A Google Earth image showing the elevation on the southern bank of Pangong Tso
A Google Earth image showing the elevation on the southern bank of Pangong Tso | Google Earth
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New Delhi: Nearly a month’s planning in utter secrecy, unorthodox deployment of multiple units and false flag manoeuvering, is what led to Indian forces outflanking the Chinese in Eastern Ladakh in August, ThePrint has learnt.

The operation has enabled India to dominate the southern banks of the Pangong Tso and offer a determined counter deployment in the northern banks. 

The development also took place even as the Navy deployed almost its entire Eastern and Western Fleets out at sea to counter any possible Chinese aggression at sea and to showcase capability to completely dominate the area of influence.

Top government sources had earlier ruled out any premature withdrawal from the southern banks, which have given India a bargaining chip in negotiations that until then in August, were one-sided. 

They have now told ThePrint that when New Delhi realised that the Chinese had no intention of going back, the Army was asked to come up with options so that India could have some sort of a bargaining power.

According to the plan finalised, 6-7 places were identified along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian forces could gain an upper hand over China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Once the locations were identified, the only offensive formation against the Chinese — Panagarh (West Bengal)-based Mountain Strike Corps (MSC) – was put into action.

The offensive operation also saw the participation of the Army’s elite Para SF and the Chakrata (Uttarakhand)-based Special Frontier Force (SFF), largely made up of Tibetan Refugees. 


Also read: Amid China stand-off, Mountain Strike Corps to get its own artillery brigade


24 hours notice and just one aircraft 

In early August, on just 24 hours notice, a team from the MSC, sans any big equipment besides their own personal gear and led by its General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lt Gen Gen Savneet Singh, flew out to Ladakh. 

“It was important to ensure that the Chinese were not able to pick up any large movement of troops and equipment since their satellites and potential spotters on the ground would be active. Accordingly, the Army went in for unorthodox deployment,” a source in the defence and security establishment said. 

Sources said that unlike earlier, when the full division would have moved, only a much smaller team left without any additional equipment while the life at MSC, also known as the 17 Corps, went on as usual to avoid raising any eyebrows.

Lt Gen Savneet Singh was the man in charge of the offensive operation and its planning. 

Asked how two corps commanders, the other being the then GOC of 14 Corps Lt Gen Harinder Singh, were functioning in Ladakh, sources said that while the Leh-based 14 Corps was the holding or defensive corps, the 17 Corps was the offensive one.

“It is always understood that whenever an offensive action is needed, a strike corps will come in from outside. That is what the strike corps are all about,” a second source said. 


Also read: When India sent scores of prisoners to Iraq as sweepers during World War I


Multiple teams and false flag maneuvering

The men who undertook the offensive operation belonged to the MSC, Para SF, the SFF and elements from the mechanised and armoured units.

As part of the overall counter deployment against the Chinese aggression is Eastern Ladakh, India had deployed nearly 40,000 additional troops along with artillery and tanks.

Sources said that when the 29-30 August operation was put into action, various elements came together while equipment came from a different pool.

They added that India also did false flag maneuvering to make the Chinese believe that the Army was focusing on something else while the real action was at a different height.

Accordingly, specialised Indian elements managed to surprise the Chinese and dominate the southern banks of the Pangong Tso and capture heights on what is known as Kailash Range, which had been under dispute by both sides.

However, neither India or China occupied these heights, until August end. The heights include Rechin La and Rezang La. These along with some other peaks has allowed India to dominate Spanggur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.

“This has proved to be highly beneficial because it gave India a lot of bargaining power,” the first source cited above said. “The fact that the Chinese are insisting on India moving back from the southern ranges is an indication of the strategic significance of the Indian ops.”  

Adding to the bewilderment of the Chinese was that India had managed to bring their tanks to these heights along with armoured personnel carriers.

“A lot of planning and unorthodox movement took place to bring multiple units and equipment to these heights,” a third source said. 

Operation on the northern banks 

Even as the focus remained on the southern banks, a small team of one of the Para SF in operation, had managed to climb up to the dominating heights of the finger areas and click pictures of the Chinese posts on top of Finger 4.

With a new route found, specialised elements managed to climb up by the end of August and set up camps facing the ridgelines of Finger 4 in the Northern Banks of Pangong Tso as reported by ThePrint first on September 2.

Sources said while this did now give as much tactical advantage as in the southern banks, it showed India’s determination to stand up. 


Also read: China supplying arms, providing hideouts to northeast militants via Myanmar, India alleges


 

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78 COMMENTS

  1. Good report – but why to reveal all these details? After all, secrecy and surprise are the first weapons of an army. It is not Indians alone here – Chinese too are listening to your details and next time it may not be that easy to fool the enemy! Isn’t so?

