Indian Army History Thread

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Postby ramana » 13 Dec 2007 23:19

Institution of excellence

Bhupal Vasant Wagh has made it to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, which is celebrating its 75 years in service of the nation. Nehru Nagar in Pune was joyfully felicitating the 18-year-old dabbawala, son of an industrial worker, who will shortly join the elite officer corps. Your postman's son or the neighbourhood Mother Dairy owner's sibling, along with sons of Generals, JCOs and sundry others, would also be in Wagh's batch. But certainly no Tata, Ambani or Bajaj offspring will do the rounds of the Drill Square at the IMA among the 1,900 youth at any given time there.

When the IMA was raised in 1932, there were just 40 Gentlemen Cadets (GCs); 15 were taken from an open competition, 15 from other ranks in the Army and 10 from princely families. The queue to lead men in war and peace was long and distinguished. Today, more than 22,000 candidates compete for 200 seats twice a year. While the list is more egalitarian, it is not sufficiently balanced. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's son will on Thursday join his country's Navy. It would have been a good signal for our country had Mr Rahul Gandhi joined the IMA, instead of Harvard.

On Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the salute at the Passing Out Parade, which annually adds 500 to 600 to the officer corps, which is still deficient by nearly 13,000 personnel. He made promises that Governments seldom keep.

The motto of the IMA is: "The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first always and every time; the honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next; your own ease, comfort and safety come last always and every time." To this credo that Field Marshal Philip Chetwode enunciated in 1932, to the first batch, he added: "We've got the men who will serve under you in the ranks. No better material exists in the world. And they have proved it on many stricken fields: but hitherto, they've been led by us; and, now they are to be led by you. And you have to prove you are fit to lead them in peace and war."

The apolitical Indian Army has its roots in what Chetwode told the GCs: "The Indian young man of education seems very attracted by politics. May I urge you to remember that politics does not and cannot find any place in Army life. An Army can have no politics. It is the paid servant of the people and is at the disposal of the Government of the day, whatever be the political complexion of that Government."

The demand for an Indian military institution on the Sandhurst model for the 'Indianisation' of the officer corps surprisingly came first in a Congress resolution of 1887. Later, at the Indian National Congress session of 1917, JN Roy, while moving Resolution No 6, said that if he had to choose between responsible Government and military training, he would unhesitatingly go in for military training. A few years later, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru said: "Without an efficient Indian Army officered by our own national self-Government for Indians, must be a very unreal and shadowy thing." Speaking in the Legislative Assembly in 1928, Madan Mohan Malaviya said: "The question whether a military college shall or shall not be established is a question of life and death to the people of this country. The whole question of future responsible Government in this country hangs upon that question."

It would appear that majority of the political establishment, bureaucracy and Government has forgotten the purpose and well being of the military to serve as an institution of nation-building. Unfortunately, soldiers are remembered only during wars, crises and natural disasters. The Indian Army's apolitical nature and secular character stand out in sharp contrast to highly politicised militaries in the neighbourhood. Armies and militaries tend to go astray when political direction and control are delegated to the bureaucracy and civil servants take charge of the military. The mess that Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Nepal and Sri Lanka are in has in part to do with the mismanagement of its moorings.

Many of the Army Chiefs and officers of the Pakistan Army were trained in Dehradun till 1947. They include Generals like Yahya Khan, Gul Hassan and Tikka Khan, more famous as the "Butcher of Bangladesh". They failed to follow the credo of the IMA, more importantly the spirit of service before self.

The young officers who joined their units have proved their mettle by leading from the front or the 'follow me' principle. Nearly 47,000 officers have passed out and done the IMA proud. Statistics show that the cutting edge of all major operations and wars fought was provided by the young officers leading platoons and companies. They are in the forefront: Siachen and Kargil are the best reminders of their military talents.

Again statistics reveal that the proportion of officer casualties compared to JCOs and Other Ranks is disproportionately high. In the obituary pages of newspapers, the names of young officers predominate, chasing terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir. So far, the IMA's martyr count is 783.

Be it counter-insurgency, war, internal security, peacekeeping, disaster relief or nation-building, the IMA provides leaders for all seasons. Naturally, maximum gallantry awards have gone to the IMA. These include six Param Vir Chakras, 15 Ashok Chakras, 84 Maha Vir Chakras, 40 Kirti Chakras, 255 Vir Chakras and 157 Shaurya Chakras. Their record in sports and adventure is equally impressive.

This past weekend, the IMA commemorated its Platinum Jubilee. On its rolls are 1,131 distinguished names from 28 countries. Attending the celebrations were Army Chiefs from Nepal, Bhutan, the Seychelles and many other countries. The domestic list included several serving Governors, Chief Ministers and luminaries of the corporate world. Maj Jaswant Singh of Jasol was recognised for becoming a Union Minister. Missing from the veterans' reunion was India's most famous soldier, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who at 94 was unable to come. He led the Indian Army to its first military victory in 2,000 years.

Noticeably, Governors in all security-sensitive States like Jammu & Kashmir, some in the North-East, Punjab and the Maoist-affected ones are invariably retired Generals. Savouring a second career, retired Generals and other officers attribute their post-retirement attainments to what they learnt at the IMA, moral and physical courage, honesty, integrity and the honour code of a GC.

Let us not forget that the pioneers who fought for the founding of the Academy several years before independence had understood the import of a national military institution. Relentlessly they challenged British intransigence by moving 15 resolutions in the Central Legislative Assembly in March 1921. The IMA was won in 1932. While the commitments of the IMA towards excellence in leadership and military prowess have not diminished, Governments and society have to do more to share the burden. After all, security for all requires security by all.


