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Indian Army History Thread

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby putnanja » 19 Nov 2014 02:24

Recollections of a Communicator:- Battle of Rezang La stopped Chinese advance to Chushul

New Delhi, Nov.18 (ANI) Every year, on this day, my thoughts go back to the year 1963 when, I had the opportunity to cover the inauguration of a war memorial constructed in honor of the jawans of the Charlie Company of the 13th battalion of the Kumaon Regiment, which was led by Major Shaitan Singh, who held the Rezang La feature overlooking Chushul literally to the last man and the last round.
The battle was fought in 1962, when India had to face the Chinese Army in what was then known as the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), and is now known as Arunachal Pradesh, and in Ladakh. Fresh in our mind those days was the dismal performance of the Indian Army in the Eastern Sector.
In contrast, the country felt proud of the jawans of the Kumaon Regiment who held their ground at Rezang La, and stopped the progress of the Chinese towards Chushul.
The Chinese Army carried out a massive assault on November 18 at Rezang La, which is located at a height of 5,180 meters after an artillery barrage. The Kumaon Regiment only had mortars to respond. They decided to attack the Chinese Army with their rifles and with their war cry "Dada Kishan Ki Jai'.
Only nine jawans of the Company of 118 survived. Maj Shaitan Singh was awarded the Parm Vir Chakra posthumously.
Asked to cover the function, I flew to Leh from Jammu where I was posted, and proceeded by road to Chushul. It took me two days to reach Chushul by jeep from Leh. I had to travel along the banks of the River Indus and turn westwards from Dungti towards the Pangong Lake.
After resting the night at Chushul, I reached the site of the memorial an hour earlier to cover the inaugural ceremony. Going round, I noticed the cover of a candy box with the picture of Lord Krishna on the barbed wire of the memorial.
The Junior Commissioned Officer, who was in charge of the location mentioned to me that all the soldiers of the company were Ahirs, who worshipped Lord Krishna. He told me that when he went to collect the bodies of the Jawans, each one of them had either a rifle or mortar. The cover of the candy box was in the hand of a soldier. He said the jawan must have taken the candy cover from his haversack, in his last moments.
I took a picture of the candy cover with the memorial at the back with my Rolliflex camera. The memorial was inaugurated early in the morning by Major General Budh Singh, GOC of the 3rd Division.
Following the inauguration, I requested General Budh Singh whether I can accompany him in his helicopter to Leh, as I wanted to go to Delhi to release the picture. He agreed.
In an hour we reached Leh, and boarded a C-130 cargo aircraft operated by the US Air Force between Delhi and Leh. By noon, I was at Delhi airport.
Those days we had to get the photographs taken in forward areas cleared by the military intelligence directorate before releasing them. The Military Intelligence Officer refused to clear the picture, even though I told him that the site of the memorial was visible to the Chinese through their binoculars from their location near Rezang La.
I was relieved when the Director of Public Relations, G.G. Mirchandani, gave me the clearance to release it.
Next morning, the photograph got a front page display in almost all the Delhi newspapers.
And the next time I visited Leh, General Budh Singh invited me into his office, offered me a cup of tea, a rare honour for a Captain.
I.Ramamohan Rao was the former Principal Information Officer of the Government of India.




And from our BR archives, not to be missed Unforgettable Battle of 1962 : 13 Kumaon at Rezang La

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 19 Nov 2014 09:04

http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/battle-su ... na-border/
Battle of no survivors” revived near Indo-China border
How can a man die better than facing fearful odds”—-these were the last words of Major Shaitan Singh to his soldiers, who fearlessly fought the Chinese human waves in 1962 at a height of 16,404 feet at Rezang La in Chushul sector. These words still act as major motivating force for the Indian troops deployed along the Line of Actual Control with China in strategically important Ladakh region.
The memories of this war between India and China, which is also called as “battle of no survivors”, were revived today at Chushul where rich tributes were paid to those soldiers, who laid down their lives while valiantly fighting the well equipped Chinese Army.
For the first time since 1962, two of six survivors of Rezang La battle—Havildar Ramvir Singh and Honorary Captain Ram Chandra participated in the function and shared heroic contribution of each and every troop of Charley Coy of 13th Kumaon Regiment, which led to killing of more than 300 Chinese troops that too amidst heavy artillery shelling from the enemy.
It is on this day in 1962 that Major Shaitan Singh and 114 of his men preferred supreme sacrifice instead of retreat. Never before had so many officers and jawans (114 out of 120) laid down their lives in one battle. Later, Charlie Coy was re-raised and designated by Army Headquarters as “Rezang La Coy”.
Havildar Ramvir Singh and Honorary Captain Ram Chandra, who were part and parcel of battle of Chushul and displayed unprecedented courage and valour, shared the exemplary leadership and courage displayed by each and every soldier under the leadership of Major Shaitan Singh. They informed the soldiers, officers of civil administration and civilians that Major Singh without any fear of heavy firing from the Chinese troops moved from one platoon post to another and encouraged his men to fight.
“How can a man die better than facing fearful odds” were his words to the troops of his Coy in order to boost their morale to fight Chinese human waves, the war veterans said with their chests brimmed with pride and eyes full of tears in memory of their co-soldiers in the battle. They recalled that due to valour and courage of soldiers of Charlie Coy the Chinese troops were lying scattered like berries in a market.
“Scenes of our soldiers losing lives one after another still haunts us in our dreams but at the same time we are proud to be part of that Coy which set an unparallel example in the military history of India by defending our motherland at frozen windy heights of Rezang La with a missionary zeal”, they said.
“Indian Army is better prepared now as compared to 1962 war in terms of weaponry and is able to meet any challenge from the enemies”, they said in obvious reference to the frequent Chinese incursion and face-off with civilians and troops along the LAC in Ladakh region.
It is said that the bodies of 114 soldiers, who got killed in the “battle of no survivors” remained in the snow clad mountains at Chushul till February when all the bodies were retrieved and then mass cremation took place at a place where war memorial has been constructed by the Army. This war memorial is acting as motivating force for those troops, who are deployed in Chushul, in defending the country amidst many odds.
Around 2000 civilians from Merak, Khakted, Tsaga, Durbook and Nyoma also participated in different events organized by the Army to pay tributes to warriors of battle of Chushul. This war memorial also inspires the civilians to boldly face Chinese face-offs and stay put in the border helmets to protect the boundaries of the country.
Each and every individual, who participated in the function, swept away by a surge of emotions especially after reading the names of the martyrs for the battle of Rezang La.
Several senior Army officers including Major General A S Bedi, General Officer Commanding 3 Div and Brigadier J K S Virk, Brigade Commander of Chushul Brigade, and other formations in the adjoining areas, Deputy Commissioner Leh, Simrandeep Singh, next of kin of martyrs namely Amardeep Dhingra, grandson of late Col H S Dingra, Kuldeep Yadav, son of late Sepoy Rattan Singh and Vijay Pal, son of late Sepoy Prabhu Yadav, porters, who extended all possible help to the Army in 1962 battle were among those who participated in the function at Chushul and paid tributes to the brave soldiers.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby chetak » 20 Nov 2014 08:36

Nehru’s pacifism had nearly cost us Tawang




Thursday, 20 November 2014 | Claude Arpi |


It is entirely due to Major Bob Khathing's courage and swift action, backed by the Assam Governor, that Tawang is part of India. Had Jawaharlal Nehru had his way, it would have been Chinese territory today

While the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru is being discussed by ‘eminent’ personalities at the Nehru International Conference, organised by the Indian National Congress to commemorate Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary, it is perhaps time to stop using the usual clichés about the first Prime Minister’s 17 years at India’s helm. By the way, I seriously doubt if many of the invitees of the conference have read any of the 58 volumes of Nehru’s Selected Works.

During the recent months, many have questioned the audacity to compare Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to Nehru, but it is obvious that the Sardar would have been a far more decisive Prime Minister than the Pandit. Remember Kashmir.

In a rare interview, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who was Director of Military Operations at the time of independence, recounted a historic meeting presided over by Lord Mountbatten held at the end of October 1947: “There was Jawaharlal Nehru, there was Sardar Patel, there was Sardar Baldev Singh… I knew Sardar Patel, because Patel would insist that VP Menon [Secretary in the Ministry of States] take me with him to the various states.”

The young Brigadier continues his narration: “At the morning meeting [Mountbatten] handed over the [Kashmir’s Instrument of Accession] thing. Mountbatten turned around and said, ‘Come on Manekji (he called me Manekji instead of Manekshaw), what is the military situation?’ I gave him the military situation, and told him that unless we flew in troops immediately, we would have lost Srinagar, because going by road would take days, and once the tribesmen got to the airport and Srinagar, we couldn’t fly troops in. Everything was ready at the airport.”

The future hero of the Bangladesh War then recalls: “As usual Nehru talked about the United Nations, Russia, Africa, God almighty, everybody, until Sardar Patel lost his temper. He said, ‘Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir, or do you want to give it away?’ Nehru said, ‘Of course, I want Kashmir. Then [Patel] said, ‘Please give your orders’. And before he could say anything Sardar Patel turned to me and said, ‘You have got your orders’.” Without the Sardar, Kashmir would be Pakistani today.

In February 1951, Tawang found its own ‘Patel’ in Jairamdas Daulatram, the Governor of Assam, (the Iron Man of India had passed away two months earlier). Daulatram ordered a young Naga officer to go and immediately begin administrating Tawang (the then Kameng Frontier Agency).

A couple of years ago, an Indian journalist, Sidharth Mishra, provided a fascinating and detailed profile of Major Bob Khathing, the Naga officer in charge of the Sela sub-division: “In 1951, Major Bob Khathing commanded a force of 200 soldiers and re-established India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, much to the annoyance of Jawaharlal Nehru.” Some other documents, such as the ‘official’ biography, Major Bob Khathing — The profile of a Nationalist Manipuri Naga by Lt Col H Bhuban Singh, complete the picture of Major Khathing’s expedition.

An incident mentioned by Mr Mishra is worth a comment. Once the administration of Tawang was firmly under control, the bold Naga officer went back to Shillong to report to his mentor, Jairamdas Daulatram.

