Indian Army History Thread

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 19 Mar 2013 21:24

Lessons From 1962 War

Lesson From 1962 Sino-Indian War

By S.G.Vombatkere*
IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) - Institutions and nations rarely if ever learn from successes, but it is possible and necessary to learn from institutional or national failure. This is particularly true of military operations. On October 20, it was 50 years since India and China went to war, there is vigorous public debate regarding India's humiliating defeat. It is vital that the "how" and "why" of the failure are brought to light so that India, as a mature democracy, can learn from them. The "who" issue is unimportant since all the principal political, bureaucratic and military actors of the debacle are dead.

It is but natural that Indians view China as the aggressor. A section of the media has argued that the debacle was due to failure of the generals in higher military command, and steered clear of even hinting at blame on the political leadership of that time. Divergently, Neville Maxwell, in his book 'India's China War', has expressed an opinion that was and is still resented in Indian society. He argues [ Ref.1+2] that India was the expansionist aggressor which used armed force imprudently, over-ruling the advice of military field commanders, while China was the aggrieved party. However, veteran journalist T.J.S.George [Ref.3] wrote, "... we should never make the mistake of assuming that Maxwell wrote the damn-India book at the behest of China".

Retired army officers form yet another body of opinion. They still refer to "62" as the year of Chinese aggression, and believe that while higher military command was certainly to blame, the political leadership interfered in military decisions and placed political favourites in charge of field operations, inevitably leading to defeat.

Perhaps there are other shades of opinion, but on one issue there is no divergence – the troops and junior commanders on the ground were matchless in spite of being under-equipped, and logistically and operationally over-stretched in carrying out orders that were militarily flawed. There appears to be broad agreement on four other points: One, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had misplaced faith in China as a friend, which would not attack India; two, defence minister Krishna Menon was arrogant and had a strong dislike and distrust of his own military; three, Intelligence Bureau chief B.N.Mullick told Nehru what he wanted to hear rather than the truth; and four, army chief Gen P.N.Thapar did not stand up for his field commanders, and Lt Gen B.M.Kaul whose kinship with Nehru catapulted him to undeserved field command met with ignominy soon after.

Much has been written about the 1962 debacle having heartbroken Prime Minister Nehru, but little or no attention has been given to the heroism of the officers and men who died during or as a result of that fateful military operation. It is heartening that at least now, on October 20, 2012, the defence minister and the three defence service chiefs laid wreaths at India Gate in belated memory of the brave soldiers of 1962.

Report on the debacle

The debacle led to Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig P.S.Bhagat being ordered to prepare a report (the Henderson Brooks-Bhagat or HB-B Report of 1963) on the whole matter. The HB-B team was given terms of reference such that the role of the political leadership could not be questioned. The HB-B Report is understood to be frank, forthright and critical of the operational and logistic failure of higher military commanders and staff officers and, notwithstanding the terms of reference, of political interference in matters of military appointment (for example, appointing Prime Minister's favourite Lt Gen B.M.Kaul as GOC 4 Corps with the task of evicting Chinese intrusions in NEFA, over the head of GOC 33 Corps, Lt Gen Umrao Singh, who was fully conversant with frontline conditions) and tactically unviable penny-packet troops deployment. It is said that there are only two copies of the Top-Secret-classified HB-B Report, one with Army HQ Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) and another with the Defence Secretary.

There have been demands for declassifying the HB-B Report, including in 2006 by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, using the Right to Information Act. The CIC ruled that "no part of the Henderson Brooks report might at this stage be disclosed". One writer has even suggested that Army HQ is blocking its declassification because the army is itself to blame for the debacle [Ref.4].

{So Sandeep Unnithan is peddling even more horse manure}


Irresponsibly pinpointing responsibility

In most countries, documents of 30 years vintage are declassified and made available to scholars, serious students and strategic thinkers. The HB-B Report is a crucial document, but there are surely several other documents of that vintage (including the 1951 Maj Gen M.S.Himmatsinghji Report on how to militarily strengthen India's Tibet border following China's occupation of Tibet) that will need to be released for study.

Kuldip Nayar's demand for the HB-B Report and demands even now, are met with the response that secrecy must be maintained “in the national interest”, or because it contains information of “operational value”. That could be a reason to push the blame for the 1962 debacle on the military, as appears to be happening at present.

National security

In modern times, wars are not fought only between the militaries of countries, but between nations. With India's military under civilian control according to the Constitution of India, responsibility to prosecute war in the best interests of the country rests with the combined executive-legislative-intelligence-bureaucracy-military. It would be unfair to lay the entire responsibility on any one of them or hold any one of them solely accountable.

The strategic community, journalists and politicians can endlessly argue as to who did what wrong and why, causing the 1962 debacle, even though it really does not matter today. What is vital today is to know what went wrong and how it went wrong, so that we learn from past mistakes, and are not again humiliated as a nation.

It is vital for national security that all documents, articles, studies and reports on events leading upto and pertaining to the 1962 Sino-Indian border dispute and armed conflict, be immediately and fully declassified with unrestricted access to academicians and serious students of strategy. As for the HB-B Report, a special responsibility to declassify it in the national interest rests with both MoD and Army HQ.


References

1. Neville Maxwell; "Henderson Brooks Report: An Introduction"; Economic & Political Weekly, April 14-20, 2001.

2. Neville Maxwell; "China's India War – How the Chinese saw the conflict"; Mainstream, Vol XLIX, No 28, July 2, 2011.

3. T.J.S.George; "No Need to Bribe a British Journalist"; Mainstream, Vol XLIX No 17, April 16, 2011.

4. Sandeep Unnithan; "Army Holds Up Declassification of Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report";IndiaToday.in; October 18, 2012.

* S.G.Vombatkere served in the Indian army and retired in 1996 with the rank of major general from the post of Additional DG in charge of Discipline and Vigilance in Army HQ, New Delhi. This article is re-published from Indo-Canada Outlook.

[IDN-InDepthNews – December 29, 2012]

2012 IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters

Image:Quote from British journalist Neville Maxwell


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 20 Mar 2013 13:41


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 20 Mar 2013 13:45

Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka

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http://jjamwal.in/blog/2013/03/indian-p ... lanka.html

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Kakkaji » 22 Apr 2013 02:35

X-posting from the INA History Thread:

Battle to repel Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose-led Azad Hind Fauj selected 'Britain's Greatest'

LONDON: Britain's struggle to repel a combined force of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose-led Azad Hind Fauj and Japan during World War II, around Imphal and Kohima in 1944 has been adjudged as the 'greatest ever battle involving British forces', a report said.

The clashes that took place in northeastersn corner of India, were voted the winner of a contest run by the National Army Museum here, to identify 'Britain's Greatest Battle'.

The battles of Imphal and Kohima saw the British and Indian forces, under the overall command of Lieutenant-General William Slim, repel the Japanese invasion of India and helped turned the tide of the war in the Far East.

The Japanese, along with soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj, eventually lost 53,000 dead and missing in the battles. The British forces sustained 12,500 casualties at Imphal while the fighting at Kohima cost them another 4,000 casualties.

