India - Pakistan War of 1971

S

Seiko

India has a rich history of naval warfare. In fact, Indian ships have made their presence felt since the time of Rajendra Chola’s 10th-century naval expedition to Southeast Asia and Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre’s 18th-century naval battles against the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese.

This tradition of remarkable military exploits has continued even post-independence, with the Indian Navy playing a key role in at least four major military operations after 1947. There are several stories and anecdotes in the annals of the Indian Navy that illustrate why it has earned the reputation of a force to be reckoned with.

But the most celebrated among them is the story of the audacious naval operation commemorated by India’s Navy Day, Operation Trident.

Here’s the fascinating story of the mission that proved to be a turning point in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

In 1968, war clouds were already gathering on the horizon when the Indian Navy decided to acquire the Osa-I missile boats from the Soviet Union. Osa translates to ‘wasp’ in Russian and these boats did have a powerful sting thanks to their deadly ship-to-ship Styx missiles (that could blow the biggest enemy cruisers out of the water) and Range-out homing radars (that could out-range any naval radar of that era).

Thus, the fast-moving and stealthy missile boats could look deep and strike deep. However, they had one crucial downside — designed primarily for coastal defence, they had a short range. Nonetheless, Indian Navy acquired eight Osa-Is, established its Missile Boats Squadron, and flew crew members to Russia for eight-month-long raining in the freezing Siberian winter.

In early 1971, the boats were finally shipped to India. Since there were no heavy cranes in Mumbai, the boats were offloaded in Kolkata and towed along the coast to Mumbai.

This was the genesis of a brilliant idea in the minds of India’s naval commanders that would go on to play a pivotal role in Operation Trident — if these boats could be towed from Kolkata to Mumbai, couldn’t their short range feature be overcome by towing them from Mumbai to Karachi?

This audacious strategy would soon come to fruition. As dusk fell on December 3, 1971, at 5.45 PM, the Pakistan Air Force attacked six Indian airfields. The same night, IAF Canberra aircrafts struck Pakistani airfields as ground battles immediately commenced in nearly every sector.

The Indo-Pak War of 1971 had begun and it was time for Indian Navy’s “Killer Squadron” to join the battle.

On the night of December 3, a group of Osa-I missile boats — INS Nipat, INS Nirghat and INS Veer (individually under the commands of Lt. Cdrs. BN Kavina, IJ Sharma and OP Mehta and as a squadron under Cdr. BB Yadav) set sail from Mumbai harbour. The next day, on December 4, two Petya class Frigates — the INS Katchall (under Cdr. KN Zadu) and INS Kiltan (under Commander. G Rao) rendezvoused with the missile boats to form the Trident team.

Sailing westward and then northwards, the Osa-Is were successfully towed to reach the Karachi harbour (the stronghold of the Pakistani Navy) by night. From there, the “wasps” proceeded in an arrowhead formation, changing course frequently with radar inputs from INS Kiltan to avoid enemy detection.

Interestingly, the ship crews communicated in Russian, making the transmissions between the attacking vessels difficult to intercept for enemy ears!

At 2243 hours, the Rangout radar on INS Nirghat picked up a big target — PNS Khaiber, a destroyer of Pak Navy. This was soon followed by the detection of two more targets, PNS Shah Jehan and merchant vessel Venus Challenger (carrying ammunition for the Pakistani Army).

Without any delay, the missile boat squadron homed onto the targets with devastating precision and launched their Styx missiles in quick succession.

Never realising what had hit their ships, the baffled Pakistani Navy assumed it was aircraft fire (IAF aircrafts had been strafing Pakistan’s Kemari oil tanks on the same day in an independent operation) and tried in vain to engage the Styx missiles with their anti-craft guns.

In fact, PNS Khyber even transmitted a mayday signal saying it had been hit by enemy aircraft before it broke into two and sank.

By this time, the Indian squadron had fixed their sight on the fuel storage facilities on the shore.

Stretched to their endurance limits and virtually unprotected against air strikes, the three small missile boats launched their final missiles (setting the whole harbour complex on fire) before turning around and returning full speed to Bombay.