Mr Mishra writes: “So, he set out downhill to Tezpur with a small retinue, leaving the expeditionary force in charge of [Major TC] Allen. The Governor sent a Dakota to pick him up from Tezpur and they flew to Delhi to see Jawaharlal Nehru... The then Prime Minister was livid. ‘Who asked you to do this?’ he vented his anger at the Governor. ‘I wish you had the good sense to consult me before you commissioned this colossal stupidity. I want a complete blackout on this incident’, he ordered the PMO.”

Nehru’s orders were religiously executed: Today it is practically impossible to find anything on Khathing’s expedition in the Government’s archives. Nehru certainly had some inkling about the happenings in Tawang in the first months of 1951. Lt Colonel Bhuban Singh wrote: “From Bob’s side too, wireless messages after wireless messages were sent to Charduar [Assam Rifles headquarters], Shillong [seat of the Governor of Assam responsible for NEFA] and onward to New Delhi giving details of what he was doing. At the same time, he sought approval of Government of India for the actions he had taken and intended to take.”

Major Khathing’s biographer added: “Shillong [Rustomji] and New Delhi were aghast with what Bob did. They must have preferred a peaceful, non-violent and Panchsheel type of approach. While Shillong was reduced to a mere post-office forwarding information only, lots of consultations and conferences took place in New Delhi and lots of tea were drunk without any decision. In the meanwhile, Bob was… instructed not to precipitate a crisis.”

Major Khathing’s direct interlocutor was Nari Rustomji, the Advisor to the Governor of Assam for the Tribal Areas. SN Haksar, an ICS officer serving as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, was at the receiving end in New Delhi. Nehru, being the External Affairs Minister, was undoubtedly regularly informed by Haksar of such a sizeable military expedition.

It is possible that when Jairamdas Daulatram decided to send more than one hundred Assam Rifles troops (with over 600 porters) to Tawang, Nehru did not realise the implications of this decisive action for the nation. Retrospectively, it was a blessing for India as, if he had realised, Tawang would probably be Chinese today.

A top secret report entitled, ‘Major Khathing’s Detailed Report About Tawang, sent in April 1951 by the Secretary to Advisor to the Governor of Assam to SN Haksar, is the best proof that the Prime Minister was in the loop. Nehru may have said: “Who asked you to do this?”, but the fact remains that he was informed.

It is also a fact that it was legally the prerogative of the Governor of Assam to occupy any Indian territory under his responsibility and Tawang was definitely part of India since 1914. So, what was wrong in administrating a part of Indian territory?

A Chinese study on the McMahon line admitted that at that time, the Chinese had no clue about the border between India and Tibet: “When the 18th Army led by [General] Zhang Guohua invaded Tibet, they still did not have a Tibetan map that they could use. They only had a rough and simple map of Tibet showing subdivisions. There was not even a standard road map. The names of the places and the villages were neither precise nor accurate.” It is only in 1954-55 that Mao Zedong discovered Tawang had been administrated by Tibet before 1914. Too late then for China to ‘liberate' Tawang!

And thanks to Major Bob Khathing’s courage and swift action, it was too late for even Nehru to impose his pacifist views.



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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 20 Nov 2014 18:28



Allow me to add a bit of history to this Tawang saga. And, in retrospect, that should tell you why the expedition by Major Bob Khathing was extremely important.

Claude Arpi talks about the 1914 Shimla conference and treaty between British India and Tibet which was signed by plenipotentiaries from both sides. On British side, it was signed by Sir Henry McMahon, foreign secretary of the British government in India. That is how it came to be known as McMahon line. In the same conference, British and Tibetans agreed on boundary between China and Tibet. But as is widely known, the Chinese plenipotentiary refused to sign the final document (though he had initialed the draft).
As part of this agreement, Tawang came under control of British who till 1910 were happy controlling areas which extended roughly till the present boundary between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Till then, the area was administered by Tibetan government officials with collection of taxes and contribution and free labor.

However, for various reasons, including advent of the Great War, bureaucratic indifference, difference of opinion on way forward between British and Indian offices and subsequently, Second World War, British never came to administer the region. So, from 1914 to 1951, the area was under the control of Tibetans officials. British made intermittent attempts to exert their control/sovereignty on the area in mid-30s with few expeditions but there was reluctance and at times outright refusal on part of Tibetan government in Lhasa. Tibetans even expressed displeasure at and protested against British attempts to ‘interference’ in areas under their control.

It is surmised that Tibetans agreed to part with the territory under the expectation of British helping to resolve the boundary issue between Tibet and China. However, this never happened for various reasons. The meltdown in China with respect to central authority and Chinese being ally of British in WW2 were some of the factors. As an aside, the concept of outer and inner Tibet also came about in this conference. Where inner Tibet (contiguous with China) was to be under control of Chinese kings, outer Tibet was to be independent of Chinese influence and control. And free to go about their business. Though, there were some provisions with respect to presence of Chinese officials present in Lhasa and all that. Today, Chinese call this ‘outer Tibet’ as Tibetan Autonomous Region. But we digress.

Since, British never managed to enforce the boundary between China and Tibet, Tibetans continued to control Tawang and when British made some halfhearted efforts, they resisted the same. Going to the extent of claiming that they do not having a copy of the Shimla agreement and stuff like that.

Therefore, had India not imposed it’s authority on Tawang in 1951, it would have been under Chinese control post their occupation of Tibet. In international law, possession is 9/10th of the law and in our case, it was backed by the Shimla Agreement.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 23 Nov 2014 07:49

Of war and captivity-The Chinese captured this young Army officer in 1962 but they could not capture his spirit
Brig A. J. S. Behl (retd)


From left to right: Lieutenant Sharma, Capt BB Kohle, Second Lieutenant AJS Behl, Lieutenant KK Bhandari
From left to right: Lieutenant Sharma, Capt BB Kohle, Second Lieutenant AJS Behl, Lieutenant KK Bhandari

Things were heating up between Chinese and Indian forces in NEFA now called Arunachal Pradesh in August/September 1962. Exchange of fire between the Chinese and Indian forces was becoming almost a daily feature. There was an urgent requirement of additional artillery fire support in 7 Infantry Brigade Sector. To meet this requirement, Army Headquarter decided to send one troop of guns from 17Para Field Regiment to NEFA. I, as a young officer, was a part of this troop.

On September 30, 1962, one troop from 17 Para Field Regiment consisting of four guns, 2 officers (Capt HS Talwar and myself), 2 JCOs and 43 jawans left Agra. From Tsangdhar on October 8, we were heli-lifted and for most of the distance we walked over high mountains. By October 10, we were ready to give fire support to 7 Infantry Brigade along Namkachu River. Two of my JCOs and havaldar Major were evacuated due to mountain sickness and my nursing havaldar died because of this.

On October 20, the Chinese attacked our gun position. By 4 pm due to overwhelming strength of the Chinese and our high casualties, we were forced to surrender. Bad communication made us more vulnerable as we could not appraise the brigade headquarters of our situation. We now were prisoners of war with the Chinese (two dead and seven wounded)

Due to the large Chinese numbers, Indian soldiers were forced to surrender
Due to the large Chinese numbers, Indian soldiers were forced to surrender

We were kept near the gun position for a day under heavy guard. Next day I cremated my dead soldiers under the Chinese supervision with a heavy heart.

On October 22, the Chinese took across bridge 3 to their area along Namkachu River. After two days of marching we reached the Chinese roadhead of Marmang. Our journey to PW camp started from here in open trucks with chilly winds and sleet accompanying us. It took us three days to reach the PW camp at Chen Ye village.

Chen ye is an important village, more than a hundred years old. During the Tibetan uprising, the Chinese had bombed this gumpha with huge rocks dropped from planes. This had caused a lot of damage to this gumpha, a large number of lamas and rich people had escaped to India along with Dalai Lama. Since most of the occupants of this village had escaped, it was lying vacant hence the Chinese decided to use it as a camp for their POWs. The Chinese had removed all doors and windows of the houses to keep control over us and deprive us of any privacy. This further made our lives miserable icy winds swept through the rooms.

The Chinese divided all of us into four companies. In one company they kept the Gurkha soldiers, rest of us were divided in to three companies. We had a common kitchen where we ate under the Chinese supervision. The meals were very frugal. In the morning it was two chapattis with radish curry and lunch was rice with radish curry. Dinner again was chapattis of maida with radish curry. The radishes were stale and each one weighed more than 10 kg each. This diet was repeated for our entire stay. Only on New Year’s Day they gave us some pork mixed with radish.

This poor diet did a lot of damage to our health. Some suffered badly from malnutrition and respiratory problems. We had no choice but to eat this and survive in the extreme cold. There were no windows or doors so even in the night we did not feel warm. Survival was the aim of the game as a POW.

There were interpreters for Hindi, English and Gurkhali. All interpreters were political people. The interpreters tried to talk to us in order to extract military information and humiliate us at the same time. Till the end the Chinese did not give up on this effort of theirs with almost no success.

By end of our captivity we all had lost weight and looked like skeletons. We had a dispensary in our camp. It had very basic medicines and a doctor who spoke only Chinese. Three of us (Capt Talwar, Lt Bhup Singh and I) reported sick almost every day. We managed to collect medicines for our future plan of escape during summer season when the passes will be open; the mountains will not have much of snow. This also gave us chance to talk to our boys as there was less security in the dispensary. We talked to our men to raise their morale and advised them how to talk to the Chinese interpreters. In about six months time, we had collected and hidden all types of tablets for fever, upset stomach and other small ailments to last us for our planned escape.

Our men were disciplined and acted as instructed by the officers. They gave due respect to officers.

My gun fitter Sardar Singh, who was working in our cook house, brought a mug of morning tea every day for me and my troop commander. My jawans brought us hot water once a fort night at 2 AM so that we wash our hair. Capt Talwar and I were the only two Sikhs who did not cut our hair because we got hot water to wash our hair. This speaks volumes about the loyalty of our men. They did this at a great risk of being caught by the Chinese.

Even after seven months of torture, fear and and uncertainty, our spirits were not broken. We got the news in first week of May 1963 that we will be repatriated soon. This brought hope. We were repatriated on May 23 at Bumla. Breathing fresh air as a free man was a great feeling. As free Indian Army officers, we started our journey to freedom in India.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/201411 ... /main5.htm

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 17 Dec 2014 13:37

While in Jammu few days back, I met a few ex-servicemen who talked about their service years. If somebody has any knowledge, please comment if the following story is true or not. I know the story of 9 Sikh LI, but this ex-servicemen explained the whole incident in pretty good detail.

