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Thread: Patton vs Centurion 1965 Indo-Pakistan war

  1. #1
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Ray, I very much doubt that the Patton Taks were "far Superior" to the Centurion tanks during the fracas in '65. Not withstanding that Pakistan had 2 Armoured Divisions, and India only had 4 Armoured Regiments.(centurion) The Battle of Usal Uttar sorted the odds out when a huge amount of Pattons were destroyed. With a well maintained vehicle..a well trained crew..the Centurion would have certainly held its own against the Patton

    During the battle, Pakistan lost 97 Tanks which included 70 Patton...India lost 32 of which the majority were shermans
    Last edited by dave lukins; 30 Aug 07, at 23:29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Ray, I very much doubt that the Patton Taks were "far Superior" to the Centurion tanks during the fracas in '65. Not withstanding that Pakistan had 2 Armoured Divisions, and India only had 4 Armoured Regiments.(centurion) The Battle of Usal Uttar sorted the odds out when a huge amount of Pattons were destroyed. With a well maintained vehicle..a well trained crew..the Centurion would have certainly held its own against the Patton

    I have never heard anyone, anyone militarily knowledgeable that is, claim the Patton series of tanks to be "far superior" to the Centurion. The Patton was adequate, and available in large numbers, and to be fair it was continually upgraded throughout its service life (in the US Army at least) including eventually getting the gun the Centurion used. The fact remains that the Patton was never really in the Centurion class (which also was upgraded during its long service). There are members of my old Regiment who will remember the Centurion winning the NATO AFV competitions year after year with monotonous regularity. Other than being massively outnumbered and out flanked, my money will be on the Centurion to dominate the firefight.

    During the battle, Pakistan lost 97 Tanks which included 70 Patton...India lost 32 of which the majority were shermans
    Well said.
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    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    And Glyn I was one of the winning crew as a gunner!! I still prefer the Centurion to this day

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    And Glyn I was one of the winning crew as a gunner!! I still prefer the Centurion to this day
    Well done, that man there! Take yesterday off.
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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    If I may say, I am equally astounded and am yet to know of anyone remotely militarily knowledgeable that is, and even a peace time soldier to know anything about actual combat and war. Such is an experience that is so important to understand war and use of equipment as such. Theoretical knowledge and application is one thing for those who feel that some equipment is better than another while practical application in actual combat is another aspect and a totally different kettle of fish. But one can't blame such peacetime uniformed personnel if they have had no combat experience and instead base their whole service on peacetime pursuits and fun and games as competitions as baseline for expertise! Though it is commendable that such peacetime soldiers fondly remember the Centurion winning the NATO AFV competitions year after year with monotonous regularity. Sadly, a peacetime environment can never replicate a war or combat environment!

    But then, armchair generals are more vociferous about their 'knowledge' and 'experience'.

    Suffice it to say:

    M47s and M48s were again used in tank warfare by Pakistan against Indian Centurion and M4 Sherman tanks in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War with mixed results. Although technically superior to the enemy's tanks (Indian Centurions and Shermans), the Patton failed to live up to expectations, especially in the Battle of Asal Uttar—where elements of Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division attacked an entrenched Indian position— and saw many Pattons being destroyed. The Pattons had a better outing in the Battle of Chawinda where it took out many Indian tanks, and indeed they were used with success by 25th Cavalry during its famous stand on the first day of that Battle[1]. It was later used in limited numbers by Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 with unimpressive results. In fact there was a place in Khemkaran in India called "Patton Nagar" ("Patton Town") that held 60-odd destroyed or captured tanks before the war trophies were relocated.
    M48 Patton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by Ray; 31 Aug 07, at 21:05.


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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Some technical details for comparison for the militarily 'knowledgeable' and militarily uninitiated:

    M48 Patton Main Battle Tank

    Performance:
    Powerplant:
    1 x General Dynamics Land Systems AVDS-1790-2D diesel generating 750hp @ 2,400rpm.
    Max Speed: 30 mph (48.2 km/h)
    Range*: 310 miles (499 km)

    *Indicates road range for vehicles or maximum lethal range for towed-artillery systems.

