1965 War: Pakistani accounts-1
Kasur Khem Karan Rajputana Jhangar Suleimanki (a Pakistani view)
Title and authorship of the original article(s)
Kasur Khem Karan Rajputana Jhangar Suleimanki By Unknown Pakistani source
This is a newspaper article selected for the excellence of its content.
Morning Tea that never reached Kasur
The Indian invasion of Kasur sector had been synchronized with that of Lahore sector. 11 Infantry Division raised, on an ad hoc basis, a few months earlier, had been assigned to defend this sector and to destroy any enemy break through either from Ferozpur, through Hussainiwala or via Bedian and Hem Karan, in an effort to outflank Lahore. The division having been raised during the emergency had not been brought up to full strength and apart from other shortages had only seven infantry battalions. The divisional commander, Major General Abdul Hamid, had decided to fight in front of the BRB canal and to carry the battle into the enemy territory as soon as opportunity arose.
The Indians had been seen carrying our reconnaissance of the border are a few days before the invasion. The suspicion of the GOC had been aroused and he had ordered the diggings of defensive positions on 4 September but, in order not to worsen the political situation, had taken care that all work on defensive positions was to be done during the hours of darkness only.
The position became weaker on 5 September when 21 Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brig. Sahib Dad Khan, 13 Baluch and 5 FF, was moved out of the area. This left only five infantry battalions, with the division to defend a front of approximately 28 miles. News came into Division Headquarters at about 345 hours on 6 September that Indian movement had been observed in front of the ranger post at Bedian. By 0500 hours, it was clear that the Ranger posts all along the border were under enemy attack. Soon the Indians decided to forego the element of surprise, which had already been lost, and opened up with mortars and artillery. The enemy had planned a two pronged attack, one aimed against Bedian Head Works and the other directly leading to Kasur along the road Patti-Khem-Karan-Kasur.
The two main enemy attacks were directed against Bedian, by 5 Guards battalion, and Kasur along Khem Karan axis by 9 J and K battalion. By 0900 hours both the attacks had come to standstill. Both attacks had been of a battalion strength each and supported by armour. Defending Bedian facing the enemy attack was a company of 1 East Bengal Regiment. They withstood the assault most admirably. The enemy received the proper reception. The senior Tigers, as the battalion was called, held their fire as seasoned troops are expected to do. They had a plucky young gunner Captain as F.O.O., who had his O.P. on top of a tree. He gave them an excellent supporting fire even though wounded during the early hours of the morning.
HQ 106 Infantry Brigade was shelled at about 0600 hours but the Indians did not achieve much. There was only one casualty as a result of it.
One Kasur - Khem Karan road, which appeared to be the main axis, the battalion holding up the Indians was 7 Punjab. The first attack having been held up, the right flank was attacked the second time. 7 Punjab forward platoon, on this flank, had to fall back in initial stages. This encouraged the Indians and 13 Dogra, came rushing on and took Rohiwala village, only to find themselves in a trap. 7 Punjab put in a well planned counter attack with one company and put the Dogras to flight. Their battalion 2nd in command Major Milkiat Singh with 14 others was taken prisoner and the rest managed to extricate themselves, leaving over 60 dead on the field.
There had been subsidiary attacks along the rest of the front also. They had been directed against village Punwan and Ballanwala with the idea of securing crossing BRB canal. These were not allowed to develop and were stopped efficiently. 1 East Bengal Regiment faced another battalion attack at 1000 hours in front of Bedian. This also was repulsed with heavy losses to the enemy.
Enemy 4 Indian Mountain Division, had the support of 2 Indian Independent Armoured Brigade and an unusually large compliment of Infantry and artillery. It had under it 17 infantry battalions. Opposing it were 5 battalions stretched out over a large front. As a result the point of Indian attack, selected at will due to the initiative being in their hands, gave to the Indians a superiority of 5 to 1 in addition to armour. The artillery support of 11 Division was also much less on 6 September as compared to what the Indians had.
The Indians continued to attack again and again throughout the day. An intercepted wireless message, earlier in the day had said, "Speed up". The morning tea will be issued in Kasur." That cup of tea was not to be tasted. Many tastes another kind of cup that day and to no purpose. The old says, "There is many slip a between the cup and the lip", was said for precisely such occasions. The whole sector from Kasur to Bedian was under constant pressure, but the pattern was the same. The armour had been spread out over the whole front in the
most democratic fashion. The infantry all along could be seen advancing under cover of artillery fire and escorted by tanks. The moment the artillery barrage was lifted the infantry would get up, shout "Jai Hind" three times, as if asking the Pakistani soldiers to open fire. The moment the Pakistanis opened fire the Indians would fall to the ground, repeat the performance two or three times and then having sent the usual messages of being stopped by heavy fire, they would oblige by providing an excellent target when retreating. The time had reached when the battle had, according to plan, to be carried into enemy territory. The enemy attack had been stopped, his armour blunted and the momentum of his advance broken. Now was the time to give him a little taste of his own prescription. The Indians continued attacking during the night, particularly on Bedian, Punwan, and Ballanwala but were thrown back in every place. Indian night attacks were no different from the day attacks. There may have been another difference from the point of view of enemy forward troops. They escaped, due to the observance of wireless silence, the nerve wrecking coaxing and unprintable language of their higher headquarters which must have been a great relief. 11 Division had been given 5 Armoured Brigade for the limited offensive operations planned for this sector. There could be no question of a major offensive. The Indians had not yet committed their 1 Indian Armoured Division and the infantry compliment of 1 Indian Corps. On 4 September the papers captured from one of the dispatch riders had confirmed the presence of 1 Indian Armoured Division in the vicinity of Samba and as a result Pakistan High Command, did not wish to tie up its armour in the relatively untankable country beyond Khem Karan and yet it was not desirable to completely ignore offensive operation from this direction, into East Punjab. While the Indian attack had not yet sufficiently developed against Sialkot, it was profitable to utilize the brief period and inflict as much casualties on the Indian Army as possible. By mid day on 7 September, 21 Infantry Brigade had returned to 11 Division after being released by GHQ from the special task for which it had been detailed earlier. The bridgehead necessary for launching 5 Armoured Brigade was ready by the evening of 7 September. It had necessitated the construction of the bridge on the Ruhi Nala. The bridge so close to the front and under constant enemy air attacks was a difficult task, but it proved what determined troops can do. Pakistan Engineers rose to the occasion and did a very good job of it. 1 FF less one coy and one squadron of 6 Lancers (Divisional Armoured Regiment) crossed over when the Indian Air Force was most active, but at the same time most inefficient. By the evening Khem Karan had been reached and the bridgehead established successfully. The enemy suffered heavily both in men and equipment and a number of Indian prisoners fell into the bag of 1 FF. The equal distribution of Indian armour to its various brigades and battalions may have sounded well as an exercise in simple arithmetic but in defending Khem Karan, it proved most disastrous to the Indians. The next day 21 Infantry Brigade commanded by Brig. Sahib Dad and 5 Armoured brigade moved into the bridgehead. 4 Armoured brigade, the other formation of 1 Armoured Division was also to come into the bridgehead, the moment mopping up operation in Khem Karan had been completed. The Indians tried to divert the attention of Pakistanis from Khem Karan by an attack on Bedian and the adjacent villages. The brunt again, but they stood their ground firmly and threw back the Indians with very heavy casualties on both occasions.