He talked about being stationed in Faridkot when Bluestar happened. Sikh soldiers of 9 Sikh Light Infantry, mutinied, shot their CO and got drunk on liquor looted from canteen. They cut all lines of communication and nobody was able to call for help. Anyone who didn't join them was shot on spot . One column of trucks and light armoured vehicles started to move towards civilian areas, presumably to kill civilian Hindus or to reach Amritsar.

On the way, the column was asked to stop by a Major (from Himachal) who fired his pistol in air as a warning shot. The mutineer Sikhs answered by firing a round from a recoil less gun. The soldiers with the Major then opened fire and a fierce gun battle ensued. About 150 Sikh soldiers were killed and more injured in the gun battle, thereby stopping them from doing any further damage. One other column which was moving in a different section was intercepted similarly.




Other story was told by a civilian from Poonch. One forward post had a majority of Sikh soldiers who planned a mutiny in secret. During night, while they were discussing their plans in secret, a local porter heard them and ran ~ 15 km to the main base near town to inform the CO (a brigadier, I was told) . By the time picture became clear, Sikh soldiers had already overpowered non-Sikh compatriots, stolen all weapons from armoury and were moving towards Poonch town. They were intercepted by a hastily formed squad and told to surrender which they refused. After a brief gunfight a most of mutineer Sikhs were captured or killed while a small number fled in to Pakistan.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 17 Dec 2014 14:06

So many soldiers were killed and it was reported, it is not possible unless with active convenience of local Media and national media.

What was it that made such bad Hindu -Sikh relations after both were slaughtered recently in Pakjab in 1947. Something doesnt add up here.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vaibhav.n » 27 Dec 2014 12:32

For those intrested, a very detailed campaign account of a famous fighting outfit........

THE FIFTH INDIAN DIVISION IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby arshyam » 14 Mar 2015 23:20

PM Modi pays homage to martyred Indian Army soldiers at IPKF Memorial in Colombo - DNA India, through ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday became the first Indian Head of Government to pay homage at the IPKF memorial in Colombo this evening.

In a ceremony marked by solemnity, poignancy and reflecting the best in terms of military tradition, Prime Minister Modi walked up to the memorial accompanied by senior defence officers and placed a floral wreath at the base of the memorial. He then stood in silence as the Last Post was sounded as a mark of respect for the martyred soldiers.

The inscription on the granite plaque at the memorial reads as follows: "This monument is dedicated to the members of Indian Peace Keeping Force who made the supreme sacrifice during the peace keeping mission from 1987 to 1990 in Sri Lanka."

It took over 25 years for a memorial to be constructed for the 1200 Indian Army soldiers who died while trying to prevent the disintegration of Sri Lanka. When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was here for the SAARC Summit in 2008, he did not visit the memorial. {Shows up relative priorities}
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to pay his respects at this memorial.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby arshyam » 14 Mar 2015 23:20

An excellent article as usual by Rajaram sir.

Finally The Bugle Calls For The Fallen Heroes - Rajaram Muthukrishnan, Swarajya Mag
When the good folks at Swarajya requested me to write a piece on the visit of India’s Prime Minister to the IPKF memorial in Sri Lanka, it brought back personal memories.

One of my close friend from school, had finished his stint with NDA and IMA and his very first posting was in the IPKF leading a company. The young Lieutenant fought bravely and after a successful tour of duty came to Chennai and we friends met up. Excited to meet him and know more about life in the army, we plied him with many questions.

It was apparent that he was a changed man by then. He had the soldier’s discipline, the precise manner in which he answered revealed that he had been through a lot in his first tour of duty.

We asked him about his stint and he shared many a story of the battlefront. It was then that we realized what a life-changing stint that it had been for the young officer. He led from the front, lost men under his command and although he did not spell out his disappointment of the political leadership, he gave a glimpse of the blurred lines of morality that war often poses on men in the frontlines of battle.

One vignette he shared was particularly searing and is still etched in my mind. He was leading a platoon on a search, apprehend and disarm mission. Young men from a distant part of India were under his command. The fact that he was a Tamilian officer meant that he was preferred for such missions as it meant interacting with the local population. The entire mission was based on intelligence inputs of LTTE cadre operating from a remote village. They entered a small cottage. Men were asked to stand down but be on alert. He entered the cottage with one JCO. They saw an old Tamil lady and a young teenaged girl. He greeted the old lady and made enquiries. They took a quick look and turned to leave. The teenager lunged forward and fetched an AK 47 from under concealment in the floor and opened fire. The bullet narrowly missed his head; the JCO opened fire and shot the girl down.

They secured the place, but that was the kind of “peace” that they had to secure. It was not something that he or the JCO was proud of. They broke down when they reached camp.

Why should I recount the above story on this occasion? Many a tale has been left untold. There are many stories that the powerful LTTE propaganda unleashed which were lapped up by the chauvinistic regional media and made IPKF to be seen as a villain. The then CM of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi, went on record to state in the Legislative Assembly that he would not receive the IPKF soldiers when they came back. I will not recount here what my friend had to say about that. It is best left to be in private.

Ask any army commander, he will tell you the primary principles of an operation for the armed services are always two key ones – Clarity of Purpose and Unity in Action supported by a clear Chain of Command. The saga of IPKF was an outcome of its time. From a purely military objectives perspective, there was clarity of purpose at the beginning. The IPKF was to be the guarantor of peace and provider of security to the region. It was clear that the SL Army would withdraw from the region and in return, the armed rebels of all hues were to disarm and the agency to carry out the disarmament was the IPKF.

The IPKF, in good faith, came prepared for the tasks on hand. Now, whether there was clarity of purpose on the political front is a matter of intense debate. I would think, that Rajiv Gandhi as PM wanted to have a settlement that would secure the rights of Tamils within the framework of united Sri Lanka. He was a man in a hurry.

On the Sri Lankan side, President JR Jayawardene was a seasoned politician who was willing to strike a balance on his own penchant for retaining enormous power and ensuring that the Tamil uprising was put down. When the young PM from India came forward to mediate, he made sure that India would be made party to the dispute and it had a role.

The LTTE supremo, Prabhakaran, was not yet the undisputed leader of the Tamils. There were others, including moderates who were willing to work with India, provided India became a party to the dispute as well. The hardliners, especially Anton Balasingham and his wife were the ones who resisted.

The advisors to the Indian PM led by the JN Dixit and the then External Affairs Ministry mandarins, ill advised him to pressurize Prabhakaran at the now famous Thimpu talks.

The troika of people executing the political part for the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement ran things in a manner that proved to be the key impulse for the classic betrayal that followed. On the Sri Lankan side the then PM, Premadasa, was not willing to concede to any legitimate demand of the Tamils. He bided his time and then what followed was one of the most disastrous misadventures of Indian foreign policy.

The present so-called-champions who are indulging in the propaganda of immortalizing Prabhakaran cannot hide the simple truth that he made a deal with one of the most hardline Sinhala leaders in Premadasa to scuttle and sabotage the peace process.

Every step of the way, the Indian Armed Forces were constrained by a civilian leadership that did not understand the real politics that was being played nor did they understand the ground level realities that they were facing based on the unholy and unprincipled covert alliance between Premadasa and Prabhakaran.

Several times the IPKF were in a position to neutralize the LTTE leader and under instructions had to back off. There was no Unity in Action. Added to that was a disconnect between the commanders on the ground and the generals in HQ.

There was clearly a misjudgement of the strength, capability and resources that LTTE had. The initial forays by the IPKF were fraught with risk and they paid a heavy price in terms of men as well as local support from the population. The high cost was epitomized by the Battle for Jaffna University.

Despite these odds, the IPKF did a tremendous job of fighting back and delivering what was expected from it. They did make the region secure enough for an election to be held despite the active sabotage attempts by the Premadasa government.

In the blurred world of urban guerilla warfare, the IPKF troops were asked to make tough operational choices. That they did so, without considering the costs involved in exposing its troops to unnecessary danger is clear in the number of people India lost. There were, I am sure, quite a few mistakes made by the IPKF which may have resulted in innocents being caught in the cycle of violence.

The IPKF, however held firm to the ethos of the Indian Army and did a thorough and professional job. Despite being in an environment that was stacked against them, coupled with a political leadership that was oscillating between ramming through an agreement and running rough shod over operational decisions of the IPKF, the IPKF was able to deliver on the objectives.

It was a body blow to the LTTE and they unleashed a propaganda of falsehood and canards to besmirch the work of IPKF. Unfortunately, the were buyers to this propaganda were the chauvinistic leaders of Tamil Nadu. The badly wounded LTTE swore then to take revenge on Rajiv Gandhi. The rest is tragic history.

The political scenario that changed in Delhi also brought to power V.P. Singh, whose regime is probably the most damaging one India has ever had in terms of National Security. His ally, Kurananidhi, by his acts of omission and commission ensured the re-emergence of the LTTE. Once the LTTE was given a life-line, the war continued for more than a decade and half which cost thousands of lives.

It is in this context, that the political leadership of India forgot IPKF. No one wanted to associate with, or recognize, the IPKF for its stupendous efforts. After the tragic loss of Rajiv Gandhi , even the Congress regimes that came to power did not give their due respect to the men who lost their lives in one of the most challenging military engagements by India, since the Bangladesh Liberation.

Even the NDA regime of Atalji forgot these brave men who gave up their lives for the cause of peace and reconciliation in a neighboring land. That is why, the step of PM Narendra Modi is a welcome one. It will be a poignant moment when he lays a wreath to their memorial in Sri Lanka.

Indian government and indeed the Indian public at large do not have a strong legacy of recognizing the brave martyrs of their Armed Forces – be it to the thousands who gave their lives in distant lands in the two World Wars or in the many wars that we as a nation had to face post independence.

I am sure of one thing, that my now middle aged friend, would surely say a Thank You to PM Modi when he lays that wreath in the memory of the young lads who he had led in battle and had the honour to give their lives in the cause of peace.

