Tuesday, 09 August, 2022

Air Power – Douhets Theory And Afghanistan


We have been reading of the ancient world of Atlantis where women ruled and we now have women recruits in most armies of the world including the United States, Russia and India. But the question that begets an answer is to how efficient or potent women as soldiers are, compared to men. For centuries women did accompany men into combat but as ‘camp followers’. Their purpose was to provide comfort and sex to men after the heat of battle. Camp followers have been seen in the American Civil war as well as the British campaigns in the sub continent. Camp followers are civilians who follow a military unit from place to place, especially as vendors of supplies or as prostitutes.

In the 1980s, every 5 year old in Pakistan wanted to become a commando or a pilot. Nobody wanted to become an accountant or an architect or a civil engineer. Ever wonder why? I’ll tell you why.

The battles on the return when the Indian Army Exams forced the Japanese retreat through thick jungles are what stuff legends are made off. Both officers and men of the British Army Admit Card under Field Marshal Slim fought gloriously and the sun began to set on the Japanese empire. In fact Kohima was the last hurrah of the Imperial army.

The cane was duly delivered to the embassy. After a few months Tamizi told me that the embassy could not send it to Tunku because it is not proper coming from Khun Sa, the opium warlord of the Golden Triangle. You have to take it a deliver it to him yourself, they told me.

Ma was an admirer of the Tunku and I suggested to him to present the Shan army commanders’ walking stick to Tunku. It is a beautiful rattan cane as thick as a toe with a curve handle. All the commanders carry one into battle and Khun Sa carried one whenever he inspected his troops.

As usual we had coffee and a long chat. When I told him I had been to the Philippines to cover the Aquino assassination, he told me of the arrogance and offences committed by then-president Ferdinand Marcos against our Agong a few years ago.

In 1942 the Imperial Japanese fleet advanced on Pearl Harbor, with a one point plan as laid down by Admiral Yamamoto, to annihilate the US pacific fleet at one stroke. The attack was a tactical success as the Japanese task force spearheaded by 3 carrier groups unleashed an air bombardment of Pearl Harbor. But in the strategic sense the attack can be considered a failure as though the capital ships were sunk, but the 3 aircraft carriers which were on sea escaped the attack. This US carrier task force came back to haunt Japan, later in the war and the battle of midway was a strategic defeat for the Japanese.

Having said that, it has to be emphasized that India is a beautiful country which offers a once in a lifetime experience to every traveler. Once you understand the extremities and complexities of this nation, you will be able to enjoy the country better. The people in general are very warm and lovingly contribute to your Indian adventures. So till things become simpler and more developed, you need to take a few precautions to keep yourself safe and trust us you will have a magical experience!