10 Must Read Books About Indian Army Every Indian Should Read Atleast Once
Twenty-one riveting stories about how India’s highest military honor was won. Rachna Bisht Rawat takes us to the heart of war, chronicling the tales of twenty-one of India’s bravest soldiers. Talking to parents, siblings, children and comrades-in-arms to paint the most vivid character-portraits of these men and their conduct in battle and getting unprecedented access to the Indian Army, Rawat has written the ultimate book on the Param Vir Chakra.
Khushwant Singh wrote in the preface to the hardbound edition published in 1990 of this true account of Mohanlal Bhaskar’s mission to find out about Pakistan’s nuclear plans: ‘He was betrayed by one of his colleagues, presumbly a double agent, and had to face the music on his own. The interrogation, which was done by the army and police, included torture of the worst kind imaginable. Many of his comrades went insane or ended their own lives.
When Dilip Parulkar, an Indian Air Force (IAF) flight lieutenant is shot down behind enemy lines in Pakistan on 10 December 1971, the ace flier quickly turns the tragedy into the biggest adventure of his life. On 13 August 1972, Parulkar along with Harish Sinhji and Malvinder Singh Grewal, escape from one of the prisoners of war (POW) camps in Rawalpindi. Four Miles to Freedom: Escape from a Pakistani POW Camp is their story. The book, based on interviews with the eight IAF pilots who helped in preparing the escape and two others who escaped, is a moving and often amusing account of how the twelve airmen from diverse ranks and background battle deprivation and cope with forced intimacy and a year of pervasive uncertainty in captivity.
Death Wasn’t Painful is a true account of the experiences of a former Indian fighter pilot, who was taken prisoner during the 1971 Indo-Pak/Bangladesh Liberation War. While depicting the intrepid life of fighter pilots in active combat, the book also has an introspective side where it portrays the soldier’s reactions to the terrifying realities of war. The experiences of prisoners of war are finely drawn, as we share the emotions of war—death, alienation, loneliness and grief. Through heart-warming anecdotes and conversational passages of interactions with Pakistani interrogators, attendants, jailors and civilians, the book juxtaposes the metaphor of physical battles in the sky with the conflict of minds between two nations.
The definitive account of the 1999 Kargil war – the strategy, the effects, the heroism – from the man in charge. In February 1999, Pakistani Army personnel, disguised as jehadi militants, infiltrated into mountainous Kargil and occupied key vantage points. Their intrusion triggered off a limited war between the world’s newest nuclear states. It was a bitter battle, and one that throws up important lessons for India’s defence preparedness, as also its responses to flare-ups such as this. This book is also a reminder of the unparalleled heroism that was on display during those grim weeks, heroism that has become a benchmark for bravery.
n December, 1971, with the birth of Bangladesh in one of the most painful and controversial manners, a new nation’s origin was laid. Bangladesh had suffered a cruel genocide by its own people from Western Pakistan and the war for its liberation was fought between the native Liberation Army of Mukti Bahini and the Indian Armed forces on one side with the Pakistani Armed Forces on the other side of the combat.
The book Eagles Over Bangladesh: The Indian Air Force In The 1971 Liberation War discusses the detailed facets of this huge war and the role of the Indian Air Force in the story of Bangladesh’s inception. The gravity of the situation increased as an open war broke out on the Western and Eastern fronts in December 1971. The Western Pakistani Army surrendered in Dacca two weeks later eventually leading to an end of this battle.
General V.K. Singh served in the Indian Army for forty-two years, retiring as Chief of Army Staff on 31 May 2012. His distinguished career saw him on the front lines of combat, in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 which led to the creation of Bangladesh and in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Considered one of the world’s foremost experts in counter-insurgency operations, he is also known for the principled stand he took on many issues during his tenure, from arms procurement to the deployment of the army against the Maoists. Candid, compelling and occasionally controversial, this is the story of a straight-talking soldier not afraid to stand by his convictions.
India’s Military Conflicts And Diplomacy: An Inside View of Decision Making is a book on India’s defense and military operations by an ex-Chief of the Army. General V P Malik, Chief of the Indian Army from October 1997 to September 2000 writes about his experiences in the field. in India’s Military Conflicts And Diplomacy: An Inside View of Decision Making, General V P Malik takes you through important strategic events in which he was involved during his service.
The focus is on the decision making process followed at the political, military and operational levels. This is a unique book because in India details about such sensitive matters are seldom recorded and never made public. The book is analytically conceived, strategically sound and extremely enlightening.
Drawing on unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and investigative reporting, Gary Bass uncovers an astonishing story of superpower brinkmanship, war, scandal, and conscience. This is the definitive account of the build-up to the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War and the birth of Bangladesh. In the midst of this Cold War cataclysm, the Bangladeshis became collateral damage, victims of power games played by Nixon, Kissinger, Yahya Khan and even Indira Gandhi. Revelatory, authoritative and compulsively readable, The Blood Telegram is a thrilling chronicle of a pivotal chapter in South Asian history.
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Chief of the Indian Army from 1969 to 1973. This book is a reflection on Sam, his character traits, sense of humor, moral and professional courage and the enigma that made up his personality. It presents a unique insight to his thinking and his style of dealing with a spectrum of situations from the sublime to the mundane. Above all, it portrays his humility, his honesty and his respect for men in uniform, regardless of rank. The book is anecdotal and an easy read as it walks you through his life from childhood to the pinnacle of glory. The political canvas, woven lightly into this very personal story, highlights how a brilliant military strategist shaped the destiny of the Indian subcontinent. Family photographs, copies of citations, handwritten notes and personal correspondence make this book a treasure to read and acquire.