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SUMMARY: THE BATTLE OF DOGRAI
1965 INDO-PAK WAR
9/23/2020 12:01:46 AM
Anuj Kumar

The Battle of Dograi, one of the bloodiest battles in Indian military history, was fought at the town of Dograi near Lahore - first with guns and grenades, then with bayonets, and finally with bare hands on the dark night of September 21/22, 1965, between the soldiers of the Indian Army's 3 Jat and Pakistan's 16 Punjab. India first captured Dograi, less than 1 km from Lahore on September 6th and had to withdraw because reinforcements could not reach in time. Again on the night of Sept 21st and 22nd Indian Army's Jat regiment trampled Pakistani defenses and recaptured Dograi. The very next day cease-fire was announced and the forces were ordered to return.
3 Jat battalion with 550 men took on 16 Punjab, double in size with the support of tank squadrons. But the valour of the Jats led by an adamant and maverick CO, Lt Col Desmonde Hayde annihilated 16 Punjab by capturing its Commanding Officer, Col Golwala, along with his Battery Commander, two more officers, five JCOs and 108 soldiers alive, in addition to killing 308 Pakistani soldiers. In the clashes, 86 Indian soldiers were martyred.
Pakistanis, by September 20, had reinforced Dograi completely. Dograi and approaches leading to it were strongly held with two coys at Mile 13 and another two at Dograi, comprising troops of 16 Punjab, 3 Baluch, 8 Punjab and 18 Baluch. 3 Jat, after a most creditable night advance, fell upon the flank and rear of the enemy positions at Dograi. Jats took the Pakistan defender by surprise and the battle that started with grenades, guns and bayonets soon turned into a hand-to-hand fight in which 550 Indian soldiers took on almost twice the number of men. The hide and seek game was played in the deserted houses of Dograi in which it was difficult to differentiate between fellow and enemy soldiers. By 0300 hours Dograi was captured.
Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Hayde was awarded the Mahavir Chakra, the second highest honour in war-time, for winning one of the toughest battles ever fought by the Indian Army. "He was a maverick; one of those old style army officers who was in a different league. He felt that he had to work with his men and be with his men to be a leader of men." He warned his men against retreating. 'Even if all of you run away, I shall continue to stand on the battlefield alone.
The fierceness of the battle can be fathomed by the gallantry awards won by 3 Jats for their heroics.
The battalion received four Mahavir Chakras, four Vir Chakras, seven Sena Medals, 12 Mention in Dispatches and 11 COAS Commendation Cards.
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