Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brigadier Usman,Indian Army


July 29, 2012

Dear All;

Recently, a respected Indian officer lamented the fact that nation eulogized film actors Dara Singh and Rajesh Khanna (both passed away in July) but forgot soldiers like Brigadier Muhammad Usman.  I summarized Brig. Usman’s career.

Warm Regards,

Brigadier Muhammad Usman  (July 15, 1912 – July 03, 1948)
Hamid Hussain

Recently, birth centenary of Brigadier Muhammad Usman was celebrated in India.  Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari and Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh attended the ceremony.  Usman was born in Azmagarh and commissioned in Indian army in 1934.  He was among the last batch of Indians to be trained at Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.  He joined 5/10 Baluch Regiment (now 12 Baloch of Pakistan army).  During Second World War, he was Second-in-Command (2IC) of 16/10 Baluch and later commanded 14/10 Baluch.  

Lieutenant Zorawar Chand Bakhshi (nick named Zoru) joined 16/10 Baluch Regiment (two Companies Pathans, one company Punjabi Muslims and one company Brahmin Dogra) and was posted to Pathan company. He fought Second World War with his Pathan comrades. In November 1944,  a day before the transfer of Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel John Fairly, Zoru took a patrol of his Pathan soldiers and reported back to CO about a hill feature occupied by Japanese.  CO ordered him to attack but advised him to take soldiers from Dogra company (Fairly had served with Dogras and that was probably the reason of his advice).  Zoru was not happy as he wanted to take his own Pathan soldiers but he had to obey orders.  Fairly left the battalion and Major Usman became officiating CO.  Zoru proceeded with the attack and a fierce fire fight resulted in many casualties.  A small group including sepoys Mushtaq Khan, Bashir Ahmad, Shamsher Singh and Bhandari Ram attacked the machine gun position.  In the ensuing battle Mushtaq, Bashir and Shamsher were killed and Bhandari was severely wounded but he avenged the death of his comrades by continuing to fight Japanese with his side arm, hand grenades and a captured machine gun.  Two Pathan soldiers of the unit brought unconscious Bhandari to the medical post.   New CO Lieutenant Colonel L. P. Sen took command of the battalion.  Usman suggested that Bhandari should be recommended for Victoria Cross (VC).  Sen hesitated as he didn’t want to send a name for VC a day after taking the command and instead recommended Bhandari for Indian Order of Merit (IOM). Usman felt that it was not fair to Bhandari and went to his Brigade Commander Brigadier R.A. Hutton.  Hutton agreed with Usman and after fresh recommendation Bhandari was awarded VC.  This incident shows the personality of Usman.  Once he was convinced about his position, he took the stand and didn’t hesitate to disagree with his superior officer. 

In 1946, Usman was posted as GSO-1 of 2nd Airborne Division then undergoing the process of Indianization.  In early 1947, division was Indianized with 14th, 50th and 77th Para Brigades.  Usman was appointed commander of 77th Para Brigade that performed very well in internal security duties in Punjab.  14th Para Brigade was allotted to Pakistan while 50th and 77th went to India.  Usman opted for India and moved with his 77th Para Brigade to Amritsar.  His parent Baluch Regiment was allotted to Pakistan and he was affiliated with Dogra Regiment (class composition of Baluch Regiment was Punjabi Muslim, Pathan and Dogra).  It is suggested that his fellow Muslim officers asked Usman to opt for Pakistan.  Some even suggest that Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan personally asked Usman to opt for Pakistan and promised accelerated promotion but he declined. 

Kashmir war started in 1947-48 and 50th Para Brigade commanded by Brigadier Y. S. Paranjpe moved to Kashmir.  When Paranjpe was hospitalized, Usman took command of 50th Para Brigade based in Nowshehra.  It was here that Usman fought a tough battle with Pakistanis.  In July 1948, Usman’s brigade was now reinforced (1/7 Rajput, 3 (Para)/7 Rajput, 3 (Para)/5 Marhatta Light Infantry, 2/2 Punjab and 1 Patiala Sikhs.  Later 2 Jat also joined the Brigade) and Jhangar was recaptured.   In the evening of July 03, 1948, Usman was killed by Pakistani artillery shelling of the brigade headquarters.

Few days before his death, a Pakistani paper reported that Usman had died.  Usman’s brother contacted military authorities and Western Command sent a signal to forward area.  Usman sent back the signal, “I am fit and flourishing – still in the world of the living”.  He died few hours after sending this signal.  Usman was given state funeral and buried on the premises of Jamia Millia.  He was posthumously awarded gallantry award of Maha Vir Chakra (MVC).  It is to the credit of India that the only state funeral for a military man was given to a Muslim soldier.  Usman’s younger brother Muhammad Ghufran also served in Indiana army and retired at Brigadier rank. 

In 1947, Indian army was divided between India and Pakistan.  Many Muslim officers opted for Pakistan but Usman opted for Indian army.  Nawabzada Sher Ali Khan was the scion of princely state of Pataudi. His hometown became part of India but he opted for Pakistan army.  Usman and Pataudi were together at Sandhurst.  In November 1948, Pataudi then commanding Pakistani 14th  Para Brigade took control of the area of operation where Usman had fought.  If Pataudi had opted for India and Usman for Pakistan, the roles could have been reversed.   Pataudi’s parent regiment 7th Light Cavalry was allotted to India and in 1947-48 Kashmir 7th Light Cavalry then commanded by Lt. Colonel Rajindar Singh 'sparrow' (later Major General) captured Zojila. Usman’s own Baluch regiment allotted to Pakistan was fighting from the opposing side.  Usman’s other course mate at Sandhurst Brigadier Muhammad Akbar Khan (6/13 Frontier force Rifles) was in charge of operations in Kashmir on Pakistani side. 

-      Major General V. K. Singh.  Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers (New Delhi: Sage Publishers, 2005)
-      Major General ® Shaukat Riza.  The Pakistan Army 1947-1949 (Lahore: Services Book Club, 1989)
Hamid Hussain
July 28, 2012


Why Pakistan Army History book was not accepted by the staff college

Lack of Intellectual Honesty in Pakistan Army and Why the Generals did not like Pakistan ARMY till 1965














Friday, July 27, 2012

Why I’m not celebrating US exit Pervez_Hoodbhoy


What Will Happen if the USA Withdraws From Afghanistan

by Agha Amin September 13, 2009 18:03

Any US withdrawal from Afghanistan would create another delusion. A false conclusion that Islam has won and USA lost. It would boost morale in the Islamists and would lead to far greater chaos.

While it is theoretically neat and cosmetically nice to advance the view point that the USA should withdraw from Afghanistan. The idea is far complicated at the strategic and operational level.

While it is true that the Pakistan and US sponsored so called Mujahideen did not follow the USSR into Russia,their successors the Taliban were allied with parties with a Pan Islamist outlook. Parties which wanted to carry Jihad into Europe,America and Africa.

The USSR withdrawal from Afghanistan was not a military defeat but a political act of withdrawal covered by the creation of the Northern Alliance which was half leftist and pro Russian. The fact of the matter remains that USSR withdrawal was fallaciously interpreted as a great victory of Islam, while actually it was not so. This interpretation led to creation of many dreams of glory and carrying on of the Islamic Jihad into India, Bosnia, Chechniya etc.

Any US withdrawal from Afghanistan would create another delusion. A false conclusion that Islam has won and USA lost. It would boost morale in the Islamists and would lead to far greater chaos and confusion than ever witnessed before in modern history.

In brief the implications of a US withdrawal would be :--

1-Collapse of the moderate Afghan regime created after billions of dollars of US and European/G 8 aid within a matter of months.

2-Creation of an unemployed and uncommitted reserve of Islamic extremists who are well trained in military art and would represent a greater threat to the Pakistani state as it presently exists and to all neighbours of Afghanistan.

3-A renewed civil war in Afghanistan with Taliban backed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the Northern Alliance backed by Russia, Iran, Central Asian Republics and possibly USA and China.

The key to the Afghan disorder lies in Afghanistans neighbours and not in Afghanistan itself :--

1-Pakistan and Saudi Arabian states regard Afghanistan as a battle ground in between an Iran/Indian/Russian backed Northern Alliance and a Sunni puritan Talibans.

2-Russia ,India,Central Asian Republics and G 8 in general regard Taliban as a threat to their countries and to the region.

A possible solution may be in the following :--

1-Continued US presence retaining key military bases in North Afghanistan and in Baloch majority Nimroz as sword of Damocles for the Taliban. Withdrawal of US forces from South Afghanistan while retaining the Kabul Torkham Corridor which is safe in any case.