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Postby pradeepe » 14 Dec 2007 05:49

He led the Indian Army to its first military victory in 2,000 years.


Hmm...I wonder what thats supposed to mean. Good that the entity called India is now acknowledged as millenia old, but in which case why would it be the first victory.

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Postby ramana » 14 Dec 2007 07:21

Think more. Its a very important statement.

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Postby Sanku » 14 Dec 2007 09:20

ramana wrote:Think more. Its a very important statement.


Sorry Garu; a war between India and Pak is a civil war; not a victory over forgein power.
:lol:

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Postby pradeepe » 15 Dec 2007 00:26

ramana wrote:Think more. Its a very important statement.


Ramana garu, I assume you mean the first major military victory under a unified India after the Maurya's about 2000 years ago. When I looked up Chandragupta, he was listed as being called the first unifier of India establishing a centralized rule throughout south Asia. His major external victory being routing the Macedonians. So the above makes sense to me now, since very quickly after his successor Ashoka around 200BC, the kindgom started falling apart into many kingdoms though on the same civiilizational bedrock.

Sanku's got a point too :). The current territorial boundaries of India being well short of the frontiers defined under Ashoka or Chandragupta.

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Postby ramana » 15 Dec 2007 01:28

Enka. More.

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Postby pradeepe » 15 Dec 2007 10:45

More on the same track.

If the west would like to co-opt greco-roman legacy as its own (and probably justifiably so), then surely TSP being a western construct in all but name would mean 1971 as a redux of the macedonian defeat after 2000 years. Am I on the right track?

Here's a telling caricature by R K Laxman at that time in 1971. Bottom right of the page.
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/1971/Dec16/index.html

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Postby Airavat » 17 Dec 2007 07:21

Was Bluestar bloodbath avoidable?

Man Aman Singh Chhina (HT)
(BRF Member AmanC)

THE BLOODBATH during Operation Bluestar in 1984 and the turmoil that followed in Punjab may have been avoided had the Army not ignored a contingency plan suggested to flush out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and followers from the Golden Temple (Harmandar Sahib) Complex in Amritsar.

The plan had been formulated by the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Lt Gen S.K. Sinha (retd), when he was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Command.

Gen Sinha's contingency plan has been spelt out in a new book on famous battles of the Army authored by a retired officer, Brig H.S. Sodhi, for which the J&K Governor has also written the foreword.

The plan, in the form of an annexure, gives out details of Gen Sinha's perception of the Punjab problem and how he foresaw the fact that the Army would one day be required to enter Golden Temple to deal with Bhindranwale.

Lt Gen Sinha had moved to New Delhi as Vice Chief of Army Staff from the Western Command Headquarters at Chandimandir from where he sought premature retirement in 1983 when he was superceded by Gen A.S. Vaidya.

The actual casualties suffered by the Army have always remained a source of contention though an affidavit was submitted in an Amritsar court that the Army lost 83 personnel, which included four officers, four Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and 75 Other Ranks (ORs). Among the injured were 13 officers, 16 JCOs and 220 ORs. As many as 492 civilians were alleged to have died in the battle, as per Army records.

Lt Gen Sinha had also planned that the Golden Temple had to be surrounded and effectively sealed. "Surround Golden Temple, effectively seal it, Bhindranwale be given time to come out, say three to four days. Put out on loudspeakers that troops do not want to enter; organise ‘akhand path' outside praying for a peaceful operation Prominent citizens to persuade Bhindranwale to lay down arms in front of Guru Granth Sahib Water, electricity supply cut off and if all efforts fail, troops enter barefoot after seeking blessings of Guru Granth Sahib at ‘akhand path'"


However Lt. Gen KS Brar, who eventually carried out the operation, says that the siege would not have worked since the holy premises had a water body inside it, and sufficient stocks of rations. Additionally a long siege would've roused the anger of the people.

On the question of casualties, theBR article on the operation states:

The Para Commandos were still inching their way to the Akal Takht. This five-storied building was heavily fortified with all windows, balconies and other openings closed with brick masonry and sandbags, with small loop holes through which machine guns were being fired and grenades being lobbed. Together with a double storied building, the Nishan Sahib building and the Darshani Deori, they transformed the quadrangle into an ideal killing field.

The leading team of para commandos made a desperate dash for the Darshani Deori. The foothold was needed to launch the CS canisters. Of the 35 men, only 12 made it. The remainder, including team leader Major Prakash Chand Katoch, were cut down.


This needs to be corrected since Major Prakash Chand Katoch is very much alive and a Lt. Gen (GOC 1 Corps?). Incidentally he was comanding the 102 Brigade during the Kargil War.

added later:

From the armed forces appointment thread:

jatinder grewal wrote:rakesh,
I do not know the commissioning date of PC Katoch But PC stands for Prakesh Chand he is from 1 Para Cdo


:D

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Postby HariC » 17 Dec 2007 18:23

Brar is correct.

How long could the army have kept up the seige? One or two weeks of seige and the whole of punjab would have been up in flames. the anger was quite prevalent

Also i remember reading these guys had a tunnel complex in the temple that led to the buildings outside the complex. I may be wrong though

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Postby rohitvats » 18 Dec 2007 08:57

Just small tid bit regarding PC Katoch. The guy is from 1Para (Cdo) as stated earlier and got injured in Op Bluestar. He was admitted to MH Jallandhar for treatment and there was an attempt on his life in Military hospital but was foiled on time die to timely intelligence.

