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India - Pakistan conflict analysis - aims, tactics, strategy, results

Nilgiri

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A look into the history of conflicts between India and Pakistan to better understand the context of the current prevailing situation and the possibilities and probabilities of various hypothetical engagements to come.

The previous thread chains for reference (where ORBAT and analysis among some members commenced):

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/retaking-kashmir-after-70-years.603628/page-6#post-11197800

More recently (highlight of a newer thread of similar vein):

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/behind-the-ceasefireline-cfl.632242/page-11#post-12334338

@Joe Shearer @PanzerKiel @jbgt90 @Signalian @Gryphon @Cuirassier
 
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Joe Shearer

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A detailed look into the history of conflicts between India and Pakistan to better understand the context of the current prevailing situation and the possibilities and probabilities of various hypothetical engagements to come.

The previous thread chains for reference (where ORBAT and analysis among some members commenced):

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/retaking-kashmir-after-70-years.603628/page-6#post-11197800

More recently:

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/behind-the-ceasefireline-cfl.632242/page-14#post-12341126

@Joe Shearer @PanzerKiel @jbgt90 @Signalian @Gryphon @Cuirassier
At last! Where have you been?

How do we proceed? Kindly define the rules of engagement. Does someone do a brief note on the Indian view of the subject, the subject being 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and 1999?
 

Nilgiri

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We will tag more as they appear in previous tagging.

I suggest prelude should be chronological as possible. Starting with first Kashmir war of 47/48.. Then moving on to other wars.

i.e sequentially I hope for this thread (as time progresses):

A) Chronological Prelude+context (48, 65, 71, 99 and any other engagements of note in between). I say we let panzerkiel and joe lead here (with relevant input here as people can contribute). I believe Panzerkiel has already commenced on this.

B) Further (esp current) analysis based on A.

C) Conclusions

D) I (or another) might write a final product, using all discussed here for the PDM magazine or similar. So there is something for easier reference for the general reader.
 

Joe Shearer

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@PanzerKiel you have infused a new life into this forum, keep up with your good work, you have also brought the Old @Joe Shearer back to life.
He is inspiring, as are @Cuirassier, @Psychic and our own Castor and Pollux, @Gryphon and @Signalian. One who is beyond all praise or censure is a dean of this forum, and that is @fatman17. I can only hope that he looks in from time to time, and encourages us all.

Hope to catch up tomorrow. Time for my beauty sleep.
 

PDF

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...
Can't help but chuckle when seeing a Pakistani volunteering to to put Indian Point of view on the table (Although I have no doubt a gentleman like you will be sincere in presenting their pov). I must confess that the intellect rich participants as Joe above mentioned them discussing the subject in a tranquil atmosphere makes students like me excited.
 

Nilgiri

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Can't help but chuckle when seeing a Pakistani volunteering to to put Indian Point of view on the table (Although I have no doubt a gentleman like you will be sincere in presenting their pov). I must confess that the intellect rich participants as Joe above mentioned them discussing the subject in a tranquil atmosphere makes students like me excited.
Don't get too excited....yet :D

FWIW, panzerkiel knows so much and has surprised me an immense amount already...and I'm just referring to the "Indian point of view" stuff he has brought to table so far.
 

PanzerKiel

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Can't help but chuckle when seeing a Pakistani volunteering to to put Indian Point of view on the table (Although I have no doubt a gentleman like you will be sincere in presenting their pov). I must confess that the intellect rich participants as Joe above mentioned them discussing the subject in a tranquil atmosphere makes students like me excited.
Putting the Indian point of view has some reasons....

It will give Indians some food for thought what they have been doing wrong in the conventional wars...

Conversely, it will give Pakistani readers some food for thought as well, that what sort of superior thought processes our predecessors in the Armed Forces had which enabled us to evade, prosper and ultimately become an atomic power as well, while living next to a hostile neighbor who fought all these conventional wars to eliminate us as a strategic threat.....despite being several times bigger, but could not do so.

Gentlemen, my whole argument would be revolving around a single point, that despite India having superiority of almost types since inception, why it has not been able to prevail over Pakistan in 48, 65 and 71...


This way, we’ll come to know some real, and of course hidden capabilities and limitations of both the sides, which will help us in drawing relevant conclusions for our present and future discussions.


We should start by defining “victory”?


Is it by the number of enemy killed? Then the Americans won in Vietnam, because they killed ten times as many Vietnamese as the Vietnamese killed Americans.


Is it by the amount of equipment destroyed? Then the Germans must have won World War 2, because they destroyed more tanks, ships, and aircraft of the allies than the reverse.


Is it by amount of territory captured? Then the Arabs lost the 1973 war because Egypt’ s gains across the canal were more than offset by Israel’s gains against Syria and in its counterattack across the canal.


Now clearly none of these propositions is correct. The Americans lost in Vietnam, the Germans lost World War 2, and the Israelis were defeated 1973.


Victory has to be defined not in terms of casualties or territory but in terms of a favorable strategic outcome- Where there is no such outcome even an ostensible stalemate can actually imply a defeat.



Take 1947-48 first.

What was India’s strategic aim? There seems to have been none, though a reasonable strategic aim would have been the recovery of Jammu and Kashmir and the elimination of Pakistan as a strategic threat.

Before the war started, India had all of Jammu and Kashmir. India started with all of Kashmir as legally acceded to India, but when the war ended in 1948, somehow India found itself with just all of Jammu, two-thirds of Srinagar, and one-third of the northern districts.

In 1949, India planned to recover its losses in Kashmir. India had over 400,000 men under arms at this time, three times more than Pakistan, as well as clear superiority in the air. It had taken Indian generals 16 long months to get the hang of things. But nonetheless not an unreasonable period considering the experience of other armies and hardly surprising seeing as the Indian Army at independence had only three brigadier rank officers with command experience.

Indian critics can say that Pakistan was even in worse shape, so how did it manage to hang on to meat i t had seized at the start? India, at least, got more or less 3-4 divisions complete and most of the logistics and training bases of the joint Indian Army. If India had three experienced brigadiers, Pakistan had none, and not even a division with any semblance of completeness.

The Indian army’s performance, or lack of performance, is irrelevant to this analysis. Point is, simply, that given its numerical superiority and the advantage of a long war, the Indian Army would eventually have prevailed and won back all of Kashmir. The spring offensive would have been launched in April 1949 and probably by September or October of that year the issue would have clinched irrevocably in India’s favour.

However, it was not to be, and a cease-fire-was rung down. Why?

Because Pandit Nehru that great and lovable leader India, gave in to his need to maintain his internationalist image as a man of reason, a man of peace, a man open to negotiate any issue….

Nowhere did he think that the division of Kashmir would cripple India in the years to come, physically and emotionally.



Coming to 1965

The United States had embargoed military supplies to both countries on the outbreak of war. As Pakistan was at least 70% equipped with American arms, this was a very severe blow. As India had perhaps 5% American arms, this was of absolutely no consequence. So no fresh supplies were reaching Pakistan with the possible exception of some minor, clandestine shipments from Iran.

