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Thread: The Kargil War (new title, all aspects)

  1. #21
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    Even though deployment space was minimal being mountainous. one could attribute it to the Bofors shoot and schoot!

    The positions hugged the mountains.

    While the road was visible, there were places that were masked.

    One could not muster all the artillery available in the IA since other sectors had to be covered and there was no guarantee whether the other fronts will get activated by the Pakistanis or by the Indians.
    Last edited by Ray; 10-02-2012 at 07:06 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    As usual it is helpful to think in a simple yet disciplined fashion trough METT-TC ( Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations) keeping in mind that the missions were framed by the primacy of politics on both sides.

    The papers and Ray, blueblodd and Gurkha have described aptly the impact of the specific endowment on the various factors and the adaption to it, especially from the Indian side. For example the time and human effort, mostly by porters, needed just to prepare the infantry part of the final assault was great indeed. According to an unidentified Indian Army major:

    From:145, HIGH ALTITUDE WARFARE: THE KARGIL CONFLICT AND THE FUTURE

    Personally I wonder how to explain the relative lack of counter-battery fire by the Pakistani forces, especially considering the excellent OPs. Was it due to masked position of the relevant Indian batteries? Was it an insufficient political will (plausible? deniability, underestimation of Indians will) to muster enough ressources to muster enough artillery and supply?
    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/ndt...ng-point/87144

    This video though partly in Hindi should clear some of your doubts.

    Some of the factors which might have contributed to the lax counter-battery fire by Pak could be

    1) Lack of optimum resources i.e. 155 mm guns. PA had some 100 odd M198 guns which they kept for the plains in case war escalates.

    2) Lack of aerial assets i.e. helicopters. Both PAF and PAA used light helicopters in limited numbers. Thus, had to dismantle and reassemble the 105mm guns unlike India which used Mi-8/17 to airlift the entire gun.

    3) Since Indian troops didn't crossed the LOC, Pak arty couldn't have used their guns in direct fire mode.


    Notwithstanding my assumptions Pak fielded significant arty formations.


    Typical artillery support methods provide one artillery battalion (16 cannon) to support one brigade (approximately 4,000 troops). Due to the terrain, the artillery employed during the Kargil conflict far exceeded conventional support. Pakistan employed 18 artillery regiments, or more than 100 guns, in support of the 5,000 committed troops. To ease the limited space for the howitzers, Pakistani forces expanded firing positions by using dynamite to carve away parts of the mountain walls. Pakistani helicopters carried dismantled 105mm howitzers onto key outposts using the reverse slope of the mountains to cover their tight flight paths........

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...illery-forward
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-03-2012 at 08:42 AM. Reason: Edited at authors request, wrong info inserted, was pt. 3 and awaiting update.

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    @ Brig Ray and Gurkha, which infantry units were first on the scene? I read somewhere that Kumaon, JAK LI and Laddakh Scouts took part in the earlier operations and paved way for less acclimatized units.

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    3 Inf Div was already deployed there. Ladhak Scouts was also there.

    The first unit of 8 Mtn Div was 1 NAGA.

    Later the Div built up in Dras and Matiyan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    3 Inf Div was already deployed there. Ladhak Scouts was also there.

    The first unit of 8 Mtn Div was 1 NAGA.

    Later the Div built up in Dras and Matiyan.
    Thanks a bunch sir. One more thing, what about the expulsion of Brig. Devinder Singh ? Was it merely a feud ?

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    He is my friend.

    I know the Corps Cdr too.

    Too much of pressure for instant victory from Delhi, as if it was so easy!

    I would say it was all some misunderstanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    He is my friend.

    I know the Corps Cdr too.

    Too much of pressure for instant victory from Delhi, as if it was so easy!

    I would say it was all some misunderstanding.
    Both media and IAF officials accused army brass in general and Lt. Gen. Kishen Pal and Brig. Devinder Singh in specific of downplaying the extent of intrusion. Could it be that Devinder Singh was scapegoated?

  8. #28
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    @Ray and @blueblodd thanks.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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    This thread generated a post by me on our blog: http://www.brownpundits.com/2012/10/03/kargil-war/

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    @ Firn - You are welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    This thread generated a post by me on our blog: http://www.brownpundits.com/2012/10/03/kargil-war/
    Fairly good article but I would like to contest few points.

