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Sunday, January 29, 2012

PHENOMENAL LACK OF ORIGINALITY IN PAKISTAN ARMY

PHENOMENAL LACK OF ORIGINALITY

In 1990 while serving in the armour school it was stated in a lecture that the tank troop tactics pamphlet was a very original effort of some armour officers in 1950s. In 1997 I discovered a US Field Manual in a second hand bookshop in Brooklyn which proved that little original effort was put in the Pakistani manual ! 

This map from the US FM was reproduced in every revised publication with the same accompanying description from 1950s to 1992.

THE LONG ROAD TO SIACHEN-THE QUESTION WHY

 

      

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Phantom Warriors of 1971

FROM MY DEAR FRIEND BRIGADIER AJAB KHAN

AGHA.H.AMIN

An interesting unknown or little known facet of  1971 war in East Pakistan.

PHANTOM WARRIORS OF 1971: UNSUNG TIBETAN GUERRILLAS
By Manas Paul
13 Dec 2010
Dapon Dhondup Gyatotsang (left) and Dapon Ratu Ngawang (right). (@ Amnye Machen Institute)
Forty years ago in 1971 on a cool and scary November 14 night in Chittagong a Pakistani sniper of Special Service Group perched silently on his hidden location near his camp felt he saw a 'phantom'. The days were then uncertain and nights were too risky. So, the Pakistani soldier did not take any chance and opened fire. And the shadowy creatures just melted away in the darkness. One among them was, however, dying. He was shot at fatally. The Pakistani soldier did not know that he had just killed one of the toughest and CIAtrained Tibetan guerrilla leaders- Dhondup Gyatotsang. As Gyatotsang- a 'Dapon' or Brigadier in Tibetan language- died his comrades, all armed simply with a Bulgarian AK 47 and their Tibetan knives, made radio contact with a turbaned Sikh some kilometres away and across the border. The Sikh barked at them the order : carry on with the task you are assigned to. As the order came the Tibetan guerrillas once again spread in the darkness and coiled up behind the Pakistani barracks and posts .They remained as shadow as long as they wanted and when the right time came they just struck with a lightning speed raiding the Pak positions. One after another Pakistani posts fell as the Tibetans, who by this gained the title 'Phantom of Chittagong', swept the hills and valleys of the hilly district of East Pakistan and restrained the Pakistani military movement to only small pockets. Weeks before the real War actually broke on December 3 the Tibetan guerrillas turned Chittagong virtually a free zone with pre-emptive strikes for Indian army movement. On December 16, 1971 when Pakistan army surrendered, the Tibetan commandos were only 40 kms from the Chittagong Port. By this time they had successfully accomplished their task that their chief-Inspector General- Maj. Gen
Sujan Singh Uban had assigned to them: The Operation Mountain Eagle. They had, however, lost 49 of their comrades and had 190 injured.
Ratu Ngawang (far left), former brigadier of Establishment 22, escorted the Dalai Lama (right) on his way to India in 1959. Seen here with Sujan Singh Uban (2nd from right), the first inspector-general of the regiment, in Chakrata, India, 1972. (© Hindustan Times)
'Operation Mountain Eagle' launched by RAW in East Pakistan during 1971 Indo-Pak War was, perhaps, till date the most closely guarded and top most secret operation of Indian authorities in the eastern flank of the war areas. Officially the operation could not be recognised as the Tibetan guerrilla force- known as Special Frontier Force (SFF) or Establishment-22 or simply called 'two-two'- does not officially exists. The name it got from the fact that their first commander ( at the rank of Inspector General) Maj. Gen Sujan Singh Uban had once commanded 22 Mountain brigade. Since their inception in November, 1962, the Establishment22's direct engagement in Indo-Pak war is also significant for the mere fact that it was not their 'war' at all. They were fighting for the cause of their host country and for liberation of another country- not for Tibet. But never their sacrifice was officially or publicly recognized- neither by India nor by Bangladesh till today.
Formation of top secret force, Two-Two:
At the end of the 1962 Indo-China war the then Intelligence Bureau chief Bholanath Mullick took the initiative to form a special guerrilla force from the Tibetan youths who had been sheltered in India. Some documents indicate that former Chief Minister of Orissa Biju Patnaik had first come up with the idea while he was closely working with the CIA at the behest of Indian authorities in setting up of air surveillance ARC in Charbatia in his home state. Patnaik, a daredevil pilot with vast experience in several covert operations, according to Kenneth Conboy who authored an authoritative book on CIA operations relating to Tibet, wanted to raise a resistance force by the Tibetans in Assam .However, the IB continued with the plan which ultimately materialized with the help of Chu Shi Gandruk, main organization of the Khampa rebels and CIA.
The Dalai Lama and Maj. Gen. Uban inspect the SFF at Chakrata, June 1972 (The CIA's Secret War in Tibet).
Following the green signal from the Cabinet secretariat the Special Frontier Force or Establishment 22 or was formed on November 14, 1962.
According to the plan the force would formed with the Khampa rebels from 'Chu Shi Gandruk' –and most of them would be brought from CIA run overflowing Mustang base in Nepal that housed as many as 2032 members. The force would be handled and trained by the IB at their Chakrata base near Dehra Dun. The CIA would provide all other supports for their training and related matters.
CIA had first trained the Khampa rebels in Saipan in 1957 March and then Camp Hale in Colorado for guerrilla warfare so that they could be dropped in Tibet for sabotage against the Chinese. The operation under the code name of 'ST Circus' was first headed by a US marine Roger McCarthy. They trained in several batches about 259 Tibetan guerrillas. The CIA had also dropped some of them inside Tibet for sabotage and intelligence gathering.
"A formation agreement was signed in 1962. The parties to this formation agreement were the Indian Intelligence Service, the CIA and Chushi Gangdruk. General Gonpo Tashi and Jago Namgyal Dorjee, signed this three-party joint formation agreement on behalf of Chushi Gangdruk. Our organization took main responsibility for recruiting, and an initial strength of 12,000 men, mostly Khampas, were recruited at Chakrata, Dehra-dun, UP. Chushi Gangdruk sent two of the commanders to this new outfit to be political leaders in the initial stage", said Dokham Chushi Gandruk, a Tibetan organization fighting for the Tibetan cause.
Gyalo Thondup, elder brother of the Dalai Lama met the Khampas in Mustang. Konboy said, 'Gyalo also sought four political leaders who could act as the force's indigenous officer cadre....an initial contingent of Tibetans, led by Jamba Kalden, was dispatched to the hill town of Dehra Dun'.
"Our organization took main responsibility for recruiting, and an initial strength of 12,000 men, mostly Khampas, were recruited at Chakrata, Dehra-dun, UP. Chushi Gangdruk sent two of the commanders to this new outfit to be political leaders in the initial stage. Established under the direct supervision of the prime minister, the unit was named the Special Frontier Force... the unit was meant to be air-dropped into Tibet in the event of another war in the Tibetan frontiers", wrote Dokham Chushi Gandruk.
Soon, the CIA, sent eight of its advisers on a six-month temporary duty assignment. The team was led by a veteran CIA operative in several covert and deadly campaigns Wayne Sanford who was recipient of two Purple Hearts. "He was acting undercover from US Embassy as special assistant to Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith", wrote Konboy.
The USA provided all the weaponry to them mostly M-1, M-2 and M-3 machine guns. As the covert guerrilla force was raised Maj General Sujan Singh Uban was assigned the task to command them as their Inspector General. The SFF ultimately came to be known as 'Establishment 22' or simply 'Two-two'. The name it got from the fact that Maj. Gen Uban had once commanded 22 Mountain brigade. Interestingly, the guerrilla forces cap insignia was designed as if it was '12th Gorkha' regiment-crossed khukri with '12' on top. This was a deception tactics as at that time there were only 11 Gorkha regiments, seven regiments were with Indian army and four with the British after independence. It was so decided to confuse common people, in case of meeting the guerrillas, with Gorkhas as the facial features were same.
Major General Sujan Singh Uban
For next several years both Indian army, MARCOS, IB and CIA trained the guerrillas with special focus on para-trooping and sabotage as well as intelligence collection it was kept in mind that in case of another war with China they would be pressed into service. Some of the Camp Hale trained Tibetans were also included in the Establishment 22 and they held senior positions. They ultimately became one of best ever guerrilla forces of the world efficient in both land and water campaigns. While the 'Establishment 22' was commanded by Maj. Gen Uban, the guerrillas had their own political representatives and 'Dapon'- a position equivalent to 'Brigadier'- mostly held by first generation Camp Hale trained guerrillas.
The Dalai Lama was aware of the formation of the guerrilla force since the beginning but He and his Dharamshala officials always maintained a distance from them neither supporting nor opposing the Indian initiative. But according to some, Jawhar Lal Nehru had once visited the guerrillas in Charkatha and was impressed by their training and discipline. The Dalai lama also had visited them once but it was much later.
Until late 1960 the CIA officials had kept relations with the Establishment 22 at various levels, but since 1968 their connections with the Tibetan guerrillas both in Mustang and Charkatha started thinning. CIA link with Charkatha completely died out in 1970s. The USA under Richard Nixon tilted towards Pakistan and also developed secret negotiations with China as Indo-Pakistan war seemed imminent.
Operation Mountain Eagle:
Since the RAW headed by R N Kau was created on 21 September, 1968 the responsibility of the Establishment 22 also went to the agency. But their chief Maj Gen Uban had been worried at the way the trained commandos -as many as 64 companies, divided into eight battalions having six companies each and including other support units- were gathering moss in their Charkatha camps. They were not used against China or Pakistan for any real armed combat and the IG was worried that inaction and absence of field operations might reduce the morale and capabilities.
SFF members during the Bangladesh campaign, 1971
It was at that time the East Pakistan went up in flames with Pakistan army resorting to large scale massacres and rape on March 25, 1971 as 'Operation Searchlight'. Two days later Major Zia Ur Rehman- a Bengali military officer with the Pakistan army announced 'independence' in Chittagong radio and attacked the Pakistani army cantonment. Within a day, many more military officers followed and millions of refugees poured into India to flee the Pakistani Army's massacres and rapes. India was playing the card well and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was successful in garnering massive international support, barring USA and China of course, for the brutalized East Pakistani Bengali population. By this time Mukti Bahini was formed from the refugee youths sheltered in Indian states for launching guerrilla wars and intelligence collections inside East Pakistan against the Pakistani forces. The idea was to create a pre-emptive strike force before the Indian regular army moved in after the rainy season was over.
Incidentally, Maj Gen Uban was entrusted with the overall task for training of the Bengali forces like Mukti Bahini, Mujib Bahini.
Maj Gen Uban did not miss the chance and moved New Delhi to send his Tibetan forces to East Pakistan who, according to him were already better trained and itching for an operation. After initial hesitation Indira Gandhi was agreed to use the Tibetans for a third country cause, but sent the ball to the court of the Tibetans only.
Writes Tashi Dhundup, in article titled ' Not their own Wars', " Indira Gandhi in the lead-up to the SFF's deployment, Indira Gandhi wired a message to the Tibetan fighters, conveyed through their Indian commander: "We cannot compel you to fight a war for us," Gandhi wrote, "but the fact is that General A A K Niazi (the Pakistan Army commander in East Pakistan) is treating the people of East
Pakistan very badly. India has to do something about it. In a way, it is similar to the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans in Tibet, we are facing a similar situation. It would be appreciated if you could help us fight the war for liberating the people of Bangladesh."
Following the letter the senior commanders of the Establishment 22 guerrillas discussed and agreed to help the Bengalis of East Pakistan to achieve their new nation Bangladesh.
The Operation Mountain Eagle was launched in a second cool November night, apparently avoiding the Eastern Command directly by the RAW.
It was sometime in October third week of 1971 that one of the most top secret armed campaigns against the Pakistan army in East Pakistan the Operation Mountain Eagle was launched quietly launched. More than 3000 Tibetan commandos from Establishment- 22 were dropped at an obscure and extreme border village Demagiri in Mizoram. The Indian secret services used AN 12 plane from the ARC to bring the guerrillas by night sorties. Demagiri which was located across the river Karnafulli and Chittagong Hill Tracts in East Pakistan was by that time was crowded with refugees. The Tibetan stayed incognito with the refugees for sometimes and then began small hit-and-run raids in East Pakistan. They would cross the river and, strike a Pakistani force and return to Demagiri. In second week of November, 1971, the Tibetan guerrillas led by Dapon Dhondup Gyatotsang crossed the river using nine canoes went inside East Pakistan to launch a decisive guerrilla campaign. Since the Establishment 22 or SFF does not officially exist, Indian authorities to deny any complicity in any eventuality gave them Bulgarian AK 47s instead of Russian ones. On the very first night they ran over a Pakistani post. Within hours next morning they captured one more and they kept on sweeping and then stopped- for sometime- when their Dapon was shot dead. But again, they swung into action.
The task to Establishment 22 were clear: blow up Kaptai dam, damage the Pakistani military positions and kill as many as Pak soldiers- at that time popularly called as 'Khan Sena' possible, destroy the bridges, military infrastructures, and restrain the Pakistani military movement. Divided in three columns their hit and run modus operandi and the task specified were to create a situation that when the Indian army would move , they could march through the Chittagong hills and plains without much resistance from the Pakistanis.
According to the specialists on the subject the Establishment guerrillas were extremely successful in their campaign. It that time Pakistani 97th Independent Brigade and their 2nd commando battalion of SSG were positioned strategically in Chittagong. The guerrillas successfully restrained them in their respective positions and also cut off all the routes that the Pakistani soldiers thought of opening towards Burma. In fact the Pakistani soldiers were seeing ghosts in all the shadows and they were fighting against merciless ghosts who were always on the
prowl, would swoop down from nowhere and mercilessly eliminate the humans and destroy the posts and would immediately vanish for their next target. Within one month of their operations, the Tibetan guerrillas virtually cleaned up the Chittagong and when the Indian army moved in they did not face much resistance at all.
"About one-third of its full strength was developed adjacent to the Chittagong Hill Tracts as Mukti Bahini. They captured many towns and garrisons in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in continuous fighting of about one month", according to Dhokma Chushi Gangdruk.
In fact Maj Ge Uban and his guerrillas were keen to capture the Chittagong Port. They were very close and Pakistan army were not at all in a position to stop them. But Indian military and other authorities were not ready to assign them with the task as , though it would have been easier for the guerrillas to capture the Port, to keep it under their control they would have needed heavy artillery weapons-which they did not have with them.
According to a document, when the Chittagong Port was captured by Indian military, the guerrillas were then asked to sit quiet at about 40 kms away. However, on December 16 when Pakistan army surrendered in Dhaka, the Phantoms of Establishment -22 for the first time in their history, came out in the open on the Chittagong road rejoicing the victory of India over Pakistan. Not the common people were stunned by their sudden appearance -happy and rejoicing- virtually from nowhere, even many of the Indian soldiers who were also not aware of their presence in the vicinity were taken by surprise. But soon Maj Gen Uban was informed about the public appearance of the Tibetans on Chittagong roads and he just barked them back to shadows once again. They were never seen again. Their happy moment in the public was only for some hours.
Though the Tibetan guerrillas were arguably the main force that played key role in Chittagong in 1971 war,- sacrificed 49 ( according to Tibetans' estimate 56) including one of their top leader and 190 injured, they could not be Officially awarded.
"The Indian government gave awards to 580 members of the force for their active involvement and bravery in the battles. The contribution made by Establishment 22 in liberating East Pakistan was great and the price paid by the force was also high", said Dokham Chusi Gandruk, the New York based organization.
It then added: (The fight and sacrifice) would have been of great value had it been used against communist China, the intended enemy....The SFF never had a chance of being used in operations against its intended enemy, Red China, but it was used against East Pakistan with the consent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1971".
It is, however, a different story that the Establishment 22 was later used in many Indian operations including in Operation Blue Star, Siachen, Kargil. They are also being used a main anti terrorist operators in many parts of the country. According to a report, in between Indira Gandhi's assassination and formation of SPG, it was these Establishment 22 commandos who were in charge of Gandhi family's close protection. But in all the cases down the decades they remained unsung heroes- the 'unknown' warriors from a different country who fought and sacrificed for others.
Post Script : PHATOM FIGHTERS OF 1971 : UNSUNG TIBETAN GUERRILLAS is virtually an untold story of a top secret mission. A very handful of people including some foreign journalists who were in touch with Tibetans are aware of the operations. Many of the military generals including Gen JFR Jacob or Maj gen SS Uban who commanded the force did not dwell extensively on them but obliquely referred. So it is virtually revisiting a mission that was intended to be kept Top secret. Picture is taken from internet.
Source: http://www.tibetsun.com/archive/2010/12/13/phantom-warriors-of-1971-unsung-tibetan-guerillas/




















Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why Tanks Failed in Indo Pak Wars