2-Integrating Russia,India and Pakistan in a regional solution while creating an Independent North Afghanistan which is Non Pashtun majority, South Afghanistan which is Pashtun majority, and a Baloch Autonomous Region in the south west Afghanistan.

3-Initiation of dialogue with the Taliban offering them South Afghanistan while withdrawing US/NATO forces north of the line Dilaram-Uruzgan-Ghazni-Paktiya-Paktika while retaining Baloch majority Nimroz.

Nothing in history is inevitable.Afghanistan was a province of Mughal,Saffavid and the Bokharan Uzbeks till 1747.It was controlled by a subsidy of 13 lakh per month by British from 1857 to 1919 and it was a neutral country with no threat to world peace from 1919 to 1978.

It is a misconception that Taliban control 90 % of Afghanistan or all population of Afghanistan is with Taliban unless you believe the Pakistani or Saudi establishment.The Saudi establishment fears the Shias and Iran far more than USA or Israel. Thus the deep Saudi interest in a Taliban dominated Afghanistan.

The fact is that Taliban control some 50 % of Afghanistan while some 60 % of Afghanistans population is against them.

If the USA withdraws what will happen to the 60 % who are against the Taliban ? These include Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Hazaras and many educated Pashtuns .This would be a great political and strategic failure of USA and NATO ? The main winners in this case would be Russia,India and Iran in Afghamistans north and Pakistans generals and Saudis in the south.

A solution of Afghan war must be based on a combination of B-52 bombers, US Dollars, Divide and Rule and regional guarantees.





] "When We Talk About Syria, We Talk About Iran And Russia"

 "When We Talk About Syria, We Talk About Iran And Russia"

 Voice of Russia
 July 27, 2012

 Russia to keep Tartus base
 Konstantin Garibov


 "If Russia loses that base, it will have nowhere in the Mediterranean to fuel or repair its ships. The moment Russia loses the Tartus base, it will also lose Syria. Consequently, and I deem it quite possible, military actions against Iran may begin. That scenario will create very complicated problems for Russian troops stationed in the Caucasus. Therefore, and it should be admitted frankly, when we talk about Syria, we talk about Iran and the Russian troops in the Caucasus."


 Russia will maintain its logistics naval station in the Syrian port of Tartus. Commenting on the issue earlier this week, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov accentuated the importance of the Tartus base in providing logistics services to the anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

 He said that there were ten Russian warships and ten support ships in the Mediterranean now, as part of planned maneuvers announced last year.

 On July 10, a combined squad of Russia's Northern, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets entered the Mediterranean on a three-month-long training mission to practice anti-piracy and rescue efforts. Some of the ships will call at Tartus.

 Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said in an interview that as long as Russia positioned itself as a naval power, it must have ports, mooring sites or, preferably, naval bases abroad. Russia pulled out of Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam and also out of Aden. Tartus is the only site where Russian ships can dock for refueling and repairs and allow their crews to rest a little, he said.

 "Strictly speaking, the Tartus station is not a naval base. We only have a floating repair dock there. The port is not equipped to be a base, but potential changes are possible. If we maintain our presence there, modernization will be needed."

 Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Military Forecast Center, echoes that with tension mounting around Syria and military intervention not altogether unlikely, the Russian base in Tartus acquires vital geopolitical significance.

 "If Russia loses that base, it will have nowhere in the Mediterranean to fuel or repair its ships. The moment Russia loses the Tartus base, it will also lose Syria. Consequently, and I deem it quite possible, military actions against Iran may begin. That scenario will create very complicated problems for Russian troops stationed in the Caucasus. Therefore, and it should be admitted frankly, when we talk about Syria, we talk about Iran and the Russian troops in the Caucasus."

 Russia has never made a secret of its intention to keep its logistics base in Tartus.

 Built by the former Soviet Union in 1971, the Tartus station was conceived as a supply and maintenance center for the Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean. It has two floating docks, a repair workshop, storage and other facilities, and several small barracks. Its personnel currently numbers 50 servicemen. After the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the 5th Mediterranean Squadron was dissolved, but the base remained. Today, it's Russia's only naval station in the region.





