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1962: The War That Wasn’t


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On 20 October 1962, high in the Himalayas on the banks of the fast-flowing Nam Ka Chu, over 400 Indian soldiers were massacred and the valley was overrun by soldiers of China s People s Liberation Army. Over the course of the next month, nearly 4,000 soldiers were killed on both sides and the Indian Army experienced its worst defeat ever. The conflict (war was never formally declared) ended because China announced a unilateral ceasefire on 21 November and halted its hitherto unhindered advance across NEFA and Ladakh. To add to India s lasting shame, neither Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru nor the Indian Army was even aware that the war had ended until they heard the announcement on the radio despite the Indian embassy having been given the information two days earlier.

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