The lack of written history became a disadvantage for our military leaders: army chief

PUNE: The education of the Indian military leaders of the past suffered due to the lack of chronicle history Since they could not learn from the mistakes of their predecessors, the general said here on Saturday.

I was speaking at the release of 'Ya Sam Ha' (One and Only), a marathi book about Bajirao Peshwa I written by Major General Shashikant Pitre (retd).

"The purpose of military history is to learn from the mistakes of the past. There are always historical parallels and it is for us to recognise those," General Naravane said.

The study of military history is not a panacea, but it can certainly give "insights and provide inputs for some decision making", he said.

Military history helps one understand why some leaders succeeded and others failed, the Army chief said.

"Probably those leaders who succeed are the ones who learned the lessons from history and therefore avoided the mistakes," he said.

India had many dynasties and empires, "however, we have been very poor chroniclers of history ," said.

"We have a tradition of ballads or oral history ... what was missing was analytical insights of what actually happening on the ground," he said.

"....in the absence of such well-chronicled history the education of the military leaders has suffered... Repeatedly we committed same errors leading to the same outcome. It is in this context, this extremely well-researched book by Major General Pitre fills a very crucial gap," he said.

Bajirao, the eighteenth-century Maratha military leader and statesman who is said to have remained undefeated throughout his career, had a strange ability to select a suitable place and then orchestrate the battle and channel the enemy into that pre-selected death camp, the Chief Army added.

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