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1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Sanjay » 26 Oct 2015 04:00

Ramana, WWRs of equipment in 1965 were not high. 106mm RCLs would not have been adequate in stock for the Mtn Divs as well. I think nobody thought enough of the swing role they would need to play. In 1971, their artillery was a problem too. 75/24 howitzers etc did not have the shell weight required.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 27 Oct 2015 03:20

Besides all the books which tell of individual soldiers actions, we need to read R.D. Pradhan's editing of Y.B Chavan's war diaries to get a sense of what the political leaders were facing.


The plan to cross IB towards Lahore was called Operation Riddle and was drawn up in the aftermath of Rann of Kutch. Ignoring Rann of Kutch paints a wrong picture. Its three continuous actions: Rann of Kutch (Desert Hawk), Kashmir (Gibraltar) and then Grand Slam.
Realizing that Pakistan has to be countered elsewhere than Kashmir, and to give meaning to Kashmir is integral part of India (attack on Kashmir is attack on India), Riddle was drawn up soon after Rann of Kutch. Plan was to occupy land east of Ichhogil Canal and draw in the Pak forces there.

So Pak had a three step process to occupy Kashmir: Rann of Kutch (trial to gage India and international reactions), Gibraltar to promote terrorism in Kashmir and Gran Slam to invade Kashmir to capture Akhnaur to cut off Indian access to Kashmir.

To counter this India had fight back in Kashmir and launch Riddle to capture land east of canal and maybe threaten Lahore.
Both above are only Army level plans.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 05 Nov 2015 07:19

http://www.karnataka.com/personalities/devayya-bopayya/
Flt. Lt. Hussain picked up Squadron Leader Devayya’s Mystere as it had been the last to turn back. He fired a deadly AIM-9 Sidewinder at the enemy aircraft, but the Mystere took swift evasive action, and the missile harmlessly hit the ground. Closing in for the kill, Hussain fired several bursts from his Vulcan Cannon. Instead of seeing the Mystere go down as he had then triumphantly expected, he found out that the enemy pilot had latched on to his tail and was pursuing him. The Mystere scored several hits with its 30 mm gun and Flight Lieutenant Hussain was finally forced to eject.

Unfortunately, it was too late for Squadron Leader Bopayya to eject from his aircraft and he crashed on Pakistani soil.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 09 Nov 2015 18:27

shiv wrote:
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

It took me over a month to read this book and I do recommend it to all. The reason it took so long despite being a well written and somewhat enlivened with some literary embellishment, is that I found it emotionally draining - being overcome by tears at the description of each of five key battles of 1965 - Capture of Haji Pir pass, Battle of Asal Uttar, Battle of Dograi, the Battle of Phillora and the Battle of Barki.

We read about Air Battles where it is one man doing his job. On land - every single man has a story to tell like that of a pilot who has come under fire. The number of instances of men who have hiked for two nights in a row without food and ended up fighting a battle where some men simply approached a machine gun emplacement, taking bullets in his body - or having an arm knocked off and then lobbing a grenade to silence the gun is both sad and inspiring. We owe our joys to such men, who never asked for thanks and we never did thank them. It is intensely difficult to write about land battles because it is always the stories of dozens or hundreds of men seeing and feeling the battle from one perspective. In most cases the stories are not written.

In 1965 we lost 2800 men. 25% were officers or JCOs. Over 10,000 were wounded. In the end we returned the land captured to those motherf-ing Pakis. Tufail Ahmed in a tweet today pointed out that, sadly, India remains intellectually bankrupt. That is totally true. This afternoon - being bored, I watched Doordarshan where some random expert was speaking to a seemingly well informed lady. And the guy was saying "..and that is why we need to keep talking with Pakis" If we don't do that then it will not be good". This is pure intellectual bankruptcy and a profound ignorance of Pakistan. These are the brainless twerps who write articles and talk in our media. This must change.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Karan M » 09 Nov 2015 18:37

^^ I ordered the book. Thank you for the effort in describing the details.

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby shiv » 11 Nov 2015 18:05

Rare footage from Chhamb sector in 1965
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPCzZZE6Qp4

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby Jagan » 16 Nov 2015 06:58

shiv wrote:Rare footage from Chhamb sector in 1965
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPCzZZE6Qp4

Thats actually from the 71 war shiv.. but rare nevertheless

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Re: 1965 war India- Pakistan: 50 years anniversary

Postby ramana » 20 Nov 2015 08:39

Canberra bomber sorties were around 67 out of 3937 total sorties.

Do we know what and where?

We know Peshawar and Badin. Where else and how many?

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 08 Sep 2016 05:30

Up.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2016 06:08

Many of you may have seen this video of mine. BRF was the inspiration - an eyewitness account of the 1965 dogfight over IIT Kharagpur/Kalaikunda posted by BRFite rajanb. When I made the video from the narrative, I was a little confused about how the story spoke of one Sabre going down with smoke and later a second one crashing. Only much later did the truth come out. The Indian pilot Alfed Cooke took on 4 Sabres, shot down 2, hit a third and scared the crap out of the fourth with empty guns.

This is my version of the story based on the BRF account
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQVRnQnpZwM

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby shiv » 08 Sep 2016 06:09

For the younger BRFites and thse who have joined new - here is a brief account of the war in pictures
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81cGFqYX0ZU

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby habal » 08 Sep 2016 10:49

PVS Jagan & Sameer Chopra get a mention here on this pakistani program on 65 war. @ 2:15 onwards.


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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 08 Sep 2016 19:21

Two beautiful documentaries, about people Gen X has long forgotten, Lt-Col Salim Caleb MVC, 3rd Cav at Assal Uttar, and 20th Lancers and Maj Bhaskar Roy, MVC at Chamb, that was touch and go. As former services people make more and more of such videos, a clearer picture will emerge. The officer who made the video seems to have served in 20th Lancers. Salim Caleb died recently at Command Hospital, Jutogh, Shimla retiring at the rank of Maj.-Gen. Bhaskar Roy was killed in 1969 in an accident.


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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e32IFuu7pEA

Brig. Khutub Hai whose book "The Patton Wreckers" is credited in the second video, currently heads Mahindra's Defence Division.

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby SBajwa » 08 Sep 2016 21:26

I read it somewhere that in battle of 1965 a private truck owner was contracted by Indian Army to transport ammunition/supplies/etc. He didn't realized that he was ahead of Indian army and stopped on the GT road close to a Pakistani police station and reported inside that he is here (Thinking that police station is occupied by Indian army). Baki Police on seeing an Indian truck ran away and later his truck was destroyed. After war TATA actually replaced his truck free of charge. anyone knows the whole story?