Pakistan Government turns a blind eye to the murder of Ahmadiyya Muslims

July 26, 2012

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

PAKISTAN: Government turns a blind eye to the murder of Ahmadiyya Muslims

It is devastating for human rights activists the world over and those who stand for religious freedom, practise and tolerance, that the Government of Pakistan is not only stone deaf and dumb but also blind to the continuous murders of the followers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. We have received the dreadful news that on July 19, a devout senior Ahmadiy Muslim, Mr Naeem Ahmad Gondal, was shot in the head by two motorcyclists and died on the spot. He was an elite Ahmadiy Muslim and also holding the high position of Assistant Director in the State Bank of Pakistan.

He was an active member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and had been the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Korangi town, Karachi, for the past 11 years. Mr Naeem was the seventh Ahmadiy Muslim killed in Karachi for his faith and belief since the beginning of this year and the world is aware of the hundreds of other Ahmadiy Muslims who have been killed in Pakistan so far just for being Ahmadiy and being devoted to their faith and belief.

On the morning of July 19, he left home to go to work and just as he walked to his pick-up vehicle he was shot and killed. Mr. Naeem was 52 years old and was highly respected by all in his neighbourhood. He had an admirable reputation in the area and had no enmity with anyone.

The spate of hate speeches against Ahmadiy Muslims in the area started with a campaign organised to incite hatred against the sect in the area by painting malicious and abusive slogans on the walls. The youngsters were particularly encouraged to kill Ahmadiyya Muslims and win direct entry into Paradise.

The deceased leaves behind a grieving widow.

Once again, the world community is urged to impress upon the Government of Pakistan that it is time to take heed and restrain these deplorable atrocities. This wave of hate and malice against Ahmadiy Muslims must be checked and those engaged in these spiteful and evil activities brought to justice and punished.

The Government of Pakistan must shoulder and honour its responsibilities to provide Ahmadiy Muslims protection, safety and security and the freedom to practise and profess their faith. Their human and civil rights must be restored to allow them to follow a the course of life of their choosing.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Visit our new website with more features at

You can make a difference. Please support our work and make a donation here.


Asian Human Rights Commission
#701A Westley Square,
48 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon,
Hongkong S.A.R.
Tel: +(852) 2698-6339
Fax: +(852) 2698-6367
twitter/youtube/facebook: humanrightsasia

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

powered by phplist v 2.10.17, © phpList ltd

Baseer Naweed
Senior Researcher
Sign our Petition: Stop Disappearances in Pakistan
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Unit 701A Westley Square,
48 Hoi Yuen Road, Kwun Tong,
Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR China
Tel: (852) 2698 6339 Ext 113
Fax: (852) 2698 6367
Mob: (852)6402 5943

Skype: baseer.naweed

The Muslim Brotherhood's American Defenders

Like this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Pin to Pinterest Share this on with +1

July 28, 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's American Defenders

On Wednesday, John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, made a quick trip to Israel to discuss Hezbollah's massacre of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria last week.

Hopefully it was an instructive meeting for the senior US official, although his Israeli interlocutors were undoubtedly dumbstruck by how difficult it was to communicate with him. Unlike previous US counterterror officials, Brennan does not share Israel's understanding of Middle Eastern terrorism.

Brennan's outlook on this subject was revealed in a speech he gave two years ago in Washington. In that talk, Brennan spoke dreamily about Hezbollah. As he put it, "Hezbollah is a very interesting organization."

He claimed it had evolved from a "purely terrorist organization" to a militia and then into an organization with members in Lebanon's parliament and serving in Lebanon's cabinet.

Brennan continued, "There are certainly elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern for us what they're doing. And what we need to do is find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements."

Continue reading...


Latma updates and some happy house cleaning

As regular visitors to this site know, Latma, the donor-funded Hebrew language media satire website has taken a break from our regular weekly satirical television on internet newscast The Tribal Update to explore new ideas. We'll be coming back next week. In the meantime, here are a bunch of sketches we've worked on in recent weeks.

I hope you enjoy them all.

BSN News Network's amazing plan for peace

Shaul Mofaz's Rolodex

The Peace Movement Leader's amazing confession

Israel's Treasury betrays the cause of social justice


David Horowitz Freedom Center and LA lecture

In the meantime, this month, after eight years of being honored to work with the Center for Security Policy in Washington, I have transferred my hat to the amazing David Horowitz Freedom Center in Los Angeles.

I'll remain at the CSP as the adjunct fellow for Middle Eastern affairs. At the Freedom Center I will serve as the Director of the Israel Security Project. And I couldn't be more excited. Here's the link to the flattering write-up on my move from Frontpage Magazine, the Freedom Center's amazing online news source.

