Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeAsiaBy default air superiority was handed over to the PAF in the...

By default air superiority was handed over to the PAF in the combat zone

Gen Jogindar Singh, the Chief of Staff of Gen Harbaksh Singh, pays tribute to the role of PAF and highlights the lack of air support by IAF in 1965 war in his book “Behind the Scenes”

“There is no excuse whatsoever for the lack of air support on 6 Sept on the Lahore and Khem Karan sectors. HQ XI Corps could have duplicated its communication system with telephone and the staff at HQ XI Corps and the air component there should have checked and rechecked the air effort earmarked for the 6th morning.
The F echelon of 54 Infantry Brigade was bombed out of existence by PAF (thanks to Sajjad Haider and his men) and enemy guns between Ichogil Canal and Lahore were playing havoc. Similarly enemy tanks and guns in the Kasur area could have been the easiest of targets for IAF to strike and thus blunt the attack of Pak 1 Armored Div before it got into its stride.PAF in the combat zone
There was no close air support for three days on GT Road and Burki Axis, but a few sorties did go to the aid of troops on the Khem Karan sector. They inflicted no damage on enemy tanks but managed to bomb some railway stations and railway wagons carrying ammunition and fuel.
Two sorties flew over GT axis on the 9th sept morning, and the first aircraft attacked our troops about 6 kms short of the bomb line which was the Ichogil canal (BRB canal). Our ground troops thinking they were PAF aircraft shot down this aircraft from which the pilot baled out. As he declared his identity, he was put in a jeep for evacuation to Military Hospital in Amritsar. The second aircraft attacked this Jeep and that was the end of the pilot, jeep and the driver.
After this episode, the Divisional Commander Major General Mohinder Singh did not ask for Close Air Support for many days and passed a message to the effect that the IAF should keep their aircraft on the Lahore side of the BRB canal otherwise they will be fired at by own troops.
1 Corps needed continuous air support on 8 sept when our own Armored Div started its advance. Similarly reinforcement of Phillora and Chawinda by the enemy from Chamb was neither detected nor attacked by IAF. GOC in C Western Command and GOC 1 Corps were eagerly waiting for the results of the progress made by the formations, but when the formations were crying for air-support, there was no redressal.
In the meantime our aircrafts started pulling out of forward bases of Pathankot, Halwara and Adampur to Ambala, Hindon and other airfields deeper within country. This resulted in a great wastage of time, fuel and the number of sorties decreased considerably. I got in touch with senior pilots who had withdrawn to the safety of Ambala. I used to give them 2 missions on each corps. In due course the number of air support sorties decreased even more drastically, since enemy aircraft followed our aircrafts as they were landing at Pathankot and inflicted heavy casualties.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Most Popular