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 08 Sep 2016 21:56

The only mention of truck drivers in print I have seen is Harbaksh Singh's book where he praises the civilian truck drivers for carrying out their duties of ferrying supplies to the front lines without much sleep. He also praises the Punjabi farmers for prematurely and voluntarily cutting their crops so that IA had a clear field of fire. To those who lived through 1965, I can say it was an experience. I had helped in the Air Force Command hospital in Kanpur, writing letters for our wounded and distributing magazines and reading. My mother helped out with the wounded too. The chief surgeon was Wing Commander Gupta and his lovely wife Pramilla, what a dashing couple, and Command hospital was run so efficiently by Wing Co Gupta. I think war is a dirty business when you see casualties. Wing Co had to transfer to IA after the war and they all hated it.
The troop trains were another area where young people helped out with distributing tea and magazines. Assam Mail was one of the trains where usually there were many IA personnel. After 1962, it was so refreshing. My classmate had a dad in IAF so we got some small news in class, and later this classmate was the youngest to climb Nun Kun peaks in NDA. Illustrated Weekly had a feature of this attempt on Nun Kun. "Chow" Chaudhury was referred as the baby of the team, and I recall seeing the issue in the Hall reading room in freshman year in IIT and writing to Chow to congratulate him. Many years later we are all proud of him as "Chow" my schoolmate won M-in Dispatches in Kargil 1999, here:( Gp. Capt. "Chow" Chowdhury)

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Datab ... 20Squadron

Chow's younger brother was with a Helicopter squadron, that is what Air Marshal Matheswaran told me during the course of a long train journey I took with him in 1987, when AM Math. was a Squadron Leader and going back to join his 5 sqdn Tuskers in Gorakhpur and we were sharing the cabin from Mumbai. This is the same guy all of you jihadis throw rocks at in the LCA thread, muhahahahahahaha Imagine I survived 24 hours, Kalyan, Igatpuri, Bhusawal, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, on and on, Orai, Kalpi and finally Kanpur, where I bid the Air Marshal adieu and promised to keep in touch. I have one very fond memory of that trip. At Sanchi pointing out the stupa, whose brilliance just silenced the Air Marshal, even at a distance the stupa is simply awe inspiring, that even garrulous Air Marshal's are stopped dead in their tracks. :rotfl:

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 09 Sep 2016 00:12

X-Post.. The info keeps dribbling in still. 1965 war was supposed to be a game changer for Pak and there are still apsects which are secret even now....

wig wrote:
http://www.thefridaytimes.com/tft/the-last-letter/

this is an article by wife of an officer of the Pak Special Services Group Captain Nisar Ahmed who died during the course of the war. In 1999, she left Pakistan to go into exile in the United States because of a blasphemy fatwa against her by the state establishment there.

The article is of interest because it covers some aspects of Operation Gibraltar, the infiltration of Kashmir in 1965 and subsequent war.
excerpts

All this time I have hidden certain facts of my work – although you would have had your guesses and fears about it. But there was nothing certain about it for me to tell. Today when you read this letter I will be far beyond the reach of time and space, for I have told them that this letter should be posted to you only upon my death; along with the official intimation. But do not worry love I am just round the same corner of life picking up the straws of my spiritual happiness so that I may build a cozy little haven for us two – a love nest. For then we shall never separate ‘no moments of decision and indecision’. This final bond will be unshakeable.

My love, on the 3rd of June, 1965 I was assigned to HQ 12 Div on a special duty i.e. to org and conduct the trg of certain Azad Kashmir soldiers and DAFA-MUJAHIDS. Later I came to know that I am under a new HQ set up for this purpose i.e. HQ L of C Sub Area Murree and that I will be required to go into Indian Held Kashmir on a msn to conduct cdo actions and organise Guerilla Warfare with the help of the local there.

On 11 July 65, the President of Pakistan gave his consent to this plan of operation i.e, our force shall infiltrate behind enemy lines into the SRINAGAR ad surrounding vallies [sic[ and carryout cdo tasks initially and then organise the locals for Guerilla Warfare.
We received our final briefing on the ni and with it our action commenced on the night 29/30 Jul 65. However, the night for the Raid on targets was appointed on the 7/8 night.
The area I was assigned was GULMARG and PATTAN where Brigade Headquarters were located.

Although the plan is not entirely according to the principles of an unconventional operation. Because this type of warfare has political implications and should never be started according to the conventional military concepts of concentration of deployment in the Force. The whole force becomes too vulnerable as it offers an excellent target to enemies counter action. These types of wars are very expensive and begin with a basic covert cell, that expands in size and activity first in a cellular form then when the enemies resistance wears out it assumes an overt military shape and maneuver. Knowledge of enemies moves and actions is of utmost importance to such a force and equally so is the denial of its own knowledge/information to the enemy. In our case we failed to acquire the first and did every conceivable thing to ignore the latter.

and, further
archives of my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. During the course of my subsequent research, I found, among other things, the following:
1. A memoir written in Urdu by a commando officer who survived Operation Gibraltar. The officer, a commando by the name of Alamgir, writes a field diary of Operation Gibraltar and gives details of my husband’s participation in the mission, how he was killed and where he is buried: in village Khag in Kashmir. This is the only reliable account of my husband’s death and burial. Commando Alamgir’s memoir/field diary gives significant details about the mismanagement of the operation and the political realities of the Kashmiri people, who never wanted a Pakistani intervention. The memoir further describes my husband’s talents that I never knew about: that he was a masterful tarot reader, as well as a singer. I hardly knew the man, as ours was a romance based on letters.
2. Declassified CIA documents in the Lyndon B. Johnson Archive in Austin that point to the role of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto – at that time in 1965, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan – and at whose behest Operation Gibraltar was undertaken. It was Bhutto who persuaded Field Marshal Ayub Khan and the Pakistani generals to capture Indian Kashmir. Operation Gibraltar was the Pakistan army’s Bay of Pigs. Later General Zia-ul-Haq executed Bhutto when the latter was an elected Prime Minister. General Zia-ul-Haq led the successful U.S. intervention against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1978.


some other facets of Pak perfidy
American aid given to the army for the Cold War against the Soviets was used to make inroads into Indian Kashmir. Pakistan’s elite commando unit – that the U.S. set up in Cherat, Pakistan – bordered Central Asia. This then enabled the U.S to keep an eye on the Soviets and Communist China. These Special Services Group units were further used in early 1978 to train the mujahideen (some of whom were precursors of the Taliban) when the U.S. was engaged in the region, to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. The Pakistan Army under Zia-ul-Haq acted as a U.S. proxy. Badaber, the U.S. air force facility from which Gary Powers’ U-2 plane took off in 1960 – and was shot down during a reconnaissance mission over the Soviet Union during Nikita Krushchev’s premiership – was used as a prison by the mujahideen to hold opponents during the Afghan war in the 1980s.


