1965 India Pakistan War: History

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Austin » 05 Sep 2015 22:47

FORCE: Folklore, Not Fact

Instead of a great victory, 1965 war should be remembered for lessons not learnt

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 06 Sep 2015 07:48

Daylight Forays into Pakistan - the story of a double MVC winner
All my missions were done at deck level during daytime. Tree top level. 30-40 feet off the ground. Because you did not want the radar to pick you up. So it was all low-level navigation based on timing. Flying at low level limits your area of vision, making navigation much more difficult. If you had been flying at a higher altitude, you have a greater field of vision allowing you to pinpoint your position much easier on a map. So while flying at low level, your mind always has to keep up with the calculations, how many seconds it takes, how long it takes all on large scale maps. And when I felt I was somewhere in the area that I wanted to photograph, I would accelerate the Canberra to its maximum speed possible and pull up steeply to gain height to 12,000 feet, where the cameras are switched on to take the photographs.

Why 12000 feet? You may ask. The 12000 feet was the limiting factor, because of the cameras, which were meant for the high altitude aerial photography. The cameras that we were using were the 20-inch and 36-inch cameras used for high-resolution pictures. They used to give identical coverage and work as telephoto cameras. Whenever you plot it on the map, these smaller scale photographs would tally almost exactly with all the features on a similar scale map. For this camera the lowest altitude at which they would be effective is 12000 feet.

So if you were lower than stipulated, there will be incremental movement due to the forward motion of the Canberra, which would result in blurring. So the definition in the photographs will not be up to the mark. Thus it always required us to fly at a speed of 120-140knots.

So my technique was to fly low-level, pick up speed in the last moments, and then climb on to 12000 feet till such time the speed itself fell down closing to stall. The aircraft would almost be staggering.


So there was Nath, flying a huge aircraft like the Canberra at less than 50 feet altitude, climbing to 12000 feet to take pictures and then diving down to the same low-level altitude on the way back home. It was a miracle that Nath came back unscathed.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby SSridhar » 06 Sep 2015 11:48

Another article about this double MVC winner.

The pilot who ‘shot’ Pakistan - Pankaja Srinivasan, The Hindu
Fifty years ago, when he leapt into his Canberra, a twin-engine jet bomber fitted with cameras, and flew into Pakistan on a top secret mission, then Squadron Leader Jag Mohan Nath already had a Maha Vir Chakra awarded to him for the earlier 1962 operations. He had flown into Aksai Chin and Tibet and returned with valuable inputs on the ground situation and enemy troop activities there, both before and during the Indo-China conflict.

Three years later, in September 1965, he was awarded another Maha Vir Chakra, this time for his role in the Indo-Pak conflict. The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India, after the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for acts of gallantry.

Today, as India observes the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan War, Wing Commander Nath is the only living Indian Air Force officer to be decorated twice with this honour. On a recent visit to Coimbatore, where he first came as a cadet to Air Force Administrative College in 1948 for his initial training, he recalls the 30 reconnaissance missions he flew into Pakistan.

Mr. Nath — Jaggi to colleagues — is frail and stooped at age 85. Speaking softly, he recalls that his missions were so secret that only one other person knew about them: the then air force chief, Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh.

As Mr. Nath describes his flights, his hands deftly demonstrate the loops and barrel rolls he did in his Canberra aircraft, as he dodged and ducked, to avoid being shot down by Pakistani Sabres. The terrain was mountainous, blips on his instrument panel told him there were four enemy aircraft on his tail, the fuel gauge was running empty and when he re-entered Indian territory he was almost shot down by his own comrades who mistook him for the enemy!

Vital visuals

In those reconnaissance sorties, he flew in broad daylight almost skimming trees so that the Pakistani radar could not detect his aircraft. Then, when he felt there was something to be captured on camera, he climbed to 12,000 feet to get the best pictures. “I would be exposed for full five minutes,” he says. Mr. Nath’s black-and-white pictures yielded a treasure trove of information. Indian jets scrambled to destroy a powerful radar in Badin near Karachi, and the army almost reached Lahore.

About a month into the conflict, Jaggi was once again deployed deep into Pakistan territory to find out about fighter aircraft based in Samungli near Quetta in western Pakistan. “I flew over Leia (now Laya) in Pakistan. I was born there. That is my village. I went to school there,” he says. {What a man !}

Growing up in his village, Mr. Nath watched the planes high in the sky. “I couldn’t take my eyes off them. My uncle told me, ‘you should become a pilot!’”

His family members were all doctors, but Mr. Nath wanted to be involved with planes. As it happened, he found himself at Red Fort, Delhi, where recruitments were on and he joined the Indian Air Force.

Top secret assignments

Mr. Nath’s hush-hush assignments and bravery took him to rooms of the chiefs of the three services, political leaders and bureaucrats during the conflict. He was witness to what he describes as “astoundingly bad decisions, miscalculations and errors in judgment.” But those are nothing when he thinks of the incredible courage and grace under fire that his comrades displayed, many of whom lost their lives. Mr. Nath left the Indian Air Force in 1969, and joined Air India.

As he leaves for home in Mumbai, Mr. Nath shows a book on heroism that he is reading: Elephant Company by Vicki Croke, a story of man-elephant bonding that saved lives in World War II. “I was gifted this book by Ian,” he says, unable to recall the last name of the Pakistani pilot whom he befriended in Dubai. “He joined the Pakistani Air Force the same year as I did.”

Image
Then Squadron Leader JM Nath receiving his second Maha Vir Chakra for his 1965 operations from President S. Radhakrishnan — Photos: Special Arrangement, Courtesy The Hindu

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 06 Sep 2015 16:32

Jaggi Brar, stay strong, miss you
My 22-year-old brother Jaggi (Flying Officer Jagdev Singh Brar) flew over Sargodha (Pakistan) on September 7, 1965, in a sortie that took off from Halwara (near Ludhiana). He, along with four other Hunter pilots, successfully bombed the target. On their way back, Jaggi (nicknamed Small Ben in the squadron) along with Squadron Leader Bhagwati peeled off from the formation to engage the pursuing enemy fighter aircraft.

Unconfirmed news reports said that Jaggi’s aircraft was probably hit in a midair dogfight with a Pakistani fighter aircraft. There were also unconfirmed reports of his bailout. He was then officially declared as “Missing in Action”. He never came back.

In September, 1965, my eldest brother was the Superintendent of Police at Amritsar. Another brother was serving as Captain in 1 Dogra in the thick of battle somewhere between Amritsar and Lahore. My brother-in-law was serving as a Major and I was a Captain at that time. My father (Ajaib Singh Brar) and mother (Balwant Kaur) were having a tough time with four sons and the son-in-law in uniform on national duty.

In mid-1965, while on leave, I rode my elder brother’s Royal Enfield Bullet from Jalandhar to Halwara to meet Jaggi. I waited for almost half an hour before I saw Jaggi, fully drenched in sweat with a badminton racket in hand. He was a good badminton player. He also liked tennis and table tennis. He was beaming from ear to ear when we embraced. We exchanged family news and chatted while taking tea. I left after this brief meeting, least realising that this would be the last time we were meeting.

