First published in the year 1968, Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India’s Most Crushing Military Disaster is a book that documents the causes and aftermath of the Sino-Indian war in 1962.
Summary Of The Book
Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India’s Most Crushing Military Disaster documents the reasons and after-effects of the Sino-Indian War in 1962, which resulted in India’s defeat to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. This book starts off with Dalvi telling the readers about his time at DSSC, Wellington. One day, a guest faculty, who was a retired British official, stopped the class suddenly and told his students that they would need to fight for their country during the India-China war. The retired official gained top secret information about the fact that Nehru signed the Panchsheel agreement with China, giving up the post in Tibet, which was maintained by the British to keep a tab on Chinese advance.
Dalvi was angered greatly by the gentleman’s criticism of his country’s leader, Nehru. Dalvi goes on to explain that the British had top-secret information about China’s imperial ambitions, making them utilize Tibet as a buffer state. The Chinese slowly captured Tibet in 1950, and India didn’t condemn the attack, because of Nehru’s China-friendly policy. The Chinese started building roads to Aksai Chin from Tibet. On 8th September, 1962, the war between India and China broke out, with Nehru being away from India. Dalvi was appointed the Commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade in the North-East Frontier Agency.
The Chinese soon captured 11,000 Km2 around the Aksai Chin and NEFA areas. General B. M. Kaul was absent from the front lines, as he was recovering from an illness in the Military Hospital, Delhi. Dalvi states that despite others being more capable, B. M. Kaul was made the General, citing his close friendship with Nehru. Dalvi explains the Indian Army didn’t have leadership, weaponry, mountain warfare equipment, and even basic amenities such as glasses, snow boots, and warm clothing. Dalvi praises his brigade for being courageous and fearless, despite the superior opposition. Dalvi also explains the carefully planned attack by China and how the Chinese imprisoned him for six months. Following that, Dalvi recounts the resignation of Defense Minister, Krishna Menon, and General Brij Mohan Kaul, after they were deemed to be responsible for the attack.
About J. P. Dalvi
J. P. Dalvi was an author and commander.
Dalvi was born on 3rd July, 1920. His father worked with the British administration in Iraq and Dalvi returned to India in 1923. He completed his schooling from St. Mary’s High School, Mumbai. Dalvi then went on to study at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, under the Jesuits. Dalvi joined the Indian Army in 1940, when the Second World War broke out. Dalvi served as the Commander of the Indian 7th Brigade, which was destroyed during the 1962 Sino-Indian War. He was apprehended by the PLA on 22nd October, 1962, after which he was repatriated in 1963. Dalvi passed away in 1980, due to Cancer.
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