All highlights are mine.

Its possible that there was a US Special Forces input into planning a Operation Gibraltar type of operation with TSP. Combine this with the arrest and confinement of Sheikh Abdullah for planning with US intel agents. So there could be some collusion.

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Khalsa » 09 Sep 2016 02:56

The effort in now TaranTaran District then Amritsar district was Maximum and combined.

The Pakistanis had launched their counter offensive along with the KhemKaran to Amritsar axis.
The truck drivers of the two districts on the western side of Beas were mobilised and the remaining volunteered.

Yes Farmers flooded their fields
Families made tons of Roti and Dhaal.
these were wrapped in whatever (cloth or newspapers), with Dhal being sealed in whatever could be found was flung in the back of Indian Army trucks as they hauled azz because they refused to stop or slow down as these villagers started to slow them down by impromptu langars springing at bus stops.

My mother hails from Mahmoodpura which the Pakistani Army refers to as the area around bara pind.

I know of a funny story about an indian tank that came to get some milk for chai at my pind and found over a dozen Patton Tanks.
I will post it in detail over the weekend

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 09 Sep 2016 03:29

I wrote this last year but did not post....

We should look at the 1965 war through the prism of objectives, strategy and tactics.

Pakistan war objectives in 1965 were:
1) Create an insurgency model to give legitimacy to their invasion of Kashmir.
2) Follow on the insurgency with an attack by regular troops
3) Attack India in Punjab area to capture Amritsar
4) Follow-on to eventually Delhi

Strategy planned was
1) Operation Gibraltar. Send columns of irregulars led by Pakistan army officers to give the image of local insurgency. This is a repeat of the 1948 ‘tribal’ invasion of Kashmir.
2) Operation Grand Slam. Send regular Pak Army troops to attack in Chaamb and cut off Kashmir from India.
3) Launch forces in Punjab towards Amritsar. Don't know the name yet...
4) Exploit any gains in 3) to march towards Delhi

Indian war objectives in 1965 were:
1) Prevent loss of Kashmir
2) Launch attack on Lahore to draw in and destroy Pak army forces
3) Confine war to Punjab region only
4) Confine war to ground and air forces only. No IN participation.

Comments:
Pakistan failed in all four objectives. Its Army was beaten in many battles in all theatres. PAF made many raids but not effective in preventing the overall mauling from Indian Army. Pak Navy shelled Dwaraka port but other than that was confined to port.

Besides all the books which tell of individual soldiers actions, we need to read R.D. Pradhan's editing of Y.B Chavan's war diaries to get a sense of what the political leaders were facing.
Political leaders wanted:
- Attack across IB and not confined to Kashmir action
- Attack only West Pakistan. Not escalate to East Pakistan despite many provocations. This could draw the Chinese.
- Use only land and air forces. Not involve IN. Again de-escalation mentality. And do what you can control.
- Intelligence was spotty. Diplomacy sketchy. India's geopolitical weight after 1962 Chinese aggression took a dent. Indonesia wanted to rename Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka was playing games to cut India down. And beyond UK was playing meddling role. And US was supporting TSP.


Brigadier level officers and down to JCOs and jawans were superb.
Major Generals were iffy.
Some Lt Gens were good.


The plan to cross IB towards Lahore was called Operation Riddle and was drawn up in the aftermath of Rann of Kutch. Ignoring Rann of Kutch paints a wrong picture. Pakistan had planned three continuous actions: Rann of Kutch (Desert Hawk), Kashmir (Gibraltar) and then Grand Slam.

Realizing that Pakistan has to be countered elsewhere than Kashmir, and to give meaning to Kashmir is integral part of India (attack on Kashmir is attack on India), Operation Riddle was drawn up soon after Rann of Kutch. Plan was to occupy land east of Ichhogil Canal and draw in the Pak forces there.

So Pak had a three step process to occupy Kashmir: Rann of Kutch (trial to gage India and international reactions), Gibraltar to promote terrorism in Kashmir and Grand Slam to invade Kashmir to capture Akhnaur to cut off Indian access to Kashmir.

To counter this India had fight back in Kashmir and launch Operation Riddle to capture land east of canal and maybe threaten Lahore.
Both above are only Army level plans. We find glimpses of jointness in IAF raids against supporting logistics and the four Vampire strike against Grand Slam.


Gen Chaudhari launched Operation Riddle with 3 Div force against 2 division force of defenders. This looks good on paper but his 3 divisions were newly formed and under strength. The opposing 2 divisions were four brigade strength instead of usual 3 brigade formations.
What could he have done used one more full division and boosted the strength of his undermanned 3 divisions. Concentration of forces is needed to achieve victory.

Tactics are important, but the higher art- of- war operational
level dominates tactics; the level of theater strategy governed
by geographic factors in turn dominates the operational
level



Will write about IAF soon.

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby rohitvats » 09 Sep 2016 12:56

ramana wrote:I wrote this last year but did not post....

We should look at the 1965 war through the prism of objectives, strategy and tactics.

Pakistan war objectives in 1965 were:
1) Create an insurgency model to give legitimacy to their invasion of Kashmir.
2) Follow on the insurgency with an attack by regular troops
3) Attack India in Punjab area to capture Amritsar
4) Follow-on to eventually Delhi

<SNIP>


ramana, I think the bold part above has not been understood or analyzed as an event completely. It tends to get subsumed under the overall fighting in western sector.

At one end, we have the scenario of Pakistan Army not gaming Indians attacking across IB. We often hear stories of Pakistan Army Division commanders responsible for Lahore not permitted to man forward defense line or lay mines. And how 25% of troops were on leave.

And on the other end, we've this elite Pakistan 1st Armored Division with its supporting infantry tasked to isolate the whole the Indian Punjab theater from rear areas. And have tea at Red Fort!

Something tells me that Kashmir infiltration (I count Operation Grand Slam under it) and attack in Punjab are joined at the hip.

Look at it this way:

- Infiltration in Kashmir was to get Indians to draw reserves. Success under Operation Grand Slam would've created a very difficult situation for India.
- Planned attack in Khemkaran was to threaten the flank and rear of Indian forces. It was meant to make as much territorial gains as possible.
- High degree of success in Punjab by Pakistan Army would've created extremely difficult situation for Indians. They'd be torn between Kashmir and Punjab.
- On the negotiating table, Pakistan gives back Indian territories in Punjab (albeit after making tactical adjustments) and India has to give up Kashmir in exchange. I consider all this talk about tea in Red Fort as typical of Pakistani bluster. Two division worth of troops were not going to be anywhere close to Delhi even in best of situation.

I think too much focus gets paid on the Kashmir angle. And everything else is seen in a linear manner from this start-point.

