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1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2017 20:21

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1421414/posts



Guilty men of 1965

K.S. Subrahmanyam

A general who preferred ceasefire to victory. An American book that predicted the Pakistani attack but had the date wrong by a year. K. Subrahmanyam was in the war council

In 1965 I was deputy secretary (budget and planning) in the Ministry of Defence. It was a Sunday evening in June, shortly after the Rann of Kutch clashes. I was returning from a visit to one of the Sainik Schools — I was the honorary secretary of the Sainik Schools society — when I met M.M. Hooja, then joint director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), at Delhi’s Palam airport.

I had known Hooja in my earlier post as deputy secretary (joint intelligence organisation) and member of the Joint Intelligence Committee. He offered to drop me home and, in the car, told me IB had intelligence that Pakistan had raised a second armoured division by cheating the Americans. Though the army had been told, it had refused to accept this.

I asked him to communicate this in writing to enable me to bring it to the defence minister’s notice. The next morning I received a top-secret letter from K. Sankaran Nair, deputy-director, IB.

The defence secretary, P.V.R. Rao, was on four months leave. The secretary-in-charge was a new man, A.D. Pandit. I handed over the letter to H.C. Sarin, secretary (defence production), who enjoyed the confidence of the defence minister, Y.B. Chavan. He gave it to the minister for discussion in his daily morning meeting.

When the minister raised the issue, the army chief, General J.N. Chaudhuri argued, according to what Sarin told me, that IB was exaggerating and unable to produce credible evidence. Due to this casual attitude of the army chief, Pakistan was able to spring the surprise of 1st Armoured Division at Khemkaran and 6th Armoured Division at Sialkot.

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.

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.

{Lt.Gen Syed Hasnain(R) confirmed on Twitter that it was Lt Gen J.S. Shillon who took the decision to make a stand at Khemkaran. All along this info has been not mentioned! Hasnain'sfather was aide to Lt. Gen Dhillon]


Earlier that year, General Chaudhuri had obtained cabinet orders to reduce our medium tank regiments from 11 down to four and increase the light tank regiments from four to 11. He carried this reorganisation through in spite of opposition from professional subordinates.

If Pakistanis had not been in such a hurry and had struck a year later with their two divisions of armour, India would have been in real trouble. After the war, General Chaudhuri not only had to abandon his plans for armour reorganisation, but ask the government to hastily import six regiments of medium armour — three T-54 regiments from Czechoslovakia and three T-55 regiments from the USSR.

{Thus began the love for tincans from Russia}


General Chaudhuri, as was disclosed by Air Chief Marshal P.C. Lal in a later lecture, did not keep the Indian Air Force (IAF) informed of his intending operation in the Lahore sector. The IAF was caught off-guard and incurred avoidable losses of aircraft, including newly-arrived MIG-21s.

The Indian Army was surprised by the Pakistani armour’s sudden appearance through the various aqueducts under the Ichogil canal. This intelligence about the aqueducts was available well in advance, since construction plans of the canal, including the aqueducts, were obtained from the World Bank by IB and provided to the army.

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.

TWO months before the war, in my planning branch, undersecretary I.C. Bansal did elaborate research on the US budgetary documents and calulated American military aid to Pakistan totalled slightly below $ 900 million. When this was put up to the Chiefs of Staff Committee, they (particularly the army chief) rejected the study. In their view, the aid should have been several billions of dollars.

We costed the equipment and facilities and argued it could not be very much more. But it was to no avail. Subsequently it was proved our calculations in the planning branch were not very much off the mark.

So on the one hand General Chaudhuri refused to accept the existence of the second Pakistani armoured division. But at the same time he had an exaggerated view of US aid to Pakistan.

Having negotiated with the Americans on aid for six Indian mountain divisions, we were aware US policy was to provide only six weeks’ war wastage of ammunition at US rates, which were lower than our rates, to aid-receiving countries. On September 2, 1965, through a top-secret telegram, I sought information from S. Guhan, my cadre mate and at that time first secretary in our Washington embassy, to check through contacts in the Pentagon what was the ammunition supply rate to Pakistan.

Within a few days Guhan confirmed my assumption and a copy of the top-secret telegram went to General Chaudhuri also. He congratulated me for the information. Indeed, Gohar Ayub Khan has referred to Pakistan suffering from ammunition shortage within a few days of the war beginning. India had some 90 days war wastage reserves. After the war ended, it was found only eight to 10 per cent of the tank and artillery ammunition had been spent. We had to cancel an order to Yugoslavia for a million rounds of L-70 anti-aircraft ammunition. The order had been placed during the operations.

If the war had been continued for another week, Pakistan would have been forced to surrender. Unfortunately General Chaudhuri advised the prime minister to accept the UN ceasefire proposal since he felt both sides were running out of ammunition. This was far from true for India.

Let me come to some major intelligence failures, even though we were not aware of them at the time. According to an article by Altaf Gauhar — in 1965, the alter ego of President Ayub Khan — in Nation on October 3, 1999, Brigadier Ayub Awan, director of the Pakistani Intelligence Bureau, travelled to Saudi Arabia in early 1965. He contacted Sheikh Abdullah in Jeddah and told him about Operation Gibraltar. Later however, President Ayub decided against taking Sheikh Abdullah’s help.

This version was confirmed by the then CIA operative in Madras (now Chennai), Duane Claridge, who was deputed to meet Sheikh Abdullah and told by him of the coming war. US authorities had, therefore, full knowledge about Operation Gibraltar and Pakistani plans to use American equipment against India as early as March 1965, but chose not to warn India
.

This information is available in Claridge’s book A Man for All Seasons. Claridge rose high in the CIA and became deputy director. He was convicted during the Reagan presidency in the Iran-Contra affair, but pardoned. Following all this, the Institute of Defence Analysis (IDA) in the Pentagon simulated a politico-strategic game with Harvard University. According to this game, ‘‘played’’ in March 1965, India lost the war with Pakistan and had to accept US mediation on Kashmir, after losing Srinagar. Though Shastri was advised in the game to counterattack, he was timid and refused. The verbatim proceedings of this game were published in March 1965 by Doubleday and available in US bookshops. The book was titled Crisis Game, ascribed to author Sidney Giffin.

But our intelligence, civil and military, did not have a clue. In 1967, I picked up a second-hand copy on the pavement outside the London School of Economics. One wonders how much this book influenced President Ayub in initiating Operation Gibraltar.


Strangely enough, in the book Pakistan attacks India on September 1, 1966. In reality it happened on September 1, 1965.

{I have a copy of the book after learning about its existence. In the forward Sidney Giffin states the example provided is a unclassified version which to me implies there is a classified version may be with participation by US and Pak military officers. Further after 1962 debacle there are a series of articles by Nehru and Ayub Khan in Foreign Affairs and in hindsight Ayub complains that Indian re-armament is reducing the Pak chances of settling the Kashmir issue once and for all. Also KS garu complains about the miniscule US military aid to India to arm the 6 mountain divisions and the lack of offensive weapons. I submit this was a planned US move to placate Pakistan and ensure India does not have the wherewithal to fight back Pakistan.}

Till today, the valour and skills of the officers and men of that armoured brigade commanded by Brigadier Theogaraj and the roles of Generals Harbaksh and Dhillon in defying General Chaudhuri have not received their due credit.

One American academic — an assistant secretary of state in the Kennedy administration who played a prominent role in preventing India getting combat equipment — ruefully told me that on the eve of the 1965 war he was planning to write a book on ‘the war that changed the fate of the subcontinent’.


{Yes US had a major plan to re-shape the geography of Indian Subcontinent.}

Thanks to the valour and tactical skills of those men who confronted the Pakistani Pattons at Asal Uttar, he could never write that book.

The author, a former civil servant, is a defence affairs analyst



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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Baikul » 13 Jun 2017 23:53

Crossposting from Arjun thread to add a little more info:

Baikul wrote:..... here is the wiki page of a man who exemplified how the Army and DRDO can really cooperate. So, the blueprint's already there in his career:

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

This man upgunned India's near obsolete Sherman tanks (something never done before), which were key destroying Pakistani tanks in 1965 at Asal Uttar. He gives a lovely description of it here:

http://www.mapleleafup.nl/g104/india.htm

India's upgraded two regiments of Shermans with the French 75mm High Velocity guns was the result of my idea and design.
In 1957-58 as a Lt.-Col. I while commanding 38 Medium regiments took part in an exercise called Doaba in Panjab supporting an armored Brigade. At the summing up of the exercise it was brought out by Chief Empire Gen. Kulwant Singh that the 76mm guns on Sherman did not have sufficient fire power to beat enemy armor.

