Kargil 1999

...Asia @ War 14 from Helion & Co, via Casemate

Title: Kargil 1999
Author: Sanjay Bedri-Maharaj
Publisher: Helion & Co
ISBN: 978-1-913118-65-5

Number 14 in the Asia @ War series tackles South Asia's First Post-Nuclear Conflict. Less than a year after both India and Pakistan had successfully tested nuclear weapons both countries found themselves in a shooting war. What did this mean for two declared nuclear powers?
A soft-cover book with 80-pages and interesting detail about a conflict I admit I knew nothing about beforehand. The book starts with the background to the relationships between neighbours India and Pakistan, earlier outbreaks of armed conflict and the state/equipment of the armed forces on both sides. It also set the Western supplied equipment used by Pakistan against the largely Soviet supplied military of India. What happened in the Kargil province on the border (or Line of Control) between the two countries, and in a mountainous area. The detailed story of events goes through the initial incursion by Pakistani supported insurgents into the Indian province, all in a limited area and on a scale that was only intended to be localised rather than a full scale attack that might provoke a more significant response. The Indian military response was largely centred on infantry action, with important support from artillery units of all sorts, a factor important for both sides. There were a large number of casualties on both sides, but the Pakistani assault forces were forced back to the original Line of Control. Despite 2 nuclear powers getting into a shooting war, it did not escalate to a level where nuclear weapons might have been deployed.
An interesting history, supported with maps, archive photos and some fine colour artwork profiles. From my point of view here in the UK, it was interesting to learn more about a conflict far from our shores, and the context of a dispute between neighbours in the Far East. Another good addition to the Asia at War series.
Thanks to distributors Casemate for our review copy.

Robin