Are you looking for recommendations of books on Indian Army, Armed Forces, Military? In this article, I list out the best books on Indian Military which have been appreciated by readers all over.
Military history books which outline the operations, bravery and sacrifices of our soldiers are hard to find.
Consequently, military history is one of the least touched upon subjects in Indian non-fiction writing.
With this list, we wish to bring to our readers the best books on all the three wings of India’s military – Army, Navy and Air Force.
The listed books are among the best in this genre and are definite must-reads.
These books on Indian Army show the struggles a soldier goes through so that we all can live in peace.
Table of Contents
- India’s Most Fearless
- The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories
- Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military
- Kargil: From Surprise To Victory
- War Despatches: Indo-Pak Conflict 1965
- Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China
- The Legendary Gorkhas
- Death wasn’t Painful
- The Garud Strikes
- The Sinking Of INS Khukri
1. India’s Most Fearless by Shiv Aroor And Rahul Singh
“India’s Most Fearless” by Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh is a book which is based on true stories.
It covers fourteen tales of courage and fearlessness which the Indian soldiers displayed in the line of duty.
It gives the reader a glimpse of complete heroism the soldiers displayed under a hostile environment like the surgical strikes that happened in Pakistan, Myanmar.
I would highly recommend this book. To children more so, since they should know the high level of sacrifice made by soldiers of the Indian army just for them to enjoy a peaceful environment.
2. The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories by Rachna Bisht Rawat
“The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories” by Rachna Bisht Rawat is a book about all the heroes of the Indian armed forces who had to make a sacrifice to keep India safe.
It consists of twenty-one shocking stories of how twenty-one soldiers won India’s honour.
Rachna Bisht Rawat talks to parents, children, and siblings of the armed forces and understands how they conducted their duties while in battle.
The author illustrates the passion behind each soldier when going to battle. This is what makes this book a number one recommendation.
Rachna divides the book into sections like:
- The Indo-Pak war (1947-48),
- Congo (1961),
- The Sino-Indian war (1962),
- The second, and the third Indo-Pak wars (1965, 1971)
I would highly recommend “The Brave: Param Vir Chakra Stories” to all those who are interested in Indian military history.
Once a reader completes reading it, he or she is left with a feeling of empathy and great gratitude for those who sacrifice their lives by going to war.
3. Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military by Sushant Singh
“Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military” explains three primary military operations carried out by our Army outside India.
Sushant Singh tells tales that speak volumes about the path our men and women of courage took in unfamiliar territories, with limited resources.
The author writes a fact-based narrative that makes the reader visualise all the scenes narrated in an easy-to-understand language.
He speaks at large about operations like:
- “Operation Cactus” that was aimed to restore the civilian government in the Maldives.
- “Operation Khukri”, which was undertaken to rescue Indian soldiers in Sierra Leone, and
- “Operation Pawan” against the LTTE in Jaffna where our forces suffered heavy casualties.
I would highly recommend “Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military” as its emphasis is more on the Indian military’s ability to overcome obstacles.
The book has some great lessons to learn during these challenging times.
4. Kargil: From Surprise To Victory by General V. P. Malik
“Kargil: From Surprise To Victory” by General V. P. Malik deals with all the factors that led to the Kargil war.
The Pakistan army played a double role in the name of Mujahideen, but their reign was short-lived.
All the peaks which were intruded by the Pakistan regular Army were snatched back by the Indian Army, and the Pakistanis had to surrender.
The Indian Army proved that the intruders were of Pakistani nationality from the items they recovered after recapturing the posts on our side of LOC.
After this, Pakistan also had to face pressure from Washington to withdraw its troops.
Gen. V. P. Malik also explains in detail how the Indian political system works and how it coped with the Kargil scenario.
The tone of “Kargil: From Surprise To Victory” sounds more like a report than an account from someone deeply involved in the war.
However, it is of high moral and educational value to any reader. It provides significant historical value and expounds the threats the Indian military faces to protect the nation from rogue neighbours.
