There was an article in India Today, circa 1998, when the movie came out. I did see the movie recently: liked it much better before I saw it. The concept of trying for realism appears to be unknown to Indian movie-makers. Probably, the version as presented sells much better than reality. <P>In general terms, the history appears to be: <P>1. It is true that there was an Indian tank brigade stationed some distance away from Longewala, and that this brigade did not move, either during or after the battle. Waited for orders. <P>2. The actual size of the Longewala detachment appears to be accurately depicted: about a 100 or so men. It is true that the local commander exercised initiative and ingenuity, taking a few anti-tank weapons around in jeeps and firing from different places, successfully conveying the idea of a larger, well-entrenched force. Partly due to this, the Pak commander is believed to have waited for daylight before attempting to overrun Longewala: a fatal decision because the IAF Hunters attacked at daylight. <P>3. The Pakis, with typical intelligence, failed to provide any air cover for their incursion, and failed to come to the rescue of the tanks when attacked. <P>4. The Pak tanks were decimated, and the main north-south rail line of Pakiland was left unprotected behind them as a result. The Indian tank force failed to take advantage of the situation. Typical confusion and inertia. <P>5. The Pak commander survived and was court-martialed for taking his force to battle without proper air cover. <P>I too am curious about the actual numbers involved. Probably the stylized version can be found in the Pak Defense magazine, claiming that their force reached Calcutta and shot down thousands of Indian Su-37s. <p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 30-08-1999).]
Hi Badar!<P>For the latest in fighter technology, I can now reveal the latest in air combat tactics, based on extensive hands-on experience with the Jane's Authoritative F-15 simulation: if chased by missiles, fly F-15 straight into the ground: it bounces back with no damage, according to this fine game. I bet Salman did not know that. Also, engine noise is independent of thrust condition. <P>For anyone interested, the F-16/MiG29 combo package (available at CompUSA and Office MAX, I know) is a tremendous value at a very low price. I greatly regretted having to part with this and return to game-free computers.
Hi,<P>... if chased by missiles, fly F-15 straight into the ground: it bounces back with no damage...<P>narayanan, what kind of an AE are you if you didn't know that?<P>hmmm ... you didn't mention the exchange ratio's against your nephews ... I assume it wasn't too pretty <P>PS : Here is a tidbit that not all might not be aware of. A young Israeli pilot on a training sortie lost a wing (complete, from the wingroot) of his F-15 in a collision. His GC told him to eject, but the pilot did not, as he felt that the aircraft was still controllable. Long and short of the story is that the pilot was able to fly and land the Eagle with a single wing! The pilot got a reprimand (for disobeying the order to eject) and a commendation (for saving a valuable aircraft). <P>The IDF, I last heard, filed a complaint against MDD for supplying aircraft with an unnecessary extra wing. <BR>
Just want to say this. The movie is accurate in some ways, like the name of the commanding officer: Major Kuldip Singh. <BR>Anyway I like this movie over any US movie involving aircraft cause in those movies, aircraft seem to be able to fire the same sidewinder to ground targets serverals times. <BR>
His name is Kuldip Singh Chandpuri.<P>Go to the B-R main page and look for the section on conflicts - and you will find all the information you can get about Longewala under the 1971 war section<P>PS - the the url is<P> <A HREF="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1971War/Longewala.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1971War/Longewala.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 30-08-1999).]
Incidentally narayanan, this hitting the ground and then flying off business has actually ocurred.<P>A cousin of mine (Flt.Lt. KS Suresh in 1971) was one of the 11 pilots involved in the Longewala action. During one sortie he says he was firing off rockets at a tank and he says there was an almighty explosion below his plane - he thinks it may have been something from the tank's main gun (he doesn't know for sure). In any case he temporarily lost control and the Hunter, already at a low level, hit a sand dune and bounced up. It retained enough control for him to fly it back - and they found that the tail-pipe - the fuselage section of the Hunter behind the tailplane had sheared off - i.e. it had been left behind in Longewala. He said he was grateful to the designers of the Hunter who put the control cables dorsally. If they had been on the ventral surface he would have been dead meat.<p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 30-08-1999).]
Shiv: no disrespect intended towards your brave relative who fought at Longewala! Duty in the Hunters must have been particularly brutal: many Hunter aircraft went down during that war, many of those inside enemy territory. I just thought the IAF account on the web is a little too "gung-ho" about the air force and a little too patronizing about the Army / BSF guys who stood their ground against overwhelming odds. Also, I do remember reading that their few anti-tank weapons caused the losses which made the Pakis hesitate to overrun the post. <P>In the end, the fact that the Pak force was decimated by relentless air attack, agrees with my memory of news reports of that time.<P>Badar: battle figures for the F-15/F-16/MiG-29 missions are classified. Sorry.
Hi,<P>prahri, I am quite certain it was an eagle and it was a peace time training mission. The photographs and story is somewhere on the net, I'll try to dig it up.<P>There might have been another incident with a Phantom too, for all I know.<BR>
Actually the version I heard from my cousin after the war was even more romantic regarding the army's role. There were fewer than 100 men (15 men is what I remember my cousin as saying) and they only had one recoilless rifle and some small arms. But they had loud hailers and what they gave the Pakistanis at dusk on Dec 3rd 1971 was not so much gunfire as choice Punjabi "gaaliyan" inviting the Pakistanis to come and eat lead - with a graphic description of the weapons they had waiting for the Pakistanis <P>For some reason - perhaps the Pakistanis were not sure of the exact strength of the defences - they decided to wait for first light - which gave Major Kuldip Singh's men a break - and the air strikes could be arranged - at least that was my cousin's verbal version - I need to ask him again after this gap of 28 years. If the Pakistani tank column had chosen to move forward that night, they would have crushed the virtually non existent resistance and could have grabbed a huge hunk of Rajasthan.
hi narayanan,<BR>regarding something weird about janes' F-15 simulation, in training mode you have unlimited supply of ammo, AoA missiles, AoG missiles-- fire a million away and you are instantly replenished--some training huh!<P>Another thing i've not been able to figure out--in a mission when you fire all the precision guided AoG missiles and you want to unload the iron bombs, it won't let you until the missiles hit their target. Is this how it happens in the real world too? Also, when you fire all your AoA missiles you lose your radar for spotting enemy a/c...
I too saw the movie BORDER only about a fortnight back. Few of the questions have been bothering me since I saw the movie and further read about the battle in the conflict section of BR. Didn't ask before thinking that these issues might have already been discussed here. Thanks Rohit for starting the thread on this.<P>Hello Shiv, Narayanan<P>Could you please help clear my understanding on the following:<P>1) Because of Indian anti tank mines, the Paki tanks couldn't move forward. That is fine. Pakis thought there could be a large Indian force( may be because of Indian firepower or the shouts from Indian side), so they decided to wait till morning. My doubt is that till day break why did the Pakis answer the Indian gunfire with their own gunfire( shown in the movie) and not with their tank fire. The Pakis did silence Sunil Shetty's gun by way of tank fire. Had the Paki tanks fired from where they stood, they might have got us. Was it tactically not possible or the Paki commander's intellect( if he had one!!) got corrupted.<P>2) The hunters could fly only during the day. We must have had some a/c which would have flown at night. Why they were not pressed into service from the distant airfields where so ever they were? Was it not feasible?<P>3) At day break, on the first day, only two hunters were pressed into service and they I think did sorties after sorties. Why couldn't more of these pressed into service?<P>4) When our hunters were pounding the Paki tanks, why the Paki a/c didn't come to the rescue of their tanks for the whole of the day.<P>Please tell me were the above just plain tactical errors/blunders of war or stratigically there was something else( war planning etc ) which led to these kind of events which probably I am not able to understand.<P>Thanks.<P>atul.<BR>
Atul, I haven't seen the movie, but I'll try to answer some of the stuff<P>1) Because of Indian anti tank mines, the Paki tanks couldn't move forward. That is fine. Pakis thought there could be a large Indian force( may be because of Indian firepower or the shouts from Indian side), so they decided to wait till morning. My doubt is that till day break why did the Pakis answer the Indian gunfire with their own gunfire( shown in the movie) and not with their tank fire. The Pakis did silence Sunil Shetty's gun by way of tank fire. Had the Paki tanks fired from where they stood, they might have got us. Was it tactically not possible or the Paki commander's intellect( if he had one!!) got corrupted.<P>I don't suppose there is any point in tanks standing in one place and firing all night blindly. They will expend their ammunition uselessly and their muzzle flashes will be visible to a waiting antitank gun crew. I am not sure the area was mined at all - no attack was expected by India in that area.<P><BR>2) The hunters could fly only during the day. We must have had some a/c which would have flown at night. Why they were not pressed into service from the distant airfields where so ever they were? Was it not feasible?<P>It is technically feasible for NATO and the USAF now. Even so I am not sure that they made night attacks on vehicles. Identification is difficult and the IAF had no smart munitions in 1971 to be released from a height. Planes flew at 500 feet and pointed their noses at targets to fire rockets or guns. Night attacks on taks were not feasible given the technology in 1971<P>3) At day break, on the first day, only two hunters were pressed into service and they I think did sorties after sorties. Why couldn't more of these pressed into service?<P>Only 6 Hunters and 11 pilots were available for any operations in the area. The idea was to send them in waves (of 2!!) so that the Pakistanis were under attack constantly. Two returning, two taking off and two being refuelled and re-armed.<P>4) When our hunters were pounding the Paki tanks, why the Paki a/c didn't come to the rescue of their tanks for the whole of the day.<P>This ie a really good question. I hope you're reading this Shamyl. The PAF did not come. Period. The great, Israeli, Russian and Kafir killing PAF <B>did not show up</B>. You will no doubt remember that not showing up is something they got better and better at - the latest no show being at Kargil. Yet those buffoons have the audacity to publish false information. They even sent out a report of how the PAF countered the IAF in Kargil. Shameless buggers.<P>And a message to the younger Indians on the forum - Don't ever feel the need to ask who won in 1965, 1971 and 1999. It was India. <BR>
Thanks Shiv.<P>As for point 1, the threat of Paki tanks' muzzle flashes being visible to suspected waiting Indian anti tank gun crew must really have been the reason for the Paki commander not to have silenced the Indian gun fire with the Paki tank fire. He perhaps would have thought it to be a kind of trap in which he was being tempted( with Indian gun fire ) to show of his tank's muzzle flashes and hence desisted from using them.<P>For point 2, I really did not know about that aspect of air bombing technology which existed in 1971.<P>Thanks once again.<P>atul. <P>
Guys Border is just the Bollywood version of the battle its not the real story.<BR>The Longewala post was held by a company of the 23rd Punjab Regiment commanded by Maj. Kuldip Singh Chandpuri. They had with them I think one RCL gun and two or three tanks (AMX-13) were sent to the post when the Pak. tank column was discovered. <BR>The Pak. Tank column was on the way to Ramgarh and they hit the army position at Longewala. Instead of by passing the post the Pak. commander thought that he had hit a strongly defended post and chose to sit around and take a very cautious approach. He should have attacked the post or left it. If he had done that the he wouls have been at Ramgarh which was not defended at all even though it was the main supply depot for the 12th Div.<P>The Brigade Commander loacted at Tanot (I think) and the 12 Div. Commander hardly did any thing they did not move at all, did not chase the tanks back to Gabbar. The Div. Commander was even told to attack the Pak. tank by Gen. Sam Manekshaw. but he came up with lame excuses.( Read Maj. Gen. Sukhwant Singh's Book, sorry I have forgotten the title though the BR IAF page has a reference of it. He has called Chandpuri Govindpuri in his book.)<P>Maj. Chandpuri received the MVC and retired as a Brigadier. The Subedhar also received the VrC and is alive and well living in his village in the state of Punjab (Border killed both of them)<P>The Longewala battle was all the doing of the 4 Hunters. Air Marshal Bawa's account in the BR IAF page is a pretty accurate account from the IAF point of view. <P>Most of the tanks destroyed or damaged goes to the credit of the IAF Hunters a few were destroyed by the AMX-13 tanks which were sent to Longewala. <P>The IAF should get the full credit for the Longewala victory.<P>Border is not the reality its just Bombay Massala.<P>JAI HIND
Some more info on the battle of Longewala.<P>The "Alpha" Company of the 23rd Punjab regiment were the following gallantry awards:<BR>1 Maha Vir Chakra<BR>2 Vir Chakras<BR>2 Sena Medals, both post. to RCL gunners<BR>1 Mention in Despatches<BR>1 COA Commendation Card<BR>and the battalion was awarded the Battle Honour Longewala.<P>Upon interogation of some of the captured Pak POW's , they said that there commander thought the the row of Barbed wire which acted as a perimeter fence for the Longewala post led to a minefield and the Pak. commander was reluctant to go for for the attack on the post.
Maj General Sukhwant Singh's book is<P>"Defense of the western Front" <P>It has a really nice account of all the battles in Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir front in wars of 65 and 71.<P>One chapter that comes to my mind is battle of Hussainiwala which was to be defended by r ??? Bakshi! Eventhough war was started but when Pakistan attacked Mr. Bakshi and all of his officers (Majors, Captains) were with him partying!!<P>while Pakistan attacked Hussainiwala enclave and destroyed Bhagat Singh's Samadh!<P><BR>Indian Soldiers defending front had to blow up the bridge over River Ravi to slow down Pakistani forces advance!! <P>It is amazing how Incompetence rules! <P>Sandeep Singh Bajwa
I too saw the movie very recently, but had read about it and the battle long ago, and also remember reading about the battle itself in 1971. <P>My questions regarding the movie, (forget the emotional stuff), are: <P>1. Is it realistic that tanks line up abreast, with no cover, and the infantry rush up and kneel in the spaces between the tanks, like the Mahabharatha war? This appears to be an excellent way to get the entire force mowed down. <P>2. The depiction of Kuldeep Singh leaping on to tanks and dumping grenades down the hatches is dramatic, but I think it was stolen from another episode in Indian history: In 1965, in the major tank battle in Chaamb-Jaurian, Havildar Abdul Hamid is supposed to have knocked out 3 Paki Chaffee tanks this way, before he was blown apart. <P>3. Is it realistic that the IA troops were all lined up in one trench? <P>4. Did the Pakistanis really launch infantry attacks? Why? It would seem to be so much easier to have used the tanks. <P>5. Someone here mentioned waves of Paki infantry. How do these guys cross the desert? Walking? Or hanging on to the tanks? <P>6. The movie also showed quite a few IA soldiers rushing in meaningless suicide charges, straight at the Pakistanis. Is this realistic? <P>My concept of a tank battle was that it would be something very dynamic and chaotic, with the tanks using the fact that they are mobile. Likewise, the defenders must have been highly mobile. I suspect that these are too difficult to shoot on film.
S Bajwa<BR> Thanks for the book title. Regarding the 1971 war at Hussainwala the following is some additional info.<P>the Hussainawala bridge was defended by 15 Punjab Regiment led by Lt. Col Shastri. On the day the war started the Subedhae major was retiring and they had aparty for him. Most of the officers were at the party and when the war started most of them left for the front lines but Lt. Col. shastri went to his HQ located in the located in the irrigation dept bunglow. THe regiment had a company across the sutlej defending the QUASIR Eh Hind fort on the west bank. This company fought extremly well and the PAK army had a very tough time to evict them from the fort. Shastri never came out of the inspection bunglow to see the situation . He should have reinforced the company. When the brigade commander Brig H. Bakshi ( I think) came to see the situation, Shastri gave a false doom account of the battle. Both these officers did not have a clue of what was going on. Brig. Bakshi took Shastri's word and ordered a fall back to the east bank of Sutlej. <BR>The army engineers had put charges on the bridge across the river and a couple of centurian tanks were on the west side. One of these tanks loaded with some wounded from the company defending the west bank was moving across the brigde when the officers thought that it was a Pak tank and they blew up the bridge. the tank with the wounded fell into the river below.<P>Both Brig H. Bakshi and Lt. Col shastri were relieved of their commands.<BR>In the book byPak. maj. Gen. Faqheem Khan (?), even he states of the gallantry of the Indian army company which was on the west bank.<P>The Pkais severly damaged the samadhi of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. They even removed their busts from the samadhi<P>
Patel<P>I completely agree with your two cents if the Pak. army column would not have been discovered by the army guys at Longewala, the results would have been much different. If the Pak brigade commander would have left Longewala alone or let a skeleton force engage it and taken the rest of his force towards Ramgarh, he would have captured a lots of area and he might have been in Jasilmer even before the Hunters knew it.<P><BR>Narayana<P>QMH Abdul Hamid received the PVC for his role at the Battle of Assal Uttar not Chamb. He was incharge of a RCL gun mounted on a jeep which was covering one of the defence areas of the 4th Gernadiers. He say 4 Patton tanks and not Chaffees coming out of a sugar cane field towards his defended sector. He engaged them and destroyed 3 of them , while the 4th tank located his jeep and blew up his RCL gun.<P>
I completely agree with your two cents if the Pak. army column would not have been discovered by the army guys at Longewala, the results would have been much different.<P>Guys<P>Let's not forget two things. 1)it was Khambata's (12 Div) failing that a strategic ingress route had been left virtually undefended and 2) without the Hunters Longewala would have been overrun.
dsandhu: <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>QMH Abdul Hamid received the PVC for his role at the Battle of Assal Uttar not Chamb. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Thanks for the info. My understanding of newspaper reports in 1965, at an age expressable in single-digit, can certainly use correction. <P>I do remember rather clearly that at the time, reports spoke of the Havildar actually climbing onto tanks and lobbing grenades into them. Were there really jeep-mounted RCL weapons in the IA at the time? But then again, remember that the news reports were written by the predecessors of today's Indian / Sri Lankan press. <P>Thanks again! The movie Border, of course showed Maj. Singh climbing on turrets and dropping grenades.
