Monday, September 9, 2019

My war hero of 1965 War: Major (R) Shah M Ismail at Chawinda Tank Battle.

My hero of 1965 War: Major (R) Shah M Ismail at Chawinda Tank Battle.
Rauf Mamoo (as known in the family) related to us of his experience at Chawinda battlefield in the 1965 India-Pakistan war.
Major Shah M Ismail
He was assigned the duty of an OP (Observation Post) and was deputed in the no-man's land between the two armies. When the battle started he found himself confined continuously for 2-3 days in this no-man's land because of the intense and continuous artillery bombing and firing. Officers assigned to replace him could not turn up because of this intense fighting going on and there was continuous heavy tank shelling and they were probably blown away, martyred while on the way. His job was to hid in the no-man's land and spot the enemy tanks and direct the fire of artillery and the air crafts to appropriate targets using wireless codes. Note that those were the pre-satellite days, with no video, no drones and other devices. The spotting had to be done through binoculars and had to call through wireless field phones using encryption. This he went on to do without any relief or support continuously while hidden in the middle of the two warring tank armies in some bushes/trees cover while the shells continued to fly over him to targets in one or the other sides. Eventually, when there came a lull in the fighting and he was relieved after the grueling and taxing two-three days. He finally got a chance to retreat back to the camp and rest. He was so tired that he put on the mosquito nets and went to sleep besides some other army men. He was so tired that he fell like a log and slept as if unconscious. His sleep was so deep that even the resumption of artillery fire could not wake him. When he eventually woke up he found to his amazement, wonder and heavy heart that his net had been blown away by enemy fire, there was mud cover all over the place, the camp had been blown away, the soldiers sleeping along side him had been blown away, martyred, and miraculously he had survived without even a single scratch. (Rahay naam Allah ka.)

Here I remember him as a loving mamoo n friend to everyone. He left us in September 1999.
My memories from what he told me long time ago and far away, most probably in Islamabad during 1970s.

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