Interestingly, while the Indian ships were retreating, the prevailing confusion led to the Pakistan Air Force scoring a self-goal by hitting its own frigate ship, PNS Zulfiqar (that it assumed to be an enemy boat)!

On December 7, 1971, the Killer Squadron sailed into Bombay to a heroes’ welcome — in 90 minutes, it had fired six missiles, sunk three front-line enemy vessels and destroyed the oil storage facility at the Karachi harbour, without a single Indian casualty.

Not content to rest on the laurels coming their way after the resounding success of Operation Trident, the Indian Navy repeated the feat just four days later in Operation Python — sinking another three ships of the Pakistani Navy and setting the oil stores on fire for the second time.

By destroying its oil and ammunition supplies (and choking off resupply routes), these decisive victories drastically cut down Pakistan’s ability to continue engaging with the Indian forces. In fact, there was an effective blockade of the Karachi port without India having really declared one.

More importantly, it proved to be an important turning point of the 1971 war, which would eventually lead to the liberation of Bangladesh. Such was Operation Trident’s unprecedented success that it made the world sit up and take note of the Indian Navy – the daring mission was part of the first item on US President Richard Nixon’s morning brief by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the next day.

For their audacious planning, brilliant execution and outstanding bravery, all the three missile boat commanders were awarded the Vir Chakra while the man who led the “Killer Squadron”, Commander (later Commodore BB Yadav) was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra. In a fitting tribute to these courageous men who pulled off one of the great sea-faring victories in Indian naval history, December 4 has also been celebrated as Navy Day ever since.



http://www.defencenews.in/article/O...lled-Off-One-Of-Its-Greatest-Victories-454817
 

Manmohan_MMY

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India has a rich history of naval warfare. In fact, Indian ships have made their presence felt since the time of Rajendra Chola’s 10th-century naval expedition to Southeast Asia and Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre’s 18th-century naval battles against the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese.

This tradition of remarkable military exploits has continued even post-independence, with the Indian Navy playing a key role in at least four major military operations after 1947. There are several stories and anecdotes in the annals of the Indian Navy that illustrate why it has earned the reputation of a force to be reckoned with.

But the most celebrated among them is the story of the audacious naval operation commemorated by India’s Navy Day, Operation Trident.

Here’s the fascinating story of the mission that proved to be a turning point in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

In 1968, war clouds were already gathering on the horizon when the Indian Navy decided to acquire the Osa-I missile boats from the Soviet Union. Osa translates to ‘wasp’ in Russian and these boats did have a powerful sting thanks to their deadly ship-to-ship Styx missiles (that could blow the biggest enemy cruisers out of the water) and Range-out homing radars (that could out-range any naval radar of that era).

Thus, the fast-moving and stealthy missile boats could look deep and strike deep. However, they had one crucial downside — designed primarily for coastal defence, they had a short range. Nonetheless, Indian Navy acquired eight Osa-Is, established its Missile Boats Squadron, and flew crew members to Russia for eight-month-long raining in the freezing Siberian winter.

In early 1971, the boats were finally shipped to India. Since there were no heavy cranes in Mumbai, the boats were offloaded in Kolkata and towed along the coast to Mumbai.

This was the genesis of a brilliant idea in the minds of India’s naval commanders that would go on to play a pivotal role in Operation Trident — if these boats could be towed from Kolkata to Mumbai, couldn’t their short range feature be overcome by towing them from Mumbai to Karachi?

This audacious strategy would soon come to fruition. As dusk fell on December 3, 1971, at 5.45 PM, the Pakistan Air Force attacked six Indian airfields. The same night, IAF Canberra aircrafts struck Pakistani airfields as ground battles immediately commenced in nearly every sector.

The Indo-Pak War of 1971 had begun and it was time for Indian Navy’s “Killer Squadron” to join the battle.

On the night of December 3, a group of Osa-I missile boats — INS Nipat, INS Nirghat and INS Veer (individually under the commands of Lt. Cdrs. BN Kavina, IJ Sharma and OP Mehta and as a squadron under Cdr. BB Yadav) set sail from Mumbai harbour. The next day, on December 4, two Petya class Frigates — the INS Katchall (under Cdr. KN Zadu) and INS Kiltan (under Commander. G Rao) rendezvoused with the missile boats to form the Trident team.

