JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

1962: The War That Wasn’t, by Kunal Verma

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  • April 2016
    Volume: 
    10
    Issue: 
    2
    Book Review

    The title of the book is self-explanatory. And the tone and tenor thereof is an implied challenge to the conventional wisdom, and thesis, propounded in India’s China War, written by British scribe Neville Maxwell in the 1970s. According to Verma, in 1949, ‘China was not a player as far as India’s national security was concerned.’ None, except Sardar Patel, could read, or anticipate, China and its plan of action. Hence, the 1962 India–China conflict is ‘least understood’. Exactly a month before his death, however, Patel wrote a warning letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Nehru. Yet, the outcome thereof was nil owing to Nehruvian ‘soft stand’ on/towards China, which later resulted in the unmitigated disaster of 1962 for the Indian Army.

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