Bharat Rakshak Forum Announcement

Hello Everyone,

A warm welcome back to the Bharat Rakshak Forum.

Important Notice: Due to a corruption in the BR forum database we regret to announce that data records relating to some of our registered users have been lost. We estimate approx. 500 user details are deleted.

To ease the process of recreating the user IDs we request members that have previously posted on the BR forums to recognise and identify their posts, once the posts are identified please contact the BRF moderator team by emailing BRF Mod Team with your post details.

The mod team will be able to update your username, email etc. so that the user history can be maintained.

Unfortunately for members that have never posted or have had all their posts deleted i.e. users that have 0 posts, we will be unable to recreate your account hence we request that you re-register again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.

Regards,
Seetal

1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Karan M
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 14383
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 20 Oct 2015 18:16

1965, there was a lot of angst at lack of planning and coordination at senior levels.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 20 Oct 2015 19:58

On 1st September 1965 when Pakistan attacked with Operation Grand Slam war was not declared. This caused a lot of consternation and confusion in New Delhi. At 11:00 AM, Indian army wanted air support and sent the request up the chain. Eventually around 6:00 PM the MOD agreed to the air strikes. Now the fight is going on in Indian territory.

Most likely the thought that PAF would be sending fighter planes to combat IAF in own territory did not occur. And hence the Vampires were sent aloft in three waves. Last wave had flashlights so they could read the dials! The sad thing is yes Pathankot did not have fighter planes, but the Mysteres could have been used in fighter role if they were armed with cannon only. But don't know if they trained for fighter combat or only for ground attack.


BTW in 1999 at Kargil, ACM Tipnis delayed IAF action till he got sufficient fighter planes to prevent escalation.


A few side notes:
- Ouragans/Toofanis were built later than the Vampires but IAF had low opinion of them and relegated them to Eastern sector. In 1967, the Israelis used the Ouragans in the 6 Day war with good effect and survivability. But in retrospect they were also armed with pop guns. But they had the 68 mm SNEB rockets which were better than the 3" RP-3s. IOW the better plane was not used.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dassault_Ouragan
Mystere is a development of the Ouragan. To me Ouragan looks like Mig 15 and the Mystere, Mig 19.

The Vampire should have been retired long before but most likely budget starvation led to it being kept on the rolls.

- Pathankot Base commander did not show initiative nor forewarning/prudence. Later on he refused the Gnats under Sqd Ldr Greene to mount combat patrol and while decision to use CAP with Migs was being made they got shot up in a Sabre raid. This was on Sept 6th after general hostilities commenced. Same happened in many bases that led to successful PAF strikes on aircraft parked in the open.

- The RP-3 on Vampire was very inaccurate and had to be close to 1700 yds to be fired and a slight miscalculation would lead to a near miss which was useless. Most likely the plane that was lost to ground fire was too close. IOW wrong weapon was available. These RP-3s are WWII vintage and already SNEB and FFAR were supplanting them.

- Most likely due to ethos and familiarity there was too much faith in the Vampire clunker.

- Overall this was the first jet combat operations for the IAF.

- Gen J.N. Chaudhri pulled his rank and ignored other services even though he was Chiefs of Staff and had a war going on. In was totally out of loop. The IN chief was visiting Calcutta when war was started and had to hustle to many IN bases to finally reach Delhi.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2015 23:25

^^^^ Added to above:

Quoting same link as Rohitvats: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... ter04.html

And on August 28th, in the boldest counter-insurgency move that the Indian Army had ever taken, occupied the strategic Haji Pir Pass and with it, a large chunk of Azad Kashmir territory fell into our hands. This greatly embarrassed Pakistan and retaliation from them was inevitable, and they chose to do so at the place, which suited them most, Chamb.

Chamb town was situated at the southern end of the ceasefire line (CFL). It was bounded by the Kalidhar Ranges in the north, the Manawar Tawi river in the east, the CFL to the west and the international boundary which runs west meeting the CFL to the southwest of Chamb. [b]In accordance with the UN monitored cease-fire, both sides were limited to stationing a minimal number of troops in Kashmir and no jet fighters were to be stationed as the CFL was nearer to the International boundary in Pakistan than it is nearer to the nearest state boundary in India, It was possible for the Pakistanis to bring in its army and air forces in a fraction of a time that would be possible for India to do the same.

For example the nearest air base from which close support would be available for Indian troops at Chamb would be from Pathankot, in Punjab and 150km away. While Pakistan could amass its troops and armour near the IB just kilometers short of Chamb, the nearest Indian reinforcements would be sitting hundreds of miles away in Punjab. and it is the reason Pakistan chose Chamb for its attack dubbed Operation GRANDSLAM.[/b]

Pakistan had about 70 tanks and two brigades of Infantry for this operation. The main objective was to take the Akhnur bridge which was some 20 miles away and thus cutting of the lifeline of supplies to southwest Kashmir including the towns of Rajauri, Jhangar, Naushera and Poonch. With luck these towns would fall to the Pakistanis before an Indian counter offensive could clear the road. Like the previous plan it was assumed that India would not retaliate across the International Border to the south, ignoring the assertions made by the Indian Prime Minister that India reserved the right to retaliate across the entire border along Pakistan if an attack on Kashmir was carried out.

At the end of August, Pakistani forces began heavy shelling of the Chamb area. In one of the artillery barrages, the Indian brigade commander and his G3 officer were killed. The shelling became a regular feature, and as dusk approached on August 31st, the Indian soldiers had no clue whatsoever as to what was in store the next day.

Operation Grand Slam

On September 1st, The Pakistani artillery started shelling the Indian forward positions, starting 0330 hrs, the shelling was exceptionally heavy and continued till 0630 hrs. At which time a Pakistani Army force of two Infantry Brigades and two Armoured Regiments started their attack on the Indian positions. 3rd Mahar was the forward most battalion and it bore the brunt of the attack along with a solitary squadron of AMX-13 tanks of the 20th Lancers. In spite of their heroic defence the sheer strength of the enemy made its presence felt. No artillery support was given as the Pak shelling has put the guns out of action.

Faced with this critical situation, Commander, 191 Inf. Bde asked for air support at 1100 hrs. This request reached Army HQ without delay. The Army Chief forwarded the request to the Defence Minister for the Govt's permission, and by the time the Defence Minister okayed the request to the Air Chief, Air Marshal Arjan Singh, five hours have elapsed. It was 1600 hrs and within an hour of Air Marshal Singh walking out of the DM's office, the first fighters had taken to the air.

Pathankot Airbase was the nearest airbase available to the zone of conflict. Situated near the border between Jammu and Punjab, Pathankot was a mere 30 seconds flying time from the border. It was the forward most airbase in that area. Heading the airbase was Group Captain Roshan Suri, a test pilot who earned his name as one of the first Indians to break the sound barrier. Suri along, with P.C. Lal and H. Moolgavkar is credited as the first Indian pilots to break the sound barrier in the Mystere, while testflying the Mystere in France.

