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Tuesday, September 25, The Himalayan Blunder The Himalayan Blunder… This book was originally written by brigadier Jhon. But I did have a chance of reading this book, a translated version by Ravi Belagare Kannada. As I read this book, my hate rate against these politicians grew by one more inch, and how can I bring out my frustration..? There was one way for me, i. The author tells the facts which was suppressed by the politicians.
This book is a war report, telling the story of the facts which led to indo-Sino war, and the reasons behind our defeat. Indo-Sino war remains as a black spot in our glorious history, and yet the people responsible for it are treated as great Heros of our country, will mother India ever forgive these so called un great people….?
Here is the list of persons who are responsible for our defeat in indo-Sino war. C Menon Defense Minister. As china was getting prepared for this war, were they sleeping..?. When china attacked Tibet, India could Should have attacked china and get them out of Tibet, but they failed to do so.
The book is full of agony , frustration and anger which author experienced during those days.
He coined a term "Non - Violence war" given by the civil authority to him. The book is divided into various part : 1. He carried along with the path of brotherhood and thus did some blundering mistakes like allowing senior generals from china to see all the establishment of Army along the NEFA. He also overlooked the requirement of Army for the arms and ammunition which lead army to use World War II arms against the Chinese.
Kaul and Menon also overlooked the basic requirement which is needed to develop a strong front by India against China. Better roads , good clothing , arms and ammunition , better communication and co-ordination.
As Chinese were growing strong on NEFA front building better roads , better communication India were still in hope that Chinese will not attack India and thus Nehru pointed basic requirement as un necessary expenditure on part of Army. John further adds how Chinese slowly and slowly created a better fighting position and how Army were helpless despite of being sending continuous reminder to Higher Authority.
In this part he also adds how Army generals were promoted to serve the interest of Nehru and Menon thus leaving a disarray in Army. During 15th Sept and Till 10th Oct day when Chinese finally attacked there were no clear thoughts and chain of command. Gorkhas and Assam Regiment were ignored. Our humble army men, doing a thankless job, without ration, ammunition,boots or winter clothing, defending few useless pieces of logs and redeeming the follies of few spineless, arrogant men with their blood, sacrificed themselves fighting valiantly for the honour of the country.
JP Dalvi rightly asks what more can a nation ask of its soldiers. Not many of those who sacrificed their lives are remembered by the p What makes a nation great? Not many of those who sacrificed their lives are remembered by the people today.
I bow my head in respect to our great martyrs. Sadly, India is not out of woods yet. In , Government of India refused to make public the Henderson-Brooks-Bhagat committee report regarding the "Blunder". I am lucky that I chanced upon the book. Reading it has been a turbulent journey through the emotions of heart. I am really grateful that the book helped me change my notions of a leader by explaining what exactly a leader should not be. The only thing I found amiss from the book was some references to the military terms which should have been provided in an appendix.
Some maps pre and post McMohan Line Indian Maps,Tibetian maps and Chinese maps would also greatly enhance the understanding of the whole saga. Overall, thank you Mr. May your soul rest in peace. Jai Hind.
Apr 03, Pali Reen added it. I had heard about this book a long time ago, but only recently had the opportunity to read it and it took me some time to fully comprehend what Brig. Dalvi had to convey. Perhaps, not till the Napoleonic wars one comes across historical books about warfare written by those who were a part of battles. Least of all, there are practically no history books of Indian kings written by historians, let alone military historians, of their times for the past two thousand years.
This book was born in a Prisoner of War Camp on a cold, bleaks night of 21st November , when the Chinese Major in-charge woke him up in his solitary confinement, writes Brig.
Dalvi, to inform him that the war had ended. The general outline was formed during the months of incarceration following his release seven months later, when he resolved that the Indian people must hear the truth from the only senior officer who was there throughout, who had no axe to grind, no reputation to save and was too junior to find a place in history. It was not the Indian soldier that faltered, as the general population was made to perceive, but those who held the reins in the government and complete breakdown of the military chain of command in the NEFA sector However, reading it some fifty years after the war, the book is still an eye-opener.
Only a few pages into the book made me ask some very fundamental questions. Not one, other than Sardar Patel, was able to see through the Chinese designs. On 7th November he wrote an almost prophetic letter to Pandit Nehru, which is reproduced in the Appendix of the book, about his assessment of the Chinese intentions in Tibet.
Sadly, he died barely a month after; else the course of history might have been different. It is ironical that the best brains that sat down to write the Constitution of India and had the perfect institutions required in a democracy in place, failed to see what was quite imminent to any military strategist.