Next week I'll post the link to donate to Latma through the Freedom Center. Also on Monday, I'll be speaking in LA for the Children of Holocaust Survivors. Here's the information on the talk. If you're around, I hope you'll join us.

Register by email to Please include your name and the number of people in your party. For more information please call (818)704-0523

email facebook twitter youtube
©2012 | Jerusalem|Israel

 To ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list. View this email on the web here. You can also forward to a friend.





When the German General Staff was Dumb enough to only think about Repeating Schlieffen Plan

When the German General Staff Could only think about Repeating Schlieffen Plan





Originally published in Command and Staff College Quetta's prime research journal " The Citadel" in early 1998

Shuja Pasha later served as DG ISI in the fateful 2009-12 . LTG Tariq Khan is a dear friend .He successfully conducted the FATA operations and Swat Operation and now commands the Northern Command.LTG Ahsan Mahmood today commands the Pakistan Ordnance Factories Complex.

These higher commander recommendations made in the above article were finally accepted and instituted in the Pakistan Army after 2006.

The relationship of organisation to doctrine and conduct of war
Columnist A H AMIN discusses the crucial aspect of warfare.
Organisation and Warfare
Organisation has a deep and direct connection with success or failure in battle. It is agreed by all and sundry that a superior generalship, high morale, sophisticated equipment and logistic stamina do play a major role in battle. Likewise, it is felt with an equal conviction that superiority in organisation from the lowest tactical to operational and strategic levels plays a major role in the performance of an army, a formation, a unit or even a sub-unit in war. In fact, at certain times, the organisational superiority or inferiority has played a crucial role in the victory or defeat of an army.
Historically, the Greek Phalanx and the Roman Legion stand out as examples of battle formations that played an important part in the victories of their armies. Nevertheless, both these organisations had their limitations and thus faced extinction. Again, the Mongol tactics of employment of cavalry were at one time invincible before they too became obsolete. In a later history, Frederick the Great’s revolutionary, Oblique Order tactics also met their fate. Napoleon’s divisional and corps system that formed a guarantee for victory could also not stand the test of time. His opponents' imitation of this model and other calculated organisational counter measures rendered it ineffective with the passage of time.
Moltke the Elder introduced a concept of controlling the armies organised under various army/corps commanders in a single theatre, by means of a single general staff system. In these the command and co-ordination was done by means of telegraph, whilst movement was radically improved through railways. Still, within the next four decades his system as well was subjected to organisational modifications.
The German Experience in Organisation as a Case Study
Moltke's success in the Franco-German war of 1870-71 developed a false feeling of superiority in the German Army. While his campaigns were analysed and elevated to the pedestal of the formula for victory, no effort was made to appreciate that the growth in the size of armies necessitated changes to their organisation. The necessity of a general staff for the control and co-ordination of the Eighth and Ninth Armies that advanced into France as part of the famous Schlieffen Plan was dismissed and allusion made to Moltke’s successes of 1866 and 1870. It was assumed that the two general officers whose armies, trained in like manner, would, when advancing abreast, co-ordinate and function effectively and understand an operational situation in a context larger than their own individual progress. The Battle of Marne fought in 1914 proved the contrary and showed that the two army commanders followed their own personal whims. The reason for this failure was the organisational flaw:-
  • The German General Staff Headquarters located many hundred miles in the rear could not co-ordinate the movement of various armies advancing towards Paris right from the D-Day till the Battle of Marne.
  • Absence of an army group headquarters to co-ordinate the actions of two or three armies advancing side by side led to the following setbacks:-
  • Failure to exploit the opportunities to encircle or outflank the French and British formations.
  • Lack of co-ordination created gaps between the armies only to be exploited by the Franco-British Armies who launched successful counter-strokes. The most notable of this was the fateful battle of Marne of 1914.
It has been fashionable to attribute the German failure to defeat France in 1914 to non-adherence of the original Schlieffen Plan. While it is true that Moltke the Younger’s cautious personality, by altering the force ratio, robbed the Schlieffen Plan of its inherent boldness and dynamism, the fact that the Germans missed many opportunities to inflict a decisive defeat on the French during their advance towards Paris stands out as a hard historical reality. Failure to do so was largely organisational. Had the Germans possessed an intermediate headquarters to co-ordinate the operations of two or three armies, they may have been able to encircle one of the French Armies on their way to Paris. They would have then created an operational imbalance that may have seriously jeopardised the stability of French dispositions long before they were able to successfully retreat to the Marne and stabilise the operational situation. The following two examples prove that the presence of an army group headquarters to co-ordinate at least two or three German Armies may have produced a decisive German thrust long before reaching Paris or the line of Marne and Oise Rivers.
The Lost Opportunity of 20 August 1914
On 20 August 1914, following was the operational situation:-
  • Lanzearac's 5th French Army was holding a defensive position south of Sambre River and west of Meuse River.
  • Bulows German Army was holding the line of Sambre River north of Lanzearac's 5th French Army.
  • On Bulows right another German Army, i.e. Kluck's Army was facing the numerically much weaker British Expeditionary Force (BEF) which Kluck could easily have outflanked had he wanted to. Another German Army, i.e., Hausen's Army was on Lanzearac French Army's deep southern flank across the Meuse River. This army could also easily have marched westwards and enveloped Lanzearac’s 5th Army from the south.
  • No army commander was, however, interested in co-operating with the other, since the one preferred German emphasis was to reach Paris. There was no army group headquarters to control and co-ordinate the moves of these three armies while the German General Staff Headquarters was more than 150 miles behind at Colbenz.
  • The German Chief, Moltke the Younger, preferred sitting at Colbenz to going personally forward to converge the movement of these three armies to encircle the French 5th Army.
Thus a golden opportunity of inflicting a crushing defeat on the French and BEF was lost on 20 August 1914. The simple reason for this failure was again organisational.

