Photo of the area:http://viralsection.com/battle-dograi-3 ... a-1965-wa/
The Battle of Dograi took place in 2 stages.https://idsa.in/system/files/jds/jds_9_ ... tion_0.pdf
In the first stage, 3 JAT advanced at 4 AM on 6 Sep and captured the village of Gosal Dial by 9.30 AM. It then took on the task assigned to 15 Dogra which had got bogged down and crossed the bridge on the Icchogil Canal by 11.30 AM and captured Batapore. Although the bridge was destroyed by Pak, Lt. Col Hayde led 2 Coys across it on foot to the west. However, PAF raids knocked out the anti-tank weapons of the Bn, munitions replacement and administrative vehicles in the rear echelons and made the 2 Coys that had crossed over the Canal, defenceless against the attack by Pak tanks. No replenishments could be obtained due to lack of radio communication and confusion at Bde HQ who weren’t prepared for the swiftness of the success and 3 JAT had to vacate Batapore by 5 PM and return to Gosal Dial where they dug in. Lt. Col. Hayde was awarded the MVC for this phase of the battle.
My comments: The speed of the initial advance showed that the PA hadn’t expected an attack on this axis and resistance was light. At that time, the DCB weren’t in place, but by 1971, they had come up on both sides of the border.
Expert comments: https://idsa.in/system/files/jds/jds_9_ ... tion_0.pdf
The inability of 3 Jat to hold on to the gains made in the first phase of Dograi on the Ichhogil Canal and at Batapore could be attributed to lack of organised all arms combat teams to meet the challenge. This includes inadequacies in anti-tank weapons at the company and platoon level.
While infantry tank cooperation and other limited maneuvres were practiced, close integration of infantry, artillery and tank troops in the plains was lacking.
An important deficiency during Dograi One was lack of adequate radio communications with 3 JAT to transmit success achieved to the formation, which in turn led to a degree of alarm in the rear. Responsibility of provision of communications to the battalion, which should have been duplicated, was that of the brigade given importance of the task allocated to the unit.
The next phase of the battle occurred on 21/22 Sep. Until then, 3 JAT had been dug in around Gosal Dial. Pak had reinforced Dograi with 16 (Pak) Punjab and elements of 8 (Pak) Punjab, 3 Baluch and 18 Baluch along two 2 tank Troops. Fortified pillboxes were built and each section had 2 LMGs instead of one.
However, 3 JAT used the intervening time to do exhaustive recce. http://www.claws.in/images/journals_doc ... 3_chap.pdf
The book ‘Battle of Dograi’ detail what he ordered to be done to get his intelligence about enemy and defences; terrain and enemy order of battle plotted with damning accuracy before he made his plans for capturing the reinforced Dograi whenever he was ordered to retake Dograi. Clinical recce, plotting of bunkers, pill boxes, tank hides, company defended localities, he got the intelligence picture clear, making the Pakistani defences and intent transparent to his now amazingly empowered officers and men who thought, spoke, and dreamt victory; letting their spirits soar in anticipation of runaway.
The attack was launched on 22 Sep at 0130 hrs. The operation involved clearance and fighting through a built-up area which was divided into four sectors, with one sector each allotted to a company. The plan of the battalion entailed infiltration from the North, that is, from the Ichhogil Canal direction, thus achieving a degree of surprise. The attack proceeded as planned with D Company capturing the north-east portion of the town while C Company captured the northwest portion as well as the east bank of the Ichhogil Canal which was held by 18 Baluch, which interfered in the operation. Subsequent attacks by A and B Company led to some fierce fighting but the battalion secured the objective by 0530 hours on 22 September.
The battle in the words of Lt. Col. Hayde:
It was from 400 metres short that we really started getting it. A whole machine gun complex, along the eastern bank of the Ichhogil Canal opened up. They must have been in the area in which I, my IO and a few others were. We must have been under the fire of at least eight machine-guns at every step we took. We had a lot of fresh young troops. But we had made it very clear to them, that there was only one aim, and that aim was to close the gap from the FUP, on the objective from where the enemy was firing, as quickly as possible, whether it be in the open, whether it be through cover, whether it be at the run, whether it be on your belly. There was to be no stop until they had made the built up area on the northeastern and northern edge of Dograi. This, I am really proud so say, my young Jat jawans did with full valour; with full vigor, under the terrific and dynamic leadership of my company commanders, platoon commanders and junior leaders. Once my boys closed in with the enemy on the objective, very intense and severe hand-to hand fighting had to take place, because it was difficult to get the enemy out of their trenches. The enemy for obvious reasons was not very keen to leave their trenches and we for very obvious reasons had to get in there and push them out.
