Aftermath Galwan : Who holds the fort ?

Aftermath Galwan : Who holds the fort ?
Prelude

On 15th June 2020, the clash of Indian & Chinese troops in the narrow congested Galwan valley turned bloody with 20 Indian soldiers and more than 45 Chinese soldiers killed in the ensuing hand-to-hand combat. China, however officially admitted to only 4 casualties, which did not come with any surprise since China has a history of hiding or distorting any news against it.

This bloody event was taken with utmost seriousness by India, and a pacifistic approach towards Chinese misadventures was finally dropped. It was clear that China is not camping on the Indian border for some boundary "misunderstanding", but to fulfill its hegemonic dreams of bullying neighbors and usurping their land, piece by piece.

However, such dreams met a grinding halt, when on 15th June 2020, China unprovocatively attacked & killed Col. Santosh Babu, commanding officer of 16th Bihar, who was peacefully trying to negotiate with Chinese troops. All hell broke loose, as enraged soldiers of the 16th Bihar regiment mercilessly attacked the Chinese troops with stones, sticks, and cricket bats. Even though the Chinese were prepared in advance for this exact scenario, being armed with heavy riot gear, nail-studded batons, and swords, they were not prepared for the sheer aggressiveness and fighting spirit of motivated, battle-hardened Indian Army troops.

Chinese found their conscript-army of teenage soldiers drafted against their will, unprepared, unmotivated, and fearful of real bloody combat, whereas the Indian army, who regularly rotate troops from counter-insurgency areas and a hot western border with Pakistan, makes sure soldiers have real experience in battle.


Capt. Rangnamei of 17th Bihar confronting PLAGF regimental commander Qi Fabao, who was left with a broken neck and fractured skull after the clash.

Current Situation

Immediately after Galwan clash, an agreement was reached between both sides to create a buffer zone at patrol point 14 (PP14), and according to the agreement, both sides will remain 2km away from the designated clash point. Although it was not clear, for how long this buffer zone will be maintained.


The red line crossing the Galwan river is the PP14 where the clashes took place.

However, India seems to be in no illusion of peace or disengagement at Galwan, as any Chinese thrust through Galwan valley threatens the essential Shyok-DBO road which is the lifeline supporting Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) and Depsang.

Thus, India is steadily fortifying its positions in Galwan with dug-ins and concrete bunkers, which can safeguard from artillery and airstrike damage. Even during the bitter Ladakh winter and high-altitude conditions, more than 300 and upto 500 troops along with medium artillery and armored vehicles were stationed in Galwan.


Overall picture, green marked-areas are Indian while red-marked areas are Chinese positions.

A closer look at the ground positions

The first Indian camp in the Galwan valley, which will be the first responder in case of any conflict or clash starts, is located around 1.4 km from the Galwan clash point, also known as PP14. It houses around a platoon of strength and probably will be the first responder in any future engagements.



Note that the Indian army has created bailey bridges over the Galwan river connecting it to Shyok-DBO road, and light armoured vehicles such as BMP-2s can be directly moved to the frontline now, giving an essential edge over Chinese forces.

Moving down the Galwan valley towards the west, we see the Indian army base camp at the mouth of the valley. The camp has been fortified with dug-ins to protect the barracks, signaling that India anticipates an attack on its Galwan positions in the future.



One can also clearly see the road that is being constructed from this camp that will probably end at the Indo-China LAC, or PP14. This road is at elevated height away from the river valley, which means any flash flood or strong surges in water level of Galwan river will not have any effect over troop mobilization.

Upon crossing the Shyok river on the western side, we can see the Shyok-DBO highway passing through north to south, we see major fortifications and measures adopted by Indian army, including creating elaborate network of fortified bunkers and trench network, along with barracks housing more than 200 troops and supplies.




The Chinese disadvantage

As we can see, the Indian army has surely made every possible preparation to not only blunt any upcoming Chinese aggression in Galwan valley but also to dominate it.

However, the situation on the Chinese side is not that great. The initial advantage of People's Liberation Army Ground Forces (PLAGF) over Galwan valley due to road connectivity has been nullified by nature.



Chinese roads have been completely washed away by raging monsoons and rising water levels of Galwan river. This means, in any future offensive by India in Galwan valley, China will find itself in a disadvantageous position. Such strategic lapse can be attributed to the inexperience of Chinese commanders in mountain warfare and failing to understand and adapt to adverse weather conditions.

Conclusion
China has made its aggressive and hegemonic intentions crystal clear by mounting a cowardly ambush over negotiating party of Indian army troops but lost a significant number of soldiers due to inexperience. After being caught in surprise by the Chinese aggression, the Indian army has made sure to take the necessary steps to fortify the entire Galwan valley under its control. Currently, the Indian army holds an advantage over its rival, PLAGF in controlling and dominating the Galwan valley.

WhatsApp-Image-2021-02-20-at-7.53.18-PM.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Comments

Great article.

IMHO we cant dominate the valley "ever" , as we are downstream and they are upstream , they can simply block the flow and release water to wash away what ever we have build.

