By Brig K Kuldip Singh
04 Sep , 2015
The Chhamb Offensive
With Operation Gibraltar having miscarried, Pakistan undertook the bold Chhamb Offensive on September 01, 1965, by using a division-sized force of tanks and infantry, with the objective of capturing the strategic Akhnoor, thereby hoping to cut off the vital road link between Jammu and Poonch. Soon, it became clear that Pakistan’s objective in this sector was also to envelope Jammu through a subsidiary thrust from Sialkot. Another blitz was to be launched from the direction of Pasrur for the capture of Pathankot, the then railhead to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian forces were fewer than brigade strength in the Chhamb Sector.
Pakistan’s Chhamb Offensive, across the international boundary, had added a new dimension to the Indo-Pak conflict. India now faced the dilemma whether to seek negotiations or to retaliate by a major counter-offensive at the place (s) of its choosing.
With surprise on its side, Pakistan’s Chhamb offensive did make initial gains, but the stubborn resistance put up by the Indian ground forces, supported by the air strikes, brought a temporary halt to the Pak offensive. By September 04, 1965, the assailants had crossed the shallow Munawar Tawi, and were inching towards Akhnoor, despite heavy casualties of tanks and assault troops. It was the decisive moment for India to undertake an immediate and telling counter measure.