Assisting Suri in the capacity of the Officer-in-Charge of Operations was Wg. Cdr. Verghese Kuriyan, a veteran of the 1948 Kashmir Operations and ex-commander of the No.29 Toofani Squadron. Kuriyan has been posted to Pathankot just before outbreak of the hostilities from his previous assignment at Agra. Pathankot at that time had two squadrons of Mysteres - No.3 under Wg. Cdr. Paul Roby and No.31 under Wg. Cdr. W.M. Goodman , and No.45 Squadron flying Vampire fighters. There were no true air superiority fighters based at Pathankot at that time.

No.45 Sqn was till recently based at Pune and was moved north in anticipation of hostilities just a couple of days before. This squadron was in fact a composite squadron formed after merging the No.220 Squadron with No.45 Sqn. Under the command of Sqn. Ldr. S.K. "Marshal" Dhar, a very enthusiastic & energetic Commanding Officer, it's Vampires have been ready and armed sitting on the tarmac and on receipt of the CAS' orders, the first wave of four Vampires took of at 1719 hrs.

Dhar had already briefed his pilots about the timings of the sorties. Three missions would be flown. The second one to start off at 1730 hrs and the third mission at 1740 Hours. This would enable the last mission to arrive over the target at dusk, just as darkness is falling and come back after executing its mission in the fading light. Dhar would lead the first mission, the senior flight commander, Flt. Lt. F.J. Mehta would lead the second mission, followed by the last mission to be led by Flt. Lt. A.K. Bhagwagar. The pilots of the third formation were told to carry torches as they would have to fly back in poor light and the torches would help them read the poorly lit instruments.

Just before the first sorties were to take off, Bhagwagar approached Mehta for a change of plan. The last mission required special demands that as the Vampires would be coming back to Pathankot in the darkness of the night, they would require Night Flying Qualified Pilots to lead the formation back. Mehta was one of the qualified pilots and already weary from a long ferry flight from Jamnagar from that morning, agreed for the change. Thus, Bhagwagar led the second mission after Dhar’s first. And Mehta along with another Night Flying Qualified Pilot - Flt Lt. K.D. Mehra flew in the third mission.

Dhar and his formation took off at 1719 Hours immediately on the go ahead. As the Vampires were heading in a north westerly direction towards Chamb, the sun was shining straight into the pilots eyes, many felt that they were the last hope of the Indian Armed Forces. As mentioned before, the Vampire formed the most obsolete aircraft in the IAF's inventory. The Vampires first flight was during World War II, At that time even the propeller driven Tempest had a higher rate of climb than the Vampire. In 1965, facing the PAF's F-86 Sabres, it was hopelessly out of place.

The forward most positions of 3 Mahar were at Alfa Batal. All eyes were turned upwards at the sound of approaching aircraft. The arrival of the Vampires over the battlefield was greeted with relief. But relief turned to horror as the aircraft made a strafing run on the 3 Mahar positions. Luckily there were no causalities. They then turned their attention towards the Pakistani tanks. The Vampires made several passes at the Pakistani Armour at leisure. Ground fire hit one of the Vampires flown by Flt. Lt. S.V. Pathak.

The PAF was called up and soon a pair of Sidewinder armed F-86's were over the area. The Sabres were being flown by Sqn. Ldr. S.A. Rafique of No.5 PAF and Flt. Lt. Imtiaz Bhatti of No.15 PAF Sqns. These Sabres stumbled into the battle area just as the second formation of Vampires led by Flt. Lt. Bhagwagar came in for the attack. The Jawans of 3 Mahar were mute spectators as the Sabres tore into the Vampires and shot them down, one by one, three of them. Flt. Lt. Bhatti recounts in his own words,


"….close to the area, we descended fast, looking all around and below us for the enemy aircraft. At about this time we also learnt that the C-in-C was flying around the area in a L-19. We did not see him, we later on discovered that he left well before we got there. Our search succeeded and I saw two enemy aircraft. They were crossing underneath us and I informed Rafique about it. He immediately acknowledged it "…contact". Rafique said he was going for them. While covering his tail, I spotted two Canberras 9 O'Clock from me at 5000-6000 feet. Then I spotted another two Vampires trying to get behind Rafique. I instinctively broke off and positioned myself behind these two. In the meantime, Rafique had knocked down one of his two targets and was chasing the other. About now I had my sights on one of my own and was holding my fire. I was anxiously waiting for my leader to bring down his second and clear out of my way. When the Vampire I had targeted closed in on Rafique too dangerously, I called out to him break left. Within the next moment Rafique shot down his second, reacting to my call and broke left. Simultaneously I pressed my trigger and hit one of them. Having disposed of one I shifted my sight on the other and fired at him. In the chase I had gone as low as 200 feet off the ground when I shot my second prey, he ducked and went into the trees. We had bagged four in our first engagement with the Indians…"

What is notable in Bhatti's account is that he observed two Vampires try to get behind Rafique while Rafique was chasing the first two Vampires. The Indian Pilots in their outdated aircraft turned into their attackers rather than try to make a run for it and they paid the price for it. However Bhatti is inaccurate in identifying Canberras in the vicinity as no Canberras were flying on that day. He had also missed another fact, that one Vampire escaped the wrath of the Sabres. Flt. Lt. Sondhi managed to escape. Of the four Vampires claimed by the Pakistanis, Rafique was credited with two of the kills, with Bhatti getting the credit for the other two.

No.45 had lost four Vampires that day. One to AA Fire and three to the Sabres. There was only one Survivor, Fg. Off. S.V. Pathak from the first formation managed to bale out from his ill-fated Vampire. Flt. Lt. A.K. Bhagwagar, Flt Lt. V.M. Joshi, and Flt. Lt. S Bharadwaj, all from the second formation were killed. The loss of the pilots was more hurtful than the loss of the planes.

However this terrible loss did not deter the Vampires, as the Sabres cleared out, the third wave led by Flt. Lt. F.J. Mehta came in to strike at the Pakistani targets. F.J. Mehta had Flt. Lt. K.D. Mehra, Fg. Off. Manjit Singh and Fg. Off. Ahuja as his wingmen. The last formation too leisurely went about attacking ground targets, completely oblivious of what had happened with the second formation.

Back at Pathankot, a very excited and apprehensive ground crew started their long vigil awaiting the return of the Vampires. Three Vampires of Dhar's formation landed first. Followed by a solitary Vampire. Immediately after another four Vampires came into land. Some of the auxiliary pilots approached the pilots of the four Vampires expecting to find Bhagwagar and his colleagues and were shocked to find that the formation was the third one led by Mehta.

It was then that the reality of war sunk in. Four Vampires were missing. The solitary Vampire that flew in after the first three was from the second formation. A very shaken Flt. Lt. Sondhi explained how the Sabres made mincemeat of his formation. News came in that Pathak from the first formation had managed to bale out after taking his Vampire to a safe height. There was no news about the remaining three. All in all, the Vampires had received a bad mauling from the Pakistani air defences.