Pandit Nehru could never recover from this humiliation. Brig Dalvi reflects that having won independence without firing a shot, an average Indian politician has hardly any clue about military strategy or how battles are fought. Generally, the countries with standing armies do not have compulsory conscription and its civilian population is often ill-informed about the armed forces.
While narrating the events leading up to the final invasion by the Chinese, Brig Dalvi has attempted to educate the readers in great detail how the army works, integration of the National Policy with Military Strategy in both war and peace, and how important it was to maintain the chain of command and hierarchy, particularly at the highest level.
It is hard to believe what Brig. The battle of Thagla ridge might as well have been the first time that India fought to defend its borders. It reflected upon the psyche of those in command of battle formations who chose to be quite submissive to the civilian control even at the height of military conflict.
When General Thapar accepted the written order handed over to him by a joint secretary at a time when the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and the Finance Minister were out of the country, it was the last straw. History is replete with many ifs. The whole story can never be known unless one has access to the Chinese plans that led up to their final assault.
Dalvi records that so emboldened were the Chinese in their advantageous position, they lit bonfires to keep themselves warm on the night before the attack. The last time this happened was probably in , when the French lit fires in front of the Russians on the night preceding the famous Battle of Austerlitz.
But had we learnt our lessons from it? Three years later the Indian army redeemed itself after the war with Pakistan when the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, gave the full command to the Army Chief once the war began. Fortunately, the three generals who sat through the court martial were men of grit and integrity. The war of Bangladesh under his command has become a case study in practically all military academies around the world. In the end, Brig. Although the face of modern warfare has radically changed since the Indo-Chinese conflict, there is still a lot to take away from this book at all levels.
Read my blog: An Officer and an Executive Feb 05, Abhishek Rao rated it liked it. A rather heavy read with lots of military jargon and terminologies which makes it sometimes difficult to understand. However it does point to the collective failures of Civilian and the Military apparatus in averting the War which caused national humiliation in The dressing down of "demi-gods" like Nehru and V. K Menon by the author exposes the propaganda that is dished out for Nehru being a statesman and a strategic thinker.
The complacent approach of Nehru in mindlessly trusting the Chines A rather heavy read with lots of military jargon and terminologies which makes it sometimes difficult to understand. The complacent approach of Nehru in mindlessly trusting the Chinese and unabashed nepotism in appointing top military brass appointing BM Kaul as Chief of General Staff despite having no experience in actual warfare shows the inadequacy of national leadership at that time and is well documented in the book.
Kaul, setting up forward post on controversial DHOLA area, Lack of infrastructure planning for the war time are explained in detail. The author has nailed every possible events that led up to the war. Kudos to our army Jawans who fought the Indo-Sino war bravely despite the screw up of our political leadership! Jun 18, Baidhurya rated it really liked it Shelves: The book is unique in a sense that it is written by the Brigadier who actually led the force in NEFA.
The book is well written and provides an indepth analysis of India's Chinese Policies, its apathy towards its army and most importantly how Mr. Nehru, Mr. Menon and Mr. Kaul created an environment of self deception for them, the parliament and the Indian public which ultimately led to India's defeat I would have rated it 5 star had it not been repetitive.
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HIstorical description from the point of view of a army personal. Mar 14, Sachin panda rated it it was amazing. Brutally honest. Apr 07, Prakash Yadav rated it liked it. Almost an encyclopaedic account of the War of JP Dalvi doesn't shy away from articulating the exact shortcomings of the Indian reaction to the Chinese incursion. With a distinguished and impressive career in the armed forces spanning across the second world war and the Indian Independence, his account holds more weight than most third party literature.
He held the insightful vantage point to the whole story right from the political ineptness to battle ground realities. Highly recommended for Almost an encyclopaedic account of the War of Highly recommended for anyone serving the armed forces or for anyone having important assets and responsibilities in the NE Frontier provinces. A must read book for every Indian to know the truth about Indo-sino war of Apr 19, Vishnu rated it liked it. Fantastic book which covers the entire Indo-China war of from the perspective of an Indian Brigadier.
While you'd come across a lot of historical reports of the war elsewhere, this book provides that one thing which all those reports lack - a live perspective right from the borders and yards away from the enemy.
Read this book to understand that perspective. I could feel the intensity, the disappointment, the Rage that engulfed the Indian Army at being defeated at the hands of the PLA becau Fantastic book which covers the entire Indo-China war of from the perspective of an Indian Brigadier.
I could feel the intensity, the disappointment, the Rage that engulfed the Indian Army at being defeated at the hands of the PLA because they all knew where the war was headed even before the war began. There are portions where you'd feel overwhelmed at times annoyed by the Military jargon and it is a bit slow.