:hmm: which is why in my view this is the best deal we could have had.

Also worth mentioning that the red LAC line adjusted a bit to west is the official chinese border claim line,their border runs bit west of that triangle feature.

which is why they want it , pushing it forward will mean they have 100% reached their claim lines there.
 
Great article.

IMHO we cant dominate the valley "ever" , as we are downstream and they are upstream , they can simply block the flow and release water to wash away what ever we have build.

:hmm: which is why in my view this is the best deal we could have had.

Also worth mentioning that the red LAC line adjusted a bit to west is the official chinese border claim line,their border runs bit west of that triangle feature.

which is why they want it , pushing it forward will mean they have 100% reached their claim lines there.
Orange if you see in the 5th picture, BRO is making a road towards the PP14 which is at a significant height from the valley, which means that any flash flood will not reach that road. I believe it will be completed by next year.
 
@LurkerBaba There have been couple of posts which can be published on our main webpage as articles. I wonder how we can assist that and be allowed to publish, obviously after thorough check following editorial policies of DFI.
Any eligible post must be moved to Opinions & Analysis subforum and then "promote to article' should be used. Mods, admins and contributors have that option
 
Orange if you see in the 5th picture, BRO is making a road towards the PP14 which is at a significant height from the valley, which means that any flash flood will not reach that road. I believe it will be completed by next year.
My bad , they are building road , but thats only at the mouth , :hmm: you think they will extend it all the way to LAC ?

Besides , Chinese already "almost" achieved their aims , push LAC upto their claim lines , area west of red line (excluding that triangle) was never in dispute . unless we can push them back further , we lost.

Same story in gogra , in area where you pointed out. they pushed forward and reached their official border line.
 
My bad , they are building road , but thats only at the mouth , :hmm: you think they will extend it all the way to LAC ?

Besides , Chinese already "almost" achieved their aims , push LAC upto their claim lines , area west of red line (excluding that triangle) was never in dispute . unless we can push them back further , we lost.

Same story in gogra , in area where you pointed out. they pushed forward and reached their official border line.
you think they will extend it all the way to LAC ?
Probably not without fighting China :) They were touchy even because we were building bridges on Galwan river.

I think we will extend it till our last camp towards LAC (pictured above) for now without any Chinese opposition. Let's see.

Besides , Chinese already "almost" achieved their aims , push LAC upto their claim lines , area west of red line (excluding that triangle) was never in dispute . unless we can push them back further , we lost
.

I will disagree. The objective of China was to push to DBO-Shyok road and squat at Galwan river delta. If you look, Galwan is among two places where LAC runs closest to DBO-Shyok road, hence if they can dominate Galwan valley and push forward, they can easily block it.

The pre-planned ambush was to strike fear among Indian troops and give us a warning that China means business (which surely backfired).

By creating a buffer zone, and natural forces eroding away any immediate access to PP14, China will have difficulty dominating PP14 and further towards the Indian side immediately.

I think Galwan is a miscalculation and a blunder from the Chinese side.
 
Probably not without fighting China :) They were touchy even because we were building bridges on Galwan river.

I think we will extend it till our last camp towards LAC (pictured above) for now without any Chinese opposition. Let's see.

.

I will disagree. The objective of China was to push to DBO-Shyok road and squat at Galwan river delta. If you look, Galwan is among two places where LAC runs closest to DBO-Shyok road, hence if they can dominate Galwan valley and push forward, they can easily block it.

The pre-planned ambush was to strike fear among Indian troops and give us a warning that China means business (which surely backfired).

By creating a buffer zone, and natural forces eroding away any immediate access to PP14, China will have difficulty dominating PP14 and further towards the Indian side immediately.

I think Galwan is a miscalculation and a blunder from the Chinese side.
The objective of China was to push to DBO-Shyok road and squat at Galwan river delta

:hmm:
i dunno man , have they ever cross their own official claim lines ?

They only constructed road + sangars uptill the triangle . which is where their border stops . hard to believe we stopped them exactly at their own border.
 
The objective of China was to push to DBO-Shyok road and squat at Galwan river delta

:hmm:
i dunno man , have they ever cross their own official claim lines ?

They only constructed road + sangars uptill the triangle . which is where their border stops . hard to believe we stopped them exactly at their own border.
Because we did not let them move forward, and China anticipated an armed attack from us following Galwan clash, hence they dug in.
The Chinese strategy is to gradually push forward and make it their new claim line. In Hotspring they pushed around a kilometer and now they are demanding that to be accepted as new LAC.
 
unless you are implying they update official map after grabbing area , i still don't get it.

:hmm: do you have link for the official border for china ?

only one i could find is this link
its chinese "google-earth" right side bottom globe icon -> check english , then see sat imagery ,

check border at gogra/hotspring area where PLA intruded (one you pointed out) . they pushed forward and achived their goal , our structures look like they lie right outside their border line. meaning they accomplished their goal.

They have their official border line , we have our imaginary LAC . IMHO this is just them grabbing the rest of their land.
 

Latest Replies

Global Defence

Top