Mystere IV A's followed up in the wake of the Vampires. No one can tell why the Mysteres were not sent earlier in the first place instead of the Vampires. Even though the Mystere was no match for the Sabre, it had a fighting chance as it was slightly faster than the Sabre. Maybe it was assumed that the PAF would not intervene, or it may have been that the Vampires could be in the air faster than the Mysteres, for the situation was desperate enough to warrant sending the Vampires first. One of the reasons quoted was that the Vampires needed to be sent in first in view of its limitations of night flying. Some pilots were of the opinion that no air opposition would be encountered as the war was not yet officially declared.

The Station Commander of Pathankot, Roshan Suri was naturally upset at these losses, as was the O-in-C Ops., Wg. Cdr. V. Kuriyan. He called up the Air Defence Center at Amritsar and spoke to Sqn. Ldr. Dandapani, the O-in-C of the radar unit and asked him why they were not warned about the presence of the F-86 Sabres. Dandapani replied that the information of the PAF fighters was passed onto the sector commander and thus was routed through the official channel. Both the officers left instructions with Dandapani that future warnings have to be communicated directly to the ops room at Pathankot. But the damage was already done, a pall of gloom descended on Pathankot at the losses suffered by the Vampires.

Be that as it may, following the 12 Vampire Sorties came 16 more by the Mysteres. Nos.3 and 31 Sqns flew the 16 sorties in 45 minutes. The Mysteres in flights of four, managed to do lot of damage on the ground, sometimes making as many as 6 runs over the battlefield. To quote Wg. Cdr. W.M. Goodman, "Our boys were in like a flash and in no time the whole place was ablaze with burning tanks and Vehicles...the enemy will never forget the Mystere."
The last Mystere sorties were at 1905 hrs. By that time the Air force had claimed 13 tanks, 2 guns and 62 soft skinned vehicles as destroyed. This assessment was released by the Air force but was never confirmed by the Army. Recent research by a retired army officer came up with some startling facts. Army officers in the Chamb sector had told him in the interviews that the air force strafing and rocket attacks had destroyed three of our own AMX-13 tanks, a dozen truckloads of artillery ammunition and one truck carrying tank ammunition. The destruction of the latter resulted in shortage of tank ammo for the armoured squadron.

Some of the Pakistani tanks destroyed by the army in ground battles were again attacked by the air force and claimed as destroyed for the second time. In spite of the damage inflicted on our own side, more damage was inflicted on the Pakistanis. The presence of the IAF aircraft imposed a degree of caution on the Pakistanis, who did not expect the battle to escalate to the air. Whatever regrets the Brigade and the Corps commanders may have had that day in calling for air support, it cannot be denied that the IAF prevented a major Pakistani breakthrough that day.

The next day, September 2nd, saw relatively less action. The Mysteres undertook more sorties attacking Pak supply convoys. The PAF was seen in the area but no engagements took place. A Strike Mission led of Vampires to be escorted by Mysteres was planned keeping in view the disastrous losses suffered by the Vampires on the first day. But the mission was called off soon after. The air force was convinced that further ground support missions would need escorting fighters to deal with the Pak interceptors.



So on can see many factors were involved.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 22 Oct 2015 02:10

Factors that can be listed are:

- Vampire is the wrong plane.
- PAF not expected.
- Pathankot had no fighter escort planes.
- Fog of war
- First combat operations.

In the end the root cause is no fighter escorts sent along with Vampires.


However what prevailing circumstances led to this root cause?

Most combat accounts and histories focus only from Pathankot base to New Delhi Air Headquarters at most.

However if you see the long delay for approving air support by Civil ministry of Defence (request made at 11:00 AM and approved before 5:00 PM only with both IA and IAF chiefs beseeching approval, and the admonishment to not mount ORP, nor strike PAF bases all point to civil ministry failure.

Until the situation was dire and they could have lost Kashmir they did not approve Air force operations and even then put shackles on them.


IAF could not have mounted ORP nor sent fighter escorts. Only thing is they could have sent the Mysteres instead of the Vampires at most. But everyone had flown the Vampires and had faith in them.

This to me is the primary root cause for those three pilots death.


Sorry to be blunt.
Willing to be corrected.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 22 Oct 2015 22:36

May I put another perspective ?

The Vampires were on their way out by 1962 when it was realised that they had been outclassed. The 1962 war however, ensured the need for additional combat squadrons so the Vampires were kept in service well beyond their intended dates in combat roles.

Did the IA/IAF misread the situation ? That is very hard to say. Sometimes a strike package could be dispatched knowing full well that it could be destroyed because the need was urgent.

It is my view that the IAF got a bit complacent after the relative success of the first strike. The Vampire/ 3" RP combo on paper was a good one for close air support - provided you could keep enemy fighters at bay.

Aiming of the rockets was not easy but the pilots would have had ample time to practice. It is also improbable that no AP ammo was available for the HS cannon as ground attack was always a role foreseen for the Vampires.

The Mysteres were quite capable of air combat and I do not entirely agree that an element could not have been used to provide basic top cover for the Vampires.

I would be very interested to read an IAF account of the Ouragan and the Mystere in IAF service.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 22 Oct 2015 23:22

Good let there be more discussion so views can come out.

Here is the BR IAF site link which has accounts of both the Ouragan and Mystere from the pilots.

http://bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/index.php

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 22 Oct 2015 23:39

Eyewitness account by IAF officer of Israeli attack two years later in 1967

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

Notice the focus on destroying planes even in training fields.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 23 Oct 2015 02:08

Ramana, I am seeing accounts of the Mystere but not the Ouragan per se. At least I can't find it.

Reading Jagan's and Samir's book and BR, one really gets the impression the IAF took dispersal and ground defence of aircraft too lightly. To lose 37 aircraft on the ground is ridiculous.

I note that the discovery of the Mystere's air-to-air potential came after the war. Again one has to ask if the IAF (unlike today) was as conversant with its aircraft as it needed to be ?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 23 Oct 2015 06:08

Sanjay wrote:Ramana, I am seeing accounts of the Mystere but not the Ouragan per se. At least I can't find it.

Reading Jagan's and Samir's book and BR, one really gets the impression the IAF took dispersal and ground defence of aircraft too lightly. To lose 37 aircraft on the ground is ridiculous.

I note that the discovery of the Mystere's air-to-air potential came after the war. Again one has to ask if the IAF (unlike today) was as conversant with its aircraft as it needed to be ?

Planes were parked out in the open. Both in Pathankot and in Kaliakunda. I can't recall the exact numbers but I think we must have lost at least 10-12 in attacks of just those two bases. Sanjay there were two other issues IIRC. First our forward air bases were (and even today are) too close to the border, but our aircraft did not have the range to operate out of those bases. But keeping them in readiness for close air support for the army meant keeping them deployed in forward air bases.

Also we had next to no radar cover. That 1965 video I made from a booklet showed the diary of a downed Paki pilot indicating that he had done trial runs over Jaamnagar, Ambala, Pathankot and a couple of other bases - all undetected. The Mysteres did not really have much air to air potential - but let me consult what PC Lal had to say about this.

