That India lost the 1962 war against China is known to all. Yes, it was a defeat but it was the defeat for the then political top brass headed by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and not the military which fought like lions despite being outnumbered and outgunned.

At that point came the blow: 1962 Indo-China War. Indian Soldiers were gotten up to speed in a circumstance which they never experienced. Confronting hostiles with cutting edge weapons, Indian Soldiers were confronting them with World War-vintage Lee-Enfield Bolt Action Rifles and Bren Machine Guns while they even lacked the legitimate apparel to go head to head the foes in an outrageous climate.

This blow was essential as it encouraged reforms inside Armed Forces and we had the capacity to go head to head the Pakistanis who obviously began a contention with India to reclaim Kashmir and other noteworthy Indian regions like Thar. However, the scores were still not matched between India and China especially when China was resorting to a new set of bullying in regard to a dispute on the Chumbi valley, which would soon swell to clashes between two parties.

At that time, Sikkim as a state was not part of the Union of India and served as the protectorate state for Indian Army which had deployed its troopers on the Nathu La Pass some 14,200 feet above sea level. China had its obvious eyes on the rich heartland of Sikkim from where it would have got a strategic nick at the narrow Chicken Neck of India. China resorted to intimidation and bullying the Indian side for acceding to the ultimatum that Indian Army pulls back from the area. After the refusal, China expelled two of the Indian Diplomats on charges of espionage and took the entire Indian embassy on the hostage. This incident happened on June 13th and on August 13th, trenches were dug on Nathu La pass some of which trespassed into the Sikkim border.

Why Nathu La

Nathu La is a strategically important pass 14,200 feet above sea level. It was then all the more important because Sikkim was not part of India at the time. It was a protectorate state, meaning that the Indian Army was responsible to defend it from enemy aggression.

China wanted India to vacate Sikkim and take control. Imagine what would have happened if India had done that. The Chinese border would have been at West Bengal and, perhaps, the seven states of the northeast would not have been India’s part.

At the time Maj Gen (later Lt Gen) Sagat Singh was the GOC of the Mountain Division in Sikkim; Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora was the Corps Commander and Lt Gen (later Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw was the Eastern Army Commander. The same three men would later go on to script history in the 1971 war with Pakistan.

The Indian Army commanded two strategically higher positions Sebu La and Camel’s Back overlooking the entire Nathu La region giving them a tactical advantage over the Chinese. Since the ‘big brother’ myth propagated by Nehru had been shattered in 1962, the Indian Army installed two artillery positions on the two heights just in case the Chinese made a move. This decision would later prove to be a game changer.

Since the Chinese and the Indians patrolled very close to each other along the pass, scuffles were common. To prevent that, the Indian side decided to demarcate the border by laying a wire. The task was commenced early in the morning of September 11, 1967.

The Indian jawans were laying the barbed wire to lay the right international border. It led to a fight and the Chinese commander ordered for a firing towards the Indian army. The Indian army was caught off guard as the Jawans were busy laying the barbed wire, and due to the lack of cover, they suffered huge casualties at first. After some time, the Indian and Chinese army were fighting against each other, with machine guns, MMGs, mortars and artillery. The clash and the firing lasted for three days.

When the ceasefire happened after 3 days, a lot had happened. The casualties at Chinese side as estimated by Indian authorities was 400-500 and the Indian casualties were 88. The company commander Capt. PS Dagar laid his life and was honoured with Vir Chakra posthumously.

On October 1, 1967 a face-off between India and China took place at Cho La, another pass on the Sikkim-Tibet border a few kilometers north of Nathu La”.

“Despite initial casualties, 7/11 GR and 10 JAK RIF stood firm and forced the Chinese to withdraw nearly three kilometers away to a feature named Kam Barracks where they remain deployed till date. Cho La Pass is firmly in Indian hands. Indian Army had got better of the Chinese yet again.”

Chinese were taught a lesson that the Indian army was developing at a fast pace and they had gone past the days of 1962. China is again to it’s old way and trying to create a situation of a possible war in the coming future. We hope China has not forgotten 1967 in order to justify another war that they might like to fight against India.

India lost some brave soldiers but were able to drive back the Chinese three kilometers behind the Cho La pass. Two soldiers, Rifleman Devi Prasad Limbu and Havildar Tinjong Lama, were honoured with the Vir Chakra.

The total number of Indian casualties in both Nathu La and Cho La incidents stand at 88 while 163 were wounded. China lost around 400 soldiers and was left with 450 wounded.

A memorial was instilled at the place where the brave soldiers of 2 Grenadiers fought bravely to protect our motherland. We salute the soldiers who sacrificed their everything so we can live safely today.

This was the last major conflict between the Indian side and Chinese side on the Line of Actual Control which has been relatively at tranquillity ever since with minor stand-offs happening every now and then.  the story of brave soldiers of Rezang La will move you to the core. We are indebted to our soldiers and that shall remain forever.

Since 1965 the Chinese had been attempting to dominate the border by various means. They used to make regular broadcasts from loudspeakers at Nathu La, pointing out to Indian troops the pathetic conditions in which they lived, their low salaries and lack of amenities, comparing them to those enjoyed by Chinese officers. Sagat had loudspeakers installed on the Indian side and played similar messages in Chinese every day. Throughout 1966 and early 1967, Chinese propaganda, intimidation and attempted incursions into the Indian territory continued. As mentioned earlier, the border was not marked and there were several vantage points on the watershed which both sides thought belonged to them. Patrols which walked along the border often clashed, resulting in tension, and sometimes even casualties.




Source:- Toyaps ,Defencelover and Quora

You may also like...