Sailing westward and then northwards, the Osa-Is were successfully towed to reach the Karachi harbour (the stronghold of the Pakistani Navy) by night. From there, the “wasps” proceeded in an arrowhead formation, changing course frequently with radar inputs from INS Kiltan to avoid enemy detection.

Interestingly, the ship crews communicated in Russian, making the transmissions between the attacking vessels difficult to intercept for enemy ears!

At 2243 hours, the Rangout radar on INS Nirghat picked up a big target — PNS Khaiber, a destroyer of Pak Navy. This was soon followed by the detection of two more targets, PNS Shah Jehan and merchant vessel Venus Challenger (carrying ammunition for the Pakistani Army).

Without any delay, the missile boat squadron homed onto the targets with devastating precision and launched their Styx missiles in quick succession.

Never realising what had hit their ships, the baffled Pakistani Navy assumed it was aircraft fire (IAF aircrafts had been strafing Pakistan’s Kemari oil tanks on the same day in an independent operation) and tried in vain to engage the Styx missiles with their anti-craft guns.

In fact, PNS Khyber even transmitted a mayday signal saying it had been hit by enemy aircraft before it broke into two and sank.

By this time, the Indian squadron had fixed their sight on the fuel storage facilities on the shore.

Stretched to their endurance limits and virtually unprotected against air strikes, the three small missile boats launched their final missiles (setting the whole harbour complex on fire) before turning around and returning full speed to Bombay.

Interestingly, while the Indian ships were retreating, the prevailing confusion led to the Pakistan Air Force scoring a self-goal by hitting its own frigate ship, PNS Zulfiqar (that it assumed to be an enemy boat)!

On December 7, 1971, the Killer Squadron sailed into Bombay to a heroes’ welcome — in 90 minutes, it had fired six missiles, sunk three front-line enemy vessels and destroyed the oil storage facility at the Karachi harbour, without a single Indian casualty.

Not content to rest on the laurels coming their way after the resounding success of Operation Trident, the Indian Navy repeated the feat just four days later in Operation Python — sinking another three ships of the Pakistani Navy and setting the oil stores on fire for the second time.

By destroying its oil and ammunition supplies (and choking off resupply routes), these decisive victories drastically cut down Pakistan’s ability to continue engaging with the Indian forces. In fact, there was an effective blockade of the Karachi port without India having really declared one.

More importantly, it proved to be an important turning point of the 1971 war, which would eventually lead to the liberation of Bangladesh. Such was Operation Trident’s unprecedented success that it made the world sit up and take note of the Indian Navy – the daring mission was part of the first item on US President Richard Nixon’s morning brief by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the next day.

For their audacious planning, brilliant execution and outstanding bravery, all the three missile boat commanders were awarded the Vir Chakra while the man who led the “Killer Squadron”, Commander (later Commodore BB Yadav) was honoured with the Mahavir Chakra. In a fitting tribute to these courageous men who pulled off one of the great sea-faring victories in Indian naval history, December 4 has also been celebrated as Navy Day ever since.

Source : https://www.thebetterindia.com/122592/operation-trident-indian-navy-1971-karachi-pakistan/
By Sanchari Pal
 
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Manmohan_MMY

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Navy Day is observed on the 4th of December every year to pay homage to the magnificence and achievements of the guardians of our seas. Since India's independence, the Indian Navy has toiled tirelessly to secure the nation's vast maritime frontiers, and we are glad that we have a strong history of celebrating the daring mission that our naval forces carried out.

But do we know Operation Trident and the valorous efforts that helped India win the 1971 Indo-Pak War well enough?

Amidst Indo-Pak tensions, Pakistani aircraft attacked 6 Indian airfields on the evening of December 3..

War was thus declared, and a special strike group of Indian Navy warships was formed with the objective of attacking Pakistani Navy's headquarters and Pakistan's primary maritime trading hub-- Karachi.


Killer Day ::

The day before Navy Day is actually celebrated as 'Killer Day'. Read on to find out how this day got coined.


