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Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India's Most Crushing Military Disaster

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India’s Most Crushing Military Disaster is Brigadier J. P. Dalvi’s retelling of the Sino-Indian war that took place in 1962 - a war that India lost. Dalvi fought the war as the Commander of the 7th Infantry Brigade in NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency).

His account of the war is graphic and telling. He was captured by the Chinese forc
Hardcover, 506 pages
Published September 15th 2003 by Natraj Publishers (first published 1969)
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Rashna Hazarika A candid account of how the brave army men suffered because of blotched decision making by our political readers - written by an Army man himself. An…moreA candid account of how the brave army men suffered because of blotched decision making by our political readers - written by an Army man himself. An eye opener in my view. A salute to the brave soldiers!!(less)

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Anant Singh
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Just finished "Himalayan Blunders" written by Brigadier John Dalvi. It was my first book on Indo-Sino War and I am thankful for orkut Non-Fiction community to suggest me for reading this book. Book was banned as soon as it got published and I know the reason after reading it. John was in charge of 7th Brigade who took the responsibility of Handling the Chinese crisis along the Tibetan border. The book is full of agony , frustration and anger which author experienced during those days.

He coined a
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must read for all! Readers can understand the hidden politics of the politicians and the horrible life of the soldiers at the Himalayan border.

Every politician must read this book to know what he/she should not do.

After reading this, my impression of Nehru changed to a great extent! People should have changed their mind set slowly after the release of this book. But even today, many projects are being named after him! That is the great irony.
Vikram Karve
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone

This morning while browsing through my bookcase I chanced upon one of my favourite military autobiographies – HIMALAYAN BLUNDER by Brig JP Dalvi. The television was on, my favourite news channel was blaring away, and as I started reading Himalayan Blunder, leafing through the pages of the book, I was filled with a sense of déjà vu. The events unfolding before my eyes, on TV News Channels, and the events chronicled in the book – the
Rupin Chaudhry
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just sample the following rules of engagement
(a) Persuade them to leave Indian territory
(b) If Chinese do not comply, dig-in opposite to them to scare them from attempting further incursion
(c) Fire is permitted only in self-defense and that too with minimum force

These were the orders to 7th infantry brigade from the higher command to counter the heavily armed, well administered, well prepared Chinese incursion in the Namka Chu valley of Thagla region of NEFA. The orders spelled total annihilatio
Amit Tiwary
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books, favorites
Extremely repetitive content. I have complete trust on what J P Dalvi says but the tone is so negative and harsh. This is true that the Dalvi was implicated and made a scapegoat in this whole episode and his frustrations and pain flow on pages of the book. Still I believe he could have gone a bit soft. Plus the Chinese side of story doesn't come out that well in this one.

I have started with Neil Maxwell's "India's China war" and that is good so far.

I have my respect for the gallantry and resol
Jun 10, 2010 marked it as to-read
[Through Atanu:]
Apparently, Ms. IG banned this book because it exposed her father. I hope Indians will wake up to the truth, and shove the dynasty to the rightful place it deserves to be in.

Not sure if this book is available in the stores now.
Vikram Karve
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of Military History
Book Review

This morning while browsing through my bookcase I chanced upon one of my favourite military autobiographies – HIMALAYAN BLUNDER by Brig JP Dalvi. The television was on, my favourite news channel was blaring away, and as I started reading Himalayan Blunder, leafing through the pages of the book, I was filled with a sense of déjà vu. The events unfolding before my eyes, on TV News Channels, and the events chronicled in the book – the coincidence was startl
Ankit Rana
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What makes a nation great ?

The book provides a beautiful answer to the question above. Our humble army men, doing a thankless job, without ration, ammunition,boots or winter clothing, defending few useless pieces of logs and redeeming the follies of few spineless, arrogant men with their blood, sacrificed themselves fighting valiantly for the honour of the country.

JP Dalvi rightly asks what more can a nation ask of its soldiers.

