Who was Vikram Batra?

Introduction Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (09 September 1974 to 07 July 1999) was an officer of the Indian Army. He was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest and most prestigious award for valour, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War, during which he led one of the most difficult mountain warfare operations… Read More

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What is a Jemadar?

Introduction Jemadar or jamadar is a title used for various military and other officials in the Indian subcontinent. Etymology The word stems from Urdu (جمعدار), which derives through Persian jam(a)dar from Arabic jamā‘a(t) ‘muster’ + -dār ‘holder’. Pre-Colonial A jemadar was originally an armed official of a zamindar (feudal lord) in India who, like a… Read More

What was Operation Blue Star (1984)?

Introduction Operation Blue Star was the code name of an Indian military action which was carried out between 01 and 10 June 1984, in order to remove the Sikh Damdami Taksal leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers from the buildings of Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar, Punjab. The decision to launch the… Read More

What was Operation Sundown (1984)?

Introduction Operation Sundown was codename of a covert plan of India’s external intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), in which the Special Group, which is an ultra-secretive armed unit of the R&AW, was to abduct Sikh extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from Guru Nanak Niwas in the Golden Temple complex, Amritsar. A R&AW unit… Read More

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… Read More

What was the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965?

Introduction The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April 1965 and September 1965 between Pakistan and India. Background The conflict began following Pakistan’s Operation Gibraltar (see below), which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule. India retaliated by launching… Read More

Sitting upon my Cot…

“In 1848, when I was Brigade‐Major at Agra, I made a good many inquiries into the condition of the soldier in barracks, their wants and habits,… One day an intelligent sergeant of the 24th came to me on business, and, amongst other questions, I asked him‐ “The men, in this hot weather, are confined to… Read More