    Dimensions:
    Length: 30.5 ft (9.306 m)
    Width: 11.9 ft (3.63 m)
    Height: 10.1 ft (3.086 m)
    Weight: 49 tons (48,987 kg)

    Support Systems:
    NBC System: None
    Night Vision: Yes


    Armament:
    1 x 105mm main gun
    1 x 7.62mm coaxial machine gun
    2 x 7.62mm machine gun
    2 x 6 smoke dischargers

    Ammunition:
    54 x 105mm projectiles
    10,000 x 7.62mm ammunition

    Centurion Main Battle Tank


    Performance:
    Powerplant:
    1 x Rolls Royce Mk IVB 12-cylinder liquid-cooled petrol engine generating 650bhp @ 2,550rpm.
    Max Speed: 21.5 mph (34.6 km/h)
    Range*: 118 miles (190 km)

    *Indicates road range for vehicles or maximum lethal range for towed-artillery systems.

    Dimensions:
    Length: 27 ft (8.29 m)
    Width: 11 ft (3.39 m)
    Height: 9.65 ft (2.94 m)
    Weight: 56 tons (56,000 kg)

    Support Systems:
    NBC System: No
    Night Vision: Not standard but can be applied if needed.


    Armament:
    1 x 105mm Main Gun
    1 x 12.7mm RMG
    1 x 7.62mm Coaxial Machine Gun
    1 x 7.62mm Machine Gun (for Commander)
    2 x 6 Smoke Grenade Dischargers

    Ammunition:
    64 x 105mm projectiles
    600 x 12.7mm ammunition
    4,750 x 7.62mm ammunition
    12 x smoke grenades


    M48 Patton Main Battle Tank - Tanks, APCs and Armored Vehicles
    The Pakistani Pattons had laser range finders.
    Last edited by Ray; 31 Aug 07, at 19:43.


    "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."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    If I may say, I am equally astounded and am yet to know of anyone remotely militarily knowledgeable that is, and even a peace time soldier to know anything about actual combat and war. Such is an experience that is so important to understand war and use of equipment as such. Theoretical knowledge and application is one thing for those who feel that some equipment is better than another while practical application in actual combat is another aspect and a totally different kettle of fish. But one can't blame such peacetime uniformed personnel if they have had no combat experience and instead base their whole service on peacetime pursuits and fun and games as competitions as baseline for expertise! Though it is commendable that such peacetime soldiers fondly remember the Centurion winning the NATO AFV competitions year after year with monotonous regularity. Sadly, a peacetime environment can never replicate a war or combat environment!

    But then, armchair generals are more vociferous about their 'knowledge' and 'experience'.

    Suffice it to say:
    A military professional who knows nothing at all about tanks (and proves it with his statements) wishes to take Wikipedia over the proven experience of those who were qualified on the Centurion? No surprise there. Peacetime soldier? Who is that person you keep referring to?
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Some technical details for comparison for the militarily 'knowledgeable' and militarily uninitiated:



    The Pakistani Pattons had laser range finders.
    Range finders are just an aid, whether laser or optical. The primary system is eyeball Mk 1 and a commanders estimation of the range ie, expertise born of experience. The extremely flat trajectory of armour-piercing ammunition solves all sort of problems. The tactics of engagement will depend on the COs, Sqn Leaders, Troop Commanders or Tank commanders skills in attack or in defence. One tank in the right place can wreak carnage on the enemy. The key to it all is training, training and training. Peacetime competitions such as those sponsored by NATO provided useful markers in abilities. Typically the beginning of the year would see individuals on trade and upgrading courses. After that there would be crew training on individual tanks. Following that was Troop training where the tanks of a troop would be working together. After that came Squadron training when the troops were acting as a Squadron. The bigger and longer Regimental exercises followed where all the Squadrons were out (along with other elements such as recce troop). Next on the agenda was Brigade training where all the Regiments (armour, infantry, artillery etc) were working as a Brigade. Next it was Divisional training where all the brigades were working under the divisional commander. Finally it was Corps training when all the divisions were melded into 1(BR) Corps. The army exercises were matched in BAOR by the 2ndTAF. Into this busy schedule the NATO competitions were held. It was often a relief for a unit to leave BAOR to be sent on active service, and the British Army saw plenty of that too, in many parts of the world.
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    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    The cents' I was on(66) had .50 ranging guns worked by solanoid accurate as buggery...could put 3 Hesh rounds in the air at the same target, try that in a Challenger...no chance!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    The cents' I was on(66) had .50 ranging guns worked by solanoid accurate as buggery...could put 3 Hesh rounds in the air at the same target, try that in a Challenger...no chance!!
    I had a spell on the Conqueror heavy tank (as it was then classed) which had optical (split image) rangefinders. These were not always the answer to a maidens prayer though as they could get fogged under certain conditions or get clagged with black Soltau dust which was at least as lovely as soot! The Conq was always stationed aft of the Cents by 800 to 1,000 yards to give defence in depth and at target ranges of over a mile the rangefinders were quite useful but not absolutely essential. The standard shoot gave a spread anyway (Fire at estimated range, add 200, Fire drop 400 Fire). I bet one of your 3 Hesh or one of APDS would have done the job. I thought the .50" cal MG was to save on ammunition expenditure but it seems you were still using the 3 shell method. Did you ever think it to be a belt and braces system? I was in the AAC by the time the .50" cal saw widespread ranging use and I'm afraid I have no practical experience of using it. Mind you, when we were Range Regiment at Hohne there was no shortage of ammo for the main armament.
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  11. #11
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by glyn
    A military professional who knows nothing at all about tanks (and proves it with his statements) wishes to take Wikipedia over the proven experience of those who were qualified on the Centurion? No surprise there. Peacetime soldier? Who is that person you keep referring to?
    The same Joe so who is audacious to state "I have never heard anyone, anyone militarily knowledgeable that is, claim the Patton series of tanks to be "far superior" to the Centurion".