I hope that by this single act, the Government of India and the people of India will bring a bit of solace to the brave soldiers who served the IPKF. They deserve the honour and respect that has long been denied to them.

On the larger context of the visit, I also hope that this visit will bring solace, support and closure to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka and bring about a national reconciliation that has long eluded their beautiful but tragic land. If the visit reaffirms that faith among both sides in Sri Lanka that India is their closest and best well-wisher, it will be a lasting tribute to the sacrifice made by the IPKF.

It is an opportunity that comes rarely in Indo-Sri Lankan history; an opportunity to break from the past and usher in an era of peace in Sri Lanka. An economically resurgent northern and eastern Sri Lanka with close economic, political and security ties will be in the abiding national interests of both countries. PM Modi, I am sure, will articulate the vision of possibilities and I do hope that the southern states in India, especially Tamil Nadu, lead in bringing about peace to the war torn and weary Tamils of Sri Lanka. They deserve no less. That will be the abiding tribute to the IPKF.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vasu raya » 16 Mar 2015 07:07

'If I die here, who will remember me?', Indian soldier in World War-I wrote

The replicas of underground bunkers, the trenches, the makeshift hospital beds are reminders of the difficult lives of the 15 lakhs Indian soldiers hurriedly gathered and sent to fight in France, Belgium, Mesopotamia, China and East Africa.

The Indian forces were almost equal in numbers to the combined forces contributed by Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and nearly every sixth soldier fighting on behalf of the British Empire came from the Indian Subcontinent.

If Victoria Cross Indian winner from the war Rifleman Kulbir Thapa though himself wounded, brought to safety two of his comrades braving and surviving the raining shells while fighting in France on September 25, 1915, Rifleman Gabar Singh Negi was posthumously awarded the highest military award for his valor during the battle of Neuve Chapelle.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Manish_P » 22 Mar 2015 17:04

Indian LRDG units in WW2 8)

[youtube]watch?v=aKVIIhIeRLU[/youtube]

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby member_28539 » 24 Mar 2015 16:32

On the BR website page an Article about Battle of Kohima mentions this:

Commandant Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) N. Macdonald, CBE, DSO described this in a letter; "I like to make a point of this – it is good for our morale and the reverse for Japanese; besides I think he treats us with greater respect. The Japanese is just like a Pathan – he knows which units he can try his tricks on. Not on Four Five."


I know about Saragarhi but can any gurus elaborate this pathan thing here in more detail?

Thank you! :)

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ShauryaT » 24 Mar 2015 16:44

rohitvats wrote:Therefore, had India not imposed it’s authority on Tawang in 1951, it would have been under Chinese control post their occupation of Tibet. In international law, possession is 9/10th of the law and in our case, it was backed by the Shimla Agreement.
I do think though that we should supplement the legalistic case anchored on the British signed accord with India's case on Tawang based on civilizational links and practical geo-political realities and as the defender of Hindu/buddhist civilizational values. The inability of MEA to supplement the legalistic arguments makes us appear to be stooges of the west and a state that does not know its own mores and interests, except for those that the British left us with, by way of McMahon, Radcliffe and Durand lines.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Murugan » 06 Apr 2015 10:40

Indian Army in WW I - 12 Photos
Imperial War Museum Website

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More Photos

http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/12-photos ... -world-war

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby kancha » 07 Apr 2015 21:33

The story of the 1st Kashmir War
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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Apr 2015 01:45

Joshi_Sa wrote:On the BR website page an Article about Battle of Kohima mentions this:

Commandant Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) N. Macdonald, CBE, DSO described this in a letter; "I like to make a point of this – it is good for our morale and the reverse for Japanese; besides I think he treats us with greater respect. The Japanese is just like a Pathan – he knows which units he can try his tricks on. Not on Four Five."


I know about Saragarhi but can any gurus elaborate this pathan thing here in more detail?

Thank you! :)


i'd say its a general comment, most of the senior british officers of the BIA of that era would have seen active service in the north west frontier during their younger days (1900-1930's) and would be well versed with the various tribes and their fighting abilities

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Murugan » 11 Apr 2015 15:25

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby arshyam » 12 Apr 2015 23:13

From PMO's twitter timeline:

PMO India Verified account
‏@PMOIndia A French woman pins a flower on an Indian cavalryman during French National Day parade on 14th July 1916.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby arshyam » 12 Apr 2015 23:18

PM pays homage to Indian soldiers martyred during World War 1 at Neuve-Chapelle Memorial - NarendraModi.in

The Prime Minister paid homage at the World War-1 memorial in Neuve Chapelle, to honour around 4700 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in battles in France and Belgium during World War-1. “Our soldiers who fought in foreign lands in the Great War, have won the admiration of the world for dedication, loyalty, courage and sacrifice. I salute them,” the Prime Minister wrote in the visitor’s book at the memorial.

He also met youth of Indian origin who had gathered outside the memorial at Neuve Chapelle. “Shaheedon Amar Raho,” he urged the youth to chant with him.

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There are a few more with the local diaspora, skipping them as they are not relevant to this thread.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby arshyam » 12 Apr 2015 23:23

First 15 min NaMo talks about the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in WW1.



"Itihaas jo samaaj bhool jaata hai, woh itihaas banane ki taakat bhi kho deta hai" - Narendra Modi

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 20 Apr 2015 20:39

EconomicTimes ‏@EconomicTimes 31m31 minutes ago

1962 India-China war: Henderson Brooks report to be declassified soon, says Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar http://ow.ly/LReO7

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 26 Jul 2015 16:00

Deputy Commissioner of Ambala in 1965, MS Gill recalls the days and nights that could have reshaped history and geographical boundaries with Pakistan had it not been for the courage and fortitude of some, including truck drivers
I joined the Punjab cadre of IAS in 1958. In August of 1965, with seven years of service behind me, I was appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, the old British district which stretched from the Sutlej at Bhakra to the Yamuna on the border of Uttar Pradesh. There was no Haryana in 1965. Pakistan had already initiated trouble in Kashmir by sending across heavily-armed raiders. They were discovered and held. Soon, Pakistan launched a full-scale military push in Chhamb-Jaurian in an effort to capture the Akhnoor bridge across the Chenab, and cut off all links with Jammu and Kashmir. The situation rapidly escalated. Our Army began to mobilise and move to the Punjab border.
In the first days of September, I came home after a day-long tour of the Ropar area at 9 pm. My wife indicated that the area commander, Major General Bhatia, had been frantically searching for me. I had a quick bite and drove to the cantonment in the blackout darkness. I took the Superintendent of Police, Mr Birbal Nath, with me. Gen Bhatia made an amazing demand. He wanted me to move the Sixth Mountain Division from Lalru, on the Chandigarh road, to somewhere on the border immediately. The border, he said, was open. He demanded that the first battalion should leave by 2 am. Instinctively, I applied the mode of what the British called the ‘Punjab School of Administration’ — act first and find the authority and rules later.
I asked Mr Birbal Nath to set up barriers on the GT Road, commandeer every passing truck, unload the fruits, sugar, whatever, and form a convoy of 200 trucks. Mr Nath happily concurred with my decision. At 1 am, I took the convoy to get the fuel from the Army depot. To my horror, I found that the depot lay across the main lines, going from Delhi to Amritsar and beyond. The gates were shut and the Army-loaded wagons were whizzing past. We managed to get across, but were blocked by the soldiers at the depot, who refused to wake up their Major Sahib. I shouted him awake and they started to give diesel, which to my horror was in Second World War jerry cans. How could you pour those into trucks in the darkness? Somehow, we sent the first 200 trucks to Lalru.
I came home and rang up all my neighbouring Deputy Commissioners, waking them up and demanding that they pick up every bus/truck in the town, and send them to Ambala. Most of them were my seniors, but no one questioned my authority.
The next day, I made a simple authority slip, which was given to every truck driver, to be produced after the war. I took over all the petrol pumps along the GT Road, and started filling the trucks with diesel on my authority, quickly and smoothly. Trucks continued to pour in from the neighbouring districts till we lifted the Division to the front. When we had no more trucks, I rang up Delhi. It was not their war. They demanded that I pay for the fuel! I sanctioned it. The Delhi officers showed little interest in Punjab’s travails.
All this while, I did not care to consult the Punjab government, as post Kairon, it could not be accused of any decision-making capacity. I did all this confident in the belief that my actions were in the national interest, and would be upheld. What amazed me was that the Sixth Mountain Division had been brought from beyond Bareilly in civil transport. The Army dumped it in Lalru, without any thought on how it would go to the border. No planning and no warning to the civil authority. Today, when I travel to Chandigarh as I enter Ambala, I look across the railway lines to the fuel depot, which has still not been moved to a correct location in the main cantonment.
We were bombed twice, since Ambala is the biggest airbase in the area. The DC’s house is at one end of the runway, and the cantonment with its hospital is at the other. Two ancient Canberras flew over my ‘house’. We could see the shadow pass over. As it turned out, they dropped a few bombs over Model Town, smashing houses, and a few at the other end on the Military Hospital. The pilots were new to war. Our people were seeing the war for the first time. There was hysteria in Model Town. We calmed them.
The next day, I went to the Military Hospital; some patients had died. The Bishop had come down from Delhi, and he came to see me. He said he would pray for us. I asked where he was staying. He said in the cathedral compound. As it happened, the bombers came again that night. This time they dropped two bombs right through the roof of the cathedral, built in 1865, and blew it apart. The Bishop had spent the night in a trench and survived.
I realised the value of propaganda. The Government of India was not letting any journalist come to Punjab. I begged and got a team of Indian and international press. I painted to them the horror of the hospital bombing, and the church destruction. I reminded them of the Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by the Germans. We got a good story across the world. As it happened, the Pakistan Air Force missed a great chance. Our fighter planes used to operate during the day from Punjab’s forward airfields. At night, they were all parked at Ambala. If those silly boys had dropped only one bomb on the runway, we would have lost all our frontline fighters.
We managed complete surprise when we attacked across the Punjab international border, with three Divisions, but showed no boldness and planning. We got stuck at the Ichhogil Canal, just across the border, and generally milled around in the first few miles. The General on the Lahore front ‘withdrew’ from his jeep, leaving his maps and plans behind! He was replaced, but this being India he was again given command elsewhere later. The Tank Division was taken beyond Pathankot and massed with two more Divisions opposite Sialkot. The countryside was open, with no canal obstacles, ideal for tank warfare. We had the surprise advantage. But again we milled around, in the first 7 to 10 miles, and failed to take Sialkot.
The Pakistan army relocated their artillery and tank units and effectively blocked us. The Pakistan Tank Division attacked from Kasur towards Tarn Taran. Their ineptitude led to delays in crossing the Kasur Nullah, and they got stuck in September crops and soggy soil, as the water distributaries had been cut. They were bold but incompetent.
It is true that Army Chief Gen Chaudhari panicked at the Pakistan armoured division attack and wanted Gen Harbaksh Singh to pull back to the Beas river, leaving Amritsar and half of Punjab to the enemy. We were lucky in 1965 that Gen Harbaksh, the Army Commander, Gen Dhillon, the Corps Commander, and Gen Gurbaksh Singh, the 4 Division Commander, were all Sikhs, fighting for their home and hearth.
Gen Harbaksh refused to withdraw, and saved the day. We ended on their side rather than back on the Beas.
Sadly, Gen Harbaksh Singh, like Gen Aurora after Bangladesh, never got his due.
The people in Punjab backed the Army right up to the frontline, even feeding it. Thousands of truck drivers carried ammunition to the frontline, many losing their lives. Sadly, in our distorted conferment of honours, not one truck driver was recognised. Even in the Army, something surprised me. Most Major Generals from Kashmir to the Rajasthan Thar Desert were given a Maha Vir Chakra!
In armies in the West, such medals are given only to soldiers and young officers who fight and die in the face of the enemy. Generals never do that. They sit safe, far back, plan and launch attacks. This practice, I think, continues with the Generals happily awarding each other even now. I’m sure the same practice prevails in Pakistan.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday ... 11376.html

