I was at Bibi Pak Daman Graveyard to say a prayer for our beloved Munawar Zareef when I met Maj Ziauddin Uppal Shaheed
As per the headstone our Artillery officer had embraced Shahadat on 17 Sep 1965 at Wagah
With a bit of correction, dear reader, it was Dograi

Having defended BRBL on 6 Sep, defenders now decided to try their luck on attack
22 Brigade under a courageous Brigadier Qayyum Sher launched a counter attack on 8 Sep
Brig Qayyum led from front in Command Jeep with star plates on, inspiring a gallant dash by the striking force

On the morning of 8 Sep after squadrons of 23 Cavalry engaged in a light tank skirmish, 18 Baloch took almost deserted Dograi with ease
On Sep10 by midday Dograi defences were in shape
2 Companies of 16 Punjab with B Squadron 23 Cavalry & 2 Companies of 18 Baloch defended it

It was during defensive phase at Dograi that on ni 17/18 we lost Major Uppal to shelling
He was observer of 30 Heavy Regiment
A day before Lt Iftikhar of 23 Cavalry had embraced shahadat
This battle eroded force was soon to meet a fierce battle
16 Punjab with an added predicament

On ni 21/22 Sep stage was set
At 2300 hrs in Phase One 13 Punjab and 15 Dogra attacked front two companies of Pakistani 16 Punjab
3 Jat would go to depth companies of 8 Punjab and 12 Punjab in Phase Two
The northern flank of 16 Punjab was to be protected by B Sqn of 23 Cavalry

Companies of 16 Punjab under intense shelling fought bravely
MG fire and grenades broke frontal attacks of two battalions
The dead bodies were later found within 10-20 yards of forward line
In the midst of attack Tanks of 23 Cavalry went missing
16 Punjab wouldn’t get them back

3 Jat came to know of the failure of Phase 1, yet their CO decided to launch Phase 2
He had told his men Zinda ya murda, Dograi mein milna hai!
Luck favors the brave
In the absence of 23 Cav tanks taken back to BRBL on confused orders of squadron commander, 3 Jat got a walk over

3 Jat still fought some heroic actions against depth companies of 8 & 12 Punjabis
Captain Thapa, a platoon commander got wounded by a grenade
He continued to fight and was seen assaulting three trenches single handed
Shot through head, the officer fell
He earned Maha Veer Chakra

There is interesting narrative of a duel b/w Maj Tyagi of 3 Jat fixing Maj Nazar of 23 Cav with bayonet while the latter fired shots at him (Maj Nazar with his tanks was at BRBL)
Maj Tyagi with multiple bullet wounds fought bravely
He was posthumously awarded Maha Vir Chakra

3 Jats took Dograi at 0300 on 22 Sep
With no tank support and depth companies gone, the two forward companies of 16 Punjab still occupied their trenches
In the first glow of sunrise they saw the dashing charge of Indian 14 Horse on to them
under all odds they decided to stay put

In sheer desperation a few charged at enemy tanks with rocket launchers and got wiped by tank machine guns
Others waited in calm for the attacking infantry to close up and took their final leap killing one or two while dying themselves
Others died fighting 3 Jat during withdrawal

22 Sep 0800
The battle was over for 16 Punjab
56 soldiers including two officers lay dead on the battlefield
2/Lt Akhtar and Captain Sagheer, the latter was awarded Sitara e Jurrat
Col Gollwala badly wounded was among the prisoners
The CO too was awarded Sitara e Jurrat

Battle of Dograi was fiercely fought by 54 Brigade
In defending Dograi, 16 Punjab perished but in it’s perishing it gave a bloody nose

In this battlefield lies the blood of many unknown heroes belonging to different units

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