If we must look for excuses - we go back to 1962 in which the air force was not used. Then a frantic rush to strengthen the forces from 63 to 65. And with Chaudhury being in charge of the army with the largest number of men and most funds - he was apparently acting like he was supremo leader over Air Force also. He attended meetings with Navy and AF chief but he never revealed what the army was going to do. This tendency of army to see itself as the primary force remained - at least in mild form in 1971 when Manekshaw said "I will set my air force upon you". In 1999 again the air force did not know what the army was up to at least in the initial days.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 23 Oct 2015 06:25

Shiv, on the Mystere's I'll disagree there. The Israelis found them quite good against MiG-15 and MiG-17s as well as besting a Hunter on one occasion.

Still, I am only going by what I am reading and some proper feedback would be great. Every other point you raise is understood and well taken.

manjgu
BRFite
Posts: 1373
Joined: 11 Aug 2006 10:33

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby manjgu » 23 Oct 2015 07:03

i am surprised that IAF top brass of 1965 who had all served in WW2 had no idea abt escort fighters? and of laying out a/c on the tarmac as though its peacetime?? i hope some IAF officers were court martialed after the war..

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 23 Oct 2015 07:18

manjgu wrote:i am surprised that IAF top brass of 1965 who had all served in WW2 had no idea abt escort fighters? and of laying out a/c on the tarmac as though its peacetime?? i hope some IAF officers were court martialed after the war..

That is a harsh 20/20 hindsight judgement on the lines of the purges like Stalin, the Chicom party and NoKo today

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2015 10:02

Sanjay another aspect was ethos. IAF evolved out of RAF and trained with them. To me it looked like WWlI type fighter sweeps. They believed in fighter combat to down PAF. Strike on airfields not for fighters.
Mystere and Ouragan were not used like Israelis did.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 23 Oct 2015 17:43

ramana wrote:Sanjay another aspect was ethos. IAF evolved out of RAF and trained with them. To me it looked like WWlI type fighter sweeps. They believed in fighter combat to down PAF. Strike on airfields not for fighters.
Mystere and Ouragan were not used like Israelis did.

ramana I find you repeatedly speaking of some mysterious RAF ethos that the IAF had and conclusions from that. I am sure you have done a lot of reading but so have I and I have never come across anything like what you are saying. The RAF did not believe in "fighter sweeps" at any time. The USAF believed in fighter sweeps in Korea where the F-86 Sabre gained its formidable reputation. The PAF was fighter jock dominated and followed the USAF doctrine. When the PAF started suffering losses they started avoiding combat to the extent that they ended up dropping bombs well away from well defended military targets - hitting civilian areas,

What is missing from your narrative is the number of IAF aircraft shot down by ground fire while giving CAS to troops and attacking airfields. The range of the fighters was low as was the load carrying capacity. very often they simply had to break away and go back. Attacking aircraft could sometimes just have one pass over the target and two passes would put them short of fuel. In 1965 in particular there were no maps and no navigation aids and most of the PAF was in well designed and well protected pens far away from the IAF. The only way to get the PAF was to draw them out - in 1965. Look at the bomb load and range of the planes we had - only the Canberra could do anything like damaging runways. The other aircraft could merely strafe aircraft on the ground if they saw them and set buildings on fire. It is not clear to me where you reached the conclusion that they were not attacking airfields but were waiting for dogfights to happen. The number of IAF planes shot down in dogfights in 1965 was because these aircraft were over enemy territory on attack missions and not on fighter sweeps, but lacked the excellent radar cover that the PAF had.

I have been following air warfare and the IAF for over 50 years now and in 2015 I am hearing repeatedly for the first time from you this suggestion that the IAF was following RAF and that RAF believed in fighter sweeps and not attacking airfields. That latter suggestion is something I have never heard of. I know of nothing that would support such a viewpoint. Perhaps you might be able to say what makes you say that?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 23 Oct 2015 18:21

I think this may have been posted earlier on this thread. Night and day attacks on Sargodha with Mysteres. Note that in WW 2 RAF used bombers for high altitude night attacks only. I can see nothing of RAF doctrine here.

Mystere raid on Sargodha by AM Philip Rajkumar. read it all - I will post some excerpts:
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... godha.html
The excitement and tension in the room was palpable. This was the real thing! We had to start up and taxy out to the take off point in the correct sequence in total radio silence on unlit taxy tracks. The runway lights would come only when we were ready to roll. Take off would be in pairs with each aircraft occupying one half of the runway and the interval between pairs was to be 30 seconds to avoid the jet wake of the aircraft in front. We were to take off at 0528 hrs and fly at 300 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) in darkness for 30 minutes and carry out our attacks at 30 second intervals at 0558 hrs just as dawn was breaking over the target. The very low altitude was chosen for the inbound leg to avoid radar detection. Navigation would be only by compass and stop watch as darkness would not permit map reading. Omi would lead the first four aircraft armed with 8xT-10 rockets each, Denny Satur the second four armed with 2x18 SNEB 68mm rocket pods each and Sqn Ldr Sudarshan Handa the last four with 2x1000 pound bombs each. As the target was at the extreme distance the Mystere could go at a height of 300 feet AGL with a full fuel and armament load we had to fly at the optimum speed for range which was about 120 mph slower than the preferred tactical speed for manoeuvring at low level. Each of the 12 pilots was given a specific target to attack on the airfield with preference for aircraft spotted on the airfield.
<snip>
I headed North West for the Beas river bridge in the hope of spotting the formation but it was an impossible task in the darkness as all aircraft were flying with their navigation lights switched off. I consumed fuel and returned to base with my bombs. About 20 minutes after I landed the formation returned. Devayya was missing and Handa's formation had missed the target due to a navigational error in the darkness and had returned to base with their bomb load. After the debriefing was over Omi Taneja said the performance of Handa's formation was unacceptable. He ordered the formation to attack Sargodha in broad daylight at 0945 hrs! This was a most unexpected order because there would be no cover of darkness for the inbound leg and the alerted defences would give us a hearty reception. The chances of being intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down were very bright but orders were orders and we had to obey.


I checked my gun sight and did the same as Handa descended to about 100 feet AGL. I kept looking behind Brar all the time but did not spot any enemy aircraft. Fuel consumption was as planned. We hit the railway line about 20 miles to the Northeast of the target and Handa turned left to follow the railway line to Sargodha. This was the briefed moment to open full power, accelerate to tactical speed and turn on the armament switches. Two minutes later Handa's call 'Pulling up' came over the radio and all four of us eased up to 2500 feet and rolled into a shallow dive to the left in a South Easterly direction. As we settled into the dive I saw the Sargodha runway for the first time and quickly scanned the skies for enemy aircraft. After ensuring that there was no immediate threat to the formation I tried to identify my target, which was a missile dump to the South of the runway. The four aircraft were now strung out in a line with Handa in front and me at the top of the dive about 1500 yards behind him. Suddenly I saw a bright orange flash on the ground at the Northern end of the runway and Handa yelled 'Aircraft at end of the runway'. After dropping his bombs on a bulk petroleum installation to the North of the runway Handa had spotted four aircraft, three F-86F Sabres and one F-104 Starfighter parked on the Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) at the Northern end of the runway. He had opened fire with his guns blowing up a Sabre with his burst. I shouted 'Sir, you got him' and saw black puffs dot the sky in our dive direction. The anti aircraft guns of Sargodha had opened up. Since I was aiming to drop my bombs on the briefed target at the South of the runway I was not able to point my guns at that juicy target. I released my bombs at the briefed target and fired my guns at what appeared to be aircraft standing on the Southern ORP but there was no explosion indicating they were decoys. During my bombing dive I had lost sight of the other aircraft and as I pulled out of my dive at barely 100 feet AGL I saw Handa's aircraft on the horizon about 800 yards ahead with Brar to his left. Brar called 'Bogey (enemy aircraft) left 8'o clock high'. I looked to my left, saw only black puffs and called out that it was flak (anti aircraft shell bursts).