Our family took the loss of Jaggi in its stride without asking the government for any special compensation or favours, though it was not difficult to do so at that time.

We still remember Jaggi fondly. Well-behaved and pleasant, he was the darling of the Brar clan and popular among his colleagues in the Air Force too. Air Marshal Inamdar (his course-mate of 1963) is still in touch with the family and misses him as a dear friend, like many others. Perhaps people like Jaggi are also in great demand in heaven!

Fifty years after that fateful day of September 7, we miss Jaggi dearly and wonder if he straightaway bailed out to heaven from his Hunter aircraft that day.

We lost Jaggi in 1965, but he lives on in our hearts. There are many other Jaggis who are lost by the country while serving with dedication, but their dying wish and message to the nation would be: “Look after my family after me.”

We miss you, Jaggi — your brothers Surinder, Amarjit, Surjit, Sukhdev, Harpal and sister Davinder. Stay strong, man, wherever you are.

(Commissioned in EME, the writer retired in 1994)


Jaggi "Small Ben" Brar was one of the kills claimed for Alam by that insufferable lifafa eating mofo John Fricker

Also at the same link
19 then, a real honour to serve

Capt Vinod Chaudhri (Retd)
I joined the Army at the young age of 19. I was just F.Sc pass (I got a law degree after my Army career).

After initial training for a few months, I was straightaway inducted in the warfront of Chhamb-Jaurian-Akhnoor. It was the hottest warfront till September 6, 1965 — when the Lahore and Sialkot sectors were opened and the major component of enemy forces was withdrawn from Akhnoor sector and redeployed there.

The Pakistani troops outnumbered us by four times in the Akhnoor sector and I consider myself lucky to have fought against the enemy in my AMX light tank of 20 Lancers.

On August 31-September 1, when our three tanks were on way to Chhamb-Jaurian, we had to face heavy air-straffing and the camouflage net of the tank caught fire. My possessions got burnt. In spite of heavy fire, we moved on and reached the destination with the tanks intact.

Capt Shankar Roychowdhury (later to become Army Chief) and Maj Bhaskar Roy were leading the squadron. It steadfastly held the positions and that is how we earned the nickname: “Saviours of Akhnoor.”

Incidentally, I and my two brothers were deployed in the same front. I was in Armoured, while my brothers were in Artillery and Ordnance.

After September 6, I was ordered to move as a troop commander to Samba sector under the command of Col Hussain of 9 Grenadiers. I stepped out of the tank and injured my knee but that didn’t stop me from staying on in the battlefront. On September 23, the ceasefire was ordered.

I hung up my uniform in 1974, resumed my studies and now practise in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Serving the nation remains the most abiding memory. It was an honour to have been given the chance.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 06 Sep 2015 17:16

Image

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby vsunder » 06 Sep 2015 17:21

For whatever it is worth. Jagmohan "Jaggi" Nath giving a speech at the release of the book by Panther Raghavendran. I may have linked this before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7hjCZFoXjE

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 07 Sep 2015 09:11

The real story is so much more exciting than the video I made that I feel like an idiot

Alfred Cooke Tangled with 4 sabres over Kalaikunda, hit 3 and chased a 4th away with empty guns

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... cooke.html


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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 07 Sep 2015 17:39

My friend Raj in '65
Image
In 1965, these IAF heroes pounded Pakistan airbase in broad daylight
As he glances at the sepia-tinted picture of IAF pilots who audaciously bombed Pakistan’s largest airbase at Sargodha in broad daylight, Bengaluru’s top gun Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar cannot contain his elation over finding a mention of this raid in Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) official history.

Around 10 am on September 7, 1965, Flying Officer Rajkumar was one of the four pilots of No. 1 “Tiger” squadron who flew Dassault Mystere IVA ground attack fighters at tree-top level from Adampur in Punjab to destroy a couple of Sabre jets and F-104 Starfighters of Pakistan Air Force, the ATC (Air Traffic Control), a missile dump, a hangar and a bulk petroleum installation at Sargodha.

They returned untouched but with hardly any fuel in their tanks. And, on the home run, they not only endured a chase by PAF fighters, but also anti-aircraft gun fire as they strayed over a radar unit at Amritsar! Ten days later, he was promoted as Flight Lieutenant, and subsequently received the Mention in Dispatches, but it took 22 years for the state government to announce a princely sum of Rs 1,500 as an award for the attack on Sargodha.

The war veteran, now in London to participate in the silver jubilee celebrations of the Royal College of Defence Studies (former President Pervez Musharraf was his course mate in 1990), said the daring attack was, in fact, the consequence of a reprimand handed out to the group led by Squadron Leader Sudarshan Handa for missing the airbase at Sargodha during a pre-dawn raid that morning. “We were in the crew room for breakfast after returning from an unsuccessful mission (they missed the airbase because of a navigational error) when we were told to take off at 9.45 am and bomb Sargodha. I brought up the rear of the formation of four fighters, and was told to look out for enemy aircraft,” he told this newspaper.

He said before dawn that morning, Wing Commander Om Prakash Taneja led a dozen Mystere fighters from Adampur to pound the PAF airbase in Sargodha.

The pilots were told to taxi and takeoff without either the lights of the runway or the fighters or communication with ATC to avoid detection by Pakistan Air Force aircraft.

Soon after they were airborne, four fighters could not locate the others, and returned after a futile attempt to spot Sargodha.

And those which crossed the border returned after attacking targets around the PAF airbase because of poor visibility.

He said seconds before takeoff, his aircraft almost collided with another Mystere of Squadron Leader A.B. Devayya because all the fighters were racing down a dark runway. Twenty two years later, Squadron Leader Devayya was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for shooting down an F-104 Starfighter minutes before the crash of his aircraft while heading home after the pre-dawn attack.

He was listed along with several others as missing in action till 1980 when the Pakistan Air Force acknowledge the fierce air combat between a F-104 Starfighter and Mystere of IAF on September 7, 1965.

“We were then paid a flying bounty of Rs 250 a month,” he recalled as he spoke of 90 minutes of heroism, a successful attack in broad daylight, with hardly any equivalents in Indo-Pak wars.

An ace test pilot, Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar played a crucial role in the indigenous Tejas fighter jet project and retired as director, Aeronautical Development Agency, Bengaluru, the nodal organisation which designed and flew this Light Combat Aircraft.

He has also authored the book The Tejas Story: The Light Combat Aircraft.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby vsunder » 07 Sep 2015 20:00

shiv wrote:The real story is so much more exciting than the video I made that I feel like an idiot

Alfred Cooke Tangled with 4 sabres over Kalaikunda, hit 3 and chased a 4th away with empty guns

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... cooke.html


This is even better. Seems Alfred Tyrone Cooke did even better than his famous namesake the other Tyrone:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB8tiSMCwRE

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 07 Sep 2015 20:22

^^ LOL!

