Battle of Chhamb 1971

This scenario represents the action of December 5th 1971 around Chhamb (to the Indians) or Chamb (to the Pakistanis). On the 4th a frontal assault by the Pakistani's had failed so during the night they infiltrated forces around the north flank of the Indians. Both the 6th and 13th Azad Kashmir battalions were supposed to attack, the the commander of the 6th lost his battalion in the dark and the 13th attacked alone. They were highly successful, catching the Indians by surprise and taking their objective Hill 332 and holding the Mandaila ford and bridge.

As dawn broke on the 5th the Indian launched a counter attack while the Pakistani 26th Cavalry tried to reinforce the Kashmir battalion. Later in the day the Pakistanis launched attacks at the other Indian positions hoping to take Chamb. The game represents the Indian counter attacks and the Pakistani assaults later in the day.

Order of battle & map

The OB is accurate and is an amalgamation of Indian and Pakistani sources. The map is taken from a sketch map in the official Indian history of the war and a verbal description by a Pakistani major, so is accurate for the most part.


The dark red roads are tarmac, the pink roads are dirt tracks.

The whole map slopes down to the south. The contour lines represent about 20-25m of elevation so are high enough to see over most intervening terrain and provide good hull down positions. Hill 332 is 332 meters high, however the "level" area around the hill is also above sea level, the hill is probably less than 50m above the battlefield. There are hull down positions available to the tanks of the 11th Cavalry as they enter the board.

The Manawa Tawi River is about 100m across but not very deep. It is fordable north of the point Sukh Tao Nullah joins to the the marshy area. The pale blue areas adjoining the river are marsh.

A nullah is represented by a tick brown dotted line. They are dried stream beds and form depressions. The banks give a 5+ terrain save for infantry. The Sukh Toa Nullah can not be seen in to from level terrain nor from the Mandiala South Ridge. It can be seen in to from Mandaila North. The Phagla Nullah can be seen in to from the surrounding hills.

The terrain is fairly open. The few pictures of the area show a few widely scattered lines of trees. For the most part the terrain is grassland. There are areas of about 8ft tall grass scattered over the battlefield. These break LOS from infantry to infantry (and jeeps) but don't break LOS from or to AFVs. Infantry within has no LOS, so must be in base to base contact to shoot. Infantry in the long grass gets a 6+ save. There are a few areas of scrub scattered about. These do not break LOS and give a 6+ save to infantry within.

Special Rules

Each turn represents 45 minutes. The game starts at 0800 and finishes at 1900 hrs. The 4th Punjab Battalion and the 11th Cavalry do not enter the board until turn 3 (10:15).

Victory Conditions

The Mandaila ford and bridge represent one victory location, Chhamb the other. If one side controls both objectives they are the winner. If they are evenly split then the game is a draw. To "hold" an objective there must be no enemy within 6"

Historical Outcome

Fire by the 9th Deccan Horse repulsed the attempt of the 26th Cavalry to cross the Mandiala Bridge. The 5th Sikh Battalion held on in the west and even sent some troops to counter attack the bridge. The Indian counter attack in the east was too much for the 13th Azad Kashmir and they retreated back to the west bank. However the Indians had over-committed their forces in the north. Pakistani General Eftikhar was a resourceful man and withdrew his armour on the night of the 5th, He switched it to the southern front and outflanked the Indians completely unhinging their position at Chamb which fell on 7th after they had withdrawn.

The Game

The game was played at the Dunstable Generals Club Monday 3rd November. John and I played the Pakistanis and Dave played the Indians. Unfortunately we didn't play the game to a complete conclusion, but the 13th Azad Kashmir were forced back to the river bank thus leaving the crossing disputed. When we finished Chhamb was still in Indian hands but the Pakistanis were putting in a strong attack.

Historically one troop of the 9th Deccan Horse manoeuvred to attack the 26th cavalry. FFT's integrity rules don't allow this. Dave made such a move but had to take a company of infantry with him which weakened his front. If I was to replay the game I'd probably give the T-54's "support" status allowing them to manoeuvre independently