Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report summary by Neville Maxwell


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
I was reading about the 1962 indo-china war when i came across the summary of the still classified summary of 1962 debacle report of Lt General Henderson Brooks-Brigadier P S Baghat by british correspondent Neville Maxwell,who claimed to have seen this report.Now the question is when GOI still dont want to declassify this report under RTI act(last request was denied by defence minister AK Anthony in 2009 under official secret act),then how come a british correspondent got his hand on to that.Mind it Neville Maxwell is a reputed correspondent and in the absence of declassified report his summary is taken as the gospel truth to Henderson Brooks-Baghat report.And in his summary Neville Maxwell lays the entire blame at the doorstep of nehru and his selected B M Kaul, general thapar,IB director N B Mullik and Krishna menon.

At the time of independence Kaul appeared to be a failed officer, if not disgraced.
Although Sandhurst-trained for infantry service he had eased through the war
without serving on any front line and ended it in a humble and obscure post in
public relations. But his courtier wiles, irrelevant or damning until then, were to
serve him brilliantly in the new order that independence brought, after he came
to the notice of Nehru, a fellow Kashmiri brahmin and indeed distant kinsman.
Boosted by the prime minister's steady favouritism, Kaul rocketed up through the
army structure to emerge in 1961 at the very summit of Army HQ. Not only did
he hold the key appointment of chief of the general staff (CGS) but the Army
Commander, Thapar, was in effect his client.
Now how credible is Neville Maxwell summary.IF you read his report you will get a feeling that its influnced by his personal agenda,which i cant decipher what his agenda was.like the above quote from his summary.I'm attaching the full report for members views.

Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report summary by Neville Maxwell

Henderson Brooks Report: An Introduction
Neville Maxwell
April14-20, 2001
A Defence Ministry Committee is reported to have recommended releasing into
the public domain, the official reports on India's wars against Pakistan 1947,
1965 and 1971. Also the 1962 border war against China, India's intervention in
Sri Lanka and others. Reproduced here is British author Neville Maxwell's
summary of what he believes the Henderson Brooks Report contains. This article
first appeared in the Economic & Political Weekly. Neville Maxwell is the author of
India's China War.
WHEN THE Army's report into its debacle in the border war was completed in
1963, the Indian government had good reason to keep it Top Secret and give
only the vaguest, and largely misleading, indications of its contents. At that time
the government's effort, ultimately successful, to convince the political public that
the Chinese, with a sudden 'unprovoked aggression', had caught India unawares
in a sort of Himalayan Pearl Harbour was in its early stages and the report's cool
and detailed analysis, if made public, would have shown that to be selfexculpatory
But a series of studies, beginning in the late 1960s and continuing into the
1990s,1 revealed to any serious enquirer the full story of how the Indian Army
was ordered to challenge the Chinese military to a conflict it could only lose. So
by now only bureaucratic inertia, combined with the natural fading of any public
interest, can explain the continued non-publication - the report includes no
surprises and its publication would be of little significance but for the fact that so
many in India still cling to the soothing fantasy of a 1962 Chinese 'aggression'.
It seems likely now that the report will never be released. Furthermore, if one day
a stable, confident and relaxed government in New Delhi should, miraculously,
appear and decide to clear out the cupboard and publish it, the text would be
largely incomprehensible, the context, well known to the authors and therefore
not spelled out, being now forgotten. The report would need an introduction and
gloss - a first draft of which this paper attempts to provide, drawing upon the
writer's research in India in the 1960s and material published later.
Two preambles are required, one briefly recalling the cause and course of the
border war, the second to describe the fault-line, which the border dispute turned
into a schism, within the Army's officer corps, which was a key factor in the
disaster - and of which the Henderson Brooks Report can be seen as an
Origins of Border Conflict: India at the time of independence can be said have
faced no external threats. True, it was born into a relationship of permanent
belligerency with its weaker Siamese twin Pakistan, left by the British inseparably
conjoined to India by the member of Kashmir, vital to both new national
organisms; but that may be seen as essentially an internal dispute, an
untreatable complication left by the crude, cruel surgery of partition.
In 1947 China, wracked by civil war, was in what appeared to be death throes
and no conceivable threat to anyone. That changed with astonishing speed and
by 1950, when the newborn People's Republic re-established in Tibet the central
authority which had lapsed in 1911, the Indian Government will have made its
initial assessment of the possibility and potential of a threat from China and found
those to be minimal, if not non-extent.
First, there were geographic and topographical factors, the great mountain chains
which lay between the two neighbours and appeared to make large-scale troop
movements impractical. More important, the leadership of the Indian Government
- which is to say, Jawaharlal Nehru - had for years proclaimed that the
unshakable friendship between India and China would be the key to both their
futures and therefore Asia's, even the world's. The new leaders in Beijing were
more chary, viewing India through their Marxist prism as a potentially hostile
bourgeois state. But in the Indian political perspective war with China was
deemed unthinkable and through the 1950s New Delhi's defence planning and
expenditure expressed that confidence.
By the early 1950s, however, the Indian government, which is to say Nehru and
his acolyte officials, had shaped and adopted a policy whose implementation
would make armed conflict with China not only 'thinkable' but inevitable. From
the first days of India's independence, it was appreciated that the Sino-Indian
borders had been left undefined by the departing British and that territorial
disputes with China were part of India's inheritance. China's other neighbours
faced similar problems and over the succeeding decades of the century, almost all
of those were to settle their borders satisfactorily through the normal process of
diplomatic negotiation with Beijing.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Why India lost the 1962 border war?