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby arun » 07 Sep 2015 20:45

Article by Sandeep Unnithan in Daily O titled “An old Indian beef: When Pakistan Navy killed a cow in Dwarka in 1965” :

DailyO

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 07 Sep 2015 22:22

shiv wrote:The real story is so much more exciting than the video I made that I feel like an idiot



Wait, I thought you had the IPAW65 book (from which this article comes from) and read it.. ..Now I feel insulted :(( :rotfl:

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Nesoj » 07 Sep 2015 23:41

All this reminds me of those days while in boarding school in Calcutta / home in Kalyani .... air force drills ... bite a rolled up handkerchief and put bits of cotton in the ears, while later crawl under desks, ... strict rules on switching off lights in rooms while the air raid warnings were on. Also having to tape paper on all glass windows to prevent light from escaping as well as prevent shards of glass scattering in case of a blast
.... and the best, hearing a roar very early in the morning, and rushing out to see a Paki plane fleeing (after an unsuccessful attempt on Barrackpore AF Base) chased by two IAF planes ... all flying so low it was as if we could touch them from the terrace
..... those days ... :-)

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby LakshO » 08 Sep 2015 04:57

Nesoj wrote:All this reminds me of those days while in boarding school in Calcutta / home in Kalyani .... air force drills ... bite a rolled up handkerchief and put bits of cotton in the ears, while later crawl under desks, ... strict rules on switching off lights in rooms while the air raid warnings were on. Also having to tape paper on all glass windows to prevent light from escaping as well as prevent shards of glass scattering in case of a blast
.... and the best, hearing a roar very early in the morning, and rushing out to see a Paki plane fleeing (after an unsuccessful attempt on Barrackpore AF Base) chased by two IAF planes ... all flying so low it was as if we could touch them from the terrace
..... those days ... :-)

Hi all,

When I read articles on 1965 war, I see references to Haji Pir, Assal Uttar, Lahore, Sialkot, destroyed Paton tanks etc. From Gujarat to Kashmir, all of the border with western pakiland saw military action.

What about action on the eastern front of pakiland? Was it all quiet? Did the Bengalis of east pakiland see that India did not attack them? What were the opinions of Bengalis during 1965 war? neutral towards India?

I went through the posts on this thread but saw no references to events on the border with eastern pakiland. Did I miss anything?

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 08 Sep 2015 05:25

LakshO wrote:
I went through the posts on this thread but saw no references to events on the border with eastern pakiland. Did I miss anything?


Start here
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... ter05.html
Chapter 5: Missed Opportunity - War in the Eastern Sector

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2015 05:42

Jagan wrote:
shiv wrote:The real story is so much more exciting than the video I made that I feel like an idiot



Wait, I thought you had the IPAW65 book (from which this article comes from) and read it.. ..Now I feel insulted :(( :rotfl:

LOL! Actually I have an autographed copy of the book from one Jagan. But it was before my YouTube creativity days. The story came alive in my mind when I read RajanB's description on brf in the eyes of a teenager. Simultaneously I heard from a colleague of mine his version of the story as he witnessed the dogfight from a ditch while going to school in the air base

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2015 06:05

LakshO wrote:Hi all,

When I read articles on 1965 war, I see references to Haji Pir, Assal Uttar, Lahore, Sialkot, destroyed Paton tanks etc. From Gujarat to Kashmir, all of the border with western pakiland saw military action.

What about action on the eastern front of pakiland? Was it all quiet? Did the Bengalis of east pakiland see that India did not attack them? What were the opinions of Bengalis during 1965 war? neutral towards India?

I went through the posts on this thread but saw no references to events on the border with eastern pakiland. Did I miss anything?

Good point. Apart from the action over Kalaikunda where India had let its guard down and lost 4 Vampires and 2 Canberras destroyed on the ground in the very same Paki air raids that led to this exciting story of Sabres being shot down - there was not much action in the East.

This was because the 1965 war was a "western war" started specifically by Ayub Khan to detach Kashmir from India and they had all their forces ready in the west.But not ready enough. Forces were concentrated near Chhamb to cut off the Pathankot-Jammu highway. This is where we lost some territory. But Shastri made a deft move to open a front in Lahore and further south forcing Pakistan to pull its forces away from Chhamb to defend Lahore. Unfortunately India's attack on Lahore was uncoordinated and unplanned. Indian forces got across the canal (Ichogil canal- called DRB canaal by Pakis) but were not followed up by supporting forces - or else we would have captured Lahore. This error resulted in the blowing up of key bridges across the canal by Pakis and the prevention of further progress. But it served the purpose of taking the pressure off Chhamb and Kashmir.

Following this there was a massive Paki tank thrust into India near Kasur, just south of the Lahore front and this was met be ready Indian defences that led to the Battle of Asal Uttar where 97 Paki tanks were destroyed or captured, and Patton Nagar was created.

By this time the wind had been blown out of Paki sails and the war ended.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2015 07:19

One more eyewitness account of the Kalaikunda action - a brilliant and humorous one, worth posting in full
https://marutfans.wordpress.com/2015/09 ... ransistor/
07 Sep 1965. One Lost Transistor.

After being set free from our cypher room prison our next professional lesson was preparing for war. Kalaikunda had no blast pens, dispersals; just wide open tarmacs in front of hangers, where squadrons were located and the ATC building astride the taxi track leading to the runway. With our experience of about four months service, we were considered experts for all menial work. And believe me, there was plenty of that going around. Our job was to camouflage our aircraft. Very simple. In moments of weakness we were allowed to taxi the aircraft around for dispersal. After all there was a war to be fought and each man had to stick his neck out.

The aircraft were taxied out to the edge of the tarmac on either side of the ATC. We were on one side. The other side housed a few Hunters and Vampires of 14 and 24 Sqn. respectively. Think one or two Hunters were there. Made a beautiful line from one end of the tarmac to the other with the ATC sticking out like a thumb, in the middle. All them little tweety birds sitting in a row.

Our job was special. It being at the end of the monsoon season, the airfield was covered with lush greenery. The men went off and chopped off branches which were piled into trucks and brought to the tarmac. We expertly threw camouflage nets over the Vampires and then placed the foliage over the aircraft till not one inch of metal could be seen. We lined up I think eight birds, wing tip to wing tip, and converted them to green bushes merging in with the lush green of the ground leading up to the taxi track. Only problem – foliage change every second day.

The Station Commander or the OC Flying, did an occasional sortie to check that the camouflaged aircraft actually formed part of the adjoining greenery. Apparently they thought so and we didn’t get many further instructions to do better. Both surprising. That the work of Pilot Officers was not criticised and berated by seniors and accepted first shot was a miracle

Early morning 07 Sep, and I mean early, we were in the flights and got busy removing the foliage and the nets off the aircraft. They were being readied with rockets and guns, for a strike mission, I think on Jessore. Eight shiny Vampires. Around 0600 information came of bad weather and take off was delayed.

According to Hemu Sardesai, who still has a razor sharp memory, one mission from 24 Sqn had taken off and landed back due to bad weather en route. Hemu also provided another gem of information. Because of the monsoon the cloud base was low and some of our attached pilots, who were taking part in the mission, didn’t have the requisite Instrument Flying Rating! Can you believe that? There was a war going on and these guys messed up on their Instrument Rating!

