Could The Indian Air Force Have Tilted The Scales In The 1962 War With China?

Many would vote Tunku Abdul Rahman as Malaysia’s most beloved prime minister because of his endearing ways. His wit, sharpness of mind, empathy and compassion for the common people were legendary.

Don’t get fooled by roadside stalls selling cheap imitations of Indian handicrafts and hand looms. Buy from govt. and state emporiums to get genuine quality souvenirs. If your base is Delhi, visit Delhi Haat or Janpath for authentic products. Never fall prey to cheap street shops claiming to sell original Pashmina. Take our word; if the guy has a stall next to a lemonade cart, you aren’t getting an inch of Pashmina!!!

The Allies commander was general later Field Marshal Harold Alexander. He had under him the British eight Army and the United States Fifth Army. There were also troops of The British Join Indian Army. Kesselring had the German 14th army and the tenth army. including 14 panzer corps and 1 parachute corps. He had withdrawn to North Italy and was holding a line called the Gothic line. The Allies hoped to breach this line and throw the Germans back.

To overcome the problem of transportation and to save time a Narrow Gauge railway line was laid. The railway track extended for a distance of 32 km with its own set of locomotives and wagons. The Madras Sappers or the Madras Engineers helped a lot in the construction of the Railway line and other requirements. Finally the army crossed all the plains, farmlands, plateaus and hills and landed at the mountain of Magdala. This was the site where the battle took place.

Inevitably Lt Col Manohar is compared with his contemporaries such as Khushwant Singh, Kamala Markandeya and Mulk Raj Anand. But his writings had a different stamp as he wrote on the conflict between the imperial power and Indians differently. His characterization of the British was always positive.

The Sikhs appeared during the Mughal rule and generally kept to themselves .However with the Advent of Aurangzeb and his policy of persecution, made the Sikhs take up arms against the Mughals. But it was best a hit and run affair as the Sikhs could not match the Imperial Mughal Army. But with the weakening of the Mughall rule after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the Sikhs began to assert themselves and increasingly became the Masters of the Punjab. Ranjit Singh soon took over the Punjab and with the blessings of Shah Shuja proclaimed himself Maharaja at Lahore.

We are reminded of the Second World War where the absence of a strategic bomber proved a severe handicap for the Luftwaffe. It was like fighting a war with one arm rendered unusable. In turn the Chinese Air Force can hit any target in India with impunity from their bases in Tibet. In addition the Chinese air force has almost 4 times the first line strength of the IAF.

There are excellent Army course at Bengdubi near Baghdogra and a new course has just been commissioned at Bhatinda. The Army has certainly taken to Golf in a big way and we must thank the English for this.