War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Surya » 18 Jun 2008 19:59

vivek

choppers can also be more easily shot down in terrain like this. threats will not just be from below and sometimes ability to manoeuvre is going to be limited.

Especially for Mi 24 series which needs a nice fast straight run to use its speed as an advantage. If one knows the direction from whihc its going to come, its toast.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Sanju » 18 Jun 2008 20:46

Victor wrote:.... The pakis did us a huge favor by giving us the opportunity to hone our high-altitude air attack skills. Nobody else has this experience.


Victor,
To extend on your theme on the Pakis doing us a "favour":

1) Op Gibraltar (1965) - The Pakis sent in irregulars and regulars. Unfortunately (for the Pakis), the Kashmiris didn't want to do anything with the Pakis. Whereas, any Tibetan worth his yak would love to carve a Turkey out of the Han. We need to use the local population as a force multiplier. The land and its sheer vastness should help in ingress and egress for the local populace. Question being how far can we carry on supporting them after the conflict and not leave them at the mercy of the Han? This needs to be a diplomatic, financial, political and long term support for the local Tibetans.

In inhospitable climate of Tibet, machines may behave differently than on plains and so will plainsmen not used to the terrain, whereas local populace who are used to both the lay of the land and its climate will be our surest bet - in terms of being a force multiplier.

2) Our forces have been fighting insurgents and have actually taken part in battles. PLA's last war IIRC was in 1977 against the Viets. 31 years is a long time. Yes there is the flip side of fatigue. But there is a big difference between talking war and actually fighting in one.

3) We are the best in CI and there is no one more experienced than us in this game. It is time to payback the Paki's masters by creating our own insurgency in Tibet and Xinjiang.

One thing that we need to remember is that - as someone pointed out earlier- China has a 100m unemployed and 40m unmarried males (both need not be mutually exclusive). There will be human waves galore - just like '62.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Lalmohan » 18 Jun 2008 21:48

from past reading on this forum Mi24/35's have limited payload at altitude. Mi17 is good, but we will need many many more. See Tim's comments about expense

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby surinder » 18 Jun 2008 21:53

Sanju wrote:Whereas, any Tibetan worth his yak would love to carve a Turkey out of the Han. We need to use the local population as a force multiplier.


The biggest problem is that Tibetans are so few in number. There are I think 2.5 million in Tibet, about 200k in India and about 100k around the world. That is nothing. PLA itself is around 2 million. They can muster huge number of Hans and overwhelm the Tibetan region. Not to mention that cold-blooded killing are no stranger to the PRC/PLA.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 18 Jun 2008 22:12

Lalmohan wrote:from past reading on this forum Mi24/35's have limited payload at altitude. Mi17 is good, but we will need many many more. See Tim's comments about expense


Mi-17s are restricted at 18,000 feet. Beyond that only the Mi-26 and Dhruv can operate in the transport role apart from the Cheetah. And Lancer is the only gunship to go around apart from the weaponized Dhruv when it becomes available. Perhaps once the LCH comes along things will change, but for now the IA is without a decent gunship over Laddakh and has only limited capability in the east.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Sanju » 18 Jun 2008 22:21

surinder wrote:The biggest problem is that Tibetans are so few in number. There are I think 2.5 million in Tibet, about 200k in India and about 100k around the world. That is nothing. PLA itself is around 2 million. They can muster huge number of Hans and overwhelm the Tibetan region. Not to mention that cold-blooded killing are no stranger to the PRC/PLA.


I fully concur, however, for guerilla warfare one doen't need a large force. But even this will be difficult as per my research as most of the folks live in the cities and one can bet that the PRC/PLA will have the names and IDs of each of them right down to the number of rats they have in their house. For a population of 2.6m, even though it is growing, it is extremely tough to fight an enemy the size of China.Things will start getting nasty for the Chinese as the number of young adults in the Tibetan population starts increasing. Who knows for how long though. Depressing! :cry:

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby John Snow » 18 Jun 2008 22:23

Ok Folks
Here is at minimum we need to take into account.


