Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers

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SAGE, 2005 M03 23 - 417 pages
Spanning over 60 years of military leadership in India, this unique book brings to life the human side of twelve exceptional military leaders. Unlike traditional biographies of combat leaders which focus primarily on military operations or regimental histories, the author concentrates on personal accounts, anecdotes and reminiscences in order to highlight these leaders` personalities, and to draw out the human face behind the military facade. The author argues that written records tend to glorify the actions of battalions as well as individuals, magnifying achievements while suppressing the mistakes and glossing over failures. This book, on the other hand, provides a truer picture of the strength of character and convictions of each of these leaders.

The book throws new light on many historical events and the role of political leaders during India`s fight for independence and the partitioning of the subcontinent. The author gives an overview of India`s military history after independence, including major operations such as the wars with China in 1962, and with Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and 1971. He describes many hitherto unknown or little known facts and incidents concerning smaller operations like Nathu La in 1967 and Goa in 1962.

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Gen Singh
It was indeed a delight to see , in your acknowledgements section,my fathers name at the top of the list of the people whom you consulted during the preparation of your book.
However it
was most disappointing to see my fathers PVSM decoration missing. It is not as though the others in the list did not have their decorations mentioned , even VSM's are mentioned- so it basically boils down to poor staff work on your part. Coming from a Signalman who has spent many hours in my fathers drawing room , it is even more shocking.
To refresh your memory, my father got his PVSM for his adroit handling of the war briefings in Dec 1971 - and not as a retirement giveaway as is the norm today . He proceeded on retirement in Dec 1974.
As of today IC-308 is still alive, so there is still time for you to make amends which i strongly urge you to do so.
With regards
Arun Batra


List of Abbreviations
Field Marshal K M Cariappa OBE
A Fearless Nationalist
General K S Thimayya DSO
Lieutenant General S P P Thorat KC DSO
Brigadier Mohd Usman MVC
Field Marshal S H F J Manekshaw MC
Lieutenant General R N Batra PVSM OBE
Lieutenant General P S Bhagat PVSM VC
Lieutenant General Sagat Singh PVSM
Lieutenant General Z C Bakshi PVSM MVC

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