    The weak arguments that Wikipedia is no answer indicate how peacetime uniform donning soldiers, and that too aviators, speak so audaciously authoritatively on the use of weapons systems in combat! Since you are such a well read person, old boy, do prove where it is wrong and do quote the wonderful books you have read and the chapters thereof! And, in the interim, do read the accounts of the war from various Pakistani and Indian military personnel who participated in the war! That is , if you were not there personally, which I cannot put it beyond you and your fairy tale military knowledgeable status!

    Of course, if you know more than them, then that is a different matter and the imperial nose in the air know more since they were the imperial rulers, notwithstanding that they know nothing! Must grant that those who know nothing ( with self satisfying arrogance) feed fat their fond delusions!

    With all due regards and bated breath one wonders if these ‘wonders of imagined combat’ have seen any intense and gripping combat beyond the movie screens? Worse still, have they learnt anything even from these?

    And is combat the same as peacetime 'enactment'? If so, I presume children who are excellent at video games of war, should be made Generals and the uniformed pensioned off or put to pasture! How can anyone discuss issues that they have never seen? It is like discussing God and these blokes demand attention that they have seen God!

    Why the Wikipedia reference?

    The Wikipedia reference was appended (to please to their gills the Doubting 'knowledgeable' Thomases and peacetime knowalls) because one could not append books/ chapters on the Indo Pak War.

    It is extraordinary that those who comment so 'expertly', bursting the banks of ‘military knowledge’, have no clue about the Indo Pak War and the experiences given thereof in the various books by both Indian and Pakistani officers and others more knowledgeable than this "Wonder of the world of the Wars under review"; and are the types are quick to wax eloquence over minor skirmishes of WW I (that is where there mind is entombed!). I concede that books cost money these days and one cannot afford to have a personal library!

    It is high time that western over hyped self appointed pundits shake themselves of the shackles that 'real' wars are fought by western nations and they are the know all! Indeed, Iraq proves how arrogance sours reality and that they know bugger all! The Kashmir foreign assisted Islamic insurgency should indicate how things take time to be mended and that how one does not turn tail, when things get difficult as in Iraq! One has to battle on the legacy one inherits and we inherited this legacy thanks to the British as the British inherit it by being a poodle! None should cry over spilt milk and instead battle on and not turn tail!

    If turning tail was the answer, then India should have abandoned Kashmir as should Pakistan have the NWFP, Balochistan and Northern Territories! Patience and being down to earth instead of imperial arrogance over like 'darkies and natives running wild and nude' is the answer!

    Saw what happened to the Koreans in Afghanistan! The Colonial days are over, old relic! The spreading of the Gospel and winning an Islamic Empire by the sword is as old as the Stonehenge! Modernity and education has hit the world. No longer are the nude natives running wild in the 'dark' cares of the world!

    Wake up and smell the coffee! Add a few muffins and cones, for old Imperial time’s sake!

    The technical details from the other source should be indicative of merely the technical issues which indicate technically the difference and better gear. The peacetime soldier should also realise that unlike in a firing range, the 'target' does not hang around the whole day to take aim and be fired at! I daresay the said peacetime soldier would understand that in combat, the 'target' is but fleeting and the gunner who has the range right would be the winner and a laser range finder does magnificently than other 'aids'! But then, everyone does not have combat experience even if they are 'Zorros' and Wild Bill Hickco-cks on the peacetime firing ranges!

