HOW BRIGADIER KHEM KARAN DESTROYED INDIAN ARMY CHANCES OF 200 PERCENT VICTORY ON 8 SEPTEMBER 1965 and WAS PROMOTED THREE STAR AFTER THE WAR Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: #Divine #design #india #pakistan #1965 #military #chawinda #leadership #tanks #armour #perception https://anchor.fm/omnibus-dubitandum/episodes/Divine-design-india-pakistan-1965-military-chawinda-leadership-tanks-armour-perception-e3cfid 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... The worst consequence of the days battle was its paralysing effect on the minds of the higher commanders. It took them another 48 hours to contemplate the next offensive move. This interval gave the Pakistanis time to move up and deploy their 6 Armoured Division with five additional armoured regiments.In fact the golden opportunity that fate had offered to the 1st Armoured division to make worthwhile gains had been irretrievably lost’.45 Harbaksh Singh also accurately summed up the Indian failure; ‘both 16 Cavalry and 17 Horse failed to determine the strength of the opposing armour and displayed little skill in outmanoeuvring it... the Brigade Commander made the unfortunate decision to withdraw 17 Horse from Tharoah for countering an alleged serious tank threat on the Left flank. This was a grave error of judgement as 4 Horse which by this time had been released to the Brigade by GOC 1 Armoured Division, could have been used to meet any flank threat posed by the enemy armour. The blunder cost us dearly.We made an advance of only four miles beyond the bridgehead when a much deeper penetration could have been achieved. The fleeting chance that could have been exploited to gain a striking success, was lost forever.... and while we were fumbling about ineffectively in a chaotic situation of our own creation, the enemy had that vital breathing space so essential for a quick rally round from the stunning impact of surprise. We courted a serious setback through faulty decision and immature handling of armour which the enemy was not slow to exploit. From now onwards,the thrust intended to keep the enemy off balance and reeling until the final blow by sheer speed of advance, turned into a slow slogging match—a series of battering-ram actions’.46 I have not come across any finer summing up of the Battle of Chawinda than the one done by Harbaksh Singh. I have specifically quoted it to show that 8th September was the most critical day of the otherwise long series of actions around Chawinda which dragged on till cease-fire on 22 September 1965. It was on 8th September or 0n 9th when the Indians could have easily outflanked the Pakistanis at Chawinda,had their higher armour commanders not been paralysed into a state of inertia indecision and inaction because of 25 Cavalry’s memorable extended line stand in Gadgor area. Major Shamshad states that ‘Instead of wasting two days in planning, If Poona Horse had advanced from Dugri to Shehzada and captured Pasroor on 9th we would have been in serious trouble.Alternatively, 2 Royal Lancers could have moved unopposed from Bhagowal to Badiana and cut Sialkot-Pasrur Road’.47 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!