  2. Many readers commented on the real intention of The Print. In the name of journalism you are leaking information. Modi government know what this Left Medias up to

  3. Why are you giving out such information, I was a fan of you but this article seems instead of giving data covertly you are giving it as news.. don’t write for china.
    You are giving out names and strategy ..we Indians are happy to know we are countering the threat don’t want nitty gritty details.

    • Media like WIRE,are basically anti india in the name of promoting free press and liberalism.Would they criticize china?
      They do not want hinduism to survive also

  4. Why are you giving out such information, I was a fan of you but this article seems instead of giving data covertly you are giving it as news.. don’t write for china.
    You are giving out names and strategy ..we Indians are happy to know we are countering the threat don’t want nitty gritty details.
    Pls write for india in mind

  5. Rakesh Junjun

    Why should all chinese be eliminated from the world. As a people theyre wonderfully hard working, disciplined and productive. Our fight is not with the Chinese people but only with their cruel Communist leadership and the land grabbing PLA.

  6. I think this sets the big doubt about what we have been doing at our borders with China to rest. Probably Rahul and his faithful will read this but will still have doubts. While many readers are cribbing that vital tactical and strategic military information is out – one thing is certain, the government has only selectively shared this information, which itself is old. Its current plans and action is tightly under wraps lest it goes in the wrong hands. Someone commented that China is having superior tech blah blah blah, but we arent behind. You think the defence will tell u exactly what we have? Also, we are a far more determined and disciplined lot… With better minds and a very strong leader in Modi..

    • Chinese have not fought any war except 1962. But india has fought many and won all here and abroad. The credit all strategy and victory should go to them and not to these politicians.

  7. All chinese should be annhiled from face of earth. Great job Indian army.

    Media should be getting nice bau bau biriyani to reaveal all these things.

  8. This shows the capability of the Indian military. China knows how to transgress when India is not watching. But India did it under the watchful eye of China. Now both have their bragaining positions. So both need to take the next step asap and agree to a mutually-decided border.

  9. This type of information should not be divulged to the common public like us. These are very very secret things. But people have the right to know that their land is not occupied by the aggressor. And our sovereign land is well protected by our armed forces. That much . But not the details that may benefit the enemy canp.

  10. India should be bold enough to deploy it’s nuclear weapons against Chinese,and also declare Kailash and Manasarovar as Indian land and thibet independent country. close down chainese embassy in India.

  11. Why do we even need to read such details?? Any strategy that our defense thinks of and implements is not for civilians to read about and judge. Despite all their bravery, some idiots will continue to call India weak and China superior… are these articles meant to appease these kind of brain dead characters. Don’t bother. And please don’t reveal such or any details, no matter how small, again.

  12. Now ,print is misguiding , you are once again fooling people ,see dr.praveen sahney and then analyze how deadly pakistan and china have become for india. See EU news about indian propoganda of information .Live and let live!

  13. Indian Military plat so sophisticated that leak in print media, nonsense. And foolish people, how can secret play leaks in print media , so it’s not so secret? It is daylights plan, ok, and china already occupied lakes of kilometres india area