Why Tanks Failed in Indo Pak Wars

Handling of Armour in Indo-Pak War
Pakistan Armoured Corps as a Case Study



Maj (Retd) AGHA HUMAYUN AMIN 






Introduction
Poor handling of armour at and beyond brigade level in all Indo Pak Wars fought from 1947-48 till 1971 stands out as the principal cause of stagnation and lack of decisiveness in the final outcome of all three Indo Pak wars. On the face value this may appear to be an oversimplified view , however a dispassionate study of the British-Indian military tradition proves that this assertion is far more closer to truth than many military observers and analysts may have realised in actual on ground military analysis as far as military history writing in the Indo Pak scenario is concerned.
In this brief article, we will survey the entire canvas of British-Indo Pak military tradition from the eighteenth century till to date and endeavour to arrive at certain analytical conclusions which may help us in improving doctrine operational philosophy and handling of armour in a future war, or at least in military training.
THE PRE 1947 LEGACY
CAVALRY IN PRE WW ONE BRITISH INDIAN WARS
Cavalry was the decisive arm of battle till at least the 1740s in India. It may be noted that the "superiority of the infantry-artillery team based European way of war, over the cavalry charge based Asiatic way of warfare"1, was,  for the first time  demonstrated at the Battle of Saint Thome in 1746,  where the French-Native troops of the French East India Company,  under the  Paradis, a Swiss soldier of fortune on the French East India Company's payroll,  brushed aside  the much larger and at least outwardly awesome cavalry heavy army of, Anwaruddin, the Nawab of Carnatic. Thus in words of the Cambridge historian  "Cavalry could make no impression on  troops that kept their ranks and reserved their fire" The terror of Asiatic armies had disappeared2! Cavalry, however, retained its own decisive role at the tactical level as a flank protection and limited attack role on the battlefield and as a protective element and strategic screen /raiding and harassing force at the strategic level. Since the Marathas and Mysore forces of Hyder Ali relied heavily on cavalry as a strategic screen and as a raiding force the British were also forced to raise regular native cavalry regiments. This process started from 1672 but was assumed a significant shape from once the Moghal Horse was raised at Patna in July 1760 under Sardars Mirza Shahbaz Khan and Mirza Tar Beg3. It may be noted that this unit was officered entirely by Indians. The British attitude at this time was that "cavalry was a rather flashy extravagance"4 and they preferred getting it on loan from native rulers rather than having their own Native cavalry units. Thus, in the south the Nawab of  Arcot and in the north the Nawab of Oudh were asked by the British to supply cavalry and raise cavalry units for war service with the English East India Company. The British discovered that cavalry taken on loan from the Nawab of Arcot and Nawab of Oudh was unreliable under fire and raised their own native cavalry units in Bengal and Madras officered by Europeans from the mid and late 1770s.5 Cavalry was first seriously recognised as an arm of decision once General Gerard Lake who was basically an infantryman arrived in India in  1801 as C in C Bengal Army . General Lake  for the first time organised  cavalry as brigades of two units 6. Lake decided to do so since he felt that Maratha cavalry was too efficient vis a vis the company's cavalry and there was a need for reorganisation and reform. Lake thus gave serious thought to cavalry training and the first major cavalry training manoeuvres in the Company's military history were held in 1802. Cavalry units were trained hard and the standard set was 45 miles in 24 hours. Lake also increased  cavalry's firepower by attaching two six pounder galloper horse artillery guns to each cavalry regiment.7 
The reader may note that while the Bengal Infantry from the beginning was Hindu dominated, cavalry at the outset was a wholly Muslim arm. Such was the Muslim dominance that even the British C in C of Bengal Army8 (also C in C India) Major John Carnac declared that "The Mughals ( Muslim of Central Asian/West of Khyber ancestry) .....are the only good horsemen in India"9. The Bengal infantry from the very beginning had no Bengalis since the English Company had the choice to recruit soldiers of fortune of "Jat" "Rohilla (Hindustani Pathan or anyone with a Pathan ancestry)" Buxarries (Hindu Bhumihar Brahmans from Buxar area in modern  Bihar province who had been recruited in Mughal Army also10) Jats (largely Hindustani Hindu but possibly some Muslims) Rajputs (mostly Hindustani Hindu from Oudh and Bihar) and Brahmans11. Even in Britain cavalry was seen as a feudal dominated arm and known as the "arm of fashion and wealth".12
Cavalry was decisively employed by General Lake in the Second Maratha War, notably at Fatehgarh which was an all cavalry battle.13  Lake brilliantly used cavalry as a lightning leading force to reconnoitre otherwise impregnable Maratha defensive oppositions so that infantry and artillery were used with maximum effect at the decisive moment. Lake often used cavalry to the point of rashness. At the Battle of Delhi he brilliantly employed his cavalry in a feint withdrawal tempting the French trained and led Marathas to leave an otherwise impregnable defensive position to attack the supposedly withdrawing cavalry, while Lake brought up his infantry to counterattack the overconfident Marathas! The Maratha War was a lesson for the British in cavalry's capabilities as well as limitations. At Laswari  where Lake finally decisively defeated the Maratha main army under the Hindustani Pathan Sarwar Khan14, he advanced single-handed with his cavalry against a Maratha army which Lake thought was retreating . His cavalry initially achieved a breakthrough, but was then held up by Maratha artillery fire and Lake was able to finally defeat the Marathas only after his infantry joined him at midday.15 Laswari once again proved that cavalry was not as much of an arm of decision as infantry, for it was the British Indian infantry that finally saved the day at Laswari.
Cavalry was again significantly  employed in the Third Maratha/Pindari War. This was essentially a cleanup operation covering thousands of miles and was essentially a war of movement suiting the cavalry. Cavalry was used to locate the Pindaris while infantry was later used to attack and  destroy them. The most notable cavalry action of this war took place at Sitabaldi where the 6th Bengal Native Cavalry defeated a much larger combined Maratha-Arab Muslim force singlehandedly.16
Cavalry's importance started declining from 1817 onwards . Although it performed important reconnaissance and protection duties in the First Afghan War the mountainous terrain and poor logistics limited its role severely. The Sikh Wars were also wholly infantry dominated wars in which Sikhs dug themselves up into entrenchments which were stormed by the British at great human cost. The Second Sikh  War was particularly unfortunate for Indian cavalry because of flight of a cavalry brigade of two British and two native units at Chillianwalla which led to a serious British reverse. Cavalry's role by 1857 was reduced to escorting artillery siege trains, supply convoys and flank protection. Since most of the battles of the Sepoy Rebellion were fought in built up areas cavalry had a limited role.
The most decisive change in Indian Cavalry which started from 1858 was the mixing up of the class composition by the British with a view to reducing chances of any further rebellion. This was done because the Sepoy Rebellion was largely led and sparked by the Hindustani Pathan/Ranghar Muslim units of the Bengal Army. Most notable of all being the seizure of Delhi in the early hours of 11th May 1857, by the 3rd Bengal Native Light Cavalry (raised in 1776) after reducing into shock and inertia a British garrison of one Royal British Army infantry and one cavalry regiment at Meerut on 10th May  1857. The British adopted a firm policy not to have a Muslim dominated cavalry. Thus Cavalry was made a mixed  arm after 1857 with almost equal proportions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in each unit The only exception to this rule being  two  one class units of Muslims and one of  Hindus.17


WW ONE
Cavalry remained an arm dominated by rich men more interested in polo and pig sticking from the 1860s till the First World War. Two Indian  cavalry divisions were sent to France as part of the allied cavalry corps, but remained largely unemployed with few exceptions like the Hodson's Horse which was used in mounted infantry role18. One controversial albeit tangible way of gauging Cavalry's contribution in WW One and Two may be the  fact that the lone Victoria Cross won by an Indian cavalry man/Tankman in both world wars out of the total 35 won by Indians was won in France by a Hindu Rajputana Rajput in WW One while performing the duties of a despatch rider19! Indian Cavalry was relatively more decisively used in the Mesopotamian and Palestine Campaigns notably in the final allied offensive in 1918 when General Allenby successfully used cavalry with great effect in the battles of Gaza, Beersheeba etc along with eight British manned tanks20. The Turks were heavily outnumbered in the Palestine Campaign of 1917-18 and there was far more freedom of manoeuvre for cavalry to be employed for carrying out raids and outflanking marches21. The main fighting was, however, done by the infantry and cavalry remained an important but essentially second important arm.
The First World War marked a turning point in warfare. Infantry failed to achieve a breakthrough on the Western Front and its place as the arm of decision was challenged seriously for the first time since the Battle of Crecy (1346). Introduction of tanks in 1916 broke the stalemate despite faulty employment doctrine. However, tanks despite their relatively significant role in the German defeat in World War One failed to achieve a major victory because of mechanical failures and poor employment doctrine.22 The British Army was an infantry/cavalry  dominated army and till the end of WW One tanks were still viewed as an important but not as decisive an arm as infantry23. Tanks found an antidote soon. It was at Battle of Cambrai where tanks for the first time, at one of the five points of breakthrough, were effectively engaged and destroyed by a single German Field Artillery Battery which destroyed many tanks by direct fire.24 Tanks played a crucial role at Battle of Amiens in 1918 which was termed by military analysts as turning point of the war and as the "Black Day" of the German Army by General Ludendorff. The true worth of tanks, however, was still not appreciated, since the Germans were able to stabilise their front, thanks to conservative British doctrine of exploiting breakthroughs.25 Although the Royal Tank Corps was created from 28 July 1917, 26  Tanks as an entity did not have any Godfather in the British military hierarchy and this ensured that their true significance was not appreciated at least in the British and Indian Army. Once the allied armies were demobilised the tank was forgotten and the old generals once again elevated infantry to the role of arm of decision.
INTER WAR
YEARS-1918-39
First World War brought very few changes in the Indian Army and the Indian Army remained an infantry cavalry army retaining twenty one Horse Cavalry regiments27 after the 1920-21 reorganisation. Indians thus had nothing to do with tanks till 1937-3828 when, keeping in view the growing German military threat and relative backwardness of the Indian Army it was decided to mechanise two Indian cavalry units i.e 13 Lancers and 14 Scinde Horse29. Both were given a squadron each of Vickers Light Tanks and Crossley Armoured Cars, phased out from British units 30 . The reader may note that the main problem in mechanisation of Indian cavalry in the interwar years was not essentially conservatism but lack of funds. Three of the five Indian Army chiefs in the inter war years were from cavalry31 and  wanted to mechanise the Indian Cavalry. Their efforts to do so failed because of lack of funds and economic depression of the inter war years.32 Thus on the eve of WW Two in 1939 just two Indian cavalry units were mechanised. The outbreak of World War Two forced the British to speed up mechanisation but initially mechanisation for Indians meant only trucks or armoured cars. There was one important measure which the British undertook and which most probably attracted the best available manpower to try to enrol in the Indian Armoured Corps.This was an almost  doubling of the pay of the Armoured Corps soldiers from around 18 rupees  to 33 rupees per month.33 This was done in October 1942, once General Martel who was visiting India in order to reorganise the Indian Armoured Corps was told that "India had a mercenary army" and that the best men in India would not join he Indian Armoured Corps if they were paid Rs 18 per month which was the average monthly pay of an Indian soldier.
SECOND WORLD WAR
THE BURMA FRONT
It was Burma where the Indians for the first time thanks to US military aid to Britain were given the latest tanks of World War Two. Both the Indian tank brigades i.e.  254 (which led 33 Corps advance) and 255 (which led 4 Corps advance) were equipped with Grant and Sherman tanks.These brigades however had a limited infantry support role. It cannot be said that the Indians who fought as tankmen learnt anything really worthwhile about modern armoured warfare. The tank warfare conducted in Burma was a one sided show with the British Indian Army having 300 most modern Grant and Sherman tanks34   against  just one Japanese Tank Regiment35 consisting  of tanks which could not have the firepower or  capability to destroy the Grants and Shermans of the Indian tank brigades!36 Mostly they were in support of infantry and the Japanese in front of them had hardly any tanks to match the heavy Shermans etc with which the Indian cavalry regiments were equipped. Thus there were hardly any tank to tank fights  since the Japanese hardly possessed anything to oppose the latest Sherman and Grant tanks. The only resistance that these tanks encountered was from Japanese anti tank guns and artillery at very close ranges and these were relatively rare since the British always enjoyed numerical superiority in the later stages of the Burmese campaign and the British Indian infantry was always in close support of their tanks. In war once the enemy is vastly undergunned and underequipped to oppose you, little can be learned in terms of tactical or operational lessons. Brigadier Riaz ul Karim whose unit 5 Horse was equipped with Shermans in Burma has claimed that he was the only Indian who commanded a tank squadron in actual action in Burma and also won an MC. If this is true then the only Pakistani officer who actually commanded a tank squadron (not armoured car or tracked carrier) in WW Two was a sidelined man in the Ayubian era before 1965 war broke out!37 In any case Indian or Pakistani officers could have learnt little about armour tactics in Burma  which was essentially an infantry man's war and in which the enemy was vastly outnumbered both qualitatively as well as quantitatively as far as the tanks were concerned.

NORTH AFRICAN THEATRE
In the North African theatre the Indian armour experience was also quite limited. The Indian 3rd Motor Brigade that reached North Africa in early 1941 was equipped with soft skinned wheeled vehicles and did little except evading getting captured by the tanks of Rommel's Afrika Korps!38 Even their British masters were so inept in handling of tanks that the Germans inflicted various major defeats on them despite the fact that the British were numerically as well as qualitatively superior to the Germans! In such an environment Indians could have learnt little about armoured warfare. The British tanks in North Africa were famous for doing one of the two things. Either they would recklessly charge a well prepared German or Italian position, without any deliberate support from the despicable artillery, and return with a bloody nose or would exercise extreme caution once restrained by "Take no Risk, do nothing till you enjoy overwhelming numerical superiority" policy of commanders like Ritchie or Montgommery as happened in various operational situations throughout the North African campaign from 1941 to 1943, thus allowing the enemy to counter attack decisively and turn the scales or to disengage and occupy another sound defensive position. In any case the Indians were organised as infantry divisions or as Light Recce elements in motorised brigades and did not have tanks in this sector, which ensured that their experiences were limited as far as true armoured warfare was concerned. The Indian whose battle performance was most distinguished in this sector in tangible terms was Major Rajendarsinhji then a squadron commander of 2nd Gardner's Horse who was awarded a Distinguished Service Order  in 1941 for breaking out and capturing 300 enemy troops as prisoners.39  The South African official historian correctly observed that ".....the armoured car regiments were employed almost exclusively in observation which they performed with commendable efficiency, but there was little else in the desert campaigns that they were equipped to do. The armour of their cars was inadequate, being vulnerable to everything save rifle fire, and their armament a machine gun at best was useless save for shooting up thin skinned and defenceless transport". 40
OTHER THEATRES
Indian armour was deployed in other theatres like Italy, Sudan Malaya etc but here too their role was scouting and observation rather than anything more significant and the few armour officers who served in these theatres could have learnt very little about real tank battles even at squadron and unit level. The operations in these areas were infantry dominated in any case and in Italy warfare had degenerated to the positional battles of WW One.
POST 1947 DEVELOPMENTS
1947-1965
INITIAL ORGANISATION
Pakistan Army, as a result of the division of the pre 1947 British Indian Army on a communal basis, inherited six armoured regiments at the time of transfer of power and partition of India. These six units were constituted from Muslim manpower of units transferred to Pakistan and those transferred to India as the following two tables indicate 41:—
ORIGINAL CLASS COMPOSITION OF ARMOURED UNITS ALLOTTED TO PAKISTAN
REGIMENT                                         
RANGHAR/RAJPUT MUSLIM (HINDUSTANI MUSLIMS)  PATHAN MUSLIM PUNJABI MUSLIMSIKHSHINDU DOGRASHINDU JAT 
                           
13 LANCERS
111
GUIDES 
111
11 CAVALRY
111
5 HORSE
111
6 LANCERS
111
19 LANCERS
111
TOTAL
224622
18  SQUADRONS
The deficiency of 10 Muslim Squadrons was made up by inter unit transfers from the following units allotted to India:—
  REGIMENT                    
PUNJABI MUSLIMSHINDUSTANI    MUSLIMS (RANGHARS)KAIMKHANI (MUSLIMS (RAJPUTS) PATHAN MUSLIMS  
 17  POONA HORSE
1 (TO 19 LANCERS)  
 14 SCINDE HORSE 
1 (TO 13 LANCERS) 1 (TO GUIDES)  
 4 HODSON HORSE
1 (TO GUIDES)  
 2 LANCERS
PARTS  TO 11 CAVALRY  
 9 DECCAN HORSE 
SOME MEN  TO 11 CAVALRY AND 1 SQUADRON TO 5 HORSE   
7 CAVALRY                                     
1 (TO 6 LANCERS)  
 8 CAVALRY
1 (TO 6 LANCERS) PARTS TO 11 CAVALRY  
 1ST SKINNERS HORSE 
1 (TO 11 CAVALRY)  
 18 CAVALRY
1 SQUADRON TO 5 HORSE  
 CENTRAL INDIA HORSE
1 (TO 19 LANCERS)  
 TOTAL 
5. 5  SQUADRONS 1. 5  SQUADRONS 2 SQUADRONS1 SQUADRON  
The above thus made the class composition of the Pakistan Armoured Corps as following :—
ETHNIC GROUP 
PATHAN MUSLIMS-RECRUITED ONLY FROM 1846PUNJABI MUSLIM RECRUITED ONLY FROM 1846 RAJPUT/HINDUSTANI/KAIMKHANI/RANGHAR MOSTLY FROM UNITS RAISED IN 1804-1846
NUMBER OFSQUADRONS
 3  9. 5 5. 5 
General Messervy the first Britisher C in C of the Pakistan Army was a cavalryman from 4 Hodson's Horse/13 Lancers42, along with Gracey as Chief of Staff and his team of Pakistani and British officers had organised the Pakistani General Headquarters at Rawalpindi in the old buildings that had once housed the pre 1947 headquarters of the old Northern Command. By January 1948 Messervy had reorganised the armoured regiments as following43:—      
FORMATION
LOCATIONUNIT ALLOTTEDREMARKS
7 DIVISION
HQ AT RAWALPINDI11 CAVALRY LIGHT ARMOURED REGIMENT  
8 DIVISION
HQ AT KARACHINILNIL
9 (F)  DIVISION 
  HQ AT PESHAWAR 10 GUIDES CAVALRY  HEAVY ARMOURED REGIMENT  
10 DIVISION 
HQ AT LAHORE   6 LANCERSLIGHT ARMOURED REGIMENT  
3RD INDEPENDENT
HQ AT RISALPUR 13 LANCERS MEDIUM ARMOURED REGIMENT
ARMOURED BRIGADE 
5 HORSE 
 19 LANCERS  
MEDIUM ARMOURED REGIMENT