Planned mission ::

The Indian Navy planned the attack at night as Pakistan did not have aircrafts that could carry out bombings at night
The Indian attack consisted of 3 Vidyut-class missile boats, 2 anti-submarines and a tanker
Around 2 pm on December 4, 1971, Indian Navy's fleet sailed from Okha Port in Gujarat, 40 miles to the south of Karachi
Around 10:30 pm, the fleet was ready for combat


First win ::

At 10 pm, one of the lieutenants saw INS Nipat's radar beeping, which indicated that two enemy warships were closing in
INS Nirghat fired two missiles at what was Pakistani destroyer PNS Khaibar and sunk it
Meanwhile, INS Nipat fired missiles and sunk merchant ship MV Venus Challenger, which was carrying ammunition for the Pakistani army and air force


Second win ::

INS Nipat targeted an oil depot in Karachi harbour, setting it ablaze
As Pakistani vessels approached, INS Veer fired its first missile onto a Pakistani minesweeper, Muhafiz -- sinking it with the entire crew


Success and return ::

In all, there's a lot to be proud of -
In 90 minutes, the Indian Navy fired 6 missiles that sunk 4 enemy vessels and destroyed Karachi's oil storage facility
With the mission a success, the strike group sped back towards the Indian port of Mongrol
As the fleet was returning to Mumbai from Mongrol, one sailor climbed up the missile hanger on INS Nipat and wrote 'killers' on it in red paint
The squadron was thereafter christened 'The Killers' and Killer Day has been celebrated by the Indian Navy on December 3 ever since


The best part ::

Although 5 Pakistani sailors and over 700 men were injured, there were no Indian casualties.
Today, we have a very well-prepared fleet
Currently, the Navy operates some of the most modern ships and submarines besides maritime patrol aircraft.


As of this year, the Indian Navy is equipped with ::

1 aircraft carrier
1 amphibious transport dock
8 Landing ship tanks
11 destroyers
14 frigates
1 nuclear-powered attack submarine
1 Ballistic missile submarine
13 conventionally-powered attack submarines
24 corvettes
4 mine countermeasure vessels
10 large offshore patrol vessels
4 fleet tankers and various auxiliary vessels
90 - 100 armed patrol ships of various sizes
 
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Tarun

This one more interesting incident during operation Trident


#DID_YOU_KNOW?
Pakistani Aircraft destroyed its their own frigate after operation Trident?
PNS Zulfiqar was a River-class frigate of the Pakistan Navy, originally built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War as HMS Deveron. Zulfiqar was damaged beyond repair by friendly fire from aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force which mistook her for a missile boat of the Indian Navy during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
The Pakistan Navy, on high alert as a result of the Operation Trident, raised a number of false alarms in the ensuing days about the presence of Indian Navy vessels off Karachi. One such false alarm was raised by a PIA Fokker Friendship reconnaissance aircraft carrying naval observers, in the early hours of 6 December 1971 which reported a Pakistan Navy frigate as a missile boat of the Indian Navy, in the area west of Cape Monze on the Pakistani coast. The Pakistan Air Force, giving air support to the Pakistan Navy at Karachi, had received the report. Clearance was given to attack by Cdre Bhombal from the Pakistan Navy.
At 0645 hrs, fighter jets were scrambled which strafed the vessel before it was identified as the Pakistan Navy's own frigate Zulfiqar. During the aerial attack Zulfiqar was hit by more than 900 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, killing several officers and men, with many more injured.[6] The air attack on Zulfiqar was halted after frantic efforts by her crew to identify their ship as a Pakistani naval vessel finally succeeded.
The whole incident was monitored by the Indian Navy on radio and revealed the following points: First, the incorrect identification and attack happened in spite of Zulfiqar being anchored. This showed that PAF pilots could not clearly distinguish a frigate from a missile boat. Second, it showed the fear that the PN had of India's missile boats.
This incident vindicated the decision to proceed with Operation Python, which was being debated after a PAF attack on Okha on the night of 5/6 Dec 71. It also prompted the Pakistan Navy to withdraw the Pakistani fleet closer to the Pakistani shore.
.
 

