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Pakistan's Failed Gamble: The Battle of Laungewala

Colonel Anil Shorey (Author)
Synopsis 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 attach, 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 comparision 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 divisional commander and Wing Commander MS Bawa, who participated in the Laungewala battle. An explicity chronicled, well researched and most striking a book which makes delightful reading, quite unlike other military history books.
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About the author

Colonel Anil Shorey

Colonel Anil Shorey was commissioned in May 1974 into 14 Punjab (Nabha Akal), a battalion once commanded by his father who died in NEFA during command. Educated at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, Delhi, Anil is a graduate of Hindu College, Delhi; the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and a Post Graduate in English and Defence Studies. He has had a first hand experience in Counter Insurgency Operations in Jammu & Kashmir and in the North-East, apart from an exposure in the desert and high altitude sectors of India. He commanded 15 Punjab (Patiala), and has also held prestigious staff appointments in the Military Operations Directorate (MO Dte), Delhi, an armoured brigade, at the Rashtriya Rifles and Infantry Dtes., Delhi. He has done a stint as Colonel General Staff of the elite Counter Insurgency Force ‘Delta’ in Doda, J&K. He has also done a 15 months stint overseas in Somalia as PRO and spokesman of the Indian brigade that operated there. A prolific writer and poet, he has written a number of articles and papers for various national and international newspapers and journals. He has received a number of international awards in journalism and poetry. He superannuated in 2004 while he was posted as the PRO of Indian army, South Block, New Delhi. He has authored three books on military subjects and is presently writing three more books.

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Bibliographic information

Title Pakistan's Failed Gamble: The Battle of Laungewala
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Manas Publications
Language: English
isbn 8170492246
length 150p., Maps; Plates; Bibliography, Index; 22cm.