Battle of chamb

Battle of Chamb
Part of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Chamb. Hatched Area captured by Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 in the Western Theater.
Date November – December 1971
Location Chamb about 15-20 km Eastwards of Bhimber, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Result Tactical Pakistani Victory
 Pakistan  India
Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
6 dead
80 wounded
4 tanks destroyed
72 dead
15 wounded
45 square miles (120 km2) of territory lost
Several military vehicles and tanks captured or destroyed

The Battle of Chamb of 1971 stands out as the finest display of an offensive battle in the Indo-Pak operational scenario. It was this battle which sustained the morale of the army in West Pakistan. The Pakistan Army invaded Chamb on the role model of the Battle of Chamb(1965). The Pakistan Army's primary objective was to capture the town of Chamb and surrounding areas which had strategic importance for both Pakistan and India. Previously, in 1965, the Pakistani Army was able to reach further beyond Chamb and was threatening Akhnur, a vital medium-sized town. India had made substantial progress in the Hajipir pass area in 1965, a key strategic location which the Pakistani Army had captured at the end of the 1947-48 Kashmir War. The Hajipir pass connects Uri and Poonch. Pakistan regained possession of the Hajipir pass, an area the country still controls today.

Before the capture of Chamb by Pakistan forces, this western sector was under India's control. Similar to 1965, plans were made to capture this strategic town. The reason behind this plan was to deter Indians from attacking the crucial north-south line of communications passing via Gujrat. The 23 Division of Pakistan was given the task of protecting this sector and later attacking the Chamb-Dewa sectors. On the Indian side, 10 Division was given the task of defence of Chamb; the Indian army believed that by attacking Gujrat and Tanda, they could guarantee the defence of Chamb. In comparison to 1965, the Indians were better prepared in terms of defences and now realized the importance of the town and sector.

The battle ended in a Pakistani victory, with the Pakistan Army taking control of Chamb. Pakistan gained about 45 square miles (120 km2) of Indian territory. The Indian Army put up stiff resistance at Mandiala and at several defensive features. Indian army withdrew when it realised Chamb could not be held defended. Across the Tawi, 4 Indian field guns were left unmanned after the last Indian Sikh soldier was killed by a Pakistani soldier of Bengali origin. Four Pakistani tanks were destroyed earlier in the battle, after which Pakistani Commander Major General Eftikhar Khan moved his forces from the south through Chak Pandit, all the time keeping pressure on the Indians from the north. This threatened to overrun the Indian forces, and they reluctantly fell back. Major General Eftikhar Khan was severely wounded near Chamb and evacuated to CMH Kharian where he died later. But due to his excellent military planning, the Pakistani Forces were able to capture Chamb. Several Indian military vehicles were found that had been left behind by retreating Indian army.

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