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NEW DELHI: The IAF now desires to debunk the standard narrative, bolstered by blockbuster film ‘Border’ in 1997, that the well-known battle of Longewala was primarily received by the gallantry proven by the 120 infantry troopers led by Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri in the course of the 1971 warfare.
A new e-book, ‘The Epic Battle of Longewala’, written by Air Marshal Bharat Kumar (retd) after in depth analysis, contends it was really airpower that decisively received the battle towards Pakistan’s main armoured thrust on the Rajasthan border outpost on December 5-6, 1971.
A drive of simply six Hunter ground-attack jets primarily based on the Jaisalmer airbase “destroyed or damaged over 40 Pakistani tanks” in assaults, making the remainder of the tanks in addition to the Pakistani infantry scurry again throughout the desert. Releasing the e-book on Thursday to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 warfare, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R Ok S Bhadauria stated the “audacious” and “brilliant”.
Pakistan plan to launch the thrust alongside the “unexpected” Longewala Jaisalmer axis may have modified the course of the warfare. Pakistan, nevertheless, forgot to consider IAF’s capacity to strike. “Airpower can bring asymmetric results if the time and place are chosen correctly,” he stated, endorsing the “detailed and accurate account” of the battle within the e-book.
Chandpuri, by the way, was embellished with the nation’s second-highest wartime gallantry medal, the Maha Vir Chakra, for the way in which he and his firm of Punjab Regiment troopers bravely held their submit regardless of repeated Pakistani assaults until the Hunters may arrive on their bombing missions. He later turned a brigadier and handed away in 2018.
The e-book, nevertheless, contends the J P Dutta-directed movie erroneously depicts that the battle was “single-handedly” received by the Army firm towards all odds, with the IAF enjoying solely a peripheral position within the defeat of the attackers. In the movie, Chandpuri’s position was performed by Sunny Deol.
“While one does not want to belittle the courageous role played by the Army personnel who faced the enemy at Longewala, it must be emphasised that the battle was not fought the way it has been depicted in the film,” it says. The assault by Pakistani forces had reached Longewala at about first gentle on December 5 and determined to neutralise the Army submit there.

“By this time, the first pair of Hunters loaded with T-10 rockets and 30mm Aden guns were already airborne from Jaisalmer,” writes ACM Bhadauri within the e-book’s foreword. “Thereafter, there was no respite for the Pakistanis as wave after wave of Hunters decimated the enemy armour,” he provides.

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