How did that bother us though? Well like expert fishermen, we flung on the camouflage nets again, threw the blasted bushes over the aircraft and then waited while someone took a look see, made sure there was nothing shiny visible and went for a cup of tea. But wait – the tea became a distant thought. Someone realised there was a war going on and low clouds or no low clouds we were going to fight in it! So there we were, bending our backs again un-camouflaging our Vamps.

15 odd Pilot Officers then hung around trying to look busy and officious. We were literally & truly faltus, pretending to be otherwise.


Around 0630, four of us Hemu, Suresh Malkani, Biggie Dasgupta and self huddled together outside the Flight Commander’s office trying to get news of the war on BBC. Why BBC? OK, stupid question. Trying to gather snatches of the news, we were facing down the runway. At around 0640 or so we saw four aircraft pulling up at right angles to the runway, they then turned and aligned with the runway direction one behind the other. Two more pulled up and kept climbing. One of us professionals shouted “Look, look aircraft pulling up”. Malkani, our flying trophy type, authoritatively said “Toofanis. Must be returning from a strike mission from somewhere.” We looked on in awe proud of our Toofani boys..

Suddenly the lead Toofani – Cinderella like, changed its slippers – turned into a Sabre, let fly its six .5 inch Brownings aiming straight for the beautiful shiny Vampires. We scattered like bees whose hive has been attacked.. In fact all of us dived, four blind mice, into the Flight Commander’s office and huddled under the window. Between bursts of fire we would look through the window and after the first few attacks could see flames just starting from one or two of the aircraft. They must have made at least four passes each. Regular front gun circuits. When they had their fill of Vampires, they went for two recently parked Canberras on the other side of the runway.

Mid way through it all we heard a whoooooosh over our heads and thought “Here it comes”. It didn’t. What had come was one of the Officers, who was on attachment to us, taking a flying leap through the window and ending up under the Flight Commander’s table. When we turned around, there he was, bone dome and all crouched there telling us to keep quiet- right, the Sabres would hear us! And he had on no ordinary bone dome. The spirit-de-camouflage had got to him. There were blades of coloured foliage sticking up vertically, stuck on with scotch tape. A rather forlorn attempt at being a pea-cock.

Just a little earlier two Canberras had returned from a mission. These too were inviting targets, an invitation that was gladly accepted. For the attackers they had entered a strike pilots heaven. For us on the ground, even us Pilos felt a great dejection at being caught so badly with our pants down.

After a few minutes there was the silence of the graveyard. We could hear it. Not a single gun had opened up, there were none of our own aircraft in the air and we had been mauled. Aircraft lined up for the kill and no one to stop or resist the attackers. Were we scared? Naaaaw! Just shitting bricks!

But then we looked at our aircraft – the flames were rising. Strangely the one in the middle seemed to have been spared. The rest were igniting rapidly. We grouped and thought of pulling out the one in the centre. Joined by the men we started moving towards the burning line up. As we got within about 50 yards, the first of the rockets started taking off. There would be a deep woosh and a rocket would go twirling across the runway. Fortunately the aircraft were facing away from us. As one woosh died we would try to move and another one would set us back a few paces and then the ammunition started exploding. Some one yelled and drove us back towards the shelter of the offices. But it was heart rending to see them go up in smoke.

As an aside, one of us, AK Singh later recalled, how while the aircraft were burning he had gone to take over duty at the Base ops, located in the ATC. As he got to the door he saw the AOC-in-C, who had arrived the previous evening, turning to the Stn Cdr and saying “Naik, try and save that aircraft”. The Station Commander turned to the OC Flying “Dicky, see if you can do something”. Dicky, turned to Sqn Ldr Puri, Officer in charge of Base Ops “Puri, get going”. Puri turned to the door and saw AK standing there. Before he could say “Hey YOU!@” AK saluted, turned around and bolted! (AK’s version)

At about 1030 the air raid warning went off. We ran for cover. There being no trenches, we crouched down in the storm water drains running along a hanger. A few minutes later the ACK ACK opened up and then stopped as abruptly. The Sabres were back, but this time they scattered fast. Two hunters, Flt Lt Alfred Cooke and Fg Offr SC Mamgain were on their tail. While we watched, we saw Mamgain following very close behind a Sabre and subsequently ran him into the ground between Kalaikunda and Kharagpur town. But the beauty was the Cooke dog fight right over our heads. It was a see-saw battle between two matched adversaries. Every time we heard the Hunter 30mm Aden canon we cheered. Once, perhaps twice the Sabre got behind and fired a few, we had our hearts in our mouth. We last saw them fighting and heading Eastwards towards E Pakistan locked in mortal combat. Much later came the news that Cooke had got a confirmed kill. Later after seeing the films, Wg Cdr Denis LaFontaine informed Cooke, that he had probably been engaged by more than one aircraft, and had fired on them too. Subsequently it was confirmed that none of the second strike aircraft made it back in one piece. Either shot down or ran out of fuel after the engagement with the Hunters. Some of our spirits revived a bit after the mauling of the first round.

Surely, enough adventure for the likes of us to savour for the rest of our lives. It was our baptism by fire.

Much later that evening Malkani suddenly woke up “Hey! Did anyone see my transistor”. Oh well there’s always a price to pay. The pay off was worth it – experience can’t be taught it must be bought.

The sight of those burning aircraft is still fresh in the mind. We took a beating. Unknown to us at the time, Pathankot had also been severely hit the previous day and the victims were the same – aircraft out in the open. The IAF learnt many a lesson in those early days of the war. Learnt them the hard way too. Out of 59 aircraft lost, 24 were hit on the ground itself. Could it be put down to inexperience? We surrendered a lot of our assets without a fight. No dispersal areas, no blast pens, no trenches for the men to take shelter in, the list is long….

On the bright side we did learn and learnt fast. As per Bharat Rakshak figures, aircraft lost on the ground in 1971 were just two, both in the Western Sector.

For those interested there are two more accounts of the action over Kalaikunda and one on the Pathankot attack which may be of interest:

The War at Kalaikunda by Air Msh Rajwar then with 16 Sqn on Canberras

https://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/hist ... ajwar.html

How and Why Sahdev ‘Dodi’ Bansal Got Smooched by Sahdev Dodi Bansal himself.
An untrue and fabricated story of 65 ops from Kalaikunda, nothing but a pack of lies.

https://marutfans.wordpress.com/2012/02 ... -smooched/

“The Day the PAF Got Away” by Air Mshl Raghvendran commanding a Gnat squadron at Pathankot

https://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/hist ... ankot.html

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby arun » 08 Sep 2015 16:16

X Posting from the STFUP thread a great quotation with impeccable provenance attributed to no less a personage than the Islamic Republic Of Pakistan's then Military Dictator, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, to show that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan lost the 1965 war.