C-in-C Pakistan Army Gen. Mohammad Musa visiting Khem Karan after its capture. Gen. Abdul Hamid Khan and Brig. Sahib Dad Khan are on his right and left. The Indians were in desperate position. Khem Karan, a historical town, and a flourishing trade center, with a large population was threatened by Pakistan. The would be visitors who two days earlier had promised their men the morning cup of tea, their Chhota Hazri, in Kasur were Tank/Infantry combined attack. The din of battle, the artillery on both sides pounding the confined space on the Northern outskirts of the town and the cries of wounded and dying were beyond imagination. The orders were being shouted in clear by the Indian commanders. The language at times was unprintable, but this does happen with inexperienced small men in high positions. The Indian troops fought well on this day. The stakes were high and the fear of war being carried into their own home had shaken them out of the over confident attitude of the previous day. Inspite of the greater determination shown by the Indians and their overwhelming superiority, the Pakistani troops stood their ground. At about 0900 hours, 8 September, it appeared that the Indian attack had spent all its vigor but before the Indians could dig in where they stood, 6 Lancers and 5 FF, commanded by Lt. Col. M. Mumtaz Khan, on one axis and 1 FF less one Coy and a squadron of 15 Lancers under command on the other axis went into attack. The scene was superb. Never before had an army in spick and span uniforms, meant for the victory parade been disillusioned in such a manner. The well-coordinated attack of armour and infantry threw them back. The coordination of the defenses on 11 Infantry Division front had been meticulously gone into by the GOC and his staff. The GOC, who made full use of his helicopters, was always found to be near whichever sector the fighting was severest. This helped him in being ahead of the Indians at every step. The Indian Army had a good proportion of their best fighting material on this front but, they were pitched against men who were fighting for a cause. Once thrown back they were unable to reassemble and reorganize. They were however, lucky. The high sugar-cane and cotton crops gave them cover from the Pakistani pursuers. Khem Karan had fallen into Pakistani hands by 0900 hours and the advance continued. The move of 6 Lancers was so brilliant an execution of advance forward that the infantry which was being impeded due to the need of clearing small pockets, snipers and odd MMG nests hidden in crops, could not keep pace with armour. 6 Lancers under Lt. Col. Shahzad Gul by 1700 hours had captured Valtoha Railway station at a distance of 12 miles from Khem Karan. It was magnificent piece if work. The enemy echelons, all along the route had been taken by surprise. The Indian contention that Major General Gurbakhsh Singh, 4 Indian Mountain Divisional Commander had pull back his men would be acceptable, if in the process the Indians had not lost over 1200 killed and a much larger number in wounded. The amount of equipment and stacks of ammunition left lying by the fleeing Indians belies this explanation of the Indian High Command. It was debacle of the worst type and should be accepted as such. If the pulling back had been according to plans the braver elements of the Indian Army would not have stayed behind in small pockets. These small groups deserve all the praise and recognition that can fall to the lot of brave soldiers. They stood their ground until eliminated. As Lt. General Kaul has said, "The C-in-C got cold feet and decided, while the battle of Khem Karan was still in progress to take up an alternate position, several miles in the rear which would have meant giving up some well known and vital places and areas." (Kaul op. Cit. P478) The advance of 24 Cavalry in the center had also been successful, though not to be the same extent as the right hook by 6 Lancers. 24 Cavalry had crossed the line of Asal Utter , at a distance of 8 miles from Khem Karan. If the Indian contention of pulling back to trap Pakistanis was correct, then Chima and not Valtoha should have been allowed to fall and there would have been no talk of falling back to Beas. The commander 5 Armoured brigade, appears to have made a mistake in gauging the extent to which the Indians had been beaten and demoralized. It did not occur to him that there was no fight left in the Indians opposite his two regiments. He ordered them to leaguer back in front of Khem Karan for the night. They had to come all the way from the territory they had captured, with the dint of their courage and in the face of very strong opposition. To fall back without adequate reasons is never acceptable to a soldier. We can only imagine the feelings of those officers and men who were being told to come back. They obeyed the order but with a feeling of disappointment. The next day, 9 September, 5 Armoured brigade undertook the same task as on the previous day. In addition 4 Armoured Brigade got ready to out in an attack from the left with the task of cutting off Road Khem Karan-Bihikiwind at milestone 32, thus cutting off Chima from the left. 6 Lancers had much less opposition today than on the previous day and were able to advance up to Valtoha R.S. again. 24 Cavalry on their left went a little beyond the limit of previous day's advance but were once again held up at Chima. The Indians in the mean time had made copious use of mines during the hours of undisturbed darkness and were in fact within well defended localities. The brigade commander again for the second day in succession recalled both the Regiments for leaguer back to Khem Karan at sun set. 10 September dawned with another diversionary dawn attack on Bedian, but was repulsed, as usual with even heavier losses to the enemy. 4 Armoured Brigade was to put in the left hook today (10 September). 4 cavalry with Lt. Col. Mohammad Nazir in command was leading the unit. They put up an excellent performance. Brushing aside all oppositions. They put in left hook and reached their objective at 1700 hours, but in the meantime contact with 4 Armoured Brigade Headquarters and supporting infantry battalion, 10 FF had been lost. The regiment had lost a large number of tanks on the way due to soft nature of the ground. And enemy action. The high sugar crops gave excellent cover to RR and other small parties who had been unable to withdraw or had decided to fight to the last. It was only due to the dauntless spirit of the officers and men of 4 cavalry that they succeeded in reaching their objective. They had, however, run out of petrol and were very low on ammunition by then. Contact with the rear having been lost, no one knew their exact location and no replenishment of fuel or ammunition could be considered. They stood their ground until 1100 hours on September 11, when those of them who could not fight back their way had to surrender. It was an excellent operation but due to misfortune full benefits could not be reaped out of it. The time had come when 1 Armoured Division was scheduled to move out this sector. The main objective of stabilizing this front and inflicting casualties on the enemy, by carrying war into Indian territory had been achieved. There was never any intention