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Why Did India Lose To China In The 1962 War?

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On 8th September 1962, China invaded India and put the entire nation in complete disarray. Unfortunately, our brave soldiers had to see the face of defeat in this war. There are various reasons for that. Most of us don’t know the reasons behind the defeat. There is a saying that goes as follows: “Know your enemy first before going for a war”. But in this case, the government of India and the Indian Army made a big mistake. First of all, India had no idea that China would attack the country. This error in judgement proved quite fatal at that point in time.

Let’s look at the details to get a better insight into the war.

The Unpreparedness Of The Indian Army

At that point in time, the Indian Army lacked a well-crafted military strategy against the Chinese troops and their advanced weapon systems. Soldiers were trained to fight in gym shoes and pullovers in cold weather conditions at a height of about 15,000 feet. Only a smaller division of NEFA was deployed,  which was insufficient given the need of the hour. All this had damaged the morale of the Indian Army, and the hearts of millions of countrymen were dejected and humiliated.

Logistical Failure

During the war, the Indian Army ran out of artillery, ammunition and food supplies. The supplies that were needed to fulfil the needs of the troops were thin and it required a considerable amount of time to meet the requirements of the Indian troops who were battling it out on the front.

No Use Of IAF

In the war of 1962, the Indian Air Force was not allowed to carry out an attack on China. This weakened the morale of the Indian Army as the  Indian Air Force was deployed only to carry the food supplies for the army. On the other hand, China had used its Air Force against India to good effect. Ironically, at that point in time, the Indian Air force was stronger than the Chinese Air Force and could have easily helped in winning the war for India. But due to lack of knowledge and preparedness, we had to face the defeat at the hands of the Chinese Army.

Trusting China Too Much

Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai”, this was the diplomatic quote used by the Indian diplomats at that point in time. But breaking the trust and sneaking into the Indian territories was the real intention of the Chinese during that period. Miscalculated judgments from the  Indian Government led to the fall of the Indian Army and subdued the nation’s pride. India’s over-affection with China resulted in the massacre of the Indian Army and the country as a whole.

Ignoring  General Thorat’s Warning Reports

General Thorat’s report dealing with the rumours of a possible Chinese incursion of India was ignored by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This worsened the situation to a great extent. Had his warnings been taken seriously by the government of India, there would have been fewer casualties and the country would not have faced a massive defeat at the hands of Chinese troops.

Attacking All The Fronts

India was attacked on all the fronts, i.e. Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and in other major regions of the country. But, India had failed to provide any shield against the invasion. This worsened the situation even further, and the entire Army and the nation were in complete disarray. Thus, the entire strategic failure degraded the situation to a great extent.

After looking at the aforementioned points,  it has become clear why our Indian Army could not resist the attack of the Chinese troops when they invaded India in 1962. Sometimes, ignorance can make you pay heavily. The same thing had happened with India in the 1962 war with China. But now the good news is that our Army and the government are both prepared well for any kind of attack from China.

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  1. Jay Velury

    China DID NOT use Air Force in 1962. India DID NOT lose 1962 war. China never claimed victory. There was nothing wrong with Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai. PM Modi’s romantic jhoola, boat rides and moonlight dinners with President Xi are cases in point. Gen Thorat’s boss was Gen Timmayya – not Home Ministry. Author on one hand he claims that China attacked India. On the other hand he quotes knowing enemy before going to war. If enemy really attacks you don’t get to analyze the enemy but defend with whatever you have. The author does not seem to know about our Forward Policy. Author obviously does not know how mighty the Chinese military is today. Even in 1960s Indian Army bragged about their readiness to defeat China. Author himself describes how it went. That difference between India and China is much greater today.

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