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 20 Sep 2015 10:00

Gayatri Paltan, hockey, Basra tag
http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday ... 35315.html
A Brahmin army officer’s tale of what it meant to serve under British, fighting in foreign lands, being ostracised for sea journey
MY father was enrolled in the First Battalion of the Third Brahmans (1776-1922) in 1908. It was colloquially known as Gayatri Paltan and had the motto “Goli aur gamchcha”. Goli stood for bullet (ultimate sacrifice), and gamchcha (towel) for simplicity or austerity.
The battalion remained loyal during the revolt of 1857. While other Bengal infantries were disbanded, this unit continued as First Bengal Native Infantry. It became First Brahmans in 1901. It fought in the Burmese War (1885-1887). At that time, few educated men joined the Army.
My father was attached to the Adjutant, Capt Craig, mainly for record-keeping. Capt Craig encouraged him and he excelled in the ‘Assault at Arms Course’. He was relieved for combat duty. When the unit left for France in 1914, he was a Jemadar (Naib Subedar). Capt Craig was killed in action, a great personal loss for my father.
The Gayatri Paltan had mostly caste Brahmins picked up from Varanasi and other eastern districts of UP — Hardoi, Unnao, Rae Barelli and Garhwal — and practically everybody, educated or not, had taken the Gita with him. In the morning, one could see almost all of them silently chanting Gayatri Mantra (hence the name). If they would give their life in war as the Gita pronounces, the gateway to heaven would open (goli). Their requirements were simple, for ration gur (jaggery) and chana (gram).
Brahmins, being Brahmins, would not eat food prepared or touched by lower caste people. What they wanted was food prepared by members of their caste or higher caste. This very much suited the British as the supply problem was easier for the Brahmin Regiment (Brahman as the British called it).
My father said that they had respite at Suez and taking full advantage of that, almost the whole battalion was cooking food as they had not had roti for long. It was a big show, people were surprised and were taking photographs. Bare-chested men with a sacred thread burning chulhas was a rare sight.
A British officer asked my father his name, and then, “How many biswas?” (The degree of Brahminism had a norm in land measurement; in UP, 1 bigha, roughly half an acre, has 20 biswas and this was considered the highest. A higher biswa family will not marry his daughter to a lower biswa family.)

“Sir, 20.”
“So, you are an upper Brahman?”

“Yes, sir.”
“Tell me, do you eat gur?”
The British officer had served in India, so he knew Indian conditions and customs. “But, gur is made by lower caste people... you eat that, but you do not eat chapatti touched by a lower caste man.” My father said he didn’t know what to say and cut a very sorry figure.
He was again at Suez as Lt Col SN Misra, commanding the 4th Gwalior Infantry (now 5 Mechanised Infantry) in the Second World War and said, “My people while rushing from one point to another and as ration was supplied to them, unmindful of any caste consideration, some started eating, some putting it in their pockets, some putting it in the kit bag. There was a complete change from what I had seen in the times of First World War.”
To continue with his story of WW1, at that time there was religious sanction against sea journeys. So, back home, there were whispers in our village in Hardoi. “Shiv Nath has gone by sea.” Some of our dear relatives were sorry for Shiv Nath, because he was to be ostracised. Coming back in 1919 and then quickly packed off to Afghanistan and returning home after being given pension in 1921-1922 as part of reorganisation/demobilisation, he was ‘purified’ in a big puja which included sipping urine of a white heifer. This was transforming back from vilaytia (men who have been to vilayat).

Major Dhyan Chand’s aura
My father used to play hockey for his unit. One day in Gwalior, at a hockey match of Scindia’s Eleven (Maharaja’s team) and the other, perhaps Kirkee Arsenal or Khalsa College, Amritsar, Major Dhyan Chand’s brother Capt Roop Singh of Gwalior Army smashed powerful goals. We were students and hockey was a craze. At that time my father was Quarter Master General of the Gwalior Army. Roop Singh was tall and well-built.
Dhyan Chand had joined my father’s old battalion as a Sepoy when it was being reorganised after the Afghanistan War and had to become Punjab Regiment. “Our unit was outstanding in hockey. Our Subedar Bhole Tewari (Bele, as the Britishers called him) was known as the best Army player and was also an excellent coach. He handpicked Dhyan Chand, who was really Dhyan Singh, and groomed him. He was his guru”.
My father added that Subedar Tewari recommended Dhyan Chand to play for India in New Zealand. The rest is history, we know how Dhyan Chand became a hero in the Berlin Olympics and Hitler had an eye on him. Of the eight goals scored against Germany, his tally was six. It is said that Hitler had even offered him a commission in army.
British racism, ostracisation at home
Landing in Marseille in 1914, the Gayatri Paltan was transported to the advanced areas, where fierce fighting was taking place. “We fought day in and day out. Our unit won a French medal for gallantry. When we came across French villages, they would come with fruits (we did not accept food, for Brahminical reasons), laid cots for us to rest. For a while we felt very happy. Soon we were overtaken by British troops, they told the French not to mix up with us. All villages and towns were made out of bounds for us. Life was very difficult,” my father would recall.
He said they condemned amongst themselves this meanness of the British. “We had heard of gas warfare. The British instructors told us that we should soak our gamchchas in water and cover our faces, gas masks would be supplied. Some trenches were dry. They told us that in order to save our life, if water was not available, to soak it in urine. This was obnoxious and we refused. At that time we heard that in Mesopotamia some Muslim units had revolted; they said they would not fight against Turks, who were also Muslims. We were packed off to Mesopotamia.”
In 1960, when I visited the French War Memorial in Paris, I found in the exhibits of fighters for France a life-size mannequin with the caption: ‘The Hindoo troops’.
My father like many soldiers suffered from acute dysentery. He was admitted to a hospital in Cairo. An Egyptian soldier advised him to eat tarbooz (water melon). It had a magical effect. He recovered and joined his battalion, fighting in the deserts of Mesopotamia. He rested again at Basra, which had a big hospital. It was from there that he wrote a letter home. My mother and only brother were very sick and had no news of him. The letter gave my father the ‘Basra’ tag at home.
A huge offensive was launched in 1917, and they captured Baghdad. He was awarded OBI, Sardar Bahadur and the Indian Meritorious Service Medal in the campaign.
The troops came to Allahabad in 1919. At home, my father was ostracised. My grandfather was in a lot of distress. After a meeting of village elders, it was decided that he should be purified as a Brahmin again and had to have janaiu (sacred thread) again. Shortly before, my mother had died of prolonged sickness, leaving my brother who was six at that time.
My father was summoned to join the unit at Allahabad. News was rife of the Third Anglo-Afghan War. My grandfather suggested that he take my brother to Kanpur, where my mother came from. With the vilaytia tag, he was not welcome.
My father wanted to quit, but his CO said, “Shiv Nath, he is not your son, he is the son of the battalion, let us take him with us.”
After the war, my father applied for pension and was released from the army. He was given ‘Jangi Inam’ (war reward) of Rs 10 for life and 20 bighas near Robertsganj in Mirzapur.
My grandfather looked for a match for him, but his Basra tag came in the way. He was finally remarried as my maternal grandfather was forward-looking. He joined for a year as Captain Commandant of Datia Govind Infantry and then left to join the Gwalior Army as Captain, DAG Musketry, a new post created by the British, in 1923-1924.
He commanded the First Gwalior Infantry at Lashkar and left for World War II in 1939; he has a hill named after him in Abbysinia. He was wounded and returned in 1943. He was appointed honorary ADC to Viceroy and got pension from Gwalior army in 1947.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby johneeG » 20 Sep 2015 10:17

ShauryaT wrote:
rohitvats wrote:Therefore, had India not imposed it’s authority on Tawang in 1951, it would have been under Chinese control post their occupation of Tibet. In international law, possession is 9/10th of the law and in our case, it was backed by the Shimla Agreement.
I do think though that we should supplement the legalistic case anchored on the British signed accord with India's case on Tawang based on civilizational links and practical geo-political realities and as the defender of Hindu/buddhist civilizational values. The inability of MEA to supplement the legalistic arguments makes us appear to be stooges of the west and a state that does not know its own mores and interests, except for those that the British left us with, by way of McMahon, Radcliffe and Durand lines.