Military build-up on the Tibetan plateau

Until 1986, areas under Communist Chinese rule were divided into 11 military regions, and Tibet was put under the control of three regions. In 1986, when the total number of military regions was reduced to seven, the whole of Tibet was put under two military regions: Southwest Military Region with its headquarters at Chengdu and the Lanzhou Military Region with its headquarters at Lanzhou. The "TAR", "Kanze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture", "Ngapa Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture", "Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture", and the "Mili Tibetan Autonomous District" fall under the Southwest Military Region; while "Qinghai Province", "Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" and "Tianzhu Tibetan Autonomous District" fall under Lanzhou Military Region.

The Chinese military presence in the whole of Tibet is today conservatively estimated to number around 500,000 uniformed personnel. The Chinese official figure of 40,394 PLA personnel in the "TAR" is misleading. According to our information, the strength of armed forces in the region is around 250,000. This does not include the local militia establishment which was set up in 1963.

There are six sub-military districts in the "TAR", having two independent infantry divisions, six border defence regiments, five independent border defence battalions, three artillery regiments, three engineers' regiments, one main signal station and two signal regiments, three transport regiments and three independent transport battalions, four air force bases, two radar regiments, two divisions and a regiment of para-military forces (referred to as Di-fang Jun or "local army"), one independent division and six independent regiments of People's Armed Police. In addition, there are 12 units of what is known as the "second artillery (or the missile) division". Out of the many air bases built, currently only four are in active use. The People's Armed Police are regular PLA troops redesignated as such recently.

The front-line PLA troop concentrations in the "TAR" are stationed in Ruthok, Gyamuk (Chinese: Siqenho), Drongpa, Saga, Drangso (Dhingri), Gampa-la, Dromo, Tsona, Lhuntse Dzong, Zayul, etc. The second-line of defence stations are concentrated at Shigatse, Lhasa, Nagchukha, Tsethang, Nangartse district, Gyamdha, Nyingtri, Miling, Powo Tramo, Tsawa Pomdha, Chamdo, etc. In addition, China regularly deploys the Sichuan-based 149 Airborne Division in the "TAR", as it did in the wake of the Tibetan demonstrations in Lhasa in 1987 and thereafter.

China is also planning to shift the headquarters of the Tibet Military District from Chengdu to a site located to the southwest of Lhasa, along the road to Gongkar airport. Reports say that the Lhasa headquarters, stretching for more than a kilometre in length, may also see a "part of China's South-Western command headquarters - the Chengdu military region - ... moving to Lhasa". The new complex, under construction, includes about 40 three-storey buildings, each containing about 40 rooms, and capable of accommodating up to 15,000 men.

The largest military bases in Amdo are at Silling, Chabcha, and Karmu. All the three places also have air force bases. The once-deserted wasteland of Karmu (Chinese: Golmud) has now been turned into a major military base. Located strategically to cover both Tibet and Eastern Turkestan, this region is connected by road, rail and air.

The Chinese military build-up in Kham and Ngapa regions are concentrated in Lithang, Kanze, Tawu, Dartsedo, etc, in Kham, and Barkham in Ngapa. However, there are radar stations and dormant air strips in Kham at various localities.

Nuclear bases

The existence of nuclear bases and nuclear weapon manufacturing centres in Tibet has been reported from time to time. China is believed to have nuclear manufacturing centres at Dhashu (Chinese: Haiyan) which is in the "Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" and Tongkhor (Chinese: Huangyuan) in Amdo.

China's primary weapon research and design facility in Dhashu was constructed in the early sixties. According to Nuclear Tibet, a report on nuclear weapons and waste on the Tibetan plateau, brought out by the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington DC, USA, the facility is based near Lake Kokonor. It is known as the Northwest Nuclear Weapons Research & Design Academy, or the "Ninth Academy", because it was under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Bureau. The facility is the most secret organisation in China's entire nuclear programme and remains today an important and high security military weapons plant. It was responsible for designing all of China's nuclear bombs through the mid-seventies. It also served as a research centre for detonation development, radiochemistry and many other nuclear weapons related activities. It also assembled components of nuclear weapons.

Missile bases are located to the south of Lake Kokonor in Amdo, and Nagchukha (the actual base is said to be located to the northwest of Nagchukha).