With the bombs gone and the drop tanks empty I was now at 500 mph at less than 100 feet AGL when I saw Kay about 500 yards to my left. Handa called 'Confirm all with me and I replied, 'All with you, sir'. We were now flying in two pairs in broad frontage with Handa and Brar in front and Kay and I about 800 yards behind. I started to look at the fuel gauge with great concern because we had calculated fuel consumption at full throttle for only two minutes during the get away but because of Brar's call Handa maintained full power for almost eight minutes. While still deep inside Pakistan my fuel remaining was considerably less than the planned figure. I reported this to Handa and he eased back on the throttle. We were flying really low and fast at this time because I could see the jet wake from Handa's aircraft cutting a swathe over the standing crop in the fields we were flying over. We must have been no more than 50 feet AGL and we maintained this height till we crossed the border. As per the standard practice I maintained a height of about 30 feet above the leader's aircraft to be able to concentrate on my look out duties. When we were flying to the North of Lahore I saw a glint in the sky above and to the left of the formation. It could only have come from a turning aircraft and I reported 'Bogey, left 7 o'clock' high' and Handa called out 'Buster' which meant opening full power. As we crossed the border my low fuel red warning light came on in the cockpit indicating a fuel reserve of about 10 minutes at the engine power I was using and I reported this to Handa. He replied 'You are over India now and you can eject if you have to'. I had no intention of doing that and we unintentionally flew over the radar unit at Amritsar. Our own anti aircraft guns started firing at us and I saw the red tracer shells coming straight at me and then burning out. Fortunately no one was hit and I called out that I was easing up to 6000 feet AGL to spot Adampur. To my relief I saw the runway from a distance of about 15 miles. I throttled back, descended to traffic pattern height, did a tight pattern and touched down with barely three minutes of fuel left in my tanks.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 23 Oct 2015 21:45

Ramana, and Shiv, I am not sure things are so cut and dry. The RAF did not conduct fighter sweeps ? I am not so sure and would suggest that before we consider that as an absolute, to consider their "fighter" ops to include "fighter-bomber" ops in which they did conduct sweeps which would, if the need arose have dealt with enemy fighters. We also need to look at RAF and FAA ops in the Far East.

The RAF attacked airfields for sure.

A study of the lot would be very interesting and would hesitate to conclusively say either way on this debate.

One of the things when looking at the 1965 war is the issue of the expansion post 1962 and whether that had any impact on training quality imparted to pilots.

Mihir
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 834
Joined: 14 Nov 2004 21:26

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Mihir » 23 Oct 2015 22:54

Shiv, the idea of fighter sweeps has its genesis in RFC operations in World War I – Trenchard's doctrine to use scouts offensively was pretty unique.

In World War II, the RAF started flying offensive fighter sweeps over France as early as January 1941. They were colloquially referred to by two names: Rhubarbs and Rodeos. Rhubarbs were low-level strafing attacks against targets of opportunity; Rodeos were the air-to-air sweeps that sought to draw out German fighters or attack unsuspecting enemies. This was Fighter Command's primary mission for much of the war. They went so far as to adapt Blenheims for the "heavy fighter" role for use in these sweeps.
Last edited by Mihir on 24 Oct 2015 01:31, edited 2 times in total.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 23 Oct 2015 23:18

Mihir, I can't find any reference for the Blenheims being used for fighter sweeps. Beaufighters yes, Whrilwinds yes but Blenheims ? Would be interested to see a source for that. They seem to slow for that role and underarmed too.

Mihir
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 834
Joined: 14 Nov 2004 21:26

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Mihir » 23 Oct 2015 23:36

It's from David Isby's "The Decisive Duel." The Blenheims would be put to use strafing ground targets when fitted with a gun pod. And they were only used until Beaufighters became available. You're right about their speed, though. On the very first mission (I think) four of six that were sent on a raid were shot down.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2015 23:46

Israelis also went for fighter sweeps till 1967. Basic idea is to shoot enemy fighters one on one or many on many. Most fighter combat tactics evolved on these lines.
Luftwaffe on Eastern front did a preemptive raid and destroyed Soviet air force at least near front lines.

Before D-Day Allied Air forces attacked Germans in Western Europe.

In naval arena, RN at taranto against Italian sea fleet and Imp Japanese Navy against USN at Pearl Harbor used air power.

One Israeli came up with doctrine used in 1967 that primary job of an air force is to destroy the opposing air force on the ground to aid army operations. All these could mean strikes on aircraft, hangers, runways, oil and fuel stores, air field facilities.

In 1965 IAF ops Peshawar raids are strategic ones to ground PAF offensive capability.

Sargodha was too big and not enough destructive power in IAF bombing campaign. Also matter of duds.

In 1971 things shaped up better.

I agree most sorties were to protect against PAF raids due to lack of radar.
Many flights were short legged.

Individual pilots were bravest of brave to confront superior machines and shoot them down.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 24 Oct 2015 01:26

Mihir wrote:It's from David Isby's "The Decisive Duel." The Blenheims would be put to use strafing ground targets when fitted with a gun pod. And they were only used until Beaufighters became available. You're right about their speed, though. On the very first mission (I think) four of six that were sent on a raid were shot down.


Mihir, thanks. I really appreciate this. I knew about strafing but didn't make the link as fighter sweeps. Technically that's what they were. Again, you guys educate me so much.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 24 Oct 2015 03:34

Do we have any soldier accounts of fighting the Ichogil Canal pill boxes? Maybe in Sainik Samachar or unit histories?

Anyway what happened to the 1965 Official History used to be hosted in BR site?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 24 Oct 2015 06:14

ramana wrote:Do we have any soldier accounts of fighting the Ichogil Canal pill boxes? Maybe in Sainik Samachar or unit histories?

Anyway what happened to the 1965 Official History used to be hosted in BR site?

Yes. A book I am reading now. Well worth it

1965: Stories from the Indian Pakistan War by Rachna Bisht

Costs only Rs 200 in India and is well worth it. The best account of army action for the layman that I have come across

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 24 Oct 2015 06:42

Mihir wrote:Shiv, the idea of fighter sweeps has its genesis in RFC operations in World War I – Trenchard's doctrine to use scouts offensively was pretty unique.