In 1959-60 when I was commanding the Proof and Experimental Establishment at Balasore I evaluated the firepower of AMX-13 with 75mm H.V. gun to assess the maker's claim and found it exceptionally good to beat thick armor. I put up as a new idea of my own to the General Staff that we should upgun our Sherman tanks (the wasting assets of the army) with this gun, and requested for a obsolete tank to be given to me for carrying out the modification. A tank was given to me and in 3 months I mounted the 75mm High Velocity gun as my personal project and requested the Director at Armoured corp. General Rajinder Singh to see a demonstration at my location. The firing was a great success and the idea accepted.

Your observations of its weakness were known but set aside by the USER as I had mounted the gun on the existing turret, no one else in the world succeeded in that by then or later. India did not manufacture a turret by that time. The modification was primarily meant for Anti-Tank Role and this was well played in 1965 war from the hides. For this outstanding example showing ingenuity and skill for up gunning and saving 100 crores of wasting assets of tanks I was given in the list of Honors and Awards by the Chief of the Army Staff,

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2017 00:49

Thanks Baikul. Also post from the wiki page on Maj. Gen. Jetley.
It adds to the narrative of how Assal Uttar was won.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby krishna_krishna » 14 Jun 2017 02:58

Ramana awesome insights here is my two cents on based on inputs from some study I did (and talking to someone from IAF), reasons of ours was not a complete victory, at that time when he gave me the reason I did not believe what any sane IA chief would site reserve status as the reason to accept CF (or would reccomend we accept ceasefire at all). But now I am appalled by the fact that it was IA chief himself(from a seperate source), some of the points I want to share:

When the PM asked "How long can you keep fighting if the cease fire were to be kep in abeyance?" The COS replied that indian forces were down to only 15% of their ammunition and had sufferred massive losses of armour, most of the tanks were out of action and that India should accept the cease fire immediatedly. Armed with this pessimistic info PM headed to tashkent.

By the time, due to international pressues, india agreed to a bilateral ceasefire (aidded by a blunder by the indian High command in calculating our reserves of armor, arms and armament and advising the prime minister to agree to the cease fire)the loses had begun to even out and the IAF was gaining upper hand. The PAF resources on the other hand were diwndling.Pakistan aim was to take complete J&K from India.

PAF lost total of 20 A/C which is 18% of there invenvory Vs. 60-75 IAF loses which was less than 10% of our available A/c, had the conflict carried on for few more days, it would have been a diffrent stories altogether.India had used only 14% of its ammunition reserves where are porkis had lost 60% of their reserves. IA lost 97 tanks vs. PA losing more than 400 of their tanks either captured or destroyed. India had captured around 2000 sq. kilometer vs. meger 500 sq. kilometer capture by prokies.

Though IAF and PAF both used Canberras, IAF were of british make and PAF were licensed manufac. by massa with better engines and avionics. India had total of 11 new mig-21FL out of which two were destroyed by the strike by PAF on Ambala on the very first day ,there were two other losses. So total available Migs were 7 during the conflict.

Also the porkies beefed up the numbers via propoganda to show that their were planes were intact showing borrowed planes from fellow birader nations, case in point one of the planes been shot was when a shot aircraft was found by IAF with camo pattern not used by any airforces in the indian subcontinent. One insane porki jearnail went about to write the actual truth about the conflict, which was cleared by Army book club to be printed and sold. All the copies of that book that was produced by Oxford university Press were bought by porki army with a condition that it will not provide this for general distribution. Looks like may be the book had broken invincibility of proky forces on their face, I will try to google the name of the book on the internet and Jernails name.

I will add later Massa help to parkis via MAAG and their help in planning their entire AF operations in details.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 14 Jun 2017 06:22

Thanks, BTW the IA chief agreeing to Ceasefire was reported even by KS Garu.
And is in the byline that article I posted above.

I am not dissing him. I want to know what really happened.

BTW I think we are in along war with Pakistan with four major battles so far.

-1948 is Battle of Kashmir. It settled J&K Accession to India and we lost ~1/3 land to Pakistan by war and perfidy.
- 1965 is Battle of Rann of Kutch and Battle of Punjab. India will cross IB.
- 1971 is Battle of East Pakistan. India liberated Bangladesh
- 1999 is Battle of Kargil. India fought under nuclear cloud.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby KrishnaK » 14 Jun 2017 08:47

There is clear evidence available at The Nixon tapes of US (nixon/kissinger's) behaviour. There is nothing other than speculation and rumour mongering for this
ramana wrote:{Yes US had a major plan to re-shape the geography of Indian Subcontinent.}


The article by K.S. clearly states the US was aiding both India and Pakistan and that WWR was kept to 6 weeks for *both* countries. India had spurned multiple US invitations to be allied with the west, and wisely at that. What in fact what the article implies is that Ayub chose to use the war game data as input
Though Shastri was advised in the game to counterattack, he was timid and refused.
Some Americans thought Pakistan would win, and Ayub & Co swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 04:43

Rohitvats, Do we have a definitive account hour by hour of Battle of Assal Uttar? I am looking hard and far but no avsil.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby rohitvats » 29 Jun 2017 09:51

ramana wrote:Rohitvats, Do we have a definitive account hour by hour of Battle of Assal Uttar? I am looking hard and far but no avsil.


ramana, I've recently started re-study of the 1965 war. Got two books especially for it:

(a) Monsoon War by Captain Amarinder Singh and Lt General Tajinder Shergill (both were junior officers in the war)
(b) HISTORY OF INDO-PAKISTAN WAR of 1965 by Lieut General Mahmud Ahmed (Retd) (ex-DG ISI, Pakistan Army).

I will jump to the Assal Uttar Section and share what I find. But it will take a few days.

Aside your question, what got me intrigued, again, about 1965 war was a fundamental question:

We're given to understand that PA did not game India crossing IB and hence, PA was taken unaware in the Sialkot sector. That Pakistan's aims were restricted to J&K. But at the same time, we find that PA's 1st Armored Division, their main strike element, was put in place to carry out ambitious blitzkrieg offensive in central Punjab sector. With the aim of outflanking Indian forces in north of Khem-Kharan in central Indian Punjab.

How is it that PA was caught unaware in Sialkot but was fully ready in central Punjab theater for such a bold maneuver?

Long story short - My assertion is that objectives of 1965 war were not limited to Kashmir. There was a serious attempt at major boundary reorganization in Punjab sector as well.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 10:01

Baikul, I searched far and wide for the specs of the French 75 High Velocity gun. I finally found out French arsenal modified the German Panzer 75mm gun for their use. It was called CN 75-50 and used on AMX 13. Around same time Israelis also upgunned their M4 Shermans with same gun. They were used in 1967 war.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 10:05

Rohitvats, Now read the rueful comment by the Johnson Admin Asst Sect of State who was working on a book The war that changed the Indian Sub-Continent in KS garu's article.
And we really don't know the classified version of the game in Sidnry Giffen refers to.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 10:23

Love Google:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillips_Talbot

Philips Talbot was the Asst Secy Of State during Johnson Administration.

Looks like he got Padma Sri award from GOI in 2002!!!!

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Philip » 29 Jun 2017 11:42

Weren't there Paki boasts in '65 about Paki troops reaching Delhi in days?
This was KS's view of the war,the catalyst which saw a political crisis develop in Pak ',71 and the emergence of Bdesh.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/06war1.htm
1965 decided fate of the subcontinent

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 21:11

Philip wrote:Weren't there Paki boasts in '65 about Paki troops reaching Delhi in days?
This was KS's view of the war,the catalyst which saw a political crisis develop in Pak ',71 and the emergence of Bdesh.
http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/06war1.htm
1965 decided fate of the subcontinent




1965 decided fate of the subcontinent

September 06, 2005


Though the 1965 Indo-Pak war was only a medium-scale, limited war that lasted less than three weeks, it resulted in the Tashkent Agreement that brought about exchange of territories occupied by both sides.

It is largely seen as a stalemate in Pakistan and the rest of the world, but the 1965 war generated very significant consequences that decided the fate of the Indian subcontinent.

The Pakistani leadership carefully planned the war. It was meant to lead to a massive uprising in Kashmir engineered by sending in Pakistani infiltrators. Further, by clandestinely raising a second armoured division of relatively sophisticated Patton tanks, Pakistan aimed at a breakthrough in Punjab against the weak and obsolete Indian armour and wanted to cut off Jammu and Kashmir from India.


