Battle of Longewala

Vikram Rathore
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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Vikram Rathore » 02 Sep 1999 18:59

Found a link to the citation: <A HREF="http://haynese.winthrop.edu/india/medals/PVC/PVC09.html" TARGET=_blank>http://haynese.winthrop.edu/india/medals/PVC/PVC09.html</A> <P>CITATION <P>During the 1965 Indo-Pak War, 4 Indian Division was entrusted with a two-fold<BR>responsibility - capture Pak territory east of Ichhogil Canal and contain possible enemy<BR>attack on Kasur-Khem Karan axis. The 4th Indian Division succeeded in reaching<BR>Ichhogil but the powerful Pakistani offensive forced it to fall back on Asal Uttar. The 4<BR>Indian Division settled here to meet the enemy assault. <P>In the new defence plan of the Division, 4 Grenadiers occupied a vital area ahead of<BR>Chima village on the Khem Karan-Bhikhiwind road. A firm hold on this area was<BR>considered essential to sustain the divisional plan of defence. On Spetember 8th night,<BR>the enemy made repeated probing attacks on Grenadiers positions but was frustrated in<BR>all the attempts. <P>The most serious threat, however, developed when the enemy attacked with a regiment of Patton tanks at 0800 hours on<BR>September 10th. The attack was preceeded by intense artillery shelling so much so that every yard of ground occupied by the<BR>battalion was littered by a shell. <P>By 0900 hours, the enemy tanks had penetrated the forward company positions. At this critical juncture, Hamid was commanding<BR>a recoiless gun detachment. Seeing the gravity of the situation, he moved out to a flank with his gun mounted on a jeep. Intense<BR>enemy shelling and tank fire did not deter him. <P>From his new position, he knocked out the leading enemy tank with accurate fire. Then he changed his position and knocked out<BR>another enemy tank. By this time the enemy who had spotted his position brought down concentrated machine gun and high<BR>explosive fire on him. <P>But he kept on firing. As he fired to hit yet another enemy tank, he was mortally wounded by a high explosive shell. Throughout<BR>this action, CQMH Hamid inspired his comrades to put up a gallant fight to beat off the enemy tank assault. <P>His sustained act of bravery and disregard for personal safety, in the face of constant enemy fire, were a shining example, not only<BR>to his unit but to the whole division and were in the highest traditions of the Army. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul<BR>Hamid was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Kuttan » 02 Sep 1999 19:02

Thanks, Vikram. I stand corrected. (Maybe the author ran away before seeing the last part: how the last tank was actually knocked out) Image Image<P>I also remember reading that all they ever recovered of Abdul Hamid was one boot.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Jagan » 02 Sep 1999 20:59

Narayanan,<P>You are not to blame, its the war time gloryfying that may have taken its toll. as well as the fact that only his boot have been recovred.<P>Hamid's body was recovred and was buried near the battlefield itself. to be more exact<P>"on the west side of the Khem Karan Bhikiwind road, a short distance north of the junction of this road with the Valtoha-Khemkaran road" - Maj K C Praval "The Red Eagles"

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby ramana » 02 Sep 1999 21:18

BTW, 'Red Eagles' is the 4 th Division. It was famous in WWII in North Africa against the Afrika Korps. The Book Rommel by Desmond Young(?)refers to it often.<BR>Does any body know the names of other Indian divisions? Could be posted as another thread.<BR>Also the 4th was initally commanded by Maj. Niranjan Prasad and reached Lahore but the commander panicked in counter-attack. He also was involved in '62 operations with same division. I read somewhere that IA had made it into an experimental formation to try out new concepts and that took its toll in '62.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby dsandhu » 02 Sep 1999 21:45

Ramana<BR>Maj. Gen Niranjan Prasad commanded the 15 th Div. in 1965, this was the one whose battalions reached Batanagar on the west side of the Ichhogil canal. He however commanded the 4th div in 1962 whwn it was in NEFA and Brig. J. P. Davi was one of the Brigade commanders.<BR>In 1965 the 4th Mountain Div. was commanded by Maj.Gen. Gurbaksh Singh<P>on the names of some of the Divs.<P>19th Division Dagger Div.<BR>26th Div Tiger Div<BR>15th Div Panther Div(?)<BR>

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby ramana » 02 Sep 1999 21:48

Thanks for the clarification. I stand corrected.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby shiv » 03 Sep 1999 07:07

