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Sino-Indian War (ePub)

Border Clash: October–November 1962

Cold War

By Gerry van Tonder
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Cold War 1945 - 1991
File Size: 17.9 MB (.epub)
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781526728388
eBook Released: 8th August 2018

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For a hundred years, British and Chinese territorial claims in the Himalayas conflicted, with Indian historians claiming that the region was the fountainhead of Hindu civilization. In the halcyon days of the Raj, London saw Afghanistan and Tibet as buffers against Russian and Chinese imperialism. In 1913, an ephemeral agreement between Britain, Tibet and China was signed, recognizing the McMahon Line as the border of the disputed territory. China, however, failed to ratify the agreement, while India protested against a loss of historical land.

After the Second World War, India became independent of Britain and Chinese Communists proclaimed a people’s republic. Despite cordial overtures from Indian Prime Minister Nehru, in late 1950 the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded Tibet. In the ensuing twelve years, Indian diplomacy and Chinese ‘cartographic aggression’ were punctuated by border incidents, particularly in 1953 when armed clashes precipitated a significant increase in the disposition of troops by both sides. In the spring of 1962, Indian forces flooded into the Ladakh region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, to check the Chinese.

In a spiralling game of brinkmanship, in September, ground forces were strategically deployed and redeployed. On 10 October, thirty-three Chinese died in a firefight near Dhola.

Embittered by Moscow’s support of India against a sister communist state, and in a bid to clip Nehru’s belligerent wings, on 20 October, the PLA launched a two-pronged attack against Indian positions.

As featured 'ON THE BOOKSHELF'

Wargames Illustrated, July 2018

About Gerry van Tonder

Gerry van Tonder was born in Zimbabwe and came to Britain in 1999. He is a full-time historian and a published author. Specializing in military history, Gerry has authored Rhodesian Combined Forces Roll of Honour, 1966–1981; Book of Remembrance: Rhodesia Native Regiment and Rhodesian African Rifles; North of the Red Line (South African Defence Force’s border war), and the co-authored definitive Rhodesia Regiment, 1899–1981, a copy of which he presented to the regiment’s former colonel-in-chief, Her Majesty the Queen. Gerry has also written on British local history, including Derby in 50 Buildings, Chesterfield’s Military Heritage and Mansfield Through Time. He recently started with a series of Cold War titles and Echoes of the Coventry Blitz.

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