    In so far, as:
    Following that was Troop training where the tanks of a troop would be working together. After that came Squadron training when the troops were acting as a Squadron. The bigger and longer Regimental exercises followed where all the Squadrons were out (along with other elements such as recce troop). Next on the agenda was Brigade training where all the Regiments (armour, infantry, artillery etc) were working as a Brigade. Next it was Divisional training where all the brigades were working under the divisional commander. Finally it was Corps training when all the divisions were melded into 1(BR) Corps. The army exercises were matched in BAOR by the 2ndTAF. Into this busy schedule the NATO competitions were held. It was often a relief for a unit to leave BAOR to be sent on active service, and the British Army saw plenty of that too, in many parts of the world.
    This is an old hat that is being spewed as if it is something extraordinary and singular! I wouldn't be surprised if the Fijian Army does the same! ROFLMAO!

    This is common place in both the Indian and Pakistani Armies. It is done annually! And how many times does the BAOR undertake the same?

    Example: The Brass Tacks crisis (a mere exercise) between India and Pakistan took place between November 1986 and March 1987. With the crisis peaking in January 1987, India had deployed 400,000 troops, or about half the Indian army, within 100 miles of Pakistan.
    Brass Tacks

    Peacetime soldiers should understand the magnitude of subcontinental peacetime exercise! What was the 'extent' of the BAOR exercise?

    It is presumptuous to imagine that the Indian and the Pakistani Armies are in the days of the musket and ball!

    Further, it would be adequate to state that British Generals visit India to learn of combat and CI experiences and I had the privilege of briefing none other than General Sir Michael Rose, then AG of the British Army and who was assigned to take over in the Balkans. I dare say that there are some who would like to pass off as experts besting the good General! If indeed that is true that British aviators are better than their General, it is an interesting 'discovery', to say the least!

    The US Army trains in Indian Army schools of instruction and undertake exercises too! So, let us stop walking with the nose in the air! Hardly any reason to do so since the facts speak otherwise!

    Competitions are also very much on the cards in the Indian Army and I daresay, the Pakistani Army (after all they are the legatees of the British Army way! And anyway, British Army traditions are what keeps us in good stead) and they are so routine that one does not make a song and dance over them since the Indian Army is in a state of ‘constant combat readiness’ given the sub continental scenario! I agree that those who have no idea of the sub continent would find it hard to imagine that. BAOR, in comparison, is a ball to the Indo Pak environment

    And pray what is "active service" for a peacetime Army as the British Army? I sure would love to learn about it so that I am more 'military knowledgeable', claiming to be no 'Mr Knowall" as some claim with such 'knowledgeless' aplomb!

    Rue the day when GB Shaw’s chocolate cream soldiers become experts to comment on equipment in combat!

    In so far as Laser Rangefinders, one has to see it in the context of those times. It made a world of difference when ranging. Peacetime range 'wonders' would be hard pressed to understand that!

    In addition, a better and more powerful engine and a larger ‘turnaround’ before fuelling was a greater asset in the Indo Pak scenario since, in those days, the A1 and A2 echelons were hard pressed to keep pace. But then, what would BAOR wizards of 'combat' understand? They are the Real McCoys and war experience is passé!

    One has to understand the Indo Pak scenario, the terrain (deserts and plains with canals and DCBs) to comprehend the issue of being ‘far superior’.

    Any militarily knowledgeable person would realise that and not superimpose the European scenario to behave haughtily with misplaced arrogance of being a ‘knowall’ on everything on earth with ‘earthshaking’ one liners!

    Even a non-military knowledgeable person is well aware that is 'man behind the gun' who makes the difference! Nothing really earth shakingly brilliant an observation!

    I find it most amusing when relics of the British Raj condescend and talk with their nose in the air and prove that saying about being a ‘frog in the well’!
    We must dare to think about unthinkable things because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.

    I am not aware of what it is in the British Army, but Indian Army officers, whatever be their arm or service have to be aware of the "Combined Arms" Concept. The Indo Pak scenario would be real hard on the person who understand his own Arm alone!

    If it were not so, the Infantry Generals would not command Armoured Division and vice versa!

    Or Musharraf, an artillery man, command an Army!

