The Indian Response

Operations - Kashmir Valley Sector

The immediate task was to throw the invaders back. The first batch of Indian troops landed at Srinagar on 27th October, 1947 with Dakotas touching down at Srinagar airfield. In Phase I, 1 SIKH landed at Srinagar airfield and secured it. It established a blocking position East of Baramulla, which had to be pulled nearer to Srinagar once the tribals began to outflank it. HQ 161 Infantry Brigade with 1 KUMAON was airlifted on 29 October. By end of October, 4 KUMAON, 1 MAHAR and 6 RAJRIF were also in Kashmir . Soon a squadron of 7 CAVALARY was moved from Jammu to Srinagar . The battle at Badgam on 03 November and Shalateng on 07 November routed the raiders from the valley and the Indian Forces, now under the J&K Division, moved forward mopping up the areas up to Rampur by 11 November 1947 and capturing Uri by 13 November 1947.

Operations - Jammu Sector

By 15 October, raiders had penetrated into Punch and Mirpur. The Indian Army concentrated on the priority task of saving the Valley. 50 Para Brigade was moved to Jammu via Pathankot to secure lines of communication to Jammu . Having been hopelessly outnumbered and run out of supplies, Bhimber fell on 28 October, Mendhar on 07 November and Rajauri, Rawalakot, Bagh by 11 November. Mirpur, Kotli, Jhangar, Naushera and Punch, although besieged, held on. 50 Para Brigade advanced from Jammu and relieved Jhangar and Kotli by 26 November. Mirpur however could not be relieved and own forces decided not to hold Kotli and fell back to Jhangar. Having secured Naushera and Uri, operations for relief of Punch could be undertaken. The effort from Uri was unsuccessful since own troops blew up the bridge at Kahuta, suspecting the relief column to be the enemy. Punch was supplied by air and had to hold on. Punch had 2000 State Forces troops and a company of 1 KUMAON under Brigadier Pritam Singh, Commander of the Punch Brigade. He constructed an airstrip for air landing of supplies and the Air Force continued to supply the garrison and evacuate casualties. The enemy continued in its attempts to cut off Indian lines of communications from Jammu . 80 Infantry Brigade undertook operations and secured Chhamb while 268 Infantry Brigade was responsible for securing the Jammu - Naushera axis and 50 Para Brigade operated further West and North. The most unfortunate development was the loss of Jhangar on 24 December.


An appraisal of the extent of operational advance made by the Indian Army till the end of December 1947 indicates that the valley was cleared of hostiles beyond Uri, and in Jammu division, relief operations were carried out effectively in Nowshera and Kotli. Chhamb was cleared of hostiles and the Air Force ferried arms, ammunitions and supplies to enable the Punch garrison to continue their holding operation. On the debit side was the failure to secure the relief of Mirpur, which fell into enemy, hands on 25 November, and was put to flames on 26 November, the day Indian troops reached Kotli. Jhangar having been recovered was lost again on 24 December, thus posing a threat to Nowshera and jeopardizing all operations to the north towards Rajouri and Punch. By the year end, the level of force build up in J&K had reached three brigades in Jammu area - 50 Parachute Brigade, 268 and 80 Infantry Brigades; while in the valley only 161 Infantry Brigade was operating.