In World War II, the RAF started flying offensive fighter sweeps over France as early as January 1941. They were colloquially referred to by two names: Rhubarbs and Rodeos. Rhubarbs were low-level strafing attacks against targets of opportunity; Rodeos were the air-to-air sweeps that sought to draw out German fighters or attack unsuspecting enemies. This was Fighter Command's primary mission for much of the war. They went so far as to adapt Blenheims for the "heavy fighter" role for use in these sweeps.

Thanks for the info. The IAF had no equivalent system of separate sweeps to draw out fighters as far as I know. There are anecdotal accounts of tactics to draw out and trap Pakistani fighters - such as sending out a decoy aircraft. But the only context in which "sweep" is mentioned by PC Lal in his book are sweeps to attack ground targets of opportunity.

There is a huge difference between sweeps to draw out fighters and ground attack sweeps in terms of armament that is carried and any extra ordnance or tanks will affect combat manoeuvrability in the air to air context. For 1965 the choice would have been guns only for air to air or guns plus rockets or dumb bombs for ground targets. No missiles. There is at least one instance of a Hunter being shot down because the pilot did not drop his tanks - the exact reason for that is another story.

In any case any "sweep" aimed at ground attack would automatically attract Paki fighters - which is why escorts were needed, so I know of no IAF policy to simply send out cannon armed fighters in fighter sweeps. The idea of sending out "air combat ready" cannon (+missile?) armed F-86 Sabre fighters in large flights of 16 or 32 aircraft was done by the USAF over North Korea. None of these flights were for ground attack. They simply flew over NoKo hoping that MiGs would come up against them. For a long drawn out low grade war being conducted by the US this may have been a fun policy. But this was not the state that the IAF found itself in, in 1965

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 24 Oct 2015 08:19

The move by Johnny Green at Pathankot to fly Mysteres to draw the PAF Sabres is an example of a fighter sweep. Trevor Keelor got to shoot one down.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 24 Oct 2015 08:33

Shiv, Thanks. Will buy The book. It reminds me of place names that Melville Demello used to say every night on AIR at 9:30 pm.By the way she has a chapter on Battle of Dogarai and Brig Desmond Hayde.

http://www.rediff.com/news/special/the- ... 150914.htm

MF Hussain made a painting of him

Image

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 24 Oct 2015 09:05

http://sainiksamachar.nic.in/englisharc ... 9/h61.html


A Visit To The Lahore Sector : India’s Response Against Pakistan
– Melville de Mellow


A few days ago, I returned from the Lahore Sector after spending there few days with the Indian Officers and Jawans in the forward areas.

By and large, this sector has produced three brilliant and memorable battle action; Dograi; Burki; and Khem Karan. The first two were infantry battles and the third, an armoured battle.

Dograi interests people for two reasons : the battle itself and the tourist attraction this little township has become. Of the battle itself, much has already been written and said.

As an ex-Army Officer, I saw if more as a battle action than a tourist attraction, though I can see why it has become the number one attraction for the civilian.

Dramatic

When you reach Dograi, you are prepared for something dramatic—and it does not disappoint you, for there are souvenirs littered far and wide, for empty bottles once full of sweet lemonade, to paper kites, and shoes and toys, and vegetables gone bad, and radios and China bowls and the hundred and one things that go with a prosperous smugglers’ paradise.

Pock-marked

The township of Dograi today looks as if a tornado has swept over it twice in 24 hours.
Every building is pock-marked with shell-hole—bullet and mortar. Huge gaping holes leer at you from every standing wall. The telegraph wires are down—looking like giant balls of knitting wool after the cats have been around. The trees are charred and skeletal.
Dograi was taken by storm, under cover of darkness with an audacious night hook. The battle raged all night. By dawn it was ours.
But it is the battle itself that will be remembered. Equally matched in numbers, raw guts and surprise became the deciding factor.

Stormed

First came the battle of pillboxes, formidable concrete fortresses, impervious to bombs and shells, which poured death from concealed automatic weapons through steel slits.
Then came the bunkers, all sighted for mutual support and all raining down devastating fire in enfilade.
Reconstructing in my mind the “arcs of fire” and the dispositions of our advancing troops and the enemy pillbox and bunker complex, it appeared to me, that not even a field mouse could have survived much less get through the enemy barrage.

But our men not only got through, but stormed Dograi and swept-on over the Ichhogil Canal. Each pillbox had to be taken literally by hand, the grenade tossed through the window-slits after a long crawl through shell-fire.
Some Jawans were killed while in the act of tossing their grenades, their bodies falling across part of the window slit. This created a blind spot for the enemy which was utilized by other jawans to surge forward and finish the job.


We are going to capture Dograi or die there” said Lt Col Desmond Hayde (now an MVC) to his men, on the night of the attack.

“Look for me in Dograi”, he went on. “You will find me there alive or dead.”


That is the grand tradition in which these Jats went to battle.
After the pillboxes and bunkers, came the house-to-house in fighting. Dograi had to be taken street by street, and gulley by gulley, and it was defended inch-by-inch.
But by dawn the Pak defenders were on the run. The rest lay lead, in heaps, on housetops … in narrow alleyways and in the fields around Dograi.
If Dograi proved anything it was that the man finally had the last word, in spite of the numerical superiority of sophisticated weaponry.

Examples

I will give you just two examples of the spirit of these men who captured Dograi.
There was Pale Ram, a Subedar who had just had seven bullets removed from his stomach. He had been grievously wounded during the capture of a bunker and four machine-guns.
“It was nothing much”, he said, “I had stormed and captured a bunker and was going for another one when I suddenly blacked out. My colleagues picked me up and brought me to the rear. I had not realized I had so many bullets in me.”

And there was the Naik who had his right arm blown off by shell-fire.

He turned to me in his hospital bed and in a confidential whisper said, “Sir, Please tell the Doctor Sahib to let me to back to the front. I still have one arm left to fight with.”
Dograi was the classic infantry battle which, I am sure, will be thought in the Military Academies of the world one day, but probably never in Pakistan.

Battle of Burki

Offensive

The battle of Burki was another outstanding infantry operation in the Lahore Sector.
Burki lies 500 yards short of the Ichhogil Canal and the bridge connecting it with the Lahore Bank today lies slumped in the water, a mass of twisted girders and chunks of cement.
The battle of Burki was also a battle against enemy pillboxes-dug-outs, slit trenches carved into the canal banks and even air-strafing.
The relative strengths in this battle were fairly even. Lieut-Colonel Bhullar was the architect of the Burki victory.

Contrast

He is short and stocky with a chest like a barn door. He seldom removes his battle helmet. His second name is discipline, and he takes no chances with an enemy known for its treachery.
Should the villagers of Burki return tomorrow, they will find everything as they left it. This is Bhullar’s standing order; “Nothing will be touched”.
This is in marked contrast to India’s Khem Karan, at present in Pakistani hands, where everything has been looted or burnt and still day by day, the explosions can be heard from this burned out “Shell” of a once prosperous township.
Guts and good gunnery and high morale

Dograi and Burki illustrated two things. The superiority of our infantryman over that of the enemy and the enemy’s unwise reliance on concreate pillboxes.
And there was the tank battle of Khem Karan, where the back of the enemy was broken and the first Armoured Division of Pakistan, consisting mostly of Patton tanks, was mauled and sent reeling into chaos and capture, where the Fourth Pak Cavalry Regiment was completely destroyed.