It was the Americans’ practice to give its ally the capability of resisting an enemy attack for about two weeks. After that, should it be deemed necessary the US would arrive with its own forces. It’s allies were, in effect, to maintain just trip- wire forces.

With the Pakistanis running out of ammunition, but with India just getting into its stride, this was the time to press the attack and go for broke. The first of the mountain divisions from the northeast had come up. 23 Mountain Division and its lead brigade had just entered action on the outskirts of Lahore. Whereas Pakistan’s strength was declining, Indian strength was increasing.

Instead of stepping up the offensive, India again accepted a cease- fire, this time pressurized by the Soviets. And brave little Shastri, the man who surprised the Pakistanis by crossing the international frontier in retaliation for attack of Pakistan 12/7 Infantry Divisions at Chhamb- Akhnur, went to negotiate with Ayub Khan at Tashkent.

At that time, Pakistan had its 12 Division in Kashmir, 7 Division in Chhamb, hastily raised 6 Armored Division and 9 Division as reserves located in the Sialkot sector, 15 Division at Sialkot, 10 Division at Lahore, 11 Division at Kasur along with crack 1 Armored Division nearby, 8 Division in Sind, and 14 Division in East Pakistan. The 11 Division, like the 6 Armored, had been hastily raised. The two armored divisions on strength belied the reality that Pakistan had actually converted its 106 Independent Armored Brigade into a division by breaking out reserve tanks without US permission, by diluting tank crews in other regiments and by incorporating its self-propelled tank destroyers into new armored regiments. This hodge podge arrangement meant that Pakistan’s armor was much less effective than a seasoned armored division and an independent armored brigade.

Pakistan’s 7 Division had to be pulled back to the Sialkot-Lahore sector when Indian Xl corps crossed the international border. Its 6 Armored Division and 15 Infantry Division were opposing the advance of Indian 1 Corps from Kathua- Samba. Its 10 Division was opposing the advance of Indian 15 Division out of Amritsar. Its 8 Division was opposing Indian 11 Division in the desert, plus an independent brigade. That left its reconstituted 7 and previously uncommitted 9 Divisions as reserves, and the 1 Armored and an Infantry Division opposed by Indian 4 Division and 2 Independent Armored Brigade.

Because Pakistan had almost reached Akhnur and because it had made a shallow penetration at Khem -Karan, it could declare itself it was winning. Particularly since its Navy had just smacked the nose of the much more powerful Indian Navy by shelling Dwarka, and its compact, efficient air force had inflicted disproportionate casualties on the larger, more diffuse, and still under raising Indian Air Force.

But now lets look at the line-up from the Indian side.

In the north India had 3 Infantry Division out of Leh, which could spare two brigade to attack the Pakistan northern areas. In Kashmir India had bigger 19 and 25 Divisions compared to just one large 12 division for Pakistan.

In the stretch between Akhnur and Pathankot India had no less than five divisions, equal to half of Pakistan’ s entire army. These divisions were 10 Division (Akhnur), 26 Division (Jammu) and I Corps with 1 Armored, 6 Mountain and 14 Divisions. Plus Jammu held the 3 Independent Armored Brigade. In the Punjab India had three divisions and an independent armored brigade under Xl Corps. But another division, 23 Mountain, had moved up and was entering action. And Pakistan’s 1 Armored Division had been rendered almost ineffective at Khem Karan. India had nine divisions including one armored and two independent armored brigades between Akhnur and Ferozepur while Pakistan was left with almost six divisions including one armored.

India also had the equivalent of another division in loose brigades, one under formation, and seven mountain divisions in the east. Of these seven, at least one could have been spared without weakening the Northeast defenses.

This would have given India an effective one armored and ten infantry divisions, plus one armored brigade (leaving aside 2 (I) Armored Brigade which we deduct on account of casualties, as we have deducted Pakistan 1 Armored Division). On Pakistan’s side there were 1 armored and 5 infantry divisions.

If we assign an infantry division a value of 1, an armored division a value of 3, and the independent armored brigade a value of 2 (as being more than half as strong as an armored division) we get a total of 15 for India and 8 for Pakistan. Using Lanchester’s equation, we square each side’s combat power and get 225 for India and 64 for Pakistan, or a 3. 5 to 1 superiority.

Assume further that after another two weeks of fighting India loses the equivalent of three infantry divisions and an independent armored brigade, whereas Pakistan loses two infantry divisions and half its remaining armored division. (India’s losses would be greater because it was attacking.) Then India’s combat power reduces to 100 and Pakistan’s to 20; or a 5:1 superiority. In the next two weeks this could have meant defeat for Pakistan.

Yes, none of this was going to happen overnight. The two countries had been at war for a little over two weeks, and probably another two weeks would have been required for the state of attrition described above to come about on land and in the air. So give another two weeks after that, say six weeks in all, Lahore and Sialkot would surely have fallen.

But of course, when India barely managed to psychologically hold out in a two-week war, with an extra few days added for the initial defence of Chhamb-Akhnur, then there was no question of a six-week war.

Coming to 1971 War

It is believed that in the 1971 War, India had three vital objectives, of which only one was the capture of East Pakistan, ‘the other two’ were liberation of Azad Kashmir and the destruction of Pakistan’s war potential for 20 years, thus establishing India’s supremacy once and for all.

It is also believed that with the East Pakistan captured, the Indian Government abandoned the other two objectives because of American pressure, and that the pressure itself was a bluff.


Consider some of the exhibits.

The IA had budgeted for 40,000 casualties, easily three times those incurred in two weeks of fighting. Obviously a longer war was expected.

Lt.-Gen. K.P. Candeth’s entire plan for the Sialkot sector, where India deployed five infantry divisions and three independent armored brigades, makes sense only if we assume that he intended XI and XV Corps to eliminate the entire Sialkot salient, prior to turning north to outflank Azad Kashmir. In conjunction with frontal attacks by 19 and 25 Divisions in Kashmir, this would have cracked the front and AK would have fallen.

The IA Kashmir divisions more or less stood by defensively, letting the Pakistanis do the attacking. This makes no sense unless the idea was to let the Pakistanis expend their strength before India launched a counteroffensive.

Indian Southern Command launched a large, corps-sized force into Sind. Its objectives were exceptionally clear to cut the line of communication between Karachi and Lahore at two points, Hyderabad City and Rahim Yar Khan. The secondary objectives which we must not mistake for the primary ones, were to draw down Pakistani reserves from all over Pakistan, thus easing the task of Indian troops advancing in other sectors, and to occupy as much of Sind as possible, to exchange for possible losses elsewhere.

Indian XI Corps defending Punjab, with greater strength than the opposing Pakistan IV Corps, contented itself with a defensive role, making no move to attack Pakistan. This makes no sense unless we again say that the objective was to conserve IA strength before attacking the enormously strong Lahore defenses, allowing breakthroughs to made at other points, namely in the north by I and XV Corps and in the south by Southern Command.

