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Subject: The armed forces of India whats so special?
JTR~~    6/7/2010 3:05:23 PM
Throughout these discussion boards i have found many, many references to the armed forces of India, and their apparent excellence. This may be the case but from what i am able to gather they are quite possibly the worst of today’s modern powers. i realise that i may be wrong which i why i have posted this query, my question is this, What qualities make the Indian armed forces worthy of holding the title of one of the best today? i have come across many examples where people have created top ten lists, and have ranked India above many western powers. i think that this is wrong, however this is my personal belief, which is why i am asking my question. i do not know too much about the Indian armed forces in their current state, i do however base my opinion of a few things that i do know. The most critical factor that is keeping India low in the rankings for me is this simple fact, logistics, form what i can gather the armed forces of India are quite possibly the world’s worst logistical nightmare; the huge variation in weapons that they field is unfeasible. How can such an army try and effectively field troops in such a way, prolonged engagements would be a dream that they could never achieve. i have done a little research into the various weapons fielded by the Indian forces and the mind boggles at the choice of arms, domestic weapons, Russian weapons, America weapons, British weapons, German weapons etc, the list goes on. One thing that i find quite amusing is the Indian navy; it is in the same situation as the Indian army in the fact that it has many ships, most of which have been purchased second hand from a consortium of countries after the original owners no longer need them. The Indian armed forces are using the western worlds outdated waste, it is to my understanding that the Indian navy recently purchased (or will be acquiring) the Royal navies invincible class carriers, they are effectively buying their old junk. These second hand outdated pieces of equipment are surely more of a hindrance to the Indian forces more than a help my second point, is it is simply impossible to train such large numbers of troops to a universally high standard, which means that many of the Indian troops while I’m sure they are capable, are just no up to the standard of many other nations, particularly those with lower troops numbers. There are several other points, but on these I am reluctant to comment as i feel i know to little to make any form of reasonable judgement, I realise that my opinions and points made may be unfounded and or wrong, but I’m willing to learn hence my question. Hopefully this will now help me to gain a little further insight into people opinion regarding the Indian armed forces Regards JTR~~
 
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chacha26       7/6/2010 1:18:42 PM
I think its too many western military forces that are being a bit unrealistic here...i think the needs that faces India re a lot different from what say the US or UK  face especially the human element, most of our armed forces are spread through out the northern borders in the most challenging and dangerous terrains in the world and add to that Moaist naxalites, the everpresent jihadist and the local freedom fighter for decade old causes. As to the LTTE issue, they started human sheilds and with the change in power back in india, the IPKF simply withdrew. The whole thing was debacle mainly due to the political entanglements that came with it especially with the fact that a good majority of the south had a lot of tamil sympathizers.
   At present we are only interested in keeping China in check and guarding our borders from pakistani based threats. I think our most serious problem is our slow bureaucracy. Also in regards to schools, i dont think West Point would enjoy as much renown if it werent for the movies and other media hype. But Sandhurst is a whole different case and is an age old institution which is more respected around the world. Our present army schools are all British build from pre-independence and few which came after. They still however keep our connections with the British Military as do many former colonies.

 
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chacha26       7/6/2010 1:30:46 PM
I think its too many western military forces that are being a bit unrealistic here...i think the needs that faces India re a lot different from what say the US or UK  face especially the human element, most of our armed forces are spread through out the northern borders in the most challenging and dangerous terrains in the world and add to that Moaist naxalites, the everpresent jihadist and the local freedom fighter for decade old causes. As to the LTTE issue, they started human sheilds and with the change in power back in india, the IPKF simply withdrew. The whole thing was debacle mainly due to the political entanglements that came with it especially with the fact that a good majority of the south had a lot of tamil sympathizers.
   At present we are only interested in keeping China in check and guarding our borders from pakistani based threats. I think our most serious problem is our slow bureaucracy. Also in regards to schools, i dont think West Point would enjoy as much renown if it werent for the movies and other media hype. But Sandhurst is a whole different case and is an age old institution which is more respected around the world. Our present army schools are all British build from pre-independence and few which came after. They still however keep our connections with the British Military as do many former colonies.

 
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Hamilcar       7/6/2010 2:11:46 PM

I think its too many western military forces that are being a bit unrealistic here...i think the needs that faces India re a lot different from what say the US or UK  face especially the human element, most of our armed forces are spread through out the northern borders in the most challenging and dangerous terrains in the world and add to that Moaist naxalites, the everpresent jihadist and the local freedom fighter for decade old causes. As to the LTTE issue, they started human sheilds and with the change in power back in india, the IPKF simply withdrew. The whole thing was debacle mainly due to the political entanglements that came with it especially with the fact that a good majority of the south had a lot of tamil sympathizers.