    1) Article by aeronaut. I know him from a pak forum and I were you, I will take his assessments with a pinch of salt. Instead, I will suggest you to contact Murad K, a veteran pilot of PAF used to be an active user on the Pak forums.

    2) Starved and "out of ammo" Pak soldiers is as big a myth as the “great tactical success but a strategic blunder”. Up until the bombing of Muntho Dhalo by IAF on June 17th, Pakistani supply lines were intact.

    Dug in for a long war, the dead and escaping intruders had left behind ghee, tinned pineapple, butter packed in a military farm, and plenty of honey. Soldiers of the ration-starved Rajputana Rifles assault team used the ghee to keep themselves warm during the night when temperatures dipped to -10 degrees centigrade. Next morning, breakfast consisted of chunks of butter dipped in honey. "We really enjoyed that," says Major Sandeep Bajaj.

    http://www.kashmir-information.com/Heroes/tololing.html

    Nevertheless, NLI and SSG did fought bravely against the overwhelming odds.

    3) I am no soldier but AFAIK Indian army at present focuses more on regimental traditions than British traditions as it differs from regiment to regiment and IA has lots of them. On the other hand PA firmly believes in the "martial race" traditions dictated by the Brits.

    But I do agree that earlier both armies had the "British mindset" i.e. to follow the most conventional tactics on the battleground but things have changed a lot in IA not sure about PA.

    For eg.

    http://indopakmilitaryhistory.blogsp...ravery-or.html

    Major (retd.) A.H. Amin is a very harsh critic of PA and is no fan of IA but he pointed out the strategic timidity by armoured corps commanders on both sides in 1971.
    Last edited by blueblood; 10-04-2012 at 06:16 PM.

  11. #31
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    The Indian Army recognise valour even of the enemy.

    It commended the bravery of Captain Sher Khan for his action in the Kargil War.

    The government of Pakistan awarded Captain Karnal Sher Khan with Nishan-e-Haider, the country's highest gallantry award. Captain Karnal Sher Khan was posthumously awarded Pakistan's highest gallantry award, the Nishan-e-Haider, for his actions during the Kargil Conflict with India in 1999, on the recommendation of the Indian Army
    http://www.defence.pk/forums/kashmir...onflict-4.html

    Also

    Based on a citation forwarded by Lieutenant Colonel (Later Lieutenant General) VP Airy, Commanding Officer, a GRENADIERS Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Akram Raza, Commanding Officer of 35 Frontier Force of Pakistan Army was awarded Nishan-e-Haider (Posthumously) by Pakistan.
    http://indianarmy.nic.in/Site/FormTe...4bviloc24iOw==

    We appreciate valour be it even displayed by our enemy.

    The conduct of war is not personal hatred, but doing our duty to our Nation.

    As soon as one makes issues personal, the mind gets clouded and not clear!
    Last edited by Ray; 10-04-2012 at 07:06 PM.

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    Default Anyone read the following?

    The 1999 conflict between India and Pakistan near the town of Kargil in contested Kashmir was the first military clash between two nuclear-armed powers since the 1969 Sino-Soviet war. Kargil was a landmark event not because of its duration or casualties, but because it contained a very real risk of nuclear escalation. Until the Kargil conflict, academic and policy debates over nuclear deterrence and proliferation occurred largely on the theoretical level. This deep analysis of the conflict offers scholars and policymakers a rare account of how nuclear-armed states interact during military crisis. Written by analysts from India, Pakistan, and the United States, this unique book draws extensively on primary sources, including unprecedented access to Indian, Pakistani, and U.S. government officials and military officers who were actively involved in the conflict. This is the first rigorous and objective account of the causes, conduct, and consequences of the Kargil conflict.
    Asymmetric Warfare in South Asia: The Causes and Consequences of the Kargil Conflict - Peter R. LaVoy (editor).

    http://www.amazon.com/Asymmetric-War.../dp/0521767210
    Last edited by Madhu; 10-06-2012 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Added title of book

  13. #33
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    Blueblood, I have no direct knowledge of what happened in Kargil, just going by published reports. Most of them played up the "starving soldiers" bit, so that was my impression. After your post, I have adjusted my mental picture to "some posts ran out of food and water and low on ammo, while others had abundant rations".
    Does that sound reasonable?
    Btw, on our blog, I just asked the question, why have India-Pakistan wars been generally low in casualties until now (hopefully we wont have another one)?
    Just one of those things that happened to be the case until now ("case by case", each war unique and each with specific reasons why slaughter was less intense)? or is there some deeper explanation? (after all, the British Indian army probably lost more men in the battle of Monte Cassino than India and Pakistan did in entire "wars")
    http://www.brownpundits.com/2012/10/...#comment-18821
    Last edited by omarali50; 10-07-2012 at 12:30 AM.

