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 Lt General P N Hoon
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 Give war a chance
 Cricket and Ceasefires
  The need for smart action
 Noor's cure
 The reality of war
 The Neelam Plan

  A disabled Pakistani tank lying by the roadside in the Bahara sector during the India-Pakistan conflict.  (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)


On September 6, 40 years ago, the Indian Army crossed the international border at Wagah near Lahore in response to not one, but two, Pakistani army offensives in Kashmir.

The Wolfpack in action
Book Extract

The real war, however, had begun much earlier with a large number of Pakistani commandos sneaking into Kashmir since June 1965 in order to 'free' it from Indian rule.

Both sides used tanks and aircraft to good measure, and each gained and lost territory.

Military history was made, with the world's second largest tank battle since World War II being fought in the Khem Karan sector.

By the second fortnight of September 1965, the United Nations stepped in to broker a ceasefire, which came into effect on September 23. But both sides held reasonably large chunks of each other's territory.

On December 8, the Soviet Union, which stayed neutral during the war, declared that Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistan's President Ayub Khan would meet in Tashkent on January 4, 1966.

The outcome, known as the Tashkent Agreement, signed on January 10, was that both sides agreed to roll back to positions held before August 5, 1965. Hours later, Shastri died suddenly.

Both sides later claimed to have 'won' the war (Pakistan celebrates September 6 as Defence Day), though many claim it was a stalemate.

To mark 40 years of the 1965 war, we present a special series of insights and interviews from people who fought and reported that war, and from others who have learnt from it.

Today, we bring you the second extract from a seminal book on the subject, The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, by PVS Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra.

Series Editor: Ramananda Sengupta

line line line
 Earlier in the Series

1965 decided fate of the    subcontinent
   K Subrahmanyam

 'We won the 1965 war,
   not India'
   Mahmood Shaam

 A comedy of errors
   Brig Shaukat Qadir

 Lessons yet to be learnt
   Maj Gen Afsir Karim

 'The IAF wanted to fight'
   Marshal of the IAF Arjan

 The Chinese bluff
  Claude Arpi

 A view from the East
  Mumtaz Iqbal

 The wrong lessons
  Jasjit Singh

Indian jawans draw water from a water wheel near Dera Baba Nanak at the front in September 1965. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images
September 23, 1965: Indian Air Force chief Air Marshal Arjan Singh (left) and Indian Army chief General J N Chaudhury at Defence Headquarters in New Delhi after the cease-fire was declared. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

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