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Postby Abhi K Rao » 25 Dec 2007 05:01

Found this book I purchased for 8 Rs. called ‘Our Army’ by Major General D.K Palit. The First edition was printed in 1979 and I uploaded some images from the handbook. Other images include soldiers who are training with the Bofors and also a T-72 crossing a pontoon bridge. The third is of a column of IA OT-64s.

Front book cover:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=32L1C3NF

Back book cover:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8Y3E1RS3

OT-64 APC:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=AW4Y8FFS

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Postby Aditya G » 30 Dec 2007 22:53

Someone has tried to make a map-based history of 1947 war in Wikipedia. Good attempt but nowhere close to John Gills 1971 war atlas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistani_War_of_1947

Image

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Postby Aditya G » 01 Jan 2008 15:28

http://www.claudearpi.net/index.php?nav ... d=5&lang=1

"Selected documents on Indo-China Relations"

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Postby ramana » 03 Jan 2008 22:21

Book Review, Pioneer, 3 Jan., 2007

When Nehru 'hated' his Defence Minister

MV Kamath

1965 War: The Inside Story: Defence Minister YB Chavan's Diary of India-Pakistan War
Author: RD Pradhan
Publisher: Atlantic
Price: Rs 275

The 22-day India-Pakistan war of 1965 has almost been forgotten. YB Chavan was India's Defence Minister then, who was inducted following the country's humiliating defeat at the hands of China three years earlier. Chavan, not the favourite of Nehru, took over from VK Krishna Menon, who was removed following huge popular protests.

As RD Pradhan reveals, the new Defence Minister's selection "was a matter of compulsion and expediency". Reportedly when things settled down, Nehru "allowed certain senior politicians" to administer 'pin-pricks' to him. Pradhan reports that within the first six months in office, Chavan twice felt forced to submit his resignation to the Prime Minister, though Nehru wouldn't accept them. Chavan had become popular and that wasn't liked by Nehru. According to Pradhan, "That was Nehru's way of showing Chavan that his presence in Delhi was at the PM's will".

In 1965, Pakistan was ruled by Ayub Khan, who had once said that one Muslim soldier was equal to 10 Hindu jawans. Following the beating India received at the hands of China, Ayub Khan -- in early 1965 -- worked out a plan to make an attempt to bring down India to Pakistan's knees.

The strategy was four-fold. Phase one was to make a "probing encounter" to test India's will to fight. It didn't work the way Ayub Khan had hoped. Phase two was a disguised invasion of Kashmir under Operation Gibralter. That, too, did not give the desired results. So came the Third Phase: A full-scale Army assault in India's Chhamb sector. If that worked out well, Ayub Khan hoped to make a massive lightening armoured attack to capture Amritsar and as much of other Indian territory as possible, to be exchanged eventually for Kashmir.

By then, of course, Nehru had died and Lal Bahadur Shastri had become India's Prime Minister. The entire plan was based on Ayub Khan's favourite theory -- as he told his Army Chief Gen Musa -- "As a general rule, Hindu morale would not stand for more that a couple of hard blows delivered at the right time and the right place." Poor man, he got it all wrong. But what this book shows is that there were occasions when Indian Army Commanders showed cowardice and panic -- Maj-Gen Niranjan Prasad, for example, was forced to resign rather than face court martial; and, personnel of the 161 Artillery Regiment deserted en masse, leaving their guns, ammunition and vehicles behind.

This book is both a story of cowardice and heroism. Chavan luckily maintained a diary and wrote down his thoughts in English and not in Marathi. As Chavan's Private Secretary, Pradhan managed to have access to it and what he, therefore, has written carries conviction. It describes "events, behaviour of key personalities political and military and their attitude during the military operations", though Pradhan states that his book "is not an account of the 1965 India-Pakistan War".

The book is divided into three sections. Section I describes the background to the event. Section II deals with military operations, while Section III is a commentary on the Defence Minister and his Chiefs, the higher direction of war and Chavan's reflections on the future of India-Pakistan relations.

During the war, the Navy was asked not to take any offensive action. Had it done so and bombed Karachi, for instance, the Pakistanis could have retaliated, but they would have learnt a lesson not to play with fire. Even the Air Force was not thrown into battle against Pakistan till the latter attacked air bases on September 6.

India should have taken Lahore, but Chavan had two silly excuses to give: One, following the fiasco on the Ichogil Canal, any idea to capture Lahore had to be given up; and, two, it would not have been wise to tie down a large part of the Indian Army inside any city when the Chinese had already started belligerent moves in the North-East.

The book is a treat to read.


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Postby Jagan » 08 Jan 2008 04:11

http://frontierindia.net:80/a-colourful ... ur-valour/[quote]A Colourful Collage of Courage, Honour & Valour
Written on January 6, 2008 – 10:39 am | by Lt Col (Retd.) A.K Sam Sharma | A Book Review
“The Indian Army: An Illustrated Overview“, Edited by Sqn Ldr (Retd) RTS Chinna (Published in 2007), by The Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research, The United Service Institution of India , Rao Tula Ram Marg New Delhi Pp 255Price Rs 2400 ISBN 978-81-902097-6-2