Anujan wrote:About the 1965 war which Pakis are proudly celebrating victory

https://history.state.gov/historicaldoc ... 68v25/d327

Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk Conversation with Pakistan Minister of Finance Shoaib

In great confidence Shoaib said he would tell me of a recent incident in the Pak Cabinet. Ayub said: “I want it understood that never again will we risk 100 million Pakistani for 5 million Kashmiri—never again.”

I said that in equal confidence I would tell him that one of the reasons we were so anxious to end the war between India and Pakistan was we feared a military set-back for the Paks which might destroy the morale of the nation and Ayub. He said: “It was close—very close.”

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby vsunder » 08 Sep 2015 17:20

My first memory of a war that India had a hand in was the Congo operations. I could barely read a newspaper then. But by 1962 I could read and I remember that horrid Diwali of 1962. In 1965 I was in 7th grade all of 10 years old. The war was palpable. Our school was building a library and the trench for the foundation was deemed an air raid shelter. No. 1 BRD, IAF was the primary establishment in town along with a prominent IAF base hospital. Rumors were rife, to paratroopers being dropped to saboteurs arrested carrying chemicals to poison the city water supply in Bena Jhabar. Committees were set up to meet and greet troops at the railway station and serve them snacks and tea as they traversed past Kanpur. I remember distributing free newspapers and magazines on the Assam Mail which was always full of soldiers.

More ominous were the casualty trains that arrived at night and unloaded on sidings with the wounded taken to the IAF base hospital. I once visited the hospital with my mother. Her main volunteer act was to write letters for the jawans who were incapacitated. I got special permission through Wing Commander Gupta who was the Chief surgeon and head of the base hospital. The sights I have seen were not pretty.

At school there were many boys and girls with IAF connections. But my classmate R.S. "Chow" Chaudhury was considered the most "reliable". Though on hindsight he might have doctored information too. The father of Chow was a Squadron Leader. "Chow" and his brother both joined the IAF. 34 years later, Chow himself got Mentioned in Dispatches for another war:

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Datab ... rnum=13769

In 1970, I joined a madarsa. During the 40 days and 40 nights( same as the number of days that Jesus was in the wilderness, seniors would never tire of telling us that) we underwent, "orientation", I am told such orientation is now banned in India. But this orientation enabled me to keep me from being homesick, a 15 year old boy very, very far from home. During my first year at the madarsa, Illustrated Weekly brought out a special issue on the NDA expedition to Nun-Kun in Zanskar. You can see Nun-Kun peaks in the video Aakash Yoddha. Chow was part of the team, the blurb about him said he was the youngest at 16 and known as "The baby". I felt very proud of my old schoolmate.

The madarsa was next door to AFS Kalaikunda and it was the only madarsa among the other madarsas in the same equivalence class with a mandatory NCC program conducted by IAF and Army personnel. Flight-Sgt. Bakshi who conducted NCC for us, always regaled us with IAF stories. He applied punishment in a judicious way, a master of psychology, he knew what was always reasonable. No such finesse was extended by the Army guys on their victims. One senior under officer was M. K. Badhwar. A tough no nonsense guy. He would yell at you. He became a Rear Admiral and put his Naval Arch degree to head the Naval Warship design bureau and put it on a firm foundation, retiring recently a stellar product of the madarsa.

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 101_1.html

http://www.iitfoundation.org/?p=216

The batches who had seen Alfred Tyrone Cooke's kushti had passed out, except the BArch and Naval Arch people who had a 5.5 year program. So we heard all sorts of stories. When the balloon went up in 1971, we all thought we would see similar kushti. But unfortunately it did not materialize. Though this time around the Hunters and Mig-21's were training from October 1971 and kept us awake at night with very low passes. Things had changed. There were some who would go to the roof of the dorm at night and shine flashlights into the sky breaking black out rules so as to direct PAF planes to bomb the madarsa so that we could all go home for ever and never have to study.

In March 1972, our hall celebrated it's hall day function. The guests of honor were three out of the 4 victors of Bogra and their wives. It is hard to believe that of the three on stage, 2 would die in a short time. Flying is a deadly business, and in the case of one of them Ganapathy, the mental stresses it imposes on one is staggering, esp. in senior positions of command. This man spoke for his colleagues,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEMw4sb7O1M

I have never ever in my entire life witnessed such an event. He was unable to speak for 15 or more minutes due to the din and noise, frequent calls for order were ignored. In the end he gave a very gracious speech, full of wit and humility. I had the pleasure of shaking his hand. It still means a lot to me and meant even more to a 16 year old boy then. The speaker retains his good looks, though the gangly young man is no more, I understand he has devoted his life to a higher calling.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 08 Sep 2015 19:02

To the old fogeys who were in IIT at that time 1965 - can anyone drop a marker on GE where the Sabre is said to have crashed near the IIT?

Rajanb would be the best I guy to point it out I suppose?

Image

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Philip » 08 Sep 2015 20:26

Shiv,that piece about Cooke,"cooking the Paki Sabres' goose" was a revelation. This has been so little mentioned anywhere in the media during the last 50 years. had it happened in '71,Cooke would've got at least an MVC for his dare-devil exploits. There was much confusion in '65 and the Paki propaganda machine was in full flow covering up for their loss of face.

One can sum up the '65 war thus.Pak tried to ignite the Kashmiris to revolt against India using the infiltrators in "Op Gibrraltar". It failed miserably. They then put into play "Op Grand Slam' to sever Kashmir from the rest of India. Thanks to the leadership of little Lal Bahadur, after initial reverses,we were on the point of capturing Lahore. In retrospect it should've been done,just as in retrospect Bhutto should've been sent home from Simla empty handed and we should've "crossed the line " at Kargil.As far as '65 goes,Pak failed in both its grand ops,its plans clearly "defeated. Had it lost Lahore as well ,would've been a devastating and crushing defeat.

But then the beauty of the '65 War is that thanks to Lal Bahadur NOT driving on to capture Lahore, The Pakis believed their own propaganda and lies,deceived themselves into thinking that they "won" in "65 and Gen Yahya Khan and Zulfie Bhutto then went to war with us again in '71 .As we all well know Indira,"Sam-the-man" and the 3 services,officers and men,not to forget Jagjivan Ram and Swaran Singh,our Def and Foreign ministers who played their parts admirably well too,saw to it that the rest was history!

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Mihaylo » 08 Sep 2015 20:37

Philip wrote:
But then the beauty of the '65 War is that thanks to Lal Bahadur NOT driving on to capture Lahore, The Pakis believed their own propaganda and lies,deceived themselves into thinking that they "won" in "65 and Gen Yahya Khan and Zulfie Bhutto then went to war with us again in '71 .As we all well know Indira,"Sam-the-man" and the 3 services,officers and men,not to forget Jagjivan Ram and Swaran Singh,our Def and Foreign ministers who played their parts admirably well too,saw to it that the rest was history!



I don't believe that there is a cause and effect there. Bangladesh would have happened irrespective. It was an unnatural union and was bound to fail. We should have taken Lahore..just like we should have pressed our advantage on several occasions before and after 1965.

