a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


First Kashmir War

Years: 1948-1948
Battle deaths: 7,500 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
India, Pakistan

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2016-08-10 12:09:17
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 sometimes known as the First Kashmir War was a war fought between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir from 1947 to 1949.

India and Pakistan achieved their long sought after independence from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. The subcontinent was split along religious lines with the Muslim northwest and north east going to Pakistan and the rest of the area going to India. The region of Kashmir was a principality still ruled by a prince, Maharaja Hari Singh.

Singh was a Hindu as were most of the elites of Kashmir. Three quarters of the population were Muslims, however. When the plans for partition were drawn up the decision of which country to join was left to Singh. He was reluctant to join the Muslim state of Pakistan, but also did not want to join democratic India where his autocratic powers would be curtailed. Thus he delayed and the status of the region was still in question upon the departure of the British.

This position soon became untenable, however. The religious rioting and violence that had started in the Punjab was spreading north. On October 20 groups of tribesmen from Pakistan moved into Kashmir and began to march on the captial of Srinagar.

In desperation Hari Singh fled to India and asked for Indian troops to stop the uprising, the Indians demanded that Singh sign Kashmir over to India, which he reluctantly did. The Indian troops arrived and quickly blocked the advance of the Muslims, preventing the imminent sacking of Srinigar.

In response to what Mohammed Ali Jinnah saw as the invasion of Kashmir by the Indians he ordered Pakistani military forces into Azad Kashmir as "volunteers." They also supplied the anti-Indian forces with arms and vehicles.

With the arrival of winter little fighting could be carried out in the mountainous region, but the next May India launched a massive offensive routing the Pakistani backed forces in the region. As a result Pakistan sent three brigades of the Pakistani army into the region. The fighting soon stalemated and both sides waited for international mediation to help resolve the situation.

After protracted negotiations a cease-fire was agreed to by both parties which came into effect January 5, 1949. The cease-fire line created what were meant to temporary borders between Indian and Pakistani zones of control, and promised a plebiscite would be held to determine the future of the territory.

Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved [dat]


Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset v3.0 (link) (1946-88) ID: #20
Low: 2,000 High: 7,500

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



Advertisment is a distraction, we know, but it helps us pay our ISP.