Updated: Mar 14, 2020
During the Misl Era, Panjab saw many invasions by Afghan forces, that would enter through Punjab, plunder the land of India and leave back through Punjab.
The Sikhs at the time would attack these forces to free the slaves, and grab the loot.
Sikhs, being the Sons of the land of Punjab, were well aware of the terrain and land.
Sikhs followed methods which essentially are surgical operations. The entire method is summed up as 2 1/2 Phat.
- Element of Surprise, This was the trademark of the attack. The enemy is struck unaware, and if the surprise is successful then phase one is a success. This is said to be 30% of the entire attack.
- Sudden Shock Attack, "sudden, swift and shock attack of unprecedented ferocity". This shakes the enemy and creates a ripple of confusion between the enemy ranks, The will to fight flees the enemy and there is disarray in the enemy ranks. This is 40% of the entire attack.
- Quick Dispersal. After striking, the Sikh would scatter, and head to safe areas or their hide outs. Fairly shortly, the Singhs would not be found. After the escape, Sikhs would regroup, attack again with double the zeal. These attacks would be repeated, continuously causing massive damage to the enemy. This was the final 30%.
If their armies take to flight, do not take it as an actual flight. It is a war tactic of theirs. Beware, beware of them for a second time. The object of this trick is that when the furious enemy runs after them, he is separated from his main army and from his reinforcements. Then they turn back to face their pursuers and set fire even to water.
- Jangnamah, Qazi Nur Mohammed
Panth Parkash, Shaheed Bhai Rattan Singh Ji Bhangu
ਸਾਖੀ ਘੱਲੂਘਾਰੇ ਪੜੋਲ ਕਠੂਹੇ ਕੀ
Episode About the Massacre at Parol and Kathuha (Chhota Ghallughara)
ਦੇਖ ਸੁ ਲਸ਼ਕਰ ਅਤਿ ਘਣਾ ਸਭ ਖਾਲਸੇ ਲਾਯੋ ਦਿਵਾਨ । ਇਨ ਸੋ ਸਨਮੁਖ ਕਿਮ ਲਰੈਂ ਇਹ ਚਲ ਅਯੋ ਜਹਾਨ । ੬੯ ।
Reckoning the strength of Mughal forces to be large in number, The Khalsa Singhs did assemble in a religious congregation. How should the Khalsa fight with the Mughal troops, As they had launched an invasion in their largest strength. (39)
ਜੇਉ ਸੂਰ ਸਿਰ ਬਾਹਰੇ ਤੇਊ ਕਹੈਂ ਲੜੋ ਆਜ । ਜੋਊ ਸਿਆਨੇ ਸੋ ਕਹੈਂ ਲੜੋ ਸੁ ਮੁੜ ਮੁੜ ਭਾਜ । ੪੦ ।
Those being hot-headed and brave among the Singhs, Did they vote for an instant spat with the Mughals. Those being seasoned and battle-hardened veterans, Did they advise to adopt a hit and run strategy. (40)
ਸਯਾਨਨ ਨੇ ਯੋ ਬਾਤ ਸੁਨਾਈ । ਲੜਾਈ ਕੇ ਫੱਟ ਕਹੈ ਸੁ ਢਾਈ । ਮਿਲਨ ਭਜਨ ਇਹ ਸਾਰ ਦੋਇ । ਲੜ ਮਰ ਮੁੱਕਣ ਆਧਾ ਸੋਇ । ੪੧ ।
Rightly had the elders narrated a war strategy, That hit and run indeed was the best kind of battle. Confrontation and desertion being equally valid strategies, Fight or perish were indeed half as good as hit and run. (41)
ਹਮੇਂ ਗੁਰੂ ਨੇ ਭਜਣ ਬਤਾਯਾ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਨੋਂ ਬਡ ਯਹ ਦਾਯਾ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਿਓ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਆਪ । ਭਜ ਭਜ ਲੜਨੋ ਨਹਿਂ ਕਛੁ ਪਾਪ । ੪੨ ।
Advantageous desertion being approved by the Guru as a good strategy, Hit and run strategy indeed was the best policy Guru himself having deserted the field while battling, Was there indeed nothing sinful about hitting and running. (42)
ਕਈ ਬਾਰ ਭਜ ਗਯੋ ਭਗਵਾਨ । ਮੱਧ ਸਮੁੰਦਰ ਕੀਨੋ ਥਾਨ । ਪਾਂਡਵ ਭੀ ਥੇ ਭਜ ਕੇ ਬਚੇ । ਮੰਦਰ ਥੇ ਜਹ ਲੱਖੀ ਰਚੇ । ੪੩ ।
Many a time did Lord Krishna desert the field of battle, In the mid-ocean he had to sit for protection. Pandavas: to had to run away to save their lives, Seeking protection inside the Lakhi temple under-construction. (43)
ਜੋਉ ਸਯਾਨਨ ਨੇ ਕਹੀ ਮਨੀ ਸੂਰਨ ਸੋ ਗੱਲ । ਲਰਤ ਭਜਤ ਆਗੇ ਤੁਰੇ ਲਯੋ ਆਸਰੋ ਝੱਲ । ੪੪ ।
As advised by elderly veterans among the Khalsa Panth, The brave Singh warriors did obey their sane advice. Hitting and running did they proceed further, Taking shelter among the wilds (as and when required). (44)