Moments of Maximum Danger by Major General Kartick Ganguly
The powerful memoir of Major General Kartick Ganguly
During a distinguished thirty-six year career in the Indian Army he has lived by a simple motto: duty and honor. Now he retraces his journey through a lifetime of military service: the battles, the adventures and the patriotism that shaped this young man. He tells the incredible story of the Battle of Phillora, guarding the volatile borders on the heights of Kashmir, Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and counter insurgency operations in Punjab and Manipur.
Major General Kartick Ganguly was commissioned in the 9 Gurkha Rifles in 1962 and saw action in Indo - Pak wars in 1965 and 1971. He has commanded troops on the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh and also in counter - insurgency operations in Punjab, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. He served with Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. He has held many key Command, Staff and Instructional appointments in the Army. He is the recipient of Vishistha Seva Medal from the President of India for service to the Nation.
Publications of Major General Kartick Ganguly:
- Moments of Maximum Danger
One may think of memorable war movies with plenty of battle action that make you wonder as you come out of a movie theater- did that great stuff really happen? Or simply, what an awesome action (when you secretly feel you should have been there when that action happened)!
But I am not writing about any of the movies or any fictitious stuff for that matter. We have not had any official war in India for anyone to write on for the last several decades. But then for someone who had personally experienced fighting a war and military operations against terrorists, he could just be busy in the thick of actions and then write a book after having served a career in the Indian Army. For such a person, apart from sharing gut wrenching actions with readers, writing a book could also be a means to let out things normal human being just possibly could not keep a lid on forever – what if you feel you morally owe to tell people what you know and experienced or what others did and sacrificed for fellow soldier or the country.Writing those is what exactly General Ganguly did with his book.
The book is starts with the battle with Pakistan in 1965. At most points, reading the book almost makes you imagine and feel the battlescenes as vividly described. It would be impossible to forget the battle when you witnessed a comrade’s head blown off right infront of your eyes, and when you throw a grenade into the tank’s chamber. The aspects of military battle logistics and coordination – ah, this one makes me appreciate its complexities because I know it is not easy shifting even household goods. One’s sense of military comradeship, commitment and human values are shaped by his/her experience in such battles. This shows in the rest of the book – be it fighting terrorists in Punjab, LTTE in Sri Lankaand Naga militants in Manipur. Things that stand out in the sections on Sri Lanka and Manipur are the author’s firm belief in holding hands with the civilians with positive results; which in a way tells a reader that often solutions are not necessarily military although military interventions may be needed to fight the obstacles to finding political solutions. This book by Major General Ganguly takes you into the variety of dangers, opponents, landscapes across the country (and beyond) over his entire career.
-by Mathew Sangma | 14-Oct-2014
Dear Major General,
Heartiest Puja Greetings and namaskars.
I can't thank you enough for kindly gifting me your valuable book 'Moments of Maximum Danger'. It was with immense pleasure that I practically rushed through the book. To me, page after page of the book narrated stories of firstly, your love for the Great Nation you served, and secondly, none the less important, your love for the local populace - whether it was against the secessionists in the Punjab, infiltrators in the Kashmir valley, the Tamil tigers in Sri Lanka, or the insurgents in Manipur. Your attitude in facing dangerous situations throughout your life found expression of your conviction to the concept that you may be able to defeat your enemy by spreading bullets on them, but you can conquer them by spreading love.
Let me wish you a very long healthy life and expect many more such stories from you.
-by Shri Debaprasad Bhattacharya
The people who defend their country in wartime deserve the highest respect but don't always get it, especially as time and politics change.
In this memoir of the Indian-Pakistan war at the ground and aerial battle of Phillora Cross Roads and subsequent action in Kashmir, Sri Lanka, the Punjab and Manipur, Major General Ganguly does more than relate his distinguished career history - he also gives us a glimpse of the more human side of being an infantry officer and indeed workaday insights into the lives of the men of the rank and file as well as their generals and strategists.
Fascinating glimpses of the sheer gut-wrenching exhaustion of getting an army on the move, driving in the pitch dark in close convoy, getting food to weary soldiers, or even the poignant leave-taking from a family wedding party before the ceremony starts, to return to HQ in time for them to move out. The wartime action, discipline and the sense of duty are a given, but what draws even a reader like myself, who generally has little taste for memoirs of any description, are the sharply observed vignettes of the camaraderie and care that soldiers and their commanders share to keep all the little cogs running as smoothly as possible, sometimes in appalling conditions and, as the titles says, at times when death and disaster are only a heartbeat away.
Highly recommended for anyone who's ever wondered what it's like to be on 'active service' - a woefully inadequate term for those who fight for their country in the worst of times."
-by Jan Hawker, British Author
For ages, we have been reading about the Battle of Stalingrad, the battle of Tobruk, the Battle of Normandy. For the first time, someone has taken the Indian literature to the place where we can boast of our battles. This is an awesome book, detailing one of the most fierce battles for India. Thanks to Gen. Ganguly for taking the time and putting in the effort to bring to us the first hand details of the battles from the field. This book is a proof that it's not superior equipment and weapons which decides the outcome of the battle, its your ability to think out of the box, superior strategy and courage on the face of maximum danger which tilts the balance
-by Sandipan Basu
Boiyer Desh, Advt