Kashmir infiltration+Operation Grand Slam and Khemkaran attack are parallel events.

Infiltration happened in August, Operation Grand Slam happened on 1st September, we attacked on 6th September and Pakistan 1st Armored Division+11 Infantry Division attacked Khemkaran on 8th September.

For an army which was supposedly not ready to meet Indian attack on 6th September had a combined force of Armored Division+Infantry Division ready to attack across IB in 24 hours! and that too with a plan to reach Delhi of all the places...

IMO, Pakistanis were relying on lighting success of this attack to unhinge any Indian attack across IB. This can be understood from the fact that while they did not alert their troops in defensive formations, they made all the plans for their offensive formation.

Imagine a scenario of success of this attack on Indian thrust towards Lahore and in Shakargarh bulge.

As you said ramana, 1965 was planned at a much higher level than Pakistanis. Today, all the blame goes towards Bhutto who advised PA to infiltrate Kashmir and convinced them about Indians not attacking across IB.

But who made plans for this attack on Khemkaran and its other objectives?

Was Pakistan ready to use depth in Shakargarh bulge and ready to accede territory all the while relying on attack in Punjab to unhinge Indian plans?

Whose bidding was Bhutto doing?

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Pratyush » 09 Sep 2016 14:06

On a lighter note, the thread needs a new name as we are beyond 50 year's.

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Re: Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 09 Sep 2016 19:57

Ramana: J. N.Chaudhuri gave a National Security Lecture Jan 1973, which is in USI 1973, p.13. He stated in the lecture that by May 5, 1965, the intentions of Pakistan were quite clear, how, why( intel inputs etc is not said). He says he discussed the pros and cons with PM and RM and "the necessary sanctions were obtained". Does not say what sanctions. Some time later Air Chief was informed through informal discussions on a need to know basis. IN was kept completely in the dark as it was envisaged it will have no major role "The Navy's role did not look like being a very big one". The General applied his yardstick of need to know so well that "the Chiefs of staffs committee and the joint intelligence and planning committee were completely bypassed". Chaudhuri speaks that "the there was satisfaction with the freedom with which views were expressed at his informal meetings with PM and RM and the speed with which decisions were taken". The impression I have is of a prig, an arrogant man who was running the war as his personal fiefdom and for his own satisfaction. It is a wonder we survived at the hands of what PC Lal aptly describes Chaudhuri, " a man infected with the Supremo Syndrome". Why would the war diaries of 1965 of the RM be any different than the claptrap Chaudhuri fed the PM and RM? Would the Indian politicians of those days be any different from the politicians of our times? It may appear I am taking a shot at Parrikar and Modi, but I have seen all and seen enough, things may have changed but only marginally. We seem to muddle along with no clarity of ideas, personal egos and so on. We have been lucky that when push comes to shove some people, not all, have quietly risen to the occasion and done something.

No contingency plans were drafted, and nor were three services asked to define their roles they would play in the war. When the dam broke at Chamb, Chaudhuri ordered Arjan Singh in, there was no Air Chief Marshal post that time and told him to stop the tide, with disastrous and tragic consequences as there was no mechanism of liaison with the Army and no forward air controllers embedded.

Still, I would say the Armed forces are a professional force, because they learned fast and learned fast enough during 1965 to change tactics at the local level and improvise. This is the hallmark of a professional force, as against TSP who never learn and come out dueling in the air like some third rate medieval warrior force and get trounced repeatedly. What a waste of time even discussing such a numbskull force.
In the JSTOR review by Chaudhuri I sent you of Philip Mason's book " A Matter of Honour" there are parts of it I obtained the impression of a man trying to cover his bases and see history treats him right. Observe the beginning where he writes about the "friendly visit" of IA to China in 1960 of which he was a part and of the briefing of JLN to the departing delegation wherein JLN tells them that "situation with China is not good", so why this in 1976, if JLN knew the situation in China is not good in 1960, what was JLN doing, what was Chaudhuri doing and what was Menon and Thapar doing. Reading that I am convinced there will be no candid accounting of 1965 from any mantri's diary, and certainly not Chaudhuri. One has to look at local level commanders and piece it together. That is a task for scholars and/or amateur scholars like Jagan and company, and the sum totality of operations who knows. I for one would really like more books to come out by the grunt, what did he see, the day this happens and a grunt's book becomes a best seller in India, all will know.

A Remark:
The case is sometimes made that maybe IAF lost more planes in 1971, but the rate is a direct consequence of the IAF supporting IA in its many ground actions and flying low. Harcharan Singh Mangat's Su-7 Fitter with its shattered rudder and plenty of holes in the tail plane in the IAF museum Palam, is ample testimony to this claim. Come 1971, a measure of synergy between the fighting arms had been established and this is
the lessons of 1965 well learned.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2016 05:34

Thanks Rohitvats, I maintain 1965 was a watershed year and we need to think more about it. So to gain strategic surprise, TSP attacked with forces already accumulated at the border. One doesn't counter attack with such force unless that was the attack and Grand Slam was a feint. Yes this kind of attack planning is seen in German Nazi forces. I have been looking for details of the pill boxes at Ichogil canal for many years. They remind me of the defense lines at Siegfried Line. Maybe the TSP was studying German war tactics. However one has to credit Gen. Chaudhri for coming up with Operation Riddle but he did not have reserves for the Pak attack at Khemkaran. Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh and Brig. N. Teograj made mincemeat of them. Don't forget IA was rebuilding after 1962.

vsunder Hold on.. I think there was a major fear of leaking like sieve from Delhi. In fact one Canberra navigator wrote in his memoirs that he was called to meet Arjan Singh and WAC chief Rajaram to plan an attack on Peshawar field. And worry was info leak. IAF had been planning long range attacks by flying from Agra field to Hyderabad and return.
The Chavan diaries give us the view from his location. And I truly deduced what I wrote from them. GOI did not want to start some thing which they could not control. Hence no attack on seas, East Pakistan. And wee don't know the intel situation. Could be agents all over communicating troop movements.
Hence IAF in East was sacrificed to air attacks. Same in airfields near Kashmir like Pathankot.
Now nothing prevented station commanders to use their brains and park planes in hangers and not in neat rows on airfields. The ops in Kashmir were daily reading in news papers in those days. Its prudent caution to disperse aircraft.

There are many accounts. We need to read them dispassionately and glean what really happened. Those warriors averted a huge disaster. Read that Pakistani woman's account of her SSG Oficer husband training etc and the objective even in 1956 was to deploy against FSU! He died in Kashmir during Gibraltar. So even the Pak Army could have been trained to attack FSU thru Afghanistan as member of CENTO and SEATO. We do not know.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2016 07:20

vsunder Can I ask for a link for Gen JNC speech?