Maratha Light Infantry’s J J Singh’s brain-child, this coffee-table glossy contains the entire history of the Indian Army (IA), compacted into a paper time-capsule, culminating and coinciding with the peak-culmination of his army career, as the Chief Of Army Staff of the Indian Army. It has several photos of his, out of which the more memorable will surely be; he on patrol ,as a Major, debriefing a naga; he with his aged-dad a pensioner Electrical and Mechanical Engineers officer; and he with the most of the former Army Chiefs, in a posed group, with him sitting center-stage in uniform! The one in his Foreword to this coffee table-book is the most imposing. Retired Lt Gen Satish Nambiar (MLI to Mech Inf) has one of his from his 1971 War, showig him in a Major’s rank. Field Marshal Sam Bahadur ’s, is from his World War II Sittang River days, with the Frontier Force Regiment shoulder titles on his uniform-shirt. This one has not been published any where before! The one of a pipe band performing in the Vijay Chowk, is the most dynamic; it has the animation of a comic-strip; real good. It vies for the best action—one, by the one about Special Forces, on Pg 125. The one from a painting of the ruins of the ramparts of the Saragarhi Fort, in Afghanistan, is the one with the maximum poignancy. The call to “the coloursâ€

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Postby gopal.suri » 12 Jan 2008 11:51

The Maharaja, Long range patrol of 4/3GR

Reaching Zikeynia - As per records available no human being had set his foot on that land ever before.

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Postby Raja Bose » 15 Jan 2008 03:33

I think in this description, "cut down" doesnt imply they died. In fact if I recall from Tully's book (from where this description seems to be taken), 1 Para Cdo suffered 16 or 18 dead whereas in this description they say that 23 men were cut down. Hence, it implies that atleast 5-7 suffered wounds but lived. Years before when I read this book, I did not know that Maj. Katoch survived this ordeal....I am sure glad to hear that he not only made it but is still in active service! :)

Can anyone give any details if possible on the Para casualties and shed any light on the incident where an attempt was made on Maj.Katoch's life while he was recovering from his wounds in MH?

Airavat wrote:
The leading team of para commandos made a desperate dash for the Darshani Deori. The foothold was needed to launch the CS canisters. Of the 35 men, only 12 made it. The remainder, including team leader Major Prakash Chand Katoch, were cut down.


This needs to be corrected since Major Prakash Chand Katoch is very much alive and a Lt. Gen (GOC 1 Corps?). Incidentally he was comanding the 102 Brigade during the Kargil War.

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Postby ramana » 21 Jan 2008 23:04

Something to consider and I could be wrong.

Was Lt Gen. B.M. Kaul made the scape goat to cover up for political failure in New Delhi just as Lord Raglan became scape goat for British losses in Crimean War?

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Postby Jagan » 22 Jan 2008 01:24

I think Kaul made some critical blunders during his command and paid the price. Two of them are not properly estimating what he was up against in the first place and not ordering the maj gen under him to stand his ground at sela pass. The other issues of kaul not being popular in the army and being close to nehru only ensured that there was no way out for him.

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Postby Paul » 22 Jan 2008 07:27

FYI for Hyderabadis, Gen Kaul was also the founder of Republic Forge, a major PSU undertaking set up in Moula Ali outise Hyd.

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Postby Paul » 22 Jan 2008 07:35

Ramana, after reading your post an episode related by Amrinder Singh in his book, lest we forget comes to mind.

At a all ranks gathering before the breakout of the war, a seasoned Subedar major - Dasarath Singh asked General Kaul as why we were going to battle when the enemy was sitting on the mountains and we were in the plains, Kaul lost his temper and instead of acknowledging the validity of the question, had the Subedar censured. He was later taken POW by the chinese.

I think Gen Kaul came rose up in the ranks due to his proximity to Nehru. While JLN should shoulder most of the blame...Kaul cannot escape censure as he benefited from being his favored person as well.

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Postby Aditya G » 22 Jan 2008 22:20

http://cas.awm.gov.au/screen_img/DUKJ4004

ID Number: DUKJ4004
Maker: Dunkley, Harold Vaughan
Place made: Korea
Date made: c March 17 1951
Physical description: Black & white
Summary: Unidentified officers of the Indian Army 60th Parachute Field Ambulance Platoon inspecting men of the unit during a parade
Copyright: clear
Related conflict: Korean War, 1950-1953

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Postby nkumar » 30 Jan 2008 11:15

Surya Prakash in Pioneer:

Not that there is anything new in this article, but it has some statements made by the actors involved at the time.

India pays for Nehru's folly

Republic Day is a day of celebration, but it also has its poignant moments, especially when the President confers gallantry awards on brave soldiers who lay down their lives in the line of duty. Often those who are honoured are young men in uniform who make the supreme sacrifice while pushing back militants trained in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and sent into Jammu & Kashmir to indulge in murder and mayhem. While we salute the latest batch of martyrs, we need to reflect on the events that led to Pakistan occupying one-third of the State and setting up the base to carry on a relentless proxy war against us.

One such event, which has cost the nation dear, was India's fateful decision to complain to the United Nations when Pakistan invaded Jammu & Kashmir in October 1947. Two books that have hit the stands in recent weeks throw fresh light on this historic blunder committed by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. While leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Home Minister, wanted firm and swift military action to throw out the invaders, Nehru's pusillanimity led him to beseech the world body and later to meekly submit to the UN Security Council's advice to end military action. The ceasefire, ordered by Nehru, prevented the Indian Army from completely regaining the lost territory and was instrumental in the creation of a geographical entity that is known the world over as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The fact that Nehru's moves vis-à-vis Kashmir caused much disappointment and even anger among political leaders and Army commanders is reinforced by new evidence available in Air Marshal (rtd) KC Cariappa's eponymous biography of his father Field Marshal KM Cariappa, India's most distinguished soldier, and Prof Makkhan Lal's Secular Politics, Communal Agenda -- A history of Politics in India from 1860 to 1953, the first in a three-part series that covers events up to 2007.

