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No better topic than this to start this topic:

as it tells us as to how contemporary politics can mire into military history as Kargil war is considered to be BJP war.

SHILLONG: Former Army Chief General V P Malik, who led the troops during the Kargil operation, on Thursday said Brigadier Devinder Singh's case was an "aberration" and it will be "unfair" to suggest that the complete war history needs to be rewritten.

"To pass the judgement on the entire Indian Army and to suggest that complete war history was fudged and the Kargil Review committee report be rewritten, I think this is unfair. This does not take away the entire good work done by the Army. This is an aberration," he said here. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india...981975.cms <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/angry.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':angry:' />
Asked to comment on the Brig Singh's contention that he and the 70 Brigade Commander differed on the number of intruders occupying the peaks, he said, "this is not correct. Whatever assessments were made, are available in the situation reports from the Batalik sector."

He alleged that the "real progress" in operations in the Batalik sector was made during the last 7-8 days of the war and Brig Singh was not present there at that point. http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/may/2...en-pal.htm

If you connect the dots, it looks like Gen Pal was not even called for defense. Tribunal's judgment seems to be not only 1 sided but also biased, arbitrary and politically tainted. Tribunal seems to be overreaching, irrelevant to the case and passing it's judgment beyond it's jurisdiction.

[url="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Kargil-war-Lt-Gen-doctored-reports/articleshow/5982191.cms"]Kargil war: Lt-Gen doctored reports[/url]

Quote:TNN, May 28, 2010, 03.00am IST <a href="http://netspiderads2.indiatimes.com/ads.dll/clickthrough?slotid=36459" target="_blank"><img src="http://netspiderads2.indiatimes.com/ads.dll/photoserv?slotid=36459" border="0" width="660" height="40" alt="Advertisement"></a> NEW DELHI: Against all odds, courageous young officers and soldiers dislodged well-entrenched Pakistani intruders from the Kargil heights in 1999. But skeletons about the then top military leadership's dubious conduct during the conflict continue to tumble out of the cupboard with alarming regularity even now.

In the latest such episode, the armed forces tribunal (AFT) has indicted the then 15 Corps commander Lt-General Kishan Pal for doctoring "battle-performance and after-action reports'' to belittle the achievements of the then Batalik-based 70 Infantry Brigade commander Devinder Singh.

Directing the directorate of military operations to rewrite some portions of the official history, "Operation Vijay: Account of the War in Kargil'', the AFT headed by Justice A K Mathur said Lt-Gen Pal's biased assessment of Brig Singh should be expunged from the records.

"I feel vindicated. As per the order, I will also be considered for promotion to the notional rank of a major-general and the records about the operations by my brigade in the war will be set straight,'' said Brig (retd) Singh, who has fought a long and hard legal battle to restore his honour.

Lt-Gen Pal, who had infamously described the massive Kargil intrusions by Pakistani Army regulars as a "local'' skirmish with a handful of infiltrators in the initial days, went on to get a gallantry medal after the conflict.

Similarly, several other senior officers were rewarded despite ignoring early warnings about the massive intrusions, wrong assessments and flawed leadership during the conflict which led to the death of 527 Indian soldiers.

In sharp contrast, Brig Singh -- who had even predicted the pattern of intrusions by the Pakistani Army regulars before the conflict and later got injured during the operations -- was left high and dry, without a war medal and passed over for promotion.

"Many lives would have been saved if my assessment had been taken seriously,'' said Brig Singh, who directed his brigade troops during the critical assaults on Point 5203 and the Jubar Complex in the Batalik sector.

The then Army chief General V P Malik, who himself attracted flak for not cutting short his "goodwill'' visit abroad during the initial days of the Kargil intrusions, on his part, said Brig Singh's case was "an aberration'' which was now rightly getting corrected.

"I believe the issue was at the level of the brigade, division and corps. To pass a judgment on the entire Indian Army and to suggest the entire war history was fudged is most unfair,'' Gen (retd) Malik told journalists.

The fact, however, remains that the AFT judgment has come as a major embarrassment to the Army. It might get worse in the coming days because several other petitions connected to the Kargil conflict are pending in different AFT benches.

