- Indian historian John Hall once observed “perhaps nowhere else in the world has such a long frontier been unmistakably delineated by nature itself” how then did India and China defies topographical odds to each into an impasse that was ultimately tested on the battlefield.
The Sino -Indo war between India and china took place in October -November 1962. Including a lot of other issues, Himalayan border was the main cause of the war. There had been a series of incidents taking place when India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama.
India put forth a defensive forward policy from 1960 to hinder Chinese military patrols and logistics in which it placed outposts along with borders, including several north of the mc Mohan line, the eastern portion of the line of actual control proclaimed by Chinese premier Zhou enlai in 1959.during the 1960-62 china military action grew aggressive due to the rejection of Chinese diplomatic settlement by India.
Following the previously banned “forward patrols” in Ladakh from 30 April 1962. After that china left all the peaceful resolution on 20 October 1962 invading disputed territory along the Himalayan border line across McMohan line .after which the Indo -Sino war started.
In 1834 the western portion of the Sino -Indian boundary originates with conquest on Ladakh by the Raja Gulab Singh after which the Tibetans and the raja Gulab singh sign a treaty in 1842 agreeing to remain to the “old” establish frontiers. in 1846 Sikhs were defeated by the Britishers who tries to negotiate with the Chinese with regards to the border but they didn’t show any interest.
India had never thought that China would even attack on October 20, 1962, which is known as the Sino -Indo war of 1962.
Due to their belief in not being attacked by China, the Indian army did not prepare themselves to fight against them. The fight continued for about a month and ended on November 21 after China declared a ceasefire.
One of the policies for the Indian government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China came up with the independence of the Republic of India and the formation of the people’s republic of China in the year 1949. even though we regard them as friends of China the Chinese do not regard us as their friends.
For the 1st time after centuries, India’s defense has to concentrate on two fronts simultaneously. India did not attend a conference for the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan because China was not invited because of china.
1954 China and India and India concluded the five principles of peaceful coexistence after which Pandit Nehru, the former prime minister of India promoted the slogan “Hindi Chini Bhai -Bhai”.
China finally abandoned all attempts of peaceful resolution on 20 October 1962 invading disputed territory along the 3,225 kilometers (2400 miles) long Himalayan border in Ladakh and across the McMohan line Chinese force captured both the theatre as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre.
China and India shared a long border, sectional into three structures by Sikkim, Nepal, and Bhutan which follows the Himalayas between Burma and what was then West Pakistan.
At its western end is the Aksai Chin region, an area the size of Switzerland that sits between the Chinese autonomous regions in 1965.
The eastern border between Burma and Bhutan comprises the present Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The main cause of the war was a dispute over the sovereignty of widely separated Aksai -Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions.
Aksai-chin claimed by India to belong to Ladakh and by China to be part of Xinjiang contains an input road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.
Nehru wrote a memo directly on revision in the maps of India to show definite boundaries on all frontier in July 1954 however Chinese maps slowed 120,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory as Chinese.
Top People’s Republic of China leader Mao Zedong felt humiliated by the reception Dalai lama obtained in India when he flew there in March 1954.
Tensions between India and China increased due to Mao’s statement that the Lhasa (capital of Tibet) rebellion in Tibet was caused by Indians.
China’s perception of India as a threat to its rule of Tibet became one of the most prominent reasons for the Sino – Indian war.
On 20 October 1962, the 1st group of Chinese people’s liberation launched a planned attack on India’s province of Assam. Arunachal Pradesh was formed much later and therefore this area was considered part of Assam.
350 Chinese troops surrounded the Indian post at Chushul and used loudspeakers to convince the Gurkhas that they should not be fighting for India on July 10, 1962.
The war of 1962 happened in two regions one was in Ladakh in the area of ‘Aksai -chin ‘and the second in Arunachal Pradesh these can be called two sectors of operations.
The Western Sector
India was facing a threat of front attacks the three fronts were Aksai chin in Ladakh, Thag la in Assam (now Arunachal Pradesh ), and at walking on the China Burma (Myanmar) India border. India faced a critical shortage of troops, ammunition, and supplies. The winter clothing for high altitude areas was critically short, above all, there were no roads to move troops. The Chinese came in massive strength. They started building roads to support the attack in the western sector. The attack came at Daulat beg ODI Chushul and Demchok.
Kumaon Rehang la is a mountain pass on the south-eastern approach to Chushul Valley in Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India.
