Author: Anil ShoreyPublisher: Manas PublicationsYear: 2005Language: EnglishPages: 150ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170492246
The battle of Laungewala, fought during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, is a unique battle ever to have been fought. It is a true story of raw guts, grit and dogged determination of a handful of troops of the now famous 23 Punjab battalion, which not only successfully checked the enemy’s armour and infantry based attack, but also managed to cause severe attrition on enemy tanks, man power and equipment. Although the Indian formation deployed in the Jaisalmer sector of Rajasthan did not expect any enemy attack, A Company of 23 Punjab, comprising just 100 odd combatants under the command of the dynamic Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, proved to be more than a match for the Pakistani assaulting formation comprising two infantry battalions alongwith a regiment plus a squadron of armour totaling 59 tanks. So heavy were the odds in Pakistan’s favour in this battle that the ratio between the attacker and the Indian defenders worked out to one Indian soldier to 26.4 Pakistani soldiers, considering the modest comparison of one tank to ten soldiers 1600 men of the two Pakistani battalions and 250 men from various support and logistic sub units. So surprised was the enemy at this unexpected reaction of the Laungewala company that, after receiving a severe mauling, it had no other option but to withdraw back to Pakistan.The book describes not only the valour and sacrifice of the men under Chandpuri, but it also gives an insight into the battle through various dramatis personae, such as Lieutenant Dharam Vir who had taken out a patrol towards the border, which was the first to report enemy movement into Indian territory; Brigadier RO Kharbanda, the Indian brigade commander; Major General RF Khambatta, the Indian divisional commander and Wing Commander MS Bawa, who participated in the Laungewala battle.An explicitly chronicled well researched and most striking a book which makes delightful reading, quite unlike other military history books.