  14. One MOST IMPORTANT FACT MISSING IN ALMOST ALL ARTICLES IS THAT –
    CHINESE HAVE AN INFINITE ADVANTAGE OVER INDIA IN “MISSILES OF ALL KINDS “….
    THERE ARE SO MANY MISSILES WHICH CAN EASILY DESTROY TANKS , ARMOURED VEHICLES, FIGHTER JETS, ROADS , AMMUNITION DEPOTS , FUEL DEPOTS , TROOP CAMPS/ BUNKERS ….
    THAT NO WEAPON OR BASE OR AMMUNITION AND FUEL DEPOTS ARE SAFE .
    NO FIGHTER JET, NO TANK, NO ARMOURED VEHICLE IS SAFE…
    AND CHINESE HAVE PERHAPS BETTER MISSILES THAN EVEN USA AND INFINITELY MORE THAN INDIA HAS – OF ALL TYPES –
    …AMERICA WON THE WARS AGAINST IRAQ AND TALIBAN SOLELY ON BASIS OF THEIR GREAT MISSILE COMILATIONS ….LIKE CRUISE MISSILES AGAINST IRAQ . ..FOR A FORTNIGHT OR A MONTH AMERICANS USED ONLY MISSILES OF ALL KINDS ……
    AND D3STROYED ALL IRAQI TANKS, ARMOURED VEHICLES, AIR STRIPS, AMMUNITION AND FUEL DEPOTS AND ARMY BASES …
    SAME WAY AMERICANS ANNIHILATED TALIBAN BY USING DIFFERENT TYPES OF MISSILES ……
    AND CHINA HAS HUGE ADVANTAGE OVER INDIA IN MISSILES QUALITY AS WELL AS QUANTITY.
    SO MUCH THAT THEY CAN WIN WAR EASILY IF THEY WISH …..
    IT SEEMS LIKE THEY WILL ATTACK AFTER WINTER ENDS IN FEW MONTHS..
    《 WHAT INDIA”S TOP PRIORITY SHOULD BE ….IS TO IMPORT AS MUCH MISSILES OF ALL TYPES AS THEY CAN FROM FRIENDLY COUNTRIES LIKE AMETICA , ISTAEL , RUSSIA OR EU COUNTRIES OR JAPAN AS THEY CAN 》…..
    IF INDIA DOESN’T WANT TO SUFFER A HUMILIATING DEFEAT AT HAND OF DESPOTIC EVIL GOVT. OF CHINA ….
    《 AND THEY WILL HAVE TO IMPORT ALL TYPES OF MISSILES FROM ANY ONE IN FEW MONTHS BEFORE CHINESE ATTACK 》 …..
    …….THAT SHOULD BE THE TOP PRIORITY OF GOVT ….
    AND IMPORT OF MISSILES OF ALL TYPES MUST START AT URGENT AND MUST BE CONSIDERED AS MOST IMPORTANT AND VITAL …
    IF INDIA WANTS TO SAFEGUARD IT’S BOUNDARIES…….

    • We have missile defense technology, you should be ashamed of thinking that India suffer a humiliating defeat. Don’t compare US – Iraq War with India – China war. US and Iraq are not neighbors like India and China. US suffered humiliating defeat with Vietnam, where was their missile, then? China also got defeated in Vietnam where were the Chinese missiles then? Don’t obsess over missiles, it’s the brain that matter. As long as we have Modi we have hope, as long as we can have God we have hope. If its a battle of good over evil, Good will always triumph.

  15. Tit for tat by india , had there been Chinese at southern Bank ,they could have been bucthered by Indian army,( by the way later their commanding officer at southern bank returned without fight after sensing the Indian position & fury )
    at galwan on 15th June 20 their deceit led them leverage for few hours ,
    Sooner or later we inflict severe pain to them ,its just matter of few months

  16. Good if Print realises its irresponsiblility in publishing such articles. May be they are doing better and we cannot question their patriotic intentions. ALSO ARMY knows how to keep wraps on a secret operation. Secrecy must be ingrained in all matters particularly related to current boarder issues.
    May be Print needs funds to carry forward their secret agenda, hence appeal for subscriptions. Nothing lost if they do not publish at all!

    • You only want raag darbari singers in media
      Who play the band for modi and company and engage in cycophancy journalism Then better go and settle in NKorea There U will get a lot of pro govt raah darbari singers( courtesans who sings in false praise of kings in kings court)

  17. This is the irony of our system – Sort out & resolve.
    So what if India has not been an aggressor in the known history, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t defend our own land unlike the previous Govts who for reasons best known to them, were submissive for vested interest ( Except Few like Shashtri, Bajpaye etc)
    Why should India lose out on area illegally occupied by PLA.
    Let’s give & support the Armed Armed Forces wholeheartedly

  18. Good if Print realises its irresponsiblility in publishing such articles. May be they are paid better and we cannot question their patriotic intentions. ALSO ARMY should know how to keep a secret operation. Secrecy must be ingrained in matters particularly related to boarder issues.
    May be Print needs funds to carry forward their secret agenda, hence appeal for subscriptions. Nothing lost if they do not publish at all!

  19. I think india is just not upto the fight as it’s very visible that he can not face in front so he is engaged in deception and deceit, as usual. It’s very sad, poor Indian has no ethics as well as can not fight directly due to poor preparation and inferior abilities.

  20. Hats off to indian army.At the same time why disclosing army secrets to public media ,while they are engaged with enemies. So stop this type of self destroying boasting of army and government through media at. future

  21. Can’t believe a report.. Whose sources are only on browse. Haven’t seen or heard.. Any reporter beings hired..

  22. Should Indian war strategies be discussed with media? Though this isn’t the first time I am reading this.
    Reminded me of media reportage during Mumbai attack and how the terrorists gained from that input.

