1965 WAR

Battle At Lahore Front

After retreating from Rann of Kutch and on seeing Pak Army's successive gains in Chhamb and Jaurian while Pakistani forces advanced towards Akhnoor which was of logistical and tactical importance for Indian Army, India felt threatened and saw Kashmir slipping out of its hands. India tried to hide its failure and planned to cross Pakistan's international border while the Indian Prime Minister had earlier said that he would open a battle of his own choice. The Indian generals were confident that their superior size army would easily overrun the Pakistani defences. Thus on the early dawn of 6 September 1965, Indian Army crossed Pakistan's international border without a formal declaration of war and advanced towards Lahore.

The attack launched in the night was so intense that the Indian officers were sure that Pakistani soldiers less in number would not be able to face the attack and they would reach Lahore city in a few hours and celebrate their victory of capture at Lahore Gymkhana. Opposite to their expectations and plans, Indian Army faced stiff resistance from Pakistani defenders. Delta Company of 17 Punjab Regiment commanded by Maj Shafqat Baloch halted the initial Indian attack of brigade strength with his finite 100-150 soldiers for nine hours on the early morning of 6th Sept at Hudiara drain on the outskirts of Lahore. On the first day of attack on Lahore, 800 Indian soldiers were killed and a large number of trucks, tanks and ammunition were destroyed.

In the ensuing days, Pakistan Army retaliated to the Indian aggression. This retaliation was so fierce that the Indian Army had to retreat from Bedian, Wagah and Jasar and they had to suffer a heavy loss of lives. Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad who commanded the Indian 15 Division which attacked Lahore abandoned his jeep after battling a massive Pakistani counterattack near BRB canal on the outskirts of Lahore.

On this same front at Barki area, Maj Raja Aziz Bhatti of 17 Punjab Regiment resisted with his company and continuously stopped the Indians from crossing the strategic BRB canal till he embraced martyrdom after getting hit in the chest by an Indian tank shell on 12 September. Pakistan Army spoiled the dreams of Indian generals to conquer Lahore and Indian Army was on the retreat.

Indians have so far failed to make any impact on Pakistani positions in their attempt to push forward. Pakistan's smaller army but well armored and in high state of readiness is now fighting on Indian soil in two sectors of the 50 mile Lahore front. Reuters and BBC, September 12, 1965.

Outnumbered three-to-one, they beat the Indians to a standstill, and were about to mount a counter-attack in the last six hours before the cease-fire when they were stopped on political grounds. Donald Seaman, 'Daily Express', London, September 24, 1965.

Infantry along with Armour at the front line defending Lahore.

Defence along the BRB canal - Indian Army could not cross the canal and its plan to capture Lahore was foiled.

Troops of 23 Cavalry with two Indian POWs (in US pattern helmets) after counterattack of 8/9 September across BRB canal.

In counterattack of Pakistani warriors, Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad's jeep with flag, his diary and briefcase was captured on the outskirts of Lahore.

International newspaper headline summing it all up in few words.

1965 WAR