The 1965 India-Pakistan War saw the Indian Armed Forces graduate from the tactical level of operations to the scale of Operational Art. Some 12 Divisions of the Indian Army and a little over half its Air Force saw live combat. The 1965 India- Pakistan War was a limited conflict, more in the tradition of what the Chinese call – local wars under high-tech conditions. Actually the limitations in this war had emerged, not so much from intent but capacity constraints. How relevant are the lessons of this war to the South Asian context today? Now we have a nuclear backdrop which imposes severe constraints on the level and extent of force usage and the time duration of the conflict. That is precisely why – the 1965 War model – with its shallow penetrations , and overall an attrition oriented design, has remarkable levels of relevance for any future war that may break out between India and Pakistan in the years ahead. In 1965, India had very deliberately sought to bring to battle and destroy/degrade the Pakistani Armoured division on Pakistani soil. That may well turn out to be the model for future India-Pakistan wars against a nuclear backdrop. It would not so much be to capture territory but to bring to battle and maul/destroy Pakistani military formations in battles of attrition that take place very close to the borders. The intent would be to specifically raise costs for the Pakistan. Hence, even though our military capacities have increased vastly since then, the nuclear backdrop imposes severe constraints on how much of our capacity we can use in the next war and how? The 1965 War offers surprisingly relevant models and lessons. Hence, the urgent need to study it in detail and trawl it for useful lessons. The strong point of this book is its attempt to provide an objective and balanced account that takes advantage of memoirs published by combatants on both sides. This war provided an excellent learning opportunity for our senior military leadership and set in train a historical process which culminated in a decisive defeat for Pakistan in the 1971 War.
Maj Gen (Dr.) G D Bakshi SM,VSM (Retd) is a very well-known TV Commentator and India’s leading Military Analyst. He is a prolific writer on matters military with over 30 books to his name.
2. Operation Gibralter: The Revolt That Never Was
3. Operation Grandslam: Grab Kashmir
4. The Air War
5. Indian Riposte: The Battle in the Lahore Sector
6. Indian Riposte: The Battle in Sialkot Sector
7. Decisive Tank Battle at Asal Uttar
8. Exhaustion and Ceasefire
9. Lessons Learnt
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