Indo-Pakistani War 1965 – Battle of Asal Uttar

Last updated on February 17th, 2019 at 09:42 pm

The Battle of Asal Uttar, between India and Pakistan, was one of the largest tank battles since World War II.

It took place near the city of Asal Uttar in the state of Punjab, India from September 8 to September 10, 1965.

The Battle of Asal Uttar demonstrated the importance of strategy and crew competence in tank combat.  The Pakistanis had more tanks than the Indians had; the Pakistani tanks were newer models and had heavier armament than the Indian tanks.  Nevertheless, the Pakistanis were defeated soundly by the Indians, who had better-trained tank crews and used superior tactics.

Indian forces had, in total, about 140 M4 Sherman, A41 Centurions and AMX-13 tanks.

Pakistani tanks knocked out at the Battle of Asal UttarThe Pakistanis has about 300 M47 Pattons and M24 Chaffees.

On September 10, after days of intense fighting, Pakistani tanks of the 1st Armored Division advanced toward an Indian artillery barrage. The Pakistanis had not performed any reconnaissance beforehand. During the advance, there was no infantry support.

Meanwhile, three armored Indian regiments lay hidden in fields of tall sugarcane. The Indian tanks were arranged in a U-shape and were spaced about 550 yards (500 meters) apart.

They did not fire until the Pakistanis were at point blank range.

Although the Pakistani Patton tanks would have been able to defeat the Indian Shermans if the tanks had been further apart, the Pattons did not have an advantage at such close range.

The Indians were able to destroy almost 100 Pakistani tanks.  Many Patton tanks caught fire after they were hit and were abandoned by their crews.

Other Pakistani tanks were abandoned after they were lured into mud and became stuck.  Because they had not performed reconnaissance, the Pakistanis were not familiar with the terrain.

Only 32 Indian tanks were lost.