The campaign of Imphal-Kohima was on a shortlist of five battles which topped a public poll. Finally it was selected as the winner by an audience of more than 100 guests at a special event at the museum in Chelsea yesterday.

Imphal-Kohima received almost half of all votes. It was far ahead of D-Day and Normandy, in 1944 which received 25 per cent of the vote and came second, followed by the famous Battle of Waterloo, in 1815 (22 per cent).

"I had thought that one of the bigger names like D-Day or Waterloo would win so I am delighted that Imphal-Kohima has won. You have got to judge the greatness of a battle by its political, cultural and social impact, as much as its military impact," he was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.

"Imphal and Kohima were really significant for a number of reasons, not least that they showed that the Japanese were not invincible and that that they could be beaten, and beaten well. The victories demonstrate this more than the US in the Pacific, where they were taking them on garrison by garrison," Lyman added.

The fight for Imphal went on longer than that for Kohima, lasting from March until July. Kohima was smaller in scale, and shorter, from April to June - but the fighting was so intense it has been described as the 'Stalingrad of the East'.

In one sector, only the width of the town's tennis court separated the two sides. When the relief forces of the British 2nd Division arrived, the defencive perimeter was reduced to a shell-shattered area only 350 metres square.

There are several memorials to the British and Indian troops who fought in the area, including one with an inscription that has become famous as the 'Kohima Epitaph'. It reads-- 'When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today'.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 23 May 2013 15:18

BBC article on remembering Kohima

nice to see Indian soldiers getting full mention and credits

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 26 May 2013 02:30

Couldnt find the 1962 war thread.

An alternate explanation of the events:

Sachin wrote:
chaanakya wrote:You forgot one thing. Tainted Saint from Gods own country just like V.K.Krishna Menon in 1962.

Dont know if any one else posted a link to this blog. Pretty long, but it has a different take on VK Krishna Menon and is critical of many of the other politicians and Military Officers (including K.S Thimmaiah and Cariappah). A Zionist angle is also thrown in.
WHY INDIA LOST THE SINO INDIAN WAR OF 1962- CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby member_22906 » 26 May 2013 11:40

ramana wrote:An alternate explanation of the events


:shock:

I actually in a fit of weekend boredom madness read the blog... He makes conspiracy theories from X-Files look like NCERT certified class X curriculum :rotfl:

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby jamwal » 26 May 2013 12:31

Operation Cactus (Maldives, 1988) (16 images).


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MARCOS didn't have very good guns at that time

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 07 Jun 2013 23:42

Lt Gen Sinha on Partition of the Indian Army


Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on

http://www.asianage.com/presentation/le ... -army.aspx

from where it has been reproduced without any changes.

The fact that the Indian Army also influenced the decision on Partition needs to be taken into account. After their experience with Cromwell’s military dictatorship, the British ardently nurtured the concept of an apolitical army. It suited them to transplant that concept in the Indian Army that they raised. While this concept continues to hold good in India, it was thrown overboard in Pakistan. After 1857, the British decided not to have one-class regiments except for Gorkhas and Garhwalis. All other combat units were composed of 50 per cent Muslims and 50 per cent non-Muslims. Different communities living together in war and peace and encouraged to remain apolitical developed a regimental ethos that held them together.

I was commissioned in the Jat Regiment, which had two companies of Jat Hindus and two of Muslims. I served with a Punjabi Muslim company. I found the regimental spirit among the men strong. There was no communal divide. This continued in the Army till the end of 1946 but started cracking in 1947, reaching breaking point by August 1947. Yet I saw that when the Muslim companies of the Jat Regiment were going to Pakistan, tears were shed on both sides. This happened in other regiments as well.

Indian officers during British rule hardly ever discussed political matters among themselves. I recall that in Rangoon, soon after the end of World War II, one junior British officer referred to the INA as traitors and used vulgar epithets. There was no senior officer present in the Mess. This led to a heated discussion between the British and Indian officers, both Hindus and Muslims.

The Indian Army then got involved in a strange war in Indonesia. It had been sent there primarily to take the surrender of the Japanese. The Dutch had been driven out and accompanied the Indian Army to re-establish colonial rule. But the Indonesians had declared independence and had their own army. The Indian Army got involved in fighting the Indonesians. The Indonesians would tell us that we were ourselves not free and yet we were fighting against their becoming independent. This was embarrassing to hear. When the Indonesians raised the banner of Islam in their appeal to Indian soldiers, I was told that about a thousand or more of our Muslim soldiers deserted and joined them. They were left behind when we came out from Indonesia. I mention this because this was the first time that I saw the virus of communalism affecting the Army.

Notwithstanding the early signs in Indonesia, it is remarkable that during the outbreak of communal violence in August 1946 and till well after 1947 had set in, the Indian soldier, Hindu and Muslim, showed remarkable impartiality when dealing with communal violence. This was so in Kolkata in August 1946, in Bihar in October 1946 and in Garhmukteshwar (Uttar Pradesh) in November 1946. Two or three battalions of the Bihar Regiment, which had Hindus and Muslims in equal number, had operated in Bihar during the communal riots with complete impartiality. At the time of those riots, Col. Naser Ali Khan, who later went to the Pakistan Army, and I were serving at General Headquarters in Delhi. He was many years senior and always very kind. One morning at breakfast, after having read a newspaper report about the Bihar riots, he told me excitedly that his blood boiled when he remembered that I was Bihari. I told him I condemned what was happening in Bihar more than him. He was not the only Muslim officer I interacted with in Delhi who was so worked up over the terrible rioting in Bihar. I mention these incidents to show how circumstances were forcing the communal virus to spread in the Army. Till March 1947, things appeared under control. Localised communal riots took place in different places and the Army, deployed to maintain order, remained disciplined and impartial. Wavell, in his farewell address on March 21, 1947, said, "I believe that the stability of the Indian Army may perhaps be the deciding factor in the future of India".

With Muslim League ministries coming to power both in Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province, communal passions were sought to be aroused in a planned manner. Widespread communal riots erupted in Peshawar and Rawalpindi. Soon entire North India was on fire. The strain on the soldiers started showing. Most of the soldiers, both Muslim and non-Muslim, were from the north. Their homeland was being ravaged and, in several cases, their families had become victims. It was becoming increasingly difficult for them to remain impartial. The downslide became more perceptible after Partition was announced. The day after that announcement I met two officers in Delhi with strange shoulder titles - RPE and RPASC. In those days officers from Engineers and Army Service Corps wore the shoulder titles RIE (Royal Indian Engineers) and RIASC (Royal Indian Army Service Corps). Some officers had begun to wear Pakistan shoulder titles within hours of the Partition announcement and much before Pakistan was born. There were reports of senior Muslim officers going to meet Jinnah, who then lived at 10, Aurangzeb Road in Delhi.

On the morrow of Independence in August 1947 the Gilgit Scouts staged a coup, arresting Brigadier Ghansara Singh of the Kashmir Army who had been sent there as governor by the Maharaja. This was the first military coup in the Pakistan Army. More would follow.