of conquering India or any part of it and as such, except to throw back the Indians and punish them at every step, there was no point in upsetting plans elsewhere, for the sake of a few more square miles of enemy territory. The situation on this front having been established, arrangements had to be made to place the reserves in a sector where the enemy was likely to put in another offensive. This happened to be the Sialkot front. The situation in Sialkot had started taking definite shape and 1 Armoured Division, less 5 Armoured Brigade could be needed there more than in this sector. It is a credit to Pakistan Western Railway the way they rose to the occasion and met the defense requirements in an exemplary manner. This performance throughout the war was of an excellent standard and the move if 1 Armoured Division from Kasur to Sialkot sector within full view of the enemy air was no mean feat. The move of 1 Armoured Division out of the sector must have been reported by Indian Air. It raised Indian hopes of once again pushing forward in this sector. The question of prestige also must have weighed heavily on the Indian mind. So far the Indian High Command or may be the Government of India itself had been denying the loss of Khem Karan. Photographs, showing Khem Karan in Pakistani hands appearing in Pakistan press naturally could not have reached the Indian public and it was no difficult matter to label Pakistan radio news as pure fabrication, listening to which in any case was banned in Indian. In fact the Indians, as they had done in case of Lahore, had released to their press the fall of Kasur according to plan. They seem to have been so confident of their success that once they planned to take a place, they felt that they already had taken it and at once announced as having done so. On 12 September, the Indians out in a brigade attack, on Khem Karan supported by a regiment of armour, 9 Deccan Horse. 4 Sikh Light Infantry, which tried to put in infiltration tactics had the worst of the day. They were nearly annihilated. Including their commanding officer Lt. Col. Anant Singh, 6 officers and over 250 prisoners fell in the bag. 4 Sikh Light Infantry, a good fighting battalion, ceased to exist from that day. The Indians lost heavily in tanks also. Before this attack died out, a fresh infantry brigade was brought forward by the Indians. Air strikes and intense artillery fire supported the attack. The Indian tanks in this second attack that day were conspicuous for their shyness. This attack also cost the Indian heavily in men and material without any gain on the ground. During the night the Indians again switched on to Bedian and Jahman but without any success. The 1 EBR had got used to the mode of Indian advance and knew well how to keep them in their place. The Indians had exhausted their morale material strength and inspite of the prestige value of Khem Karan confined their activities to licking their wounds for the next few days. Good use of tanks had been made opposite Bedian. Tanks of 15 Lancers used to be sent across the canal every night with the result that the Indians feared attack on Khalra where the Indian Divisional H.Q. was located. The GOC Maj. General Abdul Hamid Khan, however, did not wish to let them sit quiet for too long. He ordered small probing raids which helped a great deal in further lowering the Indian morale. Commander 106 Infantry Brigade, Brig. Nawazish Ali decided to put in a limited attack. Two companies of 7 Baluch pushed the enemy out of his positions around Sankhatra and established a firm base for further raids into the enemy territory. Based on Sankhatra A Squadron of 12 Cavalry was able to dominate the area up to Lakhan. This drew in the Indian armour and the squadron of 12 Cavalry had good shooting against Indian tanks including Centurions. A plucky young 2nd Lt. Abul Hassan made good use of Sankhatra base as FOO and managed to bring down well directed artillery fire, whenever the Indians out in hastily planned attack in this sub sector. The enemy reacted as a result in much greater strength and on 17 September came out in force, but Sankhatra base was too strong for the Indians. A company of Infantry with a squadron of tanks supported by well directed artillery fire was too much for them to dislodge. The enemy air as usual came to the help of Indian ground troops but their shooting was too erratic and they were over respectful of small arms fire. They had suffered in the early stages of war more than they could afford. They, therefore always kept a respectful height. The Indian efforts to recapture Sankhatra were really earnest. Hand to hand fighting ensued on a number of occasions but defenders were determined to keep the Indians away from the village. There were minor probing attacks until 21 September, when the Indians realizing the approach of cease fire got panicky about Khem Karan still being in Pakistani hands. Their biggest and most determined offensive in this sector as a result was launched on night 21/22 September. They mounted three major attacks in quick succession. In the first two attacks they adopted two brigade frontal attack while in the third attack there was only one brigade leading the attack. All the three attacks were preceded by heavy artillery shelling. It had become a habit with the Indians to time pre-attack bombardments to exactly two hours. This time it was much longer. Starting from 2230 hours lasted until 0430 hours. All three attacks against Khem Karan failed to dislodge the Pakistani defenders and the net result was the pile of Indian dead which could not be removed for days and polluted the atmosphere for miles around. All three attacks were well planned and showed determination. However Indian army fought well in this sector except the first day or two and very fact of their readiness to accept heavy casualties speaks highly of their courage and determination of their soldiers. If they failed to achieve their objective against an army much smaller in number it is only because they were pitched against men of higher moral qualities who were fighting for a just cause. Not satisfied with having butchered the youth of India a day prior to the cease fire the Indians launched a fresh battalion against the rifle company of 7 Baluch at Sankhatra. This caused them further losses and they had once again to fall back without achieving success. The Indian effort to capture Bedian Head Works was of no less intensity. The defenders however stood firm until the end and contributed a great deal in inflicting heavy casualties on the Indians. The end had not yet come. India had asked for extension of time for the cease fire and had been granted it. There were still a few more hours left. A couple of brigades in the reserve had no blood letting. Why should they not be sacrificed to the whims of the politicians as Maj. General Narinjan Parshad had complained? They were brought forward, given tank support, and with all the artillery at General's beck and call a final effort was made to recapture Khem Karan. It proved no better, although C-in-C Indian Army had ordered the recapture of Khem Karan at "All Cost". All the cost available with them was not adequate to give them what had been taken from them in a fair and clean fight.