"I remember many a time when our senior generals came to us, and wrote to the defence ministry saying that they wanted certain things... If we had had foresight, known exactly what would happen, we would have done something else... what India has learnt from the Chinese invasion is that in the world of today there is no place for weak nations... We have been living in an unreal world of our own creation."

The statement was made by then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in Rajya Sabha, in 1963, after India's humiliating defeat at the hands of China. It is an eye opening statement from a leader who always viewed international politics from his own utopian prism.

The defeat in the 1962 border war made him realise that there is indeed no place for weak nations in the world politics.

"In the political and diplomatic fields too, significant changes came through the 1962 episode, bringing more realism," notes the official Indian history of the border war between India and China.

The India-China war was an eye-opener for India. But even after 45 years, the people of India are not aware of the circumstances and reasons that led to India's defeat. The popular belief among the masses is that China betrayed Indian trust and attacked our defenses in the Ladakh and North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) region.

But the government inquiry in the defeat (still classified), the official history of the Government of India (1992), declassified documents from China and United States of America, and a huge amount of research on the subject by Indian analysts and experts reveal startling facts about the war.

The most significant reason of our defeat is that the political leadership of that time failed India. It was not Chinese betrayal, but then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon's arrogant belief that they would solve the crisis through diplomacy and that China would not dare attack India despite the latter's 'Forward Policy'.

This policy and the duo's assumption of Chinese in-action in event of crisis was firmly supported by then Intelligence Bureau Director B N Mullick, who, according to some analysts, was also responsible for misleading the political leadership.

After going through the available material important factors which possibly led to India's defeat on the eastern front emerge. They are:
Erroneous assessment by the political leadership that China will not react to India's 'Forward Policy' in NEFA region and Ladakh.
Ill-equipped and ill prepared Indian army.
China's unfounded perception of Indian designs to seize Tibet.

Damning report

After the humiliating defeat, the Indian Army entrusted Lieutenant-General Henderson Brooks and Brigadier P S Bhagat to inquire into the debacle. Although the terms of reference set for them were very limited, the duo dug deep and discovered a great deal about the initial formulation of the "Forward Policy" and how the Indian Army was forced into the conflict by the political leadership of that time.

The Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report is still classified but a British Correspondent, Neville Maxwell, had seen the report and he published a summary of what the report contains. How he got to see the report is unclear but rumour has it that a senior minister passed a copy of the report to him.

The Indian Government published an official history - The History of the Conflict with China, 1962, which was written by the History Division of the Ministry of Defence in 1992. Both the reports point out that an ill-equipped and ill-prepared Indian Army was forced to take on superior Chinese PLA.

Infact, General K S Thimayya, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) until 1961, wrote in Seminar Magazine in 1962 that, "I cannot even, as a soldier, envisage India taking on China in an open conflict on its own; we could never hope to match China in the foreseeable future. It must be left to the politicians and diplomats to ensure our security."

Despite this, the political leadership, backed by the Intelligence Bureau, ordered the army to setup forward posts in all areas that India claimed its own. This included areas which were disputed.

The 'Forward Policy', which called for establishing posts in the disputed areas often behind Chinese forward posts, had been continuing since 1954 despite repeated protests by the Chinese Government.