According to Nuclear Tibet, the first nuclear weapon was brought onto the Tibetan plateau in 1971 and stationed in the Tsaidam basin, in northern Amdo. China currently has approximately 300- 400 nuclear warheads, of which several dozens are believed to be in Tibet. As China's ground-based nuclear missiles can be transported and fired from trailers, efforts to locate and count missiles in certain areas remain difficult.

To the west of Dhashu (Haiyan), China has established a nuclear missile deployment and launch site for DF-4 missiles (China's first inter-continental ballistic missile) in the Tsaidam basin in the early seventies. The report mentions that the Larger Tsaidam site has two missiles stored horizontally in tunnels near the launch pad. Fuel and oxidiser is stored in separate tunnels with lines to the launch pad. The Smaller Tsaidam site is presumably organised similar to the Larger Tsaidam deployment and launch site.

Another nuclear missile site in Tibet is located at Delingha, about 200 km southeast of Larger Tsaidam. It also houses DF-4s, and is the missile regimental headquarters for Amdo containing four associated launch sites. A new nuclear division has also been established in Amdo. Four CSS-4 missiles are reported to be based there, which have a range of 8000 miles, capable of striking the United States, Europe and all of Asia.

In 1988, China carried out in Tibet what the Jiefangjun Bao of 16 September 1988 called "chemical defence manoeuvres in the high altitude zone to test newly-developed equipment". According to a TASS report of 3 July 1982, "China has been conducting nuclear tests in several areas of Tibet in order to determine the radiation levels among the people living in those parts."



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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 18 Jun 2008 22:57

We need to get some Tibetans who have lived in Tibet to give us some of their perspectives.

Also, we need to identify soft Chinese targets in Tibet. You never know who is reading this page. :wink:

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 18 Jun 2008 23:01

I would suggest dont make life more difficult for the Tibetians. They are already suffering a lot.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 18 Jun 2008 23:01

Singha, Rohitvats, anyone-interested

How about meeting this weekend with charts, data and ideas to thrash out where India and China stand strategically?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 18 Jun 2008 23:05

^^^^
You mean get some small articles and stuff written down in an organized manner for this war-game to turn more professional?

If so, can I join? :)
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 19 Jun 2008 00:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Surya » 18 Jun 2008 23:22

I think the Tibetan irregulars can make life miserable for the Chinese.

But its their call.

As a tibetan told me in Zurich, Tibet will remain in here (pointing to his head) and in India as long as India allows them to stay.

That should not be an issue as long as the commies and idiots like my dad are kept out of power.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 18 Jun 2008 23:32

I have my a$$ in a sling this weekend...too much work at present. why not just scan and post
here for a wider and more knowledgeable audience.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby surinder » 18 Jun 2008 23:54

Surya wrote:That should not be an issue as long as the commies and idiots like my dad are kept out of power.


Your dad?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Victor » 19 Jun 2008 00:36

The terrain in the Tibet plateau is very different from the Arunachal and Bhutan valleys which are very deep, forested and zigzaggy, making them perhaps the ideal battleground for attack choppers. The roads are mostly switchbacks and there are very few long and straight stretches. The Lancer is already being used by police/COIN/paramil units. Making it available in numbers should not pose a problem as they are upgraded Cheetahs. Objective need not be to attempt Rambo-scale damage by themselves but to retard progress inside Indian territory with harassment and intimidation while spotting for arty and working in concert with the jets. For this, there is no need for the bigger choppers.

This is the Tawang area, a relatively mild example. It would be very difficult for a column on the ground to figure out where a chopper is going to appear from and when it does, it would be too late to react to even a 100 mph strafing run. Part of the reason would be the vegetation that would block some visibility from the ground, unlike in places like Afghanistan, Kargil, Ladakh or Tibet. The other tactic is hovering behind a clump of trees, popping up to fire missiles, then ducking back down. The chopper's main advantage is the ability to hover and hide quickly and at a distance of a few hundred meters, it will probably not be seen or heard. Radar is useless in the valleys. The key of course is for pilots to know the area like the back of their hands and be able to fly blindfolded etc, etc.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 19 Jun 2008 01:08

The terrain in the Tibet plateau is very different from the Arunachal and Bhutan valleys which are very deep, forested and zigzaggy, making them perhaps the ideal battleground for attack choppers.


I disagree. I think the same terrain are deathtraps for any kind of helos caught facing the enemy.

Especially in the extreme east where the valley walls are high enough to prevent larger attack helos from hopping over them due to altitude limitations should they be caught in enemy crossfire. Flying there involves almost straight paths parallel to the valley walls to avoid hitting the rocks and thus provides a very predictable line of approach to the enemy to lay down fire from.

The cold mountain air provides a very stark contrast on a heat-seeking missile's seeker to a helicopter engine. further, the engagement would almost always take place from below the helicopters providing a cold atmospheric background.

Helicopters at those altitudes have a low factor of safety involved with respect to engine power and main rotor RPM and thus sensitivity to ground fire (i.e. losing one engine out of two for larger birds). The factor is anyway worse for modified light helicopters like the Lancer (built for COIN ops, not gunship duty) being thrust into the attack helo role with a single engine and no long range weapons.

Any attack profile as you suggest (including pop-up maneuvers) would involve helos to be near some elevation point on the terrain which is difficult to obtain in most cases given that the flying takes place in valleys only. Further, any hiding points near valley walls are extremely risky given the proximity of the rotor blades with the rocks and the susceptibility of the engine (and hence main-rotor RPM and hence cyclic control) to behave erratically forcing the pilot to maintain a larger margin of error gap near any hiding spot than what they would have to do otherwise.

On top of it, the above mentioned cyclic control problems are large enough that most of the pilot's time during these flights is spent looking at cockpit control dials showing RPM to ensure it does not drop as they change altitude. How is the same pilot supposed to do all of the above and take proper aim and avoid enemy fire at the same time?

Of course, areas such as Tawang and some others are doable for helicopter operations. Thing is, by that time the progress of the war is already on the wrong side of the road, is it not?

Trying to use choppers north of Tawang near Bum-La and so forth is restricted mostly to converted transport kinds fitted with weapons. Hardly the survivable type on the modern battlefield
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 19 Jun 2008 01:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Surya » 19 Jun 2008 01:25

oops - sorry Surinder

No my dads not in power (phew) - just idiotic enough to believe the bloody Jyoti basus and KArats (although he voted BJP last time).

Wasted 10 - 15 minutes arguing about why Tibetans should be supported (he was sticking to the Karat line) and have decided there is nothing that can be done with the likes of him.


Sorry for my personal rant.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby John Snow » 19 Jun 2008 01:32

Surya dont worry there are plenty of people in the Southwest corner state and near North east corner state of India who are like that onlee even in 1962 , some even went to the extent of invitings hans to take over India :roll:

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Surya » 19 Jun 2008 02:19

John

Don;t get me started on our Krishna Menon fights :)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 19 Jun 2008 02:25

vivek_ahuja wrote:I disagree. I think the same terrain are deathtraps for any kind of helos caught facing the enemy.

Especially in the extreme east where the valley walls are high enough to prevent larger attack helos from hopping over them due to altitude limitations should they be caught in enemy crossfire. Flying there involves almost straight paths parallel to the valley walls to avoid hitting the rocks and thus provides a very predictable line of approach to the enemy to lay down fire from.

The cold mountain air provides a very stark contrast on a heat-seeking missile's seeker to a helicopter engine. further, the engagement would almost always take place from below the helicopters providing a cold atmospheric background.

Helicopters at those altitudes have a low factor of safety involved with respect to engine power and main rotor RPM and thus sensitivity to ground fire (i.e. losing one engine out of two for larger birds). The factor is anyway worse for modified light helicopters like the Lancer (built for COIN ops, not gunship duty) being thrust into the attack helo role with a single engine and no long range weapons.
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Trying to use choppers north of Tawang near Bum-La and so forth is restricted mostly to converted transport kinds fitted with weapons. Hardly the survivable type on the modern battlefield


So what would be the replacement for armour in mountain ops ?
w/o the support of tanks or attack choppers, any infantry formation will find itself hard pressed to make decisive strikes with just artillery.

the BMPs will be the best we can have in those terrain ?? If that is the case, perhaps IA should give a lot of thought to the NAMICA -- it's virtually the light tank ajai shukla was talking about.
Last edited by Rahul M on 19 Jun 2008 03:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 02:27

Surya and JS what are those two posts contributing?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 19 Jun 2008 02:33

What I find is a lack of our understanding of the enemy strategies and equipment.

We have enough knowledge about our own systems ans stuff.

I'll try and find out as much as I can.


"...know your enemy." - SunTzu (ancient Chinese arm-chair general)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 02:36

There are two versions of the thread in the archives.

China's Military Watch

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 19 Jun 2008 02:42

Thanks ramana.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 19 Jun 2008 03:02

Rahul M wrote:So what would be the replacement for armour in mountain ops ?
w/o the support of tanks or attack choppers, any infantry formation will find itself hard pressed to make decisive strikes with just artillery.

the BMPs will be the best we can have in those terrain ?? If that is the case, perhaps IA should give a lot of thought to the NAMICA -- it's virtually the light tank ajai shukla was talking about.


The BMP-II is pretty useful for the weight it brings with it. Armour of any kind in these situations are restricted to infantry support in the best case scenarios. In the worst case scenarios they are a liability, depending of course on how you deploy them. IIRC the BMP-II also had the proper gun elevation for use in the mountains (a lesson from the experience in Afghanistan). More importantly they are light enough to be transported by the one type of helicopter that the IAF has that is able to operate effectively in the himalayas: the Mi-26.

For example, in the Tawang sector, the Mi-26 on 90% full throttle (Note that I am refraining from using the word 'power' here because that is another matter altogether) to both engines, can lift its full payload of 20,000Kg at 10,000-15,000 feet altitude ASL. The BMP weighs around 13 tons each. The slung load of the Mi-26 is more than this amount. And at 90% throttle the Mi-26 has enough range to reach Tawang from near Tezpur quite easily.

As a result, the deployment of the BMP-IIs is easier than any light tank. It is one of the reasons you see images of lines of BMP-IIs moving through the Laddakh hills: simply because you can get them there to begin with.

The NAMICA is therefore the replacement for the Light MBT in the Himalayas should the latter's acquisition be perpetually delayed.

As far as attack helos go, at the moment the situation is bleak, but that will change once the LCH comes along. If, however, the war breaks out before that happens, then the IA is going to be in a tough spot any way you look at it: Artillery acquisitions on the hold, no light tanks in the inventory, no NAMICAs in the inventory, no decent attack helo capability and the Mountian Corps still on the drawing board...

-Vivek

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 19 Jun 2008 03:05

Does Tibet fall under the Chengdu military region?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 03:05

Folks need to study Rommel's campaign in the Alps in WWI and the Allied campaign in Mount Cassini in Italy in WWII.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 19 Jun 2008 03:07

Folks need to study Rommel's campaign in the Alps in WWI


Do you mean Rommel's diary ?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 03:09

Also while at it can the increase in AT missiles allow the independent armoured brigades to be grouped into newer armoured divs against TSP to make up for infantry tasked for mtn divs?

No-no. There are books which describe how he cleared the Alps and did an amazing/unheard of rate of advance in WWI.

try this for starters:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Caporetto

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 19 Jun 2008 03:15

That was one of the possibilities I had mooted. Keep the armor on the western front and move the infantry to the northern command.

Based on Spinster's post, it appears at the moment there are 250 PRC troops in Tibet vs. 150K on our side...this can be easily balanced by moving elements from the strike corps in Punjab/Rajasthan to the Northern command. The holding corps should stay where they are.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 19 Jun 2008 03:37

Paul,

IMHO, if the IA wants to fight a holding campaign with limited offensives to counteract limited losses, then what is needed is not sheer numbers of Indian soldiers on the peaks but well equipped groups of existing MW units supported by proper artillery and air support. The defenders have the high ground, a clear line of fire and the enemy has to come through some pretty open terrain (either natural or artificial) to reach them. But you still need to seal the points of infiltration to avoid the enemy bypassing your position. This can be done using UAV support and supporting artillery (i.e. channeling the enemy)

One of the major problems during the 62 war was the difference in firepower between Indian and Chinese forces in the latter's favor. Even now we can see soldiers moving through deep snow, ill equipped in winter weather gear and having an antiquated artillery (both ground and anti-air) support system behind them (notwithstanding the advanced ACCCS being set up since that does not make up for the guns). They have little or no helicopter gunship support and I am not sure the IAF does a lot of close air support practice in the Laddakh regions (Though we can hope that they fly through the terrain at low altitude enough to be familiar with it at least) given its proximity to the border.

Equip the units designed for Mountain warfare properly before thinking about surging more troops into the hills to exacerbate the problem.

Sidenote: Do we know what kind of equipment are dispensed within the Infantry units for directing air support? Or is it that they still depend on a radio and a map grid to call the shots?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 19 Jun 2008 04:02

Vivek: Point taken.

Moving this many troops just a few hundred km across the Punjab to Ladakh, finding enough roads, placing them in inhospitable terrain, stocking locations for Ist, IInd and IIIrd lines of ammo, jumping points to move into Aksai Chin etc. itself is a massive exercise that strains the imagination. This is just one theatre of operation, couple this with movement to the NE and Sikkim and one can imagine the magnitude of the challenges facing our planners. We have not planned a single exercise along these lines AFAIK. Last time we did this was in 1971 after Bangladesh when there was talk of moving units to the western front.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 04:04

Not true. Sunderji planned the Checkerboard and got stopped before Falcon.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Victor » 19 Jun 2008 10:27

vivek_ahuja wrote:
I disagree. I think the same terrain are deathtraps for any kind of helos caught facing the enemy.

Vivek, this does not square with what you are saying:
India plans to strengthen mountain warfare machinery

The air assets would include helicopter gunships and attack helicopters to provide the two divisions capabilities to carry out manoeuvres for countering the terrain impediments.

"The gunships and attack choppers will be necessary for providing the two formations fire power in a mountain terrain, as the army will not be in a position to deploy tanks and armoured vehicles," sources said.

The fire power in the third dimension (air) was required due to difficulties the army would face in using artillery guns also in an operation on a mountainous terrain.

"The air assets are an integral part of any mountain division to provide the fighting ground troops logistics and fire support," the sources said.


Almost every visible inch of Arunachal and Bhutan is zeroed in by Indian artillery and the MiG bases nearby. The problem is the invisible portion--those that can't be reached by artillery and can't effectively be hammered by MiGs until they are marked in some way. A column moving on a mountain road in the artillery shadow is one such target. Something is needed to fill this gap and there is no alternative to helos.

vivek_ahuja wrote:Thing is, by that time the progress of the war is already on the wrong side of the road, is it not?

90% chance is that we will fight in Arunachal and Bhutan before we set one foot in Tibet. We are not raising mountain divisions to fight in Tibet which is mostly a plateau.

The best way to free Tibet is to give the PLA a massive pounding that will finish it in the eyes of the Chinese people and the world. That pounding is best given in a battleground of our choosing and one that we are familar with and comfortable in.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 19 Jun 2008 11:00

Victor,

I understand what the article is saying. I was saying how the terrain will prove to be a deathtrap to helicopters based on actual pilot experiences and that was in reply to your statement that the terrain is ideal for attack helos. But if the situation is desperate, we can always deploy helicopters and say "to hell with the losses", but that still does not change the nature of the terrain, does it?

I suppose the article is hinting at using the LCH given the rough altitude at which these units will fight, but you have to remember that the IA has never really operated real gunships at high altitude before, and I will be just as interested to see whether this is a case of good innovation or reading the experiences of how Apache gunships provide support to Airmobile groups of the US Army in the plains and such and wrongly applying the same concept to the Indian context neglecting the problems of extreme high altitude.

All what that article says is valid for lower altitudes. So I guess there is no problem there. What we need to see is in actuality, once these units are formed and deploy in the real high altitude terrain, how the nature of their offensive power changes.