{US also helped plan the war by conducting the Crisis Game, supplying more tanks, supersonic fighter planes than required etc. As to what were US interests in the 1965 War will come to it in another post}

Field Marshal Ayub Khan also was planning to demonstrate -- in the wake of the Indian Army's debacle at Sela-Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh in November 1962 -- that one Pakistani was equal to 10 Indians in terms of military prowess.

His conviction was that the Hindu, when struck a timely and decisive blow, would not be able to stand up. His confidant Altaf Gauhar has recorded this in Ayub Khan's biography.

Pakistan had China's support. When Islamabad appealed for support, Beijing did try to apply pressure on New Delhi by delivering a not very credible ultimatum to India.

The Americans were well informed about the possibility of Pakistani infiltration into Kashmir and the subsequent offensive months in advance, as has been recorded by the then Central Investigative Agency operative in India, Duane Claridge, in his book A Man for All Seasons.

The American military and political establishment had concluded that in case of a war, Pakistan would win.

The Pentagon and Harvard University played a war game at the Institute of Defence Analysis, Washington, DC, in March 1965. The war game and its results were available in a book, Crisis Game by Sidney Giffin, by the spring of 1965.

K Subrahmanyam

The total failure of the Kashmir uprising, the complete destruction of the Pakistani Patton Armoured division at Khem Karan in Punjab and the Pakistan Army running out of ammunition and being saved from total humiliation through the UN ceasefire constitute a turning point in the history of India-Pakistan relations.

Having engineered the war and seen it result in a disaster, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto turned against his benefactor Ayub Khan and blamed him for the Tashkent Agreement. His propaganda was that Ayub Khan threw away a military victory.

The Pakistani people were not informed about the failure of Operation Gibraltar, the attempted infiltration into Kashmir and thereafter of Operation Grand Slam, the attack on Jammu. The Indian counterattack in the Lahore sector was depicted as Indian aggression. The decimation of the Pakistani armoured division by a poorly armed Indian armoured brigade through superior tactics at Khem Karan was also not told to the Pakistani people.

But all these attempts at obfuscation did not deceive a leader like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, considered the father of Bangladesh. When the question was raised about the security of what was then East Pakistan vis-à-vis India in case of another war, Bhutto, as foreign minister, implied in his answer that Pakistan depended on Beijing to ensure the security of that part of its territory.

That led Rahman to ask for greater autonomy from Islamabad and to formulate his six points which became the basis for the subsequent secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

The 1965 war also led to an embargo of US arms supplies to Pakistan. Islamabad's use of American arms against India was against the assurances given by President Dwight Eisenhower to Jawaharlal Nehru that in case Pakistan used US-supplied arms against India, necessary corrective action would follow.

Though the US bureaucracy and the Pentagon were prepared to look the other way if Pakistan had won the war, they found it difficult to overlook the miserable performance of Pakistani armor at Khem Karan. Pakistan therefore turned to China and France for re-equipment of its forces. After 1965, China became the foremost supplier of arms to Pakistan.

{I submit Battle of Assal Uttar finished the light and medium tank viability in US armored forces doctrine. The M1 program to replace the M60s which are basically redesigned M48 Pattons was started. US armor became heavy tank oriented. Lots of stories are written about Israeli armor in 1967 but that was after this battle.}

From Bhutto's death cell testimony, it also becomes clear that Pakistan initiated its discussions with China on acquiring nuclear weapon technology around 1965. Bhutto talked of completing his 11-year-long negotiations successfully in 1976. It would not be incorrect to say that the Chinese-Pakistani strategy of containing India began in the aftermath of 1965 war.

Pakistan drew correct lessons from the failure of Operation Gibraltar when the Kashmiris did not rise against India in consequence to large-scale infiltration of Pakistani commandos into the Kashmir valley. They bided their time and in the late 1980s trained disaffected Kashmiris, who crossed over into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, in arms and infiltrated them back.

That this strategy too did not wholly succeed is a different story but it did begin the prolonged proxy war against India in Kashmir.

Pakistan also discovered it was not difficult to run rings around the conditions of American arms supplies and hide things from US inspection teams. They were able to covertly raise a second armoured division in 1965. Unfortunately for them it did not give them the victory in Punjab they expected. The second armoured division met its defeat at Khem Karan.

{If you look at Crisis Game by Sidney Giffin, the US was also complicit in supplying the extra tanks for the second Armoured Division. How can you supply more tanks than one division and not expect them to raise another division! This was to fool the Indians. Also the Pakis running out of ammo was due to three factors: US supplying tight quantities to ensure there is an opportunity to intervene as peace maker, Paki prodigious use of ammo like in WWI artillery barrages and the IAF destroying the ammo train in Punjab which limited the Patton ammo stocks to 30 rounds per tank. Steve Zaloga in Osprey M47/M48. The biggest factor was Maj. Gen. Jetley upgunning the obsolete M4 Shermans with the French CN 75-50 high velocity tank gun which decimated the Pattons in Assal Uttar. And above all Brig Noble Theograj deploying his armor in horseshoe formation and flooding the sugarcane fields creating a huge tank trap. One armored brigade destroyed on Armored division. In any annals of war this is a major victory. Smaller battles are memorialized while we Indians take this as a small victory! :( }

Pakistan used this experience of getting around US procedures in the 1980s to divert American arms -- meant for Afghans fighting Soviet forces -- to arm the various jihadi militias and to install the Taliban regime in Kabul.

On the Indian side too, the 1965 war led to significant results. The Indian Army failed to assess intelligence effectively in respect of construction of aqueducts under the Ichogil canal (that runs from India to Lahore) and on Pakistan covertly raising a second armoured division. Thus, the external and internal intelligence collection and reporting were bifurcated. A dedicated external intelligence agency – the Research and Analysis Wing -- was created.

An ill-advised reorganisation proposal in respect of Indian armour – increasing light armour and reducing medium armour –- strongly espoused by General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri before the war, was given up. The Indo-Soviet arms supply relationship got reinforced and the Soviet Union became the sole supplier of arms for India.

Though it is not much written about, India intensified its support to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his Awami League in their demands for greater economy from Islamabad.

The 1965 war demonstrated that the 1962 debacle was not a reflection on the Indian Army but was the result of inadequacies in a few top inexperienced generals. It also proved that Indian unity was solid while Pakistan was vulnerable to divisive forces. It brought out that American short-term Cold War calculations overrode Washington's commitment to democracy.


{ I submit 1962 was a political and civil service failure and not an Army failure. }

It also highlighted that the US establishment had very wrong assessments about the Indian leadership, the Indian Army and India's ability to survive as a Union and grow into a major power.

The legendary K Subrahmanyam is the doyen of India's strategic thinkers.


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby srinebula » 29 Jun 2017 22:23

I don't know how accurate the following account is:
Khem Karan Sector, September 8, 1965:
CQMH Abdul Hamid sat in the co-driver’s seat of his jeep and passed through the sugar cane fields, he could hear the rustling wind in his ears. The Jeep trundled over a narrow mud track ahead of Chima village. He knew Pakistan had launched an attack with a regiment of Patton tanks and had barged right into the forward position. He first heard the rumble of armor and then caught the sight of a few Pakistani Patton tanks that were heading in the direction of his battalion. Taking cover behind the tall crop, he pointed his gun in their direction and waited.

The Grenadiers held their fire so as not to warn the enemy. Just as the tanks came within the shooting range, Hamid asked his loader to load the gun and fired. He watched the shell on his binoculars as it shot out and arched towards the first enemy tank. The tank goes up in flames in front of his eyes. Hamid and his men rejoice with wide smiles….. ‘Shabaash!


While his citation gives him credit for three tanks destroyed; in fact, he had destroyed no less than seven enemy tanks. It is because the citation for Abdul Hamid’s PVC was sent on the evening on 9 September 1965, but he destroyed three more tanks on the previous day, plus the seventh one that also killed him.


https://historyunderyourfeet.wordpress. ... nk-buster/

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 22:45

Rohitvats,

One thing we can do is try to numerate the Patton losses at Assal Uttar.
How many of the ~97 were hit by, RCLs, the Centurions and how many by the Shermans?
And of the Indian losses (~15?) at Assal Uttar how many were Centurions and how many were the Shermans?

This will require a lot of digging.

