Deccan Chronicle

Morale of PLA soldiers hits rock bottom

Chinese side focusing on more battle drills, which are normally done to challenge the soldiers


Watching their enemy snatch the strategic positions they once dominated can hit the psyche of soldiers of any army. Unable to recapture the positions despite being one of the most powerful armies can make them feel miserable.

To make matters worse, when a strategy devised to carry out a limited action and inflict casualties to hit the otherwise high morale of their enemy too fails, it shatters them. Being under the constant watch of their adversary all this while is just devastatin­g.

For all its massive fire power, state-of-the-art military technologi­es and being strong numericall­y, the morale of the People’s Liberation Army of China soldiers has hit rock bottom. The fact that they have been caged by aggressive Indian troops in eastern Ladakh — a first since the 1962 war — has hit them where it hurts the most. After all, a soldier’s morale is the core element of military capability.

Sources privy to the multiple assessment­s of PLA’s possible strategies — as analysed by the top brass of the Indian Army — point to one key aspect: The depleting morale of the PLA ever since Indian troops captured and started dominating the key heights at Spanggur Tso, Rechin La, Rezang La besides the hilltops at Kalatop, Camelback and

Helmet. Most of these ridges and mountains used to be dominated by the PLA. This is precisely the reason the frustrated Chinese Army is baying for the blood of Indian soldiers. The attempt at having Galwan valley-type of clashes at the Mukhpari peak is one such example.

In order to keep the morale of their forces high, the PLA commanders are believed to have stepped up training to make them overcome the loss they suffered at the hands of Indian soldiers. The Chinese side is said to be indulging in more battle drills, which is normally done to challenge the soldiers to keep their morale

high. Such exercises are taken up by armies to prepare themselves physically and mentally but the sudden increase in such drills especially after suffering losses point to only one aspect – depleting morale of the enemy.

The PLA soldiers are believed to be worried over “lack of hard decisions”

on the ground by their seniors which has resulted in Indian troops consolidat­ing their positions on the strategic heights. Lack of communicat­ion with the troops about the future course of action, no concrete strategy on how to recapture the areas is further taking a toll on their psyche. “Even if they launch an attack, the fear that they might face a defeat as we are naturally at an advantageo­us position due to the heights is lurking in their minds, which impacts their fighting capabiliti­es. When the morale is down, the soldiers lose the motivation level to fight effectivel­y,” sources explained.

While pounding the Indian positions with air strikes is the only option apart from sending in their infantry to recapture the heights — something that the PLA would like to desist from — the assessment suggests that the PLA is pinning their hopes on the diplomatic talks, which they feel might give them a “graceful exit”.

Post the Galwan valley clashes, which ended up in heavy casualties on both sides, the Chinese troops suffered a blow as they did not expect brutal retaliatio­n from the Indian forces, who went berserk after losing 20 men. “Psychologi­cally it hit them hard and they are still looking to avenge it. Due to our tactical deployment, they are unable to come closer,” they said.

 ?? -PTI ?? An IAF aircraft flies in the Ladakh region amid the India-China stand off on Friday.
-PTI An IAF aircraft flies in the Ladakh region amid the India-China stand off on Friday.

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