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Thread: Patton vs Centurion 1965 Indo-Pakistan war

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Z,

    But isn't it the case that Indian CENT crews were just as good as their British counterparts? They read the ground right. They had the proper ranges. And they read the enemy right. How much better could have the Brits done?
    Would the Brits have bungled Chawinda?

    Maybe they were not having equivalent academic standards, but to claim that being academically qualified equals intelligence is not a fair comparison.
    I never said academics, I said technically proficent. How many Indians or Pakistanis grew up hunting so that thier minds were effectively ballistic computers and enemy detection system, or tinkering on engines etc. America had huge reserves of such people.

    Just because the Patton failed in the Indo Pak War, to do it down and claim other tanks were superior is not fair. It was supposed to be the state of art in those times.
    State of the art does not always mean the best. In anyway you stack the deck the Centurion comes out on top. Thicker armor, better gun, better gunnery history in NATO and combat, smaller size. The only advantage ofthe Pattons were higher top end.

    It would be very odd to give weightage to the Centurion, just because it was made in the country of one's birth.

    The Centurion was a good tank and did a yoeman's service in the Indian Army, but then if the tankers of those times felt that Patton was superior, obviously there must be good reasons to feel so.
    I am American so dissing the Patton isn't out of nationalism

    The Pattons were over rated, combat history and NATO trials prove this. America didn't really have a winning tank design until the M60A1 that arrived in 1961. This 52 ton tank had 225mm of well shaped armor and a 105mm gun and a high top end. It's only draw back was its huge shilloutte.

  2. #62
    Senior Contributor Archer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Brigadier that was uncalled for.

    Are you claiming the average Pakistani and Indian in 1965 were as technically proficent as the average American or Britisher?
    I think many Indians would take you up on that statement.
    Suffice to say that the Indo-Pak battles were cases where neither side gave and took no quarter. The Indian side at least was very well versed with its equipment, and several Pakistanis were quite competent as well.



    The Pattons were defeated for a number of reasons
    A- The crews were not skilled in using the ballistic computers
    B- they were firing on the Shermans but being fired on by the Centurions
    C- They were attacking a dug in enemy
    D- the Patton M-47 was junk, and the M-48 while an improvement still had lighter armor and a weaker gun than the Centurion.
    E- Pakistani commanders did not show flair or boldness on the attack

    All of these are reasons but I submit the most basic reason was that the Indians were more tactically proficient with their tanks. At the end it just boils down to who was more competent, and the Indians had the edge. It could have been the reverse, if complacency had set in amongst Indian armour.

    Prior to Assal Uttar however the Pattons did great work repulsing the Indian attack in the battle of Chawinda stopping 11 corps advance on Lahore and forcing the Indians over onto the defensive.
    You are citing the bit by Steven Zaloga who relied on Pak accounts. Instead if we see the official '65 history it was far more edgy than the above, and again- it wasnt the equipment as much as tactical blunders on the Indian side.


    As can be seen the Indian tanks were not outclassed by any means. In fact except for speed the Centurion had the important advantages of better armor, better gun, smaller target size. Even the much maligned AMX-13 could destroy a Patton at range.
    The AMX-13 and Sherman were weaker tanks overall, vs the Patton. That has been remarked in countless accounts of the conflict. Cent- no doubt, its either equal or better, depending on what parameters you pick.
    Karmani Vyapurutham Dhanuhu

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  3. #63
    Senior Contributor Archer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    LeamonTree, I have no doubt you are correct but, being used to the Centurion 20 pounder and the 105mm it felt very strange to me
    Now now sir, you cant escape just like that and be a tease!

    Out with all the details- nice or otherwise, of Dave Lukins crewing the AMX-13!

    I for one would be VERY interested, I have read very little of how the AMX-13 was regarded by crews etc.
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  4. #64
    Senior Contributor Archer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    None whatsoever, Nobody is denying the skills of the tank crews on both sides. Yes they were as good as any Tank Crew, probably better, due to active service
    A gentleman and a soldier indeed.
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  5. #65
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    Ravi Rikhye at ORBAT claims, that the Pattons key advantage over the Indian tanks was its night fighting capability.

