To the Edge and Back: 1962 India-China War

The saga of 1962 is one of failure at multiple levels. Starting from the failure of the Prime Minister and the government to formulate a coherent national security policy, to the failure of the diplomats to effectively engage and gauge the Chinese. It was a failure on the part of the senior military leadership to provide sound military advice to the political leadership. In fact, they are guilty of ignoring basic military precepts in order to meet political requirements.

This book traces the historical background of the boundary dispute and the slow build-up of mistrust, suspicion and acrimony between India and China that started sometime after the `Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai` phase of relationships and resulted in the outbreak of war in October 1962. It documents the course of the battle, where the robust junior leadership and steadfastness of the Indian Jawan are the two factors that stand out as saving grace amidst the overall disaster. Everywhere small bodies of men fought isolated battles under desperate conditions and extreme shortages. In every instance, the junior leaders on the spot led from the forefront, often to their last breath. And the jawans followed their leaders unquestioningly, unhesitatingly and uncomplainingly. Never once were the `Naam, NamakaurNishaan` let down. This was a testimony to the strong espirit de corps forged by the regimental system of the army, which continues to stand the test of time even to date.

1,383 soldiers had lost their lives, 1,696 were missing and 3,968 had been captured, of which 36 died in captivity.

Written with the lay reader in mind, this book avoids military jargon and can be easily followed by readers without any prior knowledge of military matters . It is suitable for students, youth and others who are interested in learning more about the dispute and the war.