   At present we are only interested in keeping China in check and guarding our borders from pakistani based threats. I think our most serious problem is our slow bureaucracy. Also in regards to schools, i dont think West Point would enjoy as much renown if it werent for the movies and other media hype. But Sandhurst is a whole different case and is an age old institution which is more respected around the world. Our present army schools are all British build from pre-independence and few which came after. They still however keep our connections with the British Military as do many former colonies.





Torch, Husky, Overload, Cartwheel, Cobra, Chromite, Desert Storm, and a few dozen other "West Point" underachievements by their graduates in recent memory. Sandhurst has NOTHING like that track record unless you think examples like Goodwood and Market Garden are comparable?
 
I admire India's armed forces because they are indeed highly professional, but I don't like the efforts by some to knock my own nation's rather incredible military and its very famous world changing achievements that affected even India, or do you think the CBI was winnable without the very direct US Army intervention/involvement to straighten out the logistics and operational mess that was (all honors to General Slim who had the British common sense sense to use American West Point logisticians and planners and a lot of his own personal military genius [trained as a British Officer candidate at Birmingham University] to repair the mess Mountbatten and his Sandhurst trained crew of morons made in Burma)?      
     
H.
 
 
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JTR~~    tut tut hamilcar   7/8/2010 6:03:46 AM




I think its too many western military forces that are being a bit unrealistic here...i think the needs that faces India re a lot different from what say the US or UK  face especially the human element, most of our armed forces are spread through out the northern borders in the most challenging and dangerous terrains in the world and add to that Moaist naxalites, the everpresent jihadist and the local freedom fighter for decade old causes. As to the LTTE issue, they started human sheilds and with the change in power back in india, the IPKF simply withdrew. The whole thing was debacle mainly due to the political entanglements that came with it especially with the fact that a good majority of the south had a lot of tamil sympathizers.



   At present we are only interested in keeping China in check and guarding our borders from pakistani based threats. I think our most serious problem is our slow bureaucracy. Also in regards to schools, i dont think West Point would enjoy as much renown if it werent for the movies and other media hype. But Sandhurst is a whole different case and is an age old institution which is more respected around the world. Our present army schools are all British build from pre-independence and few which came after. They still however keep our connections with the British Military as do many former colonies.













Torch, Husky, Overload, Cartwheel, Cobra, Chromite, Desert Storm, and a few dozen other "West Point" underachievements by their graduates in recent memory. Sandhurst has NOTHING like that track record unless you think examples like Goodwood and Market Garden are comparable?

 

I admire India's armed forces because they are indeed highly professional, but I don't like the efforts by some to knock my own nation's rather incredible military and its very famous world changing achievements that affected even India, or do you think the CBI was winnable without the very direct US Army intervention/involvement to straighten out the logistics and operational mess that was (all honors to General Slim who had the British common sense sense to use American West Point logisticians and planners and a lot of his own personal military genius [trained as a British Officer candidate at Birmingham University] to repair the mess Mountbatten and his Sandhurst trained crew of morons made in Burma)?      


     

H.


 

let?s not forget that torch and overlord and perhaps some of the others weren?t all west point?s work, but I know what you?re getting at I?m just being picky, however i resent the comments about Mountbatten so called mess in Burma, a little harsh i feel, we could quote the mess made at Kasserine pass which was a US debacle, so it goes both ways, but this is off topic. 

 

No doubt Indias armed forces are professional, but i do not think that are at the world class level that some Indians would count them as at this moment in time, some posts on here made by shakenone mentions that he believes it is  
unfair to compare the Indian forces to western counterparts, and then say that in comparison the Indian forces are outclassed, but it is right in saying that the western forces set the worldwide standard, and Indians feel that their forces are of world beating class, but yet shakenone feels it is unfair to judge them by the world class standards of western nations, you can?t have it both ways, it?s akin to saying "the Iraqi army, it?s got better now, it?s much better than the army of some poor third world nation, so it makes it world class"

 

referring to my last point, yes India can mostly dominate its neighbour Pakistan, but co

 
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injun    Indian military not up to the mark..... yet   7/8/2010 12:26:42 PM
Just my two cents..................
 
 
For those who think that the Indians trumpeting here might be blowing a lot of air, well, they are. ough to avoid stepping on too many toes.
 
 
Look at it this way, on a scale of one to a hundred, in the last decade America has moved from 92 to 98.  India however has moved from 22 to 78. That to me is significant enough.  All the western countries are up there in the nineties, but for us who grew up with our parents stories of how the commies beat our arses black and blue (I live just a few hours away from where they turned back), that is good enough.
 
 
Are we world beaters? Nonsense.
 
Are we the local school bullies? We sure can be, but when it comes to roughing it out with the college boys down the street, we know where we stand thank you.
 
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injun    Indian military not up to the mark..... yet   7/8/2010 12:35:31 PM
bloody keyboard! I meant to say that excepting the few fanboys, most Indians are practical enough to know our own strength and that we as a democracy should be mature enough to avoid stepping on too many toes.
 