We know the 2nd Armored Brigade (Inde) had deployed 1 regiment of 45 Centurions and 1 regiment of 45 M4 upgunned Shermans. I think the other 45 M4 Shermans were from the 4 Mtn Division.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 23:06

One account form the participants

http://www.theweek.in/theweek/cover/IND ... Uttar.html

BIG BATTLES: How India decimated American tanks in Asal Uttar




On the morning of September 10, 1965, Gen J.N. Chaudhuri was fuming in the war room of the Western Command headquarters in Ambala, Haryana. He wanted to replace the 4 Mountain Division, which was battling a major attack by the 1 Armoured Division—the ‘pride of Pakistan’. But Western Army commander Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh disagreed; he also opposed his chief's plan to fall back further to the Beas river to counter the rampaging Pakistanis. After a heated argument, Chaudhuri relented and flew back to Delhi.

The legendary battle of Asal Uttar started on September 8 when the 1 Armoured Division, with some 200 Patton tanks, invaded Punjab and captured the border town of Khemkaran. The Pakistanis had kept these American tanks hidden in a newly raised jungle in Kasur, Pakistan, near the Punjab border. They planned to capture Indian territory up to the Beas river. But a 12-hour delay gave Indian field commanders ample time to foil the Pakistani plan. The Indians flooded the sugarcane fields with water and took position behind the plants.

The initial pounding of the Pattons began with the attack of Pakistan's 4 Armoured Brigade on the Indian positions in Mahmudpura and Dibbipura in Tarn Taran district, guarded by the 3 Cavalry and the 4 Grenadiers. Thanks to the flooded fields, the Pakistani tanks were trapped in Mahmudpura and became sitting ducks for the Indian tanks and recoilless guns.

It was in one such field that Abdul Hamid of 4 Grenadiers, who was awarded the Param Veer Chakra for busting three Pakistani Patton tanks, his driver Mohammed Naseem and two others had taken position in a RCL jeep around 2.30am on September 9. “We had heard several stories that the Pakistani Patton tanks were bigger than houses and were very deadly, but Hamid saab [who was in-charge and firing the gun] was dismissive about such stories. As soon as we saw the first tank, we came out of hiding and even before the Pakistani could blink, we had taken out a Patton,” Naseem recalls.

By the time the Pakistanis retaliated, it had lost two Pattons. “I had gone to fetch water in my kettle when I saw a tank near me firing shots at our battalion headquarters area,” says Naseem, 70. “As I was looking at it, I was hit by a man, whom I recognised as a Pakistani. I knocked him down with my kettle and ran towards my jeep and informed Hamid saab. As soon as I reached there, I took my seat and drove as fast as I could towards the lone Patton tank standing there. Hamid sprang like a tiger, and in no time we had our third kill of the day through accurate firing.” Hamid, however, died in the battle on September 10.

The same day, the 3 Cavalry, led by Lt Col Salim Caleb, destroyed several Pattons in various encounters. Another Indian tank regiment, 9 Horse, under Lt Col A.S. Vaidya who later became the Army chief, inflicted several casualties on the Pakistani Pattons when they tried to invade through the Asal Uttar axis.

The Indian infantry, too, played an important role in destroying the Pattons. “During the war, we allowed tanks to pass over our narrow trenches, dug to tackle Pakistani infantry soldiers, and [we] then destroyed Pakistani tanks using our rocket launchers,” recalls Grenadier Naushad Mohammed Khan.

Naushad, 71, of 4 Grenadiers is credited with killing a Pakistani artillery brigadier. He and his team had taken position in the cotton crop fields when he saw a Pakistani jeep, carrying Major General Nasir Ahmed Khan, chief of the 1 Armoured Division, along with a brigadier, coming towards the tanks. “The brigadier was driving and the driver was in the rear seat, and I sensed an opportunity,” says Naushad. “I opened fire at the jeep with my light machine gun. I kept firing and emptied two magazines on the Pakistani brigadier and when I stopped, I saw that his head had fallen off. The major general somehow managed to escape.”

The casualties forced the Pakistani tank regiments to retreat to their positions in Kasur whereas its 4 Cavalry unit started surrendering before the Indian Army.

At the end of the battle that day, Pakistan lost 97 of its tanks, 72 of which were Pattons; India lost only 12 tanks. Thus, India, with its valour and tactful strategy, gave Pakistan an asal uttar [befitting reply] in one of the biggest tank battles ever fought in the sub-continent.



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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 23:17

Rachna Bisht Rawat's article in Rediff

Asal Uttar the Battle that changed the 1965 war

On the morning of 1 September 1965, the nation woke up to a startling announcement on All India Radio.

'Pakistan has launched a massive attack with tanks and heavy artillery in the Chamb sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The enemy's objective seems to be the strategic Akhnoor Bridge. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri has declared that Pakistan will be given a fitting reply by the Indian Army,' it said.

The prime minister's statement was later described by Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh (retd), VrC, then the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Western Command, as 'the tallest of decisions taken by one of the shortest of men.'

***

6 September 1965

It is a warm September afternoon when the Grenadiers reach Dibbipura, one of the last towns on the Indo-Pak border.

Lush sugar cane fields interspersed with ripening cotton stretch for miles around them. Where the International Border separates India from Pakistan, however, the land is barren. All that they can see is sarkanda or elephant grass growing wild all the way to Ichhogil Canal that roughly marks Pakistan's boundary.

Twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Hari Ram Janu is wading through chest-deep water, his .303 rifle held above his head as he trudges through the sarkanda that lashes his slush caked body.


Around him are 600 soldiers of his battalion, each at a distance of about 5.5 metres from the other, each holding his weapon high, ensuring that the water does not touch the ammunition packs strapped to their bodies.

Artillery shells whistle past, quickening their heartbeat and triggering a buzz in their ears; above their heads, enemy bullets fly relentlessly. Pakistani soldiers have spotted them from the other side of Ichhogil and opened the gates of the canal, flooding the area completely.

Undeterred by the water soaking them to the bone, and ignoring the bullets, the men trudge on. The unit has been tasked to cross the International Border and capture the strategically located Theh Pannu Bridge on Ichhogil Canal.

Amongst the soldiers is CQMH (Company Quarter Master Havildar) Abdul Hamid who will bring laurels to the unit a few days later, but as of now he is just one of the many brave soldiers who are stoically putting their lives at risk to teach Pakistan a lesson it will not forget.

***

Army Chief General J N Chaudhuri addresses troops width=

IMAGE: Army Chief General J N Chaudhuri addresses officers and jawans of the 4 Grenadiers. Photograph: Kind courtesy, 1965-Stories from Second Indo-Pak War by Rachna Bisht Rawat.



The Battle of Asal Uttar

The soldiers walk 4 km in their wet uniforms to reach Dibbipura where they halt for food. They then walk another 7 km to reach Chima village, the area they are to defend.

Darkness is falling when the tired and sleep-deprived men start digging trenches and covering them with sugarcane stalks plucked from the fields so that they are not visible to enemy planes.

It has been three days since they have changed their clothes, and the stink and grime of the water through which they have trudged cling to their sunburned and wind-lashed skin.

They spend another anxious night in their shallow trenches, flitting in and out of sleep. News is rife that Pakistan will attack the next day. They have no idea that this is where they will take on the might of 1 Armoured Division of Pakistan in a three-day bloody battle that will be remembered in military history as the Battle of Asal Uttar.

That it is fought in the village of Asal Uttar (which means 'befitting reply' in Hindi) is a coincidence that would not be lost on the soldiers.

***

Soldiers of the 4 Grenadiers

IMAGE: Troops from the 4 Grenadiers which won the battle honour of Asal Uttar. Photograph: Kind courtesy, 1965-Stories from Second Indo-Pak War by Rachna Bisht Rawat.

That day the Grenadiers face three tank attacks. The tanks come down the road in sets of three -- at 9.30 am, 11.30 am and finally at 2.30 pm.

Hamid destroys two tanks and Hav Bir Singh of B coy another two.

Some of the anti-tank mines that had been laid the previous night are heard exploding and a few more tanks are disabled and deserted by the Pakistanis.

The soldiers settle down for another night of fitful sleep. They know now that an entire Patton tank division of the Pakistan army has been attacking them.

However, they have faith in their World War II vintage recoilless rifles that have smashed, disabled and led to the abandonment of more tanks than an armoured formation could hope for in a tank-to-tank battle.