The Indian Elephant comes to a Grinding halt at Chawinda
Sialkot sector had always been upper most in the minds of Pakistan. Across it, lays the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which in addition to the outright injustice of the case and India usurping it forcefully, it posed a direct threat to the innermost areas of Pakistan. Any threat based on Kashmir would come at right angles to the threat from India itself there by weakening defenses facing India and could not be anything but a source of great anxiety to Pakistan. As far as India was concerned, Kashmir was ideally suited as a jumping ground to attack Pakistan. The military build up during the last few years under the assumed threat from China had given India a good excuse, if she needed one, to build up the strength in Kashmir to unusually large six divisions. Indian infantry brigades in Kashmir have the habit of having up to seven infantry battalions as a measure of solace and over insurance. Pakistan could not afford to keep more than one medium size infantry division in this sector. 15 Infantry Division containing 7 Infantry Battalion only was placed in Sialkot. Its armour compliment consisted of 25 cavalry and two tank delivery units. The division was commanded by Brig. Sardar Mohammad Ismail Khan. The Indian garrison opposite to this small force was 26 Indian Division with four oversize brigades and two armoured regiments. It had been anticipated that the enemy could launch a three pronged attack from the following directions; Dera Baba Nanak, Samba and Jammu. The areas of responsibility of the brigades of 15 Infantry Division were as a result as follows: • 101 Infantry Brigade (2 battalions) astride Sialkot Jammu Road under the command of Brig. S. M. Hussain • 104 Infantry Brigade (One infantry battalion only) Area Uggoki as Divisional Strike Force • 24 Infantry Brigade (Two infantry battalions plus one Armoured Regiment) Area Chawinda under the command of Brig. Malik Abdul Ali Khan • 115 Infantry Brigade (Two infantry battalions) Area: Jassar under the command of Brig. Muzzafaruddin 6 Armoured Division commanded by Maj. General Abrar Hussain, which in fact was no more than an Armoured Brigade, was placed in Daska area to be used as required. It had under it, two Armoured Regiments and one Infantry Battalion. The Guides Cavalry, 22 Cavalry and 14 FF with proportionate supporting arms and services. The Indian build up in early September opposite 15 Division was substantial. The Indians had brought in three infantry divisions including one oversize mountain division and their crack 1 Indian Armoured Division. The details of these were to be known as fighting developed. The Indian plan in this sector unfolded itself gradually and was most unrealistic. It had neither taken the capabilities of the Indian soldiers into account not had been fair in assessing the fighting qualities of Pakistan Army. It smelt of Hyderabad Police Station. General Chaudhuri had decided to attack with one strong division at Suchetgarh and a brigade at Jassar. He knew the strength of both 15 Infantry Division and 6 Armoured Division and expected the armoured division with its armoured regiments to be equally divided between the two garrisons at Jassar and Sialkot. The attack having been launched on 6 September would in the opinion of Indian C-in-C, draw the whole Pakistan Army in this sector of these two corner points. When Pakistan garrison was fully sucked into these two extreme corners and was committed completely the main attack from Samba would roll down the plains lead by Indian Armoured Division. According to General Chaudhuri there would be nothing to stop this mighty force, not even a section of infantry. The garrisons at Jassar and Sialkot would be too committed to extricate themselves and even if they tried to fall back to interfere in the main attack they would be only following the Indian divisions and would never be permitted to re-establish any worthwhile defensive line. General Chaudhuri's optimism was really infectious. It permeated down to the brigade commanders' level but no further. The lower levels have to be more realistic. They are too far near the ground and they are the ones who have to capture ground and hold it or give it away. To them higher planning and lines across the map mean little. When it came to that level the situation looked different but more of that later. As planned by India, the first place that took the brunt of Indian attack in this sector was Jassar. 3 Punjab was holding the brigade and a part of it was across it, in the little Pakistani enclave across the river Ravi. The Indians started shelling at 0315 hours, a quarter of an hour earlier than they crossed the border in other places. An hour later the attack came in, led by one infantry battalion and the Indians succeeded in securing foothold in the enclave. 3 Punjab put in a counter attack at 1000 hours on 6 September and had thrown back the Indians by 1200 hours. Simultaneously 4 FF cleared the Indian enclave on West bank of the river. There does not appear to have been much resistance to this action. The lack of enthusiasm on the part of Indians to defend their position on the right bank of Ravi was a clear indication that the Indian attack against Jassar was merely a feint. If they had meant to invade Pakistan from this direction in earnest, it would have been easier for them to build up across the river, by making use of the enclave as initial brigade head. The artillery compliments of 15 Infantry Division, which had earlier helped 10 Infantry Brigade, in Chhamb and Jurian also returned during night 6/7 September and the position, became more reassuring. The Indians were to continue giving the impression that the attack on Jassar was in real earnest. Between 0300 and 0630 hours on 7 September, but put in three attacks supported by massive artillery support and tanks. They succeeded in capturing the far end of the bridge eventually. The bridge as a result was blown up at 0800 hours the same day. The troops on the far end were ordered to swim to home side as it was not considered advisable to leave a few unsupported companies across the river. The Indians throughout the day, continued to try to enlarge their gains along the bridge but all their attempts were foiled. 26 Indian Division advancing along the main Sialkot-Jammu road did not make any headway on 6 and 7 September. 14 Indian Infantry Division rolled down across the wide stretch Charwah-Bajra Garhi on the night of 7/8 September. The attack started at 2330 hours. 3 FF fought delaying action and gradually fell back to the main defensive line around Phillorah. 3 FF was holding area Gadgor and adjoining villages. Although vastly outnumbered the battalion stood the most intense shelling and kept to its positions. A few platoon localities exchanged hands once but were immediately recaptured. The fight for every inch of the territory had started. It was like a cyclone. Waves clashing with waves and creating an uproar in the dark but few Pakistani soldiers stood steadfast. Attack after attack was coming and yet the thin line stood firm like a wall of steel. The unit was ordered to fall back to Chawinda early in the morning on 8 September. By then, they were in danger of being cut off. They did so at first light. By the morning of 8 September the enemy with elements of 1 Indian Armoured Division had captured Maharajke, Charwa, Chobara, Gadgor and Phillorah villages. The advance of 26 Indian Division along the main road to Sialkot had also been checked and the enemy was hardly able to throw back the screens pushed forward by 19 Punjab and 13 FF on the main road Sialkot-Jammu. 6 Armoured Division, commanded by Major General Abrar Hussain was now moved forward and given the responsibility of stopping the main enemy advance opposite Chawinda in conjunction with 24 Infantry Brigade commanded by Brigadier Abdul Ali Malik already in position. The brigade had under it, 2 Punjab, 3 FF and 25 cavalry. In fact, what it amounted to was that an infantry and an armoured brigade, were defending against this very strong Indian offensive. 8 September gives the image of a series of hammer blows on a small size but ultra strong anvil. Each blow produces blinding flashes. It is the test of strength and quality of metal between the anvil and the hammer. After a little it starts becoming evident that the hammer blows have started losing their vigor and frequency and the metal of the hammer started cracking. The Indians had occupied Phillorah during the earlt hours of the morning but the appearance of 24 Infantry Brigade opposite them in the morning, in an offensive mood, made them fall back. Bajrah and Garhi had four enemy tanks. The moment one was hit by Pakistani armour, 25 cavalry, the other three disappeared. The enemy was gradually pushed out of Chobara also by 24 Infantry Brigade and 25 Cavalry. On the morning of 9 September, 10 Infantry Brigade commanded by brigadier Azmat Hayat Khan also joined in and had taken up positions along side 24 Infantry Brigade. 9 September again was a busy day. The enemy tried to edge towards our left and making use of a road Maharajke-Sialkot and road Bajra-Garhi-Sialkot to put in a right hook. This move was foiled immediately it became apparent and the enemy withdrew in haste. The enemy operation order had laid down the main axis as Ramgarh, Chobara and Phillorah. One Centurian regiment was to push through along it while the other, a Sherman regiment was to be on the right. This regiment appears to have attempted the right hook but could not sustain it. The other Centurian regiment plus a squadron was to be on the enemy left in area Daigi. 4 Horse had been kept by the Indians in reserve. The enemy put in a counter-attack on Chobara with an armoured regiment and an infantry battalion. This was successfully beaten back. The enemy had used his air on a number of occasions but the Pakistan Air Force had every time appeared on the scene and chased them away, before they could contribute much to the battle. 15 Infantry Division headquarters itself were attacked by enemy aircraft on the morning of 10 September but there were no casualties. The GOC Major General Tikka Khan who had taken the command from brigadier Sardar Mohammad Ismail, had organized tank hunting parties who were successful in destroying a number of tanks during the night of 9/10 September. This put a stop on the night movement of Indian tanks opposite Sialkot. On 10 September, the Indians subjected the Jassar positions to very heavy shelling but did not try to advance forward. They seemed to have been given large quantities of artillery ammunition merely to expend while sitting at a distance from Pakistani troops. The Indians, opposite 24 Infantry Brigade, in the area of Gadgor tried to make a flanking move from the left but failed to make any headway. A great deal of enemy movement was observed during 10 September behind the enemy lines. It was evident the regrouping and reallocation of tasks was being undertaken by the Indians. The original plan had failed. They hoped to succeed with the changed plan if ……….. But, they were soon to know that the "ifs" do not turn out to be in favor of mighty hordes all the time. Sialkot and Jassar received their share of shelling again on 11 September. Enemy tried to advance along the main axis but failed. Khaira village fell to the Indians but was counter attacked and retaken. Shelling by the Indians along their main axis of advance was very intense. It lasted from 0200 to 0800 hours. The Indians also used air which, however failed to do any damage. At 1100 hours, the main enemy attack, mainly armour came against Gador and Phillorah. 11 Cavalry Guides and 25 Cavalry took the brunt and stopped the enemy. It was a magnificent battle; tank against tank reminded of the armour battles of Second World War. There was determination on both sides, in fact it was a test of stamina and determination. There were fairly heavy casualties on both sides. The only gain to the Indians that day was the Phillorah village. This also lost because the Indians were pushing across thousand of refugees from the villages occupied by them on the first day. To have advanced under the cover of refugees was the most unsoldierly act on the part of Indians but then there it was and not much could be done about it. For three days they had kept them confined without food and water and now on 11 September they had used them as human shield. Pundit Kautilya had come to their aid but even this guile was short lived. It could not be repeated day after day. There were no more left to be used after the 11th. PAF brought about successful air strikes that day, against Chobara and Charwa. A certain amount of regrouping and reallocation of areas was carried out on 11 September by Pakistan also. 1 Armoured Division less 5 Armoured Brigade had also arrived in the area and could be used as and when found necessary. The attack against Phillorah had cost Indians heavy losses. 25 Cavalry had been successfully engaging the enemy armour throughout this period. They had been able to account for 29 tanks against a loss of only 4 of their own. As a result of the re-organization our own locations were as follows on 12 September.
|Chawinda Area|| 24 Infantry Brigade
2 Punjab 3 FF 14 Baluch 25 Cavalry
|Badiana Area|| 10 Infantry Brigade
Guides Cavalry plus Squadron 11 Cavalry 22 cavalry less one Squadron
|Pasrur Area|| 14 (P) Brigade
11 Cavalry less one Squadron 9 FF
|Sialkot Area|| 15 Infantry Division
101 Infantry Brigade 2 Baluch 19 Punjab 104 Infantry Brigade 9 Baluch 20 Lancers less one squadron
|Jassar Area||No Change|
Khairi and Chak Phulra posts and high ground in the vicinity were captured on the morning of 12 September in Sialkot Sector.
The Indians sent a company of Gurkhas towards Zafarwal, who posing as Chinese to the villagers started digging trenches. On approach of our patrol they retreated leaving behind one prisoner from 5/5 Gurkha Battalion belonging to 196 Indian Infantry Brigade, a part of Indian Mountain Division.
On 13 September, the first enemy move of tanks took place in the area of village Dogri and was immediately stopped. At 0700 hours the Indians tried to probe with a strong contingent of tanks, 25 or more from Gadgor and Chobara but were effectively stopped by our forces. Chawinda then became the center of Indian attacks. That day, over 20 enemy tanks were destroyed and the enemy advance was effectively halted. There was no relaxing of effort by the enemy on 14 September either. Enemy tried to advance on Chawinda on two axis, each with one infantry brigade and one regiment of armour. These two axis were Road Phillorah-Chawinda and railway line Sialkot-Chawinda. Pakistani troops had formed a sort of crescent with Chawinda itself jutting out as the star poised between the two tips of the crescent. Sitara-e-Hilal dispositions worked. The Indians battered against Chawinda from the front and from the left but, made no headway. Every little move meant more and more casualties. The air on both sides remained active and Pakistan Air Force as usual, had the upper hand. On 15 September the tank to tank battle was further intensified.
1 Armoured Division was waiting behind 6 Armoured Division to wind up this clash of steel, the moment the initial fury of Indian onslaught subsided. Lieut. General Bakhtiar Mohammad Rana SPk, SQA., M.C., the Corps Commander and Major General General Sahibzada Mohammad Yaqoob Khan who had just taken over the command of 1 Armoured Division had also located the forces in this sector as to deliver crushing blows to the Indians once they entered the killing ground. The Indians had been lured inside the crescent and surprisingly, they had not been able to push aside even the farthest point held by 24 Infantry Brigade.
