Friday, October 23, 2009

Battle of Longewala: Indo Pak War 1971

Dear General Kadyan,
I read with interest your mention of Battle of Longewala in your last e-mail. I agree with the similarity of the situation and the lessons we learned from this battle.

I appreciate the tremendous effort being made by you, Brig Kamboj and your Team of Veterans to get justice to the Indian Armed Forces. It is a gigantic task and as you rightly said, it is not easy to move the Bureaucracy.

Just to add a few facts about the historic battle of Longewala as being talked about in various discussion groups. I watched the movie “Border” with great interest and must say that it was one of the best war movies ever produced in Bollywood. However, there appeared to be a major gap in the story. Perhaps it was done intentionally to show the superiority of the Indian Soldier.

At no time this Company of 23 Punjab was without any Artillery support (as being depicted everywhere). A Battery of 168 Field Regiment was in its direct support right from the time this Company occupied defences at Longewala. Further, when forward patrols reported the movement of the enemy tanks, a Battery of Heavy Mortars commanded by me was ordered to be deployed directly behind this Longewala Company.

Since we were ready to march towards Kishangarh (in the opposite direction) we had no maps of Longewala Sector. Regardless of this shortcoming I led my Battery personally and advanced towards Longewala. On reaching Longewala, we were given the maps of the area and ably guided for deployment by guides from the rear elements of 23 Punjab.

My OP officers then Capt Santosh Datta and Yogiraj Kapoor reached the Longewala post around midnight and the Heavy Mortars of 185 Light Regiment were firing continuously on the enemy tanks throughout the night and the next two days (Sarvatra Izzato Iqbal).

It was a combination of some exemplary courage of our Infantrymen, the massive fire power of the Indian Artillery and its brave Gunners, the supporting Arms and the IAF working together as a well knit team which compelled the enemy to withdraw after suffering very heavy losses.

A few rare pictures of the place after the battle are attached.
Col Kulvinder Singh, psc (NRI)
Armed Forces Veteran
Earlier Blog Posts on Longewala Battle
A Real Life Hero Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri
Battle of Longewala 1971 Honouring Heros
Brig KS Chandpuri shares battle experience: Indo Pak War 1971

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