-M

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2015 20:38

Philip wrote:Shiv,that piece about Cooke,"cooking the Paki Sabres' goose" was a revelation. This has been so little mentioned anywhere in the media during the last 50 years. had it happened in '71,Cooke would've got at least an MVC for his dare-devil exploits. There was much confusion in '65 and the Paki propaganda machine was in full flow covering up for their loss of face.

Philip - every day the newspapers have a little clipping about "50 years ago" and I have been cutting them out for the last week - ever since war clippings started being printed. Those clippings take me back to '65 because they are so vague in the information they have. That was all the info we got in those days - mainly from newspapers and a little from the radio. My memories of the news from '65 are "Infiltrators, Chhamb, Patton, Gnat, Keelor, Asal uttar, Abdul Hamid, Sialkot sector and Lahore". Nothing made sense back then

Of course Trevor Keelor got a lot of publicity, but Cooke - whose achievement was amazing hardly got any publicity. The East was hardly reported upon - it was all about the west, and I am guessing the IAF was embarrassed at losing 10-12 aircraft on the ground in Pathankot and Kalaikunda due to the absence of pens

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 08 Sep 2015 20:41

Mihaylo wrote: We should have taken Lahore..just like we should have pressed our advantage on several occasions before and after 1965.


All indications point out that while we would have liked to have captured Lahore, the pakistanis moved enough forces to the front that it would have been difficult and cost 1000s of lives. The opportunity to capture Lahore was there on September 6th , but as we know our troops ahd many set backs that they had to fall back to the Canal.

I dont belive this stuff about "Lahore is not in our objectives".. Whether it was there or not, we would have crossed the Canal and held more territory if we could .But the fighting had ground to a stale mate by then.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2015 20:50

Jagan wrote:
Mihaylo wrote: We should have taken Lahore..just like we should have pressed our advantage on several occasions before and after 1965.


All indications point out that while we would have liked to have captured Lahore, the pakistanis moved enough forces to the front that it would have been difficult and cost 1000s of lives. The opportunity to capture Lahore was there on September 6th , but as we know our troops ahd many set backs that they had to fall back to the Canal.

I dont belive this stuff about "Lahore is not in our objectives".. Whether it was there or not, we would have crossed the Canal and held more territory if we could .But the fighting had ground to a stale mate by then.

Jagan - men had crossed the canal but had to retreat back across as they did not have support and the generalship did not expect them to advance so rapidly. Then the bridge was blown up and that was it.

Image shows Bridge across Ichogil canal destroyed
Image

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby vsunder » 08 Sep 2015 20:54

Jagan wrote:To the old fogeys who were in IIT at that time 1965 - can anyone drop a marker on GE where the Sabre is said to have crashed near the IIT?

Rajanb would be the best I guy to point it out I suppose?

Image


The short answer is this, the seniors who were around, the Architecture and Naval Arch guys, each one had a different tale of where the F-86 crashed. Some said it went over Azad Hall, some over LLR hall etc etc. Rear-Admiral M.K.Badhwar was around and he would know for sure. The bicycling to the crash site that Shiv says in his video is true, and also pulling pieces of the wreckage. All this countless people corroborated. Senior to me in Architecture was Agnihotri, he is in Delhi and he did bike to the crash site, but who knows with memories, old fogeys we are now.

PS: This post forced me to locate "Agni". I am shocked to find that he passed away after a distinguished career in both India and later in the US. IIT Kharagpur has instituted the Uday Agnihotri chair in architecture in memory of "Agni". He loved smoking "Macropolo" cigarettes which were expensive.

http://uday-agnihotri.blogspot.com/

http://www.iitkgp.ac.in/RCGSIDM/faculty.html

One by one we all go.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 08 Sep 2015 23:12

Thanks vsunder, i might be able to find more based on local news paper reports.let me see what can be done.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 08 Sep 2015 23:35

Jagan is the duel of the himalayan eagle available to the public yet or is it a limited edition IAF run?

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 09 Sep 2015 01:15

Karan M wrote:Jagan is the duel of the himalayan eagle available to the public yet or is it a limited edition IAF run?


Karan, its available.

Here are the ordering details

The Duels of the Himalayan Eagle - The First Indo-Pak Air War (1-22 September 2015) written by Air Marshalk Bharat Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, Retd, has been published
The hardcover book has 320 pages and is illustrated throughout. The price is Rs 1800 (p&p free).
For orders received by 1 September, a pre-publication discount of 15% (Rs 270) is available. For orders received until 30 September, buyers get a discount of 10% (Rs 180).

Payment may please be sent in advance in favour of "IMR Media Pvt Ltd" payable at Delhi. For bank to bank transfer the details are (please send an email after remittance):
Acct Name: IMR Media Pvt Ltd
Bank: Citibank, 124 Connaught Circus, Jeevan Bharti Building, New Delhi 110 001, India
Acct No : 0032604226
IFSC Code : CITI0000002
Email: response@idyb.com

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 09 Sep 2015 01:36

Has anyone seen this? http://indianarmy.nic.in/IndoPakWar/Sit ... Ff1Abf/w==

There are some rare unseen photos (And thats saying something after 50 years).. (LIke the Sherman ARV /EME photo..)


BR Army site webmasters (if you are tracking this thread, you should download them all - for re-upload into BR .. the army site will dissappear at some point)

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 09 Sep 2015 01:39

Thanks Jagan

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 09 Sep 2015 05:55

Jagan wrote:Has anyone seen this? http://indianarmy.nic.in/IndoPakWar/Sit ... Ff1Abf/w==

There are some rare unseen photos (And thats saying something after 50 years).. (LIke the Sherman ARV /EME photo..)


BR Army site webmasters (if you are tracking this thread, you should download them all - for re-upload into BR .. the army site will dissappear at some point)

Jagan I will "donate" all the images I scanned from the 1965 booklet and used for my video. They can be used on BR

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby SSridhar » 09 Sep 2015 06:32

From The Hindu's archives
September 9, 1965

Army’s new thrusts into West Pakistan

Indian forces have advanced into West Pakistan from two new sectors, Jammu and Rajasthan. In the Jammu area, a two-pronged drive is under way and the target may be Sialkot, which is only about 15 miles from the border. In Rajasthan, the Indian forces advanced in the Barmer-Kutch sector into Sind and occupied a town known as Godra five miles on the Pakistani side of the border. The principal road from here runs westwards to Hyderabad (Sind). Pakistan to-day [September 8] further extended the conflict restoring to Naval action. The Pakistan Navy bombarded Dwarak port in Saurashtra, west of Jamnagar. No damage of military significance has been sustained. The damage to civilian life and property is being assessed. In the Chhamb-Jaurian sector, Indian forces have made the enemy retreat and captured a substantial number of vehicles besides stores.

