Ripe conditions in 1965 for Pakistan’s attack
After defeat of 1962 in hands of China, Pandit Nehru’s death in 1964 and political uncertainty that existed; India was being seen as a weak state which just needed one final push and it would self-destruct. Pakistan evaluated that as the best time to invade India. Pakistan Army thrust its tanks and infantry into Indian Territory very quickly.
The Pakistani force contained about 300 new American M47 Patton tanks along with a few M24 Chaffee Tanks. The 46-ton Patton was considered one of the best and most modern designs of the time and included a 90mm main gun that outranged the Indian tanks. The Indian tanks were largely outgunned as well as grossly outnumbered. Steel armour plating on the Patton’s made them proof to all but the most close range or lucky shots.
Considering the situation, Indian army fell back and assumed a horseshoe shaped defensive position with Assal Uttar as its focal point. They also flooded the sugarcane fields in the night. This swampy land acted as a horse-shoe trap for Pakistan army slowed down the advance of the Pakistani tanks. Many of them couldn’t move because of the muddy slush. The Indian Armoured Brigade decimated the entrapped Pakistani tanks. Indian, by its account, lost only 10 tanks during this offensive.