Chronology of India-China Border War, 1962

Nehru's going ahead with this policy was based on assumptions. He was of the belief that China would not oppose Indian patrols and border outposts out of fear of an India backed by both the United States of America and Soviet Union.

The rationale behind the policy was to setup border posts and drive out the Chinese from the areas which India considered its own.

Several Indian Army officers opposed the policy as militarily perilous as they were aware that the Indian Army was not adequately prepared to face the Chinese force in the frontiers.

The official Indian version of the war states that: "In the years 1959-1960, LT General S P P Thorat, GOC-in-C Eastern Command, had made an appreciation about the magnitude of Chinese threat to Indian borders in the Eastern Sector and had made projections about his requirements to meet that threat. But the Army HQ as well as the Defence Minister paid little heed to Gen Thorat's appreciation. It was not even brought to the notice of the Prime Minister."

Politicisation of Army HQ

Instead of heeding sound military advice, Nehru replaced the military top brass with more submissive officers, who would carry out his orders and eventually lead to India's humiliation. This overt politicisation of the army high command was one of the reasons why India lost.

To top it all, irresponsible and jingoistic statements by the political leadership precipitated matters and gave a handle to the Chinese to attack Indian posts in 'self-defense'.

Then Home Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, declared on February 4, 1962 that "If the Chinese will not vacate the areas occupied by her, India will have to repeat what she did in Goa. She will certainly drive out the Chinese forces."

Nehru also gave a statement on October 12, 1962, that he had "ordered the Indian Army to throw the Chinese out."

Driving out the Chinese forces was an optimistic declaration by the political leadership but the ground situation was different. Indian Army was logistically weak and ill-prepared to take on the superior Chinese forces that were well trained in mountain warfare.

Although Indian and Chinese forces were involved in a series of clashes along the border throughout 1962, significant fighting of the India-China Border War took place from October 10, 1962 to November 20, 1962. The fighting took place in Walong, Tawang, and Aksai Chin.

According to military analysts, a series of factors led to Indian Army's debacle. The Indian intelligence apparatus in the Himalayas was lacking. They had no clear indication of Chinese strength, mobility and tactics, especially the human wave attacks, states a report.

Roderick MacFarquhar, in his book The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Vol. 3: The Coming of the Cataclysm 1961-1966, blamed the Indian intelligence community for not properly analysing Chinese domestic and diplomatic developments. According to him, they relied on CIA briefings, newspaper account and dispatches from the Indian embassy in Beijing about China's economic crisis, its split with the Soviet Union, and the Taiwan crisis. Depending on these reports, Indian political, army and intelligence leadership concluded that China will not react aggressively to India's 'Forward Policy'.

Even militarily, successive inquiries in the border war would reveal, Indian Army was not ready to take on the Chinese. Very few Indian soldiers had operated in mountain areas. The troops were using obsolete weapons unsuitable for mountain warfare and that too were in short supply. The Chinese were well supplied as they had stocked supplies in Tibet and their soldiers were well acquainted with mountain warfare.

Logistical, leadership failure

The Indian soldiers, on the other hand, did not even have enough winter clothing and shoes. Even the line of communications was difficult as there was no road network. The supplies and reinforcements for the troops were sent most by air, states the official Indian history.

Apart from that the troops were short on artillery and ammunition and the artillery they had was very often immobile in the mountains.

Besides, the morale of the forces was at its lowest. The decision making in the army was totally ad-hoc. The official Indian history states: "Some of the decisions were patently incomprehensible. For example, when 2 Rajput were stopped in their way to the plains for reinduction, they were sent to Kameng, a totally new area for them, instead of being sent back to Walong Sector with which they were quite familiar. The result was confusion all around."

"Unplanned induction of troops on ad hoc basis and the consequent breaking of original formations ruined the cohesiveness and compactness of fighting formations," the report states.

One such incident, which merits attention is the government's order attack and evict the Chinese force that was threatening Dhola Post. The field commanders argued that it was militarily impossible to take on the superior Chinese forces at the point of confrontation, below Thagla Ridge near McMahon Line.

According to a study, sometime in September, the Army HQ ordered the troops to capture a Chinese post 1000 yards north-east of Dhola Post and contain the Chinese concentration south of Thagla Ridge. The army official inquiry into the war, the Henderson Brooks-Bhagat Report, while commenting on the order state: "The General Staff, sitting in Delhi, ordering an action against a position 1000 yards north-east of Dhola Post is astounding. The country was not known, the enemy situation vague and for all that there may have been a ravine in between [the troops and their objective], but yet the order was given. This order could go down in the annals of history as being as incredible as the order for the Charge of the Light Brigade."