Negotiations to end the fighting in the east were being mooted by Farman Ali, East Pakistan’ s governor, as early as December 10, after the fall of Jessore. By December 12 the process was in fall swing because it was clear that Pakistan could not hold out. The cease-fire was signed on December 16. Yet every single major Indian formation from Ferojpur to Uri and its counterpart on Pakistan’s side was getting ready for major offensives on December 17 and 19. As the war in the east wound down, both sides planned to step up the war in the west.

Pakistan had reduced its air sorties to the minimum required to defend its air bases. It had, from the start of the war, kept four squadrons in reserve. Concurrently, it avoided committing, it’s two armored divisions. Clearly, it was conserving forces for an anticipated long war.

Indian critics may say that Indian armed forces had no objectives in the West Pakistan.

If India lacked objectives in the west, why did India acted in a manner calculated to make the Pakistanis believe that India was about to attack there? India had crossed the international frontier in the east on November 21, 1971, without provoking a Pakistani attack in the west. Pakistan had, after all, realized right from 1947 that it could not defend its eastern wing without a counteroffensive in the west. So why did this counteroffensive not come on the 21st November? Clearly, that the Pakistanis, at least, were willing to separate the issue of war in the east and a possible response in the west.

Thus war in the west was avoidable. Clearly Pakistan hoped to avoid war, remaining quiet for 13 days while several Indian brigades established strong positions inside East Pakistan.

The notion of a sectorial war is rather siliy, unless you are the weaker power hoping to limit the scale of hostilities. A stronger power has no incentive for the sectorial approach. By fighting across the board, it prevents the adversary from lightly defending low threat sectors and concentrating in high threat ones.

Pakistan’s hope of limiting the war were certainly belied. Point is that Pakistan, after having sat quietly for a crucial 13 days, had had no interest in attacking first in the west, that too in such impulsive and ineffectual fashion, unless it aimed to preempt an Indian attack in the west.

There was no need for India to attack in the west just to prevent reinforcement of the east. Pakistan GHQ had already refused General Niazi’s requests for two more divisions when the magnitude of India’s build- up became clear. With only 12 divisions left in the west, including two (17 and 33 Divisions) raised in extremely hurried fashion, for Pakistan to further weaken the west by reinforcing the east was to tempt India into attacking. Further, the naval blockade of East Pakistan was already in place in November. Reinforcement from the air could have provided only troops with their individual weapons. And, had India found it necessary, it would have mounted an air blockade of the east after the war began on November 21. Remember, Pakistan was outnumbered about ten to one in the air in the east, which contributed significantly to the rapidity of Indian victory.

If Indian strategy was offensive-defensive, then why did they not also attack in Kashmir and Punjab, instead of limiting their offensive to the Pathankot sector ? This requires further amplification.

It may be easily accepted that India has to preempt Pakistan by attacking from Pathankot. The 50- kilometer deep corridor is too shallow to absorb a Pakistani first strike. Equally acceptable is the proposition that India must attack in the desert to obtain territory for further negotiation and to force dispersal of Pakistani reserves.

But then why did India not attack from Chhamb as well? Chhamb is so hard to hold that only an immediate, swift attack towards Marala can protect it. Just as India cannot prevent Pakistan from gaining some ground wherever it attacks, Pakistan must lose ground wherever India attacks. An offensive-defensive strategy requires for attacks all across the front.

Similarly, why did India not attack in the Punjab, particularly from Fazilka, and thus pre-empt the considerable Pakistani gains made by Pakistan’s 105 (1) Brigade? Even though India’s Foxtrot Sector held the equivalent of a reinforced division. In any case, Pakistan, with fewer troops, saw no reason to hold its hand and attacked immediately.

If Indian intention was offensive- defensive, when India had attacked the Sialkot sector in massive force, why they continued attacking? After having advanced 10-kilometers India could have simply dug in and let the Pakistanis bash their heads against Indians, as happened to Pakistan in Lahore in 1965, and to India in Khem Karan and Fazilka in 1965 and 1971 respectively.

Why did India not launch the armored division into Pakistan instead of waiting for Pakistan to launch its I Armored Division, thus conceding the initiative? The argument that using India’s strategic reserve would have left nothing to counter Pakistan’s Southern Strike Force is incorrect. If India was worried about this strike force, better to attack first, forcing its dissipation in defending his territory, then to wait for Pakistan to do the same to us. Besides, India had an armored brigade available to defend against Pakistan’s 1 armored division had India attack by I Armored Division gone seriously wrong.

It is senseless to say India must keep their strike force idle because they have to wait for Pakistan to strike, otherwise India won’t be able to hold off his strike force, and then assume Pakistan is not similarly constrained.

In short, it is clear that India was not following an offensive- defensive strategy

In Sind India followed an offensive-defensive strategy.

In Multan/Punjab India waited for Pakistan, to attack and bog itself down before moving. This was defensive-offensive.

In Sialkot, India had to attack no matter what strategy was involved, but India continued attacking even after ensuring the security of the Pathankot Corridor. This was offensive-offensive.

In Kashmir, India allowed letting Pakistan show its hand before striking. This was defensive-offensive.

There was, thus, no question of an offensive-defensive strategy.

To reiterate, had India not intended offensive objectives, India could merely have played along with the Pakistanis and continued lying passive in the west, something that also suited them.

Possibly this is insufficient to convince the skeptical reader who will demand a higher standard of proof. This reader will insist that as India had no intention to make strategic gains in the west, their failure to achieve these gains is no evidence of a defeat for India.

To meet these objections lets switch our argument.

A failure of Indian nerve can be said as the explanation for Indian failure to push the 1971 war to a logical conclusion. Those who disagree say since India had limited objectives which they achieved, the war did reach a logical conclusion.

If this is correct, then Indian strategic objectives were clearly faulty and that in retrospect, even their success ended up as a failure.

How does it make sense to fight the same opponent for the third time in 25 years, especially when he is inferior to you, and leave him with his war potential intact so that he can hope for another war?

The failure to include the recovery of Azad Kashmir in Indian strategic objectives is itself a confession of weakness.

And in as much as Bangladesh is today hostile, and Pakistan stronger than in 1971, even Indian limited objectives failed. It is instructive to remember that Pakistan had one division with four brigades against Eastern India. Bangladesh feels it necessary to have a 1,50,000 army now. There was one PAF fighter squadron in the east, and an insubstantial and transient naval presence. Bangladesh has atleast three times as many fighter planes and a permanent naval presence.

Which takes us back to our first point….how to define victory….??

Putting the Indian point of view has some reasons....

It will give Indians some food for thought what they have been doing wrong in the conventional wars...

Conversely, it will give Pakistani readers some food for thought as well, that what sort of superior thought processes our predecessors in the Armed Forces had which enabled us to evade, prosper and ultimately become an atomic power as well, while living next to a hostile neighbor who fought all these conventional wars to eliminate us as a strategic threat.....despite being several times bigger, but could not do so.

Gentlemen, my whole argument would be revolving around a single point, that despite India having superiority of almost types since inception, why it has not been able to prevail over Pakistan in 48, 65 and 71...


This way, we’ll come to know some real, and of course hidden capabilities and limitations of both the sides, which will help us in drawing relevant conclusions for our present and future discussions.


We should start by defining “victory”?


