India Strikes Back: Operation Snow Leopard - Part 1

India Strikes Back: Operation Snow Leopard - Part 1
The Chinese Invasion

It was the bleak months of summer 2020, the whole world was gripping under the lockdown to save itself from Wuhan Virus, a Chinese biological weapon that allegedly escaped from its laboratories. India was among the countries which were hit the hardest, with cases skyrocketing every day and the whole country gripping under medical emergency.
As India was battling the invisible threat, China, completely devoid of moral guilt and humanitarian responsibility, took this opportunity to mount an armed invasion on the northern Himalayan state of India, Ladakh. People’s liberation army ground forces (PLAFG), under the guise of an annual military exercise in occupied Tibet, swiftly moved its forces in eastern Ladakh to capture forward positions, peaks, and valleys.



Initially, Chinese military buildup was not taken with enough seriousness by the Indian establishment, as such “incursions” were not uncommon in the Himalayas, where the boundaries are not strictly defined, and both sides routinely lay claim to each other’s area under control.

However, this time, the Chinese were in no mood for any compromise or treaty, and their unprovoked aggression kept increasing day by day. Things became clear by mid-June as China mounted a cowardly attack in Galwan valley over Indian Army negotiators using primitive weapons such as stones, swords, and maces.
The malicious intent of China was clear. Using its biological weapon to weaken other countries, it wants to militarily usurp land from its neighbors, and India definitely was not in its best shape to fight China militarily.

The Indian Counterattack

Multiple flag-meetings between local commanders of the Indian and Chinese army were held to resolve the ongoing stand-off, however, the Chinese side made no effort towards a peaceful resolution, instead, resorting to rudeness and unrealistic demands.
It was obvious diplomacy was not going to work, and aggressive military response to Chinese aggression was the need of the hour. During an NSA-led tri-service meeting, it was decided to capture the heights of southern Pangong Tso lake to gain leverage on the Chinese forces.

After months of planning, the Indian Army was finally prepared for the operation, and the go-ahead was given by the Army Chief and GOC, Army Northern Command.
The operation was to be spearheaded by troops of Special Forces of the Indian Army, who were specialized in very high-altitude mountain warfare. Specifically, troops from the elusive Special Frontier Force (SFF) unit are composed of the local Tibetan population who are accustomed to low-oxygen levels and colds of Ladakh. Each unit was tasked to capture a specific height and secure a sustainable supply line so that it can be reinforced by more troops and armor.

On the night of 29th August, the Indian Army’s intelligence wing detected the Chinese army military movement towards the peaks of Southern Pangong Tso. The immediate go-ahead was issued for the offensive teams to pre-empt the Chinese in capturing the Southern peaks.
The Special Forces platoons rushed towards the peaks, utilizing the darkness of the night as cover. Capturing teams trekked for an average of 2-3 kilometers on foot, to reach peaks averaging 5,200 meters above sea level, battling low oxygen levels and freezing temperatures. The advancing Chinese troops, when they reached near the top, found themselves utterly beaten by Indian troops, who had already taken advantageous positions on the top.
However, three peaks fell to the Chinese hands due to their closer proximity to the Chinese base. Indian troops tactically took positions around these captured peaks, circumventing them to create an advantageous position.




A SFF soldier somehwere in Eastern Ladakh

Peaks South of Spanggur Gap

Peaks across the ridgeline south of Spanggur Gaps are Maggar Hill, Mukhapari Top, Rezang La, and Rechin La. All these peaks were successfully captured by Indian troops. These peaks are strategically important as they overlook the road connecting the Chinese Moldo-garrison and the whole Spanggur Lake. An Indian offensive can essentially choke the entry-point of the Spanggur gap, thus ceding Chinese control over the Spanggur Lake.

Shortly afterward Indian troops secured the peaks, Indian armor comprising T-90 Bhisma and T-72 Ajeya tanks, and BMP-2 Sarath Infantry fighting vehicle started climbing the Rezang-La pass. Advancing Chinese troops trying to capture some vantage points were completely taken by surprise when they discovered Indian armor had taken control over the peaks.