EMPLOYMENT OF ARMOUR IN 1947-48 WAR
Although 3rd Armoured Brigade was equipped with Shermans, Pakistani General Headquarters did not employ any Pakistani tanks in the 1947-48 Kashmir War. Mr Jinnah the Governor General wanted to conduct the war aggressively,and had the vision but not the energy . He was a dying man and had too many things to do. Unfortunately he was  not supported by his ethnically divided as well highly incompetent and irresolute cabinet of weak men who had neither the vision nor the resolution to function as a war cabinet! The Pakistan Army on the other hand was commanded by a non interested Britisher.
The 11 Cavalry equipped with armoured cars were the only unit employed in the war. The GHQ assigned the unit an essentially defensive and passive role but the indomitable Colonel Tommy Masud commanding the unit was too resolute a man to be restrained 44. The unit thus took a prominent part in operations in Bhimbhar-Mirpur area under Tommy Masud, but its role remained limited since it was not allowed to conduct any major offensive operation to support the militia by an over cautious general headquarters.
The Indians on the other hand employed their armour much more aggressively and imaginatively in Kashmir. Armoured cars of the 7th Light Cavalry saved Srinagar in November 194745. The Indians also employed tanks decisively in recapture of strategic towns like Jhangar and Rajauri of which the latter was captured single-handedly by a tank squadron of Central India Horse46. The greatest Indian strategic success by employment of tanks was the recapture of the otherwise impregnable 11,578 feet high Zojila Pass on 1st November 194847   which enabled them to relieve Leh and recapture the vast bulk of Ladakh. These areas without Zojila Pass were  for all purposes lost to the Indians. Today the Pakistan Army is still paying the price for loss of Zojila with approximately three infantry brigades committed in Pakistan held Kashmir opposite Indian held Ladakh.





The rule of the thumb of the 1947-48  War was the fact that all Indian successes had a deep connection with presence of tanks or armoured cars while all Pakistani failures were attributable to the absence of tanks or armoured cars! Indians stopped only where either the gradient became too steep for their tanks or where there were bottlenecks like the Indus or the Jhelum valley and tank or armoured cars could not make an impression.
The Pakistani GHQ finally moved the 3rd Armoured Brigade near Bhimbhar, for a projected counterstroke at Indian communications to Poonch, but was glad and relieved, at not employing it, when the Indians made a unilateral offer of ceasefire on 30 December 1947.48

DEVELOPMENT'S  DURING 1948 -1965
The Pakistan Armoured Corps was equipped almost wholly with  US tanks. These tanks as earlier discussed were supplied by the US in WW Two for the defence of Burma. The armoured cars were mostly of British origin but had proved obsolete even in WW Two and were slowly phased out in the period 1950-58 as US aid enabled the armoured corps to wholly switch to tanks from 1954 onwards. It appears that the policy makers in the Pakistan Army in 1954 did not really appreciate the importance of tanks. The first US military team, which came to Pakistan and surveyed the Pakistani military requirement ments after liaison and discussions with Pakistani officers thus, reported to the US Joint Chiefs Committee that the Pakistan Army needed equipment for one armoured brigade and four infantry divisions. The US Joint Chiefs added another armoured division to this estimate making the proposed four and half division plan the famous "Five and Half Divisions Plan"49.
The developments and changes that took place in Pakistani armour can be gauged from the following table:—
PERIOD
CUMULATIVE NUMBER OF ARMOURED REGIMENTS  REMARKS  
1947-48
613 Lancers,10 Cavalry,11 Cavalry,19 Lancers, 6 Lancers,5 Horse  
1949-1955
815 Lancers and 12 Cavalry raised in 1955. 
 1956-1962 
144, 22,23,24 ,25 Cavalry and 20 Lancers.  
1962-1965
1830,31,32 and 33 TDU.
1947-1956 
1956-1965 REMARKS  
3RD INDEPENDENT ARMOURED BRIGADE
1ST ARMOURED DIVISION COMPRISING 1ST ARMOURED DIVISON RAISED IN 1956  
3  AND 4 ARMOURED BRIGADES. AS PART OF 5 AND HALF DIVISION PLAN.  
5 ARMOURED BRIGADE ADDED LATER THE DIVISON WAS ADDED ON INITIATIVE OF US JCS.  
THREE DIVISIONAL  TANK REGIMENTS 
100 ARMOURED BRIGADE CODE NAME OF 6 ARMOURED DIVISION  RAISED SHORTLY BEFORE THE WARRAISED FOR DEFENCE OF AREA NORTH OF RAVI SINCE 1ST ARMOURED DIVISION WAS GIVEN A ROLE SOUTH OF RAVI.  
                                                              
DIVISIONAL TANK REGIMENTS AND ONE CORPS RECCE REGT12 CAVALRY, 15 AND 20 LANCERS RECCE REGIMENTS.  
100 ARMOURED BRIGADE/ LATER 6 ARMOURED DIVISION         
IN EXISTENCE SINCE THE FIFTIES BUT  REDESIGNATED AS THE 6 ARMOURED DIVISION IN 1965 UNITS LOCATED IN THE FIFTIES AT NOWSHERA, PESHAWAR, MANSAR ETC BUT FINALLY LOCATED AT KHARIAN BEFORE THE 1965 WAR.  
                                                                                    
FOUR TANK DELIVERY REGIMENTS RAISED IN 1965 TO AUGMENT ARMOUR  RESOURCES OF INFANTRY DIVISIONSTWO WITH FIFTEEN DIVISION IN SIALKOT-SHAKARGARH BULGE AND ONE EACH WITH 10 AND 11 DIVISION  IN RAVI-SUTLEJ CORRIDOR.
We have seen that the Pakistani armoured division was a gift of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff since the US Military advisory group had recommended a four and half division plan, which included, only  one armoured brigade. There is little doubt that in the hearts of their hearts the senior Pakistani lot, with men like Musa, described by Gul as selected for "dependability rather than merit "50 feared employing this division, in actual operations, more than the Indians! The problem with the army of that time, was not as Gul suggests, that it was infantry dominated. This as a matter of fact is the case with  all armies, since infantry is the largest arm and thus has the maximum number of officers. The problem was that historically, by virtue of conservative British traditions and the colonial legacy, there were very few officers, armour or non armour, who really understood tank warfare beyond squadron level. Whatever the reason, the only major armoured divisional training manoeuvre with troops, as per General Gul,  held before the 1965 war was  one in 196151 (Gul has probably got the year wrong since both Musa and A.R Siddiqi  cite 1960) as to test the 1 Armoured Division  and this as per Gul's description was a Quixotic episode.52  The exercise was nicknamed "Tezgam" and according to both Gul and A.R Siddiqi was an utter fiasco,53 in the sense that despite ample, warning time the armoured division being exercised did no reconnaissance and tanks were launched in boggy country as  a result of which  a very large part of the armoured division got bogged down.54  The reader may note that "Exercise Tezgam"  was no haphazard affair, having been planned in advance and mentioned by Fazal Muqeem as one which "will be held"55  at the time of writing his book on the army.
The only positive aspect of this exercise not mentioned by Gul was reduction of the size of an armoured regiment from 75 to 44 Tanks56.  This was a positive improvement since an armoured regiment with 75 Tank was an administrative nightmare and difficult to tactically control. The tanks rendered surplus were used to raise four more armoured regiments which were allotted to the infantry divisions and certainly improved their battle potential. As a result four more armoured regiments (22,23,24 & 25 Cavalry) were raised in 1962.57
During the period 1954-65 various Pakistani armour officers were sent to attend courses at the US Armour School Fort Knox . These courses however played limited role in the development of the Pakistanis since the US way of warfare was lavish and totally different from that of the Indo Pak scenario in terms of terrain, comparative level of infantry mobility etc. However, some officers who were assigned to revise tank manuals did employ US manuals apart from British tank manuals to good use as this scribe discovered while serving in the Tactical Wing of the School of Armour in the period 1990-91! 58 
Again during the same period professionalism in tank regiments varied from unit to unit. There was the case of a unit that painted the muzzle ends of the barrel of its main gun where cuttings are made to bore sight the guns and, would have been not very effective, had it been employed  in the 1965 war! There were cases of newly raised units led by some excellent officers like the 25 Cavalry. Thus on one side there were units who were as as non professional as British cavalry who were notoriously incompetent in fame for lopping off their own horses heads59 instead of the enemy's,  because of poor cavalry swordmanship standards. On the other hand  there were units where professional efficiency was higher due to force of tradition or by virtue of having excellent commanding officers. In this regard the British system of each tank regiment having its own idiosyncrasies worked mostly in a negative manner! As I discovered much later that each tank regiment was as distinct from another as one Hindu caste from another and this was even in terms of training, operating procedures etc! The point is that the transformation from cavalry to mechanisation was thus not fully incorporated neither in the British Army nor in the British Indian Army, and the Indian tank experience against the hopelessly undergunned and ill equipped Japanese tanks in Burma in WW Two also was not helpful in developing levels of professional competence necessary in mechanised units.
The period 1951-1965 i.e the Ayubian era, was a period when one man dominated the army and as history has proved, dictators prefer working with men they know, and can trust. This was not helpful for the tank corps since the ruling clique was infantry dominated. I am not hinting that armour as an arm suffered Vis a Vis infantry as Gul's memoirs imply. Nor I am suggesting that there were no potential Guderians or Von Thomas. The point that is being driven home is,  that the emphasis was on thrusting men on the armoured division who were not very imaginative or professional, but were essentially , loyal and dependable men. The same was true for infantry too, but armour despite being a highly specialised arm was treated as no different from infantry. In the process some relatively gifted armour officers without good family connections and without having the advantage of belonging to the ruling cliques regimental groups were sidelined. War record for promotion to higher ranks was no criteria at that time as has remained the case till to date, since its Godfather had the most dubious war record in the Indian Army of WW Two!
The Pakistan Armoured Corps thus remained a ceremonial but much neglected arm during the period 1951-65. No serious thought was given to developing a special Indo Pak doctrine of employment of the armoured division in the framework of a corps. The emphasis in the Ayubian army was on the "New Concept of Defence" which revolved around the infantry division and as per one general officer of that time "did not last even for the first day of 1965 War"!60  The ideas of the senior officers of that time about armour were vague but it was generally thought that Pakistani armour would perform roles similar to those of the German armour of 1940! The concept of friction and the independent will of the enemy was not really understood by these men who were of the firm conviction that by virtue of having martial races and better US tanks, it would not be very difficult to teach the Indians a good lesson in case of war! It was fashionable to read or pose to read "Rommel Papers"61 and Liddell Hart's "Strategy the Indirect Approach" 62   but no serious attempt was made in the armoured corps ,as the tank manuals and journals of that time amply prove,  to understand the real mechanics of tank warfare or the essence of Blitzkrieg.
Even at the armoured brigade level no credible doctrine/tactics of the armoured battle at brigade level was developed . Each unit jealously guarded its traditions and remained a closed entity for other armoured units even within the same brigade. The armoured brigade commanders developed a similar to infantry brigade commanders with fixed field headquarters with reliance on despatch riders and liaison officers whereas mobile operations demanded that the armoured brigade commander stayed close to the leading regiment while his staff looked after the brigade headquarters.
The emphasis thus remained on the thinking that each unit must increase its battle honours while training at brigade and divisional level was neglected. Gul states that many of the armour commanders who performed miserably in 1965 were never tested in peacetime training. Thus while commenting on the pathetic handling of armour in Khem Karan in 1965 Gul said "It seems (commenting on Khem Karan operations) that the two Headquarters  (11 Division and 1st Armoured Division) were paralysed by the very dimension of their undertaking........Had they physically handled their commands on manoeuvres in more normal times,they would have been either found out, and should have been sacked, or the enormity of the task that  confronted them later in the war would not have benumbed them".63
On the eve of 1965 war the Pakistan Armoured Corps was organised as following64:—
1 ARMOURED DIVISION 
6 ARMOURED DIVISION RECCE REGIMENTS INFANTRY DIVISIONAL  TANK REGIMENTS INFANTRY DIVISIONALTDU REGIMENTS   
6 LANCERS 
10 GUIDES CAVALRY15  LANCERS (WITH 11 DIV)23 CAVALRY  (WITH 10 DIV)30 TDU ( WITH 10 DIV)  
31 TDU ( WITH 15 DIV)  
19 LANCERS
11 CAVALRY 20 LANCERS  (WITH 15 DIV)25 CAVALRY (WITH 15 DIV)
5 HORSE 
22 CAVALRY 13 LANCERS (7 DIV)32 TDU (WITH 11 DIV)  
12 CAVALRY(RECCE REGT)
 33 TDU (WITH 15 DIV)
4 CAVALRY
24 CAVALRY


EMPLOYMENT IN 1965 WAR OPERATION GRAND SLAM
Operation Grand Slam i.e the plan to capture Akhnur via a major divisional  level attack supported by two armoured regiments was the first major tank battle of Pakistan Armoured Corps. Chamb had always been a sensitive area since 1947 and in 1948 war the Indians had taken special care to station tanks here . However, in 1965 due to some phenomenally incompetent thinking at the higher level the Indians ignored this important sector and wishfully believed that the main Pakistani attack in the area will come in Jhangar area. As a matter of fact as early as 1955-56 the Indian 80 Brigade commander had appreciated the importance of Chamb-Jaurian-Akhnur area and had identified it as a weak area65  which needed to be defended in greater strength. In 1956 an Indian Corps exercise setting was based on the scenario that Pakistanis had captured Akhnur66. The Indian High Command was as naive as the Pakistani GHQ in thinking that the Pakistanis will "not cross the international border  (in Chamb area) because that would constitute an attack on India67", thus in words of Gurcharan  the southern half of the Chamb border (opposite the internationally recognised border) was rendered "sacrosanct"68. Chamb was held by a lone infantry brigade and was reinforced by a tank squadron of AMX-13 Light Tanks only in August 1965 69.
Pakistani armour enjoyed a marked qualitative and quantitative superiority over Indian armour in this operation. There were two Pakistani Patton regiments against one Indian light tank squadron in the battle . The single Indian AMX-13 squadron defending the area possessed relatively effective firepower (in terms of armour penetration)  but was far inferior to the five Pakistani Patton squadrons in terms of protection (armour thickness) and was further dispersed since its area of responsibility was more than even that of one tank regiment. Thus while too wide an area of responsibility nullified the chances of its concentrated employment, poor armour protection gravely increased its vulnerability and seriously reduced its ability to manoeuvre or even jockey. The principal Indian advantage was bad terrain which enabled their anti tank guns (recoilless rifles) to engage Pakistani armour. However, this was balanced by surprise since the Indians were not expecting an armoured brigade size force in the sector.
Regardless of all rhetoric about Grand Slam's brilliance, armour was under-utilised and poorly employed. The vast numerical advantage of six to one in armour, was partially nullified by dividing the two tank regiments between two brigades who in turn dished out each tank squadron to one infantry battalion. Thus instead of using the armour as a punch it was used like a thin net, as a result of which its hitting power was vastly reduced while the Indians were able to engage tank squadrons made to charge them in a piecemeal manner! Thus while the Pakistani victory, thanks to tank numerical and qualitative superiority was a foregone conclusion, the cost in terms of equipment and loss of manpower was too high as the table included in the footnotes indicates.
Thus Shaukat Riza despite being granted limited autonomy to use his independent mind was forced to very tactfully admit while only citing the artillery aspect, that the attack plan lacked concentration. Shaukat thus wrote, " The guns had to be distributed to support attacking troops on a front of 30,000 yards. The Indians had only covering troops on the border outposts. The distribution of our artillery fire enabled them to delay our crossing of Munawar Tawi on 1st September".70
Later events have led to some oversights in analysing "Operation Grand Slam" and writers have only talked about the change of command of the division which led to a literal "suspension of action" of full 24 hours in the division's advance. The first serious failure, however occurred on the first day of attack i.e 1st September due to faulty execution and lack of understanding of the key operational concept within 12 Division at brigade level. It was as a result of this misunderstanding that 12 Division failed to cross Tawi the first day despite the fact that it had reached it opposite Chamb at 0830 or 0855 hours on the morning of 1st September 1971.71 The Pakistani failure in crossing Tawi on the first day and securing Pallanwalla thereby throwing the Indians off balance can be squarely ascribed to poor execution of plans at brigade level  and divisional level. Brigadier A.A.K Chaudhry states in his book that the unnecessary delay occurred since the infantry brigade commander insisted on capture of Burjeal despite the fact that Gen Akhtar Hussain Malik had categorically ordered him to bypass it .72 This serious lapse led to delay of one day in crossing of Tawi and enabled the Indians to conduct an orderly withdrawal across Tawi during night 1st/2nd  September 1965. Thus the Indians were pushed back but not routed which was within 12 Divisions capability had the infantry brigade commander not got obsessed with Burjeal .
The beauty of the Grand Slam plan i.e the  fact that the Pakistani Commander had the benefit of overwhelming numerical superiority of 6 to 1 in armour and the additional advantage of having no natural obstacle between the start line and Akhnur was thus lost on the very first day .Speed was the essence of the issue since the frontage of advance became narrower as the attackers advanced eastwards with the river Chenab closing in from  the south,  and the high mountains closing in from the north making the defenders task easier and the attackers task more difficult.
By  2050 Hours 1st September  191 Brigade defending Chamb started withdrawal towards Chamb while the 41 Mountain Brigade was ordered to occupy the Troti-Jaurian intermediate position. The Pakistani position despite all these imperial blunders was formidable when change of command was ordered and the Indians got another 24 hours to prepare their intermediate defence position at Troti-Jaurian. From 3rd September onwards progress of operations became slower although qualitative advantage in tanks enabled the Pakistanis to capture Jaurian , surprise was lost and the Indians were able to reinforce the sector with a third infantry brigade and a third AMX squadron. Surprise was lost and armour's freedom of manoeuvre became more and more limited as the total available frontage of advance became reduced by one sixth due to Chenab in the south and the mountains in the north.
This is not the proper place to go into further details, which are the subject of an article, devoted entirely to Grand Slam in a future issue.
The Indian anti tank rifles caused maximum armour casualties on the first day of the battle. These were entirely avoidable had the bulk of the armour been concentrated and tasked to straight go for Pallanwalla rather than distributing it till battalion level. The real hero of the first day of Grand Slam was the rank and files both infantry and armour on both sides. The Indians were saved from total riot by the sheer grit and determination of their anti tank gunners and the most vulnerable AMX crews while Pakistanis lost their chance to rout the enemy because of inability to concentrate and obsession with Burjeal.