Speaking of antitank weapons used in 1965 and 1971, a few points seem to have stuck in my mind. One is about "weak points" on the tank - and one definite weak point is the tracks. Tanks were sought to be disabled by hitting the track at close range - and that would stop them.<P>The only real antitank weapons we had were probably RCL guns and other tanks.<P>Aircraft used unguided rockets, but the also discovered that they could use their 30 mm cannon to set the Patton tank's fuel tanks ablaze, a convenient method of frying the crew of the tank.<P>Regarding Abdul Hamid, I distictly remember accounts of his valour (which I am looking for) which basically revealed his action to have been much like that of Vikram Batra or any of the 1999 PVC awardees. Hamid kept knocking out Pakistani tanks after he was mortally wounded, and I do remember one account that his last action, when his own gun (RCL/tank?? - can't remember) was disabled (reason?) and he was wounded, he took out his last tank with a grenade in through the hatch before he was mowed down by machine gun fire. I shall try to dig up more info on this, I am scraping my greying grey cells about info that I read in 1965-66.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby dsandhu » 03 Sep 1999 20:57

CQMH Abdul Hamid took out the 3 tanks with the use of his jeep mounted RCL gun. He was wounded before he took out the las tank . The 4th tank located his jeep and blew it up with Abdul Hamid in it.<P>The book Red Eagles has a photograph of the blown up jeep with the CO of 4th Gernadiers Lt. Col. F. Bhatti standing besides it.<BR>

shiv
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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby shiv » 03 Sep 1999 21:39

Thanks for the information dsandhu. I shall reset and reprogram my errant neurons.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Kuttan » 03 Sep 1999 23:56

Shiv: <P>You are being too modest. Don't believe what Mao would have called "Revisionist Bourgeouis Paper Tigers" who try to confuse us with facts. We both remember reading the newspapers on this: can't be wrong. In my case, the neurons are either there or they are not: no possibility of remembering wrong. And of course we know that the Indian Express and the HINDU and the Ceylon Daily News cannot all be wrong, eh? The RCL rifles may have been supplied by BOFORS, and they must have bribed someone to change the record of the action to erase the account of its jamming. Image<P>Incidentally, just what is an RCL, and what does it shoot, that can take out a Patton tank with one shot, tracks or no tracks? Seems like we should scrap the plans for the MBT or the T-90 and just get a whole bunch of jacked-up SUVs instead?

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Roop » 04 Sep 1999 00:23

<< Incidentally, just what is an RCL, and what does it shoot, that can take out a Patton tank with one shot, tracks or no tracks? >><P>In general, RCL = Recoilless. Specifically, the "RCL" referred to here is the 106 RCL (106mm recoilless anti-tank rifle), an American-made jeep-mounted weapon in widespread use by various armies of the world at that time. I think both the IA and the PA used it.<P>I would guess that it's no longer in use because it has been supplanted by much more compact and accurate A/Tk weapons.<P>Regards,<BR>Mohan<BR>

shiv
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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby shiv » 04 Sep 1999 07:02

An RCL is essentially a Bazooka - tube with both ends open. I shall post a 1965 picture of a jeep mounted RCL on this thread if it lasts much longer.<P>The great part about an RCL is that whe it is fired people need to stay away from both the front and back ends Image

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby Ved » 04 Sep 1999 08:20

Patel,<P>"Yes definetely, the Hunters gave the Army a WELL DESERVED hand, but again, without the gallant and defying attitude of Maj. K.S. Chandpuri's men, there would have been NO<BR>ROLE LEFT FOR THE HUNTERS to play in this epic battle. "<P> I don't quite get the logic. Obviously, the Army discovered the tank thrust first. Equally obviously, they could.t have held out if it hadnt been for the IAF (no matter how brave they were). Who clobbered the tank? The Hunters. QED.

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Re: Battle of Longewala

Postby S Bajwa » 04 Sep 1999 08:28

The first blunder was the ill defended city of Jaisamaler and forward post of Longewala!!<P>Then inspite of being ill defended and told by command to pull back, still Major Chandpuri with his company of 120 men decided to hold out that shows exemplary courage for which he got Mahan Vir Chakra.<P><BR>Hunters were their for defensive measures for post of longewala (as well as whole front) depended upon them. This was the time when India's army was also fighting battle at West Pakistan (Later Bangladesh) Front.<P>What if Pakistani forces had bypassed Longewala and occupy ill defended Ramgarh?<P>Air force only did its duty while Army showed exemplery courage by not giving up, after they were told to pull back!!<P>Sandeep Singh Bajwa


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