On 22 October 1947, war burst upon Kashmir in a flash. Large bands of raiders equipped with modern weapons of warfare poured across the border from Pakistan into the State of Jammu and Kashmir. After the invasion, the request of the Ruler to accede to the Indian Union was accepted by the Government of India and Indian troops were rushed to defend the State. The Indian Army, after embarking on a major offensive to relieve the important towns under siege, headed towards the strategic area of Poonch which was overrun by the raiders.
The story of Poonch, which is the central theme of this book, gives a vivid picture of the conditions under which the whole campaign was fought. The type of warfare, the mountainous terrain, the problems of communications and supply, the experience of soldiers and citizens alike—they were all much the same around Poonch as anywhere else in the State, for Poonch is in the very heart of Kashmir.
Here is the first eye-witness story of the Kashmir Operations to be published in book form. This reprint of an earlier edition is fully illustrated with maps, and has excellent photographs to enliven the text.
Lt. Col. Maurice Cohen was educated at the Cathedral High School, Bombay. He joined the Indian Army in 1941 as a Commissioned Officer in the Signal Corps and saw War Service in Persia, and later, on the Burma Front with 2 British Div. at the relief of Kohima and Imphal.
Prior to the flareup of fighting in Kashmir, Lt. Col. Cohen (then a Major) was responsible for raising and training the 19 Div. Signal Regiment, which was to play a leading role in the Kashmir Valley operations. While serving on the staff of Army Headquarters, he was associated with the writing of the official history of the Corps of Signals.
KASHMIR AGLOW 1
THE ISOLATED CITY 15
GENERAL THIMAYYA REORGANISES 26
A RESTLESS MONTH 33
THE BREAK-THROUGH 39
INTERIM PERIOD—JULY TO SEPTEMBER 52
PRELIMINARY BLOWS 63
19 BRIGADE MOVES OUT 79
INTO THE FRAY 88
THE ROAD GOES THROUGH 104