BATTLE OF CHAWINDA
The tank battles fought between Chawinda and Charwa from the 8th to 16th September are fit to be made subject of a Shakespearean comedy of errors. The Indian armour, at brigade level and divisional level, was handled in a highly incompetent and irresolute manner on 8th September ,despite the fact that both the commanders were from the armoured corps! The Indians enjoyed a five to one superiority, but unlike Grand Slam it was in number of tank regiments rather than number of tank squadrons , which makes the superiority thrice as much effective!
Pakistan was saved by sheer coup d oeil by one man i.e Lieutenant Colonel Nisar of 25 Cavalry who in the classic Clausewitzian description was guided by a spark of purpose and a ray of hope in an intensely obscure situation at a time when no Pakistani headquarter, brigade, divisional or corps was aware, and I would say with conviction, thankfully so, of the exact operational situation. 


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011


Battle of Chawinda









17 Poona Horse which was advancing on the left towards Tharoah commenced its advance two squadrons up but soon changed to one squadron up because of the limited fields of fire and observation that made command and control, extremely difficult.It came in contact with 25 Cavalry at 0945 hours in Tharoh area and was also checked like 16 Light Cavalry. According to Gurcharan Singh some firing took place in between the tanks of 16 Light Cavalry and 17  Poona Horse37. This happened because the inter regiment gap between both the regiments was too less. 'C' Squadron 62 Cavalry which was tasked to provide left flank protection to the 1st Armoured Division's advance was delayed as its tanks got bogged down while inside Indian territory .When half of this squadron did finally got going and crossed the border at 1000 hours it went south towards Zafarwal by some misunderstanding after crossing the Degh Nala instead of advancing parallel and north of the Degh Nala as originally ordered!This squadron crossed the Degh Nala and reached Zafarwal in Pakistani territory absolutely unopposed and later recrossed the Degh Nala to go north once it probably realised that it was supposed to stay north of Degh Nala!








Once this squadron was recrossing the Degh Nala it was engaged by an Indian artillery battery providing fire support to the 1st Armoured brigade,which naturally mistook it for Pakistani tanks seeing it approach from south of Degh Nala.In turn this squadron also opened fire on the Indian battery which they thought to be a Pakistani battery destroying several guns and vehicles!38  By 1300 hours Brigadier K.K Singh Commander 1st Armoured Brigade was a mentally defeated man.He reached the conclusion that 'He was held up by at least two Patton regiments and that there was no possibility of advancing  direct towards Phillora without suffering unacceptable losses'.He was further unnerved by reports of a 'raid by enemy tanks on guns and soft vehicles' (which in reality was the firing between 62 Cavalry's tanks coming recrossing Degh Nadi!)39 Commander 1 Armoured Brigade concluded that 'his line of communication was not secure'40    and 'decided to adopt a defensive posture for the security of his command at 1400 hours issued orders withdrawing the brigade into a 'box' around Sabzpir cross roads! The 17 Poona Horse which had encountered opposition but was taking positive measures to deal with it was also withdrawn and deployed to cover the eastern flank in the area,and the 4 Hodson's Horse was also detailed to defend the southern flank41. All this was happening at a time when there was just 25 Cavalry in front of the whole 1st Indian Armoured Division! 


The readers may note that the Indians were not lacking in valour as cheap propaganda conducted in Pakistan after 1965 claimed but phenomenally incompetent at unit and brigade level. Their right forward unit 17 Poona Horse could have easily outflanked 25 Cavalry's 'Alpha Squadron'. Major Shamshad a direct participant thus rightly observed in his article that 'There is a big gap, about six miles wide, between Hasri Nala and Degh Nala which could have provided a safe passage to 17 Poona Horse up to Pasrur. No troops were deployed to defend this area. It appears that they did try to advance but the higher headquarters held them back. I say so because I saw trackmarks of Centurions in Seowal on 19th September.' 42 It may be noted that the 43 Lorried Brigade advance on the other axis also went diasastorously, less due to enemy opposition and more due to poor  as well as inefficient execution.The 43 Lorried Brigade which was supposed to commence advance at 0600 hours commenced advance five hours late at 1100 hours because its leading unit 8 Garhwal reached the start line much later than planned,and got delayed as soon as it commenced advance due to poor traffic control ! No men with landmines tied to their chests were needed in face of such phenomenally incmpetent staff and battle procedures!








 43  Lorried     Brigade led by 2 Lancers finally reached Sabzpir cross roads at 1530 hours where tanks of the Indian 1st Armoured Brigade opened fire on Indian Armoured Corps's 2 Lancers  mistaking them for Pakistani tanks and in the process destroyed two Indian tanks including CO 2 Lancers tank!43  








Thus 43 Lorried brigade also harboured at Sabzpir cross roads.Gurcharan Singh's verdict on the Indian 1st Armoured Division's performance is worth quoting and is also a tribute to 25 Cavalry, the only unit of the Pakistan Army that did on 8th September 1965 what no other unit of Pakistan Army ever did and most probably would ever do again.44 Gurcharan thus wrote; 'The first days battle could not have got off to a  worse start. The Armoured Brigade had been blocked by two squadrons of Pattons and in the first encounter the brigade had lost more tanks than the enemy had....whole of 1 Corps had gained a few kilometres... 




















After 9th September when the Pakistani  6 Armoured Division and later the 1st Armoured Division beefed up Pakistani strength it was no longer a question of valour or superior generalship but simple,unimaginative frontal battle with both sides having equal number of tanks.Keeping  this background in mind  we will not waste much stationery on the battles around Chawinda after 9th September.48  These battles like Phillora etc are good motivational topics for indoctrinating the other ranks but little else. The real issue was decided on 8th September 1965 and not by Tikka Khan 49      etc but by Nisar and his officers  and men around Gadgor!










The Indians fought as bravely as the Pakistanis till tank regiment level but their rot started from brigade and division downwards! Nisar deployed two of his squadrons between Gadgor and Degh Nala in an extended line and his regiment engaged the Indians in such a terrific manner that the Indians in words of their tank corps historian lost more tanks that day than were held in total by 25 Cavalry opposing them and were blocked by just two tank squadrons!73 These are words of praise from the enemy, for a man who was promoted to the rank of brigadier with great difficulty and was dumped later, while many far more incompetent and clerk type men rose to much higher ranks after both 1965 and 1971!





The Pakistanis thus got three valuable days to bring up more tank regiments and the battles from 11th to 16th September were fought under conditions which commenced with near parity in tanks and soon transformed by 16th September into superiority in tanks in favour of Pakistanis . The fact that Indians enjoyed superiority in infantry was largely irrelevant since Pakistani tanks had limited their space for manoeuvre and the Indian infantry superiority could have been effective in only a post breakout phase. But breakout after 12th September was not possible since Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division had reinforced the Pakistani position.

BATTLE OF KHEM KARAN VALTOHA
Battle of Khem Karan-Valtoha proved that although politically Pakistan and India were two nations, intellectually both were one nation composed of highly incompetent men beyond colonel level. Here Pakistani armour enjoyed a seven to one superiority in tanks in terms of total troops available but were unable to pump their armour inside the enemy territory in time thus enabling the Indians to recover from surprise from 8th September onwards. The Indians were initially so demoralised that their infantry division commander requested to be relieved by another division.74
Pakistan's 5th Armoured Brigade could have outflanked the Indian 4th Mountain Division on the 7th and 8th of September had it concentrated its tank strength and developed the battle from one direction. Instead one tank regiment was sent towards the right while one was sent towards the left and centre, thus reducing the potential superiority to near parity. All gains made by armour during the daytime were squandered since the armoured brigade commander insisted that all tanks be parked in front of his brigade headquarter after last light! This as a matter of fact was a British tradition 75 but even the rationale why the British did so mostly in North Africa was not applicable in the Indo-Pak scenario. (See Analysis for further elaboration). By 10th September the Indians had reinforced the sector and although they were outnumbered in tanks by five to two till the end, bad terrain and inability of the Pakistani armour to breakout of the bottle neck between Nikasu Nala and Rohi Nala while the Indians were demoralised in vastly outnumbered in number of total available tanks from 6th to 8th September led to a stagnation and stalemate by 11th September. Thus all the advantages of initial surprise and superiority in numbers were nullified due to poor staff work, poor initial planning, faulty execution as a result of which numerical superiority was not fully realised due to poor terrain and lack of freedom of manoeuvre.
BATTLE OF LAHORE
The role of armour in the battle for Lahore was limited . Indian armour was divided down to squadron level and played a negligible role on 6th and 7th September. In any case their Shermans were no match to Pakistan's Pattons of which the 23 Cavalry held two squadrons.
The Pakistani tank/infantry counterattack on 8th September however produced a crisis of operational level in the 15 Indian Division. On 8th September as a result of Pakistani armour/infantry counterattack an Indian infantry brigade became so demoralised that two of its units simply abandoned their defences and bolted away, leading to a situation where the Indians had to reinforce it with a  fresh infantry brigade76, however certainly did cause an operational crisis in the 15 Indian Division on 8th September thereby seriously weakening the Indian resolve to capture Lahore. The Indian armoured corps historian did not take a similar view77, however as cited earlier this fact is well attested in the "War Despatches" of General Harbaksh Singh. Absence of Pakistani tanks at Dograi due to poor map reading and confusion in orders78  however played a major part in Indian recapture of Dograi on 21/22 September 1965. In short, tanks played a relatively significant but limited role in the battle of Lahore since the BRB strictly limited their mobility.
INTER WAR YEARS-1965-1971
The following table illustrates the inter war changes in the armoured corps:—
EXISTING REGIMENTS TILL 1965
REGIMENTS RAISED FROM 1965 TILL DECEMBER 1971  REMARKS  
13 Lancers,10 Guides Cavalry,                    
26 Cavalry, 27 Cavalry, 30,31,32 & 33 TDU were redesignated as cavalry regiments after the 1965 War . 29 Cavalry was stationed in East Pakistan.Some ad hoc squadrons were also raised one of which later became 39 Cavalry and one i.e 5 Independent Squadron survived the reorganisation after the war by becoming training squadron of School of Armour.  
11 Cavalry, 6 Lancers.5 Horse,          
28 Cavalry, 29 Cavalry,  
19 Lancers, 12 Cavalry,15 Lancers,   
38 Cavalry,51 Lancers.  
4 Cavalry ,20 Lancers, 22 Cavalry,
23 Cavalry,24 Cavalry, 25 Cavalry,
30 TDU,31 TDU,32 TDU,33 TDU.
EXISTING HEADQUARTERS IN 1965       
HEADQUARTERS RAISED FROM 1965 TO 1971  
1ST Armoured Division
2nd Armoured Brigade 2nd and 8th Independent Brigade HQ were raised in  2nd Half of 1970.8th Armoured Brigade was corps reserve of 1 Corps while 2nd Armoured Brigade was under command 23 Division in the war. 3rd Armoured Brigade was directly under HQ 4 Corps in Ravi-Sutlej Corridor.7th and 9th Armoured Brigades were part of 6th Armoured Division and 4th and 5th Armoured Brigades were part of 1st Armoured Division.
6th Armoured Division 
7th Armoured Brigade  
3rd Armoured Brigade
8th Armoured Brigade  
4th Armoured Brigade 
9th Armoured Brigade  
5th Armoured Brigade



EMPLOYMENT IN 1971
BATTLE OF CHAMB
Battle of Chamb fought in 1971 was the only battle in Indo Pak where a force of armoured brigade level was successfully employed by an infantry general in an offensive manner to achieve a successful breakthrough. This battle was covered in great detail by this scribe in DJ's September 1999  issue. First the 23 Division tried to make a breakthrough from the north but once this failed General Eftikhar Khan in the classic German manner made a swift re-assessment and regrouped his forces to launch an attack from the south towards Chak Pandit as a result of which the Indians abandoned Chamb Salient. It was a classic case of dislocating the enemy commander's mental equilibrium. Eftikhar by redeploying and changing direction of armour attack did something which three of his division's infantry brigades had failed to do while attacking frontally! Eftikhar later planned another outflanking thrust at Pallanwalla but his efforts were frustrated due to  two  irresolute as well as incompetent brigade commanders which included his armoured brigade commander who was unable to concentrate his tank and infantry units and  was many times publicly abused by him for incompetence and irresolution!79

BATTLE OF SHAKARGARH BULGE/BARAPIND
The Battles fought in Shakargarh Bulge and at Bara Pind-Jarpal were the second major battles of the 1971 war as far as armour was concerned.
Two major tank operations were conducted here. I will only quote few lines from the Indian Armoured Corps History to describe the first i.e delaying battle of Changez Force, which was conducted by the indomitable Brigadier Nisar of 25 Cavalry of Chawinda fame. The Indian historian thus noted Nisar's brilliance, something that the Pakistani selection boards later failed to note, as following; "Pak armour functioned well in the role of covering troops. It managed to delay a superior armour force for a longer period than it could have planned for".80
The  other major tank battle i.e the Pakistani armoured brigade counter attack at Bara Pind was one of the most  heroic, but tragic affairs in the history of  Indo Pak wars. The initial rot started at Corps level where the commander who had served in staff jobs, despised artillery81 and had vague  ideas about tank warfare. He viewed the armoured brigade as a hammer meant to crush an enemy by a direct assault rather than a dynamic operational entity used for dislocation or disruption of enemy plans. The armoured brigade thus initially did nothing in the first twelve days of the war as happens in all successful model discussions at the staff college and the defence college, but was finally ordered to eliminate an enemy force which had achieved a limited breakthrough. Two major failures occurred here. One was at brigade level in failure to incorporate artillery in the brigade plans82. The major failure here occurred at armoured regiment level when one tank regiment ordered to contain the enemy penetration instead attacked the enemy frontally like the Light Brigade with nominal artillery support and suffered very heavy tank casualties. A second tank regiment was then launched which contained the bridgehead established by an Indian tank regiment, suffering heavy but relatively less losses once compared with the first regiment! On the Indian side the situation was equally dismal, as far as higher leadership at brigade level was concerned, and the day was saved only by "a very gallant last-ditch stand  by three tanks of Poona Horse"83 commanded  by a Punjabi Hindu subaltern from Sargodha district!
DESERT SECTOR
The Pakistani attack in the desert sector with two tank regiments was another Quixotic effort which failed because of poor inter arm cooperation between the army and the airforce and was a battle in which two Indian Hunter aircraft84 engaged a tank regiment caught in the open desert without anti-aircraft cover or aerial support and was forced to withdraw after suffering heavy losses.




