streaked with tears. He understood the pain of defeat but why the tears? After all, this was war. One or the other side had to lose. How could the Japanese explain to the Indian that the tears were not of grief but of shame? How could he make him understand what it meant to be a Samurai? Given a choice he himself would have preferred the nobler course of Hara Keri than surrender. But fate had willed otherwise. The ancestral sword in his hands had been carried with pride by his forefathers. Now he was shaming them by handing it over. All this was unknown – unknowable - to the Indian commander. He came from a different culture and had no knowledge of what was going on in the mind of his adversary. Yet there was something in the manner and bearing of the officer in front of him which touched him deeply. He found himself moved. Without being told he somehow intuited that the moment on hand was not merely solemn but personal and deeply sacred. He accepted the sword and then inexplicably, impelled by an emotion which perhaps only a soldier can feel for a worthy opponent, bent forward and said clearly and loudly in the hearing of all “Colonel I accept the surrender but I receive your sword not as a token of defeat but as a gift from one soldier to another”. The Japanese least expecting this response looked up startled. The light bouncing from the tears on his cheeks, reflected an unspoken gratitude for the Indian’s remark. Coming as it did from the heart, it had touched his men and redeemed their – and his – honour. The Punjabis – Hindus and Muslims - who had gathered around also nodded in appreciation. Battle was battle. When it was on, they had fought each other with all their strength. And now that it was over there was no personal or national animosity. Maybe the Gods who look after soldiers are different from those who look after other mortals for they bind them in strange webs of understanding and common codes of honour no matter which flags they fly.

The moment passed. He looked at the Signal Officer and nodded. The success signal was fired. Far away in the jungles below, Brigadier Reggie Hutton looked at the three red lights in the sky and smiled. His faith in his commanders had been vindicated. He would later explain that at stake that night was not only the battle objective but the larger issue as to whether Indians ‘had it in them’ to lead men in war. There had been sceptics who felt that his faith was misplaced. He looked at Melrose and smiled. Its capture had vindicated his faith.

I looked out of the window lost in my thoughts. Suddenly I heard a sob to find that my Japanese friend had broken down. He swayed from side to side. His eyes were closed and it was clear that he was in the grip of an emotion more powerful than himself. He kept saying ‘karma, karma’ and talking to himself in his own language. After a while he looked up with eyes full of tears and holding both my hands said in a voice choked with emotion, “It was my father who gave battle to yours on Melrose. It was he who surrendered. Had your father not understood the depth of his feelings, he would have come back and died of shame. But in accepting our ancestral sword in the manner that he did, he restored honour to our family and my father to me. That makes us brothers – you and I.

The train pulled into Geneva station. We got down. What had to be said had already been spoken. He bowed. Goodbye I said. Keep in touch. Incidentally, would you like me to restore the sword back to your family. He smiled, looked at me and said “Certainly not. The sword already rests in the house of a Samurai”.

That was the last I saw of him.

Usha tells me that the probability of our meeting defies statistics. She should know. She studied economics and statistics. There was a World war going on. Good. My father was in the Indian army; his father was in the Japanese army; perfectly okay. They fought in the same theatre of war – Burma; understandable. They fought in the same battle; difficult but believable. The war finished, they went back to their families; plausible. But that their sons grew up in two different lands, happened to go to Berne at the same time, board the same train, get into the same compartment, share coffee and cigarettes, have a conversation on something that had happened four decades ago, discover their fathers had fought on opposite sides in the same battle – that undoubtedly is insane.

Personally, I do not believe that there are outcomes in life which are necessarily bound to happen?Yet, sometimes I am not so sure. You can never connect events by looking into the future; you can only connect them by looking at the past. Maybe it is comforting to believe that because the dots connect backward, they will connect forward also. I don’t know. Perhaps in the end, you have to trust in something. The sword has a pride of place in our home. Whenever I see it, my mind goes back to the jungles of Arakan where in the midst of the madness of war, two soldiers were able to touch each other and their compatriots with lasting humanity

By Dr Yashwant Thorat, son of Lt Gen SPP Thorat KC DSO.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 28 Apr 2020 20:28

https://www.opindia.com/2019/11/all-you ... -war-hero/

Indian Army’s first Para Commando Lt. Col. AG Rangaraj, MVC is being honoured as Korean War Hero
extracts
The South Korean government has announced that Lt Colonel AG Rangaraj, the first para-commando of Indian army, will be awarded as the Korean War Hero for the month of July 2020. Korean Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs made the announcement to reward the paratrooper for his role in South Korea-North Korea war that took place in 1950-1953. He had let the 60th Parachute Field Ambulance Platoon, a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH), during the Korean war.

