India 1962: 11th Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Walong
v.2.0 March 31, 2002

Sources include  "Famous Battles" Bharat Rakshak

Walong was originally the responsibility of a single battalion, 6th Kumaon,  and an Assam Rifles company. The later had a platoon on the border. With preparations for war, HQ 5th Infantry Brigade arrived on October 31st, 1962.  After the initial clashes, India raised HQ 2nd Division to take over eastern NEFA while 4th Division was made responsible for western NEFA. 181st Brigade was ordered to take over Walong from 5th Brigade, but due to protests by local commanders, the move was cancelled, and instead 11 Infantry Brigade was placed in charge. Chinese forces included one division and at least one additional regiment with their forward base at Rima. Walong had a tiny airstrip that was expanded to accept the IAF’s DHC-4 Otter, which could fly in 6 men at a time. A handful of Mi-4 helicopters, perhaps 3-4, were also available. At the time the road from India’s forward road head to Walong consisted of a 150+ km mule track, which took two weeks round-trip to negotiate. As with all battles in the Northeast in the 1962 War, manpower was not the issue as much as:

·        Refusal to let Indian troops concede space for time, leading to static defenses which the Chinese consecutively engaged
         and rolled over
·        Scattering of Indian forces all along the front to maintain a political presence
·        Lack of artillery
·        Lack of acclimatized troops, ammunition, engineer materials, supplies of every kind
·        Haphazard, casual command arrangements
·        Chopping and breaking up of units and sub-units destroying the integrity of units and formations

HQ 2 Infantry Division [Maj.-Gen. M.S. Pathania] under raising at Teju.

11th Infantry Brigade [Brigadier N.C. Rawlley, in 1971 War GOC XI Corps]
- 3/3rd Gorkha Rifles
- 4th Dogra
- 4th Sikhs
- 6th Kumaon

71st Heavy Mortar Battery
17th Parachute Field Regiment, one battery
6th Mahar Machinegun Regiment, one platoon
An engineer platoon
One company, Assam Rifles [Army-officered paramilitary, for Northeast India internal security and border duty]

5th Infantry Brigade [Does not figure in the battle]

181st Infantry Brigade [Does not figure in the battle]


A.     It can be seen that the allotment of artillery, machineguns, and engineers was suitable for a single battalion - not for a reinforced brigade, particularly given the dispersed manner in which the troops were deployed, and the difficulty in any case of concentrating resources in the high mountains.

B.     Please note that "Gorkha" is the correct spelling for Indian regiments; "Gurkha" is the British spelling.  After Independence the regiments remaining with India - 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9 had the spelling changed to Gorkha; the regiments that went to the British Army - 2, 5, 6, 7, and 10 retained the spelling Gurkha.  11 Gorkhas is an Indian raised regiment with no ties to the old British-Indian Army.


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All content © 2003 Ravi Rikhye. Reproduction in any form prohibited without express permission.