Sino-Indian War of 1962

On 20th October 1962, the first group of the Chinese People's Liberation Army launched a well-planned assault across the Thagla Ridge, in India's province of Assam. Arunachal Pradesh was formed much later and therefore this area was considered as part of Assam.

Events that Led to the War

  • Chinese maps showed 50,000 sq miles of Indian Territory in Aksai Chin as part of China. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru objected and mentioned it to Chou en Lai the Prime Minister of China during his official visit. China promised to resolve it but did not do so.

  • The construction of roads by China passing through Aksai Chin since 1956 was considered by India as Chinese aggression over India territory.

  • Additional check posts were established in Aksai Chin by the Indian Army in response to Chinese presence and the road built by the Chinese in Aksai Chin.

  • In July 1958 China violated Ladakh territory near Khurnak Fort. Similar events took place in summer of 1959 in Migyitui and Pangyong lake area in Ladakh.

  • 23rd January 1959, China officially disputed the boundaries in Aksai Chin and called then as it a wrong marking.

  • 1959 Khampa rebellion in Tibet and Dalai Lama fled to India. Dalai Lama was welcomed in India and the Chinese settled boundary dispute have always felt threatened by it.

  • Chinese government Myanmar with based on McMahon line of those countries but has not recognised this with India. This meant violation of the agreement of 1954 and laying claim to 50,000 sq miles.

  • 1961 India's foreign policy followed the concept of 'Forward Policy' and deployed troops accordingly.

Overview of the 1962 Sino-Indian War

On 20th October 1962, the first group of the Chinese People's Liberation Army launched a well-planned assault across the Thagla Ridge, in India's province of Assam. Arunachal Pradesh was formed much later and therefore this area was considered as part of Assam.

The war of 1962 happened in two regions, one was in Ladakh in the area of Aksai Chin and the second in Arunachal Pradesh. These can be called two sectors of
operations. In military words, the word 'Sectors' are also called 'Theatres' of operations.

The Western Sector

India was facing a three front attack. The three fronts were Aksai Chin in Ladakh, Thag La in Assam (now Arunachal Pradesh) and at Walong on the China-Burma (Myanmar) - India border. India faced a critical shortage of troops, ammunition and supplies. The winter clothing for High altitude areas was critically short of the requirement.

Above all there were no roads to move troops. The Chinese came in massive strength. They started building roads to support the attack. In the Western sector the attack came at Daulat Beg Oldi, Chushul and Demchok. The Chinese captured areas which they said belonged to them.