The first Indian airborne formation was 50th Parachute Brigade which consisted of British, Indian and Gurkha parachute battalions. Lt. Col. AG Rangaraj, MVC, of the Indian Medical Service and RMO of the 152 Indian Para battalion, was the first Indian along with Havildar Major Mathura Singh to make a parachute descent.

The members of the 60th Parachute Field Ambulance were medics who were also parachutists. They jumped into the combat zone along with fighting infantry and provided medical care to injured soldiers in the middle of the war zone.
The 60 Parachute Field Ambulance was part of the 50 (1) Para Brigade, and it was sent to Korea to join the United Nations Forces in 1950 as per of the Commonwealth Division. India didn’t send any combating unit to Korea, only the para ambulance unit was sent. The unit commanded by Lt Col. A.G. Rangaraj took part in difficult Air Borne operations in Korea. The Indian media unit has 364 men and it had gained the respect of Commonwealth troops for its high-quality medical care and the courage of the soldiers during the war. The unit had become a medical evacuation unit for the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade in 1950, and supported the Brigade throughout the Korean war. The unit has been awarded official recommendation of the Korean government several times.

and
Some of the achievement of the unit during the war are legendary. Like during the Operation Tomahawk in March 1951, the second largest airborne operation of the war, a dozen medics had para-jumped along with 4000 US troops, and had carried out 103 operations. In November 1950, when the Chinese attacked the UN lines, the parachute ambulance unit had to evacuate, but they had no transport to carry their medical equipment. During that time they stumbled upon an ancient steam locomotive, filled the boilers with water using buckets, and got it running despite having no experience on trains, finally returning to safety before the last bridge on the track was blown.

The unit had won many decorations from the governments of India, South Korea and USA, and the UN. Lt. Col. AG Rangaraj was decorated with Mahavir Chakra in 1951. The unit had won two Mahavir Chakras, six Vir Chakras, one Bar to Vir Chakra and 25 Mention-in-Despatches for its role in the Korean war.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Mollick.R » 28 Apr 2020 21:24

Truly a LEGEND.
This needs to be referred to Akshay Kumar for a bollywood film.
Young stars must know about such heroics & watch desi "Hacksaw Ridge"

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 29 Apr 2020 05:04

Mollick.R wrote:Truly a LEGEND.
This needs to be referred to Akshay Kumar for a bollywood film.
Young stars must know about such heroics & watch desi "Hacksaw Ridge"


+1....

Although we as a nation don't do history except where it is convenient or religious in nature....

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 15 May 2020 13:58

https://theprint.in/opinion/for-operati ... rs/421730/

For Operation Falcon, Maj Gen Jimmy asked for mules but Army chief Sundarji gave helicopters -Major General J. M. Singh suggested a forward posture in the Zimithang sector and requested for 1,200 mules but Army chief Sundarji gave him helicopters.
extracts
General Krishnaswamy Sundarji, the Chief of Army Staff, responded to a personal outreach from Narahari, where the latter urged him to visit the area and gauge the gravity of the situation.
Sundarji’s visit to Tawang laid the foundation for what has since emerged as among the best-executed deployments in the mountains that combined both defensive and offensive posturing. Recollecting vignettes from that briefing, Jimmy recalls telling Sundarji bluntly that he could not defend Tawang with his existing posture. Sundarji responded by saying, ‘Then I will sack you.’ Narahari then jumped in and requested Sundarji to hear Jimmy out. When Jimmy suggested a forward posture in the Zimithang sector, Sundarji responded, ‘Who is stopping you? Why don’t you go forward’? When Jimmy suggested that he needed 1,200 mules to maintain his troops and that it would take several months to build-up positions, Sundarji interjected, ‘Why are we talking mules in this era? Let’s talk about helicopters.’


and
Building on the success of the proactive defensive posture, Narahari and Jimmy also thought about the unthinkable as the winter crept along — a limited offensive to evict the Chinese from Wangdung and secure the Thagla ridge and the PLA base across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Le. In sync with this idea, Sundarji moved one brigade from Shillong and placed it under Jimmy’s command for counter-attack and counter-offensive tasks, and practiced it in this role in tough winter conditions. Jimmy recollects that he “had 100 guns ready to boom in support of his initial offensive with a total of 37 fire units (222 guns) and 1,200 tons of gun ammunition available to him for a sustained operation.”