These include ones by officers -- like the then 121 Brigade commander Surinder Singh, who was dismissed during the operations, and Major Manish Bhatnagar -- who feel they were made "scapegoats'' to "save the skin of top generals''.

The Army, on its part, on Thursday said it was awaiting a copy of the AFT judgment in Brig Singh's case. "Once we get it, it will be analysed and appropriate action would be taken,'' said a senior officer.

Brig Singh certainly hopes so. He had filed a complaint with Army HQs in 2000 itself, charging Lt-Gen Pal with bias, but it was rejected two years later. In 2004, the defence ministry struck down Lt-Gen Pal's assessment of Brig Singh's battle performance but refused to strike down key sections of his annual confidential reports written by the general.



Dated: 18 July 2010

Dear Members of the Media

1. We wish to remind the people of India that eleven years back on 26 Jul 1999, demonstrating courage, valour, grit and determination, our Defence Forces recaptured every inch of our mother land and either killed or threw back every Pakistani infiltrator who had deceptively occupied the heights in Kargil Region while our then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was extending his hands of friendship to Pakistan in Lahore.

2. During this War 543 Jawans, JCOs and Officers achieved martyrdom and over 1200 were seriously wounded. This war was fought at the heights of over16000 feet in a most inhospitable rugged, stiff and steep mountain ridges. To honour the bravery and valour of our soldiers, the President of India awarded four Pram Vir Chakra (PVC), nine Maha Vir Chakras (MVC) and 55 Vir Chkras (VrC). Capt Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rif, Lt Manoj Pandey 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav 18 Grenadiers and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar 13 JAK Rif were the recipients of highest Gallantry award of PVC.

3. The Pakistani intruders had positioned themselves on Tololing Top, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875, Pt 4590, Pt 5100 and Pt 5140. The names of these hilltops (points) became familiar to the people of India as these were getting reported in Press and electronic media during successes of Indian Forces. Capt Vikram Batra played a sterling role in the capture of feature Pt 5140, a critical peak from the point of view that it overlooked the Srinagar – Leh highway which was important for logistics and supply of reinforcements for the Indian Army. Its capture facilitated in the capture of other hill tops ie Rt 4750, 4875 and Tiger Hill and finally lead to Indian eventual victory.

4. After the capture of pt 5140, Capt Vikram Batra radioed his commanding officer and said the success signal “Yeh Dil Mange More” The words later went on to become a motivational slogan during the war and is used even now at various occasions like the Vijay Divas.

5. The Defence Forces of India are the most patriotic forces in the world. They have always proved their worth during external and internal threats. They are the strongest pillars of our democracy. Indian Ex Servicemen Movement (IESM) working for the welfare of Defence Personnel requests all citizens of India to join in commemorating the valour and bravery of soldiers on the Kargil Vijay Divas on 26 Jul 2010. All citizens are requested to light a candle at the main gate of their homes at 8 PM on 26 Jul 2010 and after saying a prayer for those brave hearts who never returned, place a marigold (Genda) next to it as a silent tribute.

6. At National Capital Region (NCR), the people are requested to reach India Gate at the their own time and light a candle there at 8 PM onwards as a mark of respect to the Martyrs. Kargil Vijay Divas is also being commemorated in others parts of the country.

“Lets us join hands to salute the brave soldiers of India”

With Regards,

Jai Hind

Yours Sincerely,

Maj Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh, SM

Vice Chairman Indian ESM Movement

Mobile: 9312404269, 0124-4110570

Email: satbirsm@yahoo.com
Rishi Raj Sood, captain of INS Kirpan - which was accompanying Khukri but disappeared as PNS Hangor torpedoed the latter - did not deny that his ship didn’t come to help when Khukri sank off the coast of Diu on December 9, 1971.

“It is classified information. I cannot divulge it to you”, Sood, who now lives in Bangalore, told this reporter when asked why he did not join the battle when Hangor had struck Khukri. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110110/main4.htm
India’s attitude towards its soldiers, sailors and airmen can be gauged from the fact that a black plaque bolted on the IPKF memorial remains unlettered, blank. The Prime Minister of India was meant to inaugurate the memorial and have his name etched on this plaque. The inauguration was put off on account of political sensitivities within India, so the plaque remains bare and black.

