\ war and social upheaval: The Cold War country trends India

Indian-Sino War (1962-63)

Figure 1.--This wire service photo shows Indians volunteering for the army after China launched a Himalayan offensive. The captio read, "Indian army voluteers: An Indian army recruiting officer measures chest expanbion at one of line of volunteers for service against invding Chinese Communists. Picture was taken Wednesday at an army center nearvBew Delhi. Tiday an American arms airlift got under way to aid India in its border struggle with Red China."

The short 1962 Sino-Indian War is also called the Sino-Indian Border Conflict by those desiring to deephasize this conflict in the high Himilayas. The long remote 3,225-kilometer-long Himalayan border between India and Tibet was not well defined. It inincluded a western area (west of Nepal), short central area (between Nepal and Bhutan), and eastern area (east of Bhutan). The border was not a significant problem until Cimmunist China seized control of Tibet (1959). The border was not the only problem and some authors refer to it as a pretext. Border incidents occurred after the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the Chinese. India granted asylum to the Dalai Lama. They also initiated a Forward Policy, placing outposts along the border. Several were located north of the McMahon Line (eastern border area). This was the eastern portion of the Line of Actual Control proclaimed by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1959. When diplomatic efforts to resolve the ussue stalled, the Chinese without warning launched simultaneous offensives both in Ladakh and aklso along the McMahon Line (October 20, 1962). This occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis and this received relatively little oress coverage. Chinese troops drove Indian forces back in both border areas. They took Rezang la in Chushul (western area) and Tawang (eastern area). The war ended as abruptly as it began. China declared a ceasefire (November 20). And they withdrew from the disputed area. The Sino-Indian War is notable for two militaruy aspects. It ws the most significant war fought at such high sltutudes meaning exceeding harsh consitions. Most of the fighting occurred at altitudes over 4,250 metres (14,000 feet). And as this was in exceedingly remote areas, both sides encountered serious logistical problems. Both countries decided to limit the scale of the conflict. Neither used either its navl or air forces in the fighting. The Chinese invasion surprised the Pakisranis as much as th Indians, who also had a Himilayan border with Tibet. The poor perfirmance of the Indian Army probably led the Pkistanis to believe that a well executed strike might suceeded in seizing Kashmir before the Indians could respond.


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Created: 1:19 AM 7/12/2012
Last updated: 1:19 AM 7/12/2012