February 8, 2023

Celebrating Chachro Raid Day

When 10 PARA SF Successfully Conducted Operations 80Km Inside Pakistan in the 1971 War.

As the 1971 war continued on Western Front, 10 PARA (Commandos) undertook operation to strike 70-80 Km deep inside Pakistan, a special forces operations unparalleled in history. It can also be considered as India’s first most audacious surgical strike.

The 10 PARA SF was tasked to carry out a series of raids on enemy positions across International Border. The aim was to assist Indian Army operations and weaken the Pakistani Line of Communications beyond Barmer Sector, Rajasthan.

The raids were conducted in the early hours of December 7, 1971, when men from 10 PARA divided into two separate units : Alpha and Charlie led by Lt Col. Bhawani Singh infiltrated deep inside enemy territory and carried out raids on enemy positions at Chachro and Virwah located in Sindh province of Pakistan. The men used jongas and jeeps fitted with FN MAG GPMGs and Bren LMGs for this operation.

The team traveled over 50 km inside enemy territory, hitting Pakistani positions. The Alpha team led by Brig. Abraham Chacko attacked Chachro, where most enemies fled their positions, thinking that their approaching Jongas were none other than enemy tanks.

During these operations, the speed and ferocity of the attacks forced enemies to panic and flee despite having superiority in numbers and position.

The 10 PARA SF (Aka. Desert Scorpions) rained havoc in Pakistan for 96 hours. The raids were led by the legendry, then Lt. Col. Swai Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur), 10 Para (SF). As per some account, he prepared for this raid for 6 months.

During the raids, Pakistan lost 36 men, and 22 were taken as PoW with a huge number of small arms. For this successful operation, 10 Para (SF) received a well-deserved Battle Honor – Chachro 1971 and received 10 gallantry awards while the CO, then Lt. Col. Swai Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur), 10 Para (SF) received Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest gallantry award.

So thorough and accurate was CO Bhawani Singh battle planning and execution was that the 10 Para (SF) captured Chachro, Virawah, Nagarparkar, Islamkot, Lunio without a single causality.

The 10 PARA SF is now also known as “Mustaffa Of Desert Warfare.” The unit was raised in 1967 by splitting 9 Para (SF). Within 4 years of it raising, the 10 PARA SF took part in 1971 war and conducted one of the most successful commando operations in the world known as The Chachro Raid. This operation is still a case study for many special forces across the world.

Someone has well said that “the devil stood up when the Para SF were born.”

Some picture credits: ‘Bubbles’ – a biography of Brigadier HH Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh, MVC.

Author

  • Shantanu K. Bansal

    Founder of IADN. He has more than 10 years of experience in research and analysis. An award winning researcher, he writes for the leading defence and security journals, think-tanks and in-service publications. He is a senior consultant at the Indian Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Shimla. Contact him at: Shantanukbansal2@gmail.com

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