Sino-Indian War 1962

Unable to reach political accommodation on disputed territory along the 3,225-kilometer-long Himalayan border, the Chinese attacked India on October 20, 1962. At the time, nine divisions from the eastern and western commands were deployed along the Himalayan border with China. None of these divisions was up to its full troop strength, and all were short of artillery, tanks, equipment, and even adequate articles of clothing.

In Ladakh the Chinese attacked south of the Karakoram Pass at the northwest end of the Aksai Chin Plateau and in the Pangong Lake area about 160 kilometers to the southeast. The defending Indian forces were easily ejected from their posts in the area of the Karakoram Pass and from most posts near Pangong Lake. However, they put up spirited resistance at the key posts of Daulat Beg Oldi (near the entrance to the pass) and Chushul (located immediately south of Pangong Lake and at the head of the vital supply road to Leh, a major town and location of an air force base in Ladakh). Other Chinese forces attacked near Demchok (about 160 kilometers southeast of Chusul) and rapidly overran the Demchok and the Jara La posts.

In the eastern sector, in Assam, the Chinese forces advanced easily despite Indian efforts at resistance. On the first day of the fighting, Indian forces stationed at the Tsang Le post on the northern side of the Namka Chu, the Khinzemane post, and near Dhola were overrun. On the western side of the North-East Frontier Agency, Tsang Dar fell on October 22, Bum La on October 23, and Tawang, the headquarters of the Seventh Infantry Brigade, on October 24. The Chinese made an offer to negotiate on October 24. The Indian government promptly rejected this offer.

With a lull in the fighting, the Indian military desperately sought to regroup its forces. Specifically, the army attempted to strengthen its defensive positions in the North-East Frontier Agency and Ladakh and to prepare against possible Chinese attacks through Sikkim and Bhutan. Army units were moved from Calcutta, Bihar, Nagaland, and Punjab to guard the northern frontiers of West Bengal and Assam. Three brigades were hastily positioned in the western part of the North-East Frontier Agency, and two other brigades were moved into Sikkim and near the West Bengal border with Bhutan to face the Chinese. Light Stuart tanks were drawn from the Eastern Command headquarters at Calcutta to bolster these deployments.

In the western sector, a divisional organization was established in Leh; several battalions of infantry, a battery of twenty-five-pounder guns, and two troops of AMX light tanks were airlifted into the Chushul area from Punjab. On November 4, the Indian military decided that the post at Daulat Beg Oldi was untenable, and its defenders were withdrawn over the 5,300-meter-high Sasar Brangsa Pass to a more defensible position.

The reinforcements and redeployments in Ladakh proved sufficient to defend the Chushul perimeter despite repeated Chinese attacks. However, the more remote posts at Rezang La and Gurung Hill and the four posts at Spanggur Lake area fell to the Chinese.

In the North-East Frontier Agency, the situation proved to be quite different. Indian forces counterattacked on November 13 and captured a hill northwest of the town of Walong. Concerted Chinese attacks dislodged them from this hard-won position, and the nearby garrison had to retreat down the Lohit Valley.

In another important section of the eastern sector, the Kameng Frontier Division, six Chinese brigades attacked across the Tawang Chu near Jang and advanced some sixteen kilometers to the southeast to attack Indian positions at Nurang, near Se La, on November 17. Despite the Indian attempt to regroup their forces at Se La, the Chinese continued their onslaught, wiping out virtually all Indian resistance in Kameng. By November 18, the Chinese had penetrated close to the outskirts of Tezpur, Assam, a major frontier town nearly fifty kilometers from the Assam-North-East Frontier Agency border.

The Chinese did not advance farther and on November 21 declared a unilateral cease-fire. They had accomplished all of their territorial objectives, and any attempt to press farther into the plains of Assam would have stretched their logistical capabilities and their lines of communication to a breaking point. By the time the fighting stopped, each side had lost 500 troops.

The fighting war was over, but a new diplomatic war had begun. After more than thirty years of border tension and stalemate, high-level bilateral talks were held in New Delhi starting in February 1994 to foster “confidence-building measures” between the defense forces of India and China, and a new period of better relations began.

source: onWar.com


  1. Dominic Lee says:

    Not many people know the real truth. Therefore It is proper to read all viewpoints and available info to make a correct assessment of the tragic issue. what is the real truth? Good to read the observations of
    Neville Maxwell. http://www.centurychina.com/plaboard/uploads/1962war.htm

  2. prateek says:

    1. I would like to get details under the following sub heads for each sector during the sino indian war:
    a. terrain.
    b. background of the war {this will obviously be in general}.
    c. maps depicting the ingress of the chineses army and the way the indian army was deployed.
    d. the force levels that the chinese army used.
    e. the glaring mistakes made by the indian army and the politicians.
    f. ceasefire and the depiction on th map the areas captured.
    2. May i request you to provide me watever possible details on the subject mateer aas they are urgently required to make a presentation.
    3. Iwould appreciate your involvement and will be ever greatful for the help rendered.
    thanking you,

    1. leon says:

      woah .. so much details ? needs to charge some consultancy fees .. j/k ..

      i would want to answer you but i think i don’t know about it… well hope someone can answer it for it … or maybe if you find it .. do contribute (:

  3. Rose says:

    To: Prateek

    Looks like you are working on a thesis, project or gathering information in writing an article on the subject matter either for a journalistic, historical or commercial value; maybe for academics or military record use.
    No matter what your needs are, there is a whole load of this information available in the internet and archives in most libraries big or small.
    The key to the success of reporting is to give a fair, impartial and what actually transpired at both ends is most important. As always, each side has its own say on each of the topical areas you asked above. So, you need to be careful with your unbiased judgement. Both countries are ancient civilizations and so rudimentary maps and documents from a third party country together with that of India and China should help proper assessments.
    Item (e) is a challenging one for the Indian Chinese – who at no fault of their economic lives in India were forcefully and wrongfully dragged into the mess and as a result brutalised as innocent victims of Indian citizens or civilians. Put in a simple word – persecution.
    Watch the movie – the Legend of Fat Mama – put up here in this blog to hear some of the painful stories of the victims of this uncharacterized war. The scars and dents are still found in the unhealed wounds of many innocent lives not lost in battlefields but normal lives.
    Good luck in your search.
    As Leon mentioned above, it would be great if you could share with us here what you have later gathered with their original source of information. Cheers.

  4. Jackie says:

    I am not sure if the Sino-Indian war is a blessing in disguise for some Indian Chinese families. At least, for mine, it has re-written our life journey.

    Although all of us were not a part of those taken into concentration camps in Deoli, Rajasthan nor those who took the Chinese vessels that once docked in Kiddepore to ship those Indian Chinese to China, we opted to stay put in India and then decided to leave for foreign shores for good at the appropriate time of our journey in life.

    The experience is not as horrific as those once put into camps and then forced to leave India, but it is still painful in the beginning to start a new life in an unknown country where everything starts from zero.

    Since leaving India, we have settled well and now enjoy a peaceful and comfortable lifestyle abroad, obviously with better opportunities. Many of us have become professionals in our respective fields of interests and have travelled extensively worldwide for pleasure.

    I would like to wish all Indian Chinese who are still living in India to keep going strong against all odds and to seek for break-throughs for a prosperous and meaningful lives in the place of their birth.