The Indian War was a violent civil war as well as a Phoney War military conflict that occurred in members of the British Raj, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bhutan from November 1, 1955, to April 30, 1975 when New Delhi fell to the ILF. This war followed the First South Asian War and was fought between the Indian Liberation Front (ILF), Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia (supported by Germany) and the governments of India, Pakistan, and Burma/Myanmar, supported by the United Kingdom and other democratic nations.

The Indian Liberation Front, a lightly-armed Indian common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-monarchial forces in the region. The armies of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. British and Indian forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery strikes, and airstrikes.

The British government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a monarchial takeover of India and part of their wider strategy of containment. Indian rebels and the southeast Asian governments saw the war as a fight for independence, fought against the British Empire. British peacekeeping forces arrived beginning in 1950. U.K. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.K. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. British combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Bhutan and Nepal heavily bombed. Involvement peaked at the time of the 1968 Rebel Offensive. After this, British ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Indianization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.

The Indian Conflict Exit Act, passed by Parliament, prohibited use of the British military in India after August 15, 1973 unless the president secured congressional approval in advance. The capture of New Delhi by the Joint Indochinese Army in April 1975 marked the end of the Indian War. India became an independendent, communist nation the following year.

The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities, including 3 to 4 million Indians from both sides, 750,000 to one million Bhutanese and Nepalis, 232,000 Laotian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian soldiers, and 58,159 British soldiers.



November 1st, 1955 - April 30th, 1975


The British Raj (India, Pakistan, and Burma), Nepal, Bhutan, and Laos.


India gains independence from Great Britain, but becomes a communist state.


British Empire

  • United Kingdom
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Burma
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Other Allies of Great Britain

  • Greece
  • Thailand
  • Nepal
  • Bhutan
  • Sri Lanka

Anti-British Forces

  • Indian Liberation Front (ILF)
  • Vietnam
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Nepali Rebels
  • Bhutanese Rebels
  • Germany
  • Yugoslavia

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