5. War Despatches: Indo-Pak Conflict 1965 by Harbaksh Singh
The conflicts described in “War Despatches: Indo-Pak Conflict 1965” by Harbaksh Singh are short and limited. Each of them is packed with intense activity, heavy fighting and crucial decisions.
Pakistan started the 1965 war with a mix of regular and irregular troops.
Harbaksh Singh, the commander of the army at the time, provided a calm presence under whom the Army inflicted unprecedented losses on the enemy.
“War Despatches: Indo-Pak Conflict 1965”, for the first time ever, narrates the inside story through first-person accounts of the army commander from the war.
Authentic records make this book a unique read when learning about the Indian Army.
6. Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China by Probal Dasgupta
“Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China” by Probal Dasgupta is about the India-China conflicts and skirmishes that happened during the 1962 war.
The author narrates how India lost the war during the 1962 conflict and emerged victorious five years later when China and India went to battle again in 1967.
Despite several stand-offs in the half-century since then, Beijing has never again dared to militarily attack India.
This book tells us how these battles ushered in an era of peace.
“Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China” is based on deep research and interviews with army officers and soldiers who participated in these historic battles.
This book aims to shine the spotlight on a story of incredible bravery that India should be proud of.
7. The Legendary Gorkhas: An Up to Date Account Including the Kargil Operation 1999 by K. K. Muktan
“The Legendary Gorkhas” is written by K. K. Muktan, who is himself a Gorkha. It tells the tale of bravery and sacrifice of the Gorkhas.
Recruited initially from Nepal in 1815, this formidable clan has built up an excellent reputation for themselves because of their bravery and loyalty.
During the First World War, they displayed their bravery in France. In the Second World War, they distinguished themselves in Burma (now Myanmar).
After India’s independence, they became an integral part of the Indian Army. They figured in all the wars that India has fought till date.
The Gorkhas, with their life and blood, have made a tremendous contribution to India by protecting its sovereignty, maintaining its territorial integrity and by thwarting repeated foreign incursions.
8. Death wasn’t Painful: Stories of Indian Fighter Pilots from 1971 war by Dhirendra S Jafa
“Death Wasn’t Painful” is a real-life account of a former fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force, Dhirendra S Jafa, who was a PoW during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
The book portrays the courageous life of fighter pilots in active combat.
The torture, grief, helplessness faced by soldiers who are taken as prisoners during a war is emotionally narrated.
Dhirendra S Jafa also narrates his conversations with the various people he came across during his imprisonment – Pakistani interrogators, jailors and civilians.
9. The Garud Strikes by Mukul Deva
“The Garud Strikes” by Mukul Deva is a compelling story of 4 Guards (1 Rajput) and the important role they played in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
They freed 75 million civilians during this war from the atrocities of the Pakistani Army.
The 4 Guards (1 Rajput) were led by Lt. Col. Himmeth Singh. In just 16 days they captured 95,000 Pakistani soldiers and played a pivotal role in the creation of Bangladesh.
This operation is considered one of the fastest successful military campaigns in modern history.
10. The Sinking Of INS Khukri by Ian Cardozo
“The Sinking Of INS Khukri” talks about events that happened on the 9th of December 1971.
INS Khukri, a Type 14 (Blackwood-class) frigate of the Indian Navy, was torpedoed by a Pakistani submarine and it sank within minutes. 178 sailors and 18 officers perished with it.
This book is an attempt by General Ian Cardozo to understand the happenings of that fateful day. It analyses the various scenarios which could have led to the sinking of INS Khukri.
“The Sinking Of INS Khukri” also includes the touching accounts of the survivors and the families of the departed Bravehearts.
General Ian Cardozo’s book brings a fresh perspective to this sad chapter of India’s military history and tries to humanise this grim event.
We hope that you liked this list of books on Army, Navy and Air Force.
Have we left-out any book that you liked? Please let us know in the comments below.
Other lists in this series:
Liked your run-up of the books. I have co-authored a Book last year, Tryst With Destiny- Abhikrama. It’s Military-Political fiction, a genre not attempted in India. It captures the edge of seat action from Pulwama to Nagaland interwoven with political plots.
Happy to see such influential books recommendations, Wanted to read some for a long time. This will surely help! Thank you.