Indian Gnats VS Pakistani Sabres - India Pakistan War 1965 - Part4:
We are Muslims based on Islam, but we are Indians. This was the statement of the Muslims living in Jammu & Kashmir. The Information was given to the people that the Pakistan army and terrorists have invaded their lands. Operation Gibraltar was a total failure for the Pakistan army. India's first and original surgical Strike was conducted in Hajir Pir pass. The Hajir Pir pass was captured from Pakistan. We discussed this in Part3.
Muhammad Ayyub Khan says that the Pakistan army has to continuously hit the Indian army, thus disabling the Indian army’s reply. The Pakistan army says that the Indian Air Force is no match and in no way can attack them. The Indian air force was obsolete, said the Pakistan army. The Indian Air Force said otherwise and history says it.
For Indians, if it's a war, we remember the Kargil war. But the 1965 war was more intense. Let's discuss this in part4.
A bridge was the starting point of this war. On 1st Sep 1965, The Chamb Akhnoor region was the location where the war between India and Pakistan started.
Was the Akhnoor Bridge that Important?
The Supply lines of the Indian Army will be broken. The Indian army cannot bring their weapons to the frontlines. So the Bridge was very Important. The Pakistan army’s M48 Platoon Tanks rolled towards the Frontlines. Indian army didn't predict this move and had to retreat. M48 Platoon Tanks were at that time very advanced, they also had advanced Airforce and Artillery. These weapons were supplied by America.
What did the Indian army Arsenal be?
This was an important question. The Prime Minister of Pakistan Ayyub Khan has instructed that the Indian army tanks, Airforce and Artillery are Obsolete. He encouraged his army to move forward into Indian Territory.
The Indian army facing the Advanced Pakistan army sends a request to the Indian Airforce for their Services.
Where was the Indian Base near Chamb Akhnoor Located?
The Indian base was Pathankot Air Base. The Aircraft stationed in the Airbase was Vampire Aircraft and Mystere 4 Aircraft. The Vampire Aircraft was obsolete when World War 2 ended. The Vampire Aircraft is an Outdated Aircraft. But the Indian Airforce had no other way but to send these Outdated Vampire and Mystere 4 Aircraft to the Frontlines to help the Indian army.
The Pakistan Airforce consisted of 400 F86F Sabre Aircraft and more than 40 F104 Starfighters.
The F86F Sabre was able to see the war from a 360 Degree angle. The aircraft had M18 Gyro Gun Sight which was advanced in those days. The aircraft was equipped with the Missile called Sidewinder. This Sidewinder is an Air to Air Missile. This missile is able to hit Aircraft as far as 3 Miles. So the Sabre Aircraft were a deadly force in those days.
When The Indian Vampire and Mystere 4 Aircraft took off to attack the Pakistan Tanks. The Pakistan Airforce sends its Sabre Squadron to engage the Indian Obsolete Air Force. The Pakistan Sabre Squadron shoots down three Indian Aircraft. The Three showdown Aircraft were Vampire Aircrafts. The Indian Airforce knew that the Vampire didn't have any chance against the advanced Pakistani Sabre. But the Indian Air Force was able to hold the Pakistani Advance.
The Next day, 2nd Sep1965, The Indian Airforce wanted to change the Entire strategy. The Indian Airforce didn't want to use the Vampire and Mystere4 Aircrafts. They had an idea to use another small aircraft. This Aircraft was Called FollandGnats. Gnats mean Mosquitoes.
How could the Indian Airforce use the FollandGants against the Sabres?
But the Indian Airforce had no other way they needed to send the FollandGnats. This decision was taken by Air Marshal Arjan Singh. The Vampire and Mystere4 Aircrafts were re-deployed to other bases.
The FollandGnats Aircrafts landed in Pathankot airbase without being detected by the Pakistani Radars. The Pakistani Air Force knew that the IAF had Gnats. The PAF said that Gnats cannot handle the Pakistani Aircraft. The PAF was aware of IAF’s Hawker Hunter. So the Gnats have been deployed. The IAF must start their plan of attack for the next day.
IAF has destroyed 13 Pakistani tanks but we lost 3 Vampire Aircraft. So India did not commit a major attack on 2nd Sep1965. On 3rd the IAF’s aim was to shoot down at least 1 Sabre of the PAF. The PAF has been saying that the IAF cannot engage and shoot down a Sabre. India’s Air Marshal wanted to shoot down the Sabre and give the orders for proper execution. This task was given to Gnat Squadron Leader Johnny Greene.
