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The Burning Chaffees

The Burning Chaffees

A Soldier's First-Hand Account of the 1971 War | Now A Major Motion Picture

Balram Singh Mehta
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In 1971, India waged a momentous war against Pakistan. But before all-out war, an even more significant tank battle was fought on 21 November 1971 by the C Squadron 45 Cavalry, which demolished the Pakistani General A.A.K. Niazi’s plans of victory and set the stage for the utter routing of the Pakistani Army.

Equipped with the amphibious PT-76 tanks, the Indian Army’s C Squadron 45 Cavalry was unleashed to swim across the River Kabodak, near the Boyra salient (now in Bangladesh), to counter the threat from East Pakistan. On 21 November 1971, the two warring armies clashed in a tank versus tank battle at Garibpur. In one fell swoop, Pakistan’s 3 (Independent) Armoured Squadron, consisting of fourteen American M-24 Chaffee tanks, was completely destroyed and two of its infantry battalions were badly mauled. This was followed by the shooting down of three Sabre F-86 jets for the loss of two PT-76 tanks on the Indian side. And thus, the biggest attack planned by General A.A.K. Niazi to teach the Indians and the Mukti Bahini a lesson had gone up in smoke.

This battle was a victory and a decisive one at that. It was a trumpet call to the rest of the world of India’s intent to stand up for human liberty and dignity in this war of liberation.

On 3 December 1971, Pakistan declared war. The rest is history.

The Burning Chaffees is a thrilling account of the pivotal battle of 21 November by Brigadier B.S. Mehta.

Note: There is an error on Page 267. Brigadier Mehta was awarded Mention-in-Despatches for his gallant services, and not the MVC. The error is regretted and has been corrected in the new edition.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Dec/2021

ISBN: 9780143454656

Length : 300 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

The Burning Chaffees

A Soldier's First-Hand Account of the 1971 War | Now A Major Motion Picture

Balram Singh Mehta

In 1971, India waged a momentous war against Pakistan. But before all-out war, an even more significant tank battle was fought on 21 November 1971 by the C Squadron 45 Cavalry, which demolished the Pakistani General A.A.K. Niazi’s plans of victory and set the stage for the utter routing of the Pakistani Army.

Equipped with the amphibious PT-76 tanks, the Indian Army’s C Squadron 45 Cavalry was unleashed to swim across the River Kabodak, near the Boyra salient (now in Bangladesh), to counter the threat from East Pakistan. On 21 November 1971, the two warring armies clashed in a tank versus tank battle at Garibpur. In one fell swoop, Pakistan’s 3 (Independent) Armoured Squadron, consisting of fourteen American M-24 Chaffee tanks, was completely destroyed and two of its infantry battalions were badly mauled. This was followed by the shooting down of three Sabre F-86 jets for the loss of two PT-76 tanks on the Indian side. And thus, the biggest attack planned by General A.A.K. Niazi to teach the Indians and the Mukti Bahini a lesson had gone up in smoke.

This battle was a victory and a decisive one at that. It was a trumpet call to the rest of the world of India’s intent to stand up for human liberty and dignity in this war of liberation.

On 3 December 1971, Pakistan declared war. The rest is history.

The Burning Chaffees is a thrilling account of the pivotal battle of 21 November by Brigadier B.S. Mehta.

Note: There is an error on Page 267. Brigadier Mehta was awarded Mention-in-Despatches for his gallant services, and not the MVC. The error is regretted and has been corrected in the new edition.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

Balram Singh Mehta

Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta was commissioned on 15 June 1966, in 45 Cavalry. He comes from a illustrious military family. In 1984, he raised 13 Armoured Regiment which later participated in Ex Brass Tacks with distinction under his command. Brigadier Mehta attended the Higher Command-18 at the College of Combat in 1990. He has the distinction of having served in command assignments under all the three Strike Corps as also on the staff of the Mountain and Infantry Division, besides deputation with the Cabinet Secretariat. In 1998, he took premature retirement to serve with the Government of Gujarat till 2001. He organised the first entrepreneurship course for retiring defence personnel at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Ahmedabad, in 2000. During the last 15 years, he has served with universities in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as Vice Chancellor. His other interests include Transcendental Meditation and Skill Development. He is an active member of a Suratbased NGO "Jai Jawan Nagrik Samiti. He is currently holding the post of Director General, Maharishi Invincible Defence for Peace, headquartered in Iowa, USA.

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