According to Air Marshal Cariappa, the Government went against the advice of both military commanders who were directly involved in the operations:"Father was then the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, and Maj Gen Thimayya was the operational commander. They were convinced that capture of Muzzafarabad, now the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, was imminent. The Army, however, was ordered to suspend all offensive operations with effect from January1, 1949 even though the enemy continued fighting." Field Marshal Cariappa had later said that the Army had its 'tail up' and was "confident of clearing most of Kashmir and re-investing Gilgit". But orders were received to cease fire. "He ( Field Marshal Cariappa) said the Army was very disappointed by the decision, but orders were orders."

This has been corroborated by other sources as well. For example, long years ago S Nijalingappa, former President of the Congress, had told this writer of his chance meeting with Maj Gen Thimmayya at Teen Murti Bhavan, the official residence of the Prime Minister, around the time Nehru was contemplating a ceasefire. According to Nijalingappa, the General told Nehru that the Army needed two weeks more to regain lost territory but the Prime Minister was adamant. The General found Nehru's attitude inexplicable. He left Teen Murti Bhavan in disgust.

Air Marshal Cariappa also reproduces Lt Gen SM Shrinagesh's comment on the Jammu & Kashmir fiasco. According to him, "Lt Gen Cariappa was ordered not to carry out offensive operations which would threaten Pakistan's security" and the air force was told not to attack vital bridges used by Pakistan! "The language which the RIAF used on receiving these instructions had to be heard to be believed."

Air Marshal Cariappa says a few years hence his father asked Nehru the reason for the ceasefire. Nehru, on hindsight, conceded that the ceasefire order ought to have been delayed. He reportedly told Cariappa, "Quite frankly, looking back on it now, I think we should have given you a few more days, ten or fifteen days more. Things would have been different."

Many of Nehru's colleagues in Government were also distressed by the complaint to the UN and all that followed. This included Sardar Patel, BR Ambedkar and several others.

In his book, Prof Makkhan Lal says that though Pakistan invaded Jammu & Kashmir on October 22, 1947, Nehru had information in September about Pakistan's aggressive designs but did not initiate any pre-emptive action. Prof Lal says that but for Sardar Patel's decisive action (getting the Maharaja to sign the Instrument of Accession and air-lifting troops to Srinagar in the early hours of October 27), India would have lost Jammu & Kashmir forever.

This view is reinforced by the reminiscences of VP Menon, who was then Secretary in the States Department, and NV Gadgil, a Minister in the Nehru Cabinet. Prof Lal quotes Gadgil as having said, "I am afraid Nehru is responsible for the prolongation of the problem through his willingness to compromise at every stage... Had Vallabhbhai been the man to handle the Kashmir question, he would have settled it long ago. At least, he would never have settled with a partial control of Jammu & Kashmir. He would have occupied the whole of the State and would never have allowed it to be elevated to international importance."

As we grieve with the families of those brave soldiers who lay down their lives defending India's territorial integrity, we need to ask ourselves as to what we need to do to put an end to this constant bleeding that Pakistan is subjecting us to. We can make a beginning by getting to the truth about Jammu & Kashmir. In order to do this, we must trash the mythology that prevails about Nehru's infallibility and greatness. We must also firmly reject attempts by historians patronised by the Nehru-Gandhi family to dwarf the contribution of Sardar Patel, Ambedkar, Field Marshal Cariappa, Gen Thimmayya, VP Menon and others, in their effort to sustain the myths they have created about Nehru.

While chronicling the integration of 554 princely states to form the Indian Union, Menon had said that since the time of Mahmud Ghazni, for eight centuries India has been subjected to periodical invasions from the North-West. Ghazni led 17 of these incursions. Keeping up this tradition, the very first act of the new state of Pakistan was to launch an invasion from the North-West.

Yet, Nehru, much against the advice of military commanders, allowed Pakistan to retain part of the looted territory, thereby jeopardising India's security forever. Recalling this, Menon warned, "A nation that forgets its history or its geography does so at its peril". It is never too late to heed this warning. But in order to do so, we must first get our history right and then remember it.

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Postby Rakesh » 02 Feb 2008 19:27

Jagan wrote:but mine is bigger than yours :D

actually most of the Goa Ops Pictures on the Internet are from the Official War History - Op Vijay published by the MoD. Nice book, Nice photos. The list of captured equipment at the end of the book even more interesting for chaps like us.

Tried to get the AF officer in the pic identified - but no luck...


Jagman, can you please send me that pic and any others you can scan from the Official War History book? Muchos Gracias!

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Postby ramana » 20 Feb 2008 03:02

Op-ed In Deccan Chronicle, 20 Feb., 2008

[quote]
Neverneverland of India’s military coups
By Inder Malhotra

Among the former chiefs of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General (retired) Hamid Gul is arguably the hardest of the hard-liners. He is also utterly outspoken, at times hyperbolic. An interview he gave a visiting Indian journalist only the other day was remarkable for two reasons. First, that this very important cog in the tyrannical machine of General Zia-ul-Haq’s military dictatorship emphatically supported the idea of getting the Pakistani Army out of the country’s politics at long last. And secondly, when told that the Indian Army had never had political ambitions, he challenged this view, and asserted that he knew the names of the Indian generals who were plotting a coup soon after Brasstacks, the massive military exercise in early 1987 that engendered rumours of an impending war between India and Pakistan. However, when asked to name names, he flatly refused.