  14. #34
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    Actually, there was still foodstuff on the Pak intruded posts when they were captured.

    The casualties would depend upon the duration of campaign and the degree of difficulty.

    Now let us look at your blog with 'starving chaps and low on amn'.

    If that was the case, it shows utter irresponsibility of command because a battle or a campaign cannot be conducted without securing lines of communication to ensure uninterrupted logistics.

    It indicates the desire for tactical grandeur without concern for the nuts and bolts of conduct.

    I am not surprised since many Generals of all armies are totally centred on the tactical aspect giving short shrift to logistics!

    The result is what happened to Pakistan in Kargil. Some say that it was a bold plan, but one would tend to be closer to reality - it was a case study of Himalayan blunder with misplaced bravado and military stupidity!
    Last edited by Ray; 10-07-2012 at 09:33 AM.

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    Default Ladakh Scouts

    From an Indian POV:

    By all accounts, Wangchuk is an extraordinary soldier, a contradiction even. "We could never imagine he could even hurt a fly," recalls Pintoo Norbu, hotel owner in Leh who knows him. The son of a paramilitary soldier, Wangchuk is a deeply religious Buddhist -- before going to battle he and some of his men went to the Dalai Lama, who was visiting Leh, to seek his blessings -- soft spoken and scrupulously polite. But that gentleman's exterior hides the tough interior of an officer the army is proud to showcase.
    http://ikashmir.net/kargilheroes/wangchuk.html

    Lots of links come up if you search "Ladakh Scouts" and "Kargil" but I don't have enough knowledge of the subject to help me sort out the various links....
    Last edited by Madhu; 10-07-2012 at 03:40 PM. Reason: corrected sentence

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    Default @ Omar

    Omar,

    As someone interested in the military history of the region, have you read any of Rakesh Ankit's work (Indian Rhodes scholar)?

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/45084187/1948-Jammu-Kashmir

    Just curious if anyone knows more about the subject?

    PS: On your earlier question on the low casualities, I think it's interesting the "limitedness" of the various Indian/Pakistan conflicts. What I mean is that even before the conflict going "nuclear", so to speak, there were various reasons that conflicts were limited and some due to the larger context - two poorer countries within the larger context of the Cold War and the late stages of the British withdrawal from the subcontinent.

    I dunno what I'm trying to say, I mean, I think I'm intuiting something but I can't articulate it exactly.

    PPS: I think what I am intuiting--if that is even a word--is that the Western presence, like a particle/wave duality, is both stabilizing and destabilizing at the same time. So, the presence is essentially destabilizing because "rock-paper-scissors-like", destabilizing wins out. Yeah, once again, I don't know what I am trying to say. So, maybe the limitedness is something else yet again that I can't put my finger on....
    Last edited by Madhu; 10-07-2012 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Added "trademark" PS to comment....

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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Blueblood, I have no direct knowledge of what happened in Kargil, just going by published reports. Most of them played up the "starving soldiers" bit, so that was my impression. After your post, I have adjusted my mental picture to "some posts ran out of food and water and low on ammo, while others had abundant rations".
    Does that sound reasonable?
    PA brass had to save face. Just as it was in 71, in 99 Pakistani masses were being fooled that they were winning the war and had IA on the run. You being a Pakistani know better about the conspiracy theories and their popularity in Pakistan.

    Airstrike on June 17th,1999 on Muntho Dhalo effectively crippled the Pak logistics. But by then major battles were already over and most of the higher peaks were recaptured. So yes, it is very much possible that in the later operations Pak troops could have ran out of ration and ammo.

    Btw, on our blog, I just asked the question, why have India-Pakistan wars been generally low in casualties until now (hopefully we wont have another one)?
    Just one of those things that happened to be the case until now ("case by case", each war unique and each with specific reasons why slaughter was less intense)? or is there some deeper explanation? (after all, the British Indian army probably lost more men in the battle of Monte Cassino than India and Pakistan did in entire "wars")
    http://www.brownpundits.com/2012/10/...#comment-18821
    It is a somewhat complex issue in my opinion. So please bear with me. Comparing battles of any war to the battles of WW2 is not a fair comparison. For eg. German casualties in Stalingrad alone was ten times the strength of current German Army or the combined troops of Indo-Pak wars.

