Battle of Asal Uttar


v2.1 - CD version

On the 10th September 1965 the Pakistani 1st Armoured Division launched the last in a series of attacks to take Assal Uttar and break through the Indian defences. The Indians had no reserves and once their line was broken the way to Amritsar and Delhi beyond would be open. Standing in their way was the Indian 4th Mountain Division reinforced by the 2nd Tank Brigade. The scene was set for the biggest tank battle of the '65 war.

Order of Battle here. Map here.


The table is 3ft x 4ft if playing 1cm = 50m. North is towards the top of the page

The open terrain is totally flat. It is a chequerboard of small open fields almost totally bereft of of cover. Non dug-in stand in the open do NOT count as concealed at the start of the game. Randomly scattered about are some flooded fields. These are impassable to all stands. Also randomly scattered about are fields of sugar cane and corn. the crop is high enough to break LOS for direct fire (but not for IDF). Units on the edge of such fields count as concealed and they offer light cover. Visibility within the fields is 0", fields should be 5x5cm on the table

The blue lines are irrigation ditches. The thicker is a major obstacle. It costs BMA for personnel to cross. 2 BMA for tracked vehicles. It is impassable for wheeled vehicles

The thin blue line is no obstacle for personnel, cost a BMA for tracks and 2 BMA for wheels

Both ditches offer +2 cover vs non H class fire for personnel.

Route 21 is tarmac, the other roads are just dirt tracks.

The green dotted lines are scrubby tree-lines. They break LOS to non-adjacent stands and provide light cover. Stands on the road are considered to be adjacent to flanking tree lines. The irrigation ditches and their adjacent tree lines are considered an obstacle, so any stand touching the ditch is also considered to be touching the opposite tree-line

The dotted black line is a 2" wide antitank minefield. The Pakistanis have no mine clearing equipment.

The grey areas are urban BUA's consisting of mud brick compounds. They give personnel within +3 cover. The simple town fighting rules are in effect (ie AFVs and towed guns are reduce to 0 ROF and gain no cover in towns)

Indian Deployment

The 9th J&K Rifles and the 4th Grenadiers are deployed in the zones indicated on the map. All personnel stands of these units are dug in fox-holes (-2 cover) The 9th Horse (excluding B squadron) can be deployed in either infantry battalion's deployment zone.

B squadron 9th Horse is deployed within 15cm of point C

The 3rd Cavalry Regt (-) (excluding A Squadron) is deployed in the zone indicated

A Sqn 3rd Cavalry Regt is a reinforcement. In enters two turns after any Pakistani tank gets within 30cm of a 3rd Cav Regt Tank. It enters on a table edge within 15cm of point X

A Sqn 9th Cavalry is a reinforcement, entering on turn 5, within 15cm of road D

HQ XI Corps is a reinforcement, entering down road C or D on turn 4

Pakistani Deployment

Most Pakistani forces enter the table turn 1.

24th Cavalry and 1st Frontier Force enter between E and 15cm north of road F

4th Cavalry, 12th Cavalry and the 10th Frontier Force enter between points A & B . B is 45cm from corner A.

The DHQ enters along road F, on turn 7. Regrouped stands that accompany the commander enter up to 15cm either side of road F


Special Rules

The game lasts 12 turns with a 50% chance of a 13th

The Pakistani DHQ and his staff are busy for the first 6 turns of the game regrouping losses from the 24th Cav and 1st FF. Any stands lost form those units can be re-grouped and will accompany the DHQ when it enters turn 7. Use the standard re-group rules but not their is the equivalent of TWO stands regrouping

If the Pakistani DHQ is co-located with a Pakistani BHQ that battalion gains a +1 morale benefit. However if the DHQ is eliminated all Pakistani units get a -1 moral modifier for the rest of the game

The Indian gun lines are not far off the NE table edge. Each turn when their are Pakistani stands not in cover within 30cm of the NE table edge the Indian player may fire an additional 105mm and a 120mm IDF mission. these count as self spotted (ie arrive automatically)

Victory Conditions

For the Indians to win they must destroy at least 12 M47 or M48 and the Pakistanis must not make their victory conditions.

For the Pakistanis to win they must hold (no enemy in good morale within 10cm) and one of Assault Uttar, Chima or the crossroads marked X on the map at the end of the game

If neither side makes its victory conditions then the game's a draw.

Good morale means not shaken and not demoralised

Historical Outcome

It was not a good day for the Pakistanis. The 12th Cavalry were not informed of the movements of the 10th Frontier Force and started shooting at it. The Pakistani infantry fled leaving their APC's littered about the battlefield. One squadron of the 4th Cavalry made it to the crossroads. However the commander Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Nazir felt very isolated and the next day surrendered to a squad of Indian infantry without a fight!

The 24th Cavalry and the 5th Frontier force faired little better. The 5th lost two company commanders then broke and fled the field. the 24th left without infantry support was compelled to turn back.

At this point the 1st Division Chief of Staff arrived and turned the 24th and 5th about and tasked them with attacking Chima. However the Chief of Staff and several other high ranking officers ran in to a patrol of the Indian 4th Grenadier Battalion and were all killed.

The loss of so many senior officers plus the fact that that the Indian armour was carving up the Pakistani tank formations caused the offensive to falter and the Pakistanis withdrew from the field.

The Indians claimed 72 M47 and M48 destroyed or captured plus 25 Chaffees though that number includes losses from the previous days and subsequent actions in the area. Certainly there are plenty of pictures of large numbers of captured tanks. The Pakistanis admitted 32 tank casualties.


Battle of Asal Uttar: Pakistan and India 1965:

Battle of Assal Uttar-1965:

Brigadier Za Khan's memoir:  The battle is described on the last (4th) page.

Google Map:

Official Indian History of the 1965 War:  - The battle is in Chapter 6.

Soviet Map of the Battlefield: