1965 India Pakistan War: History

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9157
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Mort Walker » 10 Aug 2017 08:07

^^^There are accounts that the KGB was listening to LBS's room in Tashkent and heard him in the process of death, but did nothing to save him. It is very likely the Soviets poisoned LBS and Bhabha was killed by a combined US and British intel operation.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 5465
Joined: 11 Apr 2007 16:01

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby niran » 10 Aug 2017 08:57

Mort Walker wrote:It is very likely the Soviets poisoned LBS and Bhabha was killed by a combined US and British intel operation.

BhaBha was killed by Combined merican and pasta people, pasta missplaced marker beacon as soon as the plane crashed they booted up new beacon at original spot.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 3853
Joined: 11 Jan 2009 00:14

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby suryag » 10 Aug 2017 19:26

Who is pasta sir ?

BRF Oldie
Posts: 3660
Joined: 06 May 2011 13:53

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Kashi » 10 Aug 2017 19:35

Italians I guess...

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 11 Aug 2017 03:37

Mort Why would Soviets kill LBS? It was whoever induced heart attack. Listening to guest house is normal for host country.

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9157
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Mort Walker » 11 Aug 2017 20:31

^^^Soviets at the time thought weak leadership in India would cause communists to gain upper hand. They may have thought India could be in their orbit like Egypt was. It's important to remember what was playing out on the world stage in late 1965. The US was trying to contain communism and the Chinese fell out with the Russians.

Posts: 560
Joined: 04 Jul 2006 21:06

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Avarachan » 12 Aug 2017 03:50

I think the Soviets are innocent ... The Anglo-Americans didn't need the Soviets' help to murder the Prime Minister. (As is well known, the US-UK had many Indian assets.) Involving the Soviets would endanger the operation ... With covert operations, it's not wise to involve more people than absolutely necessary. Also, for what it's worth, retired CIA officer Robert Crowley claimed that the CIA killed both Shastri and Bhabha. (Crowley was the assistant deputy director for operations--that's second-in-command at the Directorate of Operations--so he's a credible source.)

Known as 'The Crow' within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),
Robert T. Crowley ('Bob' Crowley) joined the CIA at its inception and
spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the
'Department of Dirty Tricks,' Crowley was one of the tallest man ever
to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago , Crowley grew
to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at
West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never
graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during
World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant

Bob (Robert) Crowley first contacted journalist Gregory Douglas in
1993 and they began a series of long and often very informative
telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley
told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should
ultimately tell Crowley 's story but only after Crowley 's death.
Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material
that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record
their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning
to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.

In 1998, when Crowley was slated to go into the hospital for
exploratory surgery, he had his son, Greg, ship two large foot lockers
of documents to Douglas with the caveat that they were not to be
opened until after Crowley 's death. These documents, totaled an
astonishing 15,000 pages of CIA classified files involving many covert
operations, both foreign and domestic, during the Cold War.

While CIA drug running, money-launderings and brutal assassinations
are very often strongly rumored and suspected, it has so far not been
possible to actually pin them down but it is more than possible that
the publication of the transcribed and detailed Crowley-Douglas
conversations will do a great deal towards accomplishing this.

These many transcribed conversations are relatively short because
Crowley was a man who tired easily but they make excellent reading.
There is an interesting admixture of shocking revelations on the part
of the retired CIA official and often rampant anti-social (and very
entertaining) activities on the part of Douglas but readers of this
new and on-going series are gently reminded to always look for the
truth in the jest!


Conversations with 'the Crow' - Part 14

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS (GD): I am a man of sorrows and
acquainted with rage, Robert. How about the Company setting off a
small A-bomb in some hitherto harmless country and blaming it on mice.

never did. In fact, we prevented at least one nuclear disaster.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: What? A humanitarian act? Why, I am
astounded, Robert. Do tell me about this.

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Now, now, Gregory, sometimes
we can discuss serious business. There were times when we prevented
terrible catastrophes and tried to secure more peace. We had trouble,
you know, with India back in the 60s when they got uppity and started
work on an atomic bomb. Loud mouthed cow-lovers bragging about how
clever they were and how they, too, were going to be a great power in
the world. The thing is, they were getting into bed with the Russians.
Of course, Pakistan was in bed with the chinks so India had to find
another bed partner. And we did not want them to have any kind of
nuclear weaponry because God knows what they would have done with it.
Probably strut their stuff like a Washington nigger with a brass
Probably nuke the Pakis. They're all a bunch of neo-coons
anyway. Oh yes, and their head expert was fully capable of building a
bomb and we knew just what he was up to. He was warned several times
but what an arrogant prick that one was. Told our people to ****** off
and then made it clear that no one would stop him and India from
getting nuclear parity with the big boys. Loud mouths bring it all
down on themselves. Do you know about any of this?

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Not my area of interest or expertise.
Who is this joker, anyway?

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Was, Gregory, let's use the
past tense if you please. Name was Homi Bhabha. That one was
dangerous, believe me. He had an unfortunate accident. He was flying
to Vienna to stir up more trouble when his BOEING 707 had a bomb go
off in the cargo hold and they all came down on a high mountain way up
in the Alps . No real evidence and the world was much safer.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Was Bhabha alone on the plane?

India flight.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: How many people went down with him?

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Ah, who knows and frankly, who

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: I suppose if I had a relative on the
flight I would care.



FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Then don't worry about it. We
could have blown it up over Vienna but we decided the high mountains
were much better for the bits and pieces to come down on. I think a
possible death or two among mountain goats is much preferable than
bringing down a huge plane right over a big city.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: I think that there were more than
goats, Robert.

bleeding-heart today.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Now, now, it's not an observation that
is unexpected. Why not send him a box of poisoned candy? Shoot him in
the street? Blow up his car? I mean, why ace a whole plane full of

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Well, I call it as it see it.
At the time, it was our best shot. And we nailed Shastri as well.
Another cow-loving rag head. Gregory, you say you don't know about
these people. Believe me, they were close to getting a bomb and so
what if they nuked their deadly Paki enemies? So what? Too many people
in both countries. Breed like rabbits and full of snake-worshipping
I don't for the life of me see what the Brits wanted in India .
And then threaten us? They were in the sack with the Russians, I told
you. Maybe they could nuke the Panama Canal or Los Angeles . We don't
know that for sure but it is not impossible.


FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: A political type who started
the program in the first place. Bhabha was a genius and he could get
things done so we aced both of them. And we let certain people there
know that there was more where that came from. We should have hit the
chinks too, while we were at it but they were a tougher target. Did I
tell you about the idea to wipe out Asia 's rice crops? We developed a
disease that would have wiped rice off the map there and it's their
staple diet. The ****** rice growers here got wind of it and raised
such a stink we canned the whole thing. The theory was that the
disease could spread around and hurt their pocketbooks. If the Mao
people invade Alaska , we can tell the rice people it's all their fault.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: I suppose we might make friends with

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: With the likes of them? Not at
all, Gregory. The only thing the Communists understand is brute force.
India was quieter after Bhabha croaked.
We could never get to Mao but
at one time, the Russians and we were discussing the how and when of
the project. Oh yes, sometimes we do business with the other side.
Probably more than you realize.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Now that I know about. High level
amorality. They want secrets from us and you give them some of them in
return for some of their secrets, doctored of course. That way, both
agencies get credit for being clever.

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Well, you've been in that game
so why be so holy over a bunch of dead ragheads?

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Were all the passengers Indian atomic

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: Who cares, Gregory? We got the
main man and that was all that mattered. You ought not criticize when
you don't have the whole story.

JOURNALIST GREGORY DOUGLAS: Well, there were too many mountain
goats running around, anyway. Then might have gotten their hands on
some weapons from Atwood and invaded Switzerland .

FORMER CIA OFFICER ROBERT T CROWLEY: You jest but there is truth in
what you say. We had such a weight on us, protecting the American
people, often from themselves I admit. Many of these stories can never
be written, Gregory. And if you try, you had better get your wife to
start your car in the morning.
# # #

Mort Walker
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9157
Joined: 31 May 2004 11:31
Location: The rings around Uranus.

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Mort Walker » 12 Aug 2017 10:58

^^^I don't know about that source, but will look it up when I have the chance. What is known is the US and Soviets were from the late 1940s through 1970s involved in all sorts of really nasty activities to destabilize governments.

Amber G.
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7365
Joined: 17 Dec 2002 12:31
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Amber G. » 13 Aug 2017 01:40

...Also, for what it's worth, retired CIA officer Robert Crowley claimed that the CIA killed both Shastri and Bhabha.

To be clear, Robert Crowley NEVER claimed .. or even anything close to claiming --- this!

The closest this CT comes is some news paper publishes (in 2008 - MORE THAN 40 years later) "a transcript" of a telephone conversation between a "Gregory Douglas" and Robert Crowley where Douglas claims that Crowley said such and such... (IOW NO tapes, NO documents even remotely collaborating the fact that Crowley (or anyone else in CIA or any other reputable guy - there is ZERO evidence that the "transcript" is real ) said this..

I remember 1966.. that Wednesday of the plane crash pretty well. I was with some TIFR guys and this was a very sad news. (I happen to have met Bhabha and knew him ).. only strange theory around that time was, some said, he travelled on a Wednesday which according to his mother was an unlucky day and some suggested him not to fly that day. Of course this was absurd as Bhabha did not believe in such things... The CIA CT is, in my opinion even more absurd. (I have known many of colleagues of Bhabha over the years and can tell you that NONE of the people I know ever talked about conspiracy..)

BTW Bhabha had very good relationship and reputation with US scientists in those days. (There were many Indian physicists and Bhabha's students in US in those days). Bhabha had very good relationship with Nehru and thus there was good cooperation between US and India .. (All that changed in 1968 and became even worse post 1971 for obvious reasons..)

The untimely death of Bhabha had another effect. GOI and US were thinking of making IIT Kanpur a top rated school for nuclear physics and talks were going on between top US institutes and GOI for this. Unfortunately after Bhabha's death the initiative died.
(Recently I saw a book (Fourth IIT) where more details about this is given)

BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7529
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby disha » 13 Aug 2017 05:23

I think even more absurd is to believe this

...only strange theory around that time was, some said, he travelled on a Wednesday which according to his mother was an unlucky day and some suggested him not to fly that day. Of course this was absurd as Bhabha did not believe in such things...

Given the fact that CIA penetrated the Kerala police to bring down the career of brilliant ISRO engineers and given the fact that CIA was involved in regime change all across the world and given the very fact that Patrice Lumumba was murdered by CIA and its belgian cronies just 3 days before Kennedy's inauguration and further CIA was involved in covert wars in Laos (even before vietnam) and its various involvements in covert assassinations all over the world to meet ostensible political goals of US until Ford signed the declaration in 1976 clearly indicates that CIA may be a great suspect in Bhabha's assassination.

To rule that theory out as outlandish is just plain outlandish.

And while you are about IIT AmberG., why do not you let us know who set up IIT? And also the "famine scare" of 1960s which was to ensure that US exports its surplus wheat to India and also the US funded female infanticide from AIIMS?

Or you can probably explain Madam Halfbrights stated goal of Cap, Rollback and Eliminate India's nuclear program or Convicted Fmr. Assistant Secy of State Robin Raphael's statement of not recognizing cashmeres ascension to India.

Bhabha having good reputation with US scientists is totally orthogonal to US's political goals.


AmberG., I do not think you are so naive that given the history of CIA you will call speculation of its involvement outlandish but actually bring in outlandish and unsubstantiated astrological theory!

BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7529
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby disha » 13 Aug 2017 05:31

Dear AmberG' - can you go through this article and call it outlandish?


In spite of this, the US never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings, from aerial bombing of presidents to drone attacks on alleged terrorist leaders. Aerial bomb attempts on leaders included Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 1986, Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic in 1999 and Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Earlier well-documented episodes include Congo’s first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, judged by the US to be too close to close to Russia. In 1960, the CIA sent a scientist to kill him with a lethal virus, though this became unnecessary when he was removed from office in 1960 by other means. Other leaders targeted for assassination in the 1960s included the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, president Sukarno of Indonesia and president Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.

In 1973, the CIA helped organise the overthrow of Chile’s president, Salvador Allende, deemed to be too left wing: he died on the day of the coup.

And here is the CIA's targeted assassinations never disputed:

1945 Korea Kim Koo
1951 Iran Mossadegh
1961 Congo Patrice Lumamba
1963 Iraq Qassim government (targeted killings)
1960s-70s Cuba Fidel Castro
1970 Chile Salvadore Allende

Given the above., I will NOT be surprised if CIA is implicated in both Bhabha and Shastriji's assassination.

It is churlish to call the above "outlandish". The history is there for all to see - as long as they keep their eyes open and even more their minds.

BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7529
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby disha » 13 Aug 2017 05:41

So dear Amber'G., are you going to call this outlandish as well:


The peak of outrage against government-sponsored assassination was the mid-1970s, when the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations — better known as the Church committee — spent more than 60 days questioning 75 witnesses about C.I.A. plots of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Back in the darkest days of the cold war, the agency had devoted significant resources and creativity to devising unhappy ends for unsavory or inconvenient foreign leaders. Among those listed for assassination were Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic and, most famously, Fidel Castro of Cuba, who survived no fewer than eight C.I.A. assassination plots. ...

At the C.I.A., where many top officials were highly cultivated products of elite boarding schools and Ivy League colleges, assassination may have been in vogue at the time, but it was not a subject for polite discussion. When one C.I.A. official turned in a memo urging the “elimination” not just of Fidel Castro, but of Raul Castro and Che Guevara, too — a sort of assassination triple play — Allen Dulles, the agency’s director, did not balk. But he did cross out “elimination” and pencil in a softer word: “removal.”

Such squeamishness seems almost quaint by today’s standards. “Targeted killing” is the latest euphemism for assassination. Employed with some regularity since the 1980s, targeted killing has been an especially valued tool of the C.I.A. and Pentagon since 9/11. Several executive orders prohibiting government-sponsored assassination were issued in the aftermath of the Church committee, including one signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981. Reagan himself challenged the order in 1986, when he approved an air attack on Libya — and the implicit attempt on the life of Colonel Qaddafi — as retribution for the bombing of a Berlin discotheque.

It is definitely churlish to call the speculation that Dr. Bhabha and Late PM Shastriji were in the cross hairs of CIA and marked for "removal" as outlandish.

In fact as recently as 2012., american dog Karan Thapar called for "sudden removal" of Modiji and Modi ji himself alluded as recently as 2015 & 2016 that he may be targeted in his speeches publicly.

Please do not be churlish AmberG.

Added later:

I think AmberG., you need to take back your outlandish comment (and with due apologies)., otherwise you need to prove each point in the article below as outlandish.


Posts: 949
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 23:00

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby KrishnaK » 13 Aug 2017 09:08

disha wrote:And while you are about IIT AmberG., why do not you let us know who set up IIT? And also the "famine scare" of 1960s which was to ensure that US exports its surplus wheat to India and also the US funded female infanticide from AIIMS?

I'm shocked you left out vasectomies and polio out of the CIA conspiracy list. That said here's some alternative facts about famines in the 1960s Swallowing the humiliation - Inder Malhotra.

Posts: 230
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 16:40
Location: USA

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Najunamar » 13 Aug 2017 09:57

CIA involvement in Shastri and/or Bhabha's death(s) does not sound too outlandish given the prevailing mood in the US at that time (we all know the crazed utterings of Nixon and Kissinger which was not an aberration but perhaps a bit more extreme). The US of 60s-70s was extremely arrogant and hostile toward India and I am seeing them headed in the same direction in this and the coming decade. All talks of a "Hyperpower" gives one a sen se of deja vu. Only this time, India is very well prepared and there's a huge diaspora which I doubt will go without a fight :evil:

Disclaimer: For those who say I am totally wrong - I could be, but it is not for want of interaction with the American public (lived and worked here for the last 25 years).

BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7529
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby disha » 14 Aug 2017 10:08

KrishnaK wrote:
I'm shocked you left out vasectomies and polio out of the CIA conspiracy list. That said here's some alternative facts about famines in the 1960s Swallowing the humiliation - Inder Malhotra.

That is a good record of the wheat "export" by US - ipso-facto. And are you expressing shock as in cynicism and indicating that I am indulging in CT when I am pointing out that CIA was involved in regime change or assassination? You need to be clear.

Polio & CIA are not related in India. And CONgoons are more famous for vasectomies., but that is a discussion for other thread. How the US created a wheat crises needs to be studied in another thread. The reason is simple., India's staple along with rice, wheat were millets like bajri, jowar etc. But the focus was purposely on wheat. In retrospect., was a wheat crises engineered so that America can influence India's foreign policy? As stated., that is a topic for a separate thread.


My point is clear., CIA was actively involved in assassination of influential figures across the globe in pursuit of the then american foreign policy and it is not outlandish to suspect them for the untimely deaths of Dr. Bhabha and late PM Shri Shastriji.

Posts: 949
Joined: 29 Mar 2005 23:00

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby KrishnaK » 18 Aug 2017 04:22

disha wrote:That is a good record of the wheat "export" by US - ipso-facto. And are you expressing shock as in cynicism and indicating that I am indulging in CT when I am pointing out that CIA was involved in regime change or assassination? You need to be clear.
Your claim that the US manufactured a famine scare is clearly nonsense. Clearly making fun of you.

My point is clear., CIA was actively involved in assassination of influential figures across the globe in pursuit of the then american foreign policy and it is not outlandish to suspect them for the untimely deaths of Dr. Bhabha and late PM Shri Shastriji.
It isn't just outlandish, it's garbage. Much of the information about attempts on Castro come from USG sources.

Decades earlier in 1975, the US Senate Church Commission revealed details of at least eight plots on Castro's life, using devices which, the commission report said, "strain the imagination".

From The CIA's Family Jewels - The National Security Archive

6) Plan to poison Congo leader Patrice Lumumba (p. 464)

Why is there no such information about Indias leaders ? Similar to the other forum conspiracy - containing India which is an article of faith for some here.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 3660
Joined: 06 May 2011 13:53

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Kashi » 18 Aug 2017 05:58

KrishnaK wrote:an article of faith for some here.

