9th Battalion – The Frontier Force Regiment (9 FF)

The outbreak of war saw the battalion deployed in the general area of Guiranwala. However, even in July 1965, B Company had been sent to Kharian to be grouped with 11 Cavalry (FF). The Frontier Force Group saw action in the Chhamb sector but its stay in this area was short.

At the outbreak of the war, the `fog’ was pretty thick over this battalion. I t was moved several times to various areas to counter enemy parachute ‘threats’ but hardly did it arrive in one area when it was moved elsewhere to counter other threats! For example, on September 7th at 1430 hours the battalion received orders to move to the area of Daska by last light on the same day. The battalion had hardly arrived at the new location when it was ordered to move at once to Dhok Kalan.

The battalion had again just reached Dhok Kalan when it was ordered to move to Pasrur airfield, where it arrived at 0600 hours on September 8th. Here it also took over defense of certain bridges on a link canal from 14 FF.

However, all this uncertainty cleared when the battalion was ordered to move to the area of Chawinda. On September 9th, it took up a defensive position astride the Phillaurah-Zafarwal road, and except for an enemy patrol contacting A Company position during the night of September 9/10, this period was uneventful.

At about 2000 hours on September 10th, orders were received for the battalion to relieve 24 Brigade in the area of Gadgor (see account of 3 FF). There appears to have been some confusion in these orders for the relief, but eventually 9 FF took up a position covering Gadgor.

11 Cavalry ( FF) which was supposed to join the battalion, harbored for the night further south between Chawinda and Gadgor with the intention of joining up on September 11th. This was not to be, since 11 Cavalry (FF) was itself involved in a tank battle and could not link up with the battalion.

9 FF, who had taken up a position previously held by an infantry brigade, could not hold the heavy enemy onslaught and was ordered to pull out. However it had given time to the Chawinda garrison to organize their defenses. However, pulling out was easier said than done, for the enemy had cut the road behind them at Phillaurah. 11 Cavalry (FF) was already heavily committed in a tank battle and had withdrawn to the area of Pasrur. Next it was the turn of the Guides Cavalry (FF), who tried to come to the help of 9 FF. They also ran into enemy armor and were embroiled there.

It was now the turn of 25 Cavalry to come to the assistance of 9 FF but in the confusion of battle this was not completed successfully either. By 1930 hours on September 14th, it was obvious to the battalion that if it did not extricate itself immediately it would not be able to get back to its own lines.

The battalion started to withdraw and immediately was ambushed at Phillaurah, but with determination it broke through in small groups and fought its way out of the ambush. The battalion lost much of its equipment but most of the personnel managed to break through and by the morning of September 12th a large number of its elements collected in the area of Pasrur, though stragglers came in until September 13th, 1965.