  23. Some armchair expert here has commented that “even US and west are afraid of China.” , I can only laugh at this. People have habit of hyping up China without any ground based facts.
    US of A is not superpower , it is more powerful than almost all next top 5 countries put together.
    Also it has will and capacity , experience to fight than paper tigers like China, Russia.

  24. Don’t know weather they can publish or not.
    Common man need not to know ( let them know the army strategy), yes they should know what’s going on, what our enemies are planning/threats etc but not our plans. ofcourse CCP already aware of these strategy.

  25. Communist party of China is destroying it’s own people by not giving liberty of expression and freedom to choose religion. Pla is a threat to humanity as it supports terrorism. It is involved in expansion. It crushes small neighbours. The world must unite to throw out the enemy of humanism that is China.

  26. India is afraiding China, stay on in 2020 not in 1962 it will be a hard reality to believe! DEAR Countrymen having over 130 crorer people it will not be so easy to happen.

  27. The Chinese have already occupied so much strategic locations on indian side and Irony is that the own part to cover up is highlighted in the media.
    What sort of media reporting is that??
    Already Chinese are dominant at loc from ladakh to Arunachal pradesh. Technologically they are much superior and even US and west are afraid of China.
    So, in papers you can shoot out missiles and theoretical hypothesis, but reality the India is far far behind and can’t compete with China in modern warfare.
    So better, shun down the racist nature and Expansionism and sort our difference with all your neighbors and live and let live happily.

    • U Pakis r already occupied by China selling your women to them. So mind your own business. We can easily stand up to them.

    • Well China does have a good propaganda machine and comments make it look like ur part of it. Thanks . Chinese will get screwed if they try anything

    • Hahah🤣 who the told u that brainwashed jehadi.
      Even Chinese media and international media didn’t know what are u claiming.
      Border conflict is normal .
      Conflict is at the buffer zone idiot.
      India is the 4th powerful army .
      What is the rank of ur country 😀

    • Your respose seems to suggest to surrender to Chinese expansionism and suzareignty; submit to thier version of l o c and and cede away our territories. This was the policiy of the UPA government and we have ceded several lakh sq. Miles of our territory. It is time to stand up to them and push them back. There onslaught can be countered only by brave and calculated actions, simultaneously in union with like-minded countries isolate them and choke their mighty economiy. It would take sometime, but we need to contain this juggernaut before it morphs into Nazi Germany

    • Your response seems to suggest to surrender to Chinese expansionism and suzareignty; submit to thier version of l o c and and cede away our territories. This was the policiy of the UPA government and we have ceded several lakh sq. Miles of our territory. It is time to stand up to them.. There onslaught can be counteed only by brave and calculated actions, simultaneously in union with like-minded countries and choke their mighty economiy. we need to contain this juggernaut before it morphs into Nazi Germany

    • Are you a paid agent of China or Pakistan. What Chaina has done? It has built tents and bunkers which was a no man’s land petroled by both India and China, in other words it was a disputed area. Haven’t you seen the video of Chinese children/ nay their soldiers crying while being transported to fight against India. Do remember that the Indian soldiers are the best mountain soldiers in the world.
      However, don’t worry chinta has already understood that they have gained nothing from this misadventure, Infact, they have lost economically. Just keep your eyes open and see what happens ahead. Actually China is afraid of India in all respects.

    • Your last paragraph mentions that India must settle its differences with neighbours. Please suggest how . In case of China they want to annex our land. Are you suggesting that India part with its territory & make peace with that Rogue country China. I suspect u are a Chinese or a Chinese sympathizer. Maybe China is powerful but does that mean India should concede to their expansionist demands.

    • No doubt china is known to be the strongest army in Asia , because of its highly technological advancement in core areas. But if it comes to India ..which is not that technological advanced in its core areas and but it should be noted that If it talks about courage than…indians can outmatch the toughness and courage of Chinese soldiers ..well it is also said that “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” Guess what , all indians are Extraordinary men .

      .

    • China The Chinese didn’t have any border with India before it illegally occupied Tibet a peaceful nation. China doubled it’s land by occupying land of 17 countries who border them. They have conflict with all its neighboring countries due to their aggressive. They have an expansionist regime. It is a rogue nation, ethically, politically and morally. Chinese the manufacturer of covid19 are also aggressor for its neighboring countries. China occupied Tibet parts of Mongolia and they falsely claim island’s of Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and parts of India and Nepal apart from South China Sea. Now they claim territory of Bhutan which is a peaceful country. China is behaving like expansionist Japanese in world War 2 and going to face the same wrath what they faced in world War 2.