The Punjab Boundary Force, comprising in equal measure units earmarked for the Indian and Pakistan Armies, was set up under a British commander in late July 1947. It was hoped that it would help maintain order on both sides of the border at a time when communal violence and migration were peaking. The experiment failed because the impartiality of the soldier had been eroded and there were several instances of soldiers taking sides. Large-scale violence again erupted in Kolkata, prompting Mahatma Gandhi to fast with dramatic effect. It was then that Mountbatten remarked that a one-man boundary force had succeeded in Kolkata while the 50,000-strong Punjab Boundary Force had failed in the north. The Punjab Boundary Force was disbanded and the two Dominions assumed responsibility for maintaining order on their side of the border.

In mid-1947, Sardar Patel, based on his experience in the Interim Government when the Muslim League had brought government functioning to a halt, the peaking of communal violence and the Army getting contaminated combating communal violence for nearly a year, realised there was now no alternative to Partition. His decision to salvage the wreck in 1947 was an act of statesmanship. Otherwise, things would have become much worse. We could have had a civil war with the Army broken up and participating from both sides. India may have broken up into several independent states, like the erstwhile Yugoslavia, or could have become a much larger version of today's Lebanon.

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

© S. K. Sinha 2009





Wish he wrote more.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 07 Jun 2013 23:51

Spectator's Comments on Kitchener's reforms

Looks like the reforms were driven by the Russian Army encouraging the Afghans at Herat.

And google books has concerns about whether the Japanese defeat of Russian forces had helped or not.

Offical Site of Indian Army

India under the Crown

In November 1902, Lord Kitchener became Commander-in-Chief and immediately set to work on further reorganisation and redistribution of the Army in India. Since the recruitment pattern shifted further towards the north-central areas towards the end of 19 Century, in 1903 it again became necessary for Indian battalions to be given new names like Madrassis, Punjabis, Bengal Infantry (with the term ‘native’ dispensed with much earlier), Marathas, Rajputs, Sikhs, Jats, Garhwalis, Moplahs and so on, depending on their recruiting pattern. To cite an example, the initial five battalions of the Madras Presidency were further redesignated as ‘Punjabi’ battalions. By adding a numerical 60 to their Madras Infantry designation, these battalions then became 67, 69, 72, 74, and 87 ‘Punjabis’ respectively. A similar restructuring took place in the other Presidencies. Lord Kitchner completed the unification of Indian Army, which had begun in1895. Further reorganisation to include a centralised command and control was resorted to in 1903. The four commands were reduced to two, that is Northern Army and Southern Army, and all infantry regiments after re-numbering were grouped into brigades and divisions placed under permanent commanders with staff.

There existed 39 Cavalry regiments and 129 Infantry battalions of which Bengal comprised 48, Punjab 9, Madras 33, Hyderabad 6 and Bombay 30. Later five of the original Madras battalions were disbanded and 15 were converted to Punjabis. By 1908 the Northern Army comprised five divisions and three brigades; Southern Army of four divisions in addition to the Burma Division, and the Aden Brigade. This made a field army of 1,52,000, including nine divisions, eight cavalry brigades and Internal Security troops of over 80,000.




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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby vivek_ahuja » 15 Jun 2013 08:58

Indian army soldiers next to an Italian SM 79 (in North Africa?)

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-Vivek

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby member_27214 » 16 Jun 2013 17:51

jamwal wrote:Bunch of pictures from India China war of 1962
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JJamwalji, thank you so much for posting these pictures. This photo is of my father Brig. NK Gupta (Retd). Did you serve with him? Do you have any more pictures?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2013 04:48

We need to consider the whole decade of the sixties as one unified whole to understand what was happening. 1965 war had its roots in 1962 war and that had its roots in the world picture in the 50s.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 21 Jun 2013 00:50

1965 War decided fate of the Subcontinent:K. Subrahmanyam

1965 decided fate of the subcontinent

September 06, 2005

Though the 1965 Indo-Pak war was only a medium-scale, limited war that lasted less than three weeks, it resulted in the Tashkent Agreement that brought about exchange of territories occupied by both sides.

It is largely seen as a stalemate in Pakistan and the rest of the world, but the 1965 war generated very significant consequences that decided the fate of the Indian subcontinent.

The Pakistani leadership carefully planned the war. It was meant to lead to a massive uprising in Kashmir engineered by sending in Pakistani infiltrators. Further, by clandestinely raising a second armoured division of relatively sophisticated Patton tanks, Pakistan aimed at a breakthrough in Punjab against the weak and obsolete Indian armour and wanted to cut off Jammu and Kashmir from India.

Field Marshal Ayub Khan also was planning to demonstrate -- in the wake of the Indian Army's debacle at Sela-Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh in November 1962 -- that one Pakistani was equal to 10 Indians in terms of military prowess.

His conviction was that the Hindu, when struck a timely and decisive blow, would not be able to stand up. His confidant Altaf Gauhar has recorded this in Ayub Khan's biography.

Pakistan had China's support. When Islamabad appealed for support, Beijing did try to apply pressure on New Delhi by delivering a not very credible ultimatum to India.

The Americans were well informed about the possibility of Pakistani infiltration into Kashmir and the subsequent offensive months in advance, as has been recorded by the then Central Investigative Agency operative in India, Duane Claridge, in his book A Man for All Seasons.

The American military and political establishment had concluded that in case of a war, Pakistan would win.

The Pentagon and Harvard University played a war game at the Institute of Defence Analysis, Washington, DC, in March 1965. The war game and its results were available in a book, Crisis Game by Sidney Giffin, by the spring of 1965.

The total failure of the Kashmir uprising, the complete destruction of the Pakistani Patton Armoured division at Khem Karan in Punjab and the Pakistan Army running out of ammunition and being saved from total humiliation through the UN ceasefire constitute a turning point in the history of India-Pakistan relations.

Having engineered the war and seen it result in a disaster, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned against his benefactor Ayub Khan and blamed him for the Tashkent Agreement. His propaganda was that Ayub Khan threw away a military victory.

The Pakistani people were not informed about the failure of Operation Gibraltar, the attempted infiltration into Kashmir and thereafter of Operation Grand Slam, the attack on Jammu. The Indian counterattack in the Lahore sector was depicted as Indian aggression. The decimation of the Pakistani armoured division by a poorly armed Indian armoured brigade through superior tactics at Khem Karan was also not told to the Pakistani people.

But all these attempts at obfuscation did not deceive a leader like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, considered the father of Bangladesh. When the question was raised about the security of what was then East Pakistan vis-à-vis India in case of another war, Bhutto, as foreign minister, implied in his answer that Pakistan depended on Beijing to ensure the security of that part of its territory.

That led Rahman to ask for greater autonomy from Islamabad and to formulate his six points which became the basis for the subsequent secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

The 1965 war also led to an embargo of US arms supplies to Pakistan. Islamabad's use of American arms against India was against the assurances given by President Dwight Eisenhower to Jawaharlal Nehru that in case Pakistan used US-supplied arms against India, necessary corrective action would follow.

Though the US bureaucracy and the Pentagon were prepared to look the other way if Pakistan had won the war, they found it difficult to overlook the miserable performance of Pakistani armour at Khem Karan. Pakistan therefore turned to China and France for re-equipment of its forces. After 1965, China became the foremost supplier of arms to Pakistan.