Narayanan - having entered a double digit age 2 days after the 1965 war ended I can rightly claim to remember vastly more than you.<P>Yes there were RCL guns mounted on jeeps in 1965 - I have a picture of one in a post conflict souvenir released at that time. But I do remember that Hav. Abdul Hamid was mortally wounded and in this state he climbed onto a tank and lobbed a grenade into it.
Narayanan: Grenades cannot destroy tanks or any other armoured vehicle. Only Anti Tank weaopns can destroy these weapons. Indian Army in 1965, 1971 (and some extent even today) has RCL gun mounted on a jeep. (Remeber in movie Border, Mathra Dass (Sudesh Berry) is the gunner and commander of this Jeep mounted gun group)<P>now there are several types of missiles available to destroy armoured vehicles like TOW, HELLFIRE, MILAN, AT-6 and our indigenous Naag missiles.<BR> <BR>These missiles have typical range of 4-10 Kms. and are carried by group of two soldiers or one soldiers (or are carried by helicopters like APache, etc, one point and shoot other loads these missiles. These missiles in some cases are guided to the target by a wire (as in casae of TOW) or infra red beam as in case of Hellfire, I believe NAG is also IR guided missile.<P><BR>RCL guns probably cannot cut through the Chobham, Kanchan and other armour of modern tanks., that is why these anti armour missiles are needed.<P><BR>Sandeep Singh Bajwa
"Grenades cannot destroy tanks or any other armoured vehicle"<P>This is right, bajwa, but I think a grenade lobbed into an open hatch is good for converting the humans inside into ribbons <p>[This message has been edited by shiv (edited 02-09-1999).]
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Grenades cannot destroy tanks <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Thanks, SBajwa. Now I understand why, after the 1965 war, there were enough Patton tanks and US-built APCs to distribute around the country, so that even I could play inside one. And why these had not been converted to IA use: the interiors did look as if they had been cleaned. <P>My feeling is that the IA had very few anti-tank weapons. Those that they had, had to be fired by the soldier standing up, exposed, with the enemy maybe a hundred yards away, to aim, fire, and wait until the wire-guided weapon had reached the target: an eternity for most soldiers, faced with the machine guns and cannon of an oncoming tank regiment. Having exhausted their weapons, and with the tanks upon them, these soldiers still did not turn and run: instead they raced towards the enemy, climbed onto the tanks, and lobbed grenades into the hatches (I believe the hatches were kept open because it was hot, and because the tank-drivers wanted to have a chance to get out when the tank got hit). This was the only way to stop the Pakis from coming across Kashmir towards New Delhi. They were stopped.<P>Spend a few seconds with your eyes closed, imagining this situation, and putting yourself in the place of Abdul Hamid and the other heroes, and you will see why even the Param Vir Chakra (posthumous) does not even begin to be adequate to recognize what they did. <p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 02-09-1999).]
Hi Just thought that i will make the discussion more interesting with a picture. henry asked for a picture and here it is. make this a part of your itenary if you visit rajasthan.<P>The first tank<P> <P>This is what is written on the plaque.<P> <P>from the magazine "Car and Bike"! <P>and about the movie border, it was handled bad by the director. espcially the parts about shooting up enemy agents just because their camels had "grass from the other side"<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Jagan (edited 02-09-1999).]
Just a clarification, Abdul Hamid did not do anything as movie-ish as clamber onto enemy tanks and chuck grenades inside. He was with a jeep mounted RCL gun when he knocked out the 3 Paki tanks. Not that this in any way detracts from his act of bravery. Climibing onto tanks in battle is best left to the movies....
Vikram: <P>Please see Shiv's and my recollection (Shiv may have more hard data) from the newspaper reports in 1965, of the citation for the Param Vir Chakra. <P>I doubt if the Param Vir Chakra is awarded for merely firing one's weapon until one gets blown up: in that case, 3000+ PVC (posthumous) should have been awarded in 1965. Actually, only about 3 or 4 were awarded.<P>I agree that climbing onto enemy tanks is not for everyone. <p>[This message has been edited by narayanan (edited 02-09-1999).]
Narayanan,<P>My memory throws up several sources for the RCL story- many books - incl one I remember called 22 Fateful Days (don't remember the author now), written soon after the war, the actual citation itself (some years ago, the govt published a booklet on India's Heroes with all PVC recipients feautured. I don't have it now...but am sure I read this account in there).<P>Agree PVCs aren't just awarded for shooting, but taking on 4 tanks in an rCL jeep and knocking out 3 of them is a bit extraordinary, don't u think so?
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