New Delhi: Lack of war preparedness and failure to gather intelligence about Chinese troops' movement led to India's defeat in 1962 war, former Army chief Gen V K Singh said. (Agencies)
Addressing a seminar 'Dealing with China', he also said India had lacked correct political assessment at that time and there were no diplomatic measures to engage with the neighbor to know its intention.
"It was a kick which woke us up. It was something which shook us as to what would happen to us if we are not prepared. It was a like a lesson which made us to face 1965 and 1971 (when the country fought the wars with Pakistan)," he said.
Singh said one has to be firm in dealing with somebody who wants to test one's weakness and lamented unpreparedness of the forces and intelligence failure led to the defeat.
"Troops moved without equipment, without preparation except for good morale, except for the determination that they will fight for the country...They (China) had better intelligence. They knew exactly where the troops were. We were caught in a manner in which no any military would like to be.
"Our intelligence failed to see the way the troops were moving from one area to another and we were actually caught," Singh said.
Chinese troops were prepared and knew what they were upto but that was not the case with India, he said.
"We did not make a correct political assessment. Our diplomatic measures to engage China to know its intention and what it was doing were not there," he said.
On training of troops, he said it was then restricted to training methods adopted during the Second World War and it was not looking at the future.
Before 1962, he said, military was not prepared for a war and was more into other activities.
On dealing with China he said, India has to show firmness and determination on the border issues.
New Delhi: Lack of war preparedness and failure to gather intelligence about Chinese troops' movement led to India's defeat in 1962 war, former Army chief Gen V K Singh said.