An idea of the Pak fortifications come from correspondent Melville D Mello, AIR reporting from the front:http://sainiksamachar.nic.in/englisharc ... 9/h61.html
First came the battle of pillboxes, formidable concrete fortresses, impervious to bombs and shells, which poured death from concealed automatic weapons through steel slits.
Then came the bunkers, all sighted for mutual support and all raining down devastating fire in enfilade.
Reconstructing in my mind the “arcs of fire” and the dispositions of our advancing troops and the enemy pillbox and bunker complex, it appeared to me, that not even a field mouse could have survived much less get through the enemy barrage.
But our men not only got through, but stormed Dograi and swept-on over the Ichhogil Canal. Each pillbox had to be taken literally by hand, the grenade tossed through the window-slits after a long crawl through shell-fire.
Some Jawans were killed while in the act of tossing their grenades, their bodies falling across part of the window slit. This created a blind spot for the enemy which was utilized by other jawans to surge forward and finish the job.
We are going to capture Dograi or die there” said Lt Col Desmond Hayde (now an MVC) to his men, on the night of the attack.
“Look for me in Dograi”, he went on. “You will find me there alive or dead.”
That is the grand tradition in which these Jats went to battle.
After the pillboxes and bunkers, came the house-to-house in fighting. Dograi had to be taken street by street, and gulley by gulley, and it was defended inch-by-inch.
But by dawn the Pak defenders were on the run. The rest lay lead, in heaps, on housetops … in narrow alleyways and in the fields around Dograi.
If Dograi proved anything it was that the man finally had the last word, in spite of the numerical superiority of sophisticated weaponry.
I will give you just two examples of the spirit of these men who captured Dograi.
There was Pale Ram, a Subedar who had just had seven bullets removed from his stomach. He had been grievously wounded during the capture of a bunker and four machine-guns.
“It was nothing much”, he said, “I had stormed and captured a bunker and was going for another one when I suddenly blacked out. My colleagues picked me up and brought me to the rear. I had not realized I had so many bullets in me.”
And there was the Naik who had his right arm blown off by shell-fire.
He turned to me in his hospital bed and in a confidential whisper said, “Sir, Please tell the Doctor Sahib to let me back to the front. I still have one arm left to fight with.”
3 JAT withstood four determined counter-attacks with close quarter fighting between 0130 and 1200 hours on 22 September till hostilities ceased on 23 September 1965. 3 JAT paid a heavy price of five officers and 59 men killed, while the wounded included six officers, five JCOs, and 142 men. This figure does not include one officer, one JCO and 23 men killed, and three officers including the CO, three JCO’s and 72 men wounded between 6 and 20 September. Thus, in total, 3 JAT had 322 all ranks killed and wounded against the 552 all ranks that took part; a huge sacrifice for sustaining the Battalion and the Indian Army’s ethic of Naam, Namak, Nishan. The enemy dead (just the second time around) were 305 with many more wounded; their overall casualties easily being double of 3 JAT. Besides, 3 JAT captured 108 officers, JCO’s, and men including CO 16 (Pak) PUNJAB, Colonel GF Golewala; the key opposing Unit that had faced the Jats. There were six enemy tanks of 30 TDU/23 CAV that were also destroyed and six captured by the 3 JAT group including their supporting armor, Scinde Horse.
An idea of the kind of leader that Lt. Col. Hayde was can be got from his answer to the question of why soldiers fight such wars:http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.com ... ograi.html
'The colonel pointed to his second in command, Major Shekhawat and said: "Major Shekhawat fights because he holds nothing dearer than the respect and standing he enjoys in the eyes of his men, family, and community back home. His fear of losing that standing overcomes his fear of death."
"The men, of course, fight because Major Shekhawat fights."