Indian Army T-90 "Bhisma" tank deployed close to LAC


Indian Army BMP-2 "Sarath" launches 9M133 Kornet Anti-Tank missile in a wargaming simulation in Eastern Ladakh.




At a few places, traditional LAC was crossed by more than a kilometer to secure advantageous positions overlooking Chinese positions. Chinese troops tried to take positions below Indian fortifications, but those were only a few and scattered.

Peaks North of Spanggur Gap

Peaks across the north of Spanggur Gaps are Black Top, Yellow Bump, Helmet Top, Pt. 5167, and Thakung Heights. All these peaks are on the virtual-LAC between India and China, except for one, Black Top, which falls on the Chinese side.
During the night of 29th August, Helmet Top and Yellow Bump fell into the hands of the Chinese forces, whereas all other adjoining heights were captured by Indian troops. Sensing the danger from Chinese positions on the Yellow Bump and Helmet Top, Indian troops secured positions surrounding the Chinese outposts to nullify their strategic advantage.



Indian positions from Yellow Bump and the ridgeline give a complete line-of-sight to Moldo Garrison of China, which is a great strategic advantage to India. In case of any hostilities, Indian positions can direct accurate artillery fire or airstrike directly on the Chinese positions, which otherwise remains hidden behind the mountains.


SFF soldiers waving the Indian flag just below Yellow bump. In the last part of the video, you can see the Moldo garrison visible from that location.

Conclusion

The cowardly Chinese intrusion on Indian sovereign territories in the wake of alleged Chinese biological attack over the world revealed the true intention of China as a hegemon and a rogue nation.
With Operation Snow Leopard, India secured an advantageous bargaining position over China which will eventually make China cave in and pull back its troops from the Pangong Tso sector.
Although crunched by the pandemic, the Indian army managed to not only deter Chinese intrusions but also secure an advantageous position despite having all the odds against it. Even though China had the first-movers advantage, a more modernized force, and a better-performing economy to back up its military campaign, when it came to action on the ground, China’s image of a dragon came crashing on the ground.

t-90-ani.jpg
 
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The Chinese Invasion

It was the bleak months of summer 2020, the whole world was gripping under the lockdown to save itself from Wuhan Virus, a Chinese biological weapon that allegedly escaped from its laboratories. India was among the countries which were hit the hardest, with cases skyrocketing every day and the whole country gripping under medical emergency.
As India was battling the invisible threat, China, completely devoid of moral guilt and humanitarian responsibility, took this opportunity to mount an armed invasion on the northern Himalayan state of India, Ladakh. People’s liberation army ground forces (PLAFG), under the guise of an annual military exercise in occupied Tibet, swiftly moved its forces in eastern Ladakh to capture forward positions, peaks, and valleys.



Initially, Chinese military buildup was not taken with enough seriousness by the Indian establishment, as such “incursions” were not uncommon in the Himalayas, where the boundaries are not strictly defined, and both sides routinely lay claim to each other’s area under control.

However, this time, the Chinese were in no mood for any compromise or treaty, and their unprovoked aggression kept increasing day by day. Things became clear by mid-June as China mounted a cowardly attack in Galwan valley over Indian Army negotiators using primitive weapons such as stones, swords, and maces.
The malicious intent of China was clear. Using its biological weapon to weaken other countries, it wants to militarily usurp land from its neighbors, and India definitely was not in its best shape to fight China militarily.

The Indian Counterattack

Multiple flag-meetings between local commanders of the Indian and Chinese army were held to resolve the ongoing stand-off, however, the Chinese side made no effort towards a peaceful resolution, instead, resorting to rudeness and unrealistic demands.
It was obvious diplomacy was not going to work, and aggressive military response to Chinese aggression was the need of the hour. During an NSA-led tri-service meeting, it was decided to capture the heights of southern Pangong Tso lake to gain leverage on the Chinese forces.