THE 2 CORPS COUNTER OFFENSIVE
The Pakistani 2 Corps offensive involving attack by an armour and infantry division which was never executed has remained a subject of much speculation and controversy . Indian Western Command C in C Lieutenant General Candeth has acknowledged that had this operation been launched between 8 and 26 October, it could have caused serious disruption in Indian plans to attack East Pakistan.85 Once the war started the Indians had brought their armoured division opposite the Pakistani division and the resultant clash would have been "a futile frontal bloody clash of armour".86   One observer who was Tikka's contemporary has opined that the 2 Corps Commander i.e  Lieutenant General Tikka Khan "had neither the ability to handle such a large force, nor the experience  of such a war".87 The observer in this case may be dismissed as one saying so out of professional rivalry, but a  dispassionate glance at handling of armour in all three Indo Pak wars beyond tank regiment level, by both armour and non-armour officers gives great substance to this criticism. Major General Eftikhar the lone exception is an altogether different case. Such men are born once in many centuries. In any case  Eftikhar took immense pains in learning about armour by attending a short but effective basic course at the School of Armour Nowshera where his photograph as a general officer student was hanging in the Communication Group as I last saw it in January 1984. In addition Eftikhar had very effectively commanded the 6 Armoured Division before the 1971 war.
POST-1971 DEVELOPMENTS LESSONS OF 1971 WAR
There is no doubt that  the armoured corps learnt a great deal from 1971 war, specially as far as integration of artillery in armour attack and brigade level attacks were concerned. It was, however, a case of preparing for a war which had already been fought. The Indo Pak difference in conventional forces continued to increase after the 1971 war and the whole strategic scenario was transformed after India's nuclear blast in 1974.
No major lesson was, however, learnt in higher organisation and the armoured corps continued as it had before 1971 as far as higher organisation was concerned. The armour had not been tested at divisional level and no major reappraisal at divisional level was undertaken.
More armoured regiments were raised by milking the existing units and eliminating the fourth tank troop in each tank squadron.
THE 1984 AND 1987 WAR SCARES
Pakistan concluded a major arms deal with the US in 1981 but the urgent need to modernise/upgrade the armour was not realised since the military junta was enjoying siphoning the fruits of massive US aid into private bank accounts. Thus once Indira Gandhi mobilised her forces in the wake of the Sikh Insurgency and concentrated them close to the border in mid-September Pakistani armour was in bad shape both technically as well as maintenance wise having the same old 1966-71 T-59 tanks. War looked imminent but the tension de-escalated after Indira Gandhi's assassination.
In 1987 again Pakistani armour was qualitatively inferior having the same 1971 T-59's albeit new or reconditioned vis-a-vis Indian T-72s. War looked imminent in January 1987 but did not break out due to sheer irresolution on Rajiv Gandhi's part. Later much propaganda was done in Pakistan about some visionary soldiers but as this scribe wrote in a letter published in one of the most prestigious  journals of the Pakistan Army "As far as BRASS TACKS is concerned, I beg to submit that there was no countermove with the deliberate intention to frighten the Indians.The move of the Strategic Reserve (Pakistan's 2 Corps) from Cholistan to Ravi-Sutlej Corridor was a purely defensive move. If Sunderji lost his nerve then it was a matter of pure chance otherwise the Pakistani intention was never to unnerve Sunderji but to get its strategic reserve to a more central location which it occupied in both 1965 and 1971 wars. Later on with benefit of hindsight some people here did attempt to make the effort appear as a visionary soldier's piece of military genius".88 The readers may note that this assertion was  not challenged by anyone which either means that the staff college magazine is either distributed in graveyards or no one has the time or energy to read or contest anything!
The situation in 1987 was most grave for Pakistani armour at least technically and numerically and the Indians due to sheer irresolution lost a golden chance to impose a military solution which in the post- Chaghi scenario is no longer possible. One explanation of the Pakistani armoured division's withdrawal north of Sutlej lies in Pakistani governments desire not to provoke the Indians. Technically, however, Pakistan Armour was not in a reasonable shape to fight a war in January 1987.
NEW RAISINGS
1971-1994 AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
New raisings were done after the 1971 war but every new raising was based on milking of existing units and was matched by new raisings on the other side. Thus these new raisings did not produce any qualitative or quantitative situation in the overall comparative military balance. Some units were raised soon after the 1971 war while six units were raised as a result of the return of personnel of Tabuk Brigade in 1985 and 1988 respectively. Three more units were raised on the return of the armoured brigade despatched to the Gulf in 1991, while two more units were raised from the existing independent squadrons one of which was raised in 1971 and was commanded by this scribe till November 1993. Both these two units were raised in infantry divisions and thus deprived of the relatively far superior training environment that should have been available to them by virtue of being raised in an armoured division. This was done at a time when there were many senior armour officers in the General Headquarters and this simple truism could have been conveyed to the concerned authority. The sending of two batches of officers and men to Saudi Arabia in 1982 and 1985 seriously undermined armoured corps efficiency. Two classes were created in both within the officers and the rank and file. The incentive to somehow go to Saudi Arabia created unpleasant situation in many units in terms of class rivalry, favouritism and even further dilution of uprightness and soldierly forthrightness and simple approach towards regimental soldiering. Only individuals gained while the military spirit of the army described by Clausewitz as the most important foundation of an army was eroded. This was followed by other carrots that made people more money minded and calculating like secondments to Somalia, Bosnia etc. The net goodwill they brought can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan is on the borderline in the US State Department's list of terrorist nations and is on the brink of financial default which will force its government, military or civil to finally bend to superpower dictation regardless of all rhetoric!
During the period 1977-88 the armoured corps got the best opportunity to benefit from the fact that an armour officer was the master of everything! Paradoxically professionally things deteriorated! Two messes were built in Nowshera and Rawalpindi which are not for armour officers, at least those below brigadier! The one in Rawalpindi is a personal fiefdom and is an excellent means of exercising patronage and enhancing contacts! The armour school during this period went on the same lines as in 1960s. No new building was built. It retained its unique distinction of being the  final resting place of near superseded or superseded brigadiers at a time when from 1983-84 the infantry school was upgraded to a general rank headed institution, and some very fine officers (barring few exceptions!!!!) were posted to head that institution! The armoured corps suffered in terms of promotion since promotions became a far more personalised affair since those on top knew officers intimately and lavishly exercised their powers to promote or demote in a typical third world whimsical style.Thus many fine officers like Sher Azam Malik  and Javed Hussain were sidelined while many officers reached the general rank despite the fact that at least one was not recommended for next rank by his infantry division commander and corps commander. It is true that some individuals gained  four star rank without commanding a division or a corps or in other ways but the armoured corps as an arm suffered. It became a personal fiefdom from 1976 to 1988. It will take many years to recover from  the negative effects of that "Darbari Era". Perhaps the next war towards which the sub-continent is invariably being pushed into due to myopic vision and lack of statesmanship will be the final audit of the armoured corps of both sides since 1971! Our only hope is that our Indian friends I hear are almost as incompetent as we are beyond tank regiment or brigade level. At least their performance beyond unit level in both 1965 and 1971, provides a lot of solace and indicates that their commanders beyond unit level are as illustrious as ours!
There is nothing much to write about Zarb-i-Momin as far as armour was concerned. This by all definitions, is ironic since it was supposed to be an armour dominated show supposedly designed to derive lessons which were special to armour. What happened in reality was a farce. The enemy armoured divisions reconnaissance teams were in the enemy territory some four months before the war broke out, conducting Recce and familiarising themselves with the area. Engineer units arrived months before to improve tracks to enhance mobility inside enemy territory! This scribe was then serving in 3rd Armoured Brigade Headquarters. The only redeeming feature of the exercise was the 3rd Armoured Brigade counter-attack, which succeeded by divine design since bad weather rendered the enemy air inoperational. Huge exercises in which millions are spent, however, cannot be justified simply because of attacks, which succeed, by divine design! There was no element of the fog of war for the advancing side, while the defenders final attack succeeded by Divine Design! The military objectives of the exercise, at least meaningful ones pertaining to higher direction of war, or inter corps co-ordination i.e holding and striking corps operating in the same area, were not achieved. If anyone claims that these were achieved then the fact that no co-ordinating headquarter was created to regulate the holding and striking corps between 1989 and 1998 proved that the lessons, that is if any, apart from those in the realm of propaganda and public relations, were learnt, were either not implemented (a serious command failing if true) or disregarded by the successors of the then chief. The second conclusion is also highly improbable since the then chief was in chair for more than one and half year after the exercise, and had ample time to incorporate the lessons, that is if any meaningful ones were learnt. Since this scribe does not have the power of ESP it is not possible to gauge whether the ulterior motives of that exercise, if any were achieved or not!
The problem with the army of 1984-90, at the top was that it was dominated by men who had not commanded armoured formations beyond unit level or brigade (and that too for few months) in case of armour and even had not commanded infantry formations in major general rank which held even a tank squadron on their order of battle! Zia who had commanded an armoured division in peace and a corps for an year had utilised bulk of his time in sycophancy with the PPP stalwarts in Multan and had nothing to do with any armoured battle in both the wars! The best product of this galaxy of talents was the bifurcation of the older corps into striking and holding formations as stated earlier, without earmarking any co-ordinating headquarter and would have been a recipe to diasaster in case a war had broken out! This Quixotic bifurcation as earlier stated was not tested in Zarb-e-Momin.


ANALYSIS
ARMOUR IN TRAINING MANOEUVRES
Various divisional level training manoeuvres were held after 1971 and many lessons were learnt. However, there is no organisational or institutional framework to scientifically evaluate the command abilities of officers beyond tank regiment level. This assertion is based on conviction and was pointed out in writing by this scribe in various army journals and is on record :—
"Evaluation of exercises which is one of the major peactime methods of judging resolution in a commander is an extremely rigorous and scientific affair. It is felt that this should be done by a select corps of officers who will be less biased in judging a man's professional calibre. The present system, it is felt is less objective, less scientific and less profession oriented. Probably it is so because those who evaluate each other spend more time together in cantonments than in the field and thus go into the field with preconceived ideas further biased by personal likes and dislikes ............the present system of exercises are not aimed at testing the command qualities which are really decisive like resolution. Even if this is being done in certain cases then it is confined to lower command levels, which a study of military history illustrates is just not enough ........." We have got to train our commanders for adverse situations which demand unconventional audacious and imaginative planning. Presently we are afraid this is not being done. Rather exercises are demonstrations on a massive scale".89
"There are institutions (referring to one particular institution) which deliver a verdict on command qualities of an individual without a single exercise in the field"!90 ......... " Commanders above unit level are rarely properly exercised" ........ " The system is producing many whose tour of regimental soldiering is with the primary aim of getting a hole punched in the service record card".91
"Many military systems that this world saw were a conspiracy against originality and boldness"......"Create an 'Evaluation Corps' which will be a full time corps primarily designed/dedicated to test the professional competence of commanders at all levels (till divisional level)".92
"Establishment of training command, responsible for planning and monitoring Army's training is an inescapable necessity".93
 The rationale behind quoting all these observations which are on record is to prove that training manoeuvres as this scribe saw them while serving for four continuous years, without going on a single course or even a month's leave in an armoured divison or later in other infantry formations, were not being held on a scientific basis. There were exceptions like Generals Hameed Gul, Sajjad or Brigadier Inayatullah Niazi (his other qualities/peculiarities apart) who took training manoeuvres religiously and conducted them brilliantly, but these men and particularly Hameed Gul (his so called fundamentalist political views aside)  was an exception and the next two years after his departure from the armoured division as this scribe saw were the most barren years of training. The reason is simple, i.e procedural and institutional arrangements are longer lasting and more consistent and to a considerable  extent compensate for individual human qualitative differences resulting from change of command from person "X" to person "Z".
The problem is that lack of a neutral organisation which could give a second opinion on the command abilities of a commander beyond squadron unit or brigade level was missing. It was common to hear many brigade and unit commanders brag that it was their pen and not the performance of an officer on training manoeuvres which would decide the issue. This was true since it was common to see many excellent brigade commanders and unit commanders who handled their command outfits superbly in field training manoeuvres being sidelined to oblivion and obscurity while many relatively incompetent, as far performance in field was concerned, but "on paper good officers", getting the best appointments and rising to general rank.This is as far as the armoured corps was concerned. The secondment to Saudi Arabia propelled another breed who had a good time in three years in Tabuk where exercises were a "hoax" and reached high ranks without commanding an armoured brigade (the Lahore armoured brigade being an exception since it hardly does any meaningful training at brigade level and performs other more important non training duties)  or armoured division. There emerged during the period 1977-1994 a breed of essentially paper tiger commanders who had all the holes punched and had also mastered the techniques of conducting perfect armoured attacks (in reality, carefully rehearsed demonstrations)  under conditions in which all the friction of war which that poor Prussian Clausewitz had written about had been eliminated through whiz kid techniques mastered in the process of hole punching and keeping the OEI high !

HANDLING OF ARMOUR IN SCHOOLS OF INSTRUCTION
Handling of armour in schools of instruction also requires serious re-evaluation. During my stay in the School of Armour I observed that there were no fixed parameters or training guidelines at army level which regulated that institution. All depended on the commandant's personality. If there was a hard taskmaster like Sher Azam Malik everything went well but everything would suddenly transform once person "Y" or "Z" came. As far as I know the school with few exceptions was a dumping ground for superseded or about to be superseded brigadiers, at least after 1971 with perhaps one or two odd exceptions. Naturally these commandants were on their way out and with few exceptions took more interest in preparing themselves for their future retired life! The same was true for instructors at Lieutenant Colonel level out of whom very few went beyond brigadier. Further the school's location being far away from both the armoured divisions did not allow integration of students doing courses in major armour training manoeuvres as is done in the Infantry School in Quetta. This school should  be re-located somewhere in the desert in Cholistan or perhaps its outer fringes or in the Potohar plateau! This scribe in May-June 1993 had made a similar recommendation for the independent armoured squadron that he was commanding and was then  stationed  in Okara (through an official written letter held on record) to be shifted to the desert in Tamewali or Bahawalnagar. The recommendation made as part of unit points for the divisional conference was approved by Major General Zia ul Haq the General Officer Commanding the infantry division and implemented much to the chagrin of officers who later joined the new tank regiment raised from the Phoenix ashes of that squadron! Coming back to the main line of discussion there was no system of grading in the school and the powers of the officers in charge course, the chief instructor and the higher appointment holders to alter a tactical grading done by an instructor of major or colonel rank were not limited by any margin of plus one or two as was the practice in Infantry School. I don't know whether it has changed now from 1992.

