6th Battalion – The Frontier Force Regiment (6 FF)

As already brought out earlier, Pakistan forces in the disputed area of Kashmir advanced to Chhamb and beyond just prior to the main PakistanIndia War, 1965. 6 FF took an active part in this advance.

The battalion was at Kohat and later moved into a rear concentration area. By August 30th, 1965 6 FF concentrated north of Gujrat at the communication centre of Daulat Nagar. Reconnaissance and briefings were carried out on August 30th.

The original plan was that while one formation would try and establish a bridgehead across the river Tawi, an armoured regiment, together with 6 FF, would break out and advance towards Sahaban Wali Khad. It was also stated that 6 FF might have to take part in an assault crossing in case the other formation could not form the bridgehead. In many of the actions in Chhamb area described below, elements of 12 FF reconnaissance support battalion) fought side by side with 6 FF.

By 2100 hours the battalion was to concentrate and marry up with the armour at Jalalpur Sobatian. The route forward was very difficult and 6 FF only made it by 0300 hours on September 1st. but by then it was too late to marry up with 13 Lancers, the armoured regiment. This force now moved to a forward assembly area at Ghaivan in a position from where it could quickly break out once the leading brigade had established its bridgehead

It appears that this leading formation ran into trouble and 6 FF.group was ordered to secure the near bank of the river Tawi so that a bridgehead could be established. To this end it advanced along the track Ghaiyan-BhcjpurDakhua, brushing aside the small enemy pocket at Koil, but the advance was subjected to many air attacks and slowed down.

Communication between the leading tank squadron and 6 FF was poor and contact was lost, but by September 2nd the battalion secured the area Singri and later Chak Pandit.

The bridgehead now was to be established by 6 FF and by 14 Punjab. D Company 6 FF was given the objective of Palanwala and on its right B Company 6 FF was to capture Dar. H Hour was changed but eventually the assault across the river Tawi was made at 1745 hours on September 2nd.

Hardly any enemy was contacted and the battalion continued the advance down the main Chhamb Jaurian-Akhnur axis. The enemy opposition was light until the leading elements hit the area of Troti. It appeared that the enemy had decided to make a stand in that area and their defences were becoming stronger and stronger as they fell back.

The battalion was next ordered to attack the Troti feature but these orders were changed when it was realized that two squadrons of 13 Lancers had managed to get behind the enemy. One company 6 FF was ordered immediately to move out and protect the armor at night. Intercommunication difficulties with brigade headquarters and the guns were becoming worse. In addition the battery commander with 6 FF had already been wounded and there was no replacement for him.

On September 4th the battalion commander decided to attack the general area of Bhagwan Chak to Andarwal with three companies up. H Hour was to be at 1130 hours. As already mentioned, the enemy was getting stronger and stronger. Their artillery was becoming more intense and consequently only the centre company objective was reached and that was by 2/Lieutenant Shabir Sharif of D Company. By 1430 hours it was quite obvious that the enemy were too strongly entrenched and supported. The battalion was therefore ordered to withdraw from its exposed position. 2/Lieutenant Shabir Sharif, although wounded himself, performed magnificently in bringing back many wounded for which he had to make at least three trips to the objective. On his last trip he captured one enemy vehicle, together with a 25 pounder gun and ammunition trailer. In this attack the unit suffered ten killed and 44 wounded. Later that evening the battalion was again concentrated astride the road Chhamb Jaurian Akhnur.

On September 5 at 0930 hours the battalion recommenced its advance and the leading elements reached Jaurian without encountering the enemy. The shelling, however, was very heavy. The advance continued and at one stage an enemy company occupied Troti behind the advance. The Adjutant, Major Anwar Ul Haq, together with those he could lay his hands on, upset the enemy plan by making a coordinated defense position there and then, firing at the enemy.

The advance along the road had been slow, since there were many small villages and huts along the route which had to be cleared. The advance continued on September 6th and the enemy at Devipur were contacted. This time the F.O.O.s on their sets were unable to communicate with their guns and consequently 6 FF could not attack Devipur in the absence of fire support.

The enemy put (town heavy artillery on to the leading elements and here Captain Khalid H. Lodi was killed and eight O.R. seriously wounded.

A new formation moved up to relieve the formation in which 6 FF was fighting and we next find 6 FF in the Sialkot area on September 8th. Here, on September 12th, it was ordered to occupy a sector for the defense of Sialkot astride the Phillaurah road, in the general area of Gopalpur. From the same night it continued intensive patrolling towards Rasalpur and Kalarawanda.

On September 14th, 6 FF was ordered to attack Kalarawanda with the support of one squadron of rather out-of-date tanks. The enemy put up slight resistance and the objective was captured. The tanks, however, owing to a failure in intercommunication, did not arrive at the objective and an enemy counter-attack later that evening was successful. On September 16th another attack was launched at Kalarawanda by two companies of 6 FF and again due to intercommunication difficulties with the rather obsolete tanks and the strength of the enemy, the attack failed.

On September 17th the battalion was at Pasrur holding a defensive position and here it was very obvious that further ahead there was a major battle going on at Chawinda (see 3 FF’s account;.

On September 19 orders were received for 6 FF to relieve 3 FF in Chawinda and this was done by the evening of September 19th. From then until the cease fire on September 23rd the battalion fought in Chawinda and was subjected to intense shelling, especially on the night of September 22 /23 when it appeared that the Indians fired every weapon that they had.

The following officers served with the unit during the operations in 1965;

Lieutenant-Colonel Mohammad Iqbal
Major Liakat Ali Khan
Major Anwar Ul Haq
Major Abdullah Saeed
Major R.H. Pervez
Captain Raja Javed Akhtar Khan
Captain Khalid Hameed Lodi
Captain Mohammad Yousaf
Lieutenant Mohammad Asif
2/Lieutenant Shabir Sharif
2/Lieutenant Khalid Adrian Khan
2/Lirutenant Mohammad Emran Ahsan