Totally agree. Infact, Bhaarath should stress that from our point of view, our civilizational connection to Tibet is more important reason for defending Tibet than anything else.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 09 Nov 2015 09:36

Remembering the Battle for Srinagar - November 8, was the 68th anniversary of the Battle for Srinagar
Independent India's First Battle
By November 2, the immediate threat to Srinagar had been contained although the raiders were still very much in evidence in the general area. Brigadier L.P. Sen had arrived to assume command of 161 Brigade and Colonel Harbakhsh Singh reverted to his own appointment as Second-in-Command.
A second Company of the 3/15 Punjab Regiment (MMG), commanded by Lieutenant Balbir Singh Jaijee, reinforced 1 Sikh on that day bringing its strength up to 6 rifle companies, in addition to the first company of the 3/15th under Capt JS Mandher which had joined them earlier. The 13 Field Battery, till now in the Infantry role with 1 Sikh, reverted to its role of gunners with 3.7" mountain guns. On November 3, the Battalion cleared Pattan of the enemy. Further south, in the area of Badgam, a strong party of raiders, who had come over the Pir Panjal Range, possibly reinforced by groups that had bypassed 1Sikh at Pattan, began to concentrate on the outskirts of Srinagar, with the clear intention of taking the airfield and possible Srinagar itself.

Battle of Badgam
On the morning of November 2, a report had come into Brigade Headquarters of a concentration of about 1,000 raiders near Badgam, a village close to the city, Colonel Harbakhsh Singh, the acting brigade commander, decided to attack them whilst they were concentrated.
A force of three Companies was quickly assembled under command of Major Somnath Sharma, whose Company of 4 Kumaon was to take part in the operation. The other two Companies came from 1 (Para) Kumaon. The force had moved out before midnight and, bypassing all inhabited area, reached the high ground above Badgam before first light on November 3. Patrols were immediately sent out to comb the village and the surrounding areas. Other than a large group of “Kashmiri refugees”, camping in a nullah close by, the patrols reported that all was clear. As nothing untoward had happened or enemy encountered, at 1400 hrs, the two Para Kumaonese Companies were ordered to return while Major Sharma was ordered to firm in where he was, astride the Badgam-Srinagar road.
At 1600 hrs, two hours after the two Companies had departed, Major Sharma's position came under 3-inch mortar fire. Within minutes, the position was assaulted under the cover of accurate LMG fire. The "innocent Kashmiri refugees" (the tribals in disguise), concentrated on the village perimeter, removed their weapons from under their firans (Kashmiri Cloaks) and launched their attack. The Kumaonese quickly deployed and beat off this first assault which was followed by more in quick succession. Major Sharma called for air and artillery support, to which the howitzers of 13 Field Battery responded magnificently — the gunners showing that they had lost none of their skills during their long attachment as infantry with 1 Sikh. Tempests from the airfield close by came in time and again with ground strikes. Nevertheless, the raiders, determined to take the position, kept up their pressure. Before long, Major Sharma was forced to call for reinforcements and reported that ammunition was running perilously low. Brigade Headquarters, anticipating this problem, had already despatched a civilian truck full of ammunition to him and had ordered the 1/2 Punjabies to go to his assistance. Before either could reach him, Major Sharma had been killed whilst assisting a wounded LMG No. 2 to fill his magazines. Soon after, the Company was overrun, losing 14 men killed and 22 wounded. For his extreme gallantry throughout the three-hour battle, Major Somnath Sharma received India's first Param Vir Chakra, its highest award for gallantry in combat.

Battle of Shalateng
Their success on November 3, at Badgam in which Major Somnath Sharma and his company of 4 Kumaon fought a magnificent action, gave the raiders the confidence to plan an attack on the airfield and Srinagar itself.
While briefing Brigadier Sen on November 3,(he had arrived in Srinagar late on the evening of November 2), Colonel Harbakhsh Singh, the acting Brigade Commander, suggested that 1 Sikh should be withdrawn from Pattan, as in the euphoria of success, the raiders wounded certainly threaten these two vital objectives. With the brigadier's approval, he flew to Pattan in an Otter aircraft, piloted by the legendary Air Commodore Mehar Singh DSO MVC DFC, and dropped a message for the Sikhs' CO, telling him to withdraw to Srinagar by 2000 hrs on November 4. This rather unusual means of communication was used to ensure secrecy.
Thus it was that by the evening of November 4, 161 Brigade's deployment was: 1 (Para) Kumaon : Airfield defence, 1/2Punjab In the village of Humhama, to block the approaches to the city. 1 Sikh, two companies at the Shalateng Bridge, and two at the Spill Channel, the latter being available to maintain law and order in the city, if required.
The disappearance of 1 Sikh from Pattan who had been ordered to withdraw, led to an advance by a force of raiders, some 3,000 men in 138 buses and trucks up the Srinagar road — a development that would in fact lead to the last nail being driven into the coffin of Pakistani ambition on November 7.
At 2200 hrs on the night of November 5/6, after an intense mortar and machine - gun bombardment, the enemy attacked Major Ajaib Singh's B Company of 1 Sikh. After a five-hour battle, during which a company of 1 (Para) Kumaon and a troop of the 7th Light Cavalry (7 Cav), commanded by Lieutenant Noel David, had arrived to reinforce Ajaib Singh, the enemy retreated leaving 80 dead and wounded on the field.
By 1200 hrs on November 6, confirmed reports of a large concentration of raiders, numbering between 2 and 3,000 men, close to Shalateng and below the Zainkut Ridge, had been received. A plan was immediately put on hand to attack this concentration by trapping it in front of the Sikh's position. Because of his previous involvement with the Battle of Badgam, and at his request, Colonel Harbakhsh Singh was given command of the planning and execution of this operation.
At noon on November 7, the Sikhs were told to keep the enemy engaged near the Shalateng bridge. 1 (Para) Kumaon, already concentrated near the race course, were ordered to move round the flank of 1 Sikh and to launch an enveloping attack. Lieutenant Noel David, who was out on a routine reconnaissance with his troop of armoured cars near Ganderbal, was ordered by radio to come up the Shaikhpur-Ganderbal road behind the raiders and a company of 1 Sikh was mounted in trucks at the bridge, ready to exploit any success in conjunction with the armoured cars.

Enemy on the run
The battle went like clockwork. The Kumaonese crossed their start line at exactly 1300 hrs and were on to the enemy before they knew what had hit them. Their bayonets soon had the raiders on the run. A number of haystacks in an adjoining field were the next bit of cover to be attacked by the IAF, the Tempests firing incendiary rockets and dropping bombs. With the haystacks on fire, the enemy broke in all directions, chased by the Sikh machine guns and with the armoured cars joining in with everything they had. Zainkut Ridge was secured by the Kumaonese by 1330 hrs, the mounted Sikh company and two armoured cars being pushed through to complete the rout. Surprising the enemy headquarters by the side of the road in an apple orchard near milestone 7, this company group captured 4 lorries, 1 station wagon, a bren gun, 4 x 3-inch mortars, and an MMG and a truck load of medical supplies and ammunition.
By 1400 hrs, all opposition had ended and the enemy was now on the run, hotly pursued by the Tempests of the IAF, who flew sortie after sortie until it became too dark to operate. The Sikh Company and its accompanying armoured cars then took over. 472 enemy dead were recovered from the battlefield at Shalateng and a further 146 on the cross-country tracks to Baramula over the next few days. The threat to Srinagar had finally been eliminated.
Brigadier Sen, who had been at the airfield all day receiving the reinforcements of troops, guns and equipment, reached Shalateng by 1400 hrs and at once issued orders for the pursuit to Baramula. To begin with the Sikhs were ordered to re-occupy Pattan. 1 Sikh moving out immediately occupied their original defences by 1930 hrs, where the Battalion firmed in for the night. At 2330 hrs an unsuspecting column of three enemy trucks loaded with troops and supplies drove into their position and were destroyed, the Sikhs killing 11 of the enemy and recovering 7 rifles. On their way in, Subedar Bishan Singh, 2ic of D Company bringing up the Battalion rear, had noticed movement in an orchard by the side of the road. He quickly surrounded it with a rifle section and challenged the people in it, to his surprise 11 fully armed Pathans surrendered without firing a shot. The morale of the raiders had finally broken.
161 Brigade's advance to Baramula started at 0400 hrs the next morning with 1 (Para) Kumaon and Noel David's armoured cars in the van, followed by 2/17 Dogras (who had only completed its concentration at Srinagar the Previous Evening) and a troop of 25 pr guns (which had also arrived the previous evening) making up the remainder troops of the Brigade. The Brigade in full cry, albeit on foot, as no transport was available, even the 3-inch mortars, MMGs and extra ammunition having to be man-packed, moved out in excellent spirits.
By 0800 hrs the next day, the relieving Battalion 1/2 Punjab arrived at Pattan followed by the rest of the Brigade at 0900 hrs. The Sikhs handed over the Pattan defences to the Punjabies and prepared to join the Brigade in its advance at 1130 hrs.
Baramula was taken unopposed by 1730 hrs on Novemebr 8.
By this time, 1 Sikh, the first battalion to have been flown in to Srinagar on October 27 (now celebrated as 'Infantry Day') had killed more raiders in the valley than the whole of the rest of the Brigade. Their exploits and dogged courage in battle had earned them the title given to them by the raiders, of Kali pagri wale kafir (the non-believers in black turbans).

Cost of recovering Baramula
On November 9, the bodies of Colonel Rai and Subedar Sajjan Singh, together with those of the other troops who had fallen in the battle of October 28, at Baramula, and were hidden in the paddy field where they fell that evening, were recovered and were cremated that very evening with full military honours.
The day's stay at Baramula proved a traumatic experience. The town was hushed and in deep shock after its occupation. Stories of rape, torture abduction and loot abounded. After the information given in that emotionally charged atmosphere had been sifted, it was officially estimated that the raiders had despatched anything between 200 and 250 truckloads of loot to their homes in far-off Chitral, the Swat valley and elsewhere in their tribal belt, in addition to the kidnapping and abduction of all the young girls of the town. A New York Times reporter who visited Baramula shortly afterward wrote that of the original 14,000 population of the city, just 3,000 remained.
Baramula had been retaken, but at what cost?