From Bhutto's death cell testimony, it also becomes clear that Pakistan initiated its discussions with China on acquiring nuclear weapon technology around 1965. Bhutto talked of completing his 11-year-long negotiations successfully in 1976. It would not be incorrect to say that the Chinese-Pakistani strategy of containing India began in the aftermath of 1965 war.

Pakistan drew correct lessons from the failure of Operation Gibraltar when the Kashmiris did not rise against India in consequence to large-scale infiltration of Pakistani commandos into the Kashmir valley. They bided their time and in the late 1980s trained disaffected Kashmiris, who crossed over into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, in arms and infiltrated them back.

That this strategy too did not wholly succeed is a different story but it did begin the prolonged proxy war against India in Kashmir.

Pakistan also discovered it was not difficult to run rings around the conditions of American arms supplies and hide things from US inspection teams. They were able to covertly raise a second armoured division in 1965. Unfortunately for them it did not give them the victory in Punjab they expected. The second armoured division met its defeat at Khem Karan.

Pakistan used this experience of getting around US procedures in the 1980s to divert American arms -- meant for Afghans fighting Soviet forces -- to arm the various jihadi militias and to install the Taliban regime in Kabul.

On the Indian side too, the 1965 war led to significant results. The Indian Army failed to assess intelligence effectively in respect of construction of aqueducts under the Ichogil canal (that runs from India to Lahore) and on Pakistan covertly raising a second armoured division. Thus, the external and internal intelligence collection and reporting were bifurcated. A dedicated external intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing -- was created.

An ill-advised reorganisation proposal in respect of Indian armour – increasing light armour and reducing medium armour –- strongly espoused by General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri before the war, was given up. The Indo-Soviet arms supply relationship got reinforced and the Soviet Union became the sole supplier of arms for India.

Though it is not much written about, India intensified its support to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League in their demands for greater economy from Islamabad.

The 1965 war demonstrated that the 1962 debacle was not a reflection on the Indian Army but was the result of inadequacies in a few top inexperienced generals. It also proved that Indian unity was solid while Pakistan was vulnerable to divisive forces. It brought out that American short-term Cold War calculations overrode Washington's commitment to democracy.

It also highlighted that the US establishment had very wrong assessments about the Indian leadership, the Indian Army and India's ability to survive as a Union and grow into a major power.

The legendary K Subrahmanyam is the doyen of India's strategic thinkers.




In retrospect and after reading the book, I think its quite possible that TSP advanced the date of the operation by a year to Sept 1965 instead of Sept 1966 to achieve surprise. They might have thought India would wait for one more year for preparation. And got surprised.


Some blog posts I found while searching....

1965 Indo-Pak war planned in US?


K Subramaniyam in one of his columns wrote that while browsing in a London used book store he picked up a American book on crisis game theory which had the exact Pak moves in 1965 gamed with participation of Pak officers in a US military academy and was appalled at the perfidy.

Could be the 1965 war was supposed to trigger some other events and India as usual stymied them by not responding per the game scenario.
1965 war was accompanied by Indonesia claiming the Indian Ocean name.
KSA and Gulf changing their money from Indian rupee to Dollar.
Two years later OIC was created...





Guilty Gen of 1965

by K.Subrahmanyam


Guilty Gen of 1965 war

In 1965 I was deputy secretary (budget and planning) in the Ministry of Defence. It was a Sunday evening in June, shortly after the Rann of Kutch clashes. I was returning from a visit to one of the Sainik Schools — I was the honorary secretary of the Sainik Schools society — when I met M.M. Hooja, then joint director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), at Delhi’s Palam airport.

I had known Hooja in my earlier post as deputy secretary (joint intelligence organisation) and member of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He offered to drop me home and, in the car, told me IB had intelligence that Pakistan had raised a second armoured division by cheating the Americans. Though the army had been told, it had refused to accept this.

I asked him to communicate this in writing to enable me to bring it to the defence minister’s notice. The next morning I received a top-secret letter from K. Sankaran Nair, deputy-director, IB.

The defence secretary, P.V.R. Rao, was on four months leave. The secretary-in-charge was a new man, A.D. Pandit. I handed over the letter to H.C. Sarin, secretary (defence production), who enjoyed the confidence of the defence minister, Y.B. Chavan. He gave it to the minister for discussion in his daily morning meeting.

When the minister raised the issue, the army chief, General J.N. Chaudhuri argued, according to what Sarin told me, that IB was exaggerating and unable to produce credible evidence. Due to this casual attitude of the army chief, Pakistan was able to spring the surprise of 1st Armoured Division at Khemkaran and 6th Armoured Division at Sialkot.

That the Indian armoured brigade, under Brigadier T.K. Theogaraj, destroyed the Pakistani armoured division reflects to the credit of officers and men of the army, their guts, valour and skills. They had the full support of their corps commander, General J.S. Dhillon, and their army commander, General Harbaksh Singh.

Even for taking a stand at Khemkaran, General Chaudhuri had to be overruled by defence minister Chavan and the prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. the army chief preferred withdrawal to the Beas river. The details may be found in R.D. Pradhan’s 'From Debacle to Revival'. Pradhan was Chavan’s private secretary upto end 1964 and was brought back during the war. Subsequently, he had access to Chavan’s diaries.

Earlier that year, General Chaudhuri had obtained cabinet orders to reduce our medium tank regiments from 11 down to four and increase the light tank regiments from four to 11. He carried this reorganisation through in spite of opposition from professional subordinates.


The Pentagon simulated a ‘game’ in March 1965, according to which Pakistan attacked India on September 1, 1966, and captured Srinagar, with Shastri unable to counter-attack. In reality, Pakistan attacked on September 1, 1965, and Shastri hit back very hard If Pakistanis had not been in such a hurry and had struck a year later with their two divisions of armour, India would have been in real trouble. After the war, General Chaudhuri not only had to abandon his plans for armour reorganisation, but ask the government to hastily import six regiments of medium armour — three T-54 regiments from Czechoslovakia and three T-55 regiments from the USSR.

General Chaudhuri, as was disclosed by Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal in a later lecture, did not keep the Indian Air Force (IAF) informed of his intending operation in the Lahore sector. The IAF was caught off-guard and incurred avoidable losses of aircraft, including newly-arrived MIG-21s.

The Indian Army was surprised by the Pakistani armour’s sudden appearance through the various aqueducts under the Ichogil canal. This intelligence about the aqueducts was available well in advance, since construction plans of the canal, including the aqueducts, were obtained from the World Bank by IB and provided to the army.

Shekhar Gupta (‘‘1965 in 2005’’, National Interest, June 4, 2005) was not wrong in calling the war one of mutual incompetence. It so happens both Ayub Khan and General Chaudhuri were in the same batch at Sandhurst.

TWO months before the war, in my planning branch, undersecretary I.C. Bansal did elaborate research on the US budgetary documents and calulated American military aid to Pakistan totalled slightly below $ 900 million. When this was put up to the Chiefs of Staff Committee, they (particularly the army chief) rejected the study. In their view, the aid should have been several billions of dollars.