The instructors posted after staff college to armour school were those majors who were not fit to be brigade majors or were there simply because no unit or other vacancy was available for them! This did not mean that these majors were not good since the system of assessment of staff college needs considerable revamping. The bad part was that these majors did not put up maximum hard work since they knew that the seal of relatively mediocre majors had been stamped on them and, however, hard they worked their chances for promotion beyond colonel rank were remote!  Two buildings were completed in 1988-89 but these were hardly sufficient to meet the existing demands! The transparency of the system of grading could be gauged from the fact that the only two officers who got an alpha grade in tactical leg of the young officer's basic course were sons of serving generals! This scribe had the opportunity to see one of them during the basic course and was perplexed and surprised as to how he was graded alpha. On the other hand a retired three star general's son who had already managed a Bee Plus in the junior Staff Course (a far more tough affair than the mid career course)  while his father was a serving three star general, was initially graded as Bee Minus in the Mid-Career Course whereas he certainly deserved a Bee! Later on I believe he was given a Bee, after much haggling as happened at Valtoha between 1 FF and 6 Lancers.
HIGHER ARMOUR OPERATIONAL COMMAND ORGANISATION
No major change in Pakistani higher armour command as earlier discussed in brief was made till 1987. In 1986-87 the older corps which contained both holding and striking formations were sub-divided into holding and striking corps. This arrangement although outwardly neat and superficially sound was essentially confusing and fallacious. It was regarding this change that this scribe pointed out in an article "It is felt that during conduct of operations two formation commanders of equal rank commanding a holding and strike formation respectively in the same area of operations, cannot function effectively. Even during Exercise Zarb-e-Momin this aspect was not put to trial. Training of holding and strike formations needs to be integrated thus meriting a unified operational command vested in the person of one officer of the rank of lieutenant general. The change may require creation of Army Headquarters in certain operational areas".94
The arrangement of holding and striking corps without any higher co-ordinating headquarter was a recipe for confusion and disaster as I witnessed while serving in a  holding corps, once I personally saw the lack of communication and co-ordination in training and cooperation between the concerned strike and holding corps. Thus, I was motivated to write another article in which this scribe's recommendations for establishing a co-ordinating headquarters for the holding and striking corps were seconded by the worthy editor of the Citadel Magazine as ones which "certainly merits consideration".95    The rationale on which these recommendations were based were: "The concept of holding and striking formation also needs reappraisal....the bifurcation in terms of offensive and defensive role, while outwardly neat and theoretically sound is historically without a successful precedent. The issue could have been resolved in exercise Zarb-e-Momin in 1989 by subjecting it to the friction of  a rigorous training manoeuvre".96 "The shield and the spear or the hammer and the anvil can function effectively only if one head synchronises and co-ordinates their operational functions. As they say that too many cooks spoil the broth, the two formations fighting the same battle in the same operational area cannot fully realise their combat potential unless a headquarter regulates their operations.How can one main headquarters 200 or 400 miles in the rear, with loads of other matters to take  care of, effectively co-ordinate the operations of a hammer and anvil".97 "The need for an army headquarters to co-ordinate and effectively command the holding and strike corps is an indispensable necessity".98 I believe that there has been some progress since these recommendations which are on record were made in 1998. All credit, however, goes to then commandant Major General Amjad and his team who published these two above quoted articles. Had these been written in 1987 or 1988 no editor would have dared to publish them. 99
POOR INTER-ARM/INTER- UNIT  COOPERATION AND LACK OF DIVISIONAL SPIRIT
Poor inter-arm cooperation seriously retarded the combat potential of the Pakistan Armoured Corps right from 1947. This was the worst British legacy that both the Indo-Pak armies inherited. A British observer in WW Two noted that "in the training of the armoured division, I stressed the need for co-operation of all arms in battle. One had to check a pernicious doctrine which had grown up in recent years, aided by certain civilian writers, that tank units were capable of winning an action without the assistance of other arms. The Chief agent in debunking this and many other fallacies of our pre-war pundits were the German".100 The secret of the German Blitzkrieg tactics which revolutionised warfare lay in intimate inter-arm cooperation. The US concept of Combined Arms Teams is actually the old German inter-arm cooperation within the Panzer Division concept 'wine in new bottles'. The British tanks in WW II on the other hand repeatedly failed to function effectively because of poor inter-arm cooperation based on inter-unit rivalry and excess of regimentation. The Pakistan Army inherited this disease and this disease instead of getting reduced became more pronounced after 1947. The army remained infantry dominated since all the chiefs from 1948 to 1972 were from infantry. From 1977 to 1988 the army remained armour dominated and preference in promotion was given to those close to Zia. Poor inter-arm cooperation led to serious operational failures in Khem Karan and in Grand Slam in 1965 and at Bara Pind in 1971. The similarity between the lack of infantry tank cooperation in Grand Slam and in Khem Karan and those of  similar incidents in the case of British infantry and tanks at Gazala etc is remarkable. Even when I was commissioned in 11 Cavalry in March 1983, 29 Cavalry  (in which this scribe later served for some time) being a new unit was regarded as second among equals, 7 FF the mechanised infantry unit of our brigade was viewed as an enemy and 15 SP  the artillery unit was despised and considered too insignificant even to be considered an enemy. The Supply and Transport unit was regarded as a bunch of untouchables! The EME was not liked but feared, for their nuisance value in inspections, though secretly despised. It was out of question to visit the messes of these units and my friendship with an officer of 7 FF was viewed by many seniors as disloyalty to the regiment! Officers from armoured regiments were mostly friendly with officers from other armoured regiments. It was rare that any officer of the infantry division met any officer of the armoured division in Kharian.  
Even within the very small  armoured corps of the 1950s and 1960s there were glaring differences from regiment to regiment. There were regiments with a much higher representation in the top hierarchy dating from 1947 and there were fatherless regiments who had done well in war but had no patrons beyond the brigadier rank. The negative factor here for the armoured corps was the fact that while the regiment in infantry had a much larger number of units like the Punjab and FF group, each armoured regiment was as different from each other as France from Germany and an officer from any tank regiment only believed in patronising his very own regiment!
Parallels can be found in battle of  Bir El Gubi in 1941 where the 22 Armoured Brigade frontally charged the Italians with the support of just one  battery of 25 Pounders 101    and failed to capture it suffering in the process huge losses and in the Battle of Bara Pind where Pakistan's 8 Armoured Brigade did a similar thing. The German tank general and illustrious staff officer Von Mellenthin noted this failing when he said, "their commanders would not concentrate tanks and guns for a co-ordinated battle".102
On the other hand notorious examples of non-cooperation in 1965 and 1971 wars can be compared with the conduct of the British armour at Gazala in 1942 when the 2nd Highland infantry was destroyed by German tanks  while a superior British tank force merely looked on, or in the case of the 1/6th Rajputana Rifles who were abandoned to German Panzers simply because the British armour had to go into leaguer!103        
One of the most notorious examples of lack of inter-arm co-operation took place in Chawinda when first the Indian tanks withdrew from Jassoran-Buttur Dograndi-Sodreke area on their own104, and later when Indian tanks ordered to re-attack the same area later were not informed about the failure of the last night's infantry attack!105 An Indian general frankly admitted this lack of inter arm cooperation when he said, "There were misunderstandings galore between the infantry and armour commanders in the second battle of Chawinda. A lack of rapport seems to be the only explanation..".106 This lack of cooperation was something like 13th century inter-arm and individual rivalry which led to the failure of the Crusaders or the Mongols against the Mamelukes.Toynbee the great historian thus wrote, "the individual Mongol champion was promptly overcome by the disciplined heavy cavalry of the Egyptian Mamlukes (mostly kidnapped slaves of Slav/European origin converted to Islam after being bought by the Kurds etc). These had given warning of the supremacy  of their technique at the Battle of Mansurah in AD 1250, when Frankish army of Saint Louis  had paid a disastrous penalty for the thoughtless individualism of its knights, each anxious for personal honour at the expense of the disciplined formation".107 I can state with confidence that as late as 1993 that  almost each tank regiment (having seen five tank regiments and one tank squadron) or infantry regiment behaved at least symbolically like these thirteenth century knights described by Toynbee, at least in garrisons and on field manoeuvres! I am sure that the Indian army being the chip of the same block and led by as mediocre and orders oriented men is no different! At least in strength of reservoirs of mediocrity the subcontinent consists of men belonging to one nation!

THE CAVALRY CHARGE TRADITION
The Armoured Corps inherited a typically British cavalry charge tradition, an irrational urge of being "brave to the point of foolhardiness".108 The Indians suffered from a similar malady and lost many tanks in attacks delivered in a cavalry charge manner at Gadgor, Phillora, Buttur, Dograndi, Sodreke, etc. Brigadier Riaz ul Karim who was sent as Deputy GOC of 6 Armoured Division described these encounters as "Kabbadi Matches". Riaz thus observed "The normal practice on both sides was to despatch one armoured regiment at a time to probe and infiltrate (with infantry following) and the other side reacted with launching one of their own armoured regiments to stop and destroy that force. With this type of  battle, there were heavy tank casualties on both sides".109     Riaz states that "The first thing that I did was to stop the 'Kabbadi Game' i.e for one regiment sailing into the blues and coming back with a bloody nose".110
NATURE OF EMPLOYMENT IN WW TWO AND INFLUENCE OF CONSERVATIVE BRITISH DOCTRINE
In all fairness the nature of Indian Army's employment as far as the armoured corps  was concerned did not make things any easier for the armoured corps of both the countries. The Indian Armoured Corps was either employed in a screen/scout role or in conditions where their  opponent as in Burma was vastly inferior both numerically and quantitatively in number of tanks. Indians were not groomed for higher ranks and even the British despite better education superior literacy level and technically and qualitatively superior position did not produce a single good tank commander at any level higher than tank regiment. No wonder that they failed the Germans in France and North Africa from 1940 till 1942 when finally the scales were turned, not because of better generalship but by virtue of overwhelming numerical superiority. Further the conservative British tank doctrine which both the armies inherited and made no effort to change that armour commanders beyond unit level remained as mediocre as they were on the British side in WW II. It is no credit to the quality of British armoured corps that General Mellenthin who saw the British Army as its direct opponent for some two years noted that " The British Artillery was the best trained and best commanded element in the British Army".111
MISCELLANEOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL HANGUPS
The armoured corps of 1947 inherited many psychological hang-ups. The subconscious emphasis inherited from the British was on being an "arm of fashion and wealth" "affected carelessness" and worst of all "an arrogant non-chalance towards the duller aspects of their work".112 During a winter collective which this scribes unit had to conduct for another armoured brigade, the other brigades units insisted that their tank commanders cannot advance unless there is a visible track going through the desert. In this case there was none! Finally the problem was resolved by asking for engineer support and a track was made with the help of earthmoving equipment! During my service I frequently heard many officers saying that a fourth tank troop in a squadron was good and added flexibility while many said that it was difficult to manage. These officers probably never understood that the Germans performed miracles with armoured divisions, which had just one Panzer Regiment (tank brigade).    

LACK OF OPERATIONAL PHILOSOPHY AT BRIGADE/BEYOND AND DOCTRINAL AMBIGUITY AND CONFUSION AT SPECIAL TO ARM TACTICAL LEVEL
Firstly we shall discuss the leaguer concept which seriously jeopardised the success of Pakistani armour operations in Khem Karan. The British mostly withdrew from the final battle positions in North Africa because they feared the German 88 Anti-Tank Guns and wanted to have a peaceful next morning. In any case the operational situation in North Africa was not area oriented, as in Punjab but mobility oriented since any outflanked force could easily move in any direction and regain its equilibrium. In Punjab where defence was a relatively far more superior type of warfare than in the desert and holding every inch of captured territory was important, the operational situation was totally different from North Africa. Here every locality once captured had to be held since manoeuvre was far more difficult due to heavy terrain, friction and large number of artificial and natural obstacles and bottlenecks. This was a serious doctrinal failing which should have been resolved in the School of Armour. No one gave it a serious thought since it was thought that the Pattons were invincible. These pedants failed to realise that the British repeatedly failed to defeat Rommel despite possessing numerical and qualitative superiority as was admitted by Captain B.H Liddell Hart.
There was an inclination in some strike formations to use French terms in operational orders! On one occasion shortly before retirement while this scribe was an umpire with a strike infantry division, I read the term "Coup de Main" describing the division's main attack. My knowledge of French was limited but as far as I then knew "Coup de Main" in the British military sense was a term used for a surprise attack launched in a manner which was not very deliberate or conventional. Once I pointed this out the majority was outraged and two colonels who had done the French Staff Course insisted that "Coup de Main" was the right word for describing "Main Attack or Effort".
Then we come to brigade level. The Khem Karan failure was essentially the failure of 5 Armoured brigade. On the first day the brigade was dispersed without any coherent plan one tank regiment going for Assal Uttar from the centre and left, one tank regiment (some 19 tanks) going for Valtoha without any  sizeable infantry support and the brigade headquarters sitting in Khem Karan as if it was the headquarters of Mountbatten's South East Asia Command rather than a brigade tactical headquarter. It  appears that  there was no operational philosophy of handling armour at brigade level. The brigade was thus doing what a German Panzer Division could not do i.e attacking on some three axis instead of developing the operations on what the Germans called the "Schwerpunkt".113 The concept of all arms cooperation was not understood and 6 Lancers was despatched to Valtoha on its own . Its Commanding Officer did make a request for infantry114 but this was brushed aside and mechanised infantry which was available that day did little, regardless of whatever they may claim now in their regimental histories.
Major failures in both Indian and Pakistan Armies in handling of armour occurred at brigade and division level. It appears that no lessons were derived from these failures. In my thirteen years service I witnessed changes in concept of employment of armoured brigade and division with change of brigade and divisional commanders. Thus what was executed by Brigadier Inayatullah Niazi for two years was disregarded in near totality once Inayat departed and was endorsed by the same commanding officers who had served earlier under Inayat as the Gospel truth! One i.e my second commanding officer, who had dissented under both the commanders albeit tactfully retired as a colonel! This is just one example out of innumerable examples. The School of Armour as far as I know till 1992 had no concrete or tangible set of recommendations about concept of employment or doctrine of employment of an armoured brigade or division in the various types of terrain/scenarios where employment was likely. I was in charge of all the scripts held in the Tactical Wing from December 1991 to December 1992 and did not find any such thing! Even in the School, concepts of employment changed with change of commandant or change of chief instructor! The Divisional Battle Schools of Armoured Divisions were dumping grounds of superseded or near superseded majors and colonels and their cardinal attribute was "silence of a graveyard" as I pointed out to a letter to editor of Citadel magazine in mid-1998. There was no specific to corps area of operations doctrine of operations of armour at least till 1994, at a time when the existence of a multiple number of formations like mechanised brigade, corps reserve, army reserve operating in the same area made a clarity of role/mission/doctrine of employment all the more necessary! Infantry lieutenant colonels who had done foreign staff college had rudimentary ideas about the non-linear armoured battle and the behaviour of enemy armour in the post-breakout stage! Armour after all in all three wars has failed to breakout successfully as far as both sides are concerned! 


TRADITION OF LEADING FROM THE REAR AT BRIGADE AND BEYOND
One of the main reasons of slowness of British armour operations was the fact that brigade commanders with few exception like the great Jock Campbell, VC who was an artillery man, there was a tradition of leading from the rear and this certainly contributed to many failures in Grand Slam and in Khem Karan. Decision making was thus done at a snail's pace. All sorts of false and exaggerated reports were accepted as the Gospel truth etc. The British tradition of leading from the rear had a deep connection with the level of esteem in which their staff officers were held by their field commanders. The layman reader may note that unlike the German General Staff the British never had a permanent cadre of general staff officers. In their army as in both the Indo-Pak armies attending the staff course was just a hole punching business and general staff was not a highly specialised corps in the British Army unlike the German Army where the staff officer with a crimson stripe on his uniform was a highly qualified man belonging to a corps d elite. Thus while German commanders of the rank of brigade, divisional and corps level could lead from the front staying close to the leading tank regiment, the British commanders could not do so, since they  looked down on their staff officers as men who were incapable of manning their main headquarters. Thus the profound truth in Mellenthin's observation that "the officers of the German General Staff  were not mere clerks or mouthpieces of their higher commanders (Mellenthin hints without saying so that the British ones were!!!!), but were trained to accept responsibility to give grave decisions and were respected accordingly. In contrast the British fighting commanders tended to look down on the staff, and  the British show a curious reluctance to appoint capable staff officers to operational commands".115
LACK OF OFFENSIVE SPIRIT
There was a serious lack of offensive spirit at all levels beyond unit level. Thus Ayub  did not leave Rawalpindi throughout the war. As late as 1991 a Directing Staff of Command and Staff College observed this glaring lack of aggressiveness in the army in an article published in 1991.116 The writer then an instructor at the command and Staff College and now probably commanding a division somewhere thus noted, "The Battle of Chamb was cited as an instance; where the momentum of attack dissipated after the General Officer Commanding embraced Shahadat". The readers may note that this man was one of the few generals who led from the front. Some of the many who saw him in that role, who this scribe knows/met  are Majors Suleman Butt (11C), Iftikhar Chaudhry (11 C), Shujaat Ali Janjua (the indomitable Panther Janjua from (11C) and Lieutenant Colonel Zil ur Rehman who was commanding an R & S Company.


POOR GENERAL STAFF PROCEDURES AND PLANNING ABILITY AT HIGHER LEVELS
This factor played a serious role in the Pakistani armoured division's failure at  Khem Karan in 1965. At the GHQ level the failure to appreciate that the armoured division must get out of the bottleneck between Rohi and Nikasu Nala was not appreciated. Nothing in the orders given to the 1st Armoured Division indicates that the planners understood this problem. Nikasu Nala was a pre-1947 landmark while Rohi Nala was no common pin to have missed the eyes of the planners. Poor general staff procedures at brigade and division level led to failure to concentrate all three armoured brigades across the Rohi Nala and thus was the principal reason for failure of the armoured division's effort. The GHQ vacillation and indecision on 6th, 7th and 8th September when it issued contradictory orders to the 1st Armoured Division, sometimes to send one of its brigades to Lahore and sometimes to Sialkot117 also played a major role in adding to the imperial confusion in the armoured division.



Correlli Barnett's observations on the British Staffs of WW II fit well on the Pakistani Staff officers role in failure to handle armour. Barnett thus noted "The pace (referring to that of armoured operations) was too fast for the slow working staffs of lower formations (referringto corps/divisional/brigade staffs) ......(German staff work, because of greater experience and better training, was always faster and more lucid than British).....and detailed organisation for the offensive was poor and confused".118 This observation fits well with the Military Operations Directorate of both sides and all staff officers down to armoured brigade level responsible for planning/executing the operations of both the Pakistani and the Indian 1st Armoured Divisions. The British perhaps were unlucky that their opponents were Germans and the Indians and Pakistanis were perhaps very lucky that their opponents were Pakistanis and Indians!