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/commen ... 56151.html

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 09 Nov 2015 09:38

A tribute to a saint-soldier, one of the finest

LT Gen Hanut Singh retired more than two decades ago and moved into an ashram in Dehradun. He had cut himself from the world and spent his time in deep meditation. It is said that it was in a state of meditation that he gave up life.
I first came to know him when he was an instructor in the gunnery wing of the Armoured Corps School and I was in a gunnery course. He displayed complete mastery over the subject and in his lectures there was conviction, motivation and deep understanding of the power of the tank gun. There was nothing in tank gunnery worth knowing other than what he knew and would so convincingly put across.
The next I came in close contact with him was when he was commanding 14 Independent Armoured Brigade, where I was one of the unit commanders.
Earlier, he had taken part in the 1971 war and had made a name for himself in the famous battle of Basantar. He had put into practice what he had been so convincingly and forcefully advocating as Commander of the School of Armoured Warfare. The more remarkable part of his play was taking his regiment across a deep minefield to be with the infantry, which had already crossed the obstacle system and was nervously awaiting the onslaught of the enemy counter-attack.
Being deeply spiritual, and completely fearless, he had pushed his regiment through that deep enemy minefield without waiting for a safe lane to be cleared by the engineers. Since time was at a premium, he took the decision to wade through the minefield. It was indeed a miracle that no mine came in his way. Maybe, on that fateful night, the Lord was his charioteer as He was of Arjuna at Kurukshetra. When the enemy counter-attack materialised on the bridgehead, he was there to take it on and bring about its complete destruction. While he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, he earned from the enemy the sobriquet “Fakhr-e-Hind” for his regiment.
He had the moral courage to say what he thought was right, regardless of the fallout. An illustrious commander, he possessed the taste and feeling of the heritage of the human mind. At the root of his unimpeachable character and the courage of conviction was his self-realisation through long hours of meditation and religious beliefs. His sense of discipline and martial spirit had been passed down by his forefathers.
Lt Gen Hanut Singh was gentle of manner and stood by his officers and men. While he meditated for long hours, this spiritual digression never came in the way of his duties. He had an acutely discerning mind and few were the people that he misjudged. He led a simple soldier’s life, free from frills and follies. He exhibited all that goes into the making of a saint-soldier.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sunday ... 55864.html

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 19 Jan 2016 05:37

X-Post...

UlanBatori wrote:On old British Army news (OT, yes, sorry) I recently learned that most of the chemical warfare victims in Flanders Plain were Indians. Figures.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 02 Feb 2016 04:55


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ShauryaT » 14 Apr 2016 04:58

Posting in full as it has some important tit bits.
British lost empire as they lost our Army’s support

India was an unwilling participant in World War II, but those years provided the foundation for the Independence struggle.

Historian Srinath Raghavan in his latest book, India’s War: The Making of Modern South Asia, 1939-1945 (Allen Lane), details India’s contribution to World War II. The book explores the war’s impact on the Independence movement, how it was during this period that the Army saw its biggest expansion, and why this inquiry is important from a military history point of view. Excerpts:

The book is called India’s war. Yet, not one Indian was consulted before Viceroy Linlithgow’s decision to enlist the Indian Army.

Even if India was an unwilling participant in the conflict, the conflict had huge implications for India. So, even if we were dragged into it kicking and screaming, those years turned out to be foundational for India in the Independence movement.

But still not India’s war. The Army was treated like bonded labourers, bundled off to fight without any say…

That’s not entirely the case. The Congress certainly opposed India’s participation because it wasn’t consulted, but others saw it as an opportunity. You had people like Ambedkar, who realised that for the Dalits, this was an opportunity for social mobility, to have their voices out. You also had Savarkar who said that this was a great opportunity for the Hindu community to get into the Army, which was dominated by the Sikhs and the Muslims.

Are you saying it was the war that gave these leaders and their ideologies their original prominence?

I think many of the ideological fault lines that we associate with 1947, in some sense, came to the fore during the war years, and that’s why we need to study them more closely. Because of what happens in the period 1935-1939 — you have the first elections under the Government of India Act, and Congress ministries are formed. It seemed as if the Congress was the most dominant force, and only Congress versus the British Raj played out. But then you had the war; the Congress was sidelined, and that cracked open the scenario for others who wanted their voices heard. So you had Jinnah coming into prominence with his demand, you had Ambedkar, you had Savarkar, and a number of others.

If you look at the books about India’s participation in World War II, especially Northeast India and the Malacca frontlines, they are titled the ‘forgotten war’ or the ‘forgotten Army’. Why is it important that they are not forgotten?

If you look at much of the way our history is taught, and the way the public imagines the 1940s, it is basically about the Congress party resigning, the Cripps Mission failing, and then you talk about post-war developments leading up to Independence. So the 1940s are remembered for this march to Independence and Partition that came as a cost of it. The war never really comes into focus. What I wanted to do was say, if you put the war in the front and at the centre and study its impact, then much of the 1940s becomes much clearer and explains why we ended up with what happened on August 15, 1947. Without the war, it is unlikely that the Muslim League would have gained prominence vis-a-vis the Congress in order to push through their demand for a separate country.

You don’t often refer to yourself in your books, but here you speak of your own regiment and how it fought. Do you think there is a bigger need to acknowledge this part of World War II as India’s war, for the Army’s sake?

To begin with, it is important from a military history point of view. This period marked the biggest expansion the Indian Army saw. For a generation of people, now forgotten, the war was foundational for their lives. They travelled abroad for the first time, served in very difficult conditions. I don’t think I would have even got into the subject but for my own military background; I may not have written it but for the fact that I served in the Rajputana Rifles regiment that features prominently in the book. When you have two and a half million Indians in uniform and many more millions recruited for war-related activity, how can we just forget that story? The Indian Army has got caught in the middle of this. If you are a ‘nationalist’, you will see the Army as an instrument of British control; a force of collaborators. But most of the Army was deeply nationalist. Others want to portray the anti-British movement as a subaltern revolution led by the peasantry, yet what was the Indian Army if not made up of the peasants and poorer classes? So, why ignore this side?

Finally, let’s remember that along with Partition, the Indian Army was partitioned as well. Companies that fought together in those wars were subsequently made to fight each other, beginning with the first Kashmir war. As a result, World War II dropped out of the picture. Because now both the Indian and Pakistani armies wanted to play up the stories of their valour against each other, to suit their independent national interests, and not some war that was a collaborative effort. One of the things I mention in the book is that there is a 25-volume official history of the war, and it had to be compiled by a combined inter-services effort from both India and Pakistan, right? But acknowledging this joint history has become very difficult, and very inconvenient, to both countries.

In his memoirs, President Pranab Mukherjee writes that he was against attending commemorations for World War II because it was an insult to the Independence movement, and particularly to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, whose Indian National Army fought against British forces.

I very strongly disagree with that view. Netaji and the INA’s effort were quite important, no doubt. I do bring out in the book that the INA’s importance was not really about military contribution, but political impact. It had about 25,000 soldiers, prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, who went over to form Netaji’s Army. The Indian Army was about a hundred times larger, 2.5 million Indians. So why should we only valorise 25,000 people and try to say that recognising the others is somehow a denigration of national history? That’s the lens I am trying to move beyond. Just because some people were in the Army doesn’t mean they wanted British rule. Many fought simply because it was a job; others needed access to food. There is a book by Samuel Huntington on what a soldier fights for? It is an interesting read. Mostly western/US examples though.

There’s an interesting point in the book when Chiang Kai-shek comes to meet the Indian leadership and asks them to support the war because the soldiers won’t be able to fight if they feel they do not have the country’s backing. Why was that significant?

One of the other forgotten parts of our history is that one of the biggest alliances was that of the Indian and Chinese armies during the war. Once the Japanese captured Burma, the land routes were cut off, much of the Indian Army’s mandate was to enable the nationalist Chinese Army to be supplied to fight. Much of the aerodrome-building across Northeast India was to supply the nationalist Chinese. Given the turn we took later, we must realise there is a pre-history too. India and China both emerged from the crucible of World War II. The idea that Asian nations which have come out of colonialism will have a shared future goes back to then. Of course, things didn’t work out that way, and we tend to forget this.

Most wars end the empire of the defeated side. Would you say that World War II was unique because it ended the empire of the winning side, the British?

I think it was clear even at the time that World War II would change the world forever… I think the key point is that the British lost the empire not just because they were weakened by the war, but because they lost the Indian Army’s support by the end of it, which was their instrument of control. That’s what the impact of the INA mutiny was, to show that the British could raise this massive Army, but that it could turn on them too. People like Churchill had even questioned the expansion of the Indian Army and said: “Someday it is going to shoot us in the back”.

You are now seen as a master of the archives through each of your books. What was the biggest challenge during your research for India’s war?

To be honest, I began this book thinking I could do most of my research in India itself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I found that the National Archives don’t even have a clear record of the war period. They don’t even have a catalogue for the military department during the war, so a lot of the military details came from the British Library and other archives. But what I feel most satisfied about was my effort to discover the voice of the Indian soldier.
The last part is sad and needs rectification.
Last edited by ramana on 15 Apr 2016 02:49, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added bold and underlines. ramana

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 14 Jun 2016 22:37

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Today is the 117th anniversary of Brigadier Rajinder Singh, the saviour of Kashmir who was born on 14th June 1899 at Bagoona in Samba district in the Dalpatian clan of Jamwals. He belonged to a family of brave soldiers. His grandfather was a war veteran whereas his father, Subedar Lakha Singh was a junior officer in the Kashmir State Force. He completed his education from Govt. Gandhi Memorial Science College in the year 1921 and joined J&K State Forces as a Commissioned Officer. Later he rose to the rank of Brigadier in the year 1942 following which he took over as Chief of Staff of JLN J&K State Forces and saved the valley from tribal raiders for which he was posthumously awarded with Mahavir Chakra owing to his remarkable courage and leadership.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby wig » 02 Sep 2016 10:51

http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/the-last-letter/
this is an article by wife of an officer of the Pak Special Services Group Captain Nisar Ahmed who died during the course of the war. In 1999, she left Pakistan to go into exile in the United States because of a blasphemy fatwa against her by the state establishment there.