Votes and political alliances are more important in India than respecting the memories of those 1,200 soldiers and sailors who lost their lives on account of the follies their rulers. The bare black plaque stares back at visitors, conveying a message of ingratitude, insensitivity, and disrespect. As true a reflection of Indian attitudes to fallen soldiers as there can be. http://www.dailypioneer.com/323039/An-od...ldier.html

In the meantime, Sri Lanka honours Indian soldiers and sailors just as well as they honour their own.
October 2010: An RTI application is filed by an IAS officer seeking Army chief's birth date. It is referred to legal adviser to MoD, who says the chief was born in 1951

May 6, 2011: MoD objects to being bypassed in seeking legal opinion and Army HQs efforts to correct records

May 2011: Army chief petitions MoD on the issue, demands 'reconciliation' of his DoB

July 2011: MOD rejects the demand, based on Attorney General's opinion http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india...517575.cms
HELP! China invaded India. Help your country in the largest massive online military/economic multiplayer game http://bit.ly/K8DK0N
[url="http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/06/3102956/jack-jacob-the-general-who-saved-india-from-more-war"]At 89, Indian hero Jack Jacob rests and recites—poetry[/url]
Quote:NEW DELHI, India (JTA) -- Lt. Gen. Jack Jacob, a national hero in India for likely saving hundreds of thousands of lives, is planning to fade away.

“I’ve just had my 89th birthday,” he says, “I think I’ve earned the right to rest.”

So Jacob, India’s “top-ranking Jew,” stayed home on his recent birthday, preferring to be alone in his modest New Delhi flat while enjoying his birthday cake, a special delivery from Nachum’s -- Calcutta’s famous Jewish Bakery and now among the last of the once many Jewish-owned establishments in the city.

Sitting on his golden brocade sofas -- he calls them his “thrones” -- Jacob’s answers to a retinue of questions are instantaneous and measured. He occasionally illustrates his point with passages from English poetry from the first half of the last century.

He has loved two women, he says, but they did not wait for him. His brothers are no longer alive; he has no contact with extended family. Calcutta’s Jewish community has mostly migrated to Israel.

“My friends and peers are all gone,” Jacob says.

Jack Farj Rafael Jacob, wildly accomplished and widely respected, is best known for his decisive role in the 1971 Bangladesh war. Indians and historians generally agree that his courage, strategic thinking and chutzpah changed the course of South Asian history.

What had started as a freedom fight by the Eastern wing of Pakistan (now Bangladesh) against mainland Pakistan to the west -- the two geographically separated regions straddle India -- turned into a full blown humanitarian crisis. Estimates from historians and governments range from 500,000 to 3 million people being massacred in the conflict along with countless thousands of rapes and other atrocities. As a result, some 10 million refugees streamed over the border into India, which then declared war on Pakistan.

Jacob, then chief of staff of the Indian Eastern command, knew that a protracted war, of which he was the Indian commander, would claim countless more lives. As the war began, trudging through swamp terrain, his troops enacted a daring plan to capture Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan.

Two weeks into the war, Pakistan’s commander in East Pakistan, Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, invited Jacob to lunch to discuss a cease-fire. Jacob wrote up an “instrument of surrender” document for his counterpart and flew with it across enemy lines, unarmed and accompanied only by one staff officer.

Niazi was given a stark choice: Surrender unconditionally and publicly, and receive the protection of the Indian Army for all minorities and retreating troops, or face an Indian military onslaught. Jacob gave Niazi 30 minutes to decide.

Jacob, as he retells it, went out to the veranda, pacing for the full half hour. Exhibiting his legendary self-control, the general appeared relatively calm while puffing his pipe and asking the Pakistani sentry about his wife and children. But knowing that he had been bluffing, “I appealed to God for help and said the Shema Yisrael,” he told JTA.

Niazi agreed to the terms. The next day, 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered. Jacob had but 3,000 Indian troops, 30 miles away, behind him.