***



War hero Abdul Hamid
On 10 September, the day dawns bright but the Company Commanders are wary. They are expecting an Infantry attack. Every man is alert in his trench, finger on trigger.

Nothing happens till 8.30 am, when they hear the rumble of enemy tanks again. Three Pattons are coming down the road -- the first trundling down the middle, the other two following, one on either side.

IMAGE: Havildar Abdul Hamid, Param Vir Chakra.

Hamid spots the first tank when it is 180-odd metres away, allows it to get closer and smashes it, quickly moving his jeep away so that its location is not picked up by the enemy.

As had happened earlier, the soldiers in the remaining tanks flee. At 9 am enemy shelling intensifies and many start landing in the C coy area, though nobody is injured. Soon the men spot another armoured attack.

Hamid destroys his sixth tank. He spots the seventh tank at the same time that it spots him. There is no time to change position in the face of relentless artillery fire. Telling his driver and loader to get under cover, he aims his gun at the Patton even as it places him in its sight.

Two simultaneous explosions rend the air -- the tank as well as Hamid's jeep blow each other up simultaneously. The brave soldier is dead, but there is no time to mourn as three enemy RCL jeeps from the Reconnaissance and Support Battalions come down the road.

***

All India Radio broadcast the news of the capture of Pattons in its afternoon bulletin. So many enemy tanks littered the area that Lieutenant Colonel Caleb requested the Brigade Commander to arrange for numbering the enemy tanks with paint in order to make counting easier.

All the turrets of the captured enemy tanks therefore showed a number in white paint in addition to their original Urdu serial numbers
.

Later that evening, 3 Cavalry recovered another war trophy -- Operational order no G-3548 (copy no 3) of Pakistan's 4 Armoured Brigade, dated 8 September 1965.

This clearly stated that 4 Armoured Brigade was to secure the Beas Bridge on the main Grand Trunk Road. The order now hangs in the Regimental Officers' mess.

Lieutenant Colonel Caleb called it a 'colossal enemy dream come untrue.'

Soldiers take a rest

IMAGE: Soldiers take a rest during a lull in the battle. Photograph: Kind courtesy, 1965-Stories from Second Indo-Pak War by Rachna Bisht Rawat.

At 3.30 am on 13 September 1965, the shelling finally stopped. A queer silence descended on the battlefield of Asal Uttar. Ceasefire had been imposed.

It is remarkable that 9 Horse, 4 Grenadiers, 3 Cavalry and 21 Rajasthan Rifles successfully held back an entire armoured division (350 tanks) of Pakistan for seventy-two hours.

For the valour the battalion displayed on the battlefield, 4 Grenadiers was awarded nine Sena Medals, two Vishisht Seva Medals (VSM) and the Battle Honour Asal Uttar.

CQMH Abdul Hamid was posthumously decorated with the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award of India
.

Military historian Steven Zaloga says that Pakistan admitted to losing 165 tanks during the 1965 war, more than half of which were knocked out during the Battle of Asal Uttar.

A famous participant in the battle was Pervez Musharraf, who went on to become army chief of staff and president of Pakistan. At the time, Musharraf was a young lieutenant of artillery in the 16 (SP) Field Regiment, 1st Armoured Division Artillery.

Its back broken, the Pakistani Armoured Division eventually decided to pull out and go towards Sialkot, leaving troops behind in Khem Karan.

Excerpted from 1965: Stories from the Second Indo-Pak War by Rachna Bisht Rawat. Penguin Viking, with the publisher's kind permission.


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2017 23:22

I have been unable to locate the tanker's story.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby YashG » 30 Jun 2017 00:41

ramana wrote:Rohitvats, Do we have a definitive account hour by hour of Battle of Assal Uttar? I am looking hard and far but no avsil.

Hi Ramana. I think this will help - in addition to already posted - this one also has a pretty detailed analysis of the battle & maps/formations.
http://www.claws.in/images/journals_doc/1902138004_PKChakravorty.pdf

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 30 Jun 2017 04:05


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby sudeepj » 30 Jun 2017 22:51

The more I read about 65, the more I realize how deadly serious the conflict was and not just a 'border war' or a series of skirmishes. We could have lost all of Punjab to the west of the Beas! Compared to 65, perhaps 71 was the less perilous of the two wars on the western front?

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2017 00:45

Now you get rohitvats and my drift.
Asal Uttar defeated Pakistan, China and US.
It led to US, China tight bond leading to Nixon's China card.

Now we understand why Hav. Abdul Hamid is greatest soldier and Brig. Theograj the greatest officer.

I want to know when CHIC 4 was tested?

----------------------------
Added later:

CHIC-4 27 October 1966 12 KT

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 02 Jul 2017 06:36

ramana wrote:Now you get rohitvats and my drift.
Asal Uttar defrated Pakistan, China and US.
It led to US, China tight bond leading to Nixon's China card.

Now we understand why Hav. Abdul Hamid is greatest soldier and Brig. Theograj the greatest officer.

I want to know when CHIC 4 was tested?


I am sorry Ramana you do a very serious dis-service by forgetting the stellar contributions of late Lt-Col. and later Maj-Gen Salim Caleb MVC at Assal Uttar. In fact Field Marshal Cariappa congratulated Caleb after Assal Uttar. A person has made a video about the battle of Assal Uttar. This person seems to be from 20 Lancers. He has made 3 videos. (1) 20 Lancers at Chammb (2) Assal Uttar (3) 20 Lancers at Longewala where he personally was involved in some of the action. In all these places it was touch and go. Young people on this forum do not understand how serious all 3 situations were. At Longewala if the tanks had bypassed Longewala and simply raced to Jaisalmer airfield before first light, it would have been the end of the story. Maj-Gen Khambatta at Kishengarh seems not to have been a very innovative commander and timid. Anyhow since this is about Assal Uttar, enjoy the youtube video posted by this gent. He also has posted videos of his NDA days and perhaps some may know him from 20 Lancers. At Chammb it was Bhaskar Roy and his AMX tanks that stemmed the advance to the Akhnur bridge. Bhaskar Roy won a MVC and later died in an accident in 1969.

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


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

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2017 07:21

Those are unit actions. I was commending strategy of using available tanks to stop an armored division.

BTW my tweet on maps

https://twitter.com/ramana_brf/status/8 ... 7375952896

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 02 Jul 2017 07:55

^^^ Pl. do take a look at the video, it shows the overall strategy and what happened at Assal Uttar. We can then agree or disagree if unit actions or overall actions are being described above. Frankly the movements described at Assal Uttar in the video are very complex. The battle took place over 3 days and so I am unsure how a single map on twitter can describe a complex, dynamic situation where participants did not know what was happening. Note how Caleb uses a trigger to alert units waiting in the double horseshoe and how forces have to be moved around to compensate for the Pak armored division movement.

In particular the video mentions the role of not only 3 Cav, but 4 Mountain Div., 9 horse(Deccan Horse), 8 Cavalry etc. among others and their deployment on various maps. 3 Cav had Centurions as the video points out which was a masterstroke. 8 Cav AMX's. Brig. Thomas Theograj had command of 2nd independent armoured brigade of which 3 Cav was a part of. Caleb and Theograj can be seen in consultation at around 16mins into the video. It is the good fortune of India that we had two individuals who kept their cool, played their cards well and served as an inspiration to the junior staff. Deccan Horse was under Lt.-Col Vaidya.
Last edited by vsunder on 02 Jul 2017 08:41, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 02 Jul 2017 08:05

The person who made the videos above ^^^ was at Longewala as part of 20 Lancers. He has made a video of that famous battle too. Field Marshal Carver of the Imperial General Staff visited Longewala after the battle to be briefed about the battle. Again touch and go. The videos are made I think with a great degree of professionalism and one learns a lot at least this dilettante did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Yvt1Snx04

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2017 11:07

Sunder, Thanks for the video. I watched it after talking you. I am in learning mode. The Twitter map was from AVM Arjun Subramanian book. Still gathering data.

What I liked about the video you linked is its a great narration of what happened and brings alive the participants. This is first time I saw the Patton go up in flames from Maj. Belu's tank. Then the next one.
What a sight!

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2017 11:08

I also saw Shiv's video narration. It's very good in its tight narration.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby deejay » 02 Jul 2017 13:31

vsunder wrote:
ramana wrote:Now you get rohitvats and my drift.
Asal Uttar defrated Pakistan, China and US.
It led to US, China tight bond leading to Nixon's China card.

Now we understand why Hav. Abdul Hamid is greatest soldier and Brig. Theograj the greatest officer.