Aashish

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14-16th Dec 1971 - Inside Enemy Camp
BySumit Walia

IssueNet Edition| Date : 15 Dec , 2017

Late night 14th December 1971, Peshawar, West Pakistan.

General Yahya Khan, then President of Pakistan was giving a party in his newly constructed house. There were a few selected guests and a Bengali woman Mrs. Shammim (also known as Black Pearl) was one of those chosen ones. She was Gen Yahya’s latest `close` friend, who was awarded with Ambassadorship of Austria for her services. Party was full of fun, drinks and debauchery. Soon, this group of people started getting high on alcohol and low in morals. When almost everyone, except the Military Secretary of the President – Major General Ishaque, was drunk, `Black Pearl` came to say Good Night to the President. President Gen Yahya Khan insisted that he himself would drive her home. Maj Gen Ishaque had to forcefully convince the President to at least be properly clad. Ishaque could not save East Pakistan but saved his Army from another great deal of embarrassment.

And all this was happening when three Indian Brigades (73, 301 and 311 Brigade – approximately 10000 troops) has crossed the mighty Meghna river in East Pakistan and were all set to attack Dacca. And to knock Dacca’s door, a 75/24 Howitzer gun was carried across Balu River with 168 shells. Every half an hour, that gun fired at different targets on Dacca Cantonment.

This was not the first time when Gen Yahya behaved so casually during the war. On hearing the formal declaration of war on 3rd Dec 1971, a retired Pakistani Brigadier Gul Mawaz, who was an old friend of Yahya Khan, went to see Yahya. Brig found Gen Yahya and his Chief of Staff, Gen Hamid completely drunk. Yahya casually told Brig Mawaz that he has done his job by launching Pak army and his generals will take care of the rest. Just then a call came from Japan. Famous Pakistani singer Nur Jahan was on the call. Yahya excitedly informed Brig Mawaz whom the call was from and requested the singer to sing a song for him!

There was a reason behind this casual approach. Pakistani Military Junta virtually gave up on the East Pakistan when they adopted the strategy – `Defence of East Pakistan lies in West Pakistan`. As early as 22 February 1971, the Pakistani President General Yahya Khan said in a meeting, “Kill three million of them (Bengalis), and the rest will eat out of our hands.”

Since the military crackdown in March 1971, Pakistani leadership did not take any step to either resolve the East Pakistani crises politically (by handling over the power to Awami league party) or by preparing East Pakistani front to fight the inevitable war. Between March and December 1971, Pak army killed millions of Bengalis and raped hundreds of thousands of women. Some officers had their personal harems and there were several rape camps, where women were raped repeatedly. Approximately 25000 women got pregnant as a result. To avoid social turmoil international organizations like Red Cross had to set up Abortion camps.

Incompetent and Corrupt Leadership: -

This brutality did not start on its own as Army anywhere is a very disciplined organization and rarely engage in such acts so openly, unless they have been given clearance from the higher command. This is exactly what happened in East Pakistan.

Major-General (retd) Khadim Hussain Raja who commanded 14 Pak Division during the war, wrote a book `A Stranger in my own country`. In his book he blamed Niazi for encouraging the rape culture. On page 98, he wrote “……Niazi became abusive and started raving. Breaking into Urdu, he said: Main iss haramzadi qaumki nasal badal doonga.Yeh mujhe kiya samajh tey hain.He threatened that he would let his soldiers loose on their womenfolk. There was pin drop silence at these remarks. The next morning, we were given the sad news. A Bengali Officer Major Mushtaq went into a bathroom at the Command Headquarters and shot himself in the head”

On another occasion, Niazi asked Gen Raja for phone numbers of his Bengali girlfriends: “Abhi tau mujhey Bengali girlfriends kay phone number day do” (at least now, give me phone number of your Bengali girlfriends).