At 1430 hours, the Indians launched the third of their abortive attacks that day. By the evening the enemy had lost about 30 tanks and had started withdrawing. It appears that this was either meant to be a ruse or a withdrawal without sanction from higher headquarters as immedeately after last light the Indians started coming forward again. This again was infantry-tank combined attack. Pakistani troops fought back heroically and the enemy attack was repulsed once again. The GOC had, during the day, asked the Corps Commander to be given 4 Armoured Brigade but the latter was confident that the existing troops wold be able to stop all enemy efforts to break through. He intended using the 1 Armoured Division for the offensive operations the moment it was clear that the Indians had committed all their reserve formations in this sector. After this battle, the GOC in consultation with the Corps Commander, carried out a certain amount of reorganization of the forces on the following lines: 19 Lancers and 10 (SP) Field regiment were deployed to cover the gap between Chawinda and Jassoran.
Locating battery was moved to 15 Division area. 1 FF and 7 FF were placed under command of 1 Armoured Division for offensive operations. 16 September proved the correctness of the forecast that enemy will try to push his armour through the gap Chawinda-Jassoran. He had not realized that behind this gap, he would meet stiff opposition and was likely to be sandwiched in this narrow gap.
The enemy attack came opposite the gap formed by the triangle Bhagowal-Badiana-Chawinda.
15 infantry Division was ordered by the corps commander to exert pressure towards Bhagowal and 4 Armoured Brigade was warned to be ready to move into battle area when the situation demanded. In the meantime the battle progressed in an extremely fierce manner in the area around jassoran and badiana. The triangular formation had helped in luring the enemy forward and Chawinda defenders, the men of 24 Infantry Brigade under Brigadier Malik Abdul Ali rose to the occasion. The enemy was allowed to bypass even the town of Chawinda from the North-West and reach Chawinda railway Station. Such havoc was caused to the Indian armour and Infantry in this narrow triangle as has rarely happened since the battles of Flanders in the First World War. The ground was literally piled with dead bodies. Three Indian battalion commanders lost their lives in trying to reach Mile Stone 5 behind Chawinda. It must be said to the credit of the Indian Army theat they fought with commendable courage and determination on this day. The W/T message to the first battalion commander who pushed his way upto within a few hundred yards of the road was rather interesting. It had said, "Get Mile Stone 5 and Maha Vir chakra is at your feet." This brave soldier died within a few hundred yards of the Mile Stone in question and was decorated posthumously.
Two more battalion commanders followed in his footsteps and gave their lives a little to his rear. The battle raged. The Indians coming in wave after wave and Pakistani determined to shoot to kill inspite of devastating artillery fire directed at their hasty dug in positions. The commanders in the rear at GHQ and Corps H.Q., must be given due credit for the correct evaluation of the position. There was no panic. They did not deploy any unit or any formation unnecessarily. They had confidence in their men and their commanders in the field. They knew that material superiority and large numbers do not always decide the outcome of the battle. Inspite of all determination shown by Indian troops it was throughout clear that they would have to be far better men, then they were to overcome the spirit of Pakistani soldiers. As one Pakistani Company Commander said, "It was a sight to remember all one's life and to get inspiration for it always". By the afternoon, the battle was over. Chawinda stood where it was with the same men in control of it. The Indians left behind them over two thousand dead and a large number of prisoners.
17 September should have been used by the Indians for licking their wounds but it appears that they still had fresh troops to push into the furnace that Chawinda was. It had become a matter of prestige with them. They attacked Chawinda at first light but failed to make any headway. The place was too hot for them. They tried to get into the gap between Butar Dograndi and Janewal and gave to 19 Lancers a good opportunity to do some good shooting. Then two squadrons of enemy armour tried to attack Chawinda from due west. This move was halted by 25 Cavalry and the artillery. The Indians withdrew, leaving a Centurian intact, 5 destroyed and 5 POWs behind, belonging to 17 Horse. 1 Indian Armoured Division had by now been completely disorganized and its morale was at the lowest ebb. The shortage of infantry in this sector has been felt acutely by Pakistani Commanders. 20 Baluch was as a result placed under command 6 Armoured Division and 6 FF which had arrived in Daska was also ordered forward.
The Indians changed their tactics on 19 September. Instead of putting in concentrated heavy attacks, they started attacking scattered village localities with small integrated groups and at the same time, continued shelling the whole area throughout the day. These small groups however, did not achieve anything. In actual fact, this piecemeal use of troops cost them greater losses, both in men and in the area already under their control. 6 Armoured Division launched a limited attack and cleared the enemy out of Batur Dograndi, Sadreke, Mundeke Berian, Jassoran and Fatehpur. Chawinda was also attacked by the Indians but its defenses withstood the onslaught as usual. The whole area south of railway line was also cleared of the Indians.
The Indians turned to infiltration tactics during the night 18/19 September and met a certain amount of success in the initial stages. They managed to recapture Jassoran and infiltrated through a number of gaps under the cover of darkness. This in the end, cost the Indians very heavy losses. Early next morning these isolated groups were surrounded heavy casualties inflicted on them. In addition 4 officers, 4 JCOs and 54 other ranks were taken prisoner. The Indian High Command had spread a false propaganda that Pakistanis did not take prisoners. This proved very costly to them in manpower. Their men as a result of this propaganda were reluctant to put up their hands but once the fact became known that Pakistanis had no intention of undertaking the impossible task of killing the million strong army, they started coming forward to be taken as prisoners of war, not only willingly but at times with keenness.
The artillery, throughout the battle on this front had taken heavy toll of enemy infantry and armour and many times Indian concentration had been broken up merely by well directed artillery fire.
Jassoran, which had been taken by the Indians during the night was attacked and captured by 1800 hours by a Coy of 7 FF under Major Abdul Rabb Niazi. In this action along 4 enemy tanks were captured intact and 13 were destroyed. Heavy casualties had also been inflicted on the enemy. In addition to dead and wounded, the Indians lost 35 men as prisoners of war in this action. Enemy air was fairly active during 19 September and so was Pakistan Air Force chasing them away every time they had appeared on the scene.
Early morning on 20 September the Indians launched a half-hearted attack. It appeared later that this was merely to cover their withdrawal from positions badly threatened by our forces. They suffered casualties as a result of this attack and 8 prisoners were taken. The Indians launched an attack on this day on the front of 15 Infantry Division also but they were successfully repulsed.
The Indians carried out a limited attack on 21 September against fatehpur, held by 20 Baluch but withdrew leaving behind six destroyed tanks and a few prisoners. The enemy air strafed our forward positions causing a few casualties. Efforts were made to clear Alhar of enemy early in the morning but did not succeed. Th place was fairly heavily held.