I want to know when CHIC 4 was tested?


I am sorry Ramana you do a very serious dis-service by forgetting the stellar contributions of late Lt-Col. and later Maj-Gen Salim Caleb MVC at Assal Uttar. In fact Field Marshal Cariappa congratulated Caleb after Assal Uttar. A person has made a video about the battle of Assal Uttar. This person seems to be from 20 Lancers. He has made 3 videos. (1) 20 Lancers at Chammb (2) Assal Uttar (3) 20 Lancers at Longewala where he personally was involved in some of the action. In all these places it was touch and go. Young people on this forum do not understand how serious all 3 situations were. At Longewala if the tanks had bypassed Longewala and simply raced to Jaisalmer airfield before first light, it would have been the end of the story. Maj-Gen Khambatta at Kishengarh seems not to have been a very innovative commander and timid. Anyhow since this is about Assal Uttar, enjoy the youtube video posted by this gent. He also has posted videos of his NDA days and perhaps some may know him from 20 Lancers. At Chammb it was Bhaskar Roy and his AMX tanks that stemmed the advance to the Akhnur bridge. Bhaskar Roy won a MVC and later died in an accident in 1969.

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


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


Thank You for sharing the videos Sir.

An interesting point from the first video. Haji Pir was captured by India on 28th August. Pakistan launched the Akhnoor offensive on 01st September - Operation Grand Slam. Chamb was captured in this offensive at least 03 days after Haji Pir was captured by India.

This should lay to rest the regular point that Haji Pir was captured to counter Chamb. It was never so.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 02 Jul 2017 21:26

Previously posted article on role of 91 Medium Arty Regiment at Asal Uttar. Fired some 2000 shells on 10 September alone per regiment history.
Has some very clear pictures of officers with destroyed Pattons.

https://www.thequint.com/india/2015/09/ ... -for-india

What type of guns did 91 Medium Arty have at that time?

I am looking for the 7.2" Heavy battery details??

Regiment, Battery their story.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 03 Jul 2017 05:55

One more account with reports from those who took part:

http://www.salute.co.in/phillora-and-as ... f-the-war/

and

http://www.salute.co.in/the-fateful-72- ... sal-uttar/


THE FATEFUL 72 HOURS AN ACCOUNT OF THE BATTLE OF ASAL UTTAR


In May 1965, my CO promoted me to the rank of Acting Major and sent me to Ferozepur to take over the brigade signal company affiliated to 7 Mountain Brigade. The brigade had moved to Ferozepur and thence to the border, in anticipation of hostilities developing as a consequence of the conflict in Kutch. After suffering the heat and dust for some time, we reverted to Ambala sometime in July. After Pakistan launched its offensive in Chhamb, we were ordered to move to Khem Karan on 4 September 1965.

We were part of 4 Mountain Division which had two brigades – 7 Mountain Brigade and 62 Mountain Brigade. 7 Mountain Brigade was tasked to capture Theh Pannu and Ballanwala on the home side of the Ichhogil canal, in the Khem Karan Sector of Punjab. The brigade further sub allotted the task to 4 Grenadiers for the capture of Theh Pannu and to 7 Grenadiers for the capture Ballanwala. The third battalion, 1/9 GR was deployed in depth at Bhura Kunha, located between Chima and Khem Karan villages, to act as the firm base for launch of operations by the other two battalions.62 Mountain Brigade was also given objectives on the Ichhogil canal further south, which were sub allotted to 9 J&K Rifles and 13 Dogra. The third battalion, 18 Raj Rif was deployed at Asal Uttar to act as a firm base for the above attacks.

These attacks were launched on night 5/6 September, but only the attack by 4 Grenadiers was successful in capturing Theh Pannu. The enemy appeared to be much stronger than we expected, because unknown to us then, its 1 Armoured Division was concentrated at Kasur. Due to the reverses suffered by us in the initial attacks, the effective fighting strength of the division was whittled down to about three to four battalions, and now this force took up a defensive position to halt the expected offensive by the enemy’s 1 Armoured Division. 1/9 Gr and 18 Raj Rif continued to stay in their defences at Bhura Kunha and Asal Uttar and 4 Grenadiers was withdrawn from Theh Pannu which it had captured and was deployed across the Khem Karan Bhikiwind road, near village Chima. HQ 7 Mountain Brigade was deployed at 11r in Chima village, and my signals company was deployed around it to the north. The defences of the division thus resembled a horse shoe, with 7 Mountain Brigade covering the Bhikiwind axis and 62 Mountain Brigade covering the Khem Karan – Valtoha axis.

The enemy began their assault astride both the axes at 0800h on 8 September. In 7 Mountain Brigade sector, the enemy overran our defences at Bhura Kuna and by 1100h, launched an attack on 4 Grenadiers at Chima. The attack was however repulsed with machine gun and anti tank fire causing heavy losses to the enemy. The enemy tank troops were mostly sticking to the narrow road, so quite a few tanks were damaged and abandoned, further choking those roads. That evening, I accompanied the commander to have a look at these invincible tanks. Our boys pulled out some radio equipment along with their instruction books which were still wrapped in polythene bags. I forwarded these to the regimental HQ. Luckily, like in the Mahabharata, there was no fighting that night as the enemy tanks pulled back to laager and rested for the night.

Next morning, on 9 September, the enemy came close to probe our defences, but 4 Grenadiers were ready. On this day, showing exceptional courage and guts, CQMH Abdul Hamid destroyed three tanks, mounted on his 106 mm anti tank recoilless gun. Brig. Sidhu was impressed with the valour shown by Hamid and directed me to send an ‘Emergency’ Signal, recommending him for Maha Vir Chakra. :!: :!: :!: Later in the day, some tanks outflanked us from the west but got stuck up in the flooded fields where the drains had been ruptured by artillery fire. Their crew surrendered to the infantry platoon of 4 Grenadiers sent to round them up.

The enemy once again resumed their attack in earnest on 10 September, but were halted at a distance. On this day, Abdul Hamid continued with his heroics of the previous day, accounting for another enemy tank. Tragically, soon thereafter, his jeep got a direct hit and exploded, killing him instantly. The commander then asked me to send a ‘Flash’ message, amending the earlier citation to read ‘Param Vir Chakra, posthumous’ in place of ‘Maha Vir Chakra’. That same evening, the posthumous award of Param Vir Chakra was announced to CQMH Abdul Hamid by All India Radio.Meanwhile, in an effort to speed up the attack, Pakistan’s armoured division commander moved up to the front. He was spotted by the troops of 4 Grenadiers and his vehicle was destroyed by machine gun fire. The general survived but his commander artillery, Brig. Shami was killed and the Grenadiers recovered his body, along with his fully marked artillery map. It appeared that the enemy was confident of reaching Delhi within a few days!


{rohitvats please note!!!! This confirms that Grand Slam was a diversion and this axis was the real deal}



In the afternoon, one Pakistani tank had reached behind our location but was abandoned when bogged down on a bund near the water tank along the road. Shortly thereafter, we were hit by heavy machine gun fire from behind. It appeared that enemy tanks had surrounded us, but then I heard some shouting, which sounded like our own troops. I crawledforward along the grove and there met Maj. Vohra of 3 Cavalry. They had been told that our position had been overrun and had come to ‘liberate’ us. Luckily, no damage was done.

{Fog of war.}


An eerie silence prevailed as day broke on 11 September. We were all on tenterhooks, not sure what the day would bring. I was manning the operations room when an early morning call broke the silence that prevailed. The corps commander was on line.

Oye!’ he said, in his typical accent, ‘this is Corps Commander General Dhillon. Your boys have done extremely well; we are proud of you all. Call your commander. Chhetti.’

The last word was Punjabi, meaning ‘quickly’. We were all justifiably proud of having broken the back of an armoured division attack. Having witnessed the war, I can but salute the leadership and courage shown by Brig. Sidhu and the grit, determination and fighting spirit of 4 Grenadiers. The enemy commanders proved rather inept, and grossly underrated Indian capability. Leaders like Brig. Sidhu and Col Farhat Bhatti, CO 4 Grenadiers and troops like CQMH Abdul Hamid showed exemplary courage against great odds, which saved our country the blushes and resulted in the destruction of a significant part of the enemy’s offensive potential – a feat for which all of us who took part in the operation can feel justifiably proud of.