The question therefore is whether or not Lt. Gen. Gul’s allegation has any basis. The answer, alas, has to be: “Yes and no.â€

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Postby ramana » 27 Feb 2008 10:19

not really Indian Army but gives an idea of thought process of the Brits in 188

Tactics and Organization
Recall its between the Franco-Prussian war and the Boer War. Omdurman was not yet happened. So good insight.

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Postby Kalantak » 05 Mar 2008 22:25

Britain salutes an Indian braveheart

New Delhi: The untold story of a gutsy Indian soldier killed in World War II is about to unfold in classrooms across the world, as Britain prepares to repay a debt of honour.

Naik Yashwant Ghatge was awarded the Victoria Cross, the UK’s highest military decoration, for his superhuman valour in one of the fiercest battles of the Italian campaign.

Sixty-four years after he was killed, the Playstation generation across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and India will finally know who Ghatge was and how, at 23, he proved that honour and courage were not just words.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which maintains graves of the members of the Commonwealth forces killed in the two wars, is producing educational resources for schools in these countries to tell Ghatge’s story. Its director general, Richard Kellaway, told HT: “It’s a salute to Ghatge’s duty and sacrifice. We hope his saga inspires the younger generation.â€

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Postby kancha » 31 Mar 2008 19:08

can someone guide me as to where can i download maps of areas affected in the 1962 ops. i have tried google, but am not satisfied with the results.

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Postby sanjaychoudhry » 31 Mar 2008 19:12

Ghatge, from the 5th Mahratta Light Infantry, was one of the two and half million Indian men, who fought alongside the British during World War II. The VC was awarded to 20 soldiers in the Italian campaign. Eight of them, including Ghatge, are still buried near battlefields in which they fought.


Considering this formidable number of Indian soldiers involved in some of the fiercest battles of second world war, how can anyone argue that Indian army was ill prepared to stop the Chinese invasion of Tibet just five years later or would have been unable to put up a good fight?

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Postby Jagan » 31 Mar 2008 22:51

sanjaychoudhry wrote:
Considering this formidable number of Indian soldiers involved in some of the fiercest battles of second world war, how can anyone argue that Indian army was ill prepared to stop the Chinese invasion of Tibet just five years later or would have been unable to put up a good fight?



because at the end of WW2, most of the troops have been demobbed. I dont think the Indian army had more than 300,000 in uniform at the time of independence.

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Postby A Sharma » 03 Apr 2008 21:06

PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU (DEFENCE WING) GOVERNMENT OF INDIA *** 1971 War heroes visit Bangladesh New Delhi: 14 Chaitra 1929 03 Apr 2008 10 War Veteran of 1971 Indo-Pak War visited Bangladesh recently to cherish their 1971 War memories.

Consequent to a very highly fruitful visit of the Bangladesh (BD) Chief of Army to India in Feb 08, a further fillip has been given to our relations by our neighbour when 10 of War Veterans of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were invited by the Bangladesh Army to participate in their National and Independence Day celebrations from 25 Mar 08 to 31 Mar 08. The War Veterans who were invited along with their spouses were accorded very warm hospitality as honoured guests of BD Army.

Although, the contribution of Indian Defence Forces in the BD War of Liberation has always been appreciated by BD, this is the first time when an honour has been bestowed upon our War Veterans by inviting them for their Independence and National Day celebrations. Besides attending the Independence Day celebrations, the delegation was hosted for a Banquet by the Chief of Army, BD and visited the Army Museum, Mukti Joddha Jadugar, battle sites at Comilla Cantt, places of historical importance and a river cruise.

This is for the first time after the Liberation War of 1971 that BD is acknowledging the role and contribution of the Indian Army in liberating BD. The visit comes at a time when the army backed Caretaker Govt is preparing for elections by 31 Dec 2008 and their cleansing process by launching anti corruption drives against politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.

The visit also came at a time when the country has battled two disastrous floods and cyclone SIDR and where Indian assistance was generous, forthcoming and very well received by the people of BD. The enthusiasm and keenness generated by the visit amongst all sections of the public and society of BD goes to show that the Armed Forces and the people of BD are ever appreciative of the Indian Armed Forces contribution for liberate their country in 1971 and all the scarifies made when both Indian Armed Forces and Mukti Bahini fought as comrades and shed blood together. The visit of the war veterans to BD has touched the hearts of millions of Mukti Jodhas, their families, the older and younger generation of the Armed Forces and the people of Bangladesh who have lost atleast one or more members of their families during the Liberation War of 1971.

Emotions ran high when the war veterans were invited by the Sector Commanders to a commemorative function held on 30 Mar 08.. The war veterans, led by Gen Jacob were, seen embracing Air Marshal Khondakar and other sector commanders with tears in their eyes. Thanks to the invitation by Gen Moeen U Ahmed, Chief of Army of BD, our War Veterans were reunited with their Comrades in Arms and they recounted with nostalgia their memories of the battles they fought together. The Mukti Jodhas declared that they were always welcome to Bangladesh as special friends.

The message of the war veterans was very clear and simple that they had come to join the celebrations of the Independence Day of BD, meet their old comrades-in-arms, the Mukti Jodhas, with whom they fought shoulder to shoulder and finally spread the message that they would like to see a prosperous Bangladesh for whose liberation they fought and shed their blood along with the Mukti Bahini. The BD media praised the Army Chief for inviting the war veterans.

The visit has further cemented the relationship between the two countries in a positive, healthy and conducive manner teams return to India today.

