Indian 10th Division in the Battle for Chaamb, 1971
v. 2.0 March 15, 2006

Ravi Rikhye

o       With thanks to Mr. Jagan Pillarsetti for a copy of the Official History of the 1971 War. This has not been published to date.  The Times of India put a leaked copy on its website for some time in 2000.

o       Additional data from “An Atlas of the 1971 India-Pakistan War: The Creation of Bangladesh” by COL John H. Gill, published by the US National Defense University, 1999. This is an excellent resource and the homemade maps are a good effort. The author, however, probably did not have access to a military symbols software package. Consequently, his symbols and eccentric conventions hamper the understanding and appreciation his maps deserve.

51st and 58th Battalions BSF were in the 10th Division sector. We do not know their positions.

Concerning the artillery, 30th and 216th Medium regiments were located well forward of Akhnur, behind 191st Brigade, because the division was supposed to begin an offensive on the night of 3/4th December. The cancellation of the offensive created a big problem because the guns were so far forward they were overrun by Pakistan, and the 191st Brigade sector was not mined – the brigade was to lead the division offensive. This allowed Pakistan to overrun the brigade, particularly because it defensive sector was open on three sides and of excessive length for 4 battalions.

We have no information, however, where 10th Artillery Brigade’s other regiments were positioned.

Battalions highlighted in yellow are given in Gill’s history but not in the official history. The former at many points is more detailed than the latter. Gill makes no mention of the artillery.

10th Infantry Division [Maj. Gen. Jaswant Singh]

-                       9th Horse [divisional tank regiment][T-54]

-                       30th Medium Regiment

-                       216th Medium Regiment

-                       Company, 9th Parachute Commando

10th Division Artillery Brigade

3rd (I) Armored Brigade [Brig.B.S. Irani]

-                       72nd Armored Regiment [T-55]

Note: This may not be correct. The brigade HQ may have been sitting without any troops as the rest of its units had been sent to 26th Division. In which case 72nd Armd Regt would have been under direct command of the division. The question of why brigade HQ did not go with the bulk of its units to 26th Division is one we are unable to answer.

191st Infantry Brigade [Brig. R.K. Jasbir Singh] Deployed west of the Tawi River

-         4/1st Gorkha Rifles

-         5th Sikhs

-         5th Assam

-         10th Garhwal [Lt. Col. Onkar Singh, KIA]

28th Infantry Brigade Deployed in the Hill Subsector, NW of Chaamb [Brig. M.V. Natu]

-                       5th Rajput

-                       2nd J & K Rifles

-                       7th J & K Rifles

-                       8th J & K Militia

-         863rd Light Battery/86th Light Regiment

52nd Infantry Brigade Deployed at and forward of Akhnur

-                       16th Punjab

-                       7th Garhwal


68th Infantry Brigade [Brig. R.T. Morlin] Deployed east of the Tawi River

-                       5/9th Gorkha Rifles

-                       3/4th Gorkha Rifles (ex-52nd Brigade)

-                       7th Kumaon

-                       9th Jats




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All content © 2003 Ravi Rikhye. Reproduction in any form prohibited without express permission.