Infantry - A Glint of the Bayonet provides glimpses of the raw courage of these Indian men of steel through four hundred illustrations. A crisp narrative tells the story of India's hardy infantrymen - their origin in India's countless villages, their tough training, their tenure of duty in the forward areas, in counter-insurgency operations and in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. A treasure trove of facts and data, this book is a collectors' item.
The initiative rested with Pakistan to commence hostilities, which they did with a mix of irregular and regular troops and tactics. This is a story of anticipation, of impending actions, of virtual equality of forces engaged in a savage battle of attrition in which no quarters were given or asked.
The author, GOC-in-C Western Command during those fateful days provided an unflappable presence under whose command the Army imposed unacceptable levels of losses on the enemy, first toning down their rhetoric, then their confidence, and lastly their ability to sustain very high levels of material losses.
There is very little material or records to draw upon for our military studies of warfare in and around the Indian subcontinent. War Despatches narrates for the first time the inside story through original despatches field by the Army Commander from the war zone.
To maintain the authenticity of the Despatches, the military style of writing has been followed in the text as far as possible.
India and Pakistan have fought four wars against each other since Independence. How come that Pakistan, a country one-fourth the size of India, has always managed to be the first to start the war. Is J&K the core issue as Pakistan proclaims the world over? Pakistan failed to overrun the state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1947-48; did not succeed in 1965; lost more territory than it could capture along the International border in 1971; and finally in 1999, Pakistan was humiliated at Kargil heights despite the initial advantage of having achieved total surprise.
The author has carried out an in-depth analysis of the country's strengths and weaknesses affecting its National security, a study he undertook when the Kargil war was in full fury. He concluded:The mainstay of the Indian State has been the Indian soldierDemocracy has taken firm roots in the Indian soilIndia has been attacked when there were major loopholes in its Defence preparednessLack of interface between the political leadership and the militaryIndian Intelligence has been a weak link in the chain with regard to Defence preparedness
Besides describing and commenting on the major battles fought by India during the four wars the author has given wide ranging recommendations pertaining to Defence Preparedness and National security.
A must read for every think tank and layman.