By the time all of the build up makes sense, the war is over and you're on the last page. It still leaves you with a feeling of awe and immense respect for the men guarding our borders and for the fact that this book isn't someone's imagination but a real story of a war we must not forget. Feb 13, Rajasekhar Rao rated it it was amazing Shelves: In October , the newly born People's Republic of China brought "freedom " to Tibet by sending in some 20, troops.
This "liberation" was offered to Tibetans by the People's Republic of China by overwhelming the tiny Tibetan army. Subsequent consolidation of Chinese control was cemented in resulting in the destruction of thousands of Tibetan monastaries.
The Chinese move apparently took India by surprise. Tibet appealed for help but India refused and advised the Tibetans to negotiate a In October , the newly born People's Republic of China brought "freedom " to Tibet by sending in some 20, troops.
Tibet appealed for help but India refused and advised the Tibetans to negotiate a peaceful settlement. At that time in , author John P. He writes about an interesting incident in which a general from the British old-guard made some prescient remarks that some of the students would be fighting the Chinese before their retirement.
On the morning of October 20th , Brigadier John Dalvi found his garrison at the receiving end of a massive assault by the Chinese Army and was overrun within a matter of hours. Two days later, without food for more than 50 hours, having climbed from an elevation 10, feet to 18, feet and then back down to 10, feet in an attempt to get back to the Dhola post from Namkachu and then back to Lumpu, he was captured and taken a prisoner of war.
This book is an extraordinary military account of the events leading up to the debacle resulting in the Chinese advancing miles into Indian territory. How did it come about that so many Indian troops were sent shivering to the front in light cotton uniforms issued for Punjab's fiery plains? How did the Chinese Army manage, in a week long assault, seize much of Arunachal Pradesh, as well as a slab of Kashmir in the western Himalayas, and kill more than 3, Indian officers and men?
How did it come about that the Indian Army that had distinguished itself in the Second World War come to function as a rag-a-tag unit? The answers are to be found in this telling account. Brigadier Dalvi's book highlights how a divided military leadership controlled by civilian authorities without a clearly defined strategy or policy to respond to border issues resulted in this blunder of Himalayan proportions. This eminently readable narrative by Brigadier Dalvi is severely handicapped by the absence of a map in the version that I own.
However, in this day and age of Google Maps, it was an adventure in itself to follow along the progress of the Brigadier and his troops as he describes his fateful journey from Dirang to Towang via the Sela Pass using Google Earth.
The three-dimensional view of the mountains gives one an idea of how treacherous the road must have been. The march of his garrison from Towang to Namkachu can not be appreciated without getting a visual of the terrain.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and would heartily recommend this to any military history buff, irrespective of their interest or lack thereof in China or India. A heart wrenching story of a struggle.
A struggle faced by the an Indian soldier against the backdrop of the icy winds of the himalayas, sans warm clothing, boots and a soldier's worst nightmare- sans ammunition.
An imbroglio of political indecisiveness, intelligence failure and miscommunication, all at the expense of the lives of brave officers and jawans who defended the country, to be ultimately betrayed. The Indo-Chinese war saga is a shameful defeat of the entire country, not just the A heart wrenching story of a struggle. The Indo-Chinese war saga is a shameful defeat of the entire country, not just the army. The web of lies and deceit spun by the then Indian government and the utter disregard for the nation's security is certainly appalling.
Brigadier Dalvi gives a true and passionate account of the darkest epoch in Indian military history and political leadership. Nov 03, Aashish rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent book for various reasons. Firstly, Indian war books are rare. This is not a genre that is appreciated in common discussions.
There are no star war analysts or writers. And those who pretend to be so on mass television, tend to be ill informed or come with set agendas. Secondly, this book talks about a history, which is impossible to find anywhere else. School books, contemporary history texts and op-eds almost always skip the ignominy of China war. There could be many reasons This is an excellent book for various reasons. There could be many reasons - the narrative does not fit in with what the government ordained history is.
Or in some cases, influential commentators in this field are directly related to the chief villains of this war! Thirdly, this book busts a key myth about India's hallowed politicians post For a whole generation, which has been Ram Guha-ed into reading post modern history one should still read him, for he still covers amazing breadth as well as reasonable depth , there is no alternative source to vet the competence of India's political class from to This book explains why China war was not an event where it went wrong popular version in whatever literature is available on the subject.
The book explains how the China War was not lost in , but steadily through the 15 years preceding it. Fourthly, the book makes it clear that India's loss against China was not military but political. Foreign policy decisions aimed at grandstanding and projecting one individual as world savior, key ministerial appointments based on friendships and old equations and a complete breakdown of decision making over many years backed by zero knowledge of armed conflicts stand out as key failures.