While the operation was shelved as the Chinese did not continue with any provocative moves, Sunderji firmly stood by Narhari and Jimmy as he injected the idea of sustained helicopter-based maintenance in the mountains and provided resources to test this concept successfully.

Operation Falcon was followed up with Exercise Chequer Board, a table-top exercise that introduced the concept of a Reorganised Army Mountain Division (RAMID) and laid the foundations for offensive joint operations in mountainous terrain. Operation Falcon was undoubtedly one of Sunderji’s successes as Army chief. Jimmy is certain that had it flared-up into a localised conflict, the PLA would have got a bloody nose, if not across the LAC, but certainly in the Tawang sector.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby manjgu » 15 May 2020 18:58

with the movie going from opening scene in a train followed by flash back ..the action etc ... and then back to the train... brilliant ..with a song or two thrown in between Border style... as maj thorat leaves his village for burma !!!!

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 16 May 2020 06:15

wig wrote:https://theprint.in/opinion/for-operation-falcon-maj-gen-jimmy-asked-for-mules-but-army-chief-sundarji-gave-helicopters/421730/

For Operation Falcon, Maj Gen Jimmy asked for mules but Army chief Sundarji gave helicopters -Major General J. M. Singh suggested a forward posture in the Zimithang sector and requested for 1,200 mules but Army chief Sundarji gave him helicopters.
extracts
General Krishnaswamy Sundarji, the Chief of Army Staff, responded to a personal outreach from Narahari, where the latter urged him to visit the area and gauge the gravity of the situation.
Sundarji’s visit to Tawang laid the foundation for what has since emerged as among the best-executed deployments in the mountains that combined both defensive and offensive posturing. Recollecting vignettes from that briefing, Jimmy recalls telling Sundarji bluntly that he could not defend Tawang with his existing posture. Sundarji responded by saying, ‘Then I will sack you.’ Narahari then jumped in and requested Sundarji to hear Jimmy out. When Jimmy suggested a forward posture in the Zimithang sector, Sundarji responded, ‘Who is stopping you? Why don’t you go forward’? When Jimmy suggested that he needed 1,200 mules to maintain his troops and that it would take several months to build-up positions, Sundarji interjected, ‘Why are we talking mules in this era? Let’s talk about helicopters.’


and
Building on the success of the proactive defensive posture, Narahari and Jimmy also thought about the unthinkable as the winter crept along — a limited offensive to evict the Chinese from Wangdung and secure the Thagla ridge and the PLA base across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at Le. In sync with this idea, Sundarji moved one brigade from Shillong and placed it under Jimmy’s command for counter-attack and counter-offensive tasks, and practiced it in this role in tough winter conditions. Jimmy recollects that he “had 100 guns ready to boom in support of his initial offensive with a total of 37 fire units (222 guns) and 1,200 tons of gun ammunition available to him for a sustained operation.”

While the operation was shelved as the Chinese did not continue with any provocative moves, Sunderji firmly stood by Narhari and Jimmy as he injected the idea of sustained helicopter-based maintenance in the mountains and provided resources to test this concept successfully.

Operation Falcon was followed up with Exercise Chequer Board, a table-top exercise that introduced the concept of a Reorganised Army Mountain Division (RAMID) and laid the foundations for offensive joint operations in mountainous terrain. Operation Falcon was undoubtedly one of Sunderji’s successes as Army chief. Jimmy is certain that had it flared-up into a localised conflict, the PLA would have got a bloody nose, if not across the LAC, but certainly in the Tawang sector.

Gen Narhari settled down in Bangalore after retirement. Met him. Very active with Ulsoor Lake restoration.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 16 May 2020 06:17

This also begs the question that is being discussed. A critical appraisal of Gen Sundarji. Valuable lessons there

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 25 May 2020 08:27

Sachin, Tell us about Lt Gen Narahari.
I thought what a leader.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Hiten » 28 Jun 2020 15:53

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw Receiving 5-Star Rank & Handing Over Command To General Bewoor



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY0JbBcIq7Y

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ks_sachin » 28 Jun 2020 16:58

ramana wrote:Sachin, Tell us about Lt Gen Narahari.
I thought what a leader.

Ramana Sir. I met him. Dad knew him. I will ask h for recollections. Dad also served under Gen Hanut.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 28 Jun 2020 18:06

ks_sachin wrote:
ramana wrote:Sachin, Tell us about Lt Gen Narahari.
I thought what a leader.

Ramana Sir. I met him. Dad knew him. I will ask h for recollections. Dad also served under Gen Hanut.

General Hanut Singh...what a legend!


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