Not many of those who sacrificed their lives are remembered by the p
Pali Reen
HIMALAYAN BLUNDER – An appreciation
At the start, let me say that some books just cannot be starred and this is one of them. I had heard about this book a long time ago, but only recently had the opportunity to read it and it took me some time to fully comprehend what Brig. Dalvi had to convey.
Perhaps, not till the Napoleonic wars one comes across historical books about warfare written by those who were a part of battles. Least of all, there are practically no history books of Indian kings writt
Abhishek Rao
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A rather heavy read with lots of military jargon and terminologies which makes it sometimes difficult to understand. However it does point to the collective failures of Civilian and the Military apparatus in averting the War which caused national humiliation in 1962.

The dressing down of "demi-gods" like Nehru and V.K Menon by the author exposes the propaganda that is dished out for Nehru being a statesman and a strategic thinker. The complacent approach of Nehru in mindlessly trusting the Chines
Anandraj R
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The key mistakes of Indo-sino conflict like Nehru's ignorance of patel's warning, Appointment of Mennon & Gen.Kaul, setting up forward post on controversial DHOLA area, Lack of infrastructure planning for the war time are explained in detail.
The author has nailed every possible events that led up to the war.
Kudos to our army Jawans who fought the Indo-Sino war bravely despite the screw up of our political leadership!


Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book is unique in a sense that it is written by the Brigadier who actually led the force in NEFA. The book is well written and provides an indepth analysis of India's Chinese Policies, its apathy towards its army and most importantly how Mr. Nehru, Mr. Menon and Mr. Kaul created an environment of self deception for them, the parliament and the Indian public which ultimately led to India's defeat... I would have rated it 5 star had it not been repetitive.
Antariksh Raj
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HIstorical description from the point of view of a army personal.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brutally honest.
Yashawanth Ramaswamy
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kannada
A must read book for every Indian to know the truth about Indo-sino war of 1962.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Fantastic book which covers the entire Indo-China war of 1962 from the perspective of an Indian Brigadier.

While you'd come across a lot of historical reports of the war elsewhere, this book provides that one thing which all those reports lack - a live perspective right from the borders and yards away from the enemy. Read this book to understand that perspective. I could feel the intensity, the disappointment, the Rage that engulfed the Indian Army at being defeated at the hands of the PLA becau
Rajasekhar Rao
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In October 1950, the newly born People's Republic of China brought "freedom " to Tibet by sending in some 20,000 troops. This "liberation" was offered to Tibetans by the People's Republic of China by overwhelming the tiny Tibetan army. Subsequent consolidation of Chinese control was cemented in 1959 resulting in the destruction of thousands of Tibetan monastaries. The Chinese move apparently took India by surprise. Tibet appealed for help but India refused and advised the Tibetans to negotiate a ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart wrenching story of a struggle. A struggle faced by the an Indian soldier against the backdrop of the icy winds of the himalayas, sans warm clothing, boots and a soldier's worst nightmare- sans ammunition. An imbroglio of political indecisiveness, intelligence failure and miscommunication, all at the expense of the lives of brave officers and jawans who defended the country, to be ultimately betrayed. The 1962 Indo-Chinese war saga is a shameful defeat of the entire country, not just the ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for various reasons.

Firstly, Indian war books are rare. This is not a genre that is appreciated in common discussions. There are no star war analysts or writers. And those who pretend to be so on mass television, tend to be ill informed or come with set agendas.

Secondly, this book talks about a history, which is impossible to find anywhere else. School books, contemporary history texts and op-eds almost always skip the ignominy of China war. There could be many reasons
Pradeep T
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the most chilling and humiliating account of India’s war with China in the year 1962. Famously known as Indo-Sino war or Battle of Thagla. Author Brigadier John P. Dalvi was the person who led his 7 Infantry brigade in defending the lands of India and eventually became the war prisoner of China. This book documents the anguish of a war hero that was treated lesser than a human being by the political leadership of India during 1962-63.

As per Dalvi’s account we get to read the most disturb
Prem Rao
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brig. John Dalvi was perhaps best positioned to write about the Indo-China War of 1962, an event in which the Indian Army came out second best, not because of their fault but largely because of the sloth of the men who governed India those days.