Is it by the number of enemy killed? Then the Americans won in Vietnam, because they killed ten times as many Vietnamese as the Vietnamese killed Americans.


Is it by the amount of equipment destroyed? Then the Germans must have won World War 2, because they destroyed more tanks, ships, and aircraft of the allies than the reverse.


Is it by amount of territory captured? Then the Arabs lost the 1973 war because Egypt’ s gains across the canal were more than offset by Israel’s gains against Syria and in its counterattack across the canal.


Now clearly none of these propositions is correct. The Americans lost in Vietnam, the Germans lost World War 2, and the Israelis were defeated 1973.


Victory has to be defined not in terms of casualties or territory but in terms of a favorable strategic outcome- Where there is no such outcome even an ostensible stalemate can actually imply a defeat.



Take 1947-48 first.

What was India’s strategic aim? There seems to have been none, though a reasonable strategic aim would have been the recovery of Jammu and Kashmir and the elimination of Pakistan as a strategic threat.

Before the war started, India had all of Jammu and Kashmir. India started with all of Kashmir as legally acceded to India, but when the war ended in 1948, somehow India found itself with just all of Jammu, two-thirds of Srinagar, and one-third of the northern districts.

In 1949, India planned to recover its losses in Kashmir. India had over 400,000 men under arms at this time, three times more than Pakistan, as well as clear superiority in the air. It had taken Indian generals 16 long months to get the hang of things. But nonetheless not an unreasonable period considering the experience of other armies and hardly surprising seeing as the Indian Army at independence had only three brigadier rank officers with command experience.

Indian critics can say that Pakistan was even in worse shape, so how did it manage to hang on to meat i t had seized at the start? India, at least, got more or less 3-4 divisions complete and most of the logistics and training bases of the joint Indian Army. If India had three experienced brigadiers, Pakistan had none, and not even a division with any semblance of completeness.

The Indian army’s performance, or lack of performance, is irrelevant to this analysis. Point is, simply, that given its numerical superiority and the advantage of a long war, the Indian Army would eventually have prevailed and won back all of Kashmir. The spring offensive would have been launched in April 1949 and probably by September or October of that year the issue would have clinched irrevocably in India’s favour.

However, it was not to be, and a cease-fire-was rung down. Why?

Because Pandit Nehru that great and lovable leader India, gave in to his need to maintain his internationalist image as a man of reason, a man of peace, a man open to negotiate any issue….

Nowhere did he think that the division of Kashmir would cripple India in the years to come, physically and emotionally.



Coming to 1965

The United States had embargoed military supplies to both countries on the outbreak of war. As Pakistan was at least 70% equipped with American arms, this was a very severe blow. As India had perhaps 5% American arms, this was of absolutely no consequence. So no fresh supplies were reaching Pakistan with the possible exception of some minor, clandestine shipments from Iran.

It was the Americans’ practice to give its ally the capability of resisting an enemy attack for about two weeks. After that, should it be deemed necessary the US would arrive with its own forces. It’s allies were, in effect, to maintain just trip- wire forces.

With the Pakistanis running out of ammunition, but with India just getting into its stride, this was the time to press the attack and go for broke. The first of the mountain divisions from the northeast had come up. 23 Mountain Division and its lead brigade had just entered action on the outskirts of Lahore. Whereas Pakistan’s strength was declining, Indian strength was increasing.

Instead of stepping up the offensive, India again accepted a cease- fire, this time pressurized by the Soviets. And brave little Shastri, the man who surprised the Pakistanis by crossing the international frontier in retaliation for attack of Pakistan 12/7 Infantry Divisions at Chhamb- Akhnur, went to negotiate with Ayub Khan at Tashkent.

At that time, Pakistan had its 12 Division in Kashmir, 7 Division in Chhamb, hastily raised 6 Armored Division and 9 Division as reserves located in the Sialkot sector, 15 Division at Sialkot, 10 Division at Lahore, 11 Division at Kasur along with crack 1 Armored Division nearby, 8 Division in Sind, and 14 Division in East Pakistan. The 11 Division, like the 6 Armored, had been hastily raised. The two armored divisions on strength belied the reality that Pakistan had actually converted its 106 Independent Armored Brigade into a division by breaking out reserve tanks without US permission, by diluting tank crews in other regiments and by incorporating its self-propelled tank destroyers into new armored regiments. This hodge podge arrangement meant that Pakistan’s armor was much less effective than a seasoned armored division and an independent armored brigade.

Pakistan’s 7 Division had to be pulled back to the Sialkot-Lahore sector when Indian Xl corps crossed the international border. Its 6 Armored Division and 15 Infantry Division were opposing the advance of Indian 1 Corps from Kathua- Samba. Its 10 Division was opposing the advance of Indian 15 Division out of Amritsar. Its 8 Division was opposing Indian 11 Division in the desert, plus an independent brigade. That left its reconstituted 7 and previously uncommitted 9 Divisions as reserves, and the 1 Armored and an Infantry Division opposed by Indian 4 Division and 2 Independent Armored Brigade.

Because Pakistan had almost reached Akhnur and because it had made a shallow penetration at Khem -Karan, it could declare itself it was winning. Particularly since its Navy had just smacked the nose of the much more powerful Indian Navy by shelling Dwarka, and its compact, efficient air force had inflicted disproportionate casualties on the larger, more diffuse, and still under raising Indian Air Force.

But now lets look at the line-up from the Indian side.

In the north India had 3 Infantry Division out of Leh, which could spare two brigade to attack the Pakistan northern areas. In Kashmir India had bigger 19 and 25 Divisions compared to just one large 12 division for Pakistan.

In the stretch between Akhnur and Pathankot India had no less than five divisions, equal to half of Pakistan’ s entire army. These divisions were 10 Division (Akhnur), 26 Division (Jammu) and I Corps with 1 Armored, 6 Mountain and 14 Divisions. Plus Jammu held the 3 Independent Armored Brigade. In the Punjab India had three divisions and an independent armored brigade under Xl Corps. But another division, 23 Mountain, had moved up and was entering action. And Pakistan’s 1 Armored Division had been rendered almost ineffective at Khem Karan. India had nine divisions including one armored and two independent armored brigades between Akhnur and Ferozepur while Pakistan was left with almost six divisions including one armored.

India also had the equivalent of another division in loose brigades, one under formation, and seven mountain divisions in the east. Of these seven, at least one could have been spared without weakening the Northeast defenses.

This would have given India an effective one armored and ten infantry divisions, plus one armored brigade (leaving aside 2 (I) Armored Brigade which we deduct on account of casualties, as we have deducted Pakistan 1 Armored Division). On Pakistan’s side there were 1 armored and 5 infantry divisions.

If we assign an infantry division a value of 1, an armored division a value of 3, and the independent armored brigade a value of 2 (as being more than half as strong as an armored division) we get a total of 15 for India and 8 for Pakistan. Using Lanchester’s equation, we square each side’s combat power and get 225 for India and 64 for Pakistan, or a 3. 5 to 1 superiority.