Graveyards

About 150 Pakistani tanks were in action here. The final tally? Eighty-four Pakistani tanks destroyed or captured many intact. Four Indian tanks destroyed.

Decisive

This tank battle was decisive. Had it not been so, it may have proved disastrous for India. Captured documents revealed the enemy’s plan to launch a three-pronged attack on India.
With the failure of the tank assault by the enemy, the thrust never materialized. The enemy’s use of napalm bombs here, showed his desperation, but it made no difference to the result.

Warning

"Is this just half time?” I asked an Officer, “or do you expect another flare up?”
“It better be full time for Pakistan, Sir,” he replied, “because if they start anything again, there won’t be another half-time. It will be a through train to Rawalpindi.”
I got the message. I hope
Pakistan does, too.

Because from what I have seen and heard, the enemy would be well-advised to think twice before re-starting hostilities or for that matter even aggravating the case-fire.

Let Dograi and Burki and Khem Karan be a warning.

courtesy : All India Radio

(Sainik Samachar, November 28, 1965)


shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 24 Oct 2015 09:17

ramana wrote:The move by Johnny Green at Pathankot to fly Mysteres to draw the PAF Sabres is an example of a fighter sweep. Trevor Keelor got to shoot one down.

That in fact is the only recorded story of fighter sweep that I have read about. I don't think the IAF had the resources to fighter sweeps as a matter of policy. There are multiple stories around that event - will get back and post and IIRC we also lost a fighter and that Mystere very nearly got shot down by our own AA.

The story of one of our planes being lost is associated with the time when Denzil Keelor got his Sabre, not the above incident
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Histo ... yadev.html

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 24 Oct 2015 16:03

Is there any detail of the infantry equipment and small arms used by the IA during the war ? Scale of issue, availability of types etc ?

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 24 Oct 2015 19:09

Sanjay wrote:Is there any detail of the infantry equipment and small arms used by the IA during the war ? Scale of issue, availability of types etc ?

None that I have seen. I only know that there was a shortage of maps. Photos show 303s, 7.62 SLRs and one 9 mm carbine. Other stuff mentioned are Sherman and Centurion tanks, jeep mounted recoilless rifles. Pakistanis apparently had a "Cobra" anti tank missile. There is one survivor's story (in the book I linked above) of how it feel to be in a tank that gets hit by an armour piercing Cobra missile.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 24 Oct 2015 23:45

That's my point Shiv. We've looked at artillery, armour and aircraft but no discussion on infantry equipment. I've seen one photo with a Vickers MMG and another with a FN-FAL HB light machine gun but there has been no assessment or analysis of the infantry equipment.

Point of interest though - look at the photos of our tanks from the period. The cupola MG is a Browning 0.30 cal. Odd that we never put a 0.303 weapon there.

shiv
BRF Oldie
Posts: 33462
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 25 Oct 2015 06:53

Sorry - more Air Force stuff:

This pdf was posted earlier in this thread. It is a 2015 IDSA paper about what the IAF was doing in 1965. I will post excerpts
http://www.idsa.in/system/files/jds/jds ... nWar_0.pdf
Air Power Tasks
The primary task of the IAF is to defend the national air space and
important vulnerable areas (VAs) and vulnerable points (VPs), including
centres of economic and strategic importance. Although there were
blackouts in Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and other northern Indian
states, and the national capital was defended with Soviet surface-to-air
missiles, SAM II, the air threat was mainly to IAF airfields. While this
task was generally done by Hunter and Gnat aircraft, most of this effort
was directed to protection of forward airfields against enemy attack and
protection of the national capital.
Many of the IAF airfields were located very close to the Indo-Pakistan
border, as is the case even today. Unreliable signal/telecommunications
and scant radar cover together made it extremely difficult, if not
impossible, to get any early warning of enemy air activity. This serious
deficiency entailed mounting of combat air patrol (CAP) sorties of two
or more fighters, especially when large formations were launched and/
or recovered. As will be seen, PAF had a much better radar cover and an
advanced air defence network. In the circumstances, in the entire Punjab
sector, there was only one radar unit at Amritsar capable of ground-
controlled interception, while the one at Ferozpur was only an EW radar.
Pakistan knew this and PAF launched numerous attacks on the radar unit
at Amritsar but failed to cause any damage, with the SU maintaining an
operational watch throughout the war.
Counter-Air Operations
Counter-air operations (CAO) are designed to gain and maintain air
superiority and require sustained offensive strikes against the enemy
airfields. IAF carried out a total of 33 sorties against Sargodha, a complex
of four airfields, including its satellite airfields, on 7 September, but
suspended these daylight attacks due to high attrition. The main reason
was the very limited range of IAF fighters, especially the Mystere. Sargodha
being at the very limits of the radius of action of the aircraft, the pilots did
not have enough fuel reserve to engage the enemy aircraft in air combat.
Both the Mystere and Hunter, when fully loaded with rockets and
bombs, were naturally sitting ducks for enemy fighters, especially the
F-104 which enjoyed superior speeds and acceleration and a formidable
rapid-firing cannon. The F-104 was also capable of night interception. As
a result, only the Canberra medium bomber was used for night strikes on
PAF airfields at Sargodha, ChakJhumra, Risalwala, Miyanwali, Peshawar
and Chaklala, Pasrur and Rahwali, but escaped the F-104, except when
one Canberra was shot down. Neither IAF nor the PAF deliberately
attacked any cities or civilian areas except once when, for no apparent
reason, the PAF B-57 with Sabre escort targeted a suburban area of
Amritsar on 22 September that resulted in 55 civilian deaths, with an
equal number injured, and the destruction of some 15 houses

Air Operations in Support of Ground Forces
One of the enduring complaints of this period is to do with the IAF’s
contribution to the land war. That IAF did not provide close air support
(CAS), also sometimes referred to as offensive air support (OAS), to the
army is fiction or at least gross exaggeration The IAF, which had trained
and practised army cooperation missions from its very birth in 1932,
cannot be blamed for not providing CAS to the army simply because
almost all its efforts, barring the CAP sorties for airfield protection, was
devoted to assist the army.
The IAF was perhaps not always visible and the CAS/OAS was no
doubt less than optimal, but it alone cannot be held responsible for this
deficiency. The IAF also carried out armed reconnaissance, interdiction
and CAS sorties. Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Harbaksh Singh, the then
Army Commander in Punjab, devotes a chapter to CAS in his candid
account of the war. He says:
The IAF provided two and later three helicopter squadrons (Mi-
4 medium lift and Alouette) to the army for operations in J&K.
These were fitted with guns and rockets and flew some 79 offensive
missions to drive out the Pak infiltrators. Although these caused little
material damage [sic] proved helpful in raising the morale of our
troops and to provide a bird’s eye view to commanders. In addition,
these helicopters evacuated a number of critically wounded soldiers
and transported 92,000 kg of essential supplies and ammunitions to
forward columns.
He adds, ‘Conventional CAS started on 1 September but no accurate
record could be maintained of the air effort demanded and provided due
to fast-moving engagements and quickly changing situations from the
1 to 6 September 1965.’ From the 7 to 23 September 1965, according
to the records maintained by Western Air Command IAF, a total of 795
‘pre-planned’ and 212 ‘immediate’ sorties were flown; of the 795 pre-
planned sorties, 482 were ordered by the Joint Army Air Control Centre
(JAAOC), which in other words means by the air and the army staff
at the Army Command Headquarter (HQ), then located at Simla (now
Shimla). The claims of the IAF and the Indian Army are given in Table 1.

