Battle of Longewala: 1971 war hero on how India fought terrible odds to rout Pakistan
16, Dec 2018, 11:38 AM IST
“It was still dark when the enemy with approximately two companies formed up at a distance of about 700 metres. The tanks came within 100 yards of the mortar position and Sep Charan Dass, one of the mortar numbers, was killed in a direct hit from the enemy’s tanks. As a result, the other tanks stopped…” Col (Retd) Dharam Vir’s words ring loud in your ears as the war hero recalls the Battle of Longewala of which he was an important part – so much so that JP Dutta’s iconic film, Border, had actor Akshaye Khanna essaying his character.
And so, as the legend goes, exactly 47 years ago on December 4-5, 1971, “a strange war”, in his words, was fought in the Thar desert at Longewala near Jaisalmer by the troops of 23 Punjab and other supporting troops of Infantry, Armour and Artillery, including Air OP along with the Indian Air Force.