The Lost Opportunity of 24 August 1914
The situation of 24 August 1914 was as under:-
  • The 5th French Army and the BEF were mauled heavily, were in retreat on 24 August 1914.
  • There was a gap to the south of Lanzearac's 5th French Army between the 4th and 5th French Armies. An area of some 10 to 15 miles between Rocroi and Mezieres was not held strongly by French.
  • General Hausen was aware of this gap and asked the OHL (the General Headquarters) for permission to exploit it. Moltke the Younger hesitated in giving permission and procrastinated, allowing Hausen to exploit this gap only on the morning of 28th August. It was all too late although Hausen did start the projected advance.
General Bulow on Hausen's right was a much more cautious and timid commander. He was overly confounded by a corps level counter attack by the exhausted and desperate 5th French Army. He thus sent a very panicky signal to Hausen to help him. In actual fact the situation was not as worse, but Bulow had overreacted. Hausen, not truly knowing Bulow, believed his signal and abandoned his outflanking attack and readjusted northwards to help Bulow Hausen later explained why he had decided to assist Bulow, which forced him to abandon his originally planned attack on Lanzearac’s line of communication. Hausen thus states, one, after all, had the right to suppose that a commander so experienced and of such a reputation as him, at the head of the 2nd Army (Bulow’s Army) would only ask for immediate help in the event of an absolute necessity. Bulow's panic was without any basis since just a few hours later the 5th Army again started retreating.
The two above mentioned examples illustrate that the absence of an intermediate army group headquarters stood out as the principal German organisational negligence because of non-existence of which the Germans failed to exploit many fleeting opportunities in 1914 including the two examples cited above.

