Dhaka was a naturally protected stronghold, with rivers Ganga and Jamuna (Brahmaputra), which combine to form the Padma, on the west, Meghna on the east, and approaches from the north guarded by the Jamuna and some of its distributaries. The shortest approaches were from the west through W. Bengal and east through Tripura.
Pakistan’s plan was to block India’s advance by occupying forward defences along the border, and ‘fortress defences’ at the communication centres. The intent was to impose sufficient delay on the Indian forces for international pressure to build up, compelling India to accept a ceasefire.
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Pakistan deployed 9 Infantry Division to defend the western approach, while 14 Infantry Division and 39 (Ad Hoc) Division defended the eastern approach. The northern approach through Meghalaya was considered low priority, and defended by less than a...