The Battle of Asal Uttar – fought between 8 and 10 September, during the 1965 Indo-Pak war – is the world’s biggest tank-battle since World War II.
When the Pakistan Army captured the Indian town of Khem Karan, in Punjab, Indian forces retaliated. At one point, India was even in danger of losing Amritsar to Pakistan! But after three days of fierce fighting, the Pakistani forces were pushed back. With the destruction of at least 165 Pakistani tanks, this battle remains one of India's greatest victories.
The small village of Asal Uttar, in Punjab – literally meaning 'a befitting reply' – saw an unparalleled display of valour by the Indian troops. With vintage tanks – heavily outnumbered – our forces crushed the enemy. Here's how an 'unequal' battle changed the course of the 1965 war in India's favour:
The Lahore Front
On 6 September Indian troops, under the command of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri made the bold move of invading West Pakistan.
Indian forces had reportedly crossed into West Pakistan, "crossing the border at three points in an attack which appears to be aimed mainly at the city of Lahore".
Indian Air Force was reportedly in action too, striking against military targets, including an oil tanker train, a group of military vehicles, a goods train carrying supplies, an army camp and some gun positions.
The Aftermath of the War
On 20 September 1965, United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution, and demanded unconditional ceasefire from India and Pakistan. The ceasefire was in effect until the start of 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.