The French and German Organisational Response in World War II
The French won the World War I, and as such did not appreciate the necessity of organisational or doctrinal reform in their army. This particular response had a remarkable similarity to the Germans' disposition following Moltke the Elder's victories of 1866 and 1870. On the other hand, the history of the World War I was viewed differently by the German Army since they lost it. The Germans introduced radical changes in their organisation and doctrine. The rise of Hitler to power led to the adoption of a radical organisational model proposed by Guderian for organising tanks into tank corps and tank army groups.
  • Numerically, Allied had more tanks than Germans. However, all German tanks were grouped into some ten German Panzer divisions organised either as Panzer group or Panzer corps. Two Panzer corps were grouped as Panzer Group Kliest, while the others as the corps co-operating with various armies.
  • According to varied estimates, the French had a large number of tanks ranging from 2554 to 3615. Out of these, only 468 tanks were concentrated in the French armoured divisions. The remaining tanks were dished out in penny packets to the French infantry divisions. Thus, because of this very organisational blemish the French could not have launched any meaningful counter-stroke to defeat the German armoured thrust.
The French and their allies were confronted with a unique and unprecedented organisational and doctrinal dilemma. Such a grand level envelopment manoeuvre, as that of 1940 had not been successfully accomplished since Ulm.
Till 1940, the German doctrine of Blitzkrieg and their organisation, i.e., the Panzer corps and groups were compatible. In 1941, this relationship between organisation and doctrine was again seriously affected by Hitler's decision to increase the number of armoured divisions to 21. This reduced each Panzer division to 160 tanks. Thus while in France, a country much smaller to Russia, a German Panzer division had some 320 tanks; in Russia, contrary to logic, it were to have a paltry 160 tanks. This reduction in strength seriously weakened the operational potential of the German Panzer division. Thus organisationally speaking, the German plan to invade Russia had become intangible long before the actual invasion. In terms of organisation and grouping, the Germans were again unable to resolve many points of confusion. Thus in Army Group Centre, Guderian and Hoth's Panzer Groups were placed under command the infantry army commanders. Since the arrangement was temporary, various conflicts arose and the infantry army commanders kept a pressure on Guderian and Hoth to slow down. In Army Group North the Panzer Group of Hoeppner was not under an infantry army commander but directly under the Army Group North's commander.
Another major German organisational mistake in Russia was to assign an independent headquarters to control all the three-army groups under a separate Commander-in-Chief and a Chief of General Staff. Thus Hitler, some 800 to 1000 miles in rear, tried to control operations in the east and west much like a tank commander controlling his driver. This organisational failure doomed the German operations in the east from the beginning. Another serious organisational failure was Hitler’s assumption of the appointment of Army Commander-in-Chief following the Battle of Moscow in 1941. A head of state cannot fully do justice to a job as demanding as that of a Commander-in-Chief.
The Indo-Pakistan Experience in organisation
1965 War
The Indo-Pakistan Armies were begotten of the same source, i.e., the old British Indian Army. Nevertheless, the Indian and Pakistani response to their organisational problems was different and led to slightly different results. On the Pakistani side, it was thought till 1965 that a division should suffice as the higher level of operational command in most cases. Pakistan had only one corps headquarters in 1965. Years before the war, a need was felt for founding another corps headquarters. The finance ministry jeopardised this perfectly justifiable operational demand.
Today, it is fashionable to criticise what happened at Khem Karan in 1965. The fact that an armoured division was launched without any integral infantry division supporting it as a sister formation is largely ignored. Notwithstanding the tactical flaws like poor reconnaissance, lack of co-ordination and a blind adherence to the night-leaguer, the presence of another corps headquarters for close monitoring of the divisions may have led to a better performance in the war. The story was no different on the other side of the border. Lieutenant General Gill, the Indian DMO during 1965 War also cites the organisational imbalance that contributed to a reduced combat efficiency of the Indian Army.
Indian armoured division failure in Chawinda despite having a corps headquarters and integral sister infantry divisions to facilitate its operations cannot be attributed to any organisational flaw. In our case, however, the organisational factor played a sufficient role, which now has but a theoretical value.
Another aspect generally ignored during the war centres around the faulty employment of armour. This failure is more of a doctrinal nature than organisational one. The tactical timidity on danger of being outflanked, anxiety about some unknown danger on flanks and the concept of night-leaguer in the rear can be cited as causes that led to the under employment of armour.
The Indian arrangement of having commands to control various corps were effective to a limited extent as the officer exercising this command could not really co-ordinate the actions of various corps that held very large frontages. Thus their system of having headquarters called commands, to co-ordinate their various corps, though slightly unwieldy, proved organisationally to be a relatively better arrangement. General Harbaksh Singh who was commanding their Western Command in 1965 was an exceptionally gifted commander. He had an extraordinarily sharp operational perception and his intervention in resisting the Indian Chief, General Chaudhri's withdrawal order in response to the Pakistani thrust in Khem Karan stands out as a matter of individual military genius and had little to do with his being GOC Western Command. Organisationally, however, the incident vindicates the benefit of having intermediate headquarters.