HOW REALISTIC IS TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT OF HIGHER COMMANDERS IN PAKISTAN ARMY-SEE ANALYSIS ON LINK BELOW


CONCLUSION
The Gul theory of failure because infantry officers were commanding the armoured division is not vindicated by actual facts of the 1965 war. Was the Indian 1st Armoured Division or its 1st Armoured Brigade commanded by an infantry officer and yet they proved as incompetent as Naseer. After all Rommel was from infantry, Macarthur, Mead and Lee were from Engineers and Napoleon was from artillery. The fault lay in the military clique of that time who made promotions on whims and on basis of personal likes and dislikes rather than on merit. After all the finest armoured commander that the sub- continent produced was Eftikhar who was an infantry man!
The Pakistan armoured corps with the exception of one unit of armoured cars was not employed in 1947-48 war. In 1965 Pakistan Armoured Corps failed to achieve a major breakthrough despite relative qualitative superiority in tanks as well as overwhelming numerical superiority in total available number of tanks in Khem Karan due to doctrinal leadership and essentially staff incompetence centred reasons. A breakthrough was possible and one Indian general was frank enough to recall  as late as 1993 General Harbaksh Singh's remarks that  "A Blitzkrieg deep into our territory towards the Grand Trunk Road or the Beas Bridge would have found us in the helpless position of a commander paralysed into inaction for want of readily available reserves while the enemy was inexorably pushing deep into our vitals.It is a nightmarish feeling even when considered in retrospect at this stage"119. Long before 1965 and 1971 civilians on the board of the boundary commission had very high hopes from both the Indian and Pakistan Armies and thus one had said "If Pakistan manages in  a counterattack to make a 40 miles advance, then the defence of India would be affected. True they would lose Bhatinda and Dhuri and Pakistan forces were within measurable distance of Ambala,but they (referring to the Indian Army)  do not lose all. Their communications are not upset; they lose so much of the railway line up to the extent of forty miles, but they still have the main line bringing their supplies at right angles to their forces..."120. The same member went further and gave the Indians a capability of advancing 500 miles inside Pakistan!121 Compare these remarks with two  Indian three star generals remarks:— "We penetrated only 11 miles (despite a five to one superiority in tanks on 8th September and a much larger one in infantry-this scribe's remarks)  into enemy territory beyond the bridgehead at our deepest stretch, when, but for the mishandling of our forces, especially armour, the completion of our mission appeared well within our grasp".122 Another sadly  noted "it ground to a halt just four miles ahead of the bridgehead"!123 This happened not as propagandists assert in Pakistan because of some superior martial race or ideological reasons  but simply because the Indian brigade and division commander lost their nerve. The Indians, the lower ranks till battalion/regiment level fought as bravely at Chawinda as their Pakistani counterparts, tankman and infantry man alike,  at Khem Karan where Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division also failed to achieve a breakthrough despite a seven to one superiority in tanks in total number. Leave aside west or east of  Rohi Nala which was entirely a command as well as staff planning failure. The Nikasu Nala was even clearly marked as a large water obstacle even on the maps of the Punjab Boundary Commission!124 So where do we go. The common man, the tax payer has been bled white on both sides with a very large percentage being spent on armoured corps which failed to advance pathetically beyond 4 miles on the first day of the war in face of nominal opposition or eleven miles in all 17 days or got stuck between a Nala and a canal in own territory! The generals on both sides should explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them for strategic and operational incompetence despite being provided with superiority at the decisive point and why their command outfits which are too large for their intellectual/resolution  capabilities to handle in war should not be cut to one fourth their present size! But who will bell the cat!  Why not employ a good team of psychiatrists at one-fiftieth the cost spent on armour and other expensive hardware and cure the pathetic minds of the sick Indo Pak psyche! Alas! we forget what long ago Freud said, "The irrational forces in man's nature are so strong that the rational forces have little chance of success against them. A small minority might be able to live a life of reason, but most men are comfortable living with their delusions and superstitions than with truth". Freud thus sadly concluded "Society which has been fashioned by man  reflects to a great extent man's irrationality. As a consequence each new generation is corrupted by being born in an irrational society. The influence of man on society and of society on man is a vicious circle and only a few hardy souls can free themselves". That was in the interwar years with Fascism rising and hatred gripping all Europe. Europe paid its price in million of lives in WW II. The Indo-Pak subcontinent has yet to learn. We saw one holocaust in 1947 but have learnt very little from it. The 1971 holocaust did not affect many in the West Wing.Brahmaputra and the tidal rivers had the capacity to take a huge load and disposal of anything was a simple operation! Had our higher leaders both civil and military or the armoured commanders been more competent, perhaps things may have been settled  a bit less amicably albeit more swiftly  in the 1947-48, 1965 or 1971 wars! In the post-nuclear scenario both sides sure do  need psychiatric help! 




REFERENCES AND ENDNOTES
Introductory Note:— Many details may not be accurate since the author does not have access to historical records. The author welcomes any positive suggestions/corrections/pointing out of any factual errors. The author welcomes any battle account from any veteran of WW Two pertaining to combat administrative or other issues like man management relations between officers and ranks etc. Any account received by the author will be sent to the Imperial War Museum and some other universities where military historians of international repute can make use of them .This is important, author feels that in few years time all valuable records will be destroyed in case no effort is made to preserve them; since the major interest in Pakistan and India seems to be in other non military pursuits. Maps which have been conceived and drawn by the author in free hand are based either on Survey of Pakistan maps or on Map Number TPC G-7D, Scale 1:500,000 , as far as Chamb-Jaurian area is concerned, prepared under the direction of the Defence Intelligence Agency and published by the Aeronautical Chart and Information Centre.US Airforce, St Louis ,Missouri-63118. Compiled from maps and intelligence information available as of November 1967. These maps are available to public on nominal payment and are used by civilian pilots.
1 Page- 14- Pakistan Army Till 1965- Major A.H Amin-Strategicus & Tacticus- 17 Aug 1999-P.O Box 13146- Arlington- VA-22219-U.SA
2 Page-326-Ibid and Page-122- Cambridge History of India-Volume Five-British India-1497-1858 -H.H Dodwell-Reprinted by S.Chand and Company-New Delhi- 1987.
3 Page-451- A Sketch of the Services of the Bengal Army- Lieut F.G Cardew-Revised and Edited in the Military Department of the Government of India- Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing-Calcutta-1903.
4 Page-140-A Matter of Honour - Philip Mason- Jonathan Cape-London-1974.
5 Page- 141-Ibid and Pages-109 & 110 -So they Rode and Fought - Major General Syed Shahid Hamid (Retired)- Midas Books- Kent-UK-1983. Two native cavalry regiments were raised by the Nawab of Oudh on the Company's orders in 1776 (Refers-Page-451-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit)  under British officers and transferred to the English East India Company's service in 1777 and designated as  1st and 2nd Bengal Native Cavalry. (Refers-Page-110-Shahid Hamid-Op Cit ) .Similarly  16 Light Cavalry the oldest surviving Indian Cavalry unit was raised in Carnatic by the Nawab of Arcot for service with the Madras Army. It was taken over permanently by the East India Company in 1784 and became the 3rd Regiment of Madras Native Cavalry (Refers-Page-147-Ibid ).
6 Page-159 and 160- A Concise Dictionary of Military Biography - Martin Window and Francis. K . Mason-Osprey Publishing  Limited-Berkshire -GB-1975. Page-79-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit.
7 Page-76-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit and Page- 23-Maj Gen Shahid Hamid-Op Cit.
8 Page-470-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit and Page- 532 -Fidelity and Honour- Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Penguin Books -India-Delhi-1993. There were three armies but the C in C Bengal Army was also overall  C in C India although the other two C in Cs of Bombay and Madras Armies enjoyed a very large measure of autonomy bordering on virtual independence of command. Initially however the Madras military establishment was seniormost (Refers -Page-327-Chapter Eleven- Imperial Gazetteer of India-Volume Four-Administrative - Based on material supplied by Lieut Gen Sir Edward Collen-Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council at the Clarendon Press-Oxford-1907)  but by 1758 following Clive's great victory at Plassey Bengal became the seniormost and supreme military establishment. Lord Clive , then Colonel Robert Clive was the first C in C of the Bengal Army from December 1756 and 25 February 1760 while also holding the charge of the Governor of Bengal (Refers-Page- 470-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit). Bengal had been a  " Presidency " English East India Company since 1699. (Refers-Page-3 -Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit).
9 Page-23-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit. As per William Irvine in the Mughal Army  the cavalry was largely composed of  respectable  Mohameddans and  Rajputs (Refers-Page-162- The Army of the Indian Moghuls- William Irvine-London-1903 . See also A  History of  the British Cavalry-1816-1919-Volume Two -The Marquess of Anglesey-London-1975.
10 Page-167-William Irvine-Op Cit  and Pages-84 & 85- The New Cambridge History of India-Volume-II.1-Indian Society and the making of the Indian Empire-C.A Bayly-Cambridge University Press-1988.
11 Page-5-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit and Page- 328-Imperial Gazetteer -Op Cit . Many Hindustani Pathans of Shinwari Yusufzai Sherwani and Bangash ancestry from this scribes maternal grandfather Sultan Khan's family village Sikandara Rao in Aligarh District, (which has the notoriety of remaining loyal to the English East India Company  albeit for pragmatic reasons as done by the Punjabis in 1857),  served in the cavalry of the Nawabs of Oudh Farrukhabad  , the Raja Scindia of Gwalior and the East India Company's Bengal Army. The village did produce at least one general,  (who was a noted member of the Riding Club of Aligarh Muslim University ), who served with distinction in Pakistan Armoured Corps. There were countless such villages from Hissar in the West till Allahabad in the east of Hindustani Pathan Muslims who supplied recruits to the cavalry units of the Marathas , the Nawabs of  Oudh and the English East India Company's armies.
12 Page-243- Britain and Her Army- Correlli Barnett- Penguin Books-London-1974.
13 Page-141-Philip Mason-Op Cit.
14 Page-169-The Battle Book- Bryan Perrett- Arms and Armour-London-1996.
15 Pages-82 to 90-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit.
16 Page-33- The Maratha and the Pindari War" - Lieutenant Colonel R.G Burton - Compiled for the General Staff -  India -Government Monotype Press, Simla - 1910.
17 See Class Composition tables on Pages-329 & 405-Lieut F.G Cardew-Op Cit.The Muslims dominated all ten regular units of the Bengal Army which rebelled or were disbanded in 1857. (See History of British Cavalry-Op Cit).The following table taken from Page- 45-Pakistan Army Till 1965-Op Cit.Calculated by the author from details given in the appendix of the Royal Commission on the reorganisation of the Indian Army-London-1858, shows the Muslim preponderance in cavalry right till 1857:-
ARMY        TOTAL                 MUSLIM            MUSLIM          TOTAL                          MUSLIM             TOTAL                   MUSLIM
                   STRENGTH         TROOPS            % age                INFANTRY            TROOPS            CAVALRY        TROOPS
 MADRAS      45,341      17,880    39.43 %           45,725 OR 52        15,856             2,616 OR 7       2,024
 ARMY                                                                                     REGIMENTS                         REGIMENTS