AKM/SS

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Postby Aditya G » 06 Apr 2008 07:28

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Heed ... 882436.cms

Heed their call
20 Mar 2008, 0000 hrs IST,C Uday Bhaskar

...

The most infamous incident is the Nehru-Thimmayya resignation affair. As army chief in 1959, the legendary K S Thimmayya found it impossible to work harmoniously with his defence minister - the irascible Krishna Menon. The differences impinged on matters of grave national security at the time, particularly the China threat. Pushed to the wall, the general tendered his resignation to the PM and was to be joined by his naval and air force peers. But Nehru used all his persuasive powers to force him to withdraw his letter and then proceeded to upbraid him in Parliament the next day.

It must be noted with sadness that Nehru took the low road in the Thimmayya episode by seeking a tactical political gain.

Later India paid a very heavy price in the 1962 war against China. This invidious treatment meted out to the Indian chiefs was evident again in the Gene-ral Rodrigues incident of the early 1990s when the army chief was rapped on the knuckles by the political masters for drawing attention to the relevance of ‘good governance’.

Regrettably even today, service chiefs and other senior commanders who voice any view that is perceived to be a departure from the norm are chastised by their civilian superiors in a manner that taints their office. Nehru himself was a chastened man after the humiliation of 1962. A year later he told the Rajya Sabha: "I remember many a time when our senior generals came to us, and wrote to the defence ministry saying that they wanted certain things... if we had had foresight, known exactly what would happen, we would have done something else..."

...

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Postby Aditya G » 06 Apr 2008 07:30

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/news ... ewsid=9942

[quote] Former Pakistan Brigadier spills the beans on 1971 war

“Tanks not supported by Air Force at Longewalaâ€

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Postby A Sharma » 06 Apr 2008 18:59

Major discovery

PRISONER OF WAR
He was a known physician. He was an unknown war hero
By Kallol Bhattacherjee
The people of Dehra Dun, during the 1970s and 80s, knew him as the grey-haired Sikh physician. What they did not know was that Major Dr Hari Singh Maini was a war hero. The brave heart lay buried in the physician for decades, only to be unearthed from his diaries 20 years after his death. Maini's diaries shed light on the lives of Indian soldiers during World War II. The memoir tells us how the Indian soldiers mobilised and transported to Southeast Asia fought, survived or perished.

A burly Sikh from Abbottabad in North West Frontier Province, Maini was a successful physician in the sleepy town. World War II disrupted his family life in 1939. "Perhaps it was the lure of glittering stars on the shoulders that made me join the army," he writes. He joined as a physician in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers in April 1940 at Abbottabad. In December he was appointed Commanding Officer of No.1 Indian Convalescence Depot at Rawalpindi.

The diaries talk of the gathering war clouds, as Japanese belligerence challenged Pax Britannica in Asia. The war was yet to break out in Southeast Asia. Maini and his compatriots at Rawalpindi were ordered to board a train to an "unknown destination" on April 6, 1941. It turned out to be Madras, where the entire unit was put on a ship called Tahua. After 48 hours, they were told that the Tahua was headed for Penang, Malaya.

At Penang, the Indian soldiers were stationed at No. 7 Mixed Reinforcement Camp, also known as the 'Graveyard' as it was close to a graveyard. Maini's work included setting up a clinic for the wounded. "The war was declared on August 12, 1941 and we were not fully prepared," he writes. On that day, Japanese aircraft bombed Singapore and launched a determined push into Malaya. Maini describes the first day of the war as the "unforeseen day" of his life. The Graveyard was to fall soon.

"On the night between February 10 and 11, 1942, there was intensified shelling of the island. This led to a fairly large number of casualties," Maini writes. As communications broke down, his unit of soldiers and doctors got cut off from the rest of the Allied network. "On February 12, 1942 at 11:30 a.m., we were captured by the Japanese," he writes.

Maini was now a prisoner of war. The Japanese treated him well, since he was to treat their wounded soldiers. He also had to learn Japanese. "You owe your life to your captor's humanity and compassion," he writes. The Japanese allowed Maini to keep his diary but stopped him from writing home. Back home, his wife, Inder Kaur, received two messages of his death. Soon after the Japanese assault on Malaya, the British conveyed a 'missing in action' message to Inder. Later, a fellow PoW from Penang, who escaped and reached Abbottabad, told her that he saw Maini being shot. But Inder refused to believe either of them.

Maini remained in Japanese custody till September 1945. On being freed, he sent a message to Inder and daughter, Harmohini, through the BBC. On September 13, 1945, the BBC Urdu service aired a message from Maini.
As their ship reached Madras months later, Maini and others dashed to the nearest restaurant only to find that their facial muscles were too stiff to chew proper meals. After a short recovery session in Madras, Maini reached Delhi, where his wife and daughter came to receive him. For a moment, they failed to recognise him. Three and a half years of starvation had transformed Maini into a skeleton of his former self. The family, now reunited, returned to Abbottabad. "Once home, he told us never to waste food," says Harmohini. "Once I threw away a piece of apple and he recounted for me how PoWs would be starved for days to save valuable resources."

Maini had no pro-Japan sentiments. He never bought the idea that the Japanese would liberate India from the British rule. "He had witnessed Japanese brutalities and saw no Japanese benevolence towards their Asian brethren," Harmohini says. The diary also mentions Japanese war crimes on PoWs. Contrary to its Asian-friendly image cultivated by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Japanese indulged in numerous war crimes. They shelled even medical facilities. In February 1942, intensive shelling caused heavy casualty in Maini's clinic. After they made prisoners of Maini's unit, the Japanese singled out westerners for quick execution. Maini also saw the Japanese killing local Malays.