1971 War
In the 1971 War, the tank casualties suffered at Bara Pind - Jarpal were avoidable, if the independent armoured brigade had possessed an integral reconnaissance unit like a reconnaissance squadron. That would have saved it the reliance on judgement and reports of men who did not pass back a realistic assessment of the enemy in front. The rationale for this argument is to illustrate that organisational insurance by means of a balanced organisation can avoid disasters. Other factors like employment of artillery, poor reporting may have their weightage, but this still does not weaken the case for having integral reconnaissance elements, at least in case of an independent armoured brigade. If an armoured division with just four armoured regiments can have a reconnaissance regiment, a simple numerical logic dictates that an independent armoured brigade with three regiments must have a reconnaissance squadron. Our organisation does flow from the British model of war but the fact ignored is the contrast between the terrain around Tobruk and our own. It may be recalled that geographically the situation was different in North Africa where one, the northern flank was at all times protected by the sea. There were also no man made water obstacles. To us, the most dangerous conceptual quicksand is the intellectual slavery to which ex-colonised nations are vulnerable. In contrast to what is mentioned above, we have the old reconnaissance and support (now light anti-tank) battalion whose effectiveness was not vindicated or validated either in 1965 or 1971.
The concept of holding and striking formations also needs a reappraisal. The fact that their predecessor formations were bulky and unwieldy is indisputable. However, the bifurcation in terms of offensive and defensive role, while outwardly neat and theoretically sound, is historically without a successful precedent. The issue could have been resolved in exercise Zarb-e-Momin in 1989 by subjecting it to the friction of a strenuous training manoeuvre. The ancient Roman Army was once divided into two types of forces, the mobile and garrison forces. The reform failed since the mobile troops who were mostly posted in the cities were pampered with privileges and pleasurable living. The garrison troops became colonists attached to the countryside where they lived. The parallel, though, is ancient but the lesson that bifurcation of command on basis of operational roles proved utopian even in Roman times cannot be refuted. Rommel in North Africa could not be really effective in the crucial Operation Crusader since the Italian troops fighting in the same battle area were not under his command. The optimum results, therefore, could not be achieved. In the World War II, the British introduced a formation called army tank brigade specifically for protecting the infantry divisions. These were equipped with slow speed tanks, which were supposed to support the infantry alone. Given this rigid bifurcation, these brigades never co-operated in the manner that they should have with normal tank brigades. The shield and spear or the hammer and anvil can function effectively only if one head synchronises and co-ordinates their operational functions. As they say that too many cooks spoil the broth, the two formations fighting the same battle in the same operational area cannot fully realise their combat potential unless a headquarters co-ordinates and regulates their operations. How can one main headquarters 200 or 400 miles in the rear, with loads of other matters to take care of, effectively co-ordinate the operations of a hammer and anvil.
Organisations are meaningless without effective human beings but human beings have certain drawbacks that only an organisational framework can remedy or counterbalance. War is an extraordinary affair in which resolution, strength of personality and intellect form the only salvation. The need for an army headquarters to co-ordinate and effectively command the holding and strike corps is an indispensable necessity.
Posterity will forgive those who failed to rise higher in terms of advancement due to excessive pugnacity, drive and courage, but it will not forgive those who squandered the national assets on matters of petty parsimony leading to failures stemming out of faulty or unrealistic organisation. We have come a long way from the sixties when self-styled financial wizards vetoed even one corps headquarters. This, if allowed, might have had a positive impact on the outcome of the war.
The abdication of Moltke was a mistake. The method of command employed by his uncle to the separated, so much smaller battles of 1870-71 was quite inappropriate to three armies that must manoeuvre in a single battle as a single unit. Battles directed by a committee are rarely victorious, and never a substitute for a single driving will.
1.         Hart, B.H. Liddell, History of the Second World War, London. Pan, 1978.
2.         Guderian, Heinz, Panzer Leader, London, Michael Joseph, 1952.
3.         Hart, B.H. Liddell, Strategy - The Indirect Approach, London.  Faber and Faber, 1954.
4.         Kaul, B.M., Confrontation with Pakistan, Vikas Publications.
5.         Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of Roman Empire, Jonathan Cope, London, 1980.
6.         Roberts. J.M., Pelican History of the World, Penguin Books, London, 1980.
7.         Edward. J. Stackpole, They met at Gettysburg, USA, 1956.
8.         Brassey's Encyclopaedia of Military History and Biography, Brassey's Washington - 1994.
9.         Barnett, Correlli, The Sword Bearers, William Morrow and Company - New York 1964.
10.       Seaton, Albert, The Russo German War, Arthur Barker, London, 1952.
11.       Hassan, Gul, Lieutenant General, Retired, Memoirs, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 1993.
12.       John, The Mask of Command, Penguin Books, USA, 1988.