    ORBAT :

    The Patton had computers to handle firing solutions most important, it could fight at night, whereas none of the Indian tanks could. The Indians had perhaps half as many artillery pieces as the Pakistanis, and were outgunned to boot. If that wasn’t enough, Pakistani artillery command was absolutely first rate - a result of the excellent training imparted by the Americans. The Pakistanis had good air support, the IAF had its own problems and was usually absent. The pure infantry numbers were equal. Pakistani defenses were long-planned and thickly constructed Indian defenses were hastily thrown up in the field. The Pakistani commander had helicopters available to him, and could arrive anywhere on the battlefield in short order, and did. The Indian commander had no such advantage. So what went wrong?
    The best account of the battle of Assal Uttar, online:

    http://indianmilitaryhistory.org/bat...al%20Uttar.pdf
    Karmani Vyapurutham Dhanuhu

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  6. #66
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    [QUOTE=Archer;402777]I think many Indians would take you up on that statement.
    Suffice to say that the Indo-Pak battles were cases where neither side gave and took no quarter. The Indian side at least was very well versed with its equipment, and several Pakistanis were quite competent as well.[quote]

    Uhmm ok, but were they are technically proficent as a western crew? (having serious deja vu right now)





    All of these are reasons but I submit the most basic reason was that the Indians were more tactically proficient with their tanks. At the end it just boils down to who was more competent, and the Indians had the edge. It could have been the reverse, if complacency had set in amongst Indian armour.
    vs


    You are citing the bit by Steven Zaloga who relied on Pak accounts. Instead if we see the official '65 history it was far more edgy than the above, and again- it wasnt the equipment as much as tactical blunders on the Indian side.
    so which is it? If the Pakistanis had not counter attacked the world would be talking about how the Indian tankers could not punch through the Pakistani lines to reach Lahore.



    The AMX-13 and Sherman were weaker tanks overall, vs the Patton. That has been remarked in countless accounts of the conflict. Cent- no doubt, its either equal or better, depending on what parameters you pick.
    The AMX13 was faster, smaller and packed a lethal gun it was ideal for a light tank. It could not go toe to toe with the Patton but it could sting it to death in a running fight.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Uhmm ok, but were they are technically proficent as a western crew? (having serious deja vu right now)
    Why not? They could operate their equipment as well as it could be used. And according to you, in NATO exercises, the PATTON didnt do as well either-and its BC was too complicated etc. So that does imply that the western crews fared no better with it.


    vs
    so which is it? If the Pakistanis had not counter attacked the world would be talking about how the Indian tankers could not punch through the Pakistani lines to reach Lahore.
    Two different engagements- two different commanders, two different groups fighting it out, and two different outcomes!

    It might surprise you, but in 1965, the Indian Army was not a monolith. On both sides, commanders varied between the audacious, the conservative, to the incompetent. Overall, the edge lay with the Indian Army. But its not just technical competence or bravery that decides the war, its experience and the initiative displayed by the brass. India for one, was very loath to lose men and material on account of the "developing country syndrome", where both are very expensive to come by. The Pakistanis on the other hand bought into their mythos of 1 Pakistani Muslim= 10 effete Hindus full scale, leading to some real reckless actions on their part, which made no tactical or strategic sense. The entire war was an unecessary and ill thought venture on the part of Pakistan, with no thought even given to basics like ammunition stocks! Obviously the Indians would surrender after a few hard knocks and the Mughal empire would be reborn- as if!

    In Assal Uttar, the Indian side was more competent and as the draw would have it, most of the commanders and units were in synch- even there, if you read the PDF above- one brass type is criticized for not having taken the initiative. The Pakistanis were tactically incompetent, and got suckered into a losing fight again and again and again.

    In the fight for Lahore, the Indian side was cautious and didnt want to get suckered in- that itself is often pointed to as a mistake. It didnt reinforce striking units, got caught in caution allowing the Pakistanis to rush reinforcements in turn, etc etc. It became a slogging match which, incidentally neither side hoped to have since both thought they had limited resources (India actually had ammo to continue the war, but accounting snafus convinced its own brass that a ceasefire was best. Pak was running out of tank ammo, in particular). Incidentally, the lessons of '65 came to bear in '71, where many of the people who fought and studied '65 went on to conduct the Bangla campaign which was nothing but audacious.


    The AMX13 was faster, smaller and packed a lethal gun it was ideal for a light tank. It could not go toe to toe with the Patton but it could sting it to death in a running fight.
    Sure but the Patton could do the same to it, and in fact take it on in a headon fight as well. Its not really the equal of the Patton then.
    Karmani Vyapurutham Dhanuhu

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    Why not? They could operate their equipment as well as it could be used. And according to you, in NATO exercises, the PATTON didnt do as well either-and its BC was too complicated etc. So that does imply that the western crews fared no better with it.
    1- if they could have used thier equipment as well as it could have been used, why didn't they? At least on the Pakistani side the Pattons were used in frontal attacks and wasted thier effort on 26 ton enemies that could not easily hurt them while 52 ton monsters were firing on them.