Johnny Greene addresses his squadron. He says that he wants to conduct a direct conflict with the PAF’s Sabres. His strategy was to lure the PAF’s sabres into the paths of the IAF. Their ultimate aim was the destruction of the Sabres. But as a well guided and lead Squadron they can bring down the Sabres. Then The Squadron Leader gave a sign which said four. The Pilots didn't know what their leader was suggesting. The Indian Pilots were ready.
For them to lure the Sabre’s, they needed an Illusion. The illusion was a Mystere4 Aircraft that was piloted by Wing Commander Krishna Dandapani.
Krishna Dandapani was flying his Mystere4 Aircraft at a Height of 6000 Feet. But Flying lower at a Height of 400 Feet under the Mystere4 were the FollandGnats. The PAF saw the Mystere Aircraft. Two sabres were deployed to engage the Indian Mystere4. But one among them had an Engine Failure and Returned to the Airfield. So One Sabre can easily take down the Mystere Aircraft.
The Wing Commander has seen the Sabre. He requests orders from his Squadron Commander Johnny Greene. He orders them to turn back and fly to base. The orders to other Aircraft were given by the Squadron Commander signalling “Four”. This is a flying formation. So the Gnats take the Four Formation. The Wing Commander leads the Sabre to a Mountain Terrain. The Gnats which were flying 400 Feet high within 90 Seconds Climb to 30000 Feet. The Sabre had advanced Missiles. But these Gnats had only Guns. These guns were called Gnats Guns. But they have to get very close to the Sabre to destroy.
The IAF plan was called 8 O'clock to 9 O'Clock. This formation was used by the Gnats. So One Gnat will fly behind the Sabre, One Before it. When the Sabre attacks the Leading Gnat the remaining Gnats will chase the Sabre and Engage. So the Squadron changed its formation and started to engage the Sabre. At the right time, they shoot down the Sabre. So the IAF Gnats were able to take down a Sabre. The PAF after hearing this news sent two more Sabres. The Gnats wanted to take down the Two Sabres.
The IAF were ready for the fight. But unknown to the IAF the PAF has also launched one Starfighter Aircraft. The Starfighter Aircraft was capable of flying at high speeds. The Starfighters strategy was to mess up the Formation of the Indian Gnats. The starfighter was piloted by a Pakistani Pilot called Abbas. Abbas warns the Sabre to break formation and return to base. The Starfighter engages the Gnats and uses all its Weapons at Arsenal. The IAF Formation was broken using this time the two Sabres escaped. The PAF Starfighter also returns to the Base.
But for the IAF Gnats, the Mission accomplished. A message was sent to the Indian govt stating the destruction of a Sabre. The World will know the Squadron as Sabre Slayers.
The Gnats were used in many countries. But IAF was the only Airforce that used the Gnats to destroy the Advanced Sabre. After World War2, this Sabre kill was the first Jet kill for the IAF and India. This was a huge victory for the IAF. But the IAF Gnats were hungry for kills. The next day 4th Sep the Gnats shot down another PAF Sabre. From that day onwards the name Sabre Slayer was known.
The PAF called for a meeting,
How did the Indian Gnats destroy the advanced Sabre?
The PAF didn't have an answer. The PAF says that the Gnats were underestimated by the PAF. So this is like an Underdog winning a match.
The PAF wanted to destroy the Indian Bases. But Indians didn't want to play around. Their idea was to place a direct hit in Lahore. The IAF was ready for the Next most important Surgical Strike. While they were planning for the attack, the PAF managed to shoot down many Indian Aircraft. Even after this setback, the IAF were able to destroy the PAF.
This attack on the PAF was a big loss for the Pakistan Army.
What were the reasons?
When this War ended, Pakistan had occupied nearly 540 Sq Kilometres. But India had occupied 1940 Sq Kilometres of land.
The losses from the Indian side were 2862 Indian Army. But Pakistan losses were higher as the Numbers were more than 6000 Dead. The Indian Army lost 97 tanks whereas the Pakistan Army lost more than 450 tanks. The figures clearly show The Victory of the Indian army.
How was the Pakistan army defeated?
We will discuss this in Part5.
This was the time the Indian Intelligence agencies did not work properly. Due to this, we had to suffer many losses. The Indian Intelligence was reconstructed. Then Ajit Doval became The Director of the Intelligence Bureau. Now he is a National Security Advisor to India.
Let's discuss this in the Upcoming Series.
1965 Indian Operations will be completed with Episode5.
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