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M48 Patton vs Centurion: Indo-Pakistani War 1965

M48 Patton vs Centurion: Indo-Pakistani War 1965 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2016 Title M48 Patton vs Centurion: Indo-Pakistani War 1965
Author David R. Higgins Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2016 ISBN 9781472810922
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.95


In September 1965, India and Pakistan squared off over Jammu and Kashmir in western India.

Now Osprey distills the war through two iconic western tanks in M48 Patton vs Centurion: Indo-Pakistani War 1965 – 71st installment in the publisher’s “Duel” series.

Author David R. Higgins begins with introductory notes on historical and political issues. A two-page chronology offers a 22-year conflict perspective. And helpful design, development and technical details for both vehicles follow.

Osprey’s succinct study then segues to analyses of combatants and the “strategic situation” before plunging into “combat”:

  • The Lahore Front: the Battle of Asal Uttar
  • The Sialkot Front: the Battle of Phillora
  • The Sialkot Front: the first and second Battles of Chawinda

Statistics, analysis and aftermath sections neatly wrap things up.

In the end, combatants fundamentally fought to a draw. Inexperienced in marshalling and maneuvering large formations, senior commands of both countries also exhibited excess caution – often failing to seize opportunity and initiative. But clashes did confirm that Indian Centurions with their “powerful gun and lower profile, generally proved superior to the faster, lighter but overly complex” Pakistani Pattons.

B&W photos, extended captions, sidebars, selected bibliography and index augment the account. Alan Gilliland’s and Johnny Shumate’s superb color plates beautifully illustrate technical details and battlefield action scenes. But a theater map would have noticeably improved contents clarity. All three maps are tactical nature – great for detail, but lacking in strategic perspective.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!