Indian Defence

4 Books Every Defence Aspirant Must Read

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Reading is a habit that needs to be inculcated right from childhood. Catch them young, as they say. Today, there are so many genres, to begin with, and one is spoilt for choice.

Military history is a genre that has a very niche, yet dedicated segment of readers. For defence aspirants and enthusiasts, we have curated a list of 4 must-read books that have been widely acclaimed for the way the stories have been told, the way they have outlined operations, valour, bravery, and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

  1. India’s Most Fearless 1 & 2 – Rahul Singh, Shiv Aroor

India’s Most Fearless gives the reader an insider view of how our soldiers display courage and heroism in the gravest of situations and come out victorious. The first part of the book has exclusive details of the famed ‘Surgical Strikes’ of 2016, Havildar Hangpan Dada’s sheer grit and determination, Commander Milind Mokashi’s actions beyond the call of duty, and Wing Commander Rijul Sharma’s presence of mind while landing the ill-fated MiG-29. The second part has 14 action-packed tales of nerve and sacrifice, including the story of Major Mohit Sharma, AC, SM, of 1 Para SF who was killed in action in Kupwara, while leading the Bravo Assault Team in operations.

Shiv Aroor and Rahul Singh cannot be thanked enough for bringing forth the stories of conspicuous bravery for the nation to remember!


2. The Brave: Param Veer Chakra Stories – Rachna Bisht Rawat

Rachna Bisht Rawat’s book contains captivating stories of all the 21 awardees of the Param Vir Chakra. Whether it’s the chilling tale of Major Somnath Sharma in 1948, the bravest of all last stands by Major Shaitan Singh and his men at Rezang La in 1962, Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon and Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal’s sacrifices in 1971, or Captain Vikram Batra’s “Yeh Dil Maange More” and the ultimate sacrifice at Kargil in 1999, you are sure to be glued.

This book is highly recommended for all readers, young and old, for, we guarantee you will be left spellbound.


3. Mission Overseas: Daring Operations by the Indian Military – Sushant Singh

‘Mission Overseas’ covers three of the most daring operations that the Indian Armed Forces have carried out abroad – Operation Cactus in Maldives in 1988, Operation Khukri in Sierra Leone in 2000, and Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1987.

A fact-based narrative gives the reader a clear insight into these operations, along with the use of simpler language, that makes it a good read for beginners.

4. Watershed 1967: India’s Forgotten Victory Over China – Probal Dasgupta

Probal Dasgupta’s ‘Watershed 1967’ tells us the story of how India, after the defeat in 1962, did a comeback five years later, and how! The Indo-China clashes and skirmishes at Nathu La and Cho La were legendary, to say the least, and remain some of the lesser-known, yet one of the bravest of stand-offs in India’s military history.


Now that we have got you covered, it is time for defence aspirants and enthusiasts to read these books right away and spread the word.


Aditi Patwardhan

I am a Computer Engineer, and a Management student at MIT, Pune. A Defence and Aviation enthusiast, I am interested in Geopolitics, Sports, and History too. I am a compulsive reader and an amateur sketcher. I also run two blogs called 'In My Twenties' and 'Le Monday'.

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