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby shiv » 12 Sep 2016 08:52

Image

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 12 Sep 2016 11:15

ramana wrote:vsunder Can I ask for a link for Gen JNC speech?


There is no link, you have two options. Option 1, read the relevant parts of P.C.Lal's book where the parts I have quoted in my post are attributed verbatim within quotation marks to one Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri. Option 2, here is the USI collected papers of the "great man" himself where the speech/es are all there:

http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/29124734?q ... d=35443007

This is the closest to a link. Since you have obviously read Pradhan's book, what do you make of the observation Chavan made to Pradhan that after the Chamb incursion he found that Chaudhuri was depressed? That is in the book. I think the man was shot and lost his nerve and people like Harbaksh Singh had the steel to do something. For example the General states in his lecture that by May 5th, 1965 they were aware of impending perfidy in Kashmir, yet look at the video I posted, esp. the one of 20th Lancers. You would know that they would try cut off Akhnur, at the sole bridge there, nothing is done. The bridge is unable to support Shermans which need rafts to get across and only AMX 13's can get across. This too is only done much later, August maybe according to the video. The deployment is hasty and time is lost. Its there in the video a timeline, and the General says they knew by May 5th. Deployment is incomplete when the balloon goes up.

There are other aspects of Chaudhuri that are troubling that I will not go into in an open forum, but become evident given the evidence.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 12 Sep 2016 17:41

A very comprehensive account of the 1965 operations through the eyes of an officer in the Corp of Signals:

http://veekay-militaryhistory.blogspot. ... -1965.html

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 12 Sep 2016 19:42

I read this a long time ago and it stuck in my mind. One who was there:

https://improveacrati.wordpress.com/201 ... p-9-to-15/

A no holds barred account. One sentence especially stood out:

Some one at the time pointed out that in this war at least, Caste, Clan and Corps, had lots to do with awards. Very sad and sadly true. But luck plays its part equally.

And this too:
Yet this quiet unassuming solid soldier was given no award. This speaks volumes of the system, where just about every one from the armored corps received something or other for gallantry in action – even the CO of 62nd Cav, who after the Gatt Battle was earmarked to be sacked by no less than the GOC himself. Yet the guy was polished off with a Sena Medal.
.
The CO Poona Horse died in action and was given an immediate PVC. Another CO, Jerry Jhirad was shot within minutes and in near proximity – yet he got a Mention in Dispatches.

Oh connect the dots and leave it at that I suppose. Incidentally Jerry Jhirad is Ephraim Jerry Jhirad, Lt.-Col.
and he was killed and is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Delhi. The writer above writes that Gen. Chaudhuri got his intelligence from the cocktail circuit in Delhi. Combined with what PC Lal has written, unless many unrelated parties colluded to paint Joyanto da in a bad light, why would I not believe them? Lal in particular is noted for being candid and unimpeachable in his writings.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 13 Sep 2016 04:41

Since we are into 1965, there is a small publishing company based in Chennai that publishes Anglo-Indian or Indo-Anglian literature. Harry Mclure who runs it goes out of his way to please. One of the titles they have added is Blood and Steel an autobiography by Brig. Desmond Hayde MVC, of 3 Jat, the hero of Batapore and Dograi in 1965.

http://www.angloink.com/

http://www.angloink.com/index.php?route ... duct_id=50

Brig. Hayde died in Kotdwar, Uttarkhand a few years ago. His orders to 3 Jat before the engagement at Dograi was very simple:

1. Ek bhi aadmi piche nahi hatega

2. Zinda ya murda, Dograi mein milna hai. Simple enough.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Hayde

The picture of Hayde towering over the diminutive Shastri in newspaper pics of that time is etched in this anachronism that is me.


He appears in a documentary of the Jat regiment and states he never cared and showed that the concept of the master race was that much gas, his Jats could take on anyone. He is buried in Bareilly in the Jat regimental centre.
Jai Bhagwan, Jat Balwan!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtRoSvrz8jI

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Sanju » 18 Sep 2016 20:33

I was going to post this as second part of my original post that I wrote last year, but for some reason did not. It is not all about the 65 action, but gives a glimpse of the mahaul at that time. As mentioned previously, all mistakes are mine and are unintentional)

5) Continuing on from my previous post, I saw something that caught my eye in the many posts/blogs that are seen here. In one instance it was written by the Getafix7 (Brig. Khullar ?), who had referred to getting roast chicken.
That is when I recalled Ustadji. Off course that is not his real name, but what we were told to call and it was enforced. Ustadji was a pucca Brahmin and was my Father's batman (no not the masked man in a Bat's costume). Batman as in.

They were together for both the 1965 and the 1971 wars and Ustadji was with our family till 1978 when he retired IIRC. Even in the midst of war they stood by their saheb. It was a relationship that stood the test of time and artillery shelling. There are stories wherein they provided eggs and chicken in the middle of battle. There was the instance when the Unit captured a village and the food was still cooking on the fire as the villagers had abandoned and run away.

And Ustadji always removed his Sacred Thread when he was eating non-vegetarian food!

I am left to wonder the "why" of their absence in anecdotes, blogs and articles that I have read. Is it because of being politically correct in these days and time?

Since you are expecting a story here regarding Ustadji - here is one not related to the 1965 war. My Grandmother, Father & Ustadji were travelling from the North to Kerala for my Parents wedding. Travelling in First Class, the 3 of them had a fourth person - a stranger in their First Class compartment. Everyone was taking turns to keep an eye on THE suitcase while the others slept. It was Ustadji's turn and he fell asleep. When he woke-up the man was gone and so was the "Wedding Suitcase". I am not sure whether Grandma was asked to go to the wash room while the matter was dealt with or it was dealt near the wash room far away from Grandma. Later it became a family joke - like all family jokes - repeated at every family gathering - embellished in every retelling.

6) We are all addicts for a war story and get emotional, but for the families whose son or husband or father or brother or nephew had gone to war - emotions are of a different magnitude.

Talking of Grandma - reminds me of her experience of the war. A bit of background on her - She was widowed at the age of 32 and single handedly brought up her children. Didn't know a word of Hindi when she moved to MP in the 1950s with her adult sons.

When being deployed my father would not tell anyone where they were going, for one - because He didn't know of it and second there was no way to let your near and dear one know about your whereabouts. Also remember that telephones were far and few. There was no direct dialling, it was Trunk calls only. For those who remember, Trunk calls had to be requested and were routed through operators. The only link for the families left behind was letters and AIR. Telegrams were not used for the obvious reasons.

During the course of the war, All India Radio (AIR) would announce that day's summary, and as part of it, they would announce the names of the winners of Medals as well as the Shaheeds/Martyrs. Grandma would sit in the Pooja room and listen.