 BOMBAY      26,894       2,630      5.8 %                      25,433 OR 29  2,159             1,461 OR 3         471     
 ARMY                                                                                     REGIMENTS                        REGIMENTS
18 Pages-44, 46, 47 & 48- The Indian Army and the King's Enemies-1900-1947- Charles Chenevix Trench-Thames and Hudson-London -1988.
19 Page-49-C.C Trench-Op Cit. The reader may note that the newly formed Royal Tank Corps did win four Victoria Crosses (Refers-Pages-22 & 23- Tank Commanders- George Forty-Firebird Books-Dorset-UK-1993)  in WW One from 1917 till armistice and played a decisive role in the defeat of  Germany.
20 Page-213- A Concise History of World War One- Brig Gen Vincent . J.Esposito-Pall Mall Press- London -1965.
21 Pages-91 to 99-C.C Trench-Op Cit.Pages-432 to 440-History of the First World War- B.H Liddell Hart-Pan Books-London-1972.
22 Page-941 & 942- Brassey's Encyclopaedia of Military History and Biography- Edited by Col Franklin.D.Margotta-Brasseys-Washington-1994. Page-73- A Dictionary of Battles- David Eggenberger- George Allen and Unwin-London-1967.
23 Page-38-George Forty-Op Cit.
24 Page-102-Brig Esposito-Op Cit. Liddell Hart insists in his book that there were several German batteries who did it , however Liddell Hart is a Britisher and a tank enthusiast , I have not relied on his judgement since both national feeling and personal likes may have influenced his judgement in this case. The legend went that one German artillery officer knocked out sixteen tanks although Liddell Hart insists that only five tanks were knocked out. (Refers-Page-344-Liddell Hart-Op Cit).
25 Page-18-Eggenberger-Op Cit.
26 Page-22- George Forty-Op Cit.
27 Page-55-Shahid Hamid-Op Cit.
28 Page-135-C.C Trench and Page-56-Shahid Hamid-Op Cit.
29 Report of Auchinleck Modernisation Sub Committee -Ministry of Defence-Historical Section-New Delhi-1938.
30 Page-135 - C.C Trench -Op Cit.
31 Page-135-Ibid and Pages-534 & 535-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit.
32 Page-135 & 137-C.C Trench-Op Cit.
33 Pages-187 & 188- Our Armoured Forces- Lieutenant General G.L.Q Martel-Faber and Faber-London-1949.
34 Pages-277 & 278-C.C Trench-Op Cit.
35 Page-3 & 4-Campaign of the 14th Army in Burma-Compiled by 14th Army Headquarter-1945-Printed in Government Printing Press-Calcutta.Presented by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, Chief of the Imperial General Staff for use by the Pakistani Armed Forces. General Francis Tucker a veteran of WW Two admitted that the Japanese in Burma were "weak in armour and motor transport". (Refers-Page-73-The Pattern of War- Lieutenant General Sir Francis Tucker-Cassell and Company Limited-London-1948.
36For the relative inferiority of the Japanese tanks see-Pages-240 to 251- Hand Book on Japanese Military Forces-US War Department-Technical Manual-TM-E-30-480 -1October 1944-United States Government Printing Office-Washington-1944-Reprinted by Louisiana State University Press-Baton Rouge-1995. Slim does not tell us anything about the overwhelming British tank superiority in his otherwise excellent book Defeat into Victory.Neither does General Gul Hassan who was then serving as an ADC and was to later lament about the anti armour bias in the Post 1947 Pakistan Army.
37Page-9- Article-Higher Conduct of 1965 War-Brigadier Riaz Ul Karim Khan, LOM, MC-Defence Journal-Volume Ten-Number-1-2-1984-Karachi. Riaz ul Karim was Director Armoured Corps in the General Headquarters once the 1965 broke out . Director Armoured Corps at that time or even now a post occupied by those in the run! This claim made by Riaz ul Karim may or may not be wholly accurate.The author welcomes any gentleman who is better informed and can point out any factual errors so that these can be incorporated for the sake of historical accuracy.
38 Some Indian cavalry units did have tanks at time like the Central India Horse ( Refers-Page-317-The Sidi Rezegh Battles-1941- J.A.I Agar Hamilton and  L.C.F Turner-Oxford University Press-Cape Town-1957
39 Page-483-Rajendarsinhji later the Indian C in C was a remarkable man in many ways .He was offered to be the first Indian C in C but refused voluntarily stating that the decision should be taken on the basis of seniority as a result of which Cariappa became the first Indian C in C of the Indian Army (Refers-Page-448-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit) .Rajendarsinhji was also the first Indian to command an armoured regiment, although in a peacetime location from November 1943 to May 1945 (Refers-Page-557-The Indian Armour-1941-1971- Major General Gurcharan Singh Sandhu-Vision Books -Delhi-1990).
40Page-432-J.A.I Agar Hamilton-Op Cit.
41Pages-190 to 194- The Pakistan Army-1947-1949- Major General Shaukat Riza-Wajid Alis (Private Limited) -Lahore-Printed for Services Book Club-1989.Pages-59 to 105-Sons of John Company-John Gaylor-First Published in UK by Spellmount-1992-Reprint-Lancer International-New Delhi-1993.Pages-559 to 561-The Indian Armour-1941-1971-Op Cit. This table may not be wholly accurate.The author welcomes any gentleman who is better informed and can point out any factual errors so that these can be incorporated for the sake of historical accuracy. The reader may note that the second table may also not be wholly accurate .  The author welcomes any gentleman who is better informed and can point out any factual errors so that these can be incorporated for the sake of historical accuracy.
42 Page-153-Shaukat Riza-Op Cit.
43 Pages-178 to  187-Shauakat Riza-Op Cit. This table may not be wholly accurate.The author welcomes any gentleman who is better informed and can point out any factual errors so that these can be incorporated for the sake of historical accuracy. Facts in the column "Remarks" are based on Annexure-"A"-Page -307-Ibid.
44 He lacked the qualities of slavishness or diplomacy to become a general officer in the Ayubian army ! This explains why he did not go beyond a brigadier! Tommy Masud who was a very famous figure in Lahore Gymkhana finally settled in Lahore where he died in the late 1990s. The unit conducted very aggressive actions under his able leadership , one of the proofs of which i.e two captured Indian Armoured cars of the 7th Light Cavalry still adorn the front of the unit quarter guard . Till 1983 when this scribe joined the unit Tommy Masud was remembered with great respect and admiration by many reservists and old timers both from the officers and the rank and file who were attached with or visited the unit .
45 Pages-275 to 277-The Indian Armour-Op Cit.
46 Pages-284 to 286-Ibid.
47 Page- 295-Ibid.
48 Pages-296 & 296-Shauakat Riza-Op Cit.
49 Refers-Pakistan MDA Programme- Memorandum for the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff  Admiral Arthur Radford  by the Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for MDAP Affairs Major General  Robert.M.Cannon  dated 23 November 1955. Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-Washington D.C.
50Page-134-Memoirs of General Gul Hassan Khan-Lieutenant General Gul Hassan Khan-Oxford University Press-Karachi-1993)
51Page-24-My Version-Indo Pakistan War 1965-General Musa Khan-Wajid Alis Limited-Lahore-1983.and Page-66- The Military in Pakistan-Image and Reality- Brig A.R Siddiqi-Vanguard Books-Lahore-1996.Gul Hassan cites 1961 (Page-142-Gul Hassan Khan-Op Cit) as the year but both Brig A.R Siddiqi and Musa cite 1960
52 Page-142-Gul Hassan Khan-Op Cit.
53 Page-142-Ibid and Page-66-Brig A.R Siddiqi-Op Cit.
54 Ibid.
55 Page-143-The Story of the Pakistan Army-Major General Fazal Muqeem Khan-Oxford University Press-Lahore -1963
56 Page-25-Musa-Khan-Op Cit. Brigadier Zaheer Alam Khan states that these changes in the organisation of the armoured regiment  took place after "Exercise Milestone" held in 1962 (Refers-Page-126-The Way It Was- Brigadier Z.A Khan-Dynavis Private Limited-Pathfinder Fountain-Karachi-1998) and that these were taken on the initiative of Brigadier Bashir , the then Director Armoured Corps. Gul is unfortunately no longer alive to correct us but in all probability it appears that the changes in tank regiment organisation were initiated based on Exercise Tezgam held in 1960 as per Musa and Siddiqi or in 1961 as per Gul Hassan. As per Gen Mitha "Exercise Milestone"  in 1961 in addition to the armoured division exercise (i.e Exercise Tezgam) was held to test the "New Concept of Defence" and 10 Division Plus took part in it. (Refers-Page-33-Fallacies and Realities-An Analysis of Gul Hassan's "Memoirs"-Major General Aboobakar Osman Qasim Mitha-Maktaba Fikr O Danish-Lahore-1994.
57 Page-117-Brig Z.A Khan-Op Cit.
58 Comparison of Tank Platoon and  Tank Company-FM-17-32 -Department of the Army-Field Manual-United States Government Printing Office-Washington D.C-1950 as discovered by this scribe in the store room of Tactical Wing Nowshera one very notoriously cold evening in January  1991 and  General Staff Publication Number-1622- Troop Leading in Armoured Corps -1967 and General Staff Publication Number-1851- Troop Leading in Armoured Corps-1991-GHQ Rawalpindi. One glaring example is one of the ugliest and shabbiest map of a tank counter attack taken from the 1950 US manual and reproduced  without any improvement in both the Pakistani publications of 1967 and 1991 ! Even a ten-year-old can draw a better and far neater map! There are pencil cuttings on the US manual which once incorporated by a typist typing a new draft , exactly match with the typed final proof of the Pakistani tank manual!
59 Page-243-Correlli Barnett-Op Cit.
60 Page-493-Article-Infantry Thinking-Lieutenant General Atiq Ur Rahman - Soldier Speaks-Selected Articles from "Pakistan Army Journal"-1956-1981 - Army  Education Press-GHQ-Rawalpindi-1981.
61 See Page-42-Brig A.R Siddiqi-Op Cit. Brig Siddiqi states in his excellent and thought provoking book , that General Azam "carried with him a copy of the newly published 'Rommel Papers' and was full of it".
62 Page-26-Brig Z.A Khan-Op Cit.Brig Z.A Khan states that Liddell Hart's book was given to all cadets in the military academy. I hold Liddell Hart in very high esteem and as a matter of fact started my study of military history with this book and Palit's essentials of miltary knowledge .However it is not clear what purpose Liddell Hart could serve for cadets in a military academy learning the basics of infantry tactics. I may add that I met very few officers during my entire military service who had read this particular book of Liddell Hart from first to last page.
63 Page-209-Gul Hassan Khan-Op Cit
64 Based on orders of battle of various divisions given in - The Pakistan Army-War-1965-Major General Shaukat Riza (Retired) - Army Education Press-GHQ-Rawalpindi -1984.
65 Page-126-Behind the Scene-An Analysis of India's Military Operations-1947-1971-Major General Joginder Singh (Retired) - Lancer International-New Delhi-11993.
66 Page -126-Ibid.
67 Page-343-Gurcharan Singh Sandhu -Op Cit.
68 Page-344-Ibid.
69 Ibid.
70 Page-123-Shauakat Riza-Op Cit.
71 According to the 11 Cavalry history it was 0855 hours while according to Brigadier A.A.K Chaudhry it was 0830 hours .See Page-49-September 1965-Before and After-Brig Amjad Ali Khan Chaudhry-Ferozesons Limited-Lahore-1977.Page -Page-43-Short History of 11 Cavalry (FF)-Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Khalid -Quetta Cantonment-1999.Published by the unit and distributed only to selected list of serving and retired officers. The readers may note that 11 Cavalry's history was compiled only 42 years after independence through sole voluntary efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Khalid , despite the fact that the unit produced many two three and four star generals from 1947 to date. Brigadier Amjad Ali Khan Chaudhry's book soon went out of stock after its publication in 1977-78 .Interestingly this scribe found it at a outwardly most hopeless looking bookshop at Kohat some "Aziz News Agency" on Monday 30th March 1981 on the evening of the fourth day of the ISSB at Kohat . At that time the ISSB used to last for five days.
72 Page-49-Brig Amjad Chaudhry-Op Cit.
73 Page-394-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.
74 Page-101- War Despatches- Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh-Lancer International-New Delhi-1992.
75 Page-10 and 11-Brigadier Riaz ul Karim-Op Cit. Mishandling of the 5 Armoured Brigade is a well confirmed fact and there is a consensus in Pakistani military analysts and direct participants that it was mishandled on 7th, 8th and 9th September 1965. Refers:— Page-56-Musa Khan-Op Cit. Musa thus observed  "Twice in two days,5 Armoured Brigade reached Valtoha railway station and Assal Uttar,approximately 12 and 6 miles respectively beyond Khem Karan,but for inexplicable reasons,the brigade commander issued confusing orders on it on both occasions to return to Khem Karan and leaguer there at night,instead of arranging to send up motorised infantry to hold the ground his armour had captured". Also see Page- 200-Gul Hassan Khan-Op Cit. Also pages-238 & 239-Pakistan Meets Indian Challenge-Brigadier Gulzar Ahmad-Al Mukhtar Publishers-1967 and Reprinted by-Islamic Book Foundation-Lahore-1986 The Leaguer is a formation adopted by an armoured regiment or squadron after the battle. Leaguer was a conservative British countermeasure adopted after last light to secure tanks against night raids by tank hunting parties.The Germans noted this serious British failing in North Africa (See Pages-109-The North African Campaign -Captain B.H Liddell Hart-Reprinted by Natraj Publishers-Dera Dun-1983) which led to loss of initiative as well as time and space.The Germans on the contrary did not adhere to this ridiculously cautious drill or battle procedure but occupied the same area that they had occupied in the days fight at night.But Bashir following the typical British tradition was concerned more with safety than with rapid progress of operations. After all "Mission Oriented Approach" had no chance in the "Orders Oriented " army of that time and with my thirteen years service from 1981-1994 even of this time ! In all fairness to Bashir it may be said that he was at least on papers among the best and he did what was taught or interpreted at schools of instruction as such . He was a product of that age and must be viewed with this perspective. Innovation , dynamic thinking and serious professional study had limited room in the old polo playing ceremonial British Indian Army. Even Gul who so vehemently criticised Bashir, had no tank experience in WW II having been from infantry and an aide de camp throughout the war . So no one can never know how Gul or any other armour brigade commander may have behaved in that situation. There was one man who may have behaved differently , but he was from infantry i.e the indomitable Brigadier Eftikhar Khan , a half Pakistani/Janjua who was at least technically a non Muslim ,had he lived in Mr Bhutto's time  being from the Ahmadiya community!Later around 1950s emphasis on ceremonial and polo playing was largely substituted by sycophancy once all patronage was concentrated in the hands of one man from 1958 to 1988 whether a civilian or an army man . The situation today is that the army is composed of more educated ( professionally) but more ambitious, far more calculating and careerist type men. Men who would make good bankers and excellent peace time decision makers when all is well , but certainly not men of crisis, which unfortunately occur rarely .These are the  typical hole punching men well described in "Crisis in Command by Gabriel and Savage. Of all the people above cited Brigadier Riaz ul Karim, MC ,  who never became a general is definitely the most competent in his criticism since he was the only one from armoured corps who commanded a tank squadron in Burma and also won an MC . All praise to the Ayubian selection boards that this most professional man was not promoted while men like Bashir and Nasir became Major Generals . After all Riazul Karim was neither  from those indomitable martial races north of Chenab,nor did he have that pleasing sycophantic personality that gave the south of Chenab races a waiver to enter general rank  !  I had the opportunity of meeting this very fine gentleman and officer on various evenings in Lahore's Polo Ground where he used to come to refresh himself with an evening walk in the 1990s. The jogging track of that Polo Ground on Sarwar Road apart from the other more sensually refreshing spectacles is a military historians paradise since one gets the opportunity to meet many retired officers of all ranks and types. Alas that old breed is fast vanishing and many historical records will be lost since Pakistani officers are not interested in writing.
76 Page -94-Harbaksh Singh-Op Cit.
77 Page-357-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.
78 Page-206 & 207-Shaukat Riza-1965-Op Cit and Page-180-Brigadier Z.A Khan-Op Cit
79 Interviews with a large number of participants including Major later Lieutenant Colonel Zil ur Rahman from 19 Baluch (R & S)  residing  in Lahore Cantt and one who I first met at the Lahore Cantt Polo Ground jogging track, Major Iftikhar  a dear friend and senior from 11 Cavalry who commanded a tank troop in Chamb in 1971, Lieutenant Colonel Suleman Butt from 11 Cavalry who is  a unit officer and a  relative by family inter-marriages, who was a  troop leader and  was seriously wounded in Chamb and more than 100 other ranks of 11 Cavalry, 28 Cavalry and 26 Cavalry with whom I served in 11 Cavalry, 58 Cavalry and 5 Independent Armoured Squadron.
80Page-513 & 514-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.
81Page-188-The Pakistan Army-1966-1971- Major General Shaukat Riza (Retired)-Printed for Services Book Club by Wajid Alis (Private Limited) -Lahore-1990. Shaukat Riza the official historian of Pakistan Army noted this anti-artillery bias of Headquarter 1 Corps in the following words; "When Headquarter 1 Corps was established in Gujranwala, its artillery component was driven out nine miles away to Nadipur. Even for the capture of Dharam Enclave Headquarter Artillery I Corps was kept out of picture."
82Page-194-Shaukat Riza-Pakistan Army-1966-71-Op Cit. Riza writes that "Brigadier Ahmad (armoured brigade commander) made approx 25 counter-attack plans. However, the artillery commander from 1 Corps and neighbouring divisions were neither consulted nor advised about these plans.This was to have unfortunate consequences as the battle unfolded."
83Page-514-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.
84 Pages-531 & 532-Ibid.
85 Page-28-The Western Front-Indo Pakistan War 1971- Lt Gen P. Candeth -Allied Publishers-Madras-1984. General Candeth who was C in C Western Command states in his book that "the most critical period was between 8 and 26 October when 1 Corps and 1 Armoured Division were still outside Western Command. Had Pakistan put in a pre-emptive attack during that period the consequences would have been too dreadful to contemplate and all our efforts would have been trying to correct the adverse situation forced on us "
86 Page-25-Article- The Armoured Thrust-An Operational Analysis- Major A.H Amin (Retired)- The Citadel -Issue Number - 1/98- Command and Staff College- Quetta-April 1998.
87Page-25-Article- Why I Lay down Arms-Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi (Retired) - Defence Journal-Issue Number -3-4-1979- Volume Number Five-Karachi-1979.
88 Page-8-Letter to the Editor from Major A.H Amin - Readers Forum- "The Citadel-No. 3/93"- Command and Staff College Quetta-November 1993.
89Pages-39 & 40-Article - Resolution -the Cardinal Command Virtue- Captain A.H  Amin-Pakistan Army Journal-June 1992 Issue-Inspector General Training and Evaluations Branch-Training publication and Information Directorate-General Branch -Rawalpindi.
90 Page-14- Article- The Intangible Forces Behind a Military Manoeuvre- Major A.H Amin -Pakistan Army Journal-June 1993 Issue- Inspector General Training and Evaluations Branch-Training Publication and Information Directorate-General Headquarters -Rawalpindi.
91 Ibid.
92 Pages-32 & 35-Article-Plain as well as Subtle aspects of Military Decision Making- Major A.H Amin (Retired)-The Citadel-Issue Number 1/94- Command and Staff College -Quetta-April 1994. This article was submitted for publication while the author was in service commanding an independent tank squadron in September 1993 but published after retirement in April 1994.
93 Page-32-Citadel Issue 1/98-Op Cit.
94 Page-31-Ibid.
95Page-3- Editors Note-The Citadel-Issue Number 2/98- Command and Staff College Quetta-December 1998.
96Page-50-Article-The Relationship of Organisation to Doctrine and Conduct of War- Major A.H Amin (Retired)-Citadel Issue number 2/98-Op Cit.
97 Ibid.
98 Ibid.
99 The reader may note that the Glasnost/Perestroika of the Pakistan Army as far as military writing is concerned began from 1988-89 onwards once General Baig became the COAS and Major General Riazullah became the Director General of Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR). Riazullah essentially a fighting soldier and a career officer with a fine written expression was one of the most capable and brilliant heads of the ISPR. In addition Lieutenant Colonel I.D Hassan was particularly instrumental and decisive in improving the quality of the "Pakistan Army Journal". Colonel I.D Hassan was succeeded in turn by two almost as brilliant editors i.e Lieutenant Colonel Syed Ishfaq and Lieutenant Colonel  Syed Jawaid Ahmad both of whom raised the standard of the Pakistan Army Journal to a very high level. Unfortunately after Colonel Jawaid Ahmad's departure in 1994 the magazine's standard deteriorated and by 1997 its circulation despite the massive financial resources at its backing had been reduced from quarterly to six monthly.
100 Page-28-Eight Years Overseas-Field  Marshal Henry.M. Wilson of Libya-Hutchinson Boks-London-1950.
101 Page-138-J.A.I Agar Hamilton-Op Cit and Page-40-The Mediterranean and Middle East-Volume Three-Major General I.S.O Playfair-Her Majesty's Stationery Office-London-1960
102Page-79-Panzer Battles-General Von Mellenthin-Corgi/Ballantine Books-New York-1977.
103 Page-243-The Crucible of War-Auchinleck's Command- Barrie Pitt-Macmillan-London-1986.
104 Page-156-War Despatches-Op Cit. Page-404-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit. The reader may note that Indian armour withdrew north of the railway line at Chawinda on its own,  but some units in Pakistan claim that it was they who attacked the Indians and drove them out !
105 Page-405-Gurcharan Singh-Op Cit.This incident illustrates poor staff procedures too since the headquarter of 1st Armoured Division was also responsible for this lapse.
106 Page-496 - Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit
107 Page-197-A Study of History-The One Volume Edition- Arnold Toynbee-Thames and Hudson-Published with arrangement with Oxford University Press, London-1988.
108 Page-243-Correlli Barnett-Op Cit.
109 Pages-12 & 13-Brigadier Riazul Karim Khan, MC, LOM  -Op Cit.
110 Page-13-Ibid.
111 Page-79-Von Mellenthin-Op Cit.
112 Page-243-Correlli Barnett-Op Cit.
113 Page-39-Tank Warfare-Richard Simpkin-Brasey's Publishers Limited London-1979.
114 Page-232-Shaukat Riza-1965-Op Cited.Shaukat writes that although an infantry company was to go (which means that it was ordered to go) with 6 Lancers....after some haggling  (as if 5 Armoured Brigade was a fish market!!!!) only one platoon was made available. Shaukat writes that later Sahibzada Gul (6 Lancers) asked for more infantry and an air strike on Valtoha but neither came. It appears that the gears of the 5 Armoured Brigade were completely jammed due to the friction of war and despite all this its commander was promoted after the war while Nisar the real hero of tank battles in both 1965 and 1971 did not go beyond a brigadier. The finest infantry brigade commander of the 1965 Brigadier Qayyum Sher who was praised by Shaukat Riza (Page-203-Shaukat Riza-Op Cit) was also retired as a brigadier while one who was on the sidelines in Chawinda (i.e Niazi) became a lieutenant general. The same happened in India to Harbaksh Singh since he was a Punjabi and a Sikh while Manekshaw who had played no role in 1948 and 1965 wars became a
C-in-C. The lesson is that in Indo-Pak armies as perhaps in all armies; actual on ground war performance is less important than PR! Thus a brigadier who absented himself from his headquarters in 1971 on pretext of martial law duty later became a four star general while another who was accused of many atrocities/plunder in East Pakistan became a lieutenant general ! On the other hand the brigade commander who was most openly praised by the Indians in East Pakistan i.e Tajammul Hussain Malik was superseded as a major general. The German General Staff identified talent and groomed and polished it.The Indo Pak armies identify mediocrity and take it to the highest limits !
115 Pages-89 & 90-Von Mellenthin-Op Cit.
116 Page-56- Article- Do we Lack Aggressiveness-Lieutenant Colonel Javed Alam Khan- Citadel -Issue Number 1/91-Command and Staff College-Quetta-June 1991. The worthy writer who was one of the few genuinely professional officers who I served with while he was a major and I was a lieutenant in the adjacent unit/same division  for four long years during the period 1985-89. His sense of humour at that time was  a bit unconventional (as second in command he kept a special box in his drawer, with a scandalous creature, a kind of a puppet,  that was enough to ensure that all JCOs, especially the Tabuk returned Hajis,  asking for leave bolted out of room instantaneously and it was a folly to greet him by hugging him in the traditional manner on Eid. I have not met him since 1994 and I wonder whether he has succumbed to the genetic transformation that occurs once most officers reach general rank or has managed to retain his forthright resolute and intellectually honest  approach which he possessed in abundance till at least brigadier rank in 1995.
117 Pages-236 , 237 & 238-Shaukat Riza-1965-Op Cit.
118 Page-90-The Desert Generals -Correlli Barnett-London-1984.
119 Page-496 & 497-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit recalling General Harbaksh Singh's remarks on page-161-Harbaksh Singh-Op Cit.
120 Page-318-Remarks of  Sir Mohammad Zafarullah Khan-The Partition of the Punjab-A Compilation of Official Documents-Volume Two- National Documentation Centre-Lahore -1983-Printed at Ferozsons.
121 Page-319-Ibid
122Page-496-Lieut Gen S.L Menezes-Op Cit.
123Page-160-Harbaksh Singh-Op Cit.
124 Map on page 6 Volume Four-The Partition of Punjab-Official Documents-Op Cit.



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