Veterans recall Bofors’ crucial role in Kargil, 1971 wars

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New Delhi | December 09, 2017 1:18 AM

Taking part in the talk, Brigadier (retd) Davinder Singh, whose brigade moved into Battalik sector on May 8, 1999 to flush out intruders, said the high-altitude terrain limitations were the biggest challenge the forces had to face.

kargil war 1971, bofors' crucial in kargil war 1971, air force kargil battle, battalik sector kargil war, indian forces pakistani forces kargil war 1971, oil refineries in balochistan and karachi kargil war 1971,The Bofors guns played a critical role in India’s victory in the Kargil battle and the 1971 war was won because of the immaculate planning by the Air Force in coordination with the ground forces, war veterans said today. (Reuters)

The Bofors guns played a critical role in India’s victory in the Kargil battle and the 1971 war was won because of the immaculate planning by the Air Force in coordination with the ground forces, war veterans said today. These insights emerged from various panel discussions during the first Military Literature Festival here. The Bofors guns, which were used for the first time as direct fire role weapon in the Kargil war in 1999, inflicted huge casualties on the Pakistan forces and were instrumental in helping Indian soldiers regain territory and eventually win the war, said Lt. Gen. (retd) Mohinder Puri, the then general officer in commanding of the 8 Mountain Division, while participating in a discussion titled ‘Kargil War 1999’. Taking part in the talk, Brigadier (retd) Davinder Singh, whose brigade moved into Battalik sector on May 8, 1999 to flush out intruders, said the high-altitude terrain limitations were the biggest challenge the forces had to face. Lauding the role played by the Air Force in the operations, he said the war could not have been won but for the help from the Air Warriors.

In another session on the ‘Use of Air Power in the 1971 War’, Air Marshal (retd) Vinod Patney said Pakistan paid dearly for Gen. Yahya Khan’s “misadventure”, and added that war was “imminent for nine months prior to its actual commencement” and India used this to its advantage. Air Marshal (retd) R S Bedi said the Air Force kept up the momentum all through the war and Pakistan’s resolve fizzled out on the first day itself. Underlining the role of the Air Force in the war, Air Marshal (retd) Bharat Kumar said besides providing air defence to the Army, the Indians concentrated on damaging and disrupting supply routes of the enemy by targeting oil refineries in Karachi and Balochistan. The oil centres of Pakistan kept boiling for several days after the Indian Air Force hit them, he said.

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