    It may interest you that the Colonel could tell you something about the Indian Army that may shock your concept of how an army is structured or organised or is capable of tasks that classically is different!

    So, to me a tank is not something that is to be preserved in the museum, but an instrument that assist in furthering the concept of war (warfighting in US terms!)

    The bane of military thinking is taking equipment being the exclusive domain of experts! Nitty gritties of mechanical moving of such equipment maybe the preserve of a few, but not its employment! The Army that thinks that 'an' equipment is beyond their understanding is, in my opinion, is all set out for a disaster!



    Dave,

    No quibbles with you!

    I appreciate your view since it speaks of experience as you know, sans the pomposity of a 'knowall' knowing nothing of combat!! You won't find me commenting on your post!

    I am commenting on the British officer class who are so covered with self importance without knowing a damn about life!

    Though the modern British Army officers are not so pompous. My own cousin is a Dragoons officers!

    It is like self appointed peacetime coves telling an Iraq Veteran that he knows bugger all!

    I must say that British officers are examples of pomposity par excellence who do not have their feet firmly on the ground!

    :
    The standard shoot gave a spread anyway (Fire at estimated range, add 200, Fire drop 400 Fire). I bet one of your 3 Hesh or one of APDS would have done the job.
    Heavens!

    To the Officer of the Realm!

    Is there something that could be beyond this standard procedure of how to apply tank fire?

    How juvenile to give standard stuff....take your rifle, put it on the shoulder, close one eye, take aim. Fire!

    And pretend it is something oh Wow!

    It is actually oh wow! to those who not well trained and to them it is something fabulously new!

    And it is not that I don't understand even aviation. I had my own military helicopter (yes, old boy, my own!) and have done extensive flying!

    And to hear these Knowalls and hopeless peacetime humbugs!

    WHAT A GAS!
    Last edited by Ray; 01 Sep 07, at 11:10.


    "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."

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  12. #12
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    Sir,

    The 1RTR guys here are saying that India had the better tank or at least the better trained tank crews.

  13. #13
    In Memoriam Military Professional dave lukins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Sir,

    The 1RTR guys here are saying that India had the better tank or at least the better trained tank crews.
    100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Sir,

    The 1RTR guys here are saying that India had the better tank or at least the better trained tank crews.
    Thank you, OoE. Had you written this earlier we might have been spared the lengthy and foolish tirade by The Worlds Greatest Living Authority On Every Subject.
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  15. #15
    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    OoE,

    Again that is where you western Three Men in a Boat wise men go wrong!

    Pakistanis were not trained on the equipment and hence they went wrong. Having something and not knowing how to use it does create problems! The Pattons were no lousy tanks!

    It is true we knew our eqpt and they did not!

    They maybe Indian adversaries, but I rather look into facts and not talk big as some peacetime blokes do as if they are God own something with Sun Shining out of somewhere from their anatomy!

    I am no Greatest Living Know all, but I research and have varied combat experience that I bank on, and not pretend to be the One Line Marvel of the World and the Greatest Sage, one notch lower than Jesus as some tykes here do!

    Mine is no foolish tirade. It just exposes the Fools, who known next to nothing! They are like rustics come to town!

    Crap is something I do not shovel. Other may do! It maybe their station and choice, not mine!

    Mine is no foolish tirade. It is just an expose on the very same fools who talk so, and who know nothing but are audacious in thinking that the Sun has not set on them! And they hope that we just cower with Fear and not set the facts right! Poor deluding relics!

    The Lord may forgive them for their arrogant delusion!

    That, however, is not true of all Britons who have their set head right and know their onions - only those who are relics!

    Notwithstanding, I respect those who express their view without the pomposity that expose intense shallowness charged with unmitigated arrogance, which some may attribute as being profoundly idiotically stupid being ill read but ballooning with arrogant imbecility !

    Lastly, I am no 'The Worlds Greatest Living Authority On Every Subject'. My parent spent a fortune for my schooling and I have not giving up my quest for knowledge unlike some idiots who haunch on their free grammar school experience as the be all and end all of life!

    In India , educating one children is a big deal unlike elsewhere (I presume seeing the poor standard of knowledge out here)!

    Don't blame me, in India I am no great shakes, but here I am "The Worlds Greatest Living Authority On Every Subject". And it seem so, given the nonsense and idiocy some freak churn out here! What a shame!
    Last edited by Ray; 01 Sep 07, at 11:49.


    "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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