Pakistan Navy decided to bombard the non-descript and non-strategic town of Dwarka on the Gujarat coast since it was associated with the Hindu mythology of Mahabharat and the operation was therefore aptly code-named “Operation Somnath” symbolizing the dozens of times the marauder Ghazni pillaged the nearby and the famous Somnath temple. The Army’s mock guerilla operation in the same war was code-named ‘Operation Gibraltar’, referring to the Rock of Gibraltar which was named as ‘Jebel al Tariq’ by the Muslim invader Tariq bin Ziad. Similarly, the various units of the invading guerilla army forces in 1965 were named as Tariq, Ghaznavi, Salahuddin, Qasim and Khalid, all thus named after Muslim war heroes.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Paul » 09 Sep 2015 15:00

One company was called 'Nusrat' after Bhutto's wife, Nusrat Bhutto.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Ashok Sarraff » 09 Sep 2015 17:18

Ultimately, South Asia won the war and we should feel proud about it.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby A Sharma » 09 Sep 2015 17:26

Sainik Samachar



Golden Jubilee of 1965 War


The Battle of Barki



By September 1, 1965, Pakistan plans under 'Operation Gibralter' laid in tatters. Most infiltrators were killed or driven out from Kashmir and Haji Pir Pas fell to determined Indian attacks. 'Operation Grand Slam' was launched by Pakistan in Chamb Sector to severe Indian lines of communication to Jammu & Kashmir. Such move was anticipated, and on September 3, 1965, Army Headquarters gave the 'Go Ahead' to put our offensive plans into effect in Punjab Sector, with the primary objective of threatening Lahore.


Barki


The road from Harike (Punjab, India) to Lahore passed through Barki, which was located astride Ichhogil Canal (9.5 km from the International Border and 24 km from Lahore). The Upper Bhuchar Distributary and Hudiara Drain were obstacles enroute to Barki. The buildup areas of Hudiara, Nurpur, Barka Kalan and Barka Khurd lay on approaches to Barki, were well defended and had to be cleared. The defences of Barki were formidable; concrete pill boxes, extensive tunneling and adequate artillery support had converted it into a virtual fortress. The enemy had deployed one company in Barki village, two companies on the East Bank of the Ichhogil Canal and a company of the Reconnaissance and Support Battalion ahead of defences. Barki could challenge the best in any unit.


11 Corps Plan (Operation Riddle)


The Corps was to launch three simultaneous thrusts along the Axes GT Road, Bhikkiwind-Barki and, Bhikkiwind-Khem Karan-Kasur with the aim of securing the East Bank of Ichhogil Canal. 4 Mountain Division, 7 & 15 Infantry Division were orbatted to the Corps. 7 Infantry division was tasked to capture Barki and mop up enemy on east bank of Ichhogil Canal. 48 & 65 Infantry Brigades and Central India Horse (CIH) were allocated for the task at hand.


Advance to Hudiara


Preliminary operations commenced at 0445 hrs on September 6, 1965 and posts held by Satlej Rangers were captured by own troops. By 0700 hrs, 48 Infantry Brigade had contacted enemy defences at Hudiara, and came under effective fire. By 1030 hrs, 6/8 Gorkha Rifles had secured Hudiara Village, but could not progress operations further onto Hudiara Drain due to enemy fire. Meanwhile 5 GUARDS attacked Nurpur by an outflanking maneauver, forcing enemy to withdraw from Hudiara Drain but not before they blew up the bridge spanning 140 feet. The bridge was reconstructed by own engineers by 1545 hrs on September 7.


General Officer Commanding 7 Infantry Division, appreciating that 48 Infantry Brigade had suffered fairly heavy casualties in the battle for Hudiara Drain, switched 65 Infantry Brigade Group into the lead with the task of securing the Ichhogil Canal at Barki.


The Battle of Barki


65 Infantry Brigade Group resumed its advance on to Barki, with 9 MADRAS and a squadron of CIH. 9 MADRAS captured Barka Kalan towards the evening of September 7, 1965. On September 9, 16 PUNJAB captured Barka Khurd and with that the inner defence ring of Barki was laid bare for the main assault. 65 Infantry Brigade planned to carry out attack in two phases:-


 Phase 1.4 SIKH to capture Barki Village.


 Phase 2.16 PUNJAB to capture East Bank of Ichhogil Canal and destroy the Barki Bridge.


4 SIKH, post detailed appreciation decided to take the frontal approach and H Hour was fixed at 2000 hrs on September 10, 1965. When assaulting companies commenced move from FUP, enemy opened up with its mortars, artillery and automatics from the village. Enemy fire was coming from the entire front of the village and also from the Ichhogil Canal Bank. The assaulting companies continued to inch forward towards their objectives through sheer grit and determination. The Sikhs pressed on regardless, systematically silencing one pill box after another. CIH less two squadrons provided aggressive fire support to assaulting troops. By 2110 hours on September 10, the village of Barki was wrested from the enemy.


4 SIKH suffered three JCOs and 20 ORs killed and two officers, one JCO and 93 ORs wounded. Sub Ajit Singh was awarded MVC, posthumously. The battalion was conferred with the Battle Honour 'Barki' and Theatre Honour 'Punjab' for its gallant actions.


While 4 SIKH were battling their way through the village of Barki, 16 PUNJAB were pushing up to the East bank of the Ichhogil Canal in the second phase of the brigade attack. As the battalion reached the outskirts of Barki, it ran into intense enemy shelling and very heavy small arms and automatic fire from concrete pill-boxes. Meanwhile, the tanks of CIH came up and started shooting at the enemy defences. The intensity of the attack forced many of the enemy to jump into the canal, leaving their weapons behind. By 2340 hours on September 10, the unit was in undisputed possession of their objective. The enemy however, managed, to demolish the bridge over the canal before retreating. Lt Col SC Joshi, Commanding Officer of CIH was killed while negotiating an enemy minefield. 16 PUNJAB suffered 21 killed and 50 wounded during the attack. The battalion was awarded the Battle Honour of 'Barki'.


After retreating across the Ichhogil Canal, the Pakistanis, retaliated with a heavy artillery concentration – approximately 2000 rounds on Barki and the canal. Own troops held on. Own artillery was also staged forward and a few shells landed on Lahore, triggering panic and exodus of civilians from Lahore.


Maj Gen HK Sibal, GOC 7 Infantry Division had this to say about the operations (Extracted from Sainik Samachar of January 15, 1966):-


"The enemy resistance was very stiff and the troops did an excellent job of winkling the enemy out of their emplacements and bunkers by lobbing grenades into them and this took quite some doing. The grit and determination displayed by the crew of CIH, was something fantastic. In spite of tanks being crippled in the minefield, they still kept on firing at the enemy and just refused to let him put his head up".


Summing Up


By September 10, 7 Infantry Division of 11 Corps had made a rapier like thrust and created a wedge in enemy territory, with capture of Barki. In addition, own 1 Corps offensive was launched into Sialkot Sector and Shakargarh Bulge, creating multiple vulnerabilities into the heart land of Pakistan Punjab. However, Pakistani offensive by its coveted 1 Armoured Division towards Khem Karan was threatening to outflank own 11 Corps. In days to come, history was to be written in Phillora (Pakistan) and Asal Uttar (India). These battle accounts would be told in subsequent editions of 'Sanik Samachar'.