"Himalayan Blunder" is the story of a tragedy which could well have been averted. A story of how egos got in the way of common sense and made the poor ill-equipped Indian soldier fight an uneven battle against vastly better armed and prepared Chinese troo
Vijay Rayasam
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
The book deals with the war between India and China faught in the year 1962, in the area of Mc mahon line near Arunachal pradesh. It gives us a real insight about whatever happened before war, during war and after war. Its deals with the conditions in which the Indian Army had to survive in those heights where they were not even provided with adequate winter clothing, shelter and food supply. The supply lines were totally absent in the war zone because of which our army had to rely on air droppi ...more
Mudit Sood
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everything except the fighting spirit of the Indian soldier failed in the events leading up to the brief Sino-Indian War of 1962 in which our country were over run by the mighty Chinese.

It's a classic case of lack of foresight, planning, co-ordination between the babus and the military brass, tattered infrastructure, abysmal condition of the Indian soldier (lack of woolen clothes, limited food supplies, old WW II era guns, limited ammunition and mortar) and the lack of willingness of the civili
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brigadier Dalvi has written a book analyzing the Chinese invasion of 1962. 'Failing to prepare is preparing to fail'-Benjamin Franklin. Nowhere is this adage more apt than in the descriptions given by the Brigadier.
India's political machinery was inept then and they stand exposed. It is not the losing but the manner of losing that hurts. Krishna Menon's communism and idiocy, Nehru's lack of foresight and planning, went into the chinese stroll inside India.
Two lessons the author wants to convey t
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book as a change from the kind of books I usually read and it proved to be an extremely engaging read. It proved to be accurate, detailing the 1962 India-China war and also demonstrated the various obstacles that the army had to face, including difficulties relating to supplies, logistics, hierarchy and poor support from the then incumbent government. Apart from detailing the military aspects, the book is also a good read while adjudging shortcomings in Indian foreign policy wit ...more
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i couldnt get the original, in English. It is translated to Kannada by Ravi Belegere. Its a really heartrending book which in simple language presents the tough geographic and climatic conditions our soldiers had to brave along with the mis-management of whole situation. Exposes celebrated leaders into opportunistic and crooked politicians. Overall a very good read that gives a total insight in to political and administrative incapability of India in 1962 Indo-Sino war. At the end of the read, t ...more
Anthony Nesbitt
Apr 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Impressive. Dalvi's first hand account of India's disasterous month long war with China in October 1962 provides a damning verdict on Indian Government incompetence. As well as effectively how the Indian army was betrayed by its own government. A classic example as to how a minor disagreement between neighbouring countries can escalate into a major flash point.
Santhosh Yadav N U
We spent all our childhood thinking this bloody as***** Nehru was a hero. Thank God, his photo didn't come on our currency. A good read. Actually a must read for all so that at least now people will understand the ability of Congress to rule a country. #Hope we won't choose people like Menon, Kaul, Thapar to rule us in any way possible.
Pushkar Verma
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the best military book I have ever read.In today's time It makes me wonder are we heading for another Himalayan Blunder??Brig Dalvi "no hold barred" account of Indo-China War was an eye opener for me.Nehru should have been charged with Massacring of our Indian soldiers , but he is always known as "Chacha Nehru". Thank you very much Retd. Brig. Dalvi for sharing the facts.
Siddarth Gore
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
A gripping read. We generally want to read about the successful missions of our country but the unsuccessful ones give a greater insight into all the mechanisms that are in play when it comes to such a huge and horrendous event as a war. This book provides great recounting of all the political as well as military happenings leading up to that war.
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Brigadier John Parashuram Dalvi was an Indian Army officer. During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, he was the commander of the Indian 7th Brigade, which was destroyed, leading Dalvi to be captured by the People's Liberation Army on 22 October 1962.

Dalvi was commissioned into the Baluch Regiment. To the end of World War II he served with the regiment's 5th Battalion. He took part in Field Marshal Sir