On September 6, 40 years ago, the Indian Army crossed the international border at Wagah near Lahore in response to not one, but two, Pakistani army offensives in Kashmir.
The real war, however, had begun much earlier with a large number of Pakistani commandos sneaking into Kashmir since June 1965 in order to 'free' it from Indian rule.
Both sides used tanks and aircraft to good measure, and each gained and lost territory.
Military history was made, with the world's second largest tank battle since World War II being fought in the Khem Karan sector.
By the second fortnight of September 1965, the United Nations stepped in to broker a ceasefire, which came into effect on September 23. But both sides held reasonably large chunks of each other's territory.
On December 8, the Soviet Union, which stayed neutral during the war, declared that Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistan's President Ayub Khan would meet in Tashkent on January 4, 1966.
The outcome, known as the Tashkent Agreement, signed on January 10, was that both sides agreed to roll back to positions held before August 5, 1965. Hours later, Shastri died suddenly.
Both sides later claimed to have 'won' the war (Pakistan celebrates September 6 as Defence Day), though many claim it was a stalemate.
To mark 40 years of the 1965 war, we present a special series of insights and interviews from people who fought and reported that war, and from others who have learnt from it.
Today, we bring you the second extract from a seminal book on the subject, The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965, by PVS Jagan Mohan and Samir Chopra.
Series Editor: Ramananda Sengupta