Assume further that after another two weeks of fighting India loses the equivalent of three infantry divisions and an independent armored brigade, whereas Pakistan loses two infantry divisions and half its remaining armored division. (India’s losses would be greater because it was attacking.) Then India’s combat power reduces to 100 and Pakistan’s to 20; or a 5:1 superiority. In the next two weeks this could have meant defeat for Pakistan.

Yes, none of this was going to happen overnight. The two countries had been at war for a little over two weeks, and probably another two weeks would have been required for the state of attrition described above to come about on land and in the air. So give another two weeks after that, say six weeks in all, Lahore and Sialkot would surely have fallen.

But of course, when India barely managed to psychologically hold out in a two-week war, with an extra few days added for the initial defence of Chhamb-Akhnur, then there was no question of a six-week war.

Coming to 1971 War

It is believed that in the 1971 War, India had three vital objectives, of which only one was the capture of East Pakistan, ‘the other two’ were liberation of Azad Kashmir and the destruction of Pakistan’s war potential for 20 years, thus establishing India’s supremacy once and for all.

It is also believed that with the East Pakistan captured, the Indian Government abandoned the other two objectives because of American pressure, and that the pressure itself was a bluff.


Consider some of the exhibits.

The IA had budgeted for 40,000 casualties, easily three times those incurred in two weeks of fighting. Obviously a longer war was expected.

Lt.-Gen. K.P. Candeth’s entire plan for the Sialkot sector, where India deployed five infantry divisions and three independent armored brigades, makes sense only if we assume that he intended XI and XV Corps to eliminate the entire Sialkot salient, prior to turning north to outflank Azad Kashmir. In conjunction with frontal attacks by 19 and 25 Divisions in Kashmir, this would have cracked the front and AK would have fallen.

The IA Kashmir divisions more or less stood by defensively, letting the Pakistanis do the attacking. This makes no sense unless the idea was to let the Pakistanis expend their strength before India launched a counteroffensive.

Indian Southern Command launched a large, corps-sized force into Sind. Its objectives were exceptionally clear to cut the line of communication between Karachi and Lahore at two points, Hyderabad City and Rahim Yar Khan. The secondary objectives which we must not mistake for the primary ones, were to draw down Pakistani reserves from all over Pakistan, thus easing the task of Indian troops advancing in other sectors, and to occupy as much of Sind as possible, to exchange for possible losses elsewhere.

Indian XI Corps defending Punjab, with greater strength than the opposing Pakistan IV Corps, contented itself with a defensive role, making no move to attack Pakistan. This makes no sense unless we again say that the objective was to conserve IA strength before attacking the enormously strong Lahore defenses, allowing breakthroughs to made at other points, namely in the north by I and XV Corps and in the south by Southern Command.

Negotiations to end the fighting in the east were being mooted by Farman Ali, East Pakistan’ s governor, as early as December 10, after the fall of Jessore. By December 12 the process was in fall swing because it was clear that Pakistan could not hold out. The cease-fire was signed on December 16. Yet every single major Indian formation from Ferojpur to Uri and its counterpart on Pakistan’s side was getting ready for major offensives on December 17 and 19. As the war in the east wound down, both sides planned to step up the war in the west.

Pakistan had reduced its air sorties to the minimum required to defend its air bases. It had, from the start of the war, kept four squadrons in reserve. Concurrently, it avoided committing, it’s two armored divisions. Clearly, it was conserving forces for an anticipated long war.

Indian critics may say that Indian armed forces had no objectives in the West Pakistan.

If India lacked objectives in the west, why did India acted in a manner calculated to make the Pakistanis believe that India was about to attack there? India had crossed the international frontier in the east on November 21, 1971, without provoking a Pakistani attack in the west. Pakistan had, after all, realized right from 1947 that it could not defend its eastern wing without a counteroffensive in the west. So why did this counteroffensive not come on the 21st November? Clearly, that the Pakistanis, at least, were willing to separate the issue of war in the east and a possible response in the west.

Thus war in the west was avoidable. Clearly Pakistan hoped to avoid war, remaining quiet for 13 days while several Indian brigades established strong positions inside East Pakistan.

The notion of a sectorial war is rather siliy, unless you are the weaker power hoping to limit the scale of hostilities. A stronger power has no incentive for the sectorial approach. By fighting across the board, it prevents the adversary from lightly defending low threat sectors and concentrating in high threat ones.

Pakistan’s hope of limiting the war were certainly belied. Point is that Pakistan, after having sat quietly for a crucial 13 days, had had no interest in attacking first in the west, that too in such impulsive and ineffectual fashion, unless it aimed to preempt an Indian attack in the west.

There was no need for India to attack in the west just to prevent reinforcement of the east. Pakistan GHQ had already refused General Niazi’s requests for two more divisions when the magnitude of India’s build- up became clear. With only 12 divisions left in the west, including two (17 and 33 Divisions) raised in extremely hurried fashion, for Pakistan to further weaken the west by reinforcing the east was to tempt India into attacking. Further, the naval blockade of East Pakistan was already in place in November. Reinforcement from the air could have provided only troops with their individual weapons. And, had India found it necessary, it would have mounted an air blockade of the east after the war began on November 21. Remember, Pakistan was outnumbered about ten to one in the air in the east, which contributed significantly to the rapidity of Indian victory.

If Indian strategy was offensive-defensive, then why did they not also attack in Kashmir and Punjab, instead of limiting their offensive to the Pathankot sector ? This requires further amplification.

It may be easily accepted that India has to preempt Pakistan by attacking from Pathankot. The 50- kilometer deep corridor is too shallow to absorb a Pakistani first strike. Equally acceptable is the proposition that India must attack in the desert to obtain territory for further negotiation and to force dispersal of Pakistani reserves.

But then why did India not attack from Chhamb as well? Chhamb is so hard to hold that only an immediate, swift attack towards Marala can protect it. Just as India cannot prevent Pakistan from gaining some ground wherever it attacks, Pakistan must lose ground wherever India attacks. An offensive-defensive strategy requires for attacks all across the front.

Similarly, why did India not attack in the Punjab, particularly from Fazilka, and thus pre-empt the considerable Pakistani gains made by Pakistan’s 105 (1) Brigade? Even though India’s Foxtrot Sector held the equivalent of a reinforced division. In any case, Pakistan, with fewer troops, saw no reason to hold its hand and attacked immediately.

If Indian intention was offensive- defensive, when India had attacked the Sialkot sector in massive force, why they continued attacking? After having advanced 10-kilometers India could have simply dug in and let the Pakistanis bash their heads against Indians, as happened to Pakistan in Lahore in 1965, and to India in Khem Karan and Fazilka in 1965 and 1971 respectively.

Why did India not launch the armored division into Pakistan instead of waiting for Pakistan to launch its I Armored Division, thus conceding the initiative? The argument that using India’s strategic reserve would have left nothing to counter Pakistan’s Southern Strike Force is incorrect. If India was worried about this strike force, better to attack first, forcing its dissipation in defending his territory, then to wait for Pakistan to do the same to us. Besides, India had an armored brigade available to defend against Pakistan’s 1 armored division had India attack by I Armored Division gone seriously wrong.