We costed the equipment and facilities and argued it could not be very much more. But it was to no avail. Subsequently it was proved our calculations in the planning branch were not very much off the mark.

So on the one hand General Chaudhuri refused to accept the existence of the second Pakistani armoured division. But at the same time he had an exaggerated view of US aid to Pakistan.

Having negotiated with the Americans on aid for six Indian mountain divisions, we were aware US policy was to provide only six weeks’ war wastage of ammunition at US rates, which were lower than our rates, to aid-receiving countries. On September 2, 1965, through a top-secret telegram, I sought information from S. Guhan, my cadremate and at that time first secretary in our Washington embassy, to check through contacts in the Pentagon what was the ammunition supply rate to Pakistan.

Gohar Ayub Khan’s story of a stolen war plan is probably bogus. But 40 years on, the first full-fledged India-Pakistan war is still a very real presence for many. Within a few days Guhan confirmed my assumption and a copy of the top-secret telegram went to General Chaudhuri also. He congratulated me for the information. Indeed, Gohar Ayub Khan has referred to Pakistan suffering from ammunition shortage within a few days of the war beginning.

India had some 90 days war wastage reserves. After the war ended, it was found only eight to 10 per cent of the tank and artillery ammunition had been spent. We had to cancel an order to Yugoslavia for a million rounds of L-70 anti-aircraft ammunition. The order had been placed during the operations.

If the war had been continued for another week, Pakistan would have been forced to surrender. Unfortunately General Chaudhuri advised the prime minister to accept the UN ceasefire proposal since he felt both sides were running out of ammunition. This was far from true for India
.

Let me come to some major intelligence failures, even though we were not aware of them at the time. According to an article by Altaf Gauhar — in 1965, the alter ego of President Ayub Khan — in Nation on October 3, 1999, Brigadier Ayub Awan, director of the Pakistani Intelligence Bureau, travelled to Saudi Arabia in early 1965. He contacted Sheikh Abdullah in Jeddah and told him about Operation Gibraltar. Later however, President Ayub decided against taking Sheikh Abdullah’s help.

{Sheikh Abdullah never told the GOI about this. His son and grandson rule Kashmir today and spit on New Delhi everytime}

This version was confirmed by the then CIA operative in Madras (now Chennai), Duane Claridge, who was deputed to meet Sheikh Abdullah and told by him of the coming war. US authorities had, therefore, full knowledge about Operation Gibraltar and Pakistani plans to use American equipment against India as early as March 1965, but chose not to warn India.

This information is available in Claridge’s book A Man for All Seasons. Claridge rose high in the CIA and became deputy director. He was convicted during the Reagan presidency in the Iran-Contra affair, but pardoned.


Pakistan was suffering from an ammunition shortage within days of the war starting. India had 90 days of war wastage reserves. If the war had continued for another week, Pakistan would have been forced to surrender. But India agreed to a UN ceasefire Following all this, the Institute of Defence Analysis (IDA) in the Pentagon simulated a politico-strategic game with Harvard University. According to this game, ‘‘played’’ in March 1965, India lost the war with Pakistan and had to accept US mediation on Kashmir, after losing Srinagar. Though Shastri was advised in the game to counterattack, he was timid and refused.

The verbatim proceedings of this game were published in March 1965 by Doubleday and available in US bookshops. The book was titled Crisis Game, ascribed to author Sidney Giffin.

But our intelligence, civil and military, did not have a clue. In 1967, I picked up a second-hand copy on the pavement outside the London School of Economics. One wonders how much this book influenced President Ayub in initiating Operation Gibraltar.

Strangely enough, in the book Pakistan attacks India on September 1, 1966. In reality it happened on September 1, 1965.

Till today, the valour and skills of the officers and men of that armoured brigade commanded by Brigadier Theogaraj and the roles of Generals Harbaksh and Dhillon in defying General Chaudhuri have not received their due credit.

One American academic — an assistant secretary of state in the Kennedy administration who played a prominent role in preventing India getting combat equipment — ruefully told me that on the eve of the 1965 war he was planning to write a book on ‘the war that changed the fate of the subcontinent’.

Thanks to the valour and tactical skills of those men who confronted the Pakistani Pattons at Asal Uttar, he could never write that book.

The author, a former civil servant, is a defence affairs analyst



Major General Afsir Karim (retired), who served in Jammu and Kashmir at various levels of his professional career including command of an Infantry Brigade on the Line of Control and as Major General Administration in the Northern Army, explains why Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar failed.

In 1965, after a trial of strength in the Rann of Kutch, Pakistan chose an unconventional form of warfare to invade Kashmir.This clandestine guerrilla operation was code-named Operation Gibraltar.

The headquarters of the Gibraltar force was established at Murree in Pakistan and a force of approximately 30,000 men trained in guerrilla warfare was placed under the overall command of Major General Akhtar Malik, a high profile and professionally competent officer, who was in command of the Kashmir Division at that time.

They were given extensive training for infiltrating through gaps in Indian defences at selected points on the Cease Fire Line (CFL, now the Line of Control) with the ultimate aim of converging at Srinagar to overthrow the J&K government and declare independence.

Before this operation was launched Pakistan had made military training compulsory for all men in PoK aged between 15 and 25. They eventually formed the corpus for a strong Mujahid force to supplement the regular Pakistan army and create a facade of a local uprising once they entered the valley. Various infiltrating columns were divided into eight to ten groups of about 300 to 400 men, mostly named after famous generals of Islamic folklore. These groups were armed with Browning machine guns, mortars and explosives and were fully trained to carry on their task. Their action plan in a nutshell was:

Attacks on Indian troops by infiltration with a view to inflict maximum casualties and tie down them down in various sectors;

Form a 'Revolutionary Council' in Srinagar to announce the overthrow of the state government and seek recognition and help from various countries of the world, including Pakistan;

Interdict the Jammu-Srinagar highway to isolate the Kashmir valley, and to interdict lines of communication to the vital areas of Rajauri and Poonch.

Field Marshal Ayub Khan himself addressed all the column and sector commanders of the Gibraltar Force in the second week of July 1965. This force was eventually launched in the first week of August, in various sectors as under:

Task force: Areas of Operation

* Salahuddin Force: Gulmarg, Srinagar and Mandi
* K Force: Uri
* Khalid Force: Tithwal
* Nusrat Force: Rajauri–Mendhar
* Ghaznavi Force: Poonch–Rajauri
* Babar Force: Nowshera–Chhamb
* Tariq Force: Kargil [ Images ]
* Qasim Force: Gurez

The infiltrators were to cross the cease-fire line in small groups, at night, through remote passes and jungle routes. They were dressed in baggy Kashmiri type of clothes to enable them to merge with the local population and conceal their weapons.

They had orders to blow up bridges to interdict Lines of Communications, attack military bases and units, destroy supply and ammunition depots.

However, the combined loads of weapons, ammunition and rations they were ordered to carry slowed their movement across steep slopes and made their task extremely difficult.

The Salahuddin Force along with some groups was to concentrate in Srinagar on August 8, 1965 and mingle with large crowds that traditionally assembled here every year to celebrate the festival of Pir Dastgir, a much-revered Sufi saint of the valley.

