Thread - 1/11

Battle of Nathu La Pass (1967)
When the Chinese were given a bloody nose like Galawan

After the debacle of 1962, nothing could have enhanced the self esteem of India Army than the mauling that was given to the Chinese at Nathu La in Sikkim on 11th September 1967
2/11
MajGen Sagat Singh was GOC 17 Mountain Division in Sikkim.

Nathu La at 14200 ft an important pass on Tibet – Sikkim border through which passes the old Gangtok – Yatung – Lhasa Trade Route
3/11
Chinese gave an ultimatum to India to vacate both Nathu La and Jelep La passes on Sikkim – Tibet border.

However, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh, refused to vacate Nathu La. At Nathu La Chinese and India forces are deployed barely 30 yards apart, closest ever on that border
4/11
Chinese held the Northern shoulder of the pass while Indian Army held the Southern shoulder. Two dominating features namely Sebu La and Camel’s back were held by the Indians.
5/11
At the time of the clash, 2 GRENADIERS was holding Nathu La.
The daily routine at Nathu La used to start with patrolling by both sides along the perceived border which almost always resulted in arguments.
6/11

Argument between the two sides soon changed to pushing and shoving and on 06 September 1967 a scuffle took place in which the Political Commissar fell down and broke his spectacles.
7/11
In order to de-escalate the situation it was decided by the Indian side to lay a wire in the centre of the Pass from Nathu La to Sebu La to demarcate the perceived border.
This task was given to 70 Field Company of Engineers assisted by a company of 18 Rajput .
8/11
On the fateful morning of 11 September 1967when Indian troops started erecting iron pickets for fencing from Nathu La to Sebu La along the perceived border, Immediately the Chinese Political Commissar, with a section of infantry came to the centre of the Pass.
9/11
Lt. Col. Rai Singh CO 2 GRENADIERS along with his party was at centre of pass ,
An argument started which soon built up into a scuffle. In the ensuing melee, the commissar got roughed up. Thereafter the Chinese went up back to their bunkers and our troops resumed fencing.
10/11
Within a few minutes of this, a whistle was heard on the Chinese side followed by machine gun fire from North shoulder. The pass had no cover and Indian troops were caught in the open and suffered 70 casualties and many wounded including Lt Col Rai Singh .
11/11
Our troops and artillery retaliated   and most of the Chinese bunkers were completely destroyed and Chinese suffered very heavy casualties which by their own estimates were over 400. The battle carried on day and night for the next three days Chinese were taught a lesson.

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