Major wars of India
Posted November 5, 2009on:
First Indo-Pak war, 1947
Independent India, formed on August 15, 1947, has seen three wars with Pakistan (1947–48, 1965, 1971). The first war took place after Pakistani soldiers and armed tribesmen invaded the independent province of Kashmir. When the forces almost reached the capital Srinagar the Maharaja, Hari Singh, and the democratically elected Prime Minister of Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah, signed an agreement with India in which all Kashmiri lands were ceded to India. India sent their troops in shortly after and freed a majority of the new Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistani inflitrators
Operation Polo, 1948
Main article: Operation Polo
After the Indo-Pak war of 1947, India realized that a major problem was the Hyderabad State an independent enclave in India. Realizing that a Muslim state could mean trouble in any future conflict with Pakistan, India invaded and quickly overran Hyderabad.
Invasion of Goa, 1961
Main article: Invasion of Goa
In 1961 tension rose between India and Portugal over the Portuguese-occupied territory of Goa, which India considered Indian territory. After Portuguese police used extreme violence to suppress an unarmed and peaceful attempt by demonstrators to be reunited with India, the Indian government decided to invade. After an air campaign by the Indian air force, Indian ground and naval forces quickly drove through Goa, forcing the Portuguese to surrender. Portuguese losses were 31 killed, 57 wounded, and 3,306 captured. Indian losses were 34 killed and 51 wounded.
Sino-Indian war, 1962
Main article: Sino-Indian War
India fought a border war against China (1962). China won the border war, leading India to revamp the entire military system. After the war ended, the Department of Defence Production was set up to create an indigenous defence production base which is self-reliant and self-sufficient. Since 1962, 16 new ordinance factories have been set up.
Second Indo-Pak war, 1965
Main article: Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The second Indo-Pak war was also fought over Kashmir issue. It ended in with Indian forces gaining chunks of lands all around except Punjab where it was even. USSR interfered and got the truce between the two nations at Tashkent agreement, which also saw the mysterious death of Indian PM Lal Bahadur Shastri. At the same time, there was the possibility of a second Sino-Indian war along the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim.
Ten battalions of the Sikh Regiment saw action in the 1965 war. In a bid to seal off routes of infiltrations for the Pakistanis in J & K, 1 Sikh who were in the Tithwal sector attacked Pakistani positions . A company led by Major Somesh Kapur captured Richhmar Ridge on 24 August 1965 and then attacked and captured the Pir Sahiba feature on the night of 25/26 August. From this feature the Indian troops could now overlook an extensive area under Pakistan control. Through out September, Pakistani troops tried hard to recapture this feature but were unsuccessful. 1 Sikh received 3 Vir Chakras (Major Somesh Kapur and L/ Havildar Gurdev Singh and Sepoy Gurmel Singh (posth)) for these operations.
The Chola Incident
A Sino-India skirmish took place in 1967 and is known today as the Chola Incident.
Third Indo-Pak war, 1971
Main article: Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
In the third Indo-Pak war, India intervened decisively in what was then East Pakistan due to the mass exodus of refugees to India following West Pakistani military action there. The new nation of Bangladesh was created as a result. India succeeded in removing Pakistani soldiers from what is now known as “East Pakistan” resulting in the formation of Bangladesh. This conflict is often cited as India’s greatest military victory, but also among the greatest genocides of the 20th century wherein Pakistani forces slaughtered anywhere from 1 million to 3 million Bangladeshi’s.
Siachin war, 1984
The Siachin war between India and Pakistan occurred in 1984. The area of the dispute was the Siachen Glacier – the world’s highest battlefield. The Glacier was under territorial dispute, but in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Pakistan began organizing several tourist expeditions to the Glacier. India, irked by this development, mounted Operation Meghdoot, and captured the top of the Glacier by establishing a military base which it still maintains to this day at a cost of more than US$1 million per day. Pakistan on the other hand spends just under US$1 million per day, though as % of GDP Pakistan spends 5 times as the Indian Military does to maintain its share of the glacier. Pakistan tried in 1987 and in 1989 to re-take the Glacier but was unsuccessful. A stalemate has arisen where India controls the top part of the Glacier and Pakistan is placed at the bottom of the Glacier.
Kargil war, 1999, Operation VIJAY
India fought a brief border skirmish with Pakistan in the Indian state of Kashmir in 1999. Dubbed the Kargil War, after the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary in the Kargil area, India reclaimed the territory through military and diplomatic channels. Pakistan lost 4000 soldiers, while India lost a little over 500.
By 21 May, the Indian army had isolated Tiger Hill from three directions, east, north and south. In order to inflict casualties the enemy positions on Tiger Hill were subjected to artillery and mortar fire. A fresh battalion of well known Gurkhas viz. 18 Grenadiers was brought in to capture the peak with regiments holding the firm base. On the night of July 3, 18 Grenadiers captured the eastern slope but further advance was held up due to effective enemy fire from Helmet Top, India Gate features on the western slope. By morning July 4 Tiger Hill was captured by the 18th Grenadiers, effectively ending Pakistan’s Kargil War.
Sri Lanka mission, 1987–1990
Main article: Sri Lankan Civil War#Indian involvement
The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) carried out a mission in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, in 1987–1990 to disarm the LTTE as per the Indo-Sri Lanka accord. In what was labeled as Operation Pawan, the Indian Air Force flew about 70,000 sorties to and within Sri Lanka, without a single aircraft lost or mission aborted.
Operation Cactus, 1988
In November 1988, the Maldives Government appealed India for military help against a mercenary invasion. On the night of November 3, 1988, the Indian Air Force airlifted a parachute battalion group from Agra and flew them non-stop over 2000 km to Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Hulule, secured the airfield and restored the Government rule at Malé within hours. The brief, bloodless operation showed the capability of the Indian Air Force in what was labeled as Operation Cactus.