It is senseless to say India must keep their strike force idle because they have to wait for Pakistan to strike, otherwise India won’t be able to hold off his strike force, and then assume Pakistan is not similarly constrained.

In short, it is clear that India was not following an offensive- defensive strategy

In Sind India followed an offensive-defensive strategy.

In Multan/Punjab India waited for Pakistan, to attack and bog itself down before moving. This was defensive-offensive.

In Sialkot, India had to attack no matter what strategy was involved, but India continued attacking even after ensuring the security of the Pathankot Corridor. This was offensive-offensive.

In Kashmir, India allowed letting Pakistan show its hand before striking. This was defensive-offensive.

There was, thus, no question of an offensive-defensive strategy.

To reiterate, had India not intended offensive objectives, India could merely have played along with the Pakistanis and continued lying passive in the west, something that also suited them.

Possibly this is insufficient to convince the skeptical reader who will demand a higher standard of proof. This reader will insist that as India had no intention to make strategic gains in the west, their failure to achieve these gains is no evidence of a defeat for India.

To meet these objections lets switch our argument.

A failure of Indian nerve can be said as the explanation for Indian failure to push the 1971 war to a logical conclusion. Those who disagree say since India had limited objectives which they achieved, the war did reach a logical conclusion.

If this is correct, then Indian strategic objectives were clearly faulty and that in retrospect, even their success ended up as a failure.

How does it make sense to fight the same opponent for the third time in 25 years, especially when he is inferior to you, and leave him with his war potential intact so that he can hope for another war?

The failure to include the recovery of Azad Kashmir in Indian strategic objectives is itself a confession of weakness.

And in as much as Bangladesh is today hostile, and Pakistan stronger than in 1971, even Indian limited objectives failed. It is instructive to remember that Pakistan had one division with four brigades against Eastern India. Bangladesh feels it necessary to have a 1,50,000 army now. There was one PAF fighter squadron in the east, and an insubstantial and transient naval presence. Bangladesh has atleast three times as many fighter planes and a permanent naval presence.

Which takes us back to our first point….how to define victory….??

I will discuss some choosen sectors, from both the wars, so as to give the readers as how both sides fought the wars in these specific sectors, of varied terrain

.....by today's evening....
 

Joe Shearer

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Can't help but chuckle when seeing a Pakistani volunteering to to put Indian Point of view on the table (Although I have no doubt a gentleman like you will be sincere in presenting their pov). I must confess that the intellect rich participants as Joe above mentioned them discussing the subject in a tranquil atmosphere makes students like me excited.
@PanzerKiel inspires trust.

Only one of the doyens such as @fatman17, and members of genuine goodwill and deep knowledge such as @jbgt90 could have equalled his acceptability to all sides.
 

Joe Shearer

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It is obviously preferable to deal with the accounts narrated by @PanzerKiel one by one; that is, 1947-48 first. That is regarding my own contribution to the excellent, insight-rich narrative provided; of course, others will want to say their say, and of course, they must.

I may need a few minutes. My tonsorial situation resembles that of a great empire entered into its years of decline. While the centre is barren and merely a recipient of disproportionate attention, the outlying areas are in wild disarray; if I were to turn up at the door of @PanzerKiel's staff quarters in this state, it would probably lead to a few coins being flung my way, along with a quiet but forceful invitation to step across and continue my solicitation in the next street.

Another hour perhaps.
 

Joe Shearer

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Take 1947-48 first.

What was India’s strategic aim? There seems to have been none, though a reasonable strategic aim would have been the recovery of Jammu and Kashmir and the elimination of Pakistan as a strategic threat.

Before the war started, India had all of Jammu and Kashmir. India started with all of Kashmir as legally acceded to India, but when the war ended in 1948, somehow India found itself with just all of Jammu, two-thirds of Srinagar, and one-third of the northern districts.

In 1949, India planned to recover its losses in Kashmir. India had over 400,000 men under arms at this time, three times more than Pakistan, as well as clear superiority in the air. It had taken Indian generals 16 long months to get the hang of things. But nonetheless not an unreasonable period considering the experience of other armies and hardly surprising seeing as the Indian Army at independence had only three brigadier rank officers with command experience.

Indian critics can say that Pakistan was even in worse shape, so how did it manage to hang on to meat i t had seized at the start? India, at least, got more or less 3-4 divisions complete and most of the logistics and training bases of the joint Indian Army. If India had three experienced brigadiers, Pakistan had none, and not even a division with any semblance of completeness.

The Indian army’s performance, or lack of performance, is irrelevant to this analysis. Point is, simply, that given its numerical superiority and the advantage of a long war, the Indian Army would eventually have prevailed and won back all of Kashmir. The spring offensive would have been launched in April 1949 and probably by September or October of that year the issue would have clinched irrevocably in India’s favour.

However, it was not to be, and a cease-fire-was rung down. Why?

Because Pandit Nehru that great and lovable leader India, gave in to his need to maintain his internationalist image as a man of reason, a man of peace, a man open to negotiate any issue….

Nowhere did he think that the division of Kashmir would cripple India in the years to come, physically and emotionally.
@jbgt90 @Nilgiri

A quick aside: I have never once in all these years come across such an insight into Nehru's probable reasons for going to the UN. Quite clearly, he gave in to his Bloomsbury instincts,and thought of the internationalist aspects of the situation, and, egged on by Dickie Mountbatten, that son of the United Nations (had he not just finished a stint as Supreme Allied Commander South-east Asia?), went to the UN. His initial feelings of righteous indignation were transformed into cold horror when, led by the most unexpected Argentina, a lobby against the Indian position formed.

For enthusiasts of conspiracy theories, this was not due to Pakistani diplomacy, for Zaffrullah Khan was at that point of time still arguing unsuccessfully for equal treatment of the two new Dominions. The reasons for this development are unknown, and I can only think darkly about a Peronist country intent on snubbing the victorious allies by this act of contrariness.

I have myself never put forward this argument, because the context never permitted it. It was either a defence of a dead man and his reputation against khaki chaddis who insisted that the Two Nation Theory was indeed the keystone to South Asian politics and policies, or against green chaddis who careened into action full-tilt, insisting that Nehru was another sly bania (he was neither) who planned the UN intervention to distract attention, and thereafter stalled any discussion leave alone implementation for decades.

But that has nothing to do with the military situation.

Take 1947-48 first.

What was India’s strategic aim? There seems to have been none, though a reasonable strategic aim would have been the recovery of Jammu and Kashmir and the elimination of Pakistan as a strategic threat.
It seems reasonable to assume that the Indian strategic aim was to contain the fighting and to take out one problem at a time; at that time, the Indian leadership was as busy as the Pakistani leadership with the problems of the refugees, whose bitter wounds had to be assuaged first, busy also with the disposal of the case against the assassins of the Mahatma, and the establishment of proper relations between the central government and the provincial governments.

Instead of an overall strategic objective, there were several minor sub-objectives, each of which came up for attention in serial mode, rather than in parallel.