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Sujies    Well   7/8/2010 5:42:15 PM

Im from India, and i would like to point out that posts like the one quoted, are a result of the people denoting the country's inward-looking culture.

Now the original thread author asked why posters from India had a very un-realistic view of their own armed forces, and for that i would like to say that Patriotism can often lead to Narcissistic points of view.

India throughout most of recorded history, until the early 19th century, was a major economic power. It generated almost 1/4th of the world's GDP for a major part of world economic history. But after european colonization, the country's economy and the  self-image went almost bankrupt. To combat this the early 20th century indian leaders, resorted to heavy patriotism and praise. Things which were needed to mobilize the masses towards the goal of liberation from british rule.

Now after independence there was never a change in that habit. Just like the Chinese use words similar to 'National shame' or 'great shame' to refer to periods of colonization . Foreign rule had a different kind of psychological effect on Indians.

 
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Hamilcar    JTR reply.   7/8/2010 6:37:42 PM
1. Quite right that there were British planners on many operations, but not at Cartwheel, not at Cobra, not at Chromite.  
 
2. William Slim is arguably the BEST general of WW II because he could do the impossible with virtually nothing and did so when handicapped with the same high command idiocy and IDIOTS that lost Burma in the first place, just as Fredendall was among the worst of the Americans. He hid out in a cave like a Gamelin instead of taking care of business at the front like a Patton, or a Rommel, or even a Montgomery.
 
3. Mountbatten was likewise a Fredendall type disaster. Can you tell me how to explain Dieppe or the abortive 1943 Burma Campaign without noting the absolute politization, interservice politics, and petty personal jealousies he brought into any command he misled with his sickening sycophant incompetent staff.(that the command he totally futzed up with his SOTPLAGOC-staff officer tin plated god complex)?        

H.
 
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Hamilcar    JTR reply.   7/8/2010 6:40:21 PM

1. Quite right that there were British planners on many operations, but not at Cartwheel, not at Cobra, not at Chromite.  

 

2. William Slim is arguably the BEST general of WW II because he could do the impossible with virtually nothing and did so when handicapped with the same high command idiocy and IDIOTS that lost Burma in the first place, just as Fredendall was among the worst of the Americans. He, FREDENDALL, hid out in a cave like a Gamelin instead of taking care of business at the front like a Patton, or a Rommel, or even a Montgomery.

 

3. Mountbatten was likewise a Fredendall type disaster. Can you tell me how to explain Dieppe or the abortive 1943 Burma Campaign without noting the absolute politization, interservice politics, and petty personal jealousies he brought into any command he misled with his sickening sycophant incompetent staff.(that the command he totally futzed up with his SOTPLAGOC-staff officer tin plated god complex)?        




H.

Clarified.
 
H.
 
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tigerscratch       7/28/2010 1:59:30 PM
Where's the comparison between the military in India and those in the western world?
 
The terrain, threats and operations faced by India's armed forces are entirely different from those faced by the US or by European nations, and no parallel can be drawn. 
 
For example, it may have served the cause of national defence for the USA or the USSR to have a hundred nuclear submarines across the world during the height of the Cold War, but nuclear submarines are irrelevant to the Indian Army's struggle to contain Jihadi terrorism in Kashmir. It may serve strategic interests for a European nation to have a Navy that is capable of operating independantly thousands of miles from home shores. For the Indian navy, whose immediate threats are the neighbouring coasts of Pakistan and a Chinese naval base in Myanmar, such far reaching blue water technologies are overkills. America may need to have an army that is capable of occupying a hostile nation far from home with minimum casualties. India on the other hand can do precious little with such capabilities... it is not looking to intervene in Sub-saharan Africa or elsewhere: it would rather focus on having an army that can delay a Chinese advance into the Himalayas and consolidate a rigid defence of the plains. Likewise, China may need to have an ICBM that can reach Los Angeles, whereas India - having built up a modest battery of guided missiles capable of striking the Hunan province and a few (probably) capable of striking Beijing - has focused more on building heavy lifting capabilities into its navy to help out in times of natural disasters like the 2006 tsunami.
 
True, it takes decades to build capabilities into your armed forces, while it may take barely hours for geo-political scenarios to alter. Which is why India is trying very hard to build up the capabilities that are still the preserve of economically advanced western nations - and all this in the face of immense domestic opposition to what is largely perceived as a waste  of precious financial resources. The recent announcement by the Indian government of its intentions to purchase a fleet of diesel submarines was reported in the local press with an emphasis on the fact that the budget allocated for this purchase equalled more than the entire national primary education budget.
 
  India is not the USA. Its not the UK or France. Its not even China. But for the mandate, terrain and threat within which it operates, the Indian army has coped remarkably well and deserves full marks for it.
 
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