The next day a public meeting and several demonstrations were to be arranged by the Action Committee that had been formed to demand release of Sheikh Abdullah from jail; later an armed revolt or a coup was to be staged.

A declaration of 'Liberation' was to be issued by the 'Revolutionary Council' after seizing the Srinagar radio station and the airport. The 'Revolutionary Council' was to proclaim on Radio Srinagar that it was the sole and the legitimate authority in J&K and seek help and recognition from various countries of the world and the UN.

The Salahuddin Force infiltrated across the Pir Panjal range and split in two or three columns. One group headed for Gulmarg, while the main body went to Khag forest, which was their main base for operations in and around Srinagar.

Though the attempt to take over the airfield and Radio Srinagar failed, arson and violence was witnessed at Baramula, Badgam, Yusmarg and suburbs of Srinagar.

This group managed to instigate some collaborators to hold a rally in Srinagar on the occasion of the anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah's arrest, but they failed to muster enough support from the people to carry out their plans of overthrowing the state government in the name of the people.

The Khalid Force that infiltrated Thithwal sector inflicted a number of casualties before it was destroyed or forced back across the cease-fire line. In this sector one of our units lost 2 officers including their commanding officer and 6 other ranks. An animal transport company lost a dozen men and some of its mules.

A battalion that was to be relieved shortly lost 16 men before they destroyed the main enemy base where almost 70 mule-loads of arms and ammunition had been stored.

The Ghaznavi Force operated between Jhangar and Poonch and according to reports Pakistan transport aircraft carried out some airdrops in this area.

The force operating in Thana Mandi succeeded in cutting off a subsidiary of the Rajauri-Punch road on the night of August 7/8. Some elements from this force tried to interdict the Udhampur-Srinagar highway, but timely action by the army prevented any damage to the Chenab Bridge at Ramban and other smaller bridges along the highway that were their targets.

Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir Radio, however, announced the destruction of the Ramban Bridge and the Banihal Tunnel even before the Pakistani infiltrators reached anywhere near them.

In fact, most infiltrating columns were detected and interdicted before they could carry out their intended plans. The information came from none others than Kashmiri Muslims themselves, who in general did not respond to the call of liberation and resented Pakistan's armed intrusion.

The point to note is that the US and the Western world preferred to shut their eyes to the obvious armed invasion and refused to name Pakistan as an aggressor.

By the end of August, most infiltrating groups had been driven out and now the Indian army ook offensive action to seal various routes of infiltration; they captured Haji Pir Pass and several important features in Bugina bulge in the Thithwal sector besides driving out Pakistani forces from some important posts in the Kargil sector.

The ingenious plan made by Pakistan to annex Kashmir by surprise failed because of several obvious infirmities; the people of Kashmir were not interested in a revolt except for some disgruntled elements who were a miniscule minority; most of the people were content to continue their normal lives and had no intention of giving support to a violent upheaval.

Another basic flaw in the plan was that the so-called Mujahideen were all outsiders who got no help from the locals, in most cases reported their presence to the authorities.

However, the most important factor in the failure of OP Gibraltar was the swift, decisive and timely reaction the Indian Army took after the initial surprise to drive out the infiltrators and seal various routes of infiltration across the Cease-Fire Line.

Some years later several Pakistani generals who were involved in planning or execution of the armed infiltration in 1965 wrote books that gave details of the role played by them and the Pakistan army in the invasion.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the then foreign minister of Pakistan, and Air Marshal Asghar Khan were to take credit for masterminding and initiating the ingenious operation.

Lately the issue has been raked up by Air Marshal Nur Khan in a book in which he has castigated Ayub Khan for deceiving his own countrymen and launching a wrong operation for self aggrandisement, which posed a serious threat to Pakistan because the armed forces of Pakistan as a whole were neither aware of it nor prepared for an all out war.

In 1947, Pakistan had sent well-armed raiders into Jammu & Kashmir but denied its hand in the invasion. They reluctantly accepted their involvement only when the presence of regular Pakistan army was detected in J&K by UN observers who were deployed there after the Cease-Fire agreement in 1948.

A similar attempt to deny involvement was made in 1965 and repeated in Kargil in 1999; Pakistani top brass seems to have learnt no lessons despite repeated failures of such operations.

It seems India too failed to learn many obvious lessons from oft-repeated pattern of Pakistan operations in J&K and did not initiate steps to raise Special Forces trained to detect and destroy infiltrating columns or groups before or after crossing the Line of Control.


One of India's leading specialists on issues related to terrorism and Low Intensity Conflicts, Major General Afsir Karim (retd) has published a number of books on the subject. He is currently the editor of Aakrosh, a journal devoted to the study of Terrorism [ Images ] and Internal Conflicts in South Asia.


http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/19war.htm


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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 21 Jun 2013 02:02

Excellent articles. Thanks.

I've always been intrigued by General Chowdhary's decision to withdraw behind Beas; we would have lost 3-4 border districts to Pakistan through this action.

Also, a slight correction is in order with respect to first article of KS linked above - while we were surprised by 1st Armored Division in Kasur, Pakistan, the surprise division was 6th Armored Division which took part in offensive towards Akhnoor in north. 1st Armored Division (PA) was a known quantity and the funny thing is that while the new formation (6th AD) did commendably well, 1st Armored Division's conduct was utter failure.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 09 Jul 2013 17:08

it seems that very senior officers of that period suffered from a lack of conviction in being able to get thei job done. perhaps they were influenced unduly by western diplomats over cocktails at embassy parties?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rahul M » 09 Jul 2013 18:02

sandhurst seems to be the common factor. ;)

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 09 Jul 2013 18:19

i am sure that in cold-war sandhurst, all manner of psyops was going on (1:10 theory, dark narrow places theory, martial races theory... anti-communist = good, neutral = bad theory, etc., etc.)

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 10 Jul 2013 21:16

Lalmohan wrote:it seems that very senior officers of that period suffered from a lack of conviction in being able to get their job done. perhaps they were influenced unduly by western diplomats over cocktails at embassy parties?


Lalmohan - this is a very pertinent topic of discussion. And something which answers why we did what we did.

My opinion is based on writings of some learned people as well as some personal interactions.

You need to understand that Indian Army was raised and used as an Infantry force by the British. The lessons from 1857 were not lost - no artillery for a very long time for us and no tanks as they came in.And we inherited the set-piece Infantry heavy fighting tactics of the British.

Another very important point is that at no time were Indian officers exposed to higher defense command and management - whether in peace time or in war. Yes, there were some exceptions for this but did not apply to the army as a whole. So, along with tactics, we had the issue with exposure of the Officer Corps.

So, while Indian Officers distinguished themselves up till Battalion level, higher level of defense management was poor. For a simple reason that these concepts were something no one had been exposed to. People like to talk about German Army and the legendary German General Staff as what an army and higher war management should be. But they forget that German Army was a product of 100 of years of war-fighting and concepts were implemented and refined over many decades.

