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If you could sum up 1962: The War That Wasn't in three words, what would they be?
This book does an excellent job describing both the political and military aspects of the India-China war of 1962. It describes the weakening of the Indian Army due to political pressures between 1947 and 1962 as well as the political interference with army command in the 1962 war. It also goes into great detail of the military situation and decision making during the war. Overall an excellent account of the war with sufficient detail for those who are interested in Indian history.
What did you like best about this story?
Detailed accounts of the political and military situation
Would you listen to 1962: The War That Wasn't again? Why?
Modern warfare is not the province of Heroes, or at least individual heroism counts for little in the absence of a hard-headed, fully-involved and inspired leadership. India under Nehru had none of these. Every warning was ignored, the Thorat plan shelved and the military leadership gutted due to Nehru's insecurity. China under Mao had a monster who killed millions of Chinese, but compared to the shiftless (if far more benign) Indian leadership, he was a genius. The Chinese Corps commanders showed a formidable grasp of tactics,(which also helped them immensely in Korea against US troops) and except very rarely the Indian commanders showed a lack of imagination. The fabled Indian Army, covered in Glory in 2 World Wars, found itself out-planned, outthought, outgunned and outmanned. China struck at a moment of her own choosing, & won. Unlike the US (UN) soldiers in Korea, India had no fallback option or plan B in reserve.
What was one of the most memorable moments of 1962: The War That Wasn't?
the human stories of the soldiers caught up in a dirty war; Shiv Kunal Verma's excellent story-telling skills
What about Manish Dongardive’s performance did you like?
Pronounces most Tibetan & Indian names well (and Chinese names too I think), and his voice is pleasing and nuanced.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Immensely sad, to see one of the finest fighting forces in the world lead to a total defeat. Many moving scenes as of the confrontation between the brave, courteous Sgt. Dashrath Singh and the idiotic Gen. Kaul. The serpentine Menon and the loudmouthed Nehru evoke disgust, but that is who they were.
Any additional comments?
Not enough of the Chinese side. How were they thinking? How did they have such accurate intelligence on Indian Troop Movements? America helped India, but you do not hear anything about it till the very end.
Excellent narration, excellent book but it is difficult to listen as the book has a lot of specific details related to armed forces and as well as locations of the war. Difficult to keep track, without a map.