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Battle of Phillora

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Battle of Phillora
Part of Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Date 7–11 September 1965
Location Phillora near Sialkot (Punjab, Pakistan)
Result Indian victory. Retreated Pakistani forces follow up Battle of Chawinda.[1][2][3][4][5]
Belligerents
Flag of India.svg
India
Flag of Pakistan.svg
Pakistan
Commanders and leaders
Ardeshir Tarapore Unknown
Strength
1st Armoured Brigade(16 cav,17 Horse, 4 Horse)62 cav,43 lorried Brigade[6] 10 Cavalry(Guides), 11 Cavalry, 33 TDU, 4 Frontier force, 14 Para Brigade[6]
Casualties and losses
6 Centurions[7][8] 66 tanks[1][2] (31 confirmed)[8]

The Battle of Phillora was one of the largest tank battles fought during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. It was the first major engagement between the two nations in the Sialkot sector and coincided with the Battle of Asal Uttar[citation needed].

Battle

The battle started on 10 September, when Indian troops launched a massive attack at the Phillora sector. Its 1st Armoured Division was on the offensive in that area. Equipped with four armoured regiments, this division faced stiff opposition from the Pakistani 6th Armoured Division. Pakistani air attacks did little damage to the tank columns and more to lorry and infantry columns. For the next two days intense fighting continued and the outnumbered Pakistani troops made a tactical retreat towards Chawinda. At this point India claimed to destroyed 67 Pakistani tanks.[9]

According to ex Pakistan Army Major(retd.)and Military historian A.H Amin summed up the failure of the Pakistani armour at the battle of Phillora "....6 Armoured Division ordered Guides(10th) Cavalry and 14 FF to mount an attack from Bhagowal-Bhureshah area against the right flank of the Indians aimed at area Libbe-Chahr at 1130 hours on 11th September. The aim of this attack was to relieve pressure on 11 Cavalry. This Guides had a severe firefight with 16 Light Cavalry losing many tanks as well as destroying some enemy tanks but was unable to make any impression and the main Indian attack against 11 Cavalry holding Phillora proceeded smoothly .Phillora was captured by the Indians on 1530 hours on 11th September. 11 Cavalry fought well and lost so many tanks that from 11th September onwards it ceased to function as a complete tank regiment". Howerver Major Amin also criticized India for its strategic miscalculation "The Indians fought well but in the overall strategic context capture of Phillora was of little consequence.Had the Indians shown similar resolution and a little more coup d oeil and modified their plans at the brigade and divisional level on 8 September, by 11 September they would have been leisurely holding the east bank of MRL."[10]

Conclusion

On 12 September 1965, the tank battle at Phillora ended in an important decisive victory for the Indian Army with the Pakistani forces retreating and regrouping to put up a last stand at Chawinda[11][9] A day before, the Indian Army had experienced another victory at Asal Uttar when they successfully thwarted Pakistani offensive in the Khem Karan sector. The continued thrust by the Indian Army into Pakistani territory finally culminated in the Battle of Chawinda, where Indian army's advance was successfully halted.[12][13][14] On 22 September with the signing of ceasefire, all the offensives were ceased on that front.[15] On 22 September the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution that called for an unconditional ceasefire from both nations.[16] The war ended the following day.India Still retained almost 200 square miles(518 square kilometres) of Pakistan territory in the Sialkot sector including the villages of Phillora,Pagowal,Maharajke, Gadgor,Bajagrahi etc. which was returned to Pakistan after the Tashket Declaration.[7][8]

References

  1. ^ a b Wilson, Peter. Wars, proxy-wars and terrorism: post independent India. Mittal Publications, 2003. ISBN 978-81-7099-890-7. 
  2. ^ a b James Rapson, Edward; Wolseley Haig; Sir Richard Burn; Henry Dodwell; Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler; Vidya Dhar Mahajan. "Political Developments Since 1919 (India and Pakistan)". The Cambridge History of India 6. S. Chand. p. 1013. 
  3. ^ Saxena, K. C. Pakistan, her relation with India 1947-1966. Vir Pub. House. ASIN B003GB2IFU. 
  4. ^ Sainik samachar: the pictorial weekly of the Armed Forces, Volume 28. Directorate of Public Relations, Ministry of Defence. ASIN B0000CRWSD. 
  5. ^ Berindranath, Dewan. The war with Pakistan: a pictorial narration of the fifty days which rocked the sub-continent. Asia Press. ASIN B0007JEFFA. 
  6. ^ a b Amin, Agha.H. "Situation Leading to and Battle of Phillora". Major. A.H Amin. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b History, Official. "Operations in Sialkot sector" (PDF). Official history. Bharat-Rakshak.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Singh, Lt.Gen Harbaksh (1991). War Despatches. 56 Gautam nagar, New Delhi: Lancer International. p. 147. ISBN 81-7062-117-8. 
  9. ^ a b Zaloga, Steve (1999) The M47 and M48 Patton tanks ISBN 1-85532-825-9 pg.34-35.
  10. ^ Amin, Major Agha H. "Situation Leading to and Battle of Phillora". Think Tank. AH Amin. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Peter. Wars, proxy-wars and terrorism: post independent India. Mittal Publications, 2003. ISBN 978-81-7099-890-7. 
  12. ^ Fricker, John (1979). Battle for Pakistan: the air war of 1965. University of Michigan: I. Allan. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-71-100929-5. 
  13. ^ Arming without Aiming: India's Military Modernization By Stephen P. Cohen, Sunil Dasgupta pg. 1971
  14. ^ The M47 and M48 Patton Tanks By Steven J. Zaloga Pg. 36
  15. ^ Barua, Pradeep (2005) The state at war in South Asia ISBN 0-8032-1344-1 pg.192.
  16. ^ Pradhan, R.D. 1965 war, the inside story. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 2007. ISBN 978-81-269-0762-5.