The most glaring example of lack of higher defense management manifested itself in employment of Armor by both IA and PA. Armor in PA in 1965 war was a classical case - you had armored regiments behaving like Cavalry and Lancer Regiments of yore and charging line abreast and suffering huge loses. And Command & Control failure of their much vaunted 1 Armored Division is a study in how NOT to conduct armored warfare. Employment of Indian 1st Armored Division in 1965 war also came up for serious criticism by armored warfare historians.

Long story short - we seriously lacked in Command and Control beyond Battalions and large scale maneuvers.

One exception to this was PA Corps of Artillery. It was trained by US Army and it showed. Its conduct in 1965 war was exceptional. And responsible many a griefs suffered by IA.

And it was one General PP Kumaramangalam who was responsible for changing the organization structure and tactics of the army after 1965. He became Chief in 1966 and implemented the organization structure which is in use today. He got in SLR instead of .303 and created what is called Modification 'M' or Mod M - which is basically an Infantry Division equipped for mountain warfare. The GOI wanted to practically create two armies - one for mountains and one for plains. He realized this was going to be expensive and unwieldy and created a basic structure in form of an Infantry Division which was kitted for mountain warfare. So, a plains divisions can be modified for mountain warfare and other way.

He created BRO to assist Corps of Engineers and imported Australian Mules for higher load carrying capacity in mountains.

He created the framework which was used by Manekshaw in 1971. And Kumaramangalam was as blue-blood as they come. Zamindar family, Eaton and all that.

Then, in 1985 it was another Tam-Brahm (What with IA and Tam-Brahms, btw??? :P ) who changed the very concept of warfare in India. He finally brought in the concept of mechanization and maneuver warfare and implemented it across the Army. Another Tam-Brahm wielded this concept beautifully (and fearlessly) in 2002 and had the Pakis shitting bricks.

Post Parakaram, India has the money (and institutional maturity and understanding) for large Corps and Command level exercises. The point is, it takes time for things to mature and reach a certain level.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Rahul M » 10 Jul 2013 21:21

Lalmohan wrote:i am sure that in cold-war sandhurst, all manner of psyops was going on (1:10 theory, dark narrow places theory, martial races theory... anti-communist = good, neutral = bad theory, etc., etc.)

they were there in the colonial times, as new recruits.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2013 21:43

But Rohitvats, even KS garu wrote about how Indian Armour brigade under Brig Theogaraj destoryed the Pak Armored division. And he was backed by his Corps commander and the Western Command Army chief.
So what do the experts really have to say?

Isn't victory the end goal and not how you handle or marshal your pieces?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 10 Jul 2013 22:10

ramana wrote:But Rohitvats, even KS garu wrote about how Indian Armour brigade under Brig Theogaraj destroyed the Pak Armored division. And he was backed by his Corps commander and the Western Command Army chief. So what do the experts really have to say?

Isn't victory the end goal and not how you handle or marshal your pieces?


ramana, when I wrote about the conduct of armor, I knew the 2(I) Armored Bde conduct was going to come up. :P

What we need to understand that the higher defense management and Command & Control was something which was lacking. We were cautious in our use of Armor.

For example, all that stood between Indian 1st Armored Division and its objective in Shakargarh salient was a single 25th Armored Regiment of PA led Lt.Col. Nisar (who shot Lt. Arun Khetrapal). His regiment was outnumbered 3:1 and yet, the moment we encountered this regiment, it was assumed that we were against larger force and waster 2-3 days. There was nothing, I say nothing, between Indian 1 Corps and its objective. PA had simply not gamed Indians crossing the IB in this sector and going to jugular. Lt.Col Nisar was told, 'to do something' by the PA Corps Commander when it heard of Indian attack.

There is nothing to take away from the individual brilliance of Senior Officers - but we lacked was capability as an institution. For example, Combined All Arms Operations require tremendous amount of expertise in all areas of higher defense management. All this has started happening from 80s onward.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby raj-ji » 10 Jul 2013 22:29

^^
'1965 War Changed Face of the Subcontinent'

Excellent articles, thank you.

One could also argue that the impact of the 1962 war with the Pandas, influenced the Indian Army's performance in 1965. The war games the US played assumed a few things as a result of events from the 1962 war, they didnt probably factor the changes based on 1962, but rather expected more of the same.

After what the Indian Army was up against in 1962. With the results of that war still fresh in the minds of all levels of the Indian Army, not to mention in New Delhi. The 1965 war with the Pakis was a good chance to get back pride lost, against an enemy that is well known and smaller (no matter the tricks they try).

The underestimation of the Pakis capability and intent in 1965 could have been the reflex to watch the Pandas more, and focus less on the Pakis. So recent talk of preparing for possible aggression from multiple fronts is encouraging.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 10 Jul 2013 23:07

Rohit, Err, Lt Arun Khetrapal was in 1971.

yes its about what could be rather than what was achieved.

Lets talk about th trio of Brig. Theograj, Lt. Gen. Dhillon, Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh and what they achieved.


1st Armoured Div was commanded by Maj. Gen. Rajender Singh Sparrow.

here is google book Dynamics of Soldiering By Maj Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa

Lets read pages 32 onwards which describes the 1965 war.

I cant ask anyone else but you. Can you map and critique the 1965 war paln from Indian prespective?

Maj Gen KSB says the strike across the border was ill planned and not communicated down the chain. My hunch is it was a deep plan that took the enemy by surprise however it was not detailed and adequately resoruced to ensure secrecy from US and TSP. I may be wrong but that is my gut feeling at this time.

Page 65 talks to the Battle of Assal Uttar and how the trio held the line.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Surya » 10 Jul 2013 23:50

Then, in 1985 it was another Tam-Brahm (What with IA and Tam-Brahms, btw??? ) who changed the very concept of warfare in India. He finally brought in the concept of mechanization and maneuver warfare and implemented it across the Army. Another Tam-Brahm wielded this concept beautifully (and fearlessly) in 2002 and had the Pakis shitting bricks.


Saar we like to think and think and think ....


but we do need the others to execute :mrgreen:

case in point the last Tam brahm had some very brilliant people manning the tip of the spear at that time

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 11 Jul 2013 00:08

ramana wrote:Rohit, Err, Lt Arun Khetrapal was in 1971.

yes its about what could be rather than what was achieved.

Lets talk about th trio of Brig. Theograj, Lt. Gen. Dhillon, Lt. Gen. Harbaksh Singh and what they achieved.


1st Armoured Div was commanded by Maj. Gen. Rajender Singh Sparrow.

here is google book Dynamics of Soldiering By Maj Gen Kuldip Singh Bajwa

Lets read pages 32 onwards which describes the 1965 war.

I cant ask anyone else but you. Can you map and critique the 1965 war paln from Indian prespective?

Maj Gen KSB says the strike across the border was ill planned and not communicated down the chain. My hunch is it was a deep plan that took the enemy by surprise however it was not detailed and adequately resourced to ensure secrecy from US and TSP. I may be wrong but that is my gut feeling at this time.

Page 65 talks to the Battle of Assal Uttar and how the trio held the line.


You're right about Khetrapal. I confused the CO of 25 Cavalry in 1965 with Squadron Commander of 13 Lancer (PA) in 1971 against whom Khetrapal had fought with his tank troops and was killed by shot fired from Squadron Commander's tank.