    • You need to focus on the ever increasing prices of wheat flour, roti, nan, sugar, oil, electricity and other basic commodities at home instead of wailing and crying on India’s positive achievements.

    • All this information are already known to China and are available in public domains so need to worry about this… remember the main plan is always a secret.

    • India and china should be friends.Terroristan Pakistsn is really our enemy who should be eliminated from this globe

    • This is the irony of our system – Sort out & resolve.
      So what if India has not been an aggressor in the known history, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t defend our own land unlike the previous Govts who for reasons best known to them, were submissive for vested interest ( Except Few like Shashtri, Bajpaye etc)
      Why should India lose out on area illegally occupied by PLA.
      Let’s give & support the Armed Armed Forces wholeheartedly

    • May be US & west are afraid of China.
      But Indians are not afraid of China.

      Since ages India never attacked it’s neighbours. But it’s rogue CCP that’s aggresive against peacefull India. But India will fight out aggressors.

    • I do not if you are an Indian or not. But for sure I can make out you leftist who always underestimate their own country and countrymen. As said by legends “it is not the equipment that wins war, but the man behind it”. May be china has got superior technology than India, but India has got superior experience in combating. So do not worry about our country.
      One last thing, China was dominating not bacause India was weak, because earlier govt were not lacking willingness to fight. But current govt will not budge to such threats. Jai Hund

    • meanwhile, Freed man will continue to live in lala land thinking it’s always up to we Indians to live and let live. Other countries are covertly declaring war but we should live and let live. We are always peddling wrong information while China is the epitome of transparency. What a sad state of affairs.

    • See China may be far superior in technology compared to India but the courage and mindset Indian army has can’t be competed by the Chinese PLA. Also in history it’s already shown how Germany got defeated so the whole world is with India because of our ideaolgy .

    • Rubbish. The technology superiority and the combat superiority of Chinese is unproven so far. To assume something that is yet to be seen is idiocy

    • Who are you “Freed man”? Can you specify which strategic locations on Indian side have been occupied by the Chinese? Where are they dominant? Without providing details, just singing praises of the Chinese shows your true colors. Forget US and the west, even a small country like Japan could’ve easily devastated poor China, had it been their objective. Now also the US routinely crosses South China sea what China calls its own. Not only that, no Chinese banks are dealing with Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam for fear of USA and she had to take her salary in cash.
      China should remain happy with its own development, rather than going around bullying all its neighbours where it thinks it can.

    • There was absolutely nothing racist in what Snehesh Phillips had reported in this article. Freed Man seems to be a hypersensitive China Man who has been brainwashed by the CPC and Xi Jin Ping into developing a superiority complex rather than a Free Man. What a pity.

    • There was absolutely nothing racist in what Snehesh Phillips had reported in this article. Freed Man seems to be a hypersensitive China Man.

    • This was a very well written article by Snehesh Philip. No reason for Freed Man to be bent out of shape. Unless Freed Man is a China Man.

    • Blush blah blah. All bluster but no substance. No wonder the new lapdogs living off Chinese largesse (loans in reality) can only parrot the master’s lines straight from global times. As for the ground realities, we will see.

  28. Is this article written to help the Chinese, and why at all such information tobe shared with print media ,I don’t understand

    • This report is for the consumption of Indians !!
      All the claims are laughable as to hold at such heights is very expensive, both in terms of funds & human lives. Such leaks are deliberate to save face in case of withdrawals further back to our own territory !!! This is Chinese ploy to scatter our forces right from Bangladesh, Myanmar borders & from NEFA to
      Daulat Beg Oldy & thereby tilting the tactical balance in favour of Pakistan !!!

  29. Hats off to Indian army for the well planned and perfectly executed operation in occupying the strategic heights.

  30. Very informative and devoid of unnecessary chest thumping. Print is thoroughly professional in a sea of mediocrity.

    • Yes few “stinky” indians are enough to twist the tails of 1.4 billion stinky dog eating chinese. And wait for more such incidents happening in the near future. You can only make people fool and infect them with filthy chinese corona viruses. Thats how you care about winning a war, by cheating. I am sure you dont have the balls to stand on your feet in front of the indians once you are face to face on any battlefield. Good luck to you though

  31. Media should avoid this type of articles as these are matter of strategy and divulging such info is not in the interest of the nation and will strengthen the enemy on the contrary by providing an insight into our thinking and planning.

    • With all due respect, it’s more than 100 days since the operation was carried out, and the information deserves to be made public. We are a democratic country not an authoritarian hell-hole like China, free discussion are cornerstone of our country. Also, I think Defense establishment wouldn’t have divulged these information if they were still strategically important.

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