Just like your faith in everything USA isn't it?

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 18 Aug 2017 20:58

Guys Get back to topic.

The next anniversary is coming up in a matter of weeks and we are still arguing extraneous things.

Posts: 400
Joined: 09 Feb 2011 17:31

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby jayasimha » 06 Sep 2017 13:19

The Indian Air Force Under
Air Marshal Arjan Singh

https://www.indianarmy.nic.in/writeread ... 230915.pdf


AVM Upkarjit Singh, ACAS Ops (Space) with Air Marshal (Retd) VK Bhatia

Posts: 400
Joined: 09 Feb 2011 17:31

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby jayasimha » 06 Sep 2017 13:24

https://www.indianarmy.nic.in/writeread ... 230915.pdf

Operations in the Chhamb
and Sialkot Sectors

By Lt Gen Satish Nambiar


Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 06 Sep 2017 20:24

10 September is anniversary of martyrdom of Abdul Hamid PVC.

Please use his image as DP

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2017 05:10

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 10 Oct 2017 04:33

Google Books:

Cold War Jet Combat: 1950 to 1972 Michael Bowman

Pages 63 onwards have description of India-Pakistan wars. And very nice pictures from page 66.

Page 81 and 82 have a very detailed description of the IAF Hunters flown by Menon, Bishnoi, Kullar, and Negi attack on the goods train to Khemkaran that restricted the Patton tanks at Asal Uttar to 30 rounds per tank and limited fuel.

The It has many pictures but looks like PAF gave them more access and hence its their pictures that are printed.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 16 Oct 2017 09:19

Old Pakistani reappraisal of the war:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130119073 ... 2005_pg3_1

BRF Oldie
Posts: 12636
Joined: 05 Apr 2006 16:25

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby Aditya_V » 16 Oct 2017 10:59

ramana wrote:Old Pakistani reappraisal of the war:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130119073 ... 2005_pg3_1

Again same OLD BS that the PAF won all wars and it was only the PA which lost it. But I hope this propoganda is kept rammed down by the PAF on the PA continously, can't bee good for inter force relations.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 16 Oct 2017 22:26

Nice no?

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 29 Nov 2017 06:59

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 30 Nov 2017 03:50

krishna_krishna wrote:......
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.

Am still waiting.

Posts: 907
Joined: 23 Oct 2006 04:14

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby krishna_krishna » 30 Nov 2017 05:36

ramana wrote:
Am still waiting.

Guru will try to finish this by next weekend, its really crzy

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 30 Nov 2017 20:39


BTW Rohitvats is also working like crazy to tie up all we know about 1965 war.
Its much more important then we think.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 01 Dec 2017 02:09

Two great blog articles from higher direction of war by Lt. Gen Hasnian courtesy Rohitvats:

1) India Pakistan Conflict 1965 Focused Recall Part I

India-Pakistan conflict 1965 : Focused recall (Part 1)

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain
Updated: September 13, 2015, 1:10 PM IST


Fifty years to the date and India was into the 14th day of what is commonly called the 22 Day War. I have been attending functions related to the events, speaking at most of them and writing a great deal too. However, at the beginning and even well before, I concentrated on the sequence of the war of which most people in India were blissfully ignorant. Thereafter, I fell into the temptation of justifying how exactly India was the true and only winner. That too was necessary. As we progress into September find that many people all over the nation are much better informed about the War and are increasingly asking searching questions which should inevitably have been asked many years ago. This is the awakening about military affairs that I always dreamt of and I am extremely thrilled to witness it. The next few essays are all about a few of those questions and some attempted answers. But to set the record right is also important. This was no 22 day war; that comes from the presumption that transgression of the LoC on 01 September 1965 was the commencement of the war. Actually we were at war all of August 1965, in J&K and the most stupendous success of the entire war came our way at Hajipir in end August 1965.

Two weeks ago, Shekhar Gupta wrote a short post on Facebook on Late Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh, the iconic Army Commander Western Command, who single handedly, commanded the entire war front in 1965. He implored everyone to read the General’s book ‘War Despatches’ which is perhaps the most brilliant and brutally frank account of the entire build up, the war itself and the post conflict aspects. A television show featured his family too. I am glad that the right attention is being given to one of India’s greatest soldiers. I was fortunate that my family enjoyed a personal relationship with the great General as my father was Gen Harbaksh’s Brigade Major (BM) in Damana (Jammu) when the General was a Brigadier in mid 1950s. Military personnel are usually aware of the intimacy in such relationships between commanders and principal staff. From my parents I only heard deep praise for the Harbaksh family and for the General’s military prowess; his insistence on being given information and advice in very few words was his forte. This last quality must surely have helped him tremendously in directing and leading the war effort. He had a responsibility on his shoulders far in excess of what should have been placed and in many ways this was one of the reasons why the Indian pick up of intelligence and response may have been less than what it could and should have been. Let me justify this statement.

In 1965, neither was the state of telecommunication reliable nor were there enough air transportation resources to allow senior commanders the liberty of frequent and easy visits to lower headquarters and to battle zones. HQ Western Command was initially located at Shimla, its peacetime station and later moved to the plains to control the operations. From Ladakh to Bikaner is a vast distance and to be responsible for the entire front which included the Chinese threat from Aksai Chin, was downright impractical. It took another war in 1971 to realize this resulting in the creation of HQ Northern Command, the move of HQ 15 Corps from Udhampur to Srinagar and the raising of HQ 16 Corps at Nagrota for the command and control of formations from the PirPanjal till Pathankot.


Further, it took yet another war in 1999 to detach responsibility of HQ16 Corps from the broad area of the Chenab-Ravi Corridor, merge that area with Western Command and raise HQ South Western Command to take charge of Southern Punjab and Northern Rajasthan.

So, effectively Gen Harbaksh Singh had the command of an area of responsibility (AOR) which is today looked after by three Field Armies (Commands). This too was in an era when technical intelligence sources were extremely limited. Perhaps India just could not afford to have more HQ or there were insufficient troops to be placed under smaller Field Armies or most importantly the Government just did not care nor listened to military advice. Whatever be the reasons it is clear that sitting in Shimla, Ambala, Chandigarh or Jalandhar it was not possible for an Army Commander or his HQ staff to get a feel of the situation in Jammu & Kashmir before Operation Gibraltar was launched on 05 August 1965. Gen Harbaksh, in his excellent book, does mention that operational plans for an offensive into Pakistan Punjab were prepared as early as Apr 1965 after receiving directions from the Chief.

Yet, through August 1965 even as Op Gibraltar was in full swing he was visiting Kashmir very frequently, especially during the early part of the Battle of Hajipir, 26-31 August 1965. It is more than likely that there was insufficient attention paid to the reports of activities across Akhnoor in the Chenab-Jhelum Corridor (CJC) and even in the Shakargarh Bulge (Northern part of the Chenab-Ravi Corridor CRC) ). Even one glance at a map can give a surmise that it is these sub sectors which were and are most vulnerable to possible Pakistani incursions to sever the road communications between Pathankot and J&K or between Jammu and Poonch/Rajouri sector. That Akhnoor sector was defended by a weak squadron of tanks of 20 Lancers and effectively three of the five battalions of 191 Infantry Brigade with nothing in depth, was taking of risk beyond any sense of prudence. On the part of Pakistan it cannot be denied that Operation Grand Slam, the operation planned and executed in the Akhnoor sector was designed to cement a victory which it thought it would achieve in J&K. Two brigades of Pakistan 7 Division were specifically earmarked for the task and two regiments (11 Cavalry and 13 Lancers) from the newly raised 6 Armoured Division were part of the force. The area selected for the attack afforded a short distance for concentration from Kharian. Although the Samba-Kathua area could easily have been accessed the distance for concentration meant a move parallel to the border through Sialkot; the pickup of intelligence by India would have been much quicker. Pakistan’s early planning and prudent selection of Akhnoor sector for attack after the setback at Hajipir ensured that it caught India by surprise.

In 1999 during the Kargil War, over stretch of AOR for a single HQ resulted once again in our inability to keep the focus on terrain vulnerabilities. 15 Corps (Chinar Corps) was handling Kashmir and Ladakh, from Demchok in East to Gulmarg in the West. It was responsible for Eastern Ladakh, Siachen, Kargil, the Kashmir LoC in Kupwara and Baramula sectors and the raging militancy at its height aided by foreign terrorists. It had staff as much as any other Corps HQ but with a minor increment. It failed to read the indicators about the potential Kargil intrusion because its focus was elsewhere and rightfully so. No HQ can be focused with equal priority to each sub sector for which it is responsible unless it has a compact area well within its capability of focus. The Kargil experience led to the splitting of 15 Corps AOR with HQ 14 Corps being raised for Ladakh. Each time splitting of AOR has happened after a negative event which essentially reflects that military appreciation in matching resources to an AOR has never really been our forte.

{Why? This would be third time after 1965, 1971 and 1999. Was it because of the old British Indian Army formations that Kitchener created?

In one of the ongoing seminars of the 1965 Indo-Pak war a seasoned veteran who writes on strategic issues raised a very pertinent question. It alluded to the reasons why in the Akhnoor sector we have twice been surprised (1971 too) and whether our posture today caters for surprise factor in the future. Even the thinking public, which is reading and listening about military affairs with much greater interest than ever before, deserves to be given an answer to this. Three things the reader must know about this sector. First, the Chenab Jhelum Corridor (CJC) where it hugs the LoC is a short distance from the debouching areas from where an offensive force can be launched by Pakistan. Concentration can be done by the Pakistan Army in a very quick time frame which means the chances of being surprised are very high. Secondly, the River Tawi and the artificial obstacle of the ditch cum bund (DCB)can effectively check the initial offensive. Thirdly the distance being short from the LoC to Akhnoor there is always a need to have defences in depth and sufficient armour to respond with. Both in 1965 and 1971 these criteria were not there but today Akhnoor has all this and more. The CJC is excellent territory for us to commence a pre-emptive offensive so that the battle is fought in Pakistan territory with enough threat to his nearby cantonments.

The major tank battles of the 1965 War were fought once the Indian Army launched its offensive on 06 Sep 1965 taking the Pakistan Lahore sector completely by surprise; so we weren’t the only ones to be surprised through the war. The Lahore and the Sialkot sectors where the credentials of India’s tankmen were tested will be the focus of Part II of this essay.

2)1965 India- Pak War How the armed forces fought in the plains

1965 India-Pakistan War: How the Armed Forces fought in the plains

Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain
Updated: September 21, 2015, 11:31 AM IST

By now readers all over India must be having the 1965 Indo-Pak war coming out of their ears, so much has been the splurge by the media and the efforts of the armed forces themselves have been appreciable. The Forgotten War has just about become the most Remembered War and we have made good much of the neglect, the reasons for which were never very clear. However, I do subscribe the prime reason as the lack of a strategic culture in India. It seems to be making a dent somewhere now and that is a very positive sign. Common people are discussing and evincing interest and the generation born in the 1970s and thereafter in particular appears to be realizing the value of military heritage and sacrifice.

Last week I promised to continue the analysis of the War by addressing the events which took place from 06 Sep 65 onwards. Gen Harbaksh Singh wrote of his dilemma in deciding the date of the launch across the IB in Punjab. The plans were broadly in place in Apr 65 itself and deliberations about the contingency of having to open the Punjab front had taken place well before; it was not a spur of the moment decision as has been made out in some analyses but a well-planned and thought out military action.

The dilemma was the need for simultaneity in launch of 11 Corps with its three formations – 15, 7 and 4 Infantry Divisions, through what is broadly called the Amritsar sector and of the newly raised 1 Corps (the HQ was effective on 3 Apr 65) hastily orbatted with 26 Inf Div (holding formation), 6 Mountain Division (raised for the Central Sector on the Sino Indian border and equipped for mountain warfare), the recently raised 14 Infantry Division and finally the pride of India’s Armoured Corps, the 1st Armoured Division (Black Elephant). To today’s observers this would seem a perfectly formed order of battle for a Strike Corps; a holding/pivot formation deployed at the firm base, two division sized forces for two thrust lines and a sizeable armored component.

{So Lt Gen. Harbaksh Singh was launching a two corps simultaneous attack. This is a major deep battle strike formation. Let us see what happened?}


Yet, the situation wasn’t what meets the eye and appears on paper. 6 Mountain Division had never trained with armor or even exercised in the plains. 14 Infantry Division had just about completed its raising and had not fetched up into the battle zone even by the launch date, 6 Sep 65. 1 Armored Division had just the 1st Armored Brigade and 43rd Lorried Brigade with just four armored regiments; it had to borrow an armored regiment to have matching capability with Pakistan’s known armored formation.

Today’s Strike Corps are well oiled war machines, the pride of the Army, trained and fully aware of their tasks. They go into battle as they arrive, completely confident that the pivot formations are there to assist even before they launch. In 1965, 1 Corps was just a loosely hinged strike force not even aware of the opposition it would face. The possibility of meeting Pakistan’s 1st Armored Division in battle was live but the delay in launch occurred due to the inability of 14 Infantry Division fetching up to its concentration area.

{however plans were in place since April 1965, yet 14 Div was not raised nor in its launch point nor trained for plains warfare. 1st Armored was not equipped at all. So Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh didn't have the resources for such a major attack./}

Pakistan’s key formation had already shown its hand at Khem Karan on 6/7 Sep 65. [b]The task of 1 Corps (Sialkot sector – through Samba-Vijaypur) was supposedly made easy but little was known about the existence of a second armor formation in the form of Pakistan’s 6th Armored Division in the Sialkot sector. Whether the staggered launch of 11 and 1 Corps on 6 Sep and 9 Sep respectively was beneficial or would a simultaneous launch have achieved more is difficult to say but there can be no doubt that the dilemma for the man in charge of it all, Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh, was real.

With his typical offensive spirit and facing two crumbling fronts in Akhnur (North) and Khem Karan (South) one would not have liked to be in his shoes. He chose the ideal solution copy book style, borrowing from the age old saying – attack is the best form of defence. He chose to open Western Command’s third front, in the Sialkot sector. I admit that if I was in command I may have chickened at this stage of the war and may have employed elements of 1 Corps to reinforce the emerging failure in 11 Corps southern flank; those kinds of decisions give temporary solace to senior commanders.

Two things stand out from 11 Corps operations in the Amritsar sector. The inability to exploit the initial success which brought it to the doorstep of Lahore with the Bata shoe factory in its lap, may be rationally explained by saying that there was never an intent to get into Lahore’s labyrinth lanes and roads. However, the maintenance of a credible threat across the obstacle would have caused more caution in the Pakistan Army and perhaps prevented the launch of full weight operations in the south against Khem Karan. In after thought this is easy to surmise but the grave danger of keeping an unprotected bridgehead on the west of the Ichogil canal may have worked against prudence. There was a general shortage of armor and the quality of tanks left few options to play with.[/u]

[b]{This was the danger that Nehruvian cutting down the Army weapons procurement led to.}

Many have criticized the Indian Army’s reluctance to go for Lahore. Besides the reasons already brought out, it is forgotten that by the evening of 6 Sep 65, the very day that the Punjab front was activated, Gen Harbaksh had a crisis situation on his hands in the south. 4 Mountain Division’s advance had been halted by the unrevealed Pakistan 11 Infantry Division and the Pakistan 1st Armored Division was raring to get into Indian territory. The latter had been well camouflaged in the Changa Manga forest further south and its exact position was not known when the Punjab front was activated. That was a blunder of sorts. In my discussion with Pakistani Army officers I learnt that Pakistan 1st Armored Division’s emphasis on camouflage and concealment has always been intense and the same is treated as a mantra even today. The reason why the Indian Army could not pick its location in Sep 65 was also because no air recce was permitted and the IAF remained restricted to the Chamb-Akhnur sector to defeat Op Grand Slam launched by Pakistan.

Quite obviously if your southern thrust has crumbled a senior commander will look at restoration before strengthening the northern arm heading into a built up area. But the question is why the southern thrust should have crumbled so quickly. When you have long stand offs between India and Pakistan, of the Op Parakaram kind in 2002, there is enough time to lay mines and reinforce obstacles. Here the offensive went in without commensurate defensive preparations. When Pakistan 1st Armored Division revealed its hand and launched the offensive it sliced through Indian defences; infantry units were revealed naked and unprotected without obstacles, without mines and with very little armor in support.

{So Maj. Gen Niranjan Prasad was only one cause. The root cause was inadequate armor. And thus structural. I think the mountain division structure was not for the plains.}

Lesser men than General Harbaksh would have wilted. And this is where we await Captain Amrinder’s forthcoming book. I am convinced that senior leadership at Delhi would have been worried sick when news of the Pakistani breakthrough at Khem Karan was revealed. Another disaster in the making so soon after 1962; it would have been the end of a nation. Harike and Beas Bridge lay open although our 2 (I) Armored Brigade and 3 Cavalry would have contested in the rolling plain of Valtoha to Taran Taran, the Pakistani armor’s push towards the River Beas would have meant the forced retraction of both 7 and 15 Infantry Division. Not to forget that 1 Corps had yet to be launched. The dilemma for Gen Harbaksh was real and intense. If it was the desert with no built up areas the obvious thing would have been to push 15 and 7 Infantry Division further west to reach Pakistan’s innards, into its centre of gravity, the food belt of the Chenab-Ravi corridor.

But this was no desert and further advance of these divisions would have only embroiled them into the built up areas. General Harbaksh did what really was the only option to execute – create a pivot at Asal Uttar and contest. Although credit has been given to the rear guard action of 4 Mountain Division at Asal Uttar, details of the decision to lay thousands of mines and blast the canal bunds to create a quagmire of boggy ground in such a quick time frame have been less spoken of. In the melee of tank versus tank battles and the virtually merging fronts at Asal Uttar the integrated effort of Indian armor, infantry, artillery and engineers, not to forget the stupendous staff work involved with logistics of movement was nothing short of a miracle. It was truly professionalism of the highest order.

{And extreme valor to face down the Pattons and destroy them.}


Just a word on terrain which we must not forgot. Punjab’s battles are restricted by the river corridors. Pakistan had the option to swing south from Khem Karan or go east into uncontested territory but the presence of the River Sutlej forced it to advance along the grain towards the Beas Bridge.

As far as 1 Corps operations are concerned, some of the big landmarks with battles attached to them emerged on the Sialkot front. Chawinda, Philora, Buttur Dograndi etc require reams to write about. While armored formations as entities may not have achieved the desired degree of domination or achieved the larger aim of cutting off Sialkot, the performance of armored units was outstanding. The spirit and professionalism of units such as Poona Horse (Lt Col Tarapore, PVC), Hodson’s Horse, 7 Cavalry and 16 Cavalry was admirable. Just as almost six Pakistani armored regiments contested India’s 3 Cavalry, 8 Cavalry and Deccan Horse at Asal Uttar and failed to make a breakthrough a larger Indian armored component fought in the Sialkot sector but against a progressively enhancing strength of Pakistan’s 6 Armored Division. The details of armored battles make interesting stories of individual valor but what is more important is that by launching 1 Corps even in its weaker form a potential desperate attempt by Pakistan to try and address the Pathankot-Jammu highway was offset and real estate captured for the eventual tradeoff. It is in this sector that the potential for a deeper thrust existed even after 22 Sep 65. The ceasefire based on erroneous data of ammunition holding if avoided for another three or four days, may have resulted in the isolation of Sialkot and forced withdrawal of Pakistan from Akhnur. That was not to be.

This piece cannot be complete without the mention of two units of my own Regiment. 8 Garhwal Rifles under the command of Late Lt Col Jerry Jirad fought alongside Poona Horse at Buttur Dograndi, winning a battle honor of the same name. It is one of the rare units of the Indian Army in which both the CO and the Second in Command (2IC) were killed in a single battle. Late Maj Abdul Rafey Khan, VrC (P) of the Rampur family was the 2IC. Ist Garhwal Rifles fought in an unsung theatre in the desert but achieved tremendous results at Gadra Road near Barmer, capturing the redoubtable Pakistani defences, under the leadership of Late Lt Col (later Brig) Krish Lahiri, VrC. The unit received the battle honor – Gadra Road. Brig Lahiri passed away a few weeks before the golden jubilee of the battle.

It has been a pleasure recounting and analyzing the events of the 1965 Indo Pak Conflict. It has left me richer in my faculties. I hope you, the reader can say the same.

Rohitvats has sent me screenshots of Capt's book which I plan to purchase. It recounts the big plan was to create 4th battle of Panipat. I think the 1 Corps attack which stymied the 6th Armoured Div saved it.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 19 Dec 2017 06:23

The Central Lesson of 1965 War

By Col Anil Athale(R)

he is a military historian and knows his stuff.

However I disagree with his thesis.

The central lesson from the 1965 War

September 02, 2015 10:59 IST

The 1965 war

The 1965 war teaches us that war by escalation is a real possibility. Despite clear threats, Pakistan never believed that India would ever cross the international border.'

'In the age of nuclear deterrence, this failure to deter Pakistan is the central lesson of 1965,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).

Continuing our series on the 1965 War, 50 years Later.

The India-Pakistan war of 1965 is the least commented and remembered conflict of post-Independence India. This year, 2015, is the 50th year of that event and it is worthwhile recalling those events as the root cause of that conflict, the Kashmir dispute is still unresolved and there are many useful lessons that can be learnt by an in-depth assessment of that conflict.

Pakistan for long time has been celebrating this as a 'defensive victory' and September 6 is observed as 'Defence of Pakistan' day. There are two reasons why this war was sidelined in India -- the prime minister at the time, Lal Bahadur Shastri was not from the ruling dynasty and any prominence to him would have dimmed the lustre from the ruling family's image.

The second reason was that as far as India is concerned it was a 'draw' and not a clear cut victory like the 1971 war and that it did no credit to India that is several times bigger than Pakistan.

The 1965 India-Pakistan war was the last realistic chance for Pakistan to acquire Kashmir by force and she lost it.

The war that lasted till September 23, 1965 can be conveniently divided into three distinct parts. In the first part Pakistani infiltrators, a mix of mujahids and regular soldiers infiltrated into the Kashmir valley as well as the Rajouri-Poonch area beginning August 5, 1965.

The second part began on September 1 when discarding the fiction of 'freedom fighters,' the Pakistani regular army, backed by tanks and aircraft, launched a full-fledged conventional attack in the Chhamb sector towards Akhnoor.

The third and final part of the war began when India crossed the international border on September 6 and began its advance towards Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan.

Subsequently the war spread to all sectors of the border right up to the deserts of Rajasthan. The war saw a failed attempt by Pakistan to launch a major armoured thrust from Khemkaran towards the bridge over the Beas to the rear of Amritsar and the Indian counterstroke in the Sialkot sector that also stalled within a few kilometres inside Pakistan.

The war ended on September 23 when both the countries accepted the United Nations ceasefire proposal.

In any study of war, there are two aspects, what happened and why it happened. This article will confine itself to the 'why' part of the analysis as there are enough accurate eyewitness accounts of what actually happened. The 'why' part is also more important for the present since it deals with the mindsets, decision-making, assumptions and doctrine of each nation.

These remain constant while the changes in technology including the advent of nuclear weapons in both countries make the battles and what happened of less interest for the present and future.

It is by now quite clear and widely accepted in both countries that Pakistan initiated the conflict. Pakistan's decision to start the conflict with infiltration was based on a complex set of factors.

In the long term view, Pakistan saw itself as the successor State to the Mughal empire and was never really reconciled to 'moth-eaten Pakistan' (in Mohammad Ali Jinnah's words) that it got. The dream to unfurl the green flag of Islam on the Red Fort in Delhi was (and is) an integral part of the Pakistani psyche. No less a person than Winston Churchill had prophesised 'the departure of the British from India, which Mahatma Gandhi advocates, and which Jawaharlal Nehru demands, would be followed first by a struggle in the north and thereafter by a re-conquest of the south by the north, and of the Hindus by the Moslems' (Speech on March 18, 1931).

President Ayub Khan while visiting the US in 1961 (July 11) told President John F Kennedy that he believed that India would not stay united for long after Nehru and Pakistan would bear the responsibility to 'defend' South Asia from Communist aggression. The Pakistani mindset had been nurtured by the peculiar reading of history that extrapolated the conquest of the north Indian plains on the whole of India.

Thus was born the enduring myth of a 1,000 year rule. In the Pakistani belief system, one Pakistani soldier was equal to ten Indians. This formed the basic backdrop to Pakistani decision making in 1965.

India's defeat at the hands of the Chinese in 1962 was keenly watched by Pakistan and it came to the conclusion that if it were to follow the Chinese tactics of infiltration into the rear areas, the Indian Army manning the border would be forced to withdraw.

Nehru's death in May 1964 and his succession by Shastri was also seen as favouring Pakistan. Shastri was regarded as a weak leader. Language riots in India in 1964/1965 also gave Pakistan hope that India was indeed crumbling internally.

The Hazratbal disappearance and the resultant riots in Kashmir convinced Pakistan that the infiltrators would be supported by the Kashmiris and it could then present it as an internal revolt and not external aggression.

While these factors were seen as helping Pakistan, there was also anxiety over Western military aid to India in wake of the Chinese aggression of 1962. The Western powers had promised military aid to India to raise 10 mountain divisions. Pakistan figured that if it waited any longer then India would be too strong to overcome militarily.

This 'Now or Never' was a major factor in the Pakistani decision to embark on the attack in 1965.

It tested the Indian Army in Kutch in the summer of 1965 and concluded that its superior armour and artillery were more than a match for India's. In 1965 Pakistan had better guns with longer range than India (155 mm versus old Indian 25 pounders) and better tanks (Patton versus India's Sherman/Centurions). Pakistan wanted to exploit its technological edge before Indian re-armament caught up with it.

The Indian leadership since Nehru's time was alive to this Pakistani thinking and practiced 'deterrence' by holding out the threat of general war. On August 9, 1951, Nehru at a public meeting in Delhi, said, 'If Kashmir is attacked, war will not be confined to the hills of Kashmir but will spread to the whole of Pakistan.'

Shastri on the floor of Parliament on April 28, 1965 (in context of the Kutch incident) warned Pakistan that any attack on Kashmir would be regarded as attack on India and India would retaliate at a time and place of its choosing.

Unfortunately, Pakistan did not believe that India meant what it said.

As late as September 4, 1965, Ayub Khan believed that India would not cross the international border and attack Pakistani Punjab. This has been quoted by retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan (First Round Indo-Pak War 1965, page 6). I was told by a subedar of the Pakistan's Baluch regiment that on the morning of September 6, 1965 when Indian troops began advancing towards Lahore, his battalion posted there was doing its regular physical training and the troops literally ran in their PT kits to man the defences to Lahore.

The 1965 war was a classic case of war by escalation. When the Pakistani infiltrators entered Kashmir they received very little popular support. The Indian border posts held fast and reserve formations launched vigorous counter infiltration operations.

The Indian troops not only held their posts but went on the offensive and with very little superiority in numbers, through sheer grit and determination captured several mountain peaks in the Tithwal, Uri and Poonch sectors.

{Cold Start genesis}

The culmination was the capture of the strategic Haji Pir pass on August 28, 1965. With its bid of fomenting a rebellion in the Kashmir valley a lost cause, its infiltrators on the run and the Indian Army capturing key posts across the ceasefire line, Pakistan in a desperate measure launched a full-fledged tank-led assault in the Akhnoor sector to isolate the Rajouri Poonch area since at that time the only bridge on the Chenab river and the only road to Poonch passed through Akhnoor.

India was at a geographical disadvantage in that area and escalated the conflict by using air power to stop the Pakistani advance in the Akhnoor sector. Since Pakistan had launched its army against Kashmir, India made good its threat and on September 6, 1965 crossed the Wagah border and began an advance to Lahore.

The 1965 war teaches us that war by escalation is a real possibility. Despite clear threats, Pakistan never believed that India would ever cross the international border. In the age of nuclear deterrence, this failure to deter Pakistan is the central lesson of 1965.

Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) is a military historian and served at the War Studies Division, ministry of defence.

I disagree that Pakistan responded with tit-for tat escalation. They had a well thought out plan which foundered at Assal Uttar.

Salute to India;s Greatest Soldier

My salute to arguably India's greatest military hero

January 08, 2015 11:20 IST

In super-human actions of valour, Havildar Abdul Hamid personally knocked out five tanks over two days, effectively derailing the enemy offensive in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.

'Decades later, I realised not only how much the nation owed this great son of India, but also that my entire family was probably alive thanks to him...' says Vijay Dandapani.

'In the New Year, perhaps the best testament India and all Indians can offer the memory of this brave soul is a renewed commitment that ensures Indians from all faiths are recognised for their contributions on the battle front as well as on main street.'

A signboard of Param Vir Chakra Awardee Abdul Hamid

Image: Havildar Abdul Hamid won the Param Vir Chakra in the 1965 India-Pakistan War. The plaque announcing the location of his memorial near Amritsar. Photographs: Vijay Dandapani.

A mere 60 kilometers separates the tiny village of Asal Uttar from the Harmandir Sahib, Sikhism's holiest shrine in Amritsar. The village itself is as unremarkable as the flat plains abutting state highway 21 that connects it to Amritsar, but just a couple of kilometers short of it lies a memorial to arguably India's greatest military hero, Havildar Abdul Hamid.

Abdul Hamid's name is reasonably well known in military circles, but despite a documentary that details his legendary and near superhuman acts of valour during the 1965 war and sporadic eulogies from presidents and politicians, his legacy remains largely unsung.

It was a trip down memory lane early last year that took me to Abdul Hamid's shrine, built and maintained largely by the Indian Army.

September 10, 1965: The day Abdul Hamid died, was when the largest tank battle in post-second World War history took place.

In nearby Amritsar it was another day of ferocious air to ground attacks by F-86 Sabres on the beleaguered Indian Air Force unit commanded by my father. The unit was an early warning radar station that supplied critical advance information of enemy air raids deep into Indian territory.

As a child of nearly 8 years my memories of the daily onslaught revolve largely around the trench in the backyard of the family home in the cantonment area where we spent most of the day, our ears frequently battered by the sound of anti aircraft guns thundering at marauding enemy aircraft.

Although fierce ground battles were being fought less than an hour away, I had no idea that on the day of Abdul Hamid's death we came within hours of being over-run by the Pakistani onslaught led by hundreds of redoubtable Patton tanks.

Vijay Dandapani at the military hero's memorial.

Image: Vijay Dandapani at the military hero's grave. The day Abdul Hamid died, was when the largest tank battle in post-second World War history took place.

The strategy that led to the demise of the Pakistani advance was the brainchild of Brigadier Thomas Theograj and his two able deputies, Colonels Salim Caleb and Arun Vaidya who lured the tank formation into a marshy trap.

But it was Abdul Hamid who personally knocked out five tanks over two days, effectively derailing the enemy offensive.

After the war, before India relinquished captured territory as required by the Tashkent Agreement, I managed to get relatively close to the battle of Asal Uttar when I accompanied my father on a visit to the captured town of Dograi, just outside Lahore. However, Abdul Hamid's memorial had not been built and his deeds had not yet garnered national attention.

Decades later, while going through the largely fragmented and contentious accounts of the war, I realised not only how much the nation owed this great son of India, but also that my entire family was probably alive thanks to him.

I then decided to visit the scene of the battle in 1965 and landed on a foggy January morning last year in Amritsar and drove over to Asal Uttar. A brick red roadside plaque with the words 'Memorial of CQMH (Company Quarter Master Havildar) Abdul Hamid' announces the location of the memorial.

Inside a walled-in area of a little over an acre of land, a pathway lined by shrubs and trees leads to the actual memorial that houses his grave. An inscription on a tablet solemnly attests to his having given his life defending 'his motherland.'

Spurred by the visuals at the memorial, I sought to contact the family of the late Quarter Master. I found out that his widow, Rasoolan Bibi, lives near the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border in Dulhapur village. I also put together a fund to help her out financially.

Last October my wife and made a trip to Dulhapur to see the war widow. Most of her affairs are handled by her young grandson, Jamil-Alam, a dapper young man who works for the railways, but is always available to take the frail yet sprightly lady outside the confines of her village on her not infrequent forays outside to see leaders including the President and prominent politicians.

Vijay Dandapani with Rasoolan Bi, PVC Abdul Hamid's widow.

Image: Abdul Hamid's wife Rasoolan Bibi at her village of Dulhapur in Uttar Pradesh.

The drive from Varanasi airport to Dulhapur is just over 70 km, but the poor condition of the road made it an arduous four hour long journey. The village, like in many other parts of UP, has Muslim enclaves, but Rasoolan Bibi lived in a mixed neighborhood in a modest two storeyed brick home with almost every neighbour aware of her hero husband's deeds.

While sitting in her tiny living room with a large garlanded portrait of her husband and scores of photographs with national and state leaders, a striking fact emerged. This tiny, largely Muslim hamlet had sent many a son to fight for India after Partition including a younger brother of Abdul Hamid who fought in the 1971 war.

While the latter proudly recounted his brother's valour to me I had to pry out details of his own highly praiseworthy effort.

On returning to New York while reflecting on my childhood in the services where festivals of all religions were celebrated with equal vigour, I wondered if those inclusive mores still persist.

The two major wars of 1965 and 1971 saw Muslim officers and men across ranks and services acquit themselves creditably in keeping with the traditions of the Indian armed forces giving the lie to the false narrative advanced prior to Partition: That their careers were best advanced by moving to Pakistan.

In the New Year, perhaps the best testament India and all Indians can offer to the memory of this brave soul is a renewed commitment that ensures Indians from all faiths are recognised for their contributions on the battle front as well as on main street.

Vijay Dandapani is President, Apple Core Hotels, a chain of five midtown Manhattan, New York City, hotels.

Vijay Dandapani

Actually Abdul Hamid knocked out 7 tanks.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 19 Dec 2017 06:45

Battle of Barki is the Ichogil Canal bunker description


Onwards To Barki

27 By 06 Sep Barki village was held by a platoon of 17 Punjab under Major Aziz Bhatti (Company Commander Alpha Company) reinforced with another platoon of 12 Punjab along with some elements which had fallen back from Hudiara. Two companies 17 Punjab were also reportedly on the West bank of Ichhogil Canal and the bridge area on the Eastern side. The canal itself was a formidable obstacle 112 feet wide, 30 feet deep with water depth of about 20 feet. The Western bank was higher having bunkers and defence works. In addition there were elements of Reconnaissance & Support Battalion in the area. A few tanks were also reported on the West of the Canal. Thus, to secure the bridge it was imperative to capture Barki village. Duncan Mcleod in his book (‘India and Pakistan: Friends, Rivals Or Enemies?’) mentions that it was this irrigation canal, part of the Punjab’s elaborate irrigation system which stopped the Indian forces from reaching Lahore.

28 Barki village is situated on the East bank of Ichhogil Canal. Eleven concrete pill-boxes with good fields of fire dominated the approaches to the village. Each pill-box was 15 feet square, with 3 feet thick walls and roof made of reinforced cement concrete. Three of the four walls had each a steel-shuttered aperture for weapons, while the fourth side had the entrance door. Each pill-box was a formidable nest manned by three men with automatic weapons and was stocked with ample ammunition.

32 It was decided to put in a night attack to capture Barki. The attack on Barki began on the night 10 Sep 1965. From 1930 to 2000 hours there was an exceptionally heavy barrage let lose by the Indian artillery on Barki and the East bank of Ichhogil. After two hours of fighting, Barki was ultimately in Indian hands. 4 Sikh lived up to its reputation and added the Battle Honour Barki to their list of battle honours. Subedar Ajit Singh of the Battalion was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra. The Battalion also earned three Vir Chakras, three Sena Medals and four COAS Commendation Cards. Naib Risaldar Jagdish Singh of the CIH was also awarded Vir Chakra...
Read on for the rest...

BRF Oldie
Posts: 4324
Joined: 05 Jan 2017 20:48

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby nam » 19 Dec 2017 22:32

The 1965 war teaches us that war by escalation is a real possibility. Despite clear threats, Pakistan never believed that India would ever cross the international border.

I now tend to believe this is not the case. 65 war was done by Pakis as the last chance to before India went nuclear after the Chini test in 64. Pakis attacked as soon as the snow melted in Kashmir.

Pakis probably expected India to across the IB, but were confident they could hold us. In-fact they did and we were not able to capture Lahore. Moreover, they knew India does not want a Muslim majority town back into India.

The Pakis attacked Kashmir and Jammu. Raided our airbases. They were well prepared. The only place they did not attack was across IB. So it was no brainier!

The troops across were not mobilized, as this would have given away their preparation for Op GrandSlam.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 20 Dec 2017 03:13

While the main war was going on in the West the Chinese had created a situation in the East. here is an account of what happened:

Link: http://veekay-militaryhistory.blogspot. ... 4.html?m=1

In January 1964, Sagat handed over command of 50 Para Brigade to Brigadier A.M.M. Nambiar, and proceeded to attend the fourth course, at the National Defence College, in Delhi. After spending a year on the course, he was posted as Brigadier General Staff 11 Corps, in January 1965. He served in this appointment for just six months, and in July 1965, was promoted Major General, and posted as GOC 17 Mountain Division, replacing Major General Har Prasad. The division was then in Sikkim, and soon after he took over, there was a crisis. In order to help Pakistan during the 1965 War, the Chinese served an ultimatum, and demanded that the Indians withdraw their posts at Nathu La and Jelep La. According to the Corps HQ, the main defences of 17 Mountain Division were at Changgu, while Nathu La was only an observation post. In the adjoining sector, manned by 27 Mountain Division, Jelep La was also considered an observation post, with the main defences located at Lungthu. In case of hostilities, the divisional commanders had been given the authority to vacate the posts, and fall back on the main defences. Accordingly, orders were issued by Corps HQ to both divisions to vacate Nathu La and Jelep La.

Sagat did not agree with the views of the Corps HQ. Nathu La and Jelep La were passes, on the watershed, which was the natural boundary. The MacMahon Line, which India claimed as the International Border, followed the water shed principle, and India and China had gone to war over this issue, three years earlier. Vacating the passes on the watershed would give the Chinese the tactical advantage of observation and fire, into India, while denying the same to our own troops. Nathu La and Jelep La were also important because they were on the trade routes between India and Tibet, and provided the only means of ingress through the Chumbi Valley. Younghusband had used the same route during his expedition, sixty five years earlier, and handing it over to the enemy on a plate was not Sagat's idea of sound military strategy. Sagat also reasoned that the discretion to vacate the posts lay with the divisional commander, and he was not obliged to do so, based on instructions from Corps HQ.

As a result of orders issued by Corps HQ, 27 Mountain Division vacated Jelep La, which the Chinese promptly occupied. However, Sagat refused to vacate Nathu La, and when the Chinese became belligerent, and opened fire, he also opened up with guns and mortars, though there was a restriction imposed by Corps on the use of artillery. Lieut-General (later General) G.G. Bewoor, the Corps Commander, was extremely annoyed, and tried to speak to Sagat, to ask him to explain his actions. But Sagat was not in his HQ, and was with the forward troops. So it was his GSO 1, Lieut Colonel Lakhpat Singh, who bore the brunt of the Corps Commander's wrath.

The Chinese had installed loudspeakers at Nathu La, and warned the Indians that they would suffer as they did in 1962, if they did not withdraw. However, Sagat had carried out a detailed appreciation of the situation, and reached the conclusion that the Chinese were bluffing. They made threatening postures, such as advancing in large numbers, but on reaching the border, always stopped, turned about and withdrew. They also did not use any artillery, for covering fire, which they would have certainly done if they were serious about capturing any Indian positions. Our own defences at Nathu La were strong. Sagat had put artillery observation posts on adjoining high features called Camel's Back and Sebu La, which overlooked into the Yatung valley for several kilometres, and could bring down accurate fire on the enemy, an advantage that the Chinese did not have. It would be a tactical blunder to vacate Nathu La, and gift it to the Chinese. Ultimately, Sagat's fortitude saved the day for India, and his stand was vindicated, two years later, when there was a show down at Nathu La. Today, the strategic pass of Nathu La is still held by Indian troops, while Jelep La is in Chinese hands.

During the crisis, the Chinese had occupied Jelep La, but had gained nothing in the sector under Sagat's division. This was galling, and they continued their pressure on the Indians, and making threatening gestures. In December 1965, the Chinese fired on a patrol of 17 Assam Rifles, in North Sikkim, at a height of 16,000 feet, killing two men. The patrol was in Indian territory, but the Chinese claimed that it had crossed over to their side. They made regular broadcasts from loudspeakers at Nathu La, pointing out to Indian troops the pathetic conditions in which they lived, their low salaries and lack of amenities, comparing these to that of officers. It was a form of psychological warfare in which the Chinese were adept, and had to be countered. Sagat had similar loud speakers installed on our own side, and tape recorded messages, in Chinese language, were broadcast every day. However, he was not satisfied with this, and kept looking for a chance to avenge the death of the Indian soldiers who had fallen to Chinese bullets. Throughout 1966, and early 1967, Chinese propaganda, intimidation and attempted incursions into Indian territory continued. The border was not marked, and there were several vantage points on the crest line which both sides thought belonged to them. Patrols which walked along the border often clashed, resulting in tension, and sometimes even casualties....

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 17 Feb 2018 04:23

Prof Greg Kennedy of Kings College writes about Battle of Jutland writes:


Often the link between the outcome of campaigns or battles and the resulting changes to public or private perceptions; the changed nature of accessibility to critical air, sea or land domains; the subsequent inability to use military power in the same way thereafter; or, the ongoing ability to influence domestic and foreign opinion in a manner consistent with that practices prior to the combat, has gone unnoticed. Military historians have focused on the fighting; diplomatic historians on diplomatic activity; economic historians on economic factors. Rarely is any attempt made to analyse the strategic context existing at the time of battle, or to follow the ripples of tactical and operational success, or failure, through to their logical resting place amongst the strategic assessment process.

So how can we analyze the outcomes of 1965 war on India, neighbors and far away powers?

BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 7529
Joined: 03 Dec 2006 04:17
Location: gaganaviharin

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby disha » 17 Feb 2018 05:57

^^ Posting after a long time., 1965 bombing raid on Peshawar is my favourite. This was s clear instance where Bakistan realizes that they are thin & can be overrun easily & hence evolve the concept of strategic depth. They sacrifice whatever remained of their moth-eaten nation over protection of this so-called strategic depth.

I think one takes a battle & see what chain reactions it caused & the analyze those chain reactions.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 17 Feb 2018 10:31

I have been asking Mihir to look at Canberra raids in 1965 and 1971.

If you can help gather data would be helpful.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 21 Feb 2018 04:03

Would be remiss if we didn't include ACM P.C. Lal appraisal of 1965 war

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... 9-lal.html

A critical look at the 1965 operations
Category: The India-Pakistan War 1965 Last Updated: Thursday, 13 February 2014 02:41 Written by Air Chief Marshal P C Lal Hits: 4321
Air Chief Marshal P C Lal at the National Security Lecture 1973 at the USI.

Early in 1965, Pakistan attacked us in Kutch, in Western India. The attack caught the armed forces unawares. The Army took the field without any prior planning or preparation. Its reaction was fast but there was no joint Army-Air Force plan, and all that the Air Force could do was to provide logistic support with light aircraft. The possibility of tactical support was considered after the fighting began. It was then realised that our bases were so far from the battle zone that our aircraft would have to operate at extreme range with reduced weapon loads while Pakistani aircraft could dominate the entire combat area from bases close by. Given time, we could also have improvised an airfield or two In or near Kutch, but the fighting ended before that. The incident was soon defused but, apparently, not before It had encouraged Pakistan in the belief that the time had come to settle the Kashmir dispute by force of arms.

Then In August and September 1965 came the second Kashmir War. It began with skirmishes in the valley by so-called freedom fighters, in reality agents of Pakistan. These were followed, towards the end of August, by an all-out attack by Pakistani armour in the Chamb area of Jammu province, with the obvious objective of cutting the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Our Army, working under the restrictions of the Cease Fire agreement, was lightly equipped in that sector and though it fought valiantly, its AMX tanks were no match for the more powerful Pakistani Pattons. While there was some hope of the Army holding the Pakistani.attack on its own, there was no talk of bringing the Air Force Into the conflict. But on 1st September, with the Pakistanis pressing forward from Jaurian, General Chaudhuri, the Army Chief, was compelled to ask for air support.

There had been no prior joint planning for such an eventuality. Air Marshal Arjan Singh, the Air Chief, had on his own alerted the air bases in the Punjab. When the call came, a force of fighter bombers from Pathankot mounted a strike on the Pakistanis within minutes of being ordered to do so. It was a touch-and-go affair, because the demand for air support came late in the afternoon and the strike had to be mounted in an area with which our pilots were not familiar. With only a few minutes of daylight left, they could have missed the battle zone or attacked the wrong targets. Fortunately they did neither and so helped to bring the Pakistani force to a halt.

At this point, it is interesting to consider in somewhat greater detail why there was no prior planning of Army -Air operations even though, as General Chaudhari said In his 1971 National Security Lecture, he expected the Pakistanis to attack in Kashmir after the Kutch Incident. Basically, I think. It was because he and his commanders were wedded to the idea that military operations were principally an Army affair and that the other services could only operate on the fringe, as it were, with an occasional bonus from the Air Force. This was compounded by a big-brother attitude towards the Air Force which led to its being treated with a certain amount of indulgence but prevented it being accepted as a vital and equal partner in war. Matters were further complicated by the belief that If the Indian Air Force took part In the fighting then the Pakistani Air Force would do likewise, thus increasing the likelihood of a general war between the two countries instead of a localised conflict in J & K. There was a good deal of truth in this, of course, but this was a possibility from which there was no escape. Indeed, this was a possibility that could not be ignored for Pakistan had already been warned that any attack on Jammu and Kashmir would be treated as an attack on India. With a political direction as clear as that on the record, it was incumbent on the Chiefs of Staff to have their plans ready for such a contingency. The fact that they did not is indicative of the thinking at the time.

The events In the Chamb-Jaurlan sector leading to the call for air support took matters out of the Army's hands. At that stage the Government had to decide whether to enlarge the area of conflict, and it did so without hesitation. That, indeed, appeared to be the only way to divert Pakistani forces from the vulnerable Jammu-Srinagar highway, the loss of which would have jeopardised the defence of the Valley. With the decision to fight Pakistan outside J & K, the Army had to move up forces from peace time stations, some from the Deccan and further south, and formulate an operational plan at short notice. :?: :?:

During the five days that elapsed between the Government decision and the date set for Implementing it, there was some discussion of how the Army and the Air Force should operate. On the Army side, the notion persisted that it would fight on its own, with the Air Force providing an occasional bonus; and in the Air Force, where I was Vice-Chief, we thought of fighting mainly an air war against the PAF and what we considered to be strategic targets, assigning relatively low priority to support the Army. Separate plans were hastily drawn up by each Service with no Joint consultation worth the name. And again, no tasks were envisaged for the Navy.

Please note that In 1965, the higher defence organisation was functioning and the Chiefs of Staff Committee met regularly under the chairmanship of General Chaudhuri. Officers In positions of authority had read and studied and taught the procedures for inter-service co- operation. It was not realised, however, that even when the general drill is known, each particular task still requires a great deal of preparatory work, that the persons taking part need to be trained for It, that supporting facilities have to be arranged for In advance, and this has to be done for every contingency that can be envisaged. Flexibility in battle Is gained only through long and arduous preparation.

That we discovered when we entered Pakistan. Soon the Army found that it could not fight entirely on its own, for the PAF was constantly harassing It. The Army needed air defence and tactical support but no detailed arrangements-had been made for either. The Air Force was willing to help and it did all it could but in the absence of joint plans, large gaps remained in the air cover in the combat zone. Neither did the air operations, through which we hoped to immobilize the PAF and reduce Pakistan's ability to make war, achieve much for we had no well thought out target system for the purpose. Having had some responsibility for all this, I must confess that the air war became a somewhat hit- and-miss affair, that depended heavily on finding targets of opportunity for its success. The aircrew performed magnificently, doing all that was expected of them and more; had there been a coherent joint war plan, we would have derived much fuller benefit from their courage and sacrifice.

Our advance Into Pakistan caught the Pakistani forces by surprise. I Imagine they had not thought the Indian Government and Armed Forces capable of swift decisions and speedy action. The initial successes of our Army were soon checked by stiff resistance, a notable feature of which was the close co-operation between the Pakistani Army and Air Force. The two of them had obviously done their homework well. for our jawans reported that the PAF were quick to appear whenever the Pakistani ground forces were In difficulties, and gave them most effective support. This was the more remarkable because unlike our set-up. In which all three Service Chiefs and their Headquarters were based at Delhi, the Pakistani Air Chief was located at Peshawar, the Army Chief at Islamabad, near Rawalpindi, and the Naval Chief at Karachi. The fact that their forces managed to work well together speaks well for their mutual understanding, which is more Important than physical proximity. Furthermore, since Pakistan had been the one to start the fighting In J & K, it Is to be presumed that Its Service Chiefs had given some thought to the possibility of a more widespread conflict and prepared for It accordingly.

Despite Its preparations, however, Pakistan failed to make any inroads In J & K and just about held its own elsewhere. We advanced up to the Ichhogil canal. West Pakistan's first line of defence, and towards Slalkot. Pakistani forces came into Indian territory around Gadra Road in Rajasthan. Except for a single PAF attack on an Indian Air Force base near Calcutta, there was no fighting In the east. Our Navy had no operational tasks but suffered a sea-borne attack at Dwarka In the west. The. fighting was brought to a halt by 22nd September, the Army having been engaged In combat for nearly a month and a half and the Air Force for 22 days. At the turn of the year came the Tashkent agreement, negotiated by our then Prime Minister, the late Mr Lal Bahadur Shastri.

In retrospect, it is clear that the 1965 war was successful as a defensive action, for it managed to preserve the status quo In Kashmir, but the operations In the Punjab and Rajasthan were Inconclusive. We failed to make a real dent In Pakistan's forces, both on the ground and in the air. The Navy being far removed from Kashmir took no part In the fighting.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can now see what part the higher defence organisation played in the 1965 war. Frankly, I do not think It made any significant contribution. I say this after careful thought, knowing that one of our distinguished Army Chiefs, General J N Chaudhuri, was then Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Even at the risk of his displeasure, I must say that he failed to get the organisation working as It should have done. The General himself admits as much, without meaning to. In the published version of the National Security lectures that he delivered in this institution In 1971. He said In those lectures that he saw the Kutch incident as a prelude to an attack by Pakistan in Jammu. and Kashmir, and he therefore began the Army's preparations well in advance. He omits to mention that the Air Force and the Navy were kept in the dark about this. He goes on to say that he often discussed the threat with the Defence Minister and the Prime Minister and that, once in a while, he took the Air Chief along with him. The impression conveyed Is that he looked upon the Impending conflict as an Army affair, in which the use of the Air Force would be Incidental. To my mind, this reflects an attitude long prevalent in the Army, and only recently dissipated, to the effect that Its larger size and greater age gave It a commanding superiority over the other services and Invested It with the sole right to decide how wars should be fought. I may be reading too much Into a single statement, but to me It is axiomatic that effective co-operation between the Services can grow only out of mutual trust and full understanding of each others capabilities and limitations. I think that was lacking In 1965.

In any case, the Air Force and Navy, not having been alerted about the possibility of another war over Kashmir, no inter-service contingency plans were drawn up, nor was any course of action agreed upon with the Air Force in the event of Its being called out to support the Army. This mental block against consultation and joint planning continued right through the phase of guerrilla activity and was only partly removed when Pakistani armour threatened to cut the Jammu-Srinagar highway. It was at that critical stage, on 1st September 1965, that the Air Force was asked for air support, which It gave at short notice. Complaints from our forward troops about the limited extent of air cover in the war that followed were well-founded, for in the absence of precise plans the Air Force had simply maintained Its normal forces at its bases in the Punjab and In (Jammu and Kashmir. To do Its job properly, some redeployment of squadrons and of logistic and communication facilities should have been effected before the commencement of hostilities. Had the joint planners been able to do their work In advance, I am certain more positive results would have been achieved In 1965. However, apart from preserving the status quo in Kashmir, the 1965 war was valuable for the many practical lessons it taught us In the conduct of operations from the highest level to combat in the field. In the years that followed these lessons were absorbed and applied.

OK agreed there was no joint plan and JNC can be blamed.

However did IAF envisage a war would occur with Pakistan and what targets set did it prepare for on its own.
From all accounts everyone was envisaging a war with Pakistan after Kutch.

What fighter tactics were developed to counter the F-86 and the F-104 Starfighters?

It was Johnny Greene and Mally Wollen who came up with fighter tactics on the fly so to speak and won the early encounters with F-86s.
What strategic targets was IAF planning to attack in its own separate war?

And by the way pilot accounts in BRF pages tell a different story.....

E.g. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/histo ... tango.html

On the night of 5th September 1965, at about midnight, I was in the ops room awaiting target allocation for the next morning, a signal arrived to state that the Indian Army was opening up the whole western front in Punjab and Rajasthan to relive pressure on the Jammu front the following morning, 6th September 1965. Very strangely, the same signal also ordered that enemy airfields were not to be attacked. It was hard to understand such a decision and I was certain that no such restraint would be exercised by the P.A.F. so early next morning I bundled off my family for safety to Delhi by road, ready for an all out war. Full attention would be focused on planning and operational flying in the war ahead.

Forum Moderator
Posts: 55241
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: 1965 India Pakistan War: Forty Years Since

Postby ramana » 21 Feb 2018 04:39

ramana wrote:I have been asking Mihir to look at Canberra raids in 1965 and 1971.

If you can help gather data would be helpful.

Looking in BRF archives I found these three articles on the Canberra

The Canberras in 1965 War:

The Canberras in 1965 War

Combat Diary of a Tusker:

Combat Diary of a Tusker War diary of No 5 Squadron from Agra.

The Night Raiders: Good Morning Peshawar

Canberras over Psheawar

Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: brar_w, kumarn, ParGha, sooraj and 61 guests