- Col Rohan Anand

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby A Sharma » 09 Sep 2015 17:31

Golden Jubilee of 1965 War


Pakistan's Kashmir Game Plan and Hajipir Operations



Captured Pak infiltrators revealed Pak designs in Kashmir. Two Pakistani officers - Capt Mohammad Sajjad and Capt Ghulum Hussain, captured on August 8 being escorted from the aircraft to a waiting military transport at Palam airfield. (Source: Sainik Samachar of August 29, 1965



The 1965 war was imposed upon India through a fully sponsored, aided and abetted campaign of annexing Kashmir, by Pakistan. Its natural consequence was war escalation across the entire India - Pakistan front. The resultant Indian victory would be commemorated and celebrated in the Golden Jubilee year of 2015. The celebrations would be inaugurated with the wreath laying ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti on August 28, 2015, which coincides with the capture of Hajipir Pass by Indian Army.


Genesis of Conflict


Pakistan believed that the Indian Army would be unable to defend itself against a quick military campaign in Kashmir and that it remained burdened with the legacy of war with China in 1962. Pakistan convinced itself that the population of Kashmir was discontented with Indian rule and that a resistance movement could be ignited by infiltrating saboteurs, which it attempted through 'Operation Gibraltar'.


Pakistan's aggressive activities across Cease Fire Line intensified, coinciding with increase in subversive activities in hinterland, in July / August 1965. On August 8, 1965, two Pakistani officers, Captain Ghulam Hussain and Capt Mohammad Sajjad, were captured near Narian. Their interrogation revealed the sinister plan. The raiders were to infiltrate in small groups, concentrate at selected points and then converge into the Valley from various directions. The tasks assigned to them was to raid Indian Military Posts, destroy supply dumps and bridges, lay ambushes on security forces and their convoys and assassination of important personalities in Kashmir. A processional demonstration in the capital was planned to coincide with the anniversary of internment of Sheikh Abdullah. The raiders proposed to sneak into the procession fully armed, stage an armed revolt and in the process capture the radio station, airfield and other vital centres. Meanwhile, other columns were to cut the Roads Srinagar - Jammu and Srinagar -Kargil to isolate Srinagar. This done, it was planned to constitute a 'Revolutionary Council', proclaim it as a lawful government, and broadcast an appeal for recognition and assistance from all countries, especially Pakistan. Regular Pakistan forces would take it as a justification for direct intervention and complete annexation of the state.


Offensive Plan for Capture of Hajipir Bulge


The Indian side, assessing the situation, decided to go on offensive. It was appreciated that the solution to a successful counter-infiltration action would lie in severing the entry routes of the raiders, as also the destruction of their administrative bases and staging stations, by taking the battle across Cease Fire Line. Offensive plans in Kargil, Tithwal and Uri - Punch (Hajipir Bulge) Sectors was thus put into effect.


Operations in Hajipir Bulge were planned a major pincer movement involving an offensive along axis Uri- Hajipir and Punch – Kahuta axis under 19 Infantry Division (Operation Bakhshi) and 25 Infantry Division (Operation Faulad) respectively, with Hajipir Pass as the terminal objective. The linkup by these pincers would cut off all routes of infiltration through the bulge, as appreciated earlier.


Conduct of 'Operation Bakhshi'


The operations on the Northern pincer commenced at 2150 hrs on August 25, 1965. All four companies of 1 PARA were engaged in bitter battles for 48 hrs. Rapidly exploiting on the success, two adhoc companies of 1 PARA under dynamic leadership of Major Ranjit Singh Dayal, chose an unconventional approach by climbing 1220 meters at night, under heavy rain and attacked the pass in a daring daylight assault. Hajipir Pass was in control of 1 PARA by 1000 hrs on August 28, 1965. Enemy counter attacks were repulsed and 1 PARA further consolidated its position.


Simultaneous operations on North Eastern pincer were facing stiff opposition. Attack on the massive Bedori hill by 19 PUNJAB did not meet initial success. Despite setbacks, the spirit of the battalion could not be dampened. Under the leadership of its commanding officer, Lt Col Sampuran Singh, Bedori fell to 19 PUNJAB on August 29,1965. Linkup with 1 PARA was affected on September 1, 1965, taking the operations in northern portion of the bulge under Operation Bakhshi to its logical conclusion.


Conduct of 'Operation Faulad'


The operations on the Southern pincer required dominating and heavily fortified hill features to be cleared, more prominent heights being Raja and Chand Tekri, both of which were considered to be virtually impregnable, and which served as staging camp for infiltrators into the Punch sector. The attacks commenced on night of 5/6 September 1965. Victory eluded the Indian side initially despite determined assaults by 2 SIKH and 3 DOGRA. Lt Col NN Khanna, Commanding Officer of 2 SIKH regrouped his troops for another assault of Raja feature which was captured on September 6, 1965. Chand Tekri also fell and the remaining pockets of resistance were liquidated. The linkup was completed with Northern pincers with the capture of Kahuta on September 10, 1965. With that we closed the mouth of the Bulge and sealed the Hajipir Sector. All enemy resistance in the bulge ceased and military objectives in Uri Punch sector were achieved.


A force under Maj Megh Singh, christened as 'Meghdoot Force' was formed to operate behind enemy lines. They contributed significantly in progress of operations in the sector by striking at the gut of the enemy.


The capture of Hajipir Pass and heights along approaches to it involved more than 17 days of intense fighting involving numerous attacks on multiple objectives to straighten the Uri - Poonch Bulge. Operation Gibraltar launched by Pakistan suffered a telling blow in Kashmir. Numerous examples of courage and sacrifice dotted the saga of this great campaign, which were recognized by award of seven MVCs.


 Maj Gen SS Kalaan, GOC 19 Infantry Division


 Brig ZC Bakhshi, Cdr 68 Infantry Brigade


 Lt Col Sampuran Singh, VrC, 19 PUNJAB


 Lt Col NN Khanna (Posthumous), 2 SIKH


 Maj Ranjit Singh Dayal, 1 PARA


 Maj BS Randhawa (Posthumous), 4 RAJPUT


 L Hav Naubat Ram, 6 DOGRA


Pakistan game plan in Kashmir draws parallel to the designs that also unfolded in 1947 operations, with the often repeated pleas of innocence, a mindset that unfolds in similar forms and manifestations, till date. The failure of the infiltration campaign exploded the myth created by Pakistan that the Kashmiris were impatiently waiting to be 'liberated'. In fact, the success of the anti-infiltration campaign is attributable in a large measure to the reluctance of the locals to cooperate with the infiltrators. Own intelligence inputs were woefully inadequate, given the scale of infiltration and Pakistan complicity.


The successful Indian assaults on objectives in the Hajipir Bulge underscores the fact that determined leadership and offensive outlook are imperative, where in difficulties imposed by terrain are limited to mere challenges and not impediments,to the accomplishment of the mission.


By September 10, 1965, battles associated with Hajipir Bulge were decisively won. However, Pakistan offensive in Chamb - Jaurian was posing a serious threat to Akhnur and Indian plans for offensive opposite Punjab were put into effect. India Pakistan War had begun in its entirety.


- Col Rohan Anand


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