Formulaic Principles…

“A study of the principles of war will never provide a mathematical or intellectual formula for winning wars; but it will ensure that no single factor is omitted when one principle is being balanced against another. The decision itself is a test of leadership. Study provides the materials for inspection; the choice depends upon the genius of the commander.”

Lieutenant Colonel D.K. Palit, 9th Gurkha Rifles. (1953) The Essentials of Military Knowledge.

Major General D.K. ‘Monty’ Palit, VrC (1919 to 2008) was an Indian Army officer commissioned into the elite Baloch Regiment in 1939 out of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun

In command of the famed 3-battalion 9 Gorkha Rifles (which was part of the Chindits force in Burma in the Second World War) , he fought in the Poonch sector. Under his inspiring leadership, the battalion attacked and captured the 10,000-foot-high Mohammad ni Gali, that overlooks the strategic Haji Pir pass (which is the gateway to the Kashmir valley). As battalion commander, he personally led the attack and was severely wounded in the operations and evacuated from the battlefield. For this act of conspicuous bravery, Palit was awarded the Vir Chakra.

The second most important episode in his military career was his command of the 7 Brigade in the crucial Tawang sector on the China border in 1960-61. Subsequent to this he was the director general military operations during the 1962 India-China war. His actions in that crucial post have come under a lot of criticism.


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