When the world started taking notice of the large scale atrocities, in their defence Gen Niazi reportedly said, “One cannot fight a war here in East Pakistan and go all the way to West Pakistan to have an ejaculation” and Gen Yahya Khan reportedly said, “issi bahane bachche sundar honge East Pakistan main (take it as a blessing in disguise, at least kids will be beautiful there in East Pakistan)”

After the war, Hamoodur Rahman commission was setup in Pakistan to investigate the debacle. Commission severally criticized both Gen Yahya and Gen Niazi for their immoral acts. As per the report – “there is little doubt that Gen. Niazi unfortunately came to acquire a bad reputation in sex matters, and thisreputation has been consistent during his postings in Sialkot, Lahore andEast Pakistan. ”

One of the witnesses, Lt. Col. Aziz Ahmad Khan testified that, “The troops used to say that when the Commander (Lt. Gen. Niazi) was himself a raper, how could they be stopped. ”

Hence murder, loot and rape became order of the day.

Due to Pak Army’s crackdown, millions of Bengalis took refuge in neighbouring Indian states. A guerrilla force named Multi Bahini emerged from these refugees who started attacking isolated columns of Pakistani Army in rural areas. This harassment continued till the war finally broke in Dec 1971 and seriously damaged Pak Army’s will to fight. Pak Army’s involvement in large scale atrocities had already taken a toll on their professional abilities. Last nail in their coffin was the incompetent military leadership.

Flawed “Fortress” Strategy: -

By the seconds half of 1971, it was clear that sooner or later India and Pakistan will go to war. To stop the Indian Army’s advance towards Dacca, Lt. Gen. Niazi had adopted Fortress Strategy. Following his plan, he turned a number of major towns of East Pakistan into Fortresses, where Pak forces were instructed to fight the advancing Indian Army to a certain point and then fall back into Dacca bawl to make Dacca an impregnable fortress. His plan was to fight a long war of attrition till International community could force Indian side to ceasefire.

Major Siddique Salik(later Brigadier) was posted as Public Relations Officer in East Pakistan in 1970. In his book `Witness to Surrender`, Siddique mentioned that during the planning phase, he brought Niazi’s attention to the limited number of troops and resources at his (Niazi’s) disposal. Niazi responded by saying “In war, it is not the number but general ship that counts”.

Niazi failed to live upto those words but his counterparts in the Indian Army did not.

Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh (Commander 4 Corps) and Maj. Gen. Gandharva Nagra (Commander 101 Communication Zone) bypassed and blocked Niazi’s fortresses so effectively that nothing substantial could fall back to Dacca. By 15th Dec Morning, India had enough troops around Dacca to bring Niazi to his knees.

Between Dacca and Rawalpindi: -

Since 3rd Dec 1971, there were a number of messages between Niazi and Pak GHQ (in Rawalpindi) and between Governor Dr Malik and President Gen Yahya Khan. Through these signals, Niazi and Dr Malik kept updating West Pakistan about the fast deteriorating situation. On 10th Dec, Niazi informed Pak GHQ that India had heli-dropped a brigade size force south of Narsingdi at 1630 hrs and para-dropped a brigade in Tangail (In fact, it was just 2 Para Battalion in Tangail and not a brigade). Niazi desperately asked that the promised foreign help should reach East Pakistan by first light 12th Dec. instead of any help, he just received a false hope from the CGS Gen Gul Hassan -`White friends (Americans) will come from the south and Yellow friends (Chinese) will come from the north`.

But no help came forward.

Finally, on 14th Dec early morning, Gen Yahya sent a signal (no. G-0013) to Niazi and the Governor Dr.Mlik. Yahya praised them for fighting a heroic battle against overwhelming odds and asked Niazi to take all necessary measures to stop the fighting and save lives of Armed Forces personal from the West Pakistan and of loyal elements.

Surprisingly this message was not sent as a classified message and was prone to be intercepted by enemy forces. Considering it as an Indian trick, Niazi asked his staff to call GHQ to validate its authenticity. Brig Janjua from the GHQ confirmed on the phone that message was real and meant to be an unclassified message. Perhaps Pak Army top brass had decided to wash their hands off the East Pakistan and deliberately sent that signal as an unclassified for Indian Army to intercept. Such a message in Indian hands would speed up Indian efforts to end the game in East Pakistan.