They start with the rank and the now familiar refrain of "woh shaheed ho gaya / veer gati prapt kiya hai". The moment the announcer would say Capt my Grandma would go tense and then when the name was not her son's she would take a breath and then the same set of involuntary actions repeated again and again till the names of all the Captains were read out for the day. There is relief for not hearing a familiar name and extreme sorrow at hearing an unknown name- for even though the name was unknown the sorrow of one Mother for another Mother's loss wasn't. (My grandmother had lost 2 children previously).This went on for the 22 days of the war. Her prayer was please look after not only my son but the sons of all mothers. Maybe that was the reason that her son survived the war.

In an ideal world - No parent should cremate their child, no child should be lighting a pyre of a parent and a young wife should never be seen permanently in white.

War should always be the last option of statecraft. With a dysfunctional country as a neighbour, it always seems like the one and only option.

7) One aspect of the war that I recall mentioned in conversations of yore was brought to my attention in that blog. It was the awarding of medals. I remember hearing about "paper tigers" - people who received medals for things that they didn't do and others receiving no recognition for their actions. Names were never taken. It was said more in frustration rather than anger and it always ended up in laughter - laughing at the folks wearing it around for the rest of their lives for actions that weren't theirs. Even in that blog (that I referred to at the beginning), what I felt when I read it, was the sheer frustration at the arbitrary way these were handed out. Sadly this was the case even in the '71 war. Reading Jagan's book on the '71 Air War, I see that the same was the case in Pakistan.

There was the instance when one officer wrote to another officer's parents about the gallantry exploits of their son and a similar story was written by the other officer to the concerned family members of the first officer. Everyone all around were justifiably proud of their respective fauji. Unfortunately, neither of the stories were true, however, people in the know never let it be known about this incident. The soldiers may not like some of the actions of their comrades, but they keep them quite. Impact can be far reaching and affect morale.

This is not to take away from the real heroes who received these for their brave actions.

8) One of the stories that was told to me when I grew to be a little older was the one about the Mystery of the vehicle accidents - these happened around the time of the '65 operations (preceding or succeeding - I can't be sure). The vehicles that I am referring to would be typically people moving vehicles like the 1 tonne truck. These were referred to by their capacity as in 1 tonne, 3 tonne et al. These gaddis were falling off the higher road on to the lower ground typically the banks of a nullah that is common in HP. These accidents happened with no real pattern but with a monotonous regularity. There were investigations carried out and finally the mystery was solved. It so happened that, in HP interiors, women would take bath at these waters in the nude and the young jawans - fit and in form would crane their neck to watch them like any other young men would and along with everybody else even the drivers would crane their necks to look at the bathing beauties invariably causing the gaddi to land close to the beauties.

How were they reprimanded and how did the person reprimanding them keep a straight face?

9) In the midst of war there are moments of mirth, such as the time when the cook of a battalion in the forward areas decides to step out and there is a plane coming into the view. He is casually standing shielding his face from the bright sky and looking up at the plane there, when he is told in the loudest and foulest language to jump into the trench so that the rest don't get bombed by the enemy aircraft.

Fast forward to another occasion when the said cook steps out and takes a look see of the happenings around and the artillery bombardment starts and he jumps into the nearest trench only to land on one of the worthies occupying the trench. Who gets peeved and in the loudest and foulest language tells him to get the hell out as it was own battery serving the shells to the other side.

10) Prior to the war there was increased recruitment and build up of the forces, which meant a lot of training. At this time a new anti-personnel mine was introduced. It was the type that typically used a trip wire and when the wire was tripped it would jump 3 feet in the air and then explode causing extensive injuries. It is said that it caused many accidents during its introduction among own troops. One of them was of a Major training the soldiers. He was still a bachelor and was going to get married. Comparatively older person who hadn't married for one reason or the other. He was leaving on a certain date and used to say that come what may I am going on that date. On a day previous to the appointed day of travel while he was overseeing the training someone accidentally tripped the wire and he was grievously injured and later on succumbed to his injuries on the day he was to leave for his leave.

(I finally found the type of anti-personnel mine )

11) Prior to the'65 operations all officers newly recruited had to go through YO course. YO for the uninitiated is the Young Officer's course. I believe this hasn't changed although I am not fully sure of it. The YO course happened under the aegis of 16 Corps in Nagrota (Jammu). Here one of the Senior instructors was considered a very dashing officer. This Gentleman had a giant target painted on his back by the MP (Military Police) as he used to always speed but was never caught by them. Unless you are caught red handed there is no conclusive proof. Please remember that this was not the days of speed gun or speed radars. The defending forces didn't have enough radars never mind the MP. So here was this dashing gentleman speeding all over 16 Corps, when one day the MPs got on his tail and they were bloody sure of getting him. The chase had begun, the area in Nagrota and surrounding areas has winding roads from what I can recall. So there they were going round one corner and then another then another when suddenly the MPs find someone honking behind them. They look in the rear view mirror and there is the Officer behind them asking them to pull over. They are dumbfounded as to how he they became the rabbits to his hound. When they pull over, the officer gives them the "come over" ishara. When the MPs reach the jeep, they get a tongue lashing for speeding and a reprimand not to drive fast in these crazy roads and with a twinkle in his eyes he drives away.

He had turned into one of the sharp turns and hidden there till the MPs had passed him by.

(This story was apparently a legend in the area. So embellishments are a part & parcel of it. Nevertheless fun to hear.)

Endnote: 10+ years ago, an Executive Search agency contacted me and said that they would like to work with me. We set-up a meeting at the local coffee shop and this tall elegant lady was the contact. During the conversation she mentioned that she was the ex-D-in-L of Late Gen. Chaudhuri (ex Ambassador)- whom she referred to as a gentleman. She also said that in the late 60s the society wasn't ready for mixed marriages and she & her ex were amicably separated and divorced. I was reminded of this meeting as I found her old business card while clearing and discarding things sometime ago. Talk of degrees of separation.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Paul » 18 Sep 2016 20:42

Col Hyde was Sub area Commander Bangalore & Kerala region after the war and visited my uncle in Tumkur. They were good friends.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby arshyam » 25 Sep 2016 20:21

Discovery is right now airing a show on the '65 war, in case anyone wants to watch. Good visuals and narration, interviews, etc.

Programme is called 1965: India's battles and heroes.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby wig » 20 Oct 2016 18:22

this article is from Dec 19,2003 and is an obituary of the GOC 11 Corps during the 1965 war.

The death of Lieutenant General Joginder (Jogi) Singh Dhillon on November 20 at the age of 89 received no coverage in the Indian papers, although it was his inspiring generalship that helped smash the superior Pakistani armour, poised to head for the Beas bridge and then onto Delhi, in the opening days of the 1965 India-Pakistan war. Such milestones seem of lesser consequence to our press than the extensive coverage given to dubious public figures.