The political leadership and the Army HQ then decided to give the task of attacking and driving the Chinese forces off Thagla Ridge to the newly formed IV Corps. Interestingly, the command of this new formation was given to Lieutenant General B M Kaul, who had never commanded an active fighting outfit.

The official history also blamed Kaul for frequently ignoring the chain of command. The report accused him of directly approaching the Chief of Army Staff, bypassing the GOC-in-C and also giving orders directly to junior officers, bypassing a chain of middle officers.

General Kaul was subsequently relieved after the ceasefire was announced. He later resigned from the army.

No use of IAF

Another important factor, which many analysts and defence experts believe could have altered the outcome of war, was India's decision of not using the air force. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was not used for any offensive action and was only confined to air dropping supplies to the troops.

Former Air Vice-Marshal A K Tewary, in an article in Indian Defence Review, said that had India pressed in the IAF, the outcome of the war would have been different.

"In the final analysis, the use of combat air power would have turned the tables on the Chinese and the 1962 war could well have been a debacle for China," he said in the article.

He blamed the IB Director B N Mullick for exaggerated assessment of attack by Chinese bombers on Indian cities if India had used the air force.

At one point of time, Nehru got so worried that he sent two letters to then US President John F Kennedy requesting the support of US Air Force in fighting the Chinese. The letters, delivered between November 15 and November 20, 1962, are still classified.

But S Gopal, in his biography of Jawaharlal Nehru, has summarised the content of the letters: "Nehru, without consulting anybody in his Cabinet, wrote two letters to Kennedy describing the situation as 'really desperate' and requesting the immediate dispatch of a minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all-weather fighters and the setting up of radar communications. American personnel would have to man these fighters and installations and protect Indian cities from air attacks by the Chinese till Indian personnel had been trained."

"Nehru also sought two B-47 bombers squadrons from the US to enable India to strike at Chinese bases and air fields, but to learn to fly these planes Indian pilots and technicians would be sent immediately for training in the US," Gopal had written.

But on November 20, 1962, China declared a unilateral ceasefire. India lost extensive territory. In NEFA, the Chinese captured huge territory, advanced nearly 200 km and almost reached the Assam plains. In the end, both the sides withdrew their troops 20 km from new boundary lines on December 1, 1962.

Appropriate time to strike

Some analysts have suggested that India was at fault in this war and that it pursued an aggressive policy and provoked China, which left them with no alternative but to act in self defense. This assessment is incorrect as historical evidence suggests that China was well aware of Indian moves and was waiting for an appropriate time to strike, which it did, once it got respite from its external problems.

China was facing a threat of invasion from Taiwan during the initial months of 1962. But once, that situation eased in June, it committed more troops to border with India.

Careful analysis of historical events suggests that Chinese attack October 20, 1962 was a well planned move and it coincided with the Cuban Missile Crisis, an event which brought the world on the brink of obliteration.

The Chinese move is appropriately explained by the official Indian history, which state: "It is indeed plausible to speculate that the Chinese deliberately timed their attack to coincide the Cuban missile crisis. The superpowers, who were engaged in a deathly struggle, ensured the required degree of freedom for the Chinese to use force against India without fear of their interference."

China declared unilateral ceasefire on November 20, 1962, immediately after the resolution of crisis in the Caribbeans.

Indian designs to seize Tibet

Another important factor behind the flaring up of the border war between India and China was China's unfounded perception of Indian designs to seize Tibet.

According to analysts, after the declassification of documents regarding the 1962 War in both China and India, new facts have emerged about the Chinese deliberations before the war.

Chinese policymakers, analysts believe, held the view that India was colluding with the US to detach Tibet from China. A need to punish Indian aggressive 'Forward Policy' in the border areas was definitely a reason for the Chinese attack.

But their perception that India was deliberately working towards restoring the status quo in Tibet also played a part in their decision to teach India a lesson.

New studies reveal that CIA financed and armed a major resistance movement inside Tibet during the 1950's. China suspected that India was an active party to this movement, a fact which is still unconfirmed. Then Director of Intelligence Bureau, B N Mullick, acknowledged CIA's activities in Tibet during that time in his book The Chinese Betrayal (1971).