On 22 September, activity was confined to artillery dual. The Indians withdrew from few villages after burning them. 19 Lancers destroyed a few enemy tanks in Alhar but no large scale move was undertaken.
The C-in-C visited this front and decorated some of the officers and other ranks who had earlier distinguished themselves during the fighting in this area.
The cease fire talks had made any counter attack a matter of untimely wasted effort. 23 September, as a result was also a quiet day. The Indians confined their activities to heavy shelling but made no move forward. One enemy patrol fell into our hands abd was captured with its officer.
Side Show the Sulaimanki
The defence of Sulaimanki Sector was the operational responsibility of 105 Infantry Brigade located in the Bhalwalpur. When the situation became tense in early September, the Brigade Group moved into the defence localities on 5 September.
The Brigade Commander, brigadier Mohammad Akbar decided not to give the Indians an opportunity to take the initiative in their hands. He decided to attack Sadiqa and Jhangar, the moment it was known that the Indian Army had invaded Pakistan. The task was allotted to 10 Punjab. Opposite them was an Indian Brigade group supported by a Squadron of medium tanks. The attack was mounted at 1820 hours on 6 September. It was led by Major Hikmutullah with one company of 10 Punjab and a platoon of the Rangers. The Indians tried to bring in all the fire at their disposal but only for 5 or 10 minutes. At the end of this short burst of activity, they left their posts and all their arms seeking safety in flight. Four of them were taken prisoners, a few were killed and the rest escaped. There were no casualties to our troops.
The other objective decided upon for the closing hours of 6 September was Jhangar. D Coy 10 Punjab under command of major Mohammad Aslam Janjua attacked this objective without any H Hour shelling. Here the Indians put up better resistance. Hand to hand fight ensued and grenades had to be used to ferret them out of their bunkers. The Indian casualties inside the bunkers were large including the company commander of the area. The remaining Indians fell back to a discarded kiln in the vicinity but were chased out of this position also. Hand grenades had to be used once again. A few were able to get away. The Indians left 19 bodies in the kiln. 3 prisoners were taken. The second phase of this attack was a small post in village Noor Mohammad. This proved to be an easy affair. A platoon was able to deal with this post.
The objective given to the 10 Punjab had been achieved but the Commander Lt-Col. Amir Hamza Khan was tempted to keep up the momentum of the advance and continue upon village Pakka which had been kept for the final phase to be undertaken by 4 Punjab. This unscheduled attack brought about as it should have done , the situation , which often happens, and its recurrence cannot be avoided under such circumstances. The battalion became a target to our own artillery and enemy MMG for simultaneously. The battalion commander was quick to appreciate the situation and at once halted the battalion advance. Although dark, he quickly managed to reform the battalion and left enough room for 4 Punjab to carry out their share of task.
4 Punjab had done a march of 16 miles to reach the battle positions that very morning but the news of Lahore having been attacked and they so far away was enough to redouble their determination to avenge the losses which they thought, their companions must have suffered at Wagah and Gawandi.
The attack of 4 Punjab was led by C Coy under Major Mohammad Abdul Rashid. They left their positions at 2200 hours. The movement had perforce to be slow as the enemy positions were behind water-logged area. The deeper portions of the Sem lake were waist-deep but they waded through it under heavy small arms and mortar fire and by 2230 hours the enemy had evacuated pakka village also. Five prisoners were taken. The major portion of the enemy had disappeared in the dark. 4 Punjab had only 4 ORs wounded.
One could not expect the Indians not to retaliate. They started shelling our positions early next morning, 7 September and continued this economic method of retaliation throughout the day. Pakistani positions had no overhead cover but fortunately there were no direct hits. As night approached the intensity of enemy shelling increased. The patrols reported enemy concentrations near Gurmukh Khera. AT 2000 hours, a battalion of Indian 14 Punjab Regiment composed of Sikhs, put in an attack on A Company of 4 Punjab. This company behaved in an extremely cool and calm manner. It showed very high quality of fire control. The Sikhs were allowed to come right up to the middle of the company position . The Indians saw the villages ablaze as a result of their shelling and were happy to have reached the objective without any opposition. In their joy they sent up their success signals. The very light showed them up as nothing else could have done and they received well aimed rifle and LMG firm from very close quarters. This sudden volley of small arms fire in the middle of rejoicing, produced the shock effect, which in other circumstances , thousands of artillery shells could not have done. The Indian commanders , were shouting orders on vain:
Take positions Charge Hamala Karo Jai Hind
All these calls were of no avail. The men could think of nothing except their safety. They ran back as they had seldom run before. The Indians reinforced this sector by 67 Indian Infantry brigade but did not venture to attack our positions until after the cease-fire. 1 Baluch was planning its further attack on 15 September when it was pulled out of this sector. 4 Punjab was relieved by 22 Punjab, a newly raised battalion, mainly composed of retired soldiers.
105 Infantry Brigade, in spite of its numerical inferiority, kept up pressure on the Indians and was able to reduce a number of small posts one by one. By the time cease-fire was agreed, this brigade had at least 30 Indian villages under its control and had succeeded in capturing over 150 square miles of Indian territory. The Indians tried hard on 25 September to recapture the territory, they had lost but had to sit quiet after the unpleasant experience of 3/0 Gurkhas, who apart from heavy casualties in dead and wounded, lost 5 tanks and 2 officers, 4 JCOs and 45 ORs as prisoners, during only one night of operations. The Indian brigadier came forward the next morning and requested for stopping the battle which he himself had started. His request was agreed to as he promised not to attack again.
The shifting sands of Rajputana
Sind was the second front opened boastfully by India, when a company of Indus Rangers in Darda village was attacked by an Indian battalion and two squadrons of armor. The rangers halted the advance for over three hours but, being outnumbered and not having any A/Tk weapons, had to withdraw. The Indians occupied the village with all the fanfare that All India radio and the Indians press could make. The idea was clear. The move fitted into the Indian strategic plan. As the BBC announced,
"Indian troops are meeting no resistance and have captured the town of Gadro, six miles over the border. They are now said to be advancing on another town called Khokhrapar, 15 miles further on. This new front is in desert country as a route towards Pakistan's most important cities - Hyderabad and beyond that Karachi, which is 200 miles from the frontier. And with a new assault, fighting is now going between the two countries in five sectors spread along some 850 miles of border. This extending of line will help India, which has far more infantry divisions to deploy along it than Pakistan."