What Jogi Dhillon brought to his command as lieutenant general commanding XI Corps in the 1965 war, was a military service of many ‘‘firsts’’. He stood first in 1933 in the all India entrance examination to the Indian Military Academy, then won both the coveted gold medal and the Sword of Honour before joining the Bengal Sappers on February 1, 1936.

Graduating in 1939 with honours from Roorkee’s Thomson Civil Engineering College, he was soon sent overseas for the first four years of World War II. He saw active service in Iraq, Iran and Burma and, after a stint in the Staff College, Quetta, was again sent to command a field company in Malaya (1945-46), then onto Sourabaya, where he commanded 2 Field Company, before returning home.

From 1946 to 1947 he was staff officer in the E-in-C’s Office Army HQ, then went to Quetta as garrison engineer, before taking over as GSO1 in the E-in-C’s Branch from October 1947 to February 1948 in the rank of lieutenant colonel.

At this critical juncture in the life of the Bengal Sappers, Jogi Dhillon was handpicked to take charge of its regimental centre at Roorkee. The centre’s crisis arose from the fact that since the Indian Army’s Corps of Engineers had centres in Bangalore, Roorkee and Kirkee, under the terms of Parition the centres in Bangalore and Kirkee would remain in India, while the Roorkee centre’s assets would go to Pakistan.

So Bengal Sappers was one of the formations that bore the brunt of the division of the Indian Army. In the division on a two-third, one-third basis the majority assets in the Roorkee centre’s case went to Pakistan’s Engineers Centre at Sialkot, including plant and equipment, and even furniture, carpets, curtains, books, silver, crockery, cutlery and typewriters and one-third of the regimental fund.

In the two years after taking command in February 1948 of what was left of the centre, Dhillon turned the challenge of resurrecting it ‘‘into a personal triumph that left everyone breathless. Combining organisational skill with drive, determination and steel, he rehabilitated the centre, streamlined its training and administration and integrated it into an efficient and war-worthy team’’.

A change of profound importance introduced at the centre — which the newly independent nation’s army as a whole eventually adopted — was that whilst hitherto several messes for the other ranks had cooked food in each unit for a particular caste, Colonel Dhillon decisively ended this outdated practice. He decreed a single integrated mess would serve food to all men and not their caste.

Another thing, according to a retired Sappers officer, Colonel Chanan Singh Dhillon, the dynamic commandant did was demolish the wall that separated the centre’s gurudwara and Hindu temple and build a platform instead, so that gatherings of both denominations could jointly celebrate their special days.

When Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited the centre in 1949 he was so impressed by what he saw that he extended Jogi Dhillon the singular honour of selecting him to command India’s first Republic Day parade in 1950.

After command of the Bengal Sappers, Dhillon commanded two infantry brigades in succession before his appointment, in 1956, as director of technical development in Army HQ. He then served as director, weapons and equipment, before being promoted to major general in December 1957.

He was chief of staff, Western Command, at the time of his selection to attend a course at the Imperial Defence College in the United Kingdom, from where he returned to an appointment in the National Defence College, before assuming command of a division in August 1960. His next job was as deputy chief of the general staff at Army HQ, then promotion to lieutenant general and posting as GOC, XI Corps in Punjab.

The posting would be the culmination of everything that had gone into the making of this exceptional soldierhen on the morning of September 6, 1965, war with Pakistan broke out, with the XI Corps launching a massive retaliatory attack across the border in Punjab on several fronts at 4 am, the aim was to teach Pakistan a lesson for its unprovoked attack on India in the Chhamb sector a few days earlier.

It is not possible to describe this 17-day war here but the decisive tank battle of Assal Uttar, near Khem Karan, on September 10 does bear telling. Indian units hid their Sherman tanks 500 metres apart in a U-shaped formation in tall and unharvested sugarcane fields, and snared the enemy’s vastly superior Patton tanks into this ambush, annihilating them to the last tank and deciding the outcome of the war.

The destruction of Pakistan’s armoured pride and the casualties it suffered, including an artillery brigadier and many other senior officers killed or surrendered, destroyed the enemy’s morale. At Assal Uttar, 97 enemy tanks — of which 72 were Pattons and 25 Chafees and Shermans were destroyed, damaged or captured intact, of which 28 Pattons were in perfect running condition.

Facing the very modern M-48 Pattons were India’s old and inferior Centurions and Shermans — outgunned, outdistanced and far fewer in number. And yet Indian losses at Khem Karan were only 32 tanks.

There are countless other such telling statistics but the fact that stands out is when Pakistan’s chief of army general staff and air chief met their president on September 19 and requested him to negotiate a ceasefire with the Indians, Pakistan’s defeat was acknowledged at the highest levels.

A few days after the cessation of hostilities, Frank Moraes (he was then editor-in-chief of The Indian Express), spent a weekend in the Lahore sector, calling first on Lt General Dhillon at his wartime corps HQ at Raiyya, and then visiting some places that had already become household words — like the Ichhogil Canal, Dograi, Khem Karan.

Moraes described our visit in ‘‘The Soldier’s Spirit’’ in his paper of November 1, 1965, and also his meeting with Jogi Dhillon: ‘‘I was fortunate to spend some time with Lt General J.S. Dhillon, the corps commander in this sector, and to note and understand how greatly the spirit of all, from jawans to divisional commanders, depends on the calibre of the corps commander. Jogi Dhillon is an enthusiastic, intelligent soldier with a physical vigour, drive and combativeness which enable him to be extraordinarily mobile over his wide command and an inspiring presence and example to his officers and men.’’

In recognition of his role in the 1965 war, the president of India invested Dhillon with the Padma Bhushan in August 1966 and his appointed him GOC-in-C Central Command, from where he retired on August 4, 1970.

When the army bade farewell to its distinguished comrade in Delhi on November 21, 2003, six generals acted as pallbearers and the COAS, General N.C. Vij, flew in for the funeral from Hyderabad. This reaffirmed that the Indian Army stands steadfast on some of its finest traditions.

On a more personal note, Jogi Dhillon was married for 62 years to Minnie, who survives him, and to whom he was as devoted as she to him. He is also survived by his three daughters, Kiran, Komal and Kamal: an architect, airline executive and head of her own consultancy firm — each as individualistic as their indomitable parents.


http://archive.indianexpress.com/oldStory/37534/

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby shiv » 20 Oct 2016 19:05

Sanju wrote:I was going to post this as second part of my original post that I wrote last year, but for some reason did not. It is not all about the 65 action, but gives a glimpse of the mahaul at that time. As mentioned previously, all mistakes are mine and are unintentional)

Thanks for this beautiful post

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Sanju » 20 Oct 2016 19:19

shiv wrote:Thanks for this beautiful post


Thank you Shiv saar.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 11 Jun 2017 04:47

Lt. GEN. Harwant Singh writes Gen. Chaudhri did not order retreat to behind Beas.