Whether India knowingly helped CIA in their Tibet operations or not will be known after India declassifies government papers of that time. But China believed India played an active role and it was one of the reasons for which they decided to punish India.

Brave soldiers

The 1962 War has left a deep scar on the Indian psyche. The political and military leadership sacrificed officers and soldiers under them despite knowing that the army was not prepared to take on the Chinese forces in a terrain where we were logistically weak and did not have proper supply lines.

One thing that united the entire nation in that hour of grief was the exemplary courage shown by the Indian soldiers in the adverse of conditions. It is said that they did not abandoned their rifles even if it meant certain death.

Their courage can be summed up in the immortal song, Aye mere watan ke logon, jara ankh me bharlo paani penned by Poet Pradeep after the defeat.

The moving song brought tears to the eyes of Indians when it was sung by Lata Mangeshkar at an all party meeting on January 26, 1963 in New Delhi. As the song ended, Nehru could not hold his tears and broke down completely.

Till today, the song reminds Indians of the supreme sacrifice of Indian jawans in the Himalayas.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
Keeping secrets

We dance around a ring and suppose/ the secret sits in the middle and knows” — much of modern Indian history is marked with that Frostian sense of baffling absence. Like the Sino-Indian conflict of 1962. We know the outcome, we still carry the psychic wounds, but the details exist somewhere, unseen by most human eyes.

The Henderson-Brooks (or Brooks-Bhagat) report is believed to be a blow-by-blow account of the 1962 war’s operational details, and is speculated to contain a sharply critical appraisal of the actions of the prime minister, his overweening defence minister Krishna Menon, and the war’s leading strategists. However, that report, now yellowing and soft with age, has been kept secret for almost 50 years in the defence ministry. No photocopies exist. Through the decades, despite changing political dispensations, the government has chosen to pretend it doesn’t exist, as if burying the volumes deep in a South Block warren would make its contents less contentious. Now, after a long and sustained debate and campaign to declassify the file, the Delhi high court has directed the government to place it in court before making a final decision. While the defence minister has expressed his reluctance, theupside is obvious — the logic, the missteps of a dramatic moment in history are fascinating. Given that there is no imaginable security fallout, the government’s reasons for keeping the file private seem pretty obscure. In India, we know our own collective story only through troubling gaps and evasions, anecdote and contradiction, compared to other countries where even war secrets are declassified after the usual 30-year period (many countries don’t even wait that long for the bulk of information).But besides battering through the doors of state secrecy, unveiling the Henderson Brooks report would also make a decisive move towards closure. Whether or not this is admitted, by repressing the 1962 trauma, India-China relations remain stuck in a weird rut. Instead, acquainting ourselves with the details and nature of our decades-old confrontation is bound to provide a clearer picture of our neighbour’s true dimensions, and provide the basis for sensible action in the future.


New Member
Jul 24, 2013
It wasn't China, but Nehru who declared 1962 war: Australian journalist Neville Maxwell - The Times of India

Two weeks ago, the Australian journalist Neville Maxwell finally made part of the Henderson Brooks report public, by putting it up on his blog. The report was an internal Indian Army enquiry into its rout in the 1962 war with China — Maxwell was the New Delhi correspondent for The Times, London, at the time — but in the 51 years since the report was written up by Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig PS Bhagat, successive Indian governments have refused to make it public. Only two copies of the report were thought to be in existence, although there was never any doubt that Maxwell had had access to the report for his 1970 book India's China War quoted extensively from it. In his first interview to the Indian media since he made the report public, the now 88-year-old Maxwell tells Parakram Rautela that he had been trying to make the report public for years but that nobody would publish it. He adds that he was only able to get hold of Volume I of the report, minus 45 pages, and that he never laid eyes on Volume II. And of course he still blames Nehru for the war, not the Chinese. Excerpts:

Q: You suggest India's official account of the cause of the 1962 border war is false. What, in your view, is the truth?

NM: By September 1962 the Indian "forward policy" of trying to force the Chinese out of territory India claimed had built up great tension in the Western (Ladakh) sector of the border, with the Chinese army just blocking it. Then the Nehru government applied the forward policy to the McMahon Line eastern sector and when the Chinese blocked that too India in effect declared war with Nehru's announcement on October 11 that the Army had been ordered to "free our territory", which meant to attack the Chinese and drive them back. As General Niranjan Prasad, commander of 4 Division, wrote later: "We at the front knew that since Nehru had said he was going to attack, the Chinese were certainly not going to wait to be attacked" — and of course they didn't. That's how the war began. The Chinese attack was both reactive, in that General Kaul had begun the Indian assault on October 10, and pre-emptive because after that failure the Indian drive had been suspended to build up strength for a resumed attack.