Multitudes were likely saved by this surrender, still studied by military students. Recognizing his role, last month the Islamic Republic of Bangladesh awarded Jacob a certificate of appreciation for his “unique role” in the formation of the nation.

Jacob was born into the once vibrant Baghdadi Jewish community of Calcutta in 1923. His was a deeply religious family, and his parents hired Hebrew teachers for him and his brothers. But Jacob says he “just wasn’t interested, something I now deeply regret.”

That was before poetry and war pulled him away. It was before he saved forests and wildlife from destruction and his (secret) efforts to cultivate the now 20-year-old Israel-India relationship. It was before he became a national hero.

When his father fell ill, the children were sent to a boarding school high in the Darjeeling hills. Jacob excelled in his studies and fell in love with the virgin forests, developing his lifelong passion for the outdoors. As a teenager he loved poetry and was especially influenced by the work of wartime poets. World War II had started and the Jacobs adopted a family of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Europe.

“I was appalled by their stories, by the atrocities,” he says, “I joined the British Army to fight the Nazis.” Jacob’s father initially disapproved, but eventually gave his blessing out of respect for his son’s motives.

When India gained independence in 1948, Jacob continued to serve in the Indian Army, swiftly rising in the ranks.

“The only place I encountered anti-Semitism was from the British in their army,” he says. “Among Indians it does not exist.”

After retirement in July 1978, he was appointed as the governor -- usually a ceremonial position -- of the small southwestern state of Goa. In another display of Jacobian chutzpah, he imposed the rarely used “Governor’s rule” to combat an acute parliamentary crisis “reminiscent of a game of musical chairs.”

He battled corruption, paid back high-interest loans and saved large tracks of forest from the mining industry by designating those lands as wildlife reserves. Jacob was next appointed governor of Punjab. When he left the post, graffiti went up on the walls: “Without Jacob, who will feed the poor?”

Jacob still will not share details of his role in forging the diplomatic bond with Israel. However, when Israel’s ambassador to India arrived in Delhi this year, he brought a personal letter for Jacob from Israeli President Shimon Peres.

“I need not reiterate the importance that Israel attaches to its relations with India, and want to express our appreciation for your support,” Peres wrote. “We are proud that as an Indian Jew, you have played such an important role in the defense and development of your country, and trust that your friendship will serve to promote deeper and broader ties and cooperation between Israel and India.”

Peres also congratulated Jacob on his new best-selling autobiography, “An Odyssey in War and Peace.”

Jacob has been to Israel several times, even before the forging of diplomatic relations. He was on stage as an honored guest during the 1995 opening ceremony for the Jerusalem 3000 celebrations. Over the years, Jacob had developed close friendships with Israelis such as Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. He had a particular fondness for Motta Gur, the Israeli paratrooper commander whose forces captured the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967.

“Your military achievements were of much interest in my country,” Gur once wrote to Jacob in a letter delivered via a mutual friend in the days before Israel-India relations. “Your performance is, without a doubt, one of the best in modern warfare.”

Today, Jacob’s uniform hangs in the Israeli military museum Latrun. He even donated his mother’s silver wedding girdle and jewelry to the Indian Jewish museum in Lod, Israel.

Was he ever tempted to move to the Jewish state and offer his military expertise?

“Israel has outstanding military leaders of their own, they do not need me,” he says. “Besides, India has always been very good to us. I am very proud to be a Jew, but am Indian through and through. I was born in India and served here my whole life; this is where I want die.”

Then, quoting from one of his favorite poems -- "Invictus" by W.E. Henley -- Jacob rests his chin on chest, closes his eyes and recites these lines in the fading evening light:

“It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul."
Interesting to watch.

8mm home movie of D-Day invasion (and beyond) by American soldier


Filmed by my great-grandfather, Cpt. John Scillieri, who was the doctor for the 237th Engineer Combat Battalion. The 237th Engineers landed on Utah Beach, and went on to build bridges over both the Seine (26 Aug to 28 Aug 1944) and the Rhine (21 Mar 1945), witnessed the Saint Lo bombing, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge, among other things. Grandpa John was there, with camera in hand, to capture it all.

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