Pakistan 6th Armored Division Orbat 1965 War

v.1.0 October 6, 2007

 

Mandeep Singh Bajwa

 

Introductory note by Ravi Rikhye

 

The Division was raised in early 1965 as a light armored division with 100th (Independent) Armored Brigade as its nucleus.

 

The divisionís formation was in contravention of the Pakistan-US agreement of 1954, which saw the US providing equipment for an almost complete re-equipment and expansion of the Pakistan armed forces. In return for US assistance, Pakistan acceded to the Central and South East Asia Treaty Organizations.

 

Regarding armored formations, the agreement called for one armored division and an independent brigade to permit parity with India. After the Sino-India 1962 War, however, India embarked on a huge expansion of its armed forces, including provision for a new armored division and another independent armored brigade. Ironically, while India did raise the new independent armored brigade, it deferred the second armored division till 1972. Both Bajwa and myself are of the opinion that this delay cost India grievously in 1965 and 1971.

 

Pakistanís counter was to raise the 6th Armored and 11th Infantry Divisions using reserve stocks. The US refused equipment for these new raisings because it was now working to help India against China. That Pakistan was not much of an ally under CENTO and SEATO undoubtedly played a role in the USís shift to backing India rather than Pakistan. Instead of working with the US to block communist expansionism, Pakistan maintained cordial relations with China, and friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

 

6th Armored Division was a curious creature and its organization baffled the Indians. It had no brigades. The division HQ directly controlled all battalions; the sole concession to an intermediate HQ was a planned all-purpose Task Force HQ with a flexible TOE for operations under the Division HQ.  In the event, the TO was deemed a failure, and according to Bajwa, the division was reorganized after the war with a TO similar to that for the 1st Armored Division.

 

At the time Pakistan 1st Armored Division had three armored and one artillery brigades, in contrast to Indiaís World War II organization of its armored division into one armored, one lorry, and one artillery brigades.

 

The mystery of the divisionís TO was recently resolved when Mandeep Singh Bajwa noticed correspondences with Liddell-Hartís light armored division, and the influences of the US Pentomic structure. While the US did not reorganize its World War II TO to include armored divisions, the notion of a divisional HQ directly controlling a number of combat groups was central to the Pentomic structure.

 

Bajwa writes:

 

 "I was able to confirm my hunch when I talked to General Wajahat, who was part of the Directing Staff at the Staff College in Quetta when the reorganization was conducted. His analysis of the Division's performance was likely a key factor in the decision to reorganize. He later became Commandant of the College.

 

As a Lieutenant Colonel, General Wajahat had commanded the Division's 11th Cavalry, as also Combat Command Wajahat while in the same rank. He quickly realized that the TO would not work for Pakistan.

 

This Orbat and deployment is based on an appreciation by Indian military intelligence at the time.†I have misplaced notes that identified the motorized infantry battalions assigned to the division and will supply the numbers as soon as possible.

 

   

 

We also have an orbat from the Pakistan side. It is different in respect of the armor and artillery battalions, but please note that the Indian orbat comes from identifications made just before and during the war. There is no claim by Bajwa that this orbat is the one under which the division was raised. Pakistan, as India, shuffled its battalions and brigades formations around a great deal during the war.

 

1. Division HQ††† ††††††††GOC Maj Gen Abrar Hussain

 

2. Armor††† ††††††††††††††† Deployed in area Badiana-Chawinda-Pasrur

 

10th Guides Cavalry †††† (44 x M48)

11th PAVO Cavalry†† †† (30 x M48 in HQ and 2 x squadrons; 1 x squadron 13 x

†††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††M36B2 destroyers deployed to Chhamb)

13th Lancers††††††††††††††† (44 x M48)

22 Cavalry††††††††††††††††† (44 x M48) Detached from 7 Div

 

3. Artillery †††††††††††††††††† In support in area Chawinda-Pasrur

 

1 x Field Regiment (SP)††††††††††† (18 x 105mm SP)

39 Field Regiment ††††††††††††††††††† (newly raised) (18 x 105mm)

11 Field Regiment††† †††††††††††††††† (Detached from 7 Div) (18 x 105mm)

1 x Light AA Regiment†† ††††††††† (12.7mm Quads/40mm)