So the first objective was obviously to save Srinagar, and preserve the Vale intact; the second objective was to clear the strip of territory north and south of Muzaffarabad, and incidentally, to recover Poonch and Rajauri and Naushera, that were under siege or had been captured outright; the third objective was to relieve Leh; the fourth, an afterthought, was to take back whatever could be retrieved of Baltistan, where Skardu fell after a one-year siege, Kargil had been captured, and Zoji La was under Pakistani (to be precise, States Forces) occupation.

Before the war started, India had all of Jammu and Kashmir. India started with all of Kashmir as legally acceded to India, but when the war ended in 1948, somehow India found itself with just all of Jammu, two-thirds of Srinagar, and one-third of the northern districts.

This, then, occupied the attention of Brigadier Atal, and Thimayya, and Brigadier Usman dealing with the Jammu territory; nobody in particular was looking at Skardu, and the recapture of Kargil and the forcing of Zoji La were considered good enough to stay content with. Big mistakes but made by people struggling to find their feet and take decisions where earlier they had carried out orders.

In 1949, India planned to recover its losses in Kashmir. India had over 400,000 men under arms at this time, three times more than Pakistan, as well as clear superiority in the air. It had taken Indian generals 16 long months to get the hang of things. But nonetheless not an unreasonable period considering the experience of other armies and hardly surprising seeing as the Indian Army at independence had only three brigadier rank officers with command experience.
Cariappa, Thimayya and who else? Atal was a brigadier, and so was Usman.

Indian critics can say that Pakistan was even in worse shape, so how did it manage to hang on to meat i t had seized at the start? India, at least, got more or less 3-4 divisions complete and most of the logistics and training bases of the joint Indian Army. If India had three experienced brigadiers, Pakistan had none, and not even a division with any semblance of completeness.
Here it is necessary to point out what happened in the confused and blurred fighting before and during the induction of the Indian Army. This will follow in the next post.

(cont.)

The intention of this thread is to identify reasons why the Indian Army (and, in later conflicts, the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy) did not do as well as its numbers and organisation should have led it to do. To get there, the major time-lines need identification.

This view assumes that three different 'pulses' animated the Pakistani congeries (no disrespect intended):

  1. The revolt of the jagir of Poonch starting from June 1947, initiated by the Sudans, and supported later by tribal lashkars, and even later by regular Pakistan Army troops; this was opposed by State Forces first, that lost Muzaffarabad, then were besieged in Poonch, and lost Rajauri and Naoshera.
  2. The influx of tribal lashkars, who joined up with the newly formed Azad Kashmir forces, and attacked Srinagar through Baramula; this was from October 22, 1947 onwards; they were opposed first by National Conference volunteers, then by State Forces, then by the regular Indian Army;
  3. The mutiny of the Gilgit Scouts, led by the British citizen, Major Alexander Brown, in August 1947 (?), and their seizing control of Gilgit, ambushing and neutralising State Forces, and attacking down the roadways into Baltistan and onwards into Ladakh (Leh); they were supported by lashkars deputed to their support, but quickly dispensed with; they were opposed by the State Forces that held out in Skardu for a year without relief and reinforcement, and by the regular Indian Army, that opened up Zoji La, relieved Leh and re-captured Kargil.
So what were the lessons to be learnt from these events? (to be cont.)

The Indian army’s performance, or lack of performance, is irrelevant to this analysis. Point is, simply, that given its numerical superiority and the advantage of a long war, the Indian Army would eventually have prevailed and won back all of Kashmir. The spring offensive would have been launched in April 1949 and probably by September or October of that year the issue would have clinched irrevocably in India’s favour.
 
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Joe Shearer

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This view assumes that three different 'pulses' animated the Pakistani congeries (no disrespect intended):
  1. The revolt of the jagir of Poonch starting from June 1947, initiated by the Sudans, and supported later by tribal lashkars, and even later by regular Pakistan Army troops; this was opposed by State Forces first, that lost Muzaffarabad, then were besieged in Poonch, and lost Rajauri and Naoshera.
Here the Indian Army found itself fighting an irregular army composed of military veterans who were fighting for their homes. It was small-unit fighting, on the whole; platoon against platoon, companies as higher units of command, small arms and machine guns being the main firepower, with the sharper commanders using mortars, and the occasional use of artillery, typically light artillery, mountain artillery. The decentralised control of the Azad Kashmir forces was a distinct advantage. They did not fight in a vacuum, however; the Pakistan Army provided wireless links (the Indian Navy picked up these messages but did not know where they originated, and did not know whom to inform in the Indian Army). So there was a central command and control framework, but highly decentralised battle management. Against this, the Indian Army fought on highly centralised patterns, where decisions were taken at higher than battalion level, typically at brigade level, and executed down the line; it was nowhere near as flexible as the opposing pattern of operations.

The terrain influenced these fierce, small-scale engagements. The battle was for gaining control of towns in valleys, or in the lower reaches of a hill-side; while one side occupied it, the other side fired upon it from the hills and the mountain tops. So Poonch was besieged, and in spite of several spirited efforts, the siege could not be lifted before strenuous efforts had been made. Siege-relieving parties struggled through the hills, and gained access; the transit was through narrow valleys studded with spots ideal for ambushes, and not hospitable to large bodies of men.

The siege-relieving parties that got through thereby were unable to clear the surrounding hills of the besieging forces. It required, in the light of hindsight, much larger forces to lift these sieges. Thus also Rajauri cost a lot of time to be recaptured; in that time, it was treated worse by the captors than had been the fate of Baramula. The surrounding and nearby Indian Army forces were helpless to intervene.

These were actions on the southern front in Western Jammu; the same thing was happening further north, where Gurez, Tithwal and Uri were cleared of opposing forces in fairly quick order.

Why was there a difference between the southern sector of Western Jammu and the northern sector?

One answer might lie in the fact that the bulk of the resistance to the Indian Army was from the Sudans, and they were strong in the Sudanuti area, south of Muzaffarabad. There was no concentration of home-based soldiers in the north.

That brings us to the question: is the Indian Army today able to fight these small-unit engagements? has it learnt its lessons? Is there any scope for improvement? Any scope for a fresh look at our doctrine for these operations? Are there commonalties with our situation in the east? (to be cont.)

PS: The present-day use of artillery has not been mentioned here, not due to oversight, but to compare the situation then with a fragment of the situation now.
 
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Psychic

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Starting with the First Kashmir War. A few thoughts which I would like to share about the beginning of 47-48 Kashmir war prior to tribal invasion....
Capture.PNG


Military Assets

At the time of partition, Pakistan, in the words of Jinnah was "moth eaten". It also inherited a "moth-eaten" military.

The distribution of military assets was as follows:
  • Pakistan got 7 out of 46 training establishments.
  • All three command workshops for service of armour vehicles, radars repair and crystal cutting fell in India(Agra,Kirkee,Secundrabad).
  • Out of 40 ordinance depots only 5 small retail depots fell in Pakistan. Main depots were to support military effort in South East Asia during WW2 with major depots in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
  • 3 out of 12 engineer store depots came in Pakistan.
  • 3 out of 17 ordinance factories came in Pakistan.
In addition, Pakistan depended upon goodwill of the Indian side for transparent transfer of assets. Although Gen Bucher had given strict orders for fair transfer of assets, his subordinates decreased transfer of arms and ammunition and increased innocuous items to make up the tonnage (as per their own admittance).

