Former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, Lt Gen (retd) Depinder Singh on Thursday said poor planning and lack of detail in operational matters had been the bane of the Army during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
Speaking at a media seminar held on the 1965 war at the Chandigarh Press Club which was anchored by journalist Nitin Gokhale, Lt Gen Singh said the decision-making was often found wanting during the war which eventually hampered the progress. Giving a personal example, he said that he was the Brigade Major of 41 Infantry Brigade located at Palampur in Himachal Pradesh which was moved to Jammu, Tangdhar, Udhampur, Poonch, Akhnur, Samba, Amritsar sector and finally Khemkaran during the course of the war.
“When we were sent to Samba, the GOC of 1 Corps, Lt Gen Pat Dunn, did not even know that we were supposed to be in his formation. Of our four battalions, three had been taken away in the initial days and the brigade was moving around with only one battalion,” he
He also revealed that his brigade was made to launch an attack in the Khemkaran sector immediately after it arrived there and without any detailed briefing, reconnaissance of the area, knowledge of the terrain, predictably the attack failed.
Gokhale, who has authored a book on the 1965 war, said today’s generation should recall the 1975 war and know who won and who lost or whether it was a stalemate as most commentators have concluded.