The battle of Asal Uttar (True of Fitting Reply) during the 1965 war between
India and Pakistan, was the largest tank battle to take place after World War
II. It took place from 8 - 10 September, 1965 near the town of Asal Uttar in the
of Punjab. The battle ended in a decisive victory for the Indian Army despite
them being at a disadvantage both numerically and technologically. The primary
reason for the Pakistani defeat was the fact that the Indians had flooded the
paddy fields in the Punjab causing the Pattons and Chaffees to get bogged down
in the thick mud, after which they became easy targets for anti-tank gunners of
the Indian Army. The Pakistanis lost 97 tanks in this battle including 72 brand
new Patton Tanks and 25 Chaffees whereas Indian losses in this sector were 32
tanks for the entire war.
images below to see larger images
Scene depicted in the
A wounded shell-shocked tank commander from the 1st Armoured Division of
the Pakistan Army emerges from his severely damaged M24 Chaffee tank which
has got bogged down in the muddy fields of Indian Punjab. The Chaffee has
had both its tracks blown off by mines and suffered extensive damage to
its turret from multiple anti-tank rounds. An Indian Army officer leading
a 4-man patrol from the 1/9th Gurkha Rifles has leapt up onto the tank and
is asking the tank commander to surrender or else! He is covered by two of
his men, one armed with a .303 rifle and the other armed with a Sten gun.
However, the fourth and youngest member of the patrol, unable to keep his
enthusiasm under control, is clambering up on to the back of the tank to
capture the Pakistani officer himself!
This diorama is built in 1/72 scale on a plain round wooden base. I have
used a Hasegawa 1/72 kit for the Pakistani M24
Chaffee tank (and its commander) and an Italeri set of World War II
British paratroopers for the Indian Army patrol. Rest of the details are
scratch built. The terrain is a combination of Sheet Rock putty, sand,
clay and plain ol' dirt mixed with Elmer's white glue. Painting is done
using water-based acrylics and dry brushing has been applied wherever
necessary. Damage to the tank was inflicted using a red-hot kitchen knife,
kept solely for this purpose.