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The Battle of Asal Uttar (Hindi for Battle of Definitive Reply) was one of the major battles fought during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. It was fought from September 8 through September 10, 1965, when the Pakistan Army thrust its tanks and infantry into Indianmarker territory. After three days of bitter fighting, the battle ended with the Pakistani forces being repulsed near Asal Uttar, thanks to the conditions of the plains, superior Indian tactics and a strategic stalemate in Khem Karanmarker.

Battle

Pakistan's invading force, consisting of the 1st Armoured Division and 11th Infantry Division, crossed the International Border and captured the Indian town of Khem Karan. After the seizure, the Indian Army regrouped and repelled further attacks made by the Pakistani troops and were able to destroy or capture 97 plus Pakistani tanks while losing 32 of their own. Indian troops had flooded the area, which slowed the advance of the Pakistani tanks down, making them sitting ducks. When Pakistani forces fell back to Khem Karan, India, seeing that it could not regain control of Khem Karan, opened another front and attacked Sialkot; this attack was repelled, and it could not take the city of Sialkot. When the 1st Armoured Division was given orders to redeploy to the Sialkotmarker sector where it would fight the Battle of Chawinda, leaving the newly formed 11th Infantry Division to face the Indian counter-offensive.

Losses

India could not take Khem Karan and nor could it take Sialkot. However, 97 Pakistani tanks were destroyed or captured by the victorious Indian Forces .An appreciable number of them were the much vaunted Patton tanks supplied by USA. Indian losses were 32 Indian tanks destroyed or damaged.

Conclusion

As the day ended, the Pakistan's First Armoured Division could not take Asal Uttar but held on to the captured Khem Karen until the Tashkant Agreement between the two governments. Commander of the Pakistani forces Nasir Khan died in this battle when his tank was destroyed by a recoilless gun.

Pervez Musharraf, later Army Chief of Staff and President of Pakistan, participated in this battle as a lieutenant of artillery in the 16 (SP) Field Regiment, 1st Armoured Division Artillery. The battle also witnessed the personal bravery of an Indian soldier Abdul Hamid being honoured with the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military award, for having knocked out three enemy tanks with a recoilless gun.

See also



References

  1. Debacle to Revival: Y.B. Chavan as Defence Minister, 1962-65 By R. D. Pradhan
  2. Patton Nagar - www.bharat-rakshak.com
  3. The Param Vir Chakra Winners' home page for Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid


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