Coming to Battle of Assal Uttar or Battle of Khemkaran as it is called, well, it was a case of three very strong personalities at the right place at the right time. For example, how many know that after the initial contact with PA 1st Armored Division, 4 Division troops had started disintegrating? Some very senior regiments saw disorderly withdrawal and rank desertion? IIRC, the Division Commander went around with his stars on his jeep on full display to instill confidence in troops and also threatened to shoot anyone who deserted? Also, he personally knew the lay of the land and again IIRC, it was his suggestion about flooding the area.

As for the critique - well, it has been quite some time since I read them books on 1965. And it is a humongous exercise. If it is OK with you, I can post some articles written by good military analysts on our side on the subject matter. Ravi Rikhye of Orbat.Com has some good articles on various operations of 1965 war. I will put in my comments on the sideline on whatever I know.

In fact, we can put the views from both side of border on the same topic and see the battlefield from opposing POV. You would be surprised to see the amount of idiocy that went in the functioning of 1st Armored Division.

Let me know your thoughts.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 11 Jul 2013 00:09

ramana, we can of course discuss the Battle of Assal Uttar and the book link you gave earlier.

Regards,

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 11 Jul 2013 00:14

ramana wrote:<SNIP>
Maj Gen KSB says the strike across the border was ill planned and not communicated down the chain. My hunch is it was a deep plan that took the enemy by surprise however it was not detailed and adequately resoruced to ensure secrecy from US and TSP. I may be wrong but that is my gut feeling at this time.

Page 65 talks to the Battle of Assal Uttar and how the trio held the line.


Sir, hindsight is always 20-20. It is easy to overlook the fog of war and factor the same into one's analysis.

People have been critical of Sparrow's handling of armor (as have I been to an extent) but no one says or considers is that he was commanding and holding the only armored division of the army. He could not afford to be reckless with the precious resources. And as I said earlier, these men were not exposed to large scale armor maneuvers and combined arms operations. It is very easy to evoke Guderian and Manstein in such conversations but what people forget is that these gents had the industrial might of their nations. Same goes for Zhukov.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 11 Jul 2013 01:01

Also there was the collective psy-ops of the Patton tank and the Sabre jet which might have been a hold back. It was only later in Assal Uttar that the Patton was found to be a paper tiger.


I dont consider him at fault.

I used to treasure the famous Illustrated Weekly issues of those times till I left India.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Hiten » 19 Jul 2013 07:30

Indian Army Soldiers During World War II

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaeEQ5kAu90

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 19 Jul 2013 12:11

Rahul M wrote:
Lalmohan wrote:i am sure that in cold-war sandhurst, all manner of psyops was going on (1:10 theory, dark narrow places theory, martial races theory... anti-communist = good, neutral = bad theory, etc., etc.)

they were there in the colonial times, as new recruits.


then the hypothesis must be that exposure to US army senior officers emboldened the TSPA whilst we plodded on along pacifist lines until the tambrams came to the rescue! ;-)

btw was thimayya a tambram too?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 19 Jul 2013 12:42

Lalmohan wrote:then the hypothesis must be that exposure to US army senior officers emboldened the TSPA whilst we plodded on along pacifist lines until the tambrams came to the rescue! ;-)

btw was thimayya a tambram too?


Lalmohan - that would be one way to put it.

You see, the US Army had really evolved as a war-fighting machine in WW2. And while it won the battles and wars because of the industrial might, there is no taking away from its generals and soldiers. For example, the first version of coordinating all the available tube artillery across formations for a task was perfected by the US Army. Something which really took the fight out of Germans at many a places.

British were never known for maneuver warfare and were steeped in history and protocol and tradition and was slow in adopting changes.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Sachin » 19 Jul 2013 13:56

Lalmohan wrote:btw was thimayya a tambram too?

Tam Brahms will have to wait for a long time to take the credit ;). Thimayyah is a Coorgi/Kodava, from Karnataka :).

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby rohitvats » 19 Jul 2013 14:08

Another illustrious General and COAS was KV Krishna Rao.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Lalmohan » 19 Jul 2013 15:59

US generals had the supreme confidence of having established global dominance for their country - some of them came close to deposing Caesar himself and had to be encouraged to find alternative things to do (mcarthur, patton might have gone the same way)
in the cold war era, they were locked in a mysterious mind-funk vis a vis the soviets and the black and white of attitudes that it generated

the british and french - though victorious were through the process of the war totally marginalised. they realised by suez and dien ben phu that things were never going to go back to where they were. their generals similarly sunk into the funk of loss of empire and failed to keep up with the US and Soviets

indian senior officers - unschooled in staff duties but experienced combat leaders, caught up in the decline of their parent institutions, unsteady on their feet in a new republic, confused by gandhian principles could easily succumb to the negative decline tendencies of their recent seniors. they would have seen good british combat leaders who led them in burma and north africa eclipsed by the decline of their senior ranks as their institutions collapsed - hence more of the same mental weakening

the paks would have had the same but for the flattery and push of being part of the anti-soviet drive for global dominance, they didn't know what they didn't know and the pat on the back from their american mentors propelled them forwards into disaster

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby member_22906 » 19 Jul 2013 22:13

What was KV Krishna Rao's claim to fame? I am not saying that he was bad or not upto to mark, but apart from being COAS, what were some of his professional achievements?

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby ramana » 19 Jul 2013 23:21

8) Good question.

/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._V._Krishna_Rao


Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao,(Telugu=కోటికలపూడి వెంకట కృష్ణ రావు) better known as K. V. Krishna Rao (born July 16, 1923) is a former Chief of Indian army and a former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura. He was governor of Jammu and Kashmir for the first time from July 11, 1989 to January 19, 1990 and the second time from March 13, 1993 till May 2, 1998.

Gen. Rao was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1942 During the 1971 war, his division captured the Sylhet area and liberated north-east Bangladesh. He retired as Chief of the Army Staff in 1983 and was appointed Governor of Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura in June 1984, leaving all of these posts by the time of his transfer to Kashmir in 1990.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby SBajwa » 20 Jul 2013 01:41

by Rohitvats
Coming to Battle of Assal Uttar or Battle of Khemkaran as it is called


Khemkaran is an Indian town that is sorrounded by the Pakistani territory from three sides. It is a medium size town in Amritsar District. Two roads connect Khemkaran to Amritsar and Tarantaran as in a V shape.

Khemkaran to Patti to Tarantaran to Amritsar
Khemkaran to Algon to Bhikhiwind to Amrisar.
A Train line goes from Khemkaran to Patti to Tarantaran to Amritsar.

Check maps.google.com for 31.154646,74.567528

Village of Asal Uttar is the first village as you travel from Khemkaran to Patti about 5 Kms away from Khemkaran. Next village is Valtoha.

This is just north of the river Satluj and very close to the Harike wildlife sanctuary. Water of River Satluj has been allocated to India so there is a medium size lake here called Harike Pattan.

Pakistani troops had captured Khemkaran but could not capture Asal Uttar the next stop in their venture to take a Breakfast at Amritsar, Lunch at Ambala and Dinner at Delhi.

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Re: Indian Army History Thread

Postby Aaryan » 23 Aug 2013 12:20



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