Maini returned home, but his Abbottabad clinic was burnt in the fire of Partition. But bad times did not last long, as good news came from London. Maini had been awarded Member of the British Empire for his extraordinary service during war years. But Maini could not collect the medal, as he did not have the money to travel to London. His sons, now settled in North America, are trying to get the medal that must be lying with the British government.

Maini recovered soon from the wounds of the war and the Partition, and left Rawalpindi for the bigger mass of the subcontinent. He did not like Delhi and found the likeness of Abbottabad in Dehra Dun, where he set up a clinic. Maini's son Baltej Maini, a prominent cardiologist in Boston, preserved his father's diary and shared it with THE WEEK. Harmohini, who lives in Delhi, feels deeds like her father's should be highlighted as they help illuminate India's ties with the outside world better. Thanks to his diaries, Hari Singh Maini is no more Dehra Dun's grey-haired Sikh physician.
Image

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Postby vsunder » 09 Apr 2008 20:03

Here is a trivia question. Which actor who acted in the famous 1963 movie The Great Escape also served in the Assam Rifles., was mentioned twice in despatches and took part in the defence of Kohima and Jessami?

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Nigel Stock?

Postby achit » 09 Apr 2008 20:48

vsunder wrote:Here is a trivia question. Which actor who acted in the famous 1963 movie The Great Escape also served in the Assam Rifles., was mentioned twice in despatches and took part in the defence of Kohima and Jessami?

Nigel Stock?

wikipedia link

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Postby Mandeep » 12 Apr 2008 00:12

Abhi K Rao wrote:The book also captured the following radio intercept during the battle of Khem Karan. The IA intercepted the following radio message between the Pakistani Brigade commander (BC) and the divisional commander (GOC):

BC: It’s not possible for us to advance any further due to stiff resistance. Heavy enemy shelling has completely pinned us down.
GOC: It is most important that the advance is continued. Therefore, in the name of Islam, Pakistan, and Hillale Jurat, I command you to get up and go forward.
BC: I will do my best but as things are I do not know how the hell I am going to do that. The bloody enemy artillery is knocking the hell out of us and I am afraid at the moment that I can’t do any better than this.
GOC: Move forward to your objectives forthwith
BC: I cannot move; Indians are ahead of me
GOC: Come and see me immediately
BC: Where do I come? I don’t know
GOC: Move straight on and turn right
BC: Do you know where I am? If I turn left the Indians get me, if I turn right the artillery gets me. Where do I come and how?
GOC: Turn right till you hit the road, follow it and you will find me at milepost 36

The brigadier never found him, but a pair of jeep mounted RCL guns did, destroying the tank of Maj.Gen. N.A. Khan and killing all its crew....



Maj Gen Nasir Ahmed, GOC 1 (Pak) Armd Div not only survived the war he wasn't even wounded. It was Brig AR Shammi, Commander Artillery of the Armd Div who was killed.

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Postby Kalantak » 27 Apr 2008 19:13

General kept kinship with Bhagat Singh a secret

Apr 27 01:25 AM

A grizzled army general named after a Kamikaze pilot has touched the heart of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Such is Major General Sheonan Singh's little-known but striking pedigree - he is the nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

Hardly anyone in the closely-knit army is aware of the general's roots, let alone the outside world. But when Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju revealed Sheonan's most closely guarded secret to the PM during his Akhnoor visit on Friday, Manmohan Singh was moved and delighted to meet the general whose father Ranbir was Bhagat Singh's younger brother.

Sheonan, chief of staff of Nagrota-based HQs 16 Corps, told HT, "The PM's recognition has aroused pride. But if it were left up to me, I would have preferred anonymity.

Carrying the burden of such a legacy is never easy. One wrong move and Bhagat Singh gets a bad name.

" Fearlessness runs in his genes. Sheonan, a para commando, wrote a blazing script of gallantry during the Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka (1987-90).

Handpicked to lead the first assault against LTTE guerillas in Jaffna, he was given a Vir Chakra. But his father never attended the award ceremony.

He said, "My father lived by his own principles. The LTTE cadres fought and died bravely.

They were a worthy enemy. My father was uncomfortable about my getting recognition for fighting an enemy whose sacrifice went unnoticed.

" Ranbir, who was just six when Bhagat Singh was hanged, named Sheonan after a Japanese kamikaze pilot who crashed into HMS Prince of Wales, which sank in 1941. "It was a deadly blow for the British.

My father paid tribute to the kamikaze spirit," he said. Bhagat Singh had an indelible influence on Sheonan's early years.

Summing up his life's philosophy, he said, "I curse my soul whenever I am faced with two options and take the easier one. I cannot tolerate any wrong.

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Postby ramana » 30 Apr 2008 21:28

X-posted from IF.

CIA has recently declassified many documents, including some relating to the 1962 Sino-Indian border conflict:

http://signal.nationalinterest.in/archives/Admin/562

7. The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Section 1: 1950-59 2-Mar-63
http://www.foia.cia.gov/CPE/POLO/polo-07.pdf

8. The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Section 2: 1959-61 19-Aug-63
http://www.foia.cia.gov/CPE/POLO/polo-08.pdf

9. The Sino-Indian Border Dispute Section 3: 1961-62
http://www.foia.cia.gov/CPE/POLO/polo-09.pdf

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Postby vivek_ahuja » 30 Apr 2008 22:20

Ramana,

Weren't these posted already as part of a thread last year?

-Vivek


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