It was an utterly unequal battle fought between a handful of Sikh defenders led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale assisted by Major General Shabeg Shahbeg Singh and Bhai Amrik Singh on one side and the massive Indian army headed by Lt. General Krishnaswamy Sunderjit besides Lt. General Ranjit Singh Dyal and Kuldeep Singh Brar.
The Sikh fighters were armed with ordinary weapons in comparison to the ones possessed by the Indian army. The former had no superior weapon than Light Machine Guns.
On the other hand the Indian army was equipped with all kinds of heavy and sophisticated weapons which included Main Battle Thanks, heavy guns, mortar Guns, howitzer, canons using twenty-pounder shells, machine guns, and other pieces of artillery used in a field war against an enemy country.
Numerical strength of the Sikh militants was also miserably insignificant in comparison to that of the India Army. The Sikh fighters were not more than two hundred whereas the Army's numerical strength fighting them in the Complex was at least seven thousand.
The Sikh fighters had no line of communication and source of supply. They were totally cut off from the state, the country and the world. They were completely besieged in the Golden Temple Complex, particularly in the Akal Takht. Supply of electricity and water was cut off. They had no reserves to reinforce their positions.
They had noting to eat but roasted grains, nothing to drink but their own sweat oozed from their bodies due to scorching heat. They had no place to answer the call of nature. They could not sleep for seven days and seven nights. They were exhausted and worn out under these horrible conditions.
On the other hand the Indian Army had all sort of provisions, facilities, reserves and what not.
Yet the Sikhs fought gallantly and demonstrated their remarkable valour, courage and fighting skill. Yet they held the well equipped Indian Army at bay for five days and give it a bloody reply, the reply which the Army would remember forever.
Had the militant Sikhs been equally armed, had their numerical strength been even one-tenths of the Indian Army, they would have pushed the Army up to Delhi or even beyond Jamuna.
Taken from: The Gallant Defender by A.R. Darshi
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh