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Thread: Causes of Indian defeat in the Indo-china war of 1962

  1. #1

    Causes of Indian defeat in the Indo-china war of 1962

    What were the causes of Indian defeat in the Indo-china war of 1962? Akshai chin - part of kashmir occupied by china still shows in Indian map as part of Indian Kashmir? Do chinese border patrols still make incursions into Indian territories unchallenged?
    Has Indian forgotten its lost territory/ies? Pakistan gave away part of Kashmir to China. Free? Why no one talks about it?

  2. #2
    In experienced & weak National leadership. Total neglect, disregards & down gradaion of Defence Forces. Lack of information & weak intelligence system. Less strenght, lack of training & preparedness, Lack of weapons, equepment & resources with Defence Forces.

  3. #3
    I donot think, any chines patrolling party enters our area unchallenged at present but I feel the day is not forof, when it may happen again because similar weaknesses as were pervailing before 1962, has started showing their heads again.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Fateh View Post
    In experienced & weak National leadership. Total neglect, disregards & down gradaion of Defence Forces. Lack of information & weak intelligence system. Less strenght, lack of training & preparedness, Lack of weapons, equepment & resources with Defence Forces.
    bilkul thik kaha aap nai

  5. #5
    Too much stress by our leadership on peace by all means......hindi-cheeni bhai-2....complacent attitude has never helped a nation ever.

    Poor training and preparedness of forces.

    Lack of proper Armament and ammunition.

    Very poor political leadership

    Vast superiority of China over Indian security set up.

    Low morale of defence forces( Today is worst than that....this Government and the Babus have destroyed the very fabric and ethos right and proper)

    We were caught napping like a rabit ib the trap of an eagle.

    Nehru was busy putting his red roses in place...what a dismal show was that?
    "LIFE TEACHES EVERY ONE IN A NATURAL WAY.NO ONE CAN ESCAPE THIS REALITY"

  6. #6
    Baaki saari maanli Dev bhai aapki, par ye Low Moral waali baat se thoda sa asahamt hone ki gustaakhi.

    Moral is much higher today than it was during those times and the reasons for that you have already enumerated.

    Quote Originally Posted by devdahiya View Post
    Low morale of defence forces( Today is worst than that....this Government and the Babus have destroyed the very fabric and ethos right and proper)

  7. #7

    More Reasons!

    Contrary to belief of most, the aggression during the 1962 started from our side first.
    China had disputed the Indo-China Border with India. The difference is on the principle of Watershed Vs. the McMohan Line. It will be futile to discuss that issue here and members can google about it and find out the difference.

    After the easy success against Pakistan in 1947-48 we probably thought that China would be the same, after all China also got her independence around that time. The vision of political leadership about the threat was rather poor and I would say the senior leadership of the military was no different.

    The political leadership is suppose to define the "Threat Perception", and military leadership then needs to address that. I left India in 1998 and till then to the best of my knowledge, Political Leadership did not have the threat perception while military had its own.
    Col (Retd) Virendra Tavathia


    "A person should not be judged by the nature of his/her job, but the manner in which he/she does that".

  8. #8

    ...Contd....

    .... continued......

    Once the threat is defined, it needs to be analyzed, and then translated into the requirement of following:

    1. Strategy
    2. Tactical Doctrine.
    3. Organizational structure.
    4. Weapon system needed for the fighting arms and equipments needed for the supporting arms and services.
    5. Logistical infrastructure to conduct successful operations both defensive as well as offensive.
    6. Training.
    7. Reserves both in men and material.
    8. Operational plans and their rehersals.

    Well I was not in the army in 1962 but atleast one officer from that era we do have in Brig Lakshaman Singh. He would be able to throw more light on the subject.

    I think while Political leadership can be blamed for the disastar, the military leadership can't come out clean from that. We faltered and paid the price.

    The situation today though is different. I happen to visit my battalion in 2008. The bn has come back to the peace station. They don't have the officers mess, while there is some kind of small officers mess in their area that has been given by the div hq to the field ambulance which has no officer dinning and being a small unit also don't have any obligation to host the visitors, as well not enough menpower to maintain it. On the contrary the Infantry Bn, with 200 years history behind it, is having an officers mess in a tent cum small barrack/building not designed to be the offrs mess.
    Except accomodation for the four rifle companies, the rest of the bn is housed in the barracks already recommended for demolition long time ago.
    That is the state of peace stations. While these are not the best of the things for the morale of the soldiers, the fighting spirit of units ( I can say for sure about Infantry Units) remains high purely because of the Regimental Traditions, and Izzat of the battalion.
    The biggest problem of lower morale of the troops is always due to its over use to maintain law and order or during the Counter Insurgency Operations. Every one needs rest and time to train. Units are short of officers, and are over used/ exhausted. We need to have a careful look at this and take suitable measures to maintain an efficient lean-mean force that is capable of meeting the challenges of future wars.
    rest in next post.
    Col (Retd) Virendra Tavathia


    "A person should not be judged by the nature of his/her job, but the manner in which he/she does that".

  9. #9
    Few years back I have read a book by Neville Maxwell and put the main points.

    http://www.jatland.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9803

    1962 INDO CHINA WAR


    Recently I gone through some papers and India’s China War by Neville Maxwell (who was South Asian correspondent of The Times) from IIM library published in 1970. By this I came to know that it was a total failure of Indian policies.

    Here is the summary of the whole instances that lead to the collision.

    Instead going directly to the War part, first let us clear the issues. What were the issues that lead to War?

    1. Aksai Chin. (It is the No-Mans land beyond Ladhakh)
    2. NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) which is the part Of Arunachal pardesh and above it.


    India and China were both having claims on these two parts. Aksai Chin is on the western part and NEFA is on the eastern.

    What is the history of these two areas? And whom claim is stronger?

    First Aksai Chin, this is the no mans land of white rocks and a plateau 17000 feet above sea level where nothing grows and no one lives under the killing winds. An ancient route lay across it; in brief summer when for few hours only the ice melts and the caravans of Yalks crossed it from Sinkiang to Tibet carrying silk ,salt and wool. So it was the no mans land having an old way to move from the Eastern Tibet to the Western Part of Tibet to Khotan. In 1846-47, Maharaja Gulab Singh who was put on the Muslim and Sikh people of Kashmir as Raja by the British invaded Ladakh and he captured up to the Mansarover lake and to the Spiti River and British asked him to stop there. At that time Russia was the main threat in that reason for the British and they don’t want the Russians to stop beyond the China to protect the plains of India those were the main source of income to British. For this British played a tactics and had friendly relations with the weak govt. of china that time and used this region as the buffer region.

    Several British went to this area to make the boundary line and each of them proposed their own lines e.g. W.H Johnson. The British kept on changing the maps depending on the situation in that region and in 1842 they showed it in their territory and in 50’s again left it, in 1877 Atlas they showed it again under them and again till 1914, it was left to please China. As in 1914 the Chinese Govt. was very loose and Tibet became sovereign region, British again claimed that region and also now Tibet was under British but only for the foreign policies.

    In 1842 when British did a treaty with the Tibet officials and not with the Chinese govt. regarding the Western region and they forced the Tibet officials to keep it under British Territory. But the Chinese govt. had never accepted that treaty at all.

    Now for the NEFA region, The Nepal and Bhutan both were having their own Rule but they were bound to the British for their Foreign policies. Sikkim and Darjeeling were taken by the British from Tibet because of their climate and natural beauty. There is Tawang having a great Monastery and Buddhist population overall in that region full of thick forests and here in 1844 British restrict themselves at Udalguri that is lower down the hills of Tawang region. Again here British didn’t invade so as to please the Chinese. In this region also survey’s done. There were two boundaries proposed one is at the foot of the hills and the other one was above. British were angry at the killing of Noel Williamson by the tribes and also when in may 1910 Chinese occupied Rima which is at the right uppermost corner of Arunachal. They decided to occupy up to outer boundary but that also was not having Tawang under it. Later MacMohan in 1914 surveyed that area and proposed the boundary that is shown in the Indian maps these days and also known as MacMohan line. And After the fall of Chinese govt. in 1914 and arise of the Tibet as a sovereign region British again had a treaty with the Tibet officials now for the NEFA and they agreed upon the MacMohan line to be the boundary. The Tawang region as it was totally Tibetian by people, Culture and geographically also so in 1938 Atlas, British showed it as part of Tibet. Here one thing to be noted that Chinese govt. was never agreed upon this new marking of the region and claims that area up till foot hills to be its own but due to week govt. they couldn’t did anything.

    At the time of Indian freedom, India got Tibet which was dependent on India for her foreign policies, same as Bhutan.

    People’s Republic of china was established on 1st Oct. 1950 and soon after that they announced attack on Tibet and to take it under china again. Here comes the week policy of Nehru first time, Indian Ambassador in Tibet K.M Pannikar had exchanged files with the Chinese there and Chinese soon take over Tibet. That time Truman even asked Nehru to provide all possible Air and field help to take Tibet under full control. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who was deputy prime minister wrote NEHRU a long letter in Nov. 1950; he implied that Pannikar had had the wool pulled over his eyes by the Chinese whom he accused of perfidy and malevolence for changing the word “sovereignty” to “Suzerainty” and not even holding the independent status of Tibet.

    Now Indian Govt. occupied the NEFA region full to the MacMohan line in Feb. 1951 and even captured Tawang despite of opposing by the civilians and providing direct notice to Tibet and not the Chinese who had now taken Tibet under them.

    1. In Sept. 1951 Chou En lie suggested the Indian ambassador to clarify all the boundaries with India, Nepal and china and further confirmed that china is willing to accept MacMohan line as the boundary in the east but for that first of all a joint survey and discussion on bench is required. Indian govt. accepted but never followed.


    2. China in July 1952 again proposed to fix any pending boundary issues. Mr. G.S Bajpai India’s first Secretary-General wrote a letter to PM stating that there are some issue related to the boundaries in Aksai Chin and NEFA that Chinese govt. had never accepted as they had been between the Tibet and British and not with China. So it’s better to talk to China once as they are now ready to accept the MacMohan line also. But the think tank of NEHRU – Krishna Menon refused badly and it was decided that nothing would be discussed with China related to the NEFA as they felt that they are at better position now and after that they have to leave some parts to China.


    3. After the death of Sardar Patel, author told that the whole govt. was NEHRU, MENON and later KAUL joined them. And these three took each and every decision without even consulting the cabinet and even sometimes they didn’t call the panel of Home minister and other senior leaders like Kriplani and lalbahadur.

    4. BK Nehru was Ambassador in US (cousin of Nehru) and one more cousin RK Nehru was Sec. Gen. of ministry of external affairs. KAUL was a military person who once gone to Burma with army and never had any experience of wars and enjoying the friendship and power in Delhi.

    5. NEHRU is well known for its PanchSheel which he introduced after coming from Indonesia and originally he took two rules out of these from the foreign policy of China itself.

    6. Up till 1954 Sikkim was not part of Indian Constitution though it was shown in Indian map of that time; this was accepted by Congress in 1967.

    7. Indian Map in 1954 now showed the MacMohan line as Indian boundary in East and in west they showed a color wash instead of any particular boundary in that region as Indian territory, means included the Aksai Chin but without and specific boundary and the same case in some areas with Nepal.

    8. The most advance post in the west region was chusul and in 1952 Indian petrol was sent only up to Lanak Pass.

    9. NEHRU gave a slogan of HINDI CHINI BHAI-BHAI and had friendship with Chou En Lie according to PanchSheel.

    10. July 1954, when army asked about the scene of the disputed boundary near to Himachal, Nepal and china border then the think tank asked them to move forward and so in 1954 Indians rushed into disputed boundary.


    11. Author tells that Nehru was “a poor debater, his speeches too long and more like soliloquies than communications, he was a parliamentarian by commitment and not by temperament. Enjoying his dominance in house. ‘Childish’ and ‘infantile’ were favorite words to rebuke the other members. But was afraid of Kriplani and the left leaders during 1957 when kriplani was in opposition as he left congress.


    12. In Sept. 1957 the Indian Ambassador in peeking sent a magazine showing some road in Aksai Chin part build by China. Now Nehru Came out of sleep and in 1958 only India Formally claimed Aksai chin as part of India.

    13. Interestingly China claimed that even in the Discovery of India Written by Nehru in 1946. He himself had not included Sikkim and NEFA in India.

    14. Here one thing to be noted that Nehru was such a big liar that according to the Author he hides many things from the parliament and even lies about the conversation between him and Chou En Lie which were later came out of his letters. The same he did when He was aware and knowingly let the march of Chinese army from Eastern to Western Tibet through so called Indian Aksai Chin in 1953. For 4 years he had hidden this thing from the parliament.

    15. He wrote even a single telegram by himself in that period being a single man foreign ministry.

  10. #10
    16. During this friendship period NEHRU and CHOU EN LIE both visited each other countries and both were given great regard.

    17. In 1956 during their meeting Chou En Lie again raised the Mac Mohan Line issue by telling that they had accepted MacMohan line as boundary with Burma and now he wants to accept it with India and so have a discussion on table on that also. This time again Nehru escaped.

    18. In 1959 China attacked Tibet Lama and Dalai Lama from the NEFA region run into India and India accepted him and provided DharamShala as his place to establish his territory.


    19. Nehru’s diplomatic knowledge can be judged by this statement only. In Sept. 1959 in LokSabha he openly told that,” MacMohan line is by and large fixed except in some parts in Subansiri area and some where varied by us. Even before the war he openly stated that China cannot do such being India not so strong”.


    20. By the autumn 1959 Indian troops despite of Chinese opposition fired at them and captured Longju, Migyitum, Tamaden and Khuzemane and established posts there.

    21. By this time the pressure in parliament and election made NEHRU a different person and now he started openly saying that Chou cheated him.


    22. Looking back at the Indian Scene, Menon and Kaul created such situations that General Thimayya was forced to resign. After that General ManekShaw was blamed and enquiry was applied on him.


    23. Overall Letters are there even just before the war China asked to settle disputes and they were openly saying that they can apply the status quo (means jo jahan hai wahan rahe but Nehru and his team never gone on table with them for these issues and now NEHRU in the pressure of elections made sharp and volatile statements that We will not give and inch to China and a great hatred environment was created against China in India. Nehru again won by majority).


    24. Now comes the time of 8th Sept. 1962 Nehru was out in common wealth PM’s conference in London and Kaul was away in Kashmir on long leaves even in such tensed situation. And back in Delhi now PM was MENON. Menon on his own called up a meeting (ha ha not of the cabinet and congress leaders) but of SS Khera Cabinet sec. SC sarin and one official Malik. He solely took decision of Eviction and appointed KAUL as the leader in Command bye passing ManekShaw and other seniors than KAUL and it was clear that KAUL has no experience.


    25. KAUL immediately called up but he didn’t listen to Menon and he was only brought back after NEHRU came back. He joined Tejpur to command.

    The placement of battalions was as follows:

    1. On the Namka Chu : 9 Punjab, plus one company of two Rajput.

    2. At lumpu : HQ 7 Brigade and 2 companies of Rajput,1/9 Gorkha rifles and a troop of heavy mortar and remainder of machine gun company.

    3. At Tawang : 1 Sikh + 4 Garhwal rifles + 4 artillery brigade.

    4. Rest of NEFA: under 5 infantry Brigade.

    5. 5 JAT infantry was posted in the front in Ladakh.



    General Umrao Singh of XXXIII corps and Brigadier Dalvi were leading there and they were very well aware of the situation. Umrao Singh even went back to Lacknow and asked them to reverse or stop the order of Eviction as the situation was totally against them. He had written back to HQ and Ministry but he was not listened. Also adding to this during 1959 crush military demanded of ammunition but NEHRU denied directly that the foreign exchange is very short and they can’t afford.


    Umrao Singh was not listened and plans were to shift him back to some other post near to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) but later orders cancelled as his full battalion was there.

    When General Prasad and Sen ordered of Eviction Brig. Dalvi told the same as Umrao. According to Dalvi, Prasad told him in Lumphu, “Look here Old boy, no one is interested in your bloody appreciation. They only interested in your D-Day for eviction the Chinese”

    The operation was Named Leghorn and they were willing to launch it by Oct. 10. The 7th brigade were having 50 rounds per man and in summer clothing and only one blanket during that winter season. Ammunition and ration was dropped by air but due to bad weather and area only 30% was picked. When Dalvi told Kaul about this Kaul barked on him, “Either picks the rest or Starve”.

    Kaul after his air round and looking the situations on the posts went back to Delhi to request NEHRU personally on night 11th Oct. but again Menon and others asked him to go and carry on the operation at the earliest. All were concentrating only on the eastern part and assuming that China will not attack on the western part. This was later accepted by Nehru in Parliament.

    War begun and by 25th Oct Tawang was in hands of China in the east and in west on 27th they took Demchok.

    Now can you guess where KAUL was? He got bronchitis at once after 4 days of clash and was back to Tejpur and then Delhi and Commanding on Phone from his Delhi residence.

    Also after that IV corps got their new commander l-General Harbaksh Singh, Prasad was replaced by General A S Pathania and 62 Birgade was given to JAT Brigadier Hoshier Singh Rathi (Sankhol Wale) who was at BomDi La.

    Truth was put forward by General Thimayya when he said, “Every Sepoy in the Army knows that Kaul has never been a combat soldier, you can’t hide that sort of thing in army”. On the other hand our Great PM CHACHA NEHRU JI told in parliament,” I want to mention his name especially because quite extraordinarily unjust things have seen about him. Some people say that he had not experience of fighting. That is not correct.

    Kaul was back to Tejpur on Oct 28th. Each and every Indian Soldier fought bravely lacking full clothes, half ration and even ammunition under the command of good generals now e.g. Brig. KK singh, Dalvi, Umrao Singh, Hoshier Singh and Pathania.

    Mahan JAT:


    When Pathania proposed withdrawal from Se La, Hoshier Singh Protested that his troops could hold out and the gorkhas were also with them to block the Chinese. But Pathania’s reports also were found unmatching after the war?? Though Hoshier Singh denied withdrawing but under pressure he starts withdrawal and told that it would be disastrous to do it. Wahi hua jo JAT ne kaha tha ….. Chinese attacked by machine guns and the only Party who tried to knock out the Guns was that of Our JAT Leader Hoshier Singh but failed lacking strength. And after a brave fight, this great Soldier Shot Dead at Phutang on November 27th.


    After reaching the foot hills China herself declared Cease Fire and by December 8 – 15th were back to their original position but they remained the same in west.

    After that Lady Bhandarnaeke of Ceylone(Srilanka) become mediator and even at that time China called a table conf. and written a letter to PM to finalize the boundary disputes but again NEHRU said that first CHINA should withdraw the forces from Aksai Chin and long back to upper MacMohan then only he will talk.

    Still now it is unresolved and INDIA is showing both of them in her territory. Aksai Chin is totally in china now and Do not know what is the situation in the East??

    This is how INDIA was controlled and ruled by three people up till 1962 (NEHRU, MENON and KAUL).


    According to defense ministry released figures:

    Killed: 1383
    Missing: 1696
    Captured: 3968

    UN SAB VIRON KO SAT - SAT PRANAM


    [ Please correct if anywhere found something ambiguous ]

  11. #11

    1962

    I was the signal officer of 7 brigade that faced the brunt of the massive Chinese attack on the morning of 20 October 1962

    What was happening in the brigade HQ on the night of 19 October is described in the Post Script of my book 'Letters from the Border ' as under

    POST SCRIPT



    Though it is a Signals story, yet for the better appreciation of the situation and get an idea of the feeling of despondency prevailing on 19th October 1962 in the Bde HQ, It would be of interest to note the deployment of the troops, which was in an extended line along the Namka Chu, the state of Signals, the depressing scene in the mess bunker and listen to the discussion between Dalvi and Niranjan Prasad even if it was heard as one sided conversation being conducted on telephone.

    Extended deployment of own troops deep down in the valley, within hailing distance and overlooked by the Chinese deployed on the Thagla ridge across the Namaka Chu, fragmented command, units and sub-units. No depth in deployment; nothing right up to Towang, all this combined, even to my uninitiated eyes, appeared to be somewhat tactically unsound.


    SIGNALS

    The siting of the HQ and the Battalions in the valley with thick vegetation, trees with under-growth and massive feature of Hatungla between the Bde at Rongla and the TAC HQ at Zimithaung resulted in severe screening, making wireless communications less than reliable especially at night. The extended cable lines laid on the ground, along the track on the river line, overlooked by the Chinese, required extensive maintenance and were highly susceptible to enemy action. Limited manpower, shortage of serviceable batteries, some even without electrolyte additional requirement of keeping an additional set (BE201) in readiness for communication with aircraft, for close air support, which in any case when needed on 20th October was not forthcoming. To me now, in hindsight, it appears to have been definitely a fragile system and a difficult technical and human management task.

    I am still amazed by what the men of Signal Section managed to achieve and how. No complaint regarding duty hours, lack of food, or no food, and the hard physical work, day in and day out, required for the daily housekeeping in field. I still wonder as to what was the motivation that kept them going. Was it the team spirit or the desire to do what was required to be done or they just followed each other in doing what had to be done. Possibly it was the Indian Soldier in them that was operating. Whatever it was, it was highly commendable. I am sure even they had their own personal, family and human problems and worries about back home like us, the officers. However, if there were any, none was ever brought up to me.

    HEADQUARTERS

    The atmosphere in Bde HQ was charged, the tension being palpable. It hit me the moment I entered the HQ location, on returning from1/9 GR after taking the leave of Lt Col Tewari.

    A cheerless lot, tense and worried, we were all there Kharbanda the BM, Pereira the DQ, Gupta the IO. Major Nijjar OC of Hy Mortars was also there; he had borrowed a 62 set from me the same evening and established contact with his boys at Tsangdhar. There were also a few other officers of the Bde staff. We were huddled together, that fateful night of 19 October 1962 in the small, cold, bleak and depressing mess-bunker, awaiting dinner.

    The simple fare of tinned soup and dal - roti, tasted like a sumptuous meal to our guest of the afternoon Capt Harjeet SinghTalwar of 17 Para Field Regiment. He, along with his Op Party had earlier got lost in snow and fog on his way to Tsangle. He still vividly remembered that evenings, so called, sumptuous meal, when I called on him in December 1999 at Panchkula. His adventure from the day he, along with his troop, was air lifted from Agra was yet another example of an exercise in futility.

    On 16th October he was ordered to move with his OP Party as FOO to Tsangle on the Thagla ridge, from Tsangdhar where his two guns were deployed, as FOO. The Chinese positions on the Thagla ridge in any case were out of the range of his guns. He was given no maps of the area, except the infamous sketch prepared by an Assam Rifles NCO which served the purpose misguiding rather well than of guiding. Capt Talwar’s party was supposed to follow Mompa porters carrying stores for Tsangle troops. It had started snowing heavily and the footpath he was supposed to follow had soon got covered with a blanket of snow. The Mompa porters who were also supposed to guide his party to Tsangle soon jettisoned their loads and vanished never to be seen again. Talwar and his party were in an area which was completely unknown to them, now on there own, bogged down in the snow, soon lost even the sense of direction due to dense fog and poor visibility. Moving aimlessly, hungry, tired, cold and with one of his boys dragging himself with frost bitten feet for the next 48 hours, Talwar, ultimately decided, as a last resort, to descend downhill towards the NamkachuRiver, hoping to hit the river line. By nightfall on the 18th due to sheer luck they came across a flank patrol of the Rajput’s C Company deployed on the temporary bridge. By now, the brigade HQ has been making anxious inquires about the fate of the FOO party dispatched from Tsangdhar to Tsangle in such a slip shod manner. Soked in snow, hungry and badly fatigued Capt Talwar received a warm welcome from the Rajputs. In fact, he discarded his soaked turban for a balcalava cap loaned by Maj Sharan Sethi, the Company Commander, little did he know that this borrowed headgear would have to be used by him for the ensuing seven to eight months. After a comfortable night in a sleeping bag provided by the C Company, he was ordered to the Brigade HQ the next day. By the evening of 19th October he joined us in the Bde HQ, as directed. Unfortunately that was not to be the end of his troubles. His account of the aimless wanderings and sad plight he and his OP Party underwent over the three to four previous days added to the dismal mood already prevalent in the HQ. Talwar was later taken a POW while moving with Dalvi’s party.

  12. #12

    continued

    Suddenly the field Telephone (the ubiquitous Tele J) rang with its characteristic long and shrill ring, signifying a call from some VVIP. I picked up the handset, my onerous duty as the Sparrow. Sure enough the call was from the Div TAC HQ with the GOC Gen Niranjan Prasad calling for the Commander. Tense and in pin -drop silence, we could hear but only the Commander’s side of the conversation.

    After collecting the bits and pieces of the conversation, as recalled by each one of us on reaching Ramgarh, it was possible to reconstruct at least one side of the conversation the gist of what was spoken by Dalvi is as follows: -

    Heavy concentration had taken place by the Chinese on the Thagla ridge on the 17th 18th & 19th October and they were likely to take some major offensive action in near future.

    The Tsangle Company of 9 Punjab (Ordered to be deployed on orders of higher authorities) on the extreme flank had no Tactical significance, approximately 500 porters were committed to re-supply, which needed in addition armed escorts.

    Additional platoon of 1/9 GR and section of 3” Mortar, MMG and medical detachment were already on move to join the company.

    The move of an additional platoon of 1/9 GR to Tsangle on 20th October (as directed by the GOC on orders from top) would make administration more difficult and would deplete the Brigade reserve/depth Battalion 1/9 GR to a battalion less two companies and two platoons. This was a dangerous move.

    He recommended pulling out of all troops West of Bridge IV to make the Brigade Sector more compact, unless this was carried out it would not be possible for the Brigade to hold on to the extended sector along the river line.

    Dalvi spoke all this in a strained and agitated tone, with all of sitting tense and apprehensive, He ended the conversation from his side by offering to resign to provide an escape- goat. This left all of us shell-shocked. The uneasy silence in the bunker was broken by the Commander asking the BM to send a signal to Div HQ on the lines of his conversation with the GOC.

    In contrast to the gloom and despondency inside the bunker, outside our small world was still, quiet and peaceful. The scene was ethereal, the light from the nearly full moon filtering through the branches and leaves of the trees and bushes, making a play of light and shade on the ground. Fond of photography, I used to enjoy this scene every day but not this day. Who could predict at that time that the next morning every thing will change and our world would be turned topsy-turvy.

    Slowly, we trooped out of the bunker. The Staff heading to the office for the follow up action. Talwar, who had no role to play, to his borrowed sleeping bag, I for a round of the signal centre and the radio detachments, as was my practice. Finally I also headed to my one-man tent and into the sleeping bag, fully dressed, less the boots. I soon fell in a deep but disturbed sleep, little knowing that this was going to be my last warm and comfortable sleep for a long time to come.


    Brig Lakshman Singh


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