The article is of interest because it covers some aspects of Operation Gibraltar, the infiltration of Kashmir in 1965 and subsequent war.
excerpts

All this time I have hidden certain facts of my work – although you would have had your guesses and fears about it. But there was nothing certain about it for me to tell. Today when you read this letter I will be far beyond the reach of time and space, for I have told them that this letter should be posted to you only upon my death; along with the official intimation. But do not worry love I am just round the same corner of life picking up the straws of my spiritual happiness so that I may build a cozy little haven for us two – a love nest. For then we shall never separate ‘no moments of decision and indecision’. This final bond will be unshakeable.

My love, on the 3rd of Jun[e, 19]65 I was assigned to HQ 12 Div on a special duty i.e. to org and conduct the trg of certain Azad Kashmir soldiers and DAFA-MUJAHIDS. Later I came to know that I am under a new HQ set up for this purpose i.e. HQ L of C Sub Area Murree and that I will be required to go into Indian Held Kashmir on a msn to conduct cdo actions and organise Guerilla Warfare with the help of the local there.

On 11 July 65, the President of Pakistan gave his consent to this plan of operation i.e, our force shall infiltrate behind enemy lines into the SRINAGAR ad surrounding vallies [sic[ and carryout cdo tasks initially and then organise the locals for Guerilla Warfare.
We received our final briefing on the ni and with it our action commenced on the night 29/30 Jul 65. However, the night for the Raid on targets was appointed on the 7/8 night. The area I was assigned was GULMARG and PATTAN where Brigade Headquarters were located.
Although the plan is not entirely according to the principles of an unconventional operation. Because this type of warfare has political implications and should never be started according to the conventional military concepts of concentration of deployment in the Force. The whole force becomes too vulnerable as it offers an excellent target to enemies counter action. These types of wars are very expensive and begin with a basic covert cell, that expands in size and activity first in a cellular form then when the enemies resistance wears out it assumes an overt military shape and maneuver. Knowledge of enemies moves and actions is of utmost importance to such a force and equally so is the denial of its own knowledge/information to the enemy. In our case we failed to acquire the first and did every conceivable thing to ignore the latter.

and, further
archives of my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. During the course of my subsequent research, I found, among other things, the following:
1. A memoir written in Urdu by a commando officer who survived Operation Gibraltar. The officer, a commando by the name of Alamgir, writes a field diary of Operation Gibraltar and gives details of my husband’s participation in the mission, how he was killed and where he is buried: in village Khag in Kashmir. This is the only reliable account of my husband’s death and burial. Commando Alamgir’s memoir/field diary gives significant details about the mismanagement of the operation and the political realities of the Kashmiri people, who never wanted a Pakistani intervention. The memoir further describes my husband’s talents that I never knew about: that he was a masterful tarot reader, as well as a singer. I hardly knew the man, as ours was a romance based on letters.
2. Declassified CIA documents in the Lyndon B. Johnson Archive in Austin that point to the role of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – at that time in 1965, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan – and at whose behest Operation Gibraltar was undertaken. It was Bhutto who persuaded Field Marshal Ayub Khan and the Pakistani generals to capture Indian Kashmir. Operation Gibraltar was the Pakistan army’s Bay of Pigs. Later General Zia-ul-Haq executed Bhutto when the latter was an elected Prime Minister. General Zia-ul-Haq led the successful U.S. intervention against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1978.


some other facets of Pak perfidy
American aid given to the army for the Cold War against the Soviets was used to make inroads into Indian Kashmir. Pakistan’s elite commando unit – that the U.S. set up in Cherat, Pakistan – bordered Central Asia. This then enabled the U.S to keep an eye on the Soviets and Communist China. These Special Services Group units were further used in early 1978 to train the mujahideen (some of whom were precursors of the Taliban) when the U.S. was engaged in the region, to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. The Pakistan Army under Zia-ul-Haq acted as a U.S. proxy. Badaber, the U.S. air force facility from which Gary Powers’ U-2 plane took off in 1960 – and was shot down during a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union during Nikita Krushchev’s premiership – was used as a prison by the mujahideen to hold opponents during the Afghan war in the 1980s.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 30 Sep 2016 14:17

Battle of Asal Uttar, Indo-Pak War ’65: How Jesus Fought for India

https://www.thequint.com/india/2015/09/ ... -for-india

“I heard the Pakistanis yelling on their radio sets – ‘Their artillery fire is playing hell into us! The man in command is called Christ!’ – we picked the tanks off like cherries”.
My Grand-dad always had a chuckle when he would narrate this story. Christ!? Fighting for India?!
The man from Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, was the elder son of a Brahmin educationist who was deeply pissed off with everyone obsessed with ‘identity’ 100 years ago. So, in a rebellion of his own, when his elder son was born on June 5, 1920, he named him Jesus. The younger son who came soon after, was called Shah Jahan. And that’s how my grand-dad came to be known as Jesus Prakash Rao.



As Pakistani and Indian tank formations squared off against each other, the Pakistanis hoping to break through and threaten Amritsar and Jallandhar, the job of the 91st regiment was to target Pakistani tanks, and make life ‘hell’ for them. And between 7 and 10 September,1965, that’s what they did – picking off the Pakistan Army’s US made Patton and Chaffee tanks ‘like cherries’, blunting several waves of attack.


My grand-dad told me he moved way ahead to ’spot’ Pakistani tanks and direct his artillery fire at them more accurately. Looking for a vantage point he got onto a tree, but a Pakistani sniper ’spotted’ him and started firing, causing Jesus to scamper down ‘double quick’. Regiment records say they fired 2000 shells on 10th September alone. The Indian Army’s own tanks and infantry did the rest. Khemkaran was littered with over a 100 enemy tanks, which were later distributed to cantonments all over the country, to display as ‘trophy tanks’.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby malushahi » 30 Sep 2016 20:21

Celebrating 4th Kumaon's capture of Tangdhar-Tithwal on Sept 21, 1965. The recent surgical strike on Leepa Valley was most likely staged from these dominating heights, 51 years to day after they fell to the Bhulas.

https://twitter.com/adgpi/status/778553136130560000

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cs3v9U7VIAEGt3-.jpg

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P.S.: Capt Surendra Shah retired as a Maj General a few years ago.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Aditya G » 01 Oct 2016 23:56

Operation Savage - 1967

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby SSridhar » 30 Oct 2016 08:08

This might have been in French - S.Muthaiah, The Hindu

S.Muthaiah is a well-known chronicler of Chennai.

Indeed, this column may well have been in French if events following those of September 10, 270 years ago, had played out differently. That was the day, French Admiral Mahé de la Bourdonnais received the capitulation of Madras to his forces that had begun their march on the town on September 3. That assault on Fort St. George had its genesis in France declaring war against England in March 1744, the news being received in India in September that year whereupon both Madras and Pondicherry began to make preparations for war. What followed would be considered, looking back on it all, more comic than tragic if it were not for some significant events that resulted.

Action began in 1746 with the British sending out a naval squadron to Madras and the French responding by summoning La Bourdonnais’ fleet from what is now Mauritius, the Isles de France. Both naval squadrons appeared to spend more time avoiding each other than facing the other. Eventually, to cut a long story short, when the English fleet decided it was safer to leave a virtually defenceless Madras to its fate and moved north, La Bourdonnais landed his French and African troops on September 3 on what was later to be known as the Triplicane Beach with orders to march on Fort St. George, while his fleet sailed towards it and began bombarding it. On September 8, the English began asking for the terms of surrender. Now, La Bourdonnais — who considered himself the Governor of the Isles de France, the equal of Francois Dupleix the Governor of Pondicherry — decided to play a different hand. At the end of his negotiations with the English, he said, “Gentlemen, you’ll give up your town and all within it, and I promise you, upon my Honour, to put you in Possession of it again upon the payment of the Ransom.” The English agreed.

The preamble to the terms of surrender stated, “Fort St George and the Town of Madras with their Dependencies shall Today, the 10th of September, at two o’clock in the afternoon, be put in the hands of M.de la Bourdonnais.” And, the French walked in and the English walked out, headed for Fort St. David, Cuddalore. One of the agreement’s 17 articles read: “The ransom to be Pagodas 1,100,000 (a little over £ 480,000 then) to be paid as follows: Pags. 500,000 in Europe (in five instalments starting from the fourth month) and Pags. 600,000 to be paid (in six hald-yearly instalments between 1747 and 1749).” Hostages to be given as security for the ransom were the two children of Governor Nicholas Morse (long before Cornwallis sought Tippu’s son!), two Councillors and their wives, two civil servants and two Armenians! Not stated was that La Bourdonnais was to get for himself another 100,000 pagodas. With Dupleix totally against the rendition of Madras, dreaming of empire as he was, signing of the treaty was delayed till October 10, when five more articles were added. La Bourdonnais handed over the Fort to Dupleix who had tentatively promised it to the Nawab of the Carnatic. But, once his representatives had taken over the administration of Madras, Dupleix forgot that hesitant promise and determined to stay till at least all the ransom had been paid. Whereupon the Nawab sent forth his son, Mahfuz Khan, with an army of 10,000 and more to invest Fort St. George.

When heard that French reinforcements were coming up from Pondicherry, Khan drew even his forces in Egmore to join those in San Thomé and prevent a crossing of the Adyar River. Today, as I write these lines on Monday, October 24, it is the anniversary of the Battle of the Adyar, in which a few hundred French troops and sipahis trained by them routed the Nawab’s thousands. With that victory, Dupleix repudiated the treaty he himself had ratified and declared that Madras belonged to the French East India Company representing the King of France.

October 24, 1746 is to me one of the most significant days in world history. The rout of the Nawab’s troops by Western trained sipahis and Western methods of warfare had the British raising an army of Indians in Cuddalore and then Madras, which was to become the Indian Army. This Army enabled the British to eventually defeat the French and then spread an ever widening influence in India that led to the Age of Empire, an age Dupleix and his Mme. Jeanne Begum had dreamed of. That Age, born on the banks of the Adyar, sowed the seed for all that has followed in world history.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 11 Jan 2017 21:55


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 11 Jan 2017 22:46

Chanan Singh: Batman, Deserter, Soldier
https://www.newslaundry.com/2017/01/09/chanan-singh-batman-deserter-soldier

By Lt Gen H S Panag

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 25 Jan 2017 01:19


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rakesh » 25 Jan 2017 01:20

November 16, 1940: Royal Indian Army Service Corps parade
https://twitter.com/1historyinphoto/sta ... 5998659584


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