90% chance is that we will fight in Arunachal and Bhutan before we set one foot in Tibet. We are not raising mountain divisions to fight in Tibet which is mostly a plateau.


Yes, but at what part of Arunachal? What I was saying was that fighting in the Tawang sector is one of the few places around that area where the helicopters can operate effectively. But north of there the terrain goes up into the sky, and near the border regions the problems begin to manifest themselves as regards to Helicopter Ops

That pounding is best given in a battleground of our choosing and one that we are familar with and comfortable in.


Agreed.
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 19 Jun 2008 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 19 Jun 2008 11:49

I'd like to know who exactly puts the markings on wikipedia ? in the tawang map posted a
real mass of IA fortifications, gun emplacements and depots are marked out. none of that
info would have been released by the IA surely.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby H.B.Krishna » 19 Jun 2008 14:12

Victor wrote:The best way to free Tibet is to give the PLA a massive pounding that will finish it in the eyes of the Chinese people and the world. That pounding is best given in a battleground of our choosing and one that we are familiar with and comfortable in.


Seems like it's not the case. In country with state controlled media, mere pounding or a setback at border wont reach a masses. They have to lose huge swath of territory for that to happen. Remember, 1965 war is still considered a victory of theirs, by many Pakis.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Lalmohan » 19 Jun 2008 15:44

we must also consider a scenario where PLA invades us through Nepal - Singha I believe that a while ago you had looked at motorable roads from China through Nepal

I am convinced that the sharp increase in cross border violations by the PLA right now is a signal to UPA gov't to 'mind it' or get the dragon really really upset. crossing with vehicles is also a bit of an escalation. Retalliation on our side will be presented as aggression against peace loving chinese people busy with olympics

i would prefer GOI to publicise these aggressive acts though - there is a lot more media war to come before things get hot

whilst the PRC remains strong, a war for Tibet will be futile. During the collapse of the PRC, Tibet may spin off as an autonomous region and eventually into a more free state. For this to happen, many many tectonic plates will have to shift

so for now, we need firmer ways of pushing intruder back over the LAC

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 19 Jun 2008 17:51

In Feb 1986 the army nominated a new chief, General K. Sundarji, who was determined to press the decisions taken by General Krishna Rao. In addition, Sundarji sought government permission to conduct an exercise named Operation Chequerboard to see how quickly troops based in the Assam plains could take up their positions on the Sino-Indian border. As part of the exercise, towards the end of the year, the army landed a brigade of troops at Zimithaung, south of Hathung La using its new heavy lift Mi-26 helicopters. These forces occupied the Hathung La, across the Namka Chu from Thag La. All this alarmed the Chinese forces in the region; they responded with alacrity and moved up their forces to take up positions all along the LAC. At points near this area-- Sulu La, Bum La, etc. the troops were now face to face with their Indian counterparts. This caused concerns of Sino-Indian clashes. However, the forces did not engage in combat.


Ramana: Please see below, have we run any exercide to move reserve units like the 54th infantry division from Secunderabad to the NE?

Since the late 1960s, India had developed an elaborate plan to defend the Himalayan frontier with China. This involved the provision of screening defences at the Line of Actual Control and the building of strong defence nodes at key points along the frontier. By the early 1980s, while the forces to man the defences were ready, the nodes were not, and the greatest weakness was in the fact that the servicing road network had not been built. The decision was taken to resume the defence infrastructure construction.
Looks like it was not carried to fruition


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_Sino-Indian_skirmish

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Sanju » 19 Jun 2008 18:17

I am not sure if anyone has postulated this before.

The timing for the Chinese to attack is a window between end of Olympics (Olympics ends on 24 Aug 2008) and before the cold sets in Tibet (Oct-May/June Winter season in the North, Eastern Tibet has September as tourist season before Winter sets in, Southern Tibet is considered balmy weather in September, with copious amounts of rain during the Jun to Sept period - as per the website). The rains are heavy enough to block the roads. This means that sometime during the Olympics there will be "incidents" on the "peace loving PLA" reported by Xinhua .
If the UPA govt announces an election in this period then the chances, IMO, of a PRC attack will greatly increase.


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