Lt Col Naresh K Rastogi was commissioned in the Corps of Signals in 1957. He joined the Madras Regiment in 1971, after the Army Chief asked for volunteers to join the Infantry and took part in the Bangladesh Liberation War with 8 Madras in the Jessore Khulna Sector. On leaving the Army, he moved to Nigeria, where he worked with an MNC for 12 years. He is now settled in Noida.


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 06 Jul 2017 00:16

In 1964, Ayub Khan wrote an article in Foregin Affairs where he was grudging the rise of India after the 1962 debacle and how the re-armament program could out Kashmir out of reach for TSp.
If anyone can find that article plese post here.

Meanhiwl the West calls this envy of a dominant power at the rise of a growing power as Thucydides Trap:

X-Posting

NRao wrote:
maxratul wrote:India and China are locked in the Thucydides trap. Conflict is inevitable.


China and anyone or everyone is locked in it.




Also.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/postever ... 0f374a140c


Except in 1965 India smashed the Paki pretentions to bits and ended its Force of History narrative.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby vsunder » 07 Jul 2017 08:35

Another book about this action is by Brig. Khutub Hai. The Patton Wreckers., Sapna Publications. Brig. Hai was commissioned into 3 Cavalry in 1966. He saw action in 1971 and rose to command 3 Cav in 1985. On retirement in 1998, he took over as CEO of Mahindra & Mahindra Defence systems and after retiring from there is a consultant based in Delhi. Sargesingh's account in part is based on Brig. Hai's book who had extensive access to various war diaries, and in particular that of Maj.-Gen Salim Caleb's. He was Lt.-Col at the time of Assal Uttar.

Sargesingh's video that I have linked says explicitly that FOP's rained down artillery fire after first blood by 3 Cav on the initial advance of Pak 4 Cav. This is around 18:40 into the video. Later Sargesingh points out that heavy artillery, tank main guns etc. were used the night of 10 Sep. to keep Pak infantry at bay and unbalanced. Indian tanks were not taken back to harbour that night. So these facts tie in with the account of the son of Col. Jesus. and how arty was used.

The moral of all of this and in particular a lesson that Pakis keep on forgetting is that though it is easy to start a war, one should also know how to end it. Tactical strategy will usually get upended and to quote a well-known cliche of Helmut von Moltke the elder, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmuth_v ... _the_Elder

Either at Longewala, Chamb or Assal Uttar this was proved correct. Thus a superior commander will know how to change plans and improvise in the face of reverses. How to finish a war once started and whether a tactical hiccup is an impediment to a larger strategic goal and how to modify that strategic goal is what a great general should be good at and so give the correct advice to the political establishment. In that Gen. JN Chaudhuri comes across as mediocre. Much of this remains true today as to what is going on in Bhutan. One can start a war "War is an extension of diplomacy" and all that, but is the political establishment quite sure how to end it. In 1971, the political establishment was not very sure in India, Maneckshaw could only promise an enclave etc. I think Sagat Singh and JFR Jacob as far as I understand had the guts to really think they could finish off the Pak army in Bangladesh which was the correct way to end the war. After the 1971 war there were many fathers for the victory but I believe it was JFR Jacob and Sagat Singh who really had the tactical mojo, what with the Meghna heli bridge etc. There

http://www.rediff.com/news/special/gene ... 161208.htm

The general who had the mojo. All this Maneckshaw, Indira Gandhi and JS Aurora is mush, they would have been content to just win an enclave. This was common knowledge then. But then it was different era, Sagat Singh was a gentleman and unlike twitterati today would be horrified to draw attention to himself.

PS: The name Hai reminds me of Abdul Hai and Naushir Mehta, both excellent Ranji trophy players with Jayasimha and others from Hyderabad of a bygone era. Hyderabad was a serious team those days.
Also in this case the Chinese have started "a war of words" but now face the situation of not knowing how to finish it. Oh well enough said.

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Deans » 07 Jul 2017 13:51

A detailed account of the 65 war (what every formation did, every day) is available in `War despatches' by Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh.
(as GoC West, there's probably no better person to comment on events).
The kindle version is fairly inexpensive but does not have maps - which are an absolute must for a book of this nature.

There is also an interesting account of the Pak version of events in Maj Amin's blog (the link to the relevant part):

http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.in/2017/01/indo-pak-war-1965.html

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 09 Jul 2017 04:48

ramana wrote:Rohitvats,

One thing we can do is try to numerate the Patton losses at Assal Uttar.
How many of the ~97 were hit by, RCLs, the Centurions and how many by the Shermans?
And of the Indian losses (~15?) at Assal Uttar how many were Centurions and how many were the Shermans?

This will require a lot of digging.

We know the 2nd Armored Brigade (Inde) had deployed 1 regiment of 45 Centurions and 1 regiment of 45 M4 upgunned Shermans. I think the other 45 M4 Shermans were from the 4 Mtn Division.



Lt. Col. Rastogi's column shows of the 97 tanks at Asal Uttar, 75 were Patton tanks.

We know from battle accounts, Hav. Abdul Hamid, PVC destroyed 7 Pattons total 3 on one day and 4 on the fatal day. IOW he destroyed 10% of the total Pattons destoryed at Asal Uttar. Amazing.

Will trawl thru other acccounts and note how the Pattons were destroyed.

Nitin Gokhale writes

https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/s ... day/294328

The Pakistanis lost 97 tanks, including 72 Pattons; 32 were captured in running condition. India in contrast lost only five. India won what is now acknowledged as the biggest tank battle fought after WW-II.


So from 72 Pattons-32 captured is 40 Pattons destroyed.

Off the 40 Abdul Hamid destroyed four that day or seven total.

So the tanks got 40-7 = 37 tanks.
Of these 37 tanks how many were got by the Centurions and how many by the upgunned Shermans?

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 16 Jul 2017 12:09

Rakesh wrote:The Battle of Asal Uttar: Critical Appraisal
http://tejasmrca.weebly.com/orbat/the-b ... -appraisal

This article gives breakdown of the Pattons destroyed by Deccan Horse, the Sherman regiment. It was 11 destroyed for loss of 4.

So here comes the evidence that Pattons were destroyed by Sherman's. Many books say this without reference. Here is the reference.

Same time what all these don't understand is thanks to Maj Gen Jetley, these are upgunned with high velocity French CN 75-50 which is based on the German Panzer tank guns.

Relevant excerpts posted here

It is here that we temporarily leave the infantry battalions guarding Asal Uttar to join the Armoured Corps and 3rd Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Salim Caleb (who was later awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for this battle). Of all the Indian cavalry regiments that participated in the battle, 3rd Cavalry had the best tank, the Centurion. The Centurion mk.7, though technologically inferior to the Pakistani M-48 Patton, was arguably the best tank in the Indian Army at the time and one that proved to be more than a match for the Patton at close ranges. Of the other two Cavalry regiments, 9 (Deccan) Horse had World War 2 era Shermans and 8th Light Cavalry had AMX-13 light tanks, both no match for the Patton. 3rd Cavalry and 8th Light Cavalry were under the 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Thomas Theograj, while Deccan Horse and its commander, Lt. Col. Arun Shridhar Vaidya, MVC and Bar (later Army Chief) were under the operational command of 4th Mountain Division.

...


3rd Cavalry completed its move to Bhikhiwind on 8 September, the day the Battle of Asal Uttar started in earnest. Of its fighting elements, ‘A’ Squadron, commanded by Major Suresh Chander Vadera was deployed in the general area Patti, ‘B’ Squadron commanded by Major Prabhakar Belvalkar was deployed in general area Bhikhiwind, ‘C’ Squadron less two troops commanded by Major Narindar Singh Sandhu along with Regimental Headquarters was deployed in the general area Kacha Pakka.

Upon reaching Bhikhiwind, the commandant, Lt. Col. Salim Caleb, was faced with a tactical dilemma. He could hold ground to prepare his defensive perimeter around Bhikhiwind but this would allow Pakistan’s formidable 1st Armoured Division the advantage of a broader frontage for maneuver, i.e. a frontage beyond the capacity of the 3rd Cavalry’s strength of 3 squadrons. The other option was to move southwards and take the battle to the Pakistanis. This had the advantage of restricting the Pakistani armour. It would keep them from enlarging their frontage to beyond 3rd Cavalry’s capability. It would also serve as a good morale booster to the troops. Hence, Lt. Col. Salim Caleb chose the second option and decided to go on the offensive, towards Khemkaran.