After months of planning, the Indian Army was finally prepared for the operation, and the go-ahead was given by the Army Chief and GOC, Army Northern Command.
The operation was to be spearheaded by troops of Special Forces of the Indian Army, who were specialized in very high-altitude mountain warfare. Specifically, troops from the elusive Special Frontier Force (SFF) unit are composed of the local Tibetan population who are accustomed to low-oxygen levels and colds of Ladakh. Each unit was tasked to capture a specific height and secure a sustainable supply line so that it can be reinforced by more troops and armor.

On the night of 29th August, the Indian Army’s intelligence wing detected the Chinese army military movement towards the peaks of Southern Pangong Tso. The immediate go-ahead was issued for the offensive teams to pre-empt the Chinese in capturing the Southern peaks.
The Special Forces platoons rushed towards the peaks, utilizing the darkness of the night as cover. Capturing teams trekked for an average of 2-3 kilometers on foot, to reach peaks averaging 5,200 meters above sea level, battling low oxygen levels and freezing temperatures. The advancing Chinese troops, when they reached near the top, found themselves utterly beaten by Indian troops, who had already taken advantageous positions on the top.
However, three peaks fell to the Chinese hands due to their closer proximity to the Chinese base. Indian troops tactically took positions around these captured peaks, circumventing them to create an advantageous position.




A SFF soldier somehwere in Eastern Ladakh

Peaks South of Spanggur Gap

Peaks across the ridgeline south of Spanggur Gaps are Maggar Hill, Mukhapari Top, Rezang La, and Rechin La. All these peaks were successfully captured by Indian troops. These peaks are strategically important as they overlook the road connecting the Chinese Moldo-garrison and the whole Spanggur Lake. An Indian offensive can essentially choke the entry-point of the Spanggur gap, thus ceding Chinese control over the Spanggur Lake.

Shortly afterward Indian troops secured the peaks, Indian armor comprising T-90 Bhisma and T-72 Ajeya tanks, and BMP-2 Sarath Infantry fighting vehicle started climbing the Rezang-La pass. Advancing Chinese troops trying to capture some vantage points were completely taken by surprise when they discovered Indian armor had taken control over the peaks.


Indian Army T-90 "Bhisma" tank deployed close to LAC


Indian Army BMP-2 "Sarath" launches 9M133 Kornet Anti-Tank missile in a wargaming simulation in Eastern Ladakh.




At a few places, traditional LAC was crossed by more than a kilometer to secure advantageous positions overlooking Chinese positions. Chinese troops tried to take positions below Indian fortifications, but those were only a few and scattered.

Peaks North of Spanggur Gap

Peaks across the north of Spanggur Gaps are Black Top, Yellow Bump, Helmet Top, Pt. 5167, and Thakung Heights. All these peaks are on the virtual-LAC between India and China, except for one, Black Top, which falls on the Chinese side.
During the night of 29th August, Helmet Top and Yellow Bump fell into the hands of the Chinese forces, whereas all other adjoining heights were captured by Indian troops. Sensing the danger from Chinese positions on the Yellow Bump and Helmet Top, Indian troops secured positions surrounding the Chinese outposts to nullify their strategic advantage.



Indian positions from Yellow Bump and the ridgeline give a complete line-of-sight to Moldo Garrison of China, which is a great strategic advantage to India. In case of any hostilities, Indian positions can direct accurate artillery fire or airstrike directly on the Chinese positions, which otherwise remains hidden behind the mountains.


SFF soldiers waving the Indian flag just below Yellow bump. In the last part of the video, you can see the Moldo garrison visible from that location.

Conclusion

The cowardly Chinese intrusion on Indian sovereign territories in the wake of alleged Chinese biological attack over the world revealed the true intention of China as a hegemon and a rogue nation.
With Operation Snow Leopard, India secured an advantageous bargaining position over China which will eventually make China cave in and pull back its troops from the Pangong Tso sector.
Although crunched by the pandemic, the Indian army managed to not only deter Chinese intrusions but also secure an advantageous position despite having all the odds against it. Even though China had the first-movers advantage, a more modernized force, and a better-performing economy to back up its military campaign, when it came to action on the ground, China’s image of a dragon came crashing on the ground.
And galwan
 

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