    2- I would like to say the BC was to complicated for anyone but I can't. One problem with the NATO competitions was the Americans didn't use crack crews like most of the Europeans did. Instead they used normal crews so its not a fair comparison other than to say the BC never lived up to its expectations but is this crew or mechanical? In 65 the Patton was flat out misused against an arguably superior foe.

    Two different engagements- two different commanders, two different groups fighting it out, and two different outcomes!
    same units, same commanders, same outcome- the attacker lost But since Pakistan lost last, they are seen as the overall loser.

    Sure but the Patton could do the same to it, and in fact take it on in a headon fight as well. Its not really the equal of the Patton then.
    The AMX being 1/5 faster and 1/3 smaller with similar fire power could dictate the terms of the fight if it kept moving. The Patton could not easily run it to ground. For what it was the AMX13 was a great light tank. It gave cavalry units heavy hitting power and great speed, and it could easily double as a very effective tank destroyer.
    Last edited by zraver; 02 Sep 07, at 21:44.

  9. #69
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    Don't forget that the Pakistan Sherman was 90mm, whilst the India Sherman was 75mm...and what about the Panther Tanks(75mm) India bought from the French along with the AMX13.?..Probably, tactics won the day rather than Quantity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Don't forget that the Pakistan Sherman was 90mm, whilst the India Sherman was 75mm...and what about the Panther Tanks(75mm) India bought from the French along with the AMX13.?..Probably, tactics won the day rather than Quantity.
    India had Sherman IV and V, some sources claim the Sherman IV's were IV-A which would make them 76mm equipped. Pakistan had either M4A1-76(w) or better but no 90mm up gunned Sherman ever existed, although the Egyptians did create a m4/AMX-13 hybrid that saw the Sherman go into battle with the Panthers gun..

    The 75mm gun on the AMX13 was a clone of the Kwk42 75mm L/70 used on the Panther but equipped an autoloader.

  11. #71
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    Zraver,

    Please read the accounts of the 1965 War. I have appended the link.

    Then , we will talk about frontal and the pincer!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

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  12. #72
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    India had Sherman IV and V, some sources claim the Sherman IV's were IV-A which would make them 76mm equipped. Pakistan had either M4A1-76(w) or better but no 90mm up gunned Sherman ever existed, although the Egyptians did create a m4/AMX-13 hybrid that saw the Sherman go into battle with the Panthers gun..
    I sure would like to have some link on this, as I would about the Laser Rangefinder.

    Right now it is only one's view without some irrefutable authority which is so essential for one's knowledge as also in any debate.

    If it was not correctly stated by those I have interacted with about the Laser RF, I sure would love some authentic source so that I can quiz them and more importantly, update my knowledge and not being taken in by their statement! And if I am to take on senior officers on the issue, I will sure require irrefutable facts.

    Maybe they mixed up the computer FC with laser Rangefinders! Who knows? And here I am with allegedly incorrect facts! I would love to have the facts since the actuals are more important than the perceived! And one has to have his facts right if one is to debate!

    To this extent, maybe Shipwreck can help who has the details of the tanks as he claims and is dead sure that there were no Laser RFs! Who knows he maybe right and with his link/ authority, I would be better versed on the subject.
    Last edited by Ray; 03 Sep 07, at 11:12.


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

  13. #73
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    Sir,

    According to Britannica, the laser range finder was developed in 1965. There is no way the Paks could have retrofitted them in time for the war.

    range finder - Britannica Concise

    This covers the history of the M48, showing the A5 model was developed in 1975.

    M48 Patton Medium Tank
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 03 Sep 07, at 14:01.

  14. #74
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    Google Image Result for http://web.inter.nl.net/users/spoelstra/g104/images/pak_m4a1e4.jpg

    Info on Indian Sherman's turns out they had some re-equipped with the French 75mm panther clone that gave them a decided edge vs normal Shermans and made them effective even against Pattons.

    Ther eis no way for Pakistan to have had a laser rang efinder, the first such kit for American 105mm gun tanks was 1975(M48A5), although the m60A2 starship might have had it in 72

  15. #75
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    OoE and zraver,

    Thanks.

    In the 1960s, optical range finders began to be replaced by laser range finders. In combination with electronic ballistic computers, these greatly increased the hit probability of tank guns. They became standard in all new tanks built from the early 1970s and were retrofitted in many of the earlier tanks.

    tank :: Fire control -- Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Shermans with 76mm guns were used by both India and Pakistan

    Google Image Result for http://web.inter.nl.net/users/spoelstra/g104/images/pak_m4a1e4.jpg
    ?? AS the doctors put on their records for doubts and further investigation!
    Last edited by Ray; 03 Sep 07, at 15:29.


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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