Did British Officers fight on both sides of the Kashmir War?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Pteranadon, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. In a book of military tall tales, ("Tales from the Mess" Miles Noonan), there is a story that claims that British Officers fought on both sides of the 1949 Kashmir war.

    After Independence, British Officers stayed on in the Indian and Pakistani Armies as "Loan Service Officers". When the Kashir crisis occurred in 1949 (?) the British Officers were told not to take part in operations.
    The Battery Commander of one Pakistani artillery unit felt quite strongly about this as these were the men who he had commanded for several years in WW2.

    Apparently many officers disobeyed by going on leave over the period. Allegedly, the Battery Commander of a Pakistani battery went "fishing" in Kashmir, meeting the CRA collecting butterflies in the vicinitiy of their units. His Briagier spoke to hikmand confirmed that he could not go to war with the unit.

    So he took leave over the period and as the Kashkir war developed he was dressed in his fishing kit while he commanded his battery. His Briadier appeared - "buttervfly catching ". The anecdote may be an embellishment - but is there any truth in behind it?
  2. Would not surprise me knowing how Old Brit Officers felt about the Men they had trained and led through WW II.
  3. Its true, iv read of that incident before somewhere.

    There were certainly a large number of senior British officers around as only a handful of native IA officers had achieved high rank by Partition.

    In fact neither the Indian or Pakistan armies had a native C-in-C until the Fifties.

    IIRC FM Auchinleck was still Supreme Commander of both armies at the time of the 1949 conflict which must have put him in quite a quandary!
  4. rayc sent me a PM saying..

    rayc writes about the indian army
  5. Auchinleck retired after partition because he did not agree with it or the more bitchy rumour is because Mountbatten thought he was Pro-Pakistani , so forced him retire. The War over Kashmir was 1948. As far as I know under plans laid down by Auchinleck - no British officers were to engage in any fight between India and Pakistan. Messervy was retired by Jinnah over it (even though the refusal came from Gracey). There is a rumour though that after initial hostilities Gracey was ready to send troops (including GB officers) into Kashmir to secure Pakistan’s borders.

    There could have been the odd GB soldier fighting as Jon puts it though loyalty but the ban was pretty much enforced by both British CinC.
    However if some soldiers did fight, it was more likely to have been on the Pakistani side due to the relative freedom they enjoyed.