    1)Strength

    We are talking about the times (cold war) when both armies were small if not tiny compared to the rest of the major powers especially in case of India. In 1965, Indian army had 17 armoured regiments i.e. 765 tanks against 15 regiments i.e. 660 tanks of Pakistan. On the other hand, Israel had 800 and Arabs had 2400 tanks in 67 & 1700 and 3400 respectively in 73.
    .You do the math.

    FYI, current numbers are nearly 4000 for India and 1600 for Pakistan.

    2)Geography

    Both countries shared a very long border which is 3300 km Indo-Pak + 4100 km Indo-Bangladeshi border. Compare that to 250 km Egypt-Israel border. Where do you recon troop concentration would have been more.

    3)Duration

    None of the Indo-Pak wars were fought to death so to speak. With the exception of Sino-Vietnamese war, I don’t think short wars can be as bloody as even the larger battles of longer wars like Korean War for example.

    In 65, UN intervened and both claimed victory. In 71, East Pakistan was lost in less than a fortnight and West Pakistan didn't challenge the Indian unilateral ceasefire.

    Hope this clears some air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madhu View Post

    http://ikashmir.net/kargilheroes/wangchuk.html

    Lots of links come up if you search "Ladakh Scouts" and "Kargil" but I don't have enough knowledge of the subject to help me sort out the various links....
    I was thinking of preparing a report about the mountain regiments, thanks for initiating.

    For people new to the IA infantry regiment system, a short summary might explain a few things. Recruitment in the regiments is done through the army rallies held in the areas indigenous to the particular regiment. For eg. Rajput regiment organizes rallies in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, northern Gujarat and northern Madhya Pradesh etc but not in any southern or eastern part of the country. Officers however can be of any part of the country.

    @Ray correct me if I am wrong.

    Let's start with Ladakh Scouts.

    The Ladakh Scouts, also known as the Snow Warriors or Snow Tigers, is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army.[1] Specializing in mountain warfare, the regiment's primary role is to guard India's borders in the high altitude areas of the Ladakh region, as well as Jammu & Kashmir in general.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ladakh_Scouts

    First, the war was an attack in their backyard; the intruders were close enough to enter their homes. Being ‘sons of the soil’, it punctured their pride first. Second, the terrain was familiar; this gave them a strategic advantage. The peaks and ridges in the line of fire had been their playground as young children.

    To put it simply, they were well versed in mountain warfare, and knew how to use the mountain to their advantage. Best acclimatized, best suited, most fit - the superlatives are indeed many. In time, they have established themselves to be the most affective infantry units to be deployed in the high altitude area. Ladakh Scouts or ‘lama fauj’ has etched a permanent place for itself in India’s military history.

    http://archive.deccanherald.com/decc...122004/sh1.asp


    Please neglect the childish antics of the presenters. A good video nonetheless.

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/jai...-scouts/197904

  19. #39
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    Recruitment is done at the Recruiting Offices where a Board of Officers supervise the physical and educational level tests followed by a Medical at the military hospital (MH) or by the Medical Officer if the MH is not close by.

    Then there are the Recruitment Rallies as has been mentioned by Blueblood where all the parameters for recruitment are gone through.

    And there is a small percentage for recruitment at the Regimental Centres of all Arms and Services.

    Each Regiment has its own Regimental Centre and each combat support and combat service support organisations have their Regimental Centre(s).

    There are Infantry Regiments, Armoured and Artillery units which have fixed class compositions.

    These days, however, there is a swing towards All India mix except those Regiments or units that are on fixed class composition.

    To better understand the customs, traditions and ethos of the Indian Army, one should read Philip Mason's book, 'A Matter of Honour".
    Last edited by Ray; 10-08-2012 at 02:52 PM.

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    Default Pakistani General adds his views

    The men who witnessed the Kargil fiasco continue to spill the beans. Lt Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz, a former chief of general staff of Pakistan Army who has till now kept his peace about what he witnessed in the summer of ’99, says the ‘misadventure’ was a four-man show the details of which were hidden from the rest of the military commanders initially.
    There is more to come, the General, who also served at ISI, is about to publish a book. Needless to say what he say now is noteworthy.

    Link:http://dawn.com/2013/01/29/kargil-ad...-show-general/
    davidbfpo

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