Military Disparity
  • Armor Regiments: Pakistan(6), India(8)
  • Infantry Regiments: Pakistan(8), India(9)
    • Battalions: Pakistan(33)[mainly of reduced strength], India(88)
  • Artillery Regiments : Pakistan(8), India(40)
  • India also had Gorkha regiments(not subject to division)
  • Total: Pakistan(150,000), India(400,000)
Apart from British officers, senior level Pakistani officers with field rank were very few. Result was that some had to be promoted without them posessing the required capacity.

Disposition of Pakistan Army
  • GHQ at Rawalpindi.
  • 7th Division at Rawalpindi
  • 8th Division at Karachi/Quetta
  • 9th Division at NWFP
  • 10th Division at Lahore
  • 14th Division at East-Pakistan
  • 3rd Armoured at Brigade at Risalpur

Poonch uprising

When Poonchis revolted against Maharaja's despotic rule, Sardar Ibrahim Khan met colonel Akbar Khan and requested 500 rifiles. Akbar, who was at the Weapons and Equipment Directorate GHQ diverted some 4000 rifles sanctioned for Punjab Police to Kashmiris. It was decided to support the uprising without involvment of Pakistani regulars as the apprehension of Maharaja opting for India grew. Kashmir in Indian hands meant leaving the sovereignty and existence of Pakistan at the mercy of India.
It was assumed that out of the nine infantry battalions of the Kashmir State Forces, Muslim soldiers (22%) would not oppose their Muslim brothers leaving roughly 7000 Maharaja's forces to contend with. Akbar Khan's plan titled "Armed Revolt in Kashmir" envisaged strengthening the Kashmiris internally and at the same time taking steps to prevent arrival of armed assistance(military or otherwise) from India.

Initial Pakistani Plan

Following were the major land routes from Pakistan and India to Kashmir:
1- Rawalpindi - Muree - Kohala - Muzaffarabad - Baramulla - Srinagar
2- Abottabad - Garhi Habibullah - Muzaffarabad - Baramulla - Srinagar
2- Sialkot - Jammu - Banihal pass - Srinagar
3- Kathua - Jammu - Akhnoor - Beri Pattan - Noashera - Mendhar - Poonch - Bagh

There were only two main routes that linked India to Jammu and Kashmir:
1- Kathua - Jammu road
* Kathua Jammu road was unmetalled road which could be intredicted by guerilla action all along the present LOC.​
2- Srinagar Airport.
* The airport had to be rendered unuseable.​

Akbar Khan assigned Col Sher Khan from MI to assess the situation in Kashmir. As per Col Sher Khan's assessment, the maharaja’s decision to accede to India depended on Indian assurances of effective military support. This support, including equipment, ammunition, weapons, rations and supplies, could not be effectively given until the Pathankot-Kathua road became fit for Motorized Transport (MT). The earliest it was expected was towards the end of October, therefore, the declaration to opt for India was expected then.
The stories of killings in East Punjab and Kashmir were spreading among the Pashtun tribes and it was expected that they will likely be involved.
It was assessed that in the winter season, with large parts of Kashmir under snow and the locals with their limited food stock and severe weather will not be in a position to stage any serious trouble. It will also be very difficult for the tribesmen to go to their assistance in large numbers. Sher Khan's assesment was that Maharaja was well aware of this situation and thus might delay his announcement until the weather started changing.

His assesment was accurate.

Keeping the British officers out of planning, the Pakistani Prime Minister approved a plan for liberation of Kashmir. Akbar Khan assumed overall charge of operations under the alias General Tariq.
The Indian army’s performance, or lack of performance, is irrelevant to this analysis. Point is, simply, that given its numerical superiority and the advantage of a long war, the Indian Army would eventually have prevailed and won back all of Kashmir. The spring offensive would have been launched in April 1949 and probably by September or October of that year the issue would have clinched irrevocably in India’s favour.

However, it was not to be, and a cease-fire-was rung down. Why?
Pakistani leadership also showed a lack of performance by not allowing PA to intervene till it was too late. All the main routes to Kashmir were within striking range of PA. Sure, the political complication of sending regulars without securing accession was already there but was it worth it to lose large chunks of land in Kashmir instead? It was only when the survival of Pakistan itself was threatened did the Pakistan Army half-heartedly intervene, but it did intervene nevertheless, and without invitation of Maharaja. The lack of boldness displayed by PM Liaqat and his associates by limiting the role of regular army and allowing the enemy to consolidate proved to be too expensive for Pakistan.

Prior to the consolidation of Indians in Kashmir, Pakistan could've delivered a knockout blow by taking advantage of the geography of the region and doing the following: Infiltrating trained regulars to render Srinagar airfield useless coupled with a concentrated attack with ample artillery and air support to cut Jammu road. The geography favored us. However, due to timidity of our leadership, that military simple solution to the problem could not be applied and instead we had to rely solely on Azad forces.

Then, once the Indian forces were engaged inside Kashmir, the opportunity to secure advantage before ceasefire was squandered; when PM called off Operation Venus and forbade 7th division from attacking Beri Pattan despite the enthusiasm of Iskender Mirza, Gen Tottenham and Habibullah. Further maneuvers around Jammu and Pathankot had the potential to threaten flanks of any force that might've attacked Lahore.
The plan to take Beri Pattan road with 7th division and sever Indian LC. As per Iskender Mirza, that would have allowed us to destroy or incapacitate at least five Indian Divisions.
Here is an interesting account from Habibullah Khan who was the GSO of commander 7th division:
"Having served as liaison officer to the prime minister, Habibullah knew him and so took the call. ‘I distinctly remember the prime minister telling me: “Habibullah, we are getting Kashmir on a plate and if one Pakistani soldier is killed I would call it murder by you.’” Habibullah retorted with: ‘Sir, in human history how many territories have been given on a plate?’ Nevertheless, Habibullah was asked to call off the attack. Habibullah recalls calling 10 Brigade and 14 Para Brigade (under Sher Ali) to stand down. But ‘some gunner officer told me that the guns were charged and could not be unloaded without firing. I telephoned the GOC and he said, ‘Let the bastard have it!’ Each gun fired the round in its breach and some medium guns fired extra rounds also.’ The result was the blowing up of the Indian dump near the Beri Pattan bridge and damage to the bridge itself. The expected infantry attack that would have followed the artillery attack never materialized because of the government of Pakistan’s instructions. Interestingly, Sinha, who as then a junior officer on the Indian side, notes in his later book on the Kashmir operation that this was a typical Pakistan Army action: artillery fire without infantry attacks!"
 
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PanzerKiel

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All are requested to please keep sharing your thoughts and analysis on 48, 65 and 71 wars.

Do please keep the desired result in mind.... Deriving relevant conclusions.

With this info in the backdrop, and of course readily available for reference in this thread, we'll be somewhat better equipped to take on as to what will happen in future.
 

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