The regiment thus commenced its move southwards on the Bhikhiwind-Khemkaran road. ‘B’ squadron was leading the move along with Regimental Headquarters and ‘C’ squadron less two troops. ‘A’ squadron advanced along the Patti-Valtoha-Khemkaran road to establish contact with Deccan Horse, which had already joined battle with Pakistan’s Chaffee and Patton tanks. With the leading elements of ‘B’ squadron having reached south of Chima village, the regiment scored its first hit on the Patton. It was 2:37 PM on the 8th when ALD Charan Singh sighted, what he described as a strange form suddenly take shape of a Patton in his gunner’s sight. He aimed and shot-up the Pakistani tank, which promptly went up in flames. Meanwhile, ‘A’ squadron and Deccan horse attempted to out-flank Pakistan’s right flank, a large number of Pakistani tanks were destroyed or abandoned during the fighting throughout the 8th. By nightfall, the majority of the Pakistani tanks on the Indian left flank were withdrawn and the Pakistanis diverted their attention to the Indian right flank.

A fierce tank battle had now started to develop. As the first day (8 September) closed, there were no casualties reported on the Indian side. 2/Lt P.A. Joseph’s Centurion was hit by a Patton at 800 yards, it shook as the shot hit the Centurion’s famed mantlet but failed to cause any damage. On the receipt of this information, the Centurions were directed to fight facing the advancing Pattons head-on, as opposed to sideways. The battle continued on the morning of the 9th of September as the 3rd Cavalry covered the Indian right flank in two roughly formed semicircular formations, with tank troops at Madar-Algun-Khurd along the main road. All attacks by the Pakistani armour and infantry were beaten back on the 9th.

On the 10th of September, it became apparent that the Pakistanis would focus their attack on the Mahmudpura area. Identifying tanks became a difficult task, as both Centurions and Pattons kept continuously moving inside the thick growth of the Sugarcane fields in the region. It was a fluid situation, and the outcome of the battle and the fate of the Indian war effort was in the balance. At 5:30 PM, ‘A’ Squadron reported Pattons sighted. The Squadron Commander’s gunner, Sowar Dhirpal Singh, destroyed three Pattons in roughly as many minutes. Two Pattons were destroyed by Naib Risaldar Jagdeo Singh. The Pakistani assault was thus blunted and finally came to a halt. The Pakistanis attacked again, but the Indians and 3rd Cavalry held on, as the finest regiments of Pakistan’s 1st Armoured division were shattered.
....

Shifting focus again, to return to the infantry, the 4th Mountain Division’s defensive perimeter around Asal Uttar comprised of 18 Rajputana Rifles, which was deployed in the area south of Asal Uttar covering Axis Khem Karan- Patti; 1/9 Gorkha Rifles in area Road Track Junction covering Axis Khem Karan- Bhikkiwind and 4 Grenadiers in area south of Chima covering Axis Khem Karan- Bhikkiwind provided depth to 1/9 Gorkha Rifles. 9 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles provided depth to 18 Rajputana Rifles. They were reinforced by remnants of 7 Grenadiers and 13 Dogra, both of which had taken a considerable amount of casualties and were hardly sustainable as stand-alone fighting units. The Pakistanis launched their attack on these infantry-defended localities on the morning of the 8th. At one stage, 1/9 Gorkha Rifles, 9 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles and Headquarters 62 Mountain Brigade were surrounded. Utilising standing crops, the tanks were engaged by Deccan Horse, medium guns and tank hunting teams. Deccan Horse managed to destroy 11 tanks while losing four of their tanks. Medium guns and tank hunting parties damaged three other tanks. Such heavy losses compelled the Pakistanis to retreat. The Pakistanis, despite possessing night fighting capabilities, did not attack by night and gave a chance to the Indian units to regroup and be ready for the next assault.

The next attack was launched by Pakistani units after a considerable gap at around noon on September 8. The attack was led by a regiment of Pattons, a squadron of Chaffees and a motorised battalion of the Pakistani 4 Armoured Brigade. They attacked 1/9 Gorkha Rifles and 4 Grenadiers. The attack was partially successful in 1/9 Gorkha Rifles location but unable to make headway in 4 Grenadiers. The Pakistanis again attacked 4 Grenadiers and despite some of their trenches being overrun, the battalion with its anti-tank gunners comprising Subedar Mool Chand and Company Quarter Master Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid (later awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously) knocked out four tanks and beat back the assault. On the night of September 8, at 9 PM, the Pakistanis attacked the defended area of 18 Rajputana Rifles wtth armour and infantry. The tanks were disabled on the minefields and effectively engaged by the artillery. Pakistan used limited sorties of its Air Force which had a negligible impact on the overall situation. Attacks were made at dawn on September 9, along both the axes. Two tanks were blown up on the minefield and another was destroyed by the recoilless gun of 4 Grenadiers. During the afternoon, the Pakistanis made an attempt to outflank from the southeast (Indian left flank) but failed as they got bogged down in the flooded area at Valtoha and were destroyed at leisure.

....By the end of September 10, it became clear that the Pakistanis had lost the battle. Headquarters of the Pakistani 1stArmoured Division was moved to the Sialkot sector and the offensive in the Khemkaran sector had failed. Pakistan lost around 97 tanks, including 72 Pattons; 32 tanks were captured in running condition. In contrast, India lost around 10 tanks.


...
Another reason for their failure was Pakistan’s unwillingness to conduct proper reconnaissance. They sent tanks to Asal Uttar with infantry and without performing adequate reconnaissance. Deccan Horse hid their Shermans in tall sugarcane fields - the crop was ready for harvesting. The Shermans were spaced out every 500 meters. When the Pakistanis rolled into the U-shaped Indian defensive positions, they were hit from every side while unable to see where the Indian fire was coming from. Although the Patton was almost invulnerable at range, the Shermans could destroy it at ranges below 800 meters. Moreover, according to the Indians, the Patton had a tendency to catch fire when hit, causing crews to bail out rapidly following a hit.


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 18 Jul 2017 04:59

I always used to wonder about Maj. Gen. Niranjan Prsad who was relieved of command during 1965 war.

He had earlier issues of command in NEFA.

I am shocked he was pilot and ended up being seconded to Army and reached the rank of Maj. Gen.

Got relieved thrice.
Wonder what his political connections were that he survived them.

Jagan's Tripod Page:

http://jaganpvs.tripod.com/Generals/prasad.htm

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 18 Jul 2017 05:30

Rohitvats, A definitive account of 1965 war from IDSA

Journal of Defence Studies, July September 2015

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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 09 Aug 2017 07:41

I always wondered about the timing of the 1965 war. According to Sidney Griffin in Crisis Games, the war eas gamed to begin in September 1966. The book foreward says book is based on a classified version of the game. We know Philip Talbot was working on his book on the War that changed the Indian sub-continent as he told K.S garu. Writing a book takes time!

Everyone says Ayub Khan fast forwarded the date by a year due to his own fears.

Something that India did or put in motion panicked the powers and triggered this war.

I think I got the trigger.
LBS authorized the Subterranean Nuclear Explosion Program (SNEP) in early 1965 after China test in October 1964.
India got language agitation, 1965 War, LBS dead in Tashkent, Bhabha dead in Switzerland in 1966, NOT in 1968.


http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/s ... /1016715/0



Even this did not end the PM's woes. A shrewd judge of his own party's mood, he realised that he had to mobilise its support and felt this could be best done through the executive committee of the Congress Parliamentary Party that had become very conscious of its power after virtually forcing Nehru to sack Krishna Menon. Under Shastri, it had become even more assertive. He chose to mollify it by announcing that Bhabha had assured him that nuclear explosives could be used both "destructively as well as constructively". For instance, an underground nuclear explosion could "drill a tunnel across a mountain or construct a canal for people's welfare". So he was authorising a Subterranean Nuclear Explosion Project (SNEP).

Unfortunately, soon afterwards erupted the virulent language crisis, followed by the Kutch conflict and the 1965 war with Pakistan. On January 11, 1966, Shastri died at Tashkent. A fortnight later, Bhabha was killed in a plane crash near Mont Blanc that may not have been an accident. For a long while interest was diverted from SNEP and the Chinese bomb.


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Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby wig » 09 Aug 2017 10:01

Apologies in case this is posted earlier also.

http://jagrukbharat.com/8456/megh-singh ... ember-1965

fascinating write up by a veteran regarding then Major Megh Singh and operations in the Chhamb Sector during the 1965 war. It appears that operations such as these were the buds of the later flowering of the parachute commando battalions


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