Karan M
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 14383
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 25 Oct 2015 07:02

I have been reading account after account of the 1965 war and some three things stand out;

1. Range and payload issues - either the airframes were operating at the very limits of their endurance or the pilots were constantly looking at their fuel gauges. This was tied to the fact that carrying x bombs was not enough and even repeated strikes would be necessary at times. Today, hopefully with Flankers (range + payload) and PGMs (more precision bang per airframe leaving more space for fuel). This is a change from earlier. Seriously though, the Flanker has really moved the IAF into a different league vs TSP and strike.

2. Lack of ISR - people going off maps from years earlier. Repeatedly arriving over target YET missing the flightline or attacking decoys or the detailed planning being off by a few points and Pak escaping by a whisker. IMHO, the more satellites we have for this function, the better. UAVs can be used for BDA - another issue with 1965 (and can't blame them - going that deep for a BDA - might as well consider it an attack) but we need upto date ISR and that too in realtime or near realtime

3. Coordination with both IA & IN. We really need to link our systems together, the Vampire stuff can still happen if we send (say) a few MiG-27s onto the battlefield & there are no MiG-29s overhead. I think that part is now covered as IAF assumes force protection is a given, eg all strikes at Kargil had a fighter escort.

Differences between today and yesterday - we have SAMs, MANPADs and BVR armed adversaries. Deep strikes will hence be significantly dangerous. We really need Nirbhay program to succeed and soon.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2015 10:08

The grand narrative is Battle of Lahore canals. Burki, Dogarai, and Khem karan or Asal Uttar on the ground. In air we had all those battles.

Karan M
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 14383
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 25 Oct 2015 11:07

I meant the air war.

Something tells me that air strikes plus arty are going to be the weapon of choice for the political admin, if attempts like 26/11, Parliament attacks are made again.

Or the train attacks with significant smoking gun leading to Pakistan Military apparatus (which is a given). GOI aim is to basically stabilize internal security, develop a political consensus (aka saffron ownership of key heartland states) and develop deterrence against TSP while keeping economy chugging along.

Deterrence or Punishment when deterrence fails or has to be demonstrated in a public fashion, has to be done in a manner which maximizes Indian benefit, whilst preventing foreign intervention (nuclear war fear).

Pakistan-PRC nexus's aim (aided and abetted by tacit support from others) is to constantly strike at Indian public targets and economy, whilst deterring Indian Army or wider conventional conflict using the nuclear bogey. But they will find it hard to use the nuclear redline argument against Indian airstrikes, despite the oft quoted, "even if you look at me its a redline" stuff they have been peddling using the article in the Italian press.

In short, New Delhi's primary agent of coercion and deterrence can be airpower & artillery - hardly surprising then, that the Manmohan/Termite Queen cabal deliberately let both of these capabilities slowly wither. The political NSA who ended up becoming a political hack in Bengal, openly told his US interlocutors that he was against Cold Start as well. His predecessor under the NDA was raging against VK Singh when the latter spoke his mind about military preparedness and corruption. In short, they didn't want the military to develop capabilities which the military may have then offered as an option to the political executive and bypassed their centers of power.

Under the Modi Govt, this is likely going to change.

Air power & Special Forces & Arty are going to be the instruments of choices from the conventional warfighting perspective as the non conventional end of the spectrum will take time to operationalize. India cannot overnight develop significant covert ops capabilities in Pakistan after a decade of neglect and misrule.

I base this on my reading of the tea leaves and also what many of the think tank types have been saying.

This is also the same conclusion drawn by Perkovich (no friend of India) who admits these are what can change the scene but thinks the tools to make this happen are not in place, so won't occur.

What he doesn't get is that the termite queen and her progeny are not in power and hence the tools can be put in place when GOI chooses & that's exactly what will occur.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2015 20:40

I too mean air war. All action is part of Battle for Lahore sector.

Unfortunately reporters and analysts look at actions in isolation and as individual unit actions.

Look at the IAF strike on the train carrying tanks?
What and why was it done?

Random turkey shoot?

No it was destroyed to prevent reinforcements to ongoing battle.

Why was IAF bombing with Canberra planes, 6 PAF forward bases?

Sanjay you ask interesting questions on what was IA equipment?

Did you know 4th Mountain Div was equipped with 57mm RCL and these were swapped with 106mm RCLs just a month before action?

It was most under equipped div that took part in the fight. Yet it was the unit that executed Assal Uttar.

I also am fascinated with the battle for pill boxes.

Germans and British had pill boxes. Gen Ironsides dotted English countryside with 15,000 pill boxes as a defense line in WWII.

German Siegfried Line had massive number of pill boxes. And US GIs defeated them with grenade attacks just as IA jawans did. GIs found best option was White Phosphorous smoke grenade and then blast. After capture they used to blow them up so they don't come in useful. Anti tank was no enough.

Same remarks in the books on 1965.

US wasn't into defense lines as its an expeditionary army. So from whom did the PA learn from? English or Germans? I think later based on crew size and siting plans.

Would like to know Pak accounts of this.

Karan M
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 14383
Joined: 19 Mar 2010 00:58

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 25 Oct 2015 20:53

Ramana, 1965 was conventional conflict so IAF did all the stuff regular war has:
- Counter air (interdict PAF on ground and in air)
- CAS
- Support IA via deep strikes
About the only thing not done much was attack industrial infrastructure

However, next "air war" which IMO is going to be a possibility may well be around terror strikes & dissuasion or punishment. May begin from limited air strikes and balloon into something more.

Sanjay
BRFite
Posts: 1225
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Chaguanas, Trinidad

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 25 Oct 2015 22:32

Yes Ramana, I knew about the swap out. Mtn Divs had 57mm RCL instead of 106mm RCL. However, when the swap was done, only 4 106mm were allocated per bn in 4 Mtn. The scale of issue I believe was usually 6 or 8.

Correct me if I am wrong, we seem to have been in a state of flux with 0.303 rifles, MMGs and LMGs co-existing alongside SLRs. I know the Sten was still in service (as opposed to the Sterling in 1971).

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2015 22:51

Yes 6 RCL was requirement and 4 were given. Now Assal Uttar should be seen in this context.

IA ground actions.

1965 War Major actions


IN page gives higher direction of war from Delhi perspective.

http://indiannavy.nic.in/book/1965-indo-pakistan-war

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 47569
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 26 Oct 2015 03:11

iA had Maj Gen. Niranjan Prasad in both 1962 and 1965 wars.
Would like to know more about him. Who were his god-fathers?


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 32 guests