The real object of India is opening a large number of fronts and trying to grab as much territory as possible, has been explained earlier, but as elsewhere, her troops were not destined to succeed in their efforts. The march of Khokhrapar remained as to many other places, only a narrow mark on the maps in Army headquarters India. It was never allowed to materialized. In pursuance of instructions from Commander-in-Chief, Pakistan Army, 51 Infantry Brigade, (2 Infantry battalions, 18 Punjab and 8 FF) had moved from Karachi on 5 September and were getting into their battle locations when the Indian invasion came.
Commander 51 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier (later Brigadier General) K. M. Azhar Khan, asked permission to undertake offensive operations instead of waiting of the Indians to attack Khokhrapar. GHQ were reluctant to let this brigade disappear into the vastness of Rajputana desert but permitted the undertaking of limited offensive. The town and railway station of Monabhao was nearest Indian target. It lay six miles inside Indian territory and was being used by them, as railhead for the desert campaign in this area. A battalion of Mahratta Regiment and three companies of RAC held it.
The pre-attack shelling was undertaken on the evening of 9 September by mortar batteries. There was no great deal of ammunition to be used by the Indians needed even less to evacuate their positions. Only 17 rounds fired. 18 Punjab put in an attack on 10 September but the Indians did not wait long enough to fire the mortar shells they had stacked near their mortars and fled. The Indians as usual denied the fall of Monabhao and did not admit until foreign correspondents had visited the place. The Indian casualties in this encounter could not have been very heavy and their running away cannot be explained except, that, their soldiers from the south of India had no sympathy with the war which was of Northern India's making.
The next place to fall on 13 September , to 51 Inf. Brigade was Panchilla, pronounced like Panchshila. The men, a company of 8 FF who captured this post had better luck. The Indians put up a better show. The result was that, one JCO and 33 ORs were captured in addition to a number of Indians killed. The quantities of Rum found among the rations left behind the Indians spoke well of the minute care given to proper logistic support of the army in this sector by the Indian High Command. D Company of 18 Punjab commanded by Major Mohammad Taj, put in well directed attack on Shakarbu Post on 15 September. The enemy was holding the post with one company and was entrenched. The Indians put up a fairly good fight but did not wait for the final charge. They left a number of dead and the trenches were found to be well stocked with ammunition, rations and rum.
Kharin Post was close by and as a movements of men and vehicles were observed it was decided to capture that post as well. The day still young, it was only 1500 hours, and the men were keen for another dash forward. They were not very fortunate. The Indians sensed the attack and when the company reached the enemy position, it found plenty of rations but no Indians. Theyhad left in a hurry.
The indians however came back and launched a counter-attack, supported by tanks at 1730 hours. The platoon commander of the forward most platoon, Subedar Mohammad Elias handled his platoon in a superb manner. The two leading tanks were destroyed by one round eachof RR which discouraged the others. The counter-attack gradually slackened and by 1945 hours the Indians started breaking contact and eventually retreated, having suffered fairly heavy casualties.
'A' Company 8 FF, commanded by Major Aqil dad, raised the enemy position in the area of Jaisandar on 17 September. The information must have been incomplete. It was thought that there was hardly an enemy infantry battalion at this place. It, however, turned out to be occupied by the entire 30 Indian Infantry Brigade, consisting of 3 Guards, 1 Garhwal and a Border Police battalion. The raid was a complete success. The outer cordon was broken through and two Indian companies badly mauled. This forced and Indians to put in a number of couter-attacks, on the position held by them, a little while ago. Indians suffered as a result very heavy casualtie47s. The company commander, although wounded earlier on, continued to exercise control, and withdraw his company after a good day's fight.
The next target was Roheri. By then the local Mujahids, Hurs Free men, had joined the ranks of pakistan Army as volunteers. An infantry patrol aided by Hurs raided this post. The Indians put up better resistance at this point but eventually evacuated it. Initially it was not meant to occupy Roheri, but as it appeared to be an ideal base for deep patrolling and raiding the Indian posts in the rear, it was occupied and made good use of until the end. The Hurs loved this sort of task. They are born fighters and an extremely disciplined body of men. They obeyed orders as if they had spent a lifetime in the army and were perfect sportsmen. They refrained from looting and burning or shooting after the enemy had turned its back. It was against their code of conductin battle. The country was also suited for deep raides. Rajputana, in thispart, is a vastdesert, full of sand dunes, dotted with occasional stretches of under growth nut, has very little water. It is fairly hard soil in places but mostly there are soft patches and M.T. movement is not easy. Troops used to long marches alone can operate in it. The indians do not seem to have chosen the ideal troops for this area. They had; 5 maharatta Light Infantry from Maharashtra: 30 Indian Inf. Bde. 3 Guards (a mixed unit) 1 Garhwal 6 RAC (a mixed unit) 7 RAC (a mixed unit with some locals) 4 Maharatta Light Inf. From Maharashtra: 85 Indian Inf. Bde 17 madras 13 Grenadiers (a mixed unit - Camel borne)
51 Infantry Brigade, had to undertake the major portion of its fighting after the cease-fire, when the Indians launched a major offensive all along this front to avenge their past defeats. It resulted in some severe battles but except adding to the number of their casualties the Indians did not achieve anything. They lost 5 officers, 3 JCOs and 50 ORs as prisoners in the battle of Sundra alone. 8 FF commanded by lt. Col. M. M. janjua despatched a company to defend it against the Indian attack by 4 Maharatta Light Infantry. They not only drove them back but also having inflicted heavy casualties, stopped them from coming forward again.
The Desert Force consisted of a few companies of West Pakistan Rangers and mujahids - the Hurs of Sind. They were allotted the Sector opposite the Indian State of Jaisalmir. Their task was to protect the LOC Lahore-Karachi in the area of Rohri and Khairpur and stop any aggressive move by India in this sector.
The indian forces opposite this small but determined band of men were Rajistan Armed Constabulary and units of Indian Army supported by light and medium artillery. They had also some of horse and camel cavalry units. The indians started the war in this sector on 8 September, this trying to coordinate their efforts wuth the attack into Sind against Gadro. Their attacks were not allowed to materalize and in fact they were pushed back.
Desert Force retaliated soon after and attacked tannot post. The lack of artillery support did not permit the attack to go in which was, therefore called off. The Sector however received reinforcement in the shape of 23 FF, a newly rasied battalion, from amongst the Army reservists, and a mortar battery. This made all the differences and the Desert Force was ready to go the offensive.
The main battle in the sector was was Sadhewala but this happened after the cease-fire. the Indians suffered heavy casualties in this actions and it stopped their inching forward movement which as elsewhere, they had started after the cease-fire agreement.
1965 War: Pakistani accounts-11965 War: journalists’ and writers’ accounts-1