India’s defeat in the 1962 China war followed by the delineation of the Kutch border “emboldened” Pakistan to try and take Kashmir by force and settle its political problems by “military action”, Lt Gen N S Brar (retd) has said.
In his latest book “Drummers Call”, Brar writes that it was the ‘Battle of Asal Uttar’ that defined the 1965 war between India and Pakistan.
Fought in early September, the battle of Asal Uttar (meaning fitting reply) was one of the largest tank battles fought during the 1965 war, which ultimately ended with the “decisive victory” for India.
“Post India’s humilation in 1962, when Pakistan made incursions into Kutch in April-May 1965, India agreed to a delineation of the Kutch border by a three-member international tribunal. This emboldened Pakistan to attempt to take Kashmir by force,” Brar writes in his anthology published by ‘The Browser’.
“The Pakistan Army, boosted by its qualitative and quantitative superiority in artillery and armour, and believing the post-1962 expanded Indian Army to be ill-trained and ill-equipped to stand against them, considered it a very opportune time to settle its political problems with India by military action,” he notes.
As per the book, buoyed by its sophisticated American weaponry, the Pakistan Army, on September 8, entered into Indian territory and captured the Indian town of Khem Karan, 5 kilometres from the International Border.
The Indian troops retaliated, and after a few days of bitter fighting, the battle reached its climax on September 10, with the Indian Army crushing its Pakistani counterparts.
“The decisive victory at Asal Uttar resulted in the decimation of Pakistan’s 1 Armoured Division and became a graveyard for the much vaunted Patton tanks,” he writes.
Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf also participated as a lieutenant in the Battle of Asal Uttar.
Brar informs that Pakistan lost 97 tanks, including the virtual decimation of Pak 4 Cavalry, whose Commanding Officer along with other top officers and 11 running tanks surrendered on September 11.
“The peaceful green countryside around Asal Uttar gives no hint of the bloody battles in September 1965,” he states.
The book, which is basically an anthology of military writings, comprises an eclectic mix of personal experiences, historical events, evolution of military customs, traditions and folklore.
It also offers an insight into what goes into the making of a soldier and what his trade is all about.
“Much like the myraid beats and rolls of the drums, this anthology is a result of varied writings over the years while folowing the drum,” he writes about the book in which he shares his personal experiences and anecdotes from over four decades of military service.
An alumnus of the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun, and the National Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, Lt-Gen Brar was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in 1969.
After superannuating as the Deputy Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, he served as a member of the Armed Forces Tribunal for five years.
“Drummers Call”, published by The Browser, is priced at Rs 690.
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