It is approximately 3000 meters long and 2000 meters wide, with an average height of 16,000 feet “la” means a mountain pass in the Tibetan language. The Chinese attacked Rezang la at 5 am on 18 November 1962.
A company of 13 Kumaon led by Major Shaitan Singh defended the post with 123 men. The Chinese attacked with hundred soldiers but our jawans opened fire and killed many of them.
A second attack was launched at 5 .40 am by 350 soldiers. They were also beaten back and many died, repeated attacks from the rear of the defenses left many dead and wounded on both sides. The Kumaon fought so well 114 men died out of 123 in the post.
The Eastern Sector
In Assam, the Chinese forces attacked Thagla on 20 October and on 21 October 1962 with their large number of troops and heavy artillery firing. They captured Thag la and a portion of Walong.
The Indian army was ill-equipped and forced a shortage of troops. The Chinese made an offer to negotiate a ceasefire on 24th October. On the 4th day of fighting itself, if both sides withdraw equal distances from the current line of control India refuses.
Causes Of Failure
The border of the 1962 Sino -Indo war is considered a defeat for Indian armed forces due to the following reasons:-
- Poor clothing and vintage personal weapons for the Indian troops fighting at high altitudes.
- No air support for the Indian army fighting the Chinese troops.
- The Chinese army was well equipped with a well-trained army.
- Lack of food facility to the soldiers
Indian Military Awards
|Major Shaitan Singh||PVC||Kumaon Regiment|
|Joginder Singh||PVC||Sikh Regiment|
|Jaswant Singh Rawat||MVC||4th Garhwal Rifle|
|Tapishwar Narain Raina||MVC||Kumaon Regiment|
|Dhan Singh Thapa||PVC||8 Gorkha Regiment|
|Jog Mohan Nath||MVC||General Duties|
Henderson Brooks Report
It’s a report of the investigative commission which conducted an operation of the Indian ay in the Sino -Indo war 1962.
It was led by the acting army chief J.N Chaudhari at that time.
It was written by lieutenant general T.B Henderson Brooks and former director of military intelligence brigadier Premindra Singh Bhagat.
According to the R.D Pradhan, the private secretary of defense minister Y.B Chauhan, the report was bound in volumes.
The leaked version of the report denotes that the report was divided into 2 parts.
=> Part1 consists of four parts as follows:-
- Western command
- Eastern command
- The report was found critical towards the Indian military high commission of that time and also of the execution of operations.
Top 13 Interesting Facts About Sino-Indian War
On October 20, 1962, China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded India in Ladakh, and across the McMahon Line in the then North-East Frontier Agency
The Chinese also cut Indian telephone lines, preventing the defenders from making contact with their headquarters.
On October 26, a patrol from the 4th Sikhs was encircled, and after they were unable to break the encirclement, an Indian unit sneaked in and attacked the Chinese army and freed the Sikhs.
According to China’s official military history, the war achieved China’s policy objectives of securing borders in its western sector.
Until the start of the war, the Indian side was confident that war would not be started and made little preparations. Thinking this, India deployed only two divisions of troops in the region of the conflict, while the Chinese troops had three regiments positioned.
It was in the backdrop of the 1962 war that Lata Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon (Oh, the People of My Country) on 27 June 1963.
Retired Air Commodore Ramesh Phadke in an article asserts that it was a “disconnect between the military and civilian political leadership” and “the inexplicable reluctance to talk to the military leadership” which caused Nehru to think that the Chinese would not attack India.
Bruce Riedel’s book also sought to reveal that China had proposed that Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan, join in attacking India, presumably for the “trophy” of Kashmir, Khalid Ahmed wrote for The Indian Express in 2015.
The book reportedly also says that then-President Kennedy even offered India $500 million as military assistance, but the plan couldn’t go through because of his assassination.
Lt. Gen. Niranjan Prasad, GOC 4 Infantry Division wrote in his memoirs (The Fall of Tawang): “It is hard to understand how purposeful negotiation could have been conducted with Communist China [in 1960] when even such elementary details as accurate maps were not produced; or, if they were in existence, they were certainly not made available to the Army, who had been given the responsibility for ensuring the security of the border.”
In the Army HQ in Delhi as well as locally in the NEFA, nobody was really sure where exactly the border (the famous McMahon Line ).
India did not attend a conference for the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan because China was not invited.
In military words, the word ‘ sectors ‘ are also called ‘theaters ‘operations