Q: What in your opinion were the policies, on both sides, that brought about the basic quarrel over the border?

NM: As far as the McMahon Line was concerned India inherited the dispute with China, which the British had created in the mid-1930s by seizing the Tibetan territory they re-named NEFA. The PRC government was prepared to accept that border alignment but insisted that it be re-negotiated, that is put through the usual diplomatic process, to wipe out its imperialist origins. Nehru refused, using London's false claim that the Simla Conference had already legitimised the McMahon Line to back up that refusal — that was his Himalayan blunder. Then in 1954 he compounded that mistake by laying cartographic claim to a swathe of territory in the north-west, the Aksai Chin, a claim which was beyond anything the British had ever claimed and on an area which Chinese governments had treated as their own for at least a hundred years. To make matters worse, he ruled that there should be no negotiation over that claim either! So Indian policy had created a border dispute and also ruled out the only way it could peacefully be settled, through diplomatic negotiation.

Q: Whatever the truth about the origins of the war, it's the effect on India-China relations and the deadlock since then that is important now... And there was the worry that bringing up all the bitterness of that bloody conflict may only make matters worse?

NM: Certainly not, the opposite is true I think. If the Henderson Brooks Report is read closely in India (and it's not easy reading!) people will see that political favouritism put the Army under incompetent leadership which blindly followed the Nehru government's provocative policy. It shows that all the way, from formulation to implementation of the Forward Policy, that policy was resisted by the pucca soldiers because they saw it must end in a conflict India could only lose, but the orders came from the top and in the end had to be obeyed... the authors of the report ruefully quote the poem, "theirs not to reason why... but to do or die".

Q: What made you publish the report now, and why were you selective about what you published?

NM: There's a significant gap in what I published, about 45 pages, otherwise I published all I have, which is Volume One of the Report's two volumes. The gap is there only because the time I had to copy it was limited, and when I saw I wouldn't have time to copy it all I chose to leave out a chunk in the middle rather than the end of it. As for the timing, I'd been trying to make it public for years but thought if I did it myself there'd just be attacks on me rather than concentration on the Report's contents, and to some extent that what's happening now. So a couple of years ago I made the text available to several major Indian papers on condition they didn't disclose their source, but none of them would publish it, so by this time I had to conclude that if I didn't do it myself it might never see the light of day. Now it's done without any harm whatever to national security let's hope the Indian government, this one or the next, will quickly publish both volumes of the Henderson Brooks Report without any gaps or editing.

Q: All right, but don't you see you may have made matters worse by arousing all this heated discussion just before a general election?

NM: Honestly, the elections never crossed my mind as bearing on my decision, I don't follow Indian politics closely nowadays. And as for making matters worse, absolutely not, I see the opposite as being true. The tragic irony in all this is that settlement would be easy and the way to settlement has always been open! All that is required is that the Indian government, any Indian government, reverses the Nehru refusal to negotiate. And it's possible that under the guise of just "talking", a secret process of negotiation has in fact been going on and there are signs that it may have reached agreement on basics. If so the Indian public is more likely to welcome that outcome because the myth of "Chinese aggression" has been exposed again, as the Henderson Brooks report does. I say "again" because all this, the historical and diplomatic background and what the Henderson Brooks report tells about the debacle, was exposed long ago in my 1970 book India's China War, and a revised edition of that has just come out in Delhi.


The Chairman
Apr 17, 2009
But S Gopal, in his biography of Jawaharlal Nehru, has summarised the content of the letters: "Nehru, without consulting anybody in his Cabinet, wrote two letters to Kennedy describing the situation as 'really desperate' and requesting the immediate dispatch of a minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all-weather fighters and the setting up of radar communications. American personnel would have to man these fighters and installations and protect Indian cities from air attacks by the Chinese till Indian personnel had been trained."
Is this the genetic fault of the family of treating India as their own personal preserve and property.

Or that all others are immaterial to decision making and that they alone have Divinity empowered authority decide what serves the Nation best?

That said, one cannot discard the idea that Neville Maxwell maybe biased in his opinions that he has trotted out.

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