IDR.

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/1965 ... iver-beas/

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 11 Jun 2017 04:59

I am not sure about the above article..it gives no direct evidence but lot of conjecture. He disses Inder Malhotra and K.S. Subramanyam who was Joint Intel Committee chairman at that time and in the know.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Sanju » 12 Jun 2017 21:39

Hindsight gives one extraordinary capabilities.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 12 Jun 2017 21:49

Sanju, Please explain the context. We all want to know.

Thanks, ramana

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Sanju » 13 Jun 2017 18:53

Ramanaa garu,

In 1965, India had soldiers who had been catapulted from Brigade & Div level to Corp & Command levels in a very short time with limited experience. Our only solace was that the PA was in the same or worse position with regard to their senior officer cadre. Individual brilliance apart, there are stories about the actions of certain senior officers that should have resulted in GCM, instead they were shunted elsewhere. In addition to this, our equipment was not of the same calibre compared to PA - specifically Armour.

Defending the plains of Punjab and fighting the offensive in J&K, as per the author, seems to be incorrect at best.
"Therefore, Chaudhury adopted the strategy of offensive – defensive. Defence in the Punjab and offensive in the plains sector of J and K."

Based on what happened, we were desperately defending in J&K. Our Div/Corp level intelligence was not fully in the picture - taking a charitable view,one may blame it on fog of war. We had to go on the offensive in Punjab and opened a new front. Prior to the war, Gen JNC was all for light armour (probably influenced by the outcome of '62), whereas if we look at PA they had MBTs, shiny ones from US, many of which grace the roundabouts of our Cantonments.

When one fights a war, we have to fight the enemy and do so in conjunction with the terrain. Light tanks against MBTs on the plains is not a match-up. It was our shrewdness and the extreme courage and bravery of our soldiers that we overcame the MBTs at Asal Uttar.

Allow me to quote the late Sri. KS, with the emphasis being mine:
"That the Indian armoured brigade, under Brigadier T.K. Theogaraj, destroyed the Pakistani armoured division reflects to the credit of officers and men of the army, their guts, valour and skills. They had the full support of their corps commander, General J.S. Dhillon, and their army commander, General Harbaksh Singh."

Reading Sri. KS's article, we are reminded eerily of '62 in '65.

"Even for taking a stand at Khemkaran, General Chaudhuri had to be overruled by defence minister Chavan and the prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. the army chief preferred withdrawal to the Beas river. The details may be found in R.D. Pradhan’s "From Debacle to Revival". Pradhan was Chavan’s private secretary upto end 1964 and was brought back during the war. Subsequently, he had access to Chavan’s diaries."

There are many interesting tidbits in that article, one gem here is very telling " Shekhar Gupta (‘‘1965 in 2005’’, National Interest, June 4, 2005) was not wrong in calling the war one of mutual incompetence. It so happens both Ayub Khan and General Chaudhuri were in the same batch at Sandhurst."

Referring to Sri. R.D. Pradhan's book, Debacle to Revival: Y.B. Chavan as Defence Minister, 1962-65, the authors describe the two defence strategies that was debated based on the more powerful PA Armour & firepower. The defence at the border and the defence on the East side of Beas. Gen. JNC was apparently for the later, while his Army Comander Gen. HS was for the former. The Army Commander had the support of both the PM & the RM.

In all this there is the inevitable Congress connection - Gen. JNC's maternal grandfather was the First President of INC.

My comment on "hindsight" was written with a heavy dose of sarcasm.I for one don't agree with the premise of the article written by the Lt. General. What was the point of the article and why at this point of time?

All the main characters in that article are no more with the exception of the ADC to Lt. Gen Harbaksh Singh. Was this an aside at the Good Capt.?

ramana
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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2017 19:41

Its more about defending the indefensible.

The 1962 debacle propelled JNC to the top on the verge of retirement.

To his credit he rebuilt the IA moral and was at the helm when needed.

He came up with Operation Riddle which is offensive-defense by attacking in Punjab. He did manage secrecy but at a cost.
His offensive formation was 3 divs with 3 brigades each.

Facing his forces were two Pak divs but with 4 brigades each : i.e. 8 brigades. Hence led to the stalemate as the force ratio was not enough op bring about a breakthrough. You need minimum twice the numbers that is 16 brigades to force a decision. Eisenhower used ~500K Allied troops against 150K in Nazi Occupied France. This was due to the English Channel crossing and the renowned Nazi defenses. Even Duryodhana filed 11 units versus 7 units for the Pandavas.
Even if we go with 3 div. vs 2 div. i.e. 9 Indian Brigades against 6 Pak brigades the force is just barely there as Pak forces had better equipment. He should have rustled up one more division with 1 Inf and 2 armored brigades. No need for the cantonment troops in South India.

JNC was tanker and took pride in some US magazine who called him one of the 6 leading armor experts in the world.
Yet 1st Armored Div. did not perform well at all.

It was Brig Theograj who showed how to decimate the Pattons.

Lt. Gen Harwant Singh article shows India had the troops and resources but they were dispersed.

So not much winning generalship in Operation Riddle.

Also his not alerting the IAF did contribute in a minor way to the complacency at the airbases where the planes were parked in neat rows for a parade. The base commanders should have been more aware of the worsening situation and take precautions. So this was the major contributor to the losses on the ground.

In the field of national security, the idea of strategic surprise and group think are emerging as major factors.


Group think that led to strategic surprise:

Essentially, Pakistan never thought India would cross the IB in Punjab.

India never thought that PAF would strafe IAF airfields on the Eastern front.
Indian Air Force did not expect those air raids to come so soon.

Indian Army did not expect Pakistan to raise a second armored division despite knowledge of the number of tanks pouring in from US.

The Indian Embassy staff in US did not get scent of the many war games being simulated by US academia and the Pentagon with TSP military. "Crisis Games" Sidney Griffin.


History is made by how you react to the forces of history.

Brig Noble Theograj, Lt Gen. Dhillon and Lt. Gen Harbaksh Singh all crowned themselves with glory

Gen. Chaudhri was fighting a textbook battle without emotional connection to the country. He did not understand that the very drawing out the Pak military for which Operation Riddle was launched was handed in a platter for IA in Punjab. He should have hit with everything he had Army, Air Force and not just the forces in the field.

One small mention in Pradhan book is the IAF raid on a Paki train carrying tanks to the battlefield. This does not get the credit it should for it shows how IAF contributed directly to the outcome of the land battle.


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