At around 11AM on 14th Dec, IAF learnt through an intercepted message that the Governor of East Pakistan (Dr AM Malik) had called a meeting at Governor’s House at 12 noon. Within 45 minutes, IAF’s Mig-21 not only located Governor’s House in the congested landscape of Dacca but fired their rockets in the Conference Room with pin point accuracy. While the bombing was going on, hiding under a tableDr Malik wrote his resignation. Dr Malik and his cabinet then took refuge at Hotel Intercontinental, which was declared as `Neutral Zone` under UN protection.

Siddique wrote that East Pakistan Government ceased to exist on 14th Dec. `Tiger` Niazi lost all hopes of foreign help and slumped into his mood of despondency. Niazi hardly came out of his fortified bunker on or after 14th Dec.

Though the signal (G-0013) did not ask Niazi to surrender (it just asked Niazito `take all necessary measures to stop the fighting’),a depressed Niazi wasted no time and contacted Mr. Spivac of American Counsel General to arrange a ceasefire with Indian government. Spivac sent Niazi’s proposal to Washington. On 15th Dec, Washington instructed its Ambassador in Islamabad to get the proposal approved by President Yahya Khan. But Yahya was busy with his House Warming party and `Black Pearl`.

Foreign Secretary Sultan Ahmad approved Niazi’s proposal on behalf of Gen Yahya Khan.

Ceasefire to Surrender: -

Niazi’s just wanted a ceasefire and did not want to surrender. It was Maj Gen. Jacob of Indian Army who got Niazi agreed to surrender unconditionally in full public view.

On 16th Dec morning, Indian Army Chief Gen Manekshaw called Gen Jacob and asked him to go to Dacca to take surrender of Pak forces. Chief had already sent a draft of surrender document to Gen Jacob.

Meanwhile Gen Gandharva Nagra of Indian Army was outside Dacca with his forces on 16th Dec early morning. He sent his ADC and two officers of 2 Para Battalion with a message for Niazi “My dear Abdullah, I am here. The game is up. I suggest you give yourself up to me, and I will look after you.” At around 9AM, messengers drove in a white flagged jeep and returned with Maj Gen Jamshed of Pak Army. Niazi had agreed.

Nagra and his officers went to Niazi’s HQ. On seeing Nagra enter his office, Niazi broke down and said “Pindi main bethe hue haramzadon ne marwadiya” (Those *censored*s at higher headquarters at Pindi have let me down).

In the afternoon Gen Jacob landed in Dacca and was received by a Pakistani Brigadier and two representatives from the UN – Mr. Kelly and Mr. Mark Henry. One of them told Gen Jacob,” General, we are coming with you to take over the Government.”

Jake said,” Thank you, but no thank you.”

Gen Jacob met Gen Niazi in his HQ where Pak Navy admiral and the Military Advisor to East Pakistan Governor – Maj Gen Rao Farman Ali were also present. When Jacob read out the surrender document, both Niazi and Ali refused to surrender. Jacob first tried to convince them for some time. Finally, he took Niazi aside and said “I have offered you terms that you will be treated with respect and as per Geneva convention, only if you surrender. If you refuse to surrender, I will wash my hands off anything that happens. I give you 30 minutes to consider the proposal. If you refuse after 30 minutes, I will order resumption of hostilities and bombing of Dacca.” Jake walked out of the room without waiting for a response.

Those were the longest 30 minutes of Jacob’s life. After half an hour, he went to Niazi and asked, “General, do you accept the surrender?” Niazi did not respond. Jake asked the same question again and then for the third time, still no response from Niazi. Jake picked up the surrender document and said “I take it as accepted. You will surrender on the Race Course in front of the people of Dacca.”

Niazi tried to refuse in a choked voice. Jake looked him in the eye and said, “You will. There is no question about it that you will surrender in public. You will also provide a guard of honour to Lt. Gen. Aurora.”

Niazi gave excuse that he had no one to command it. Jake pointed towards Niazi’s ADC and said, ”Your ADC is there. He will bloody well command it.” Gen Jacob insisted on guard of honour because after World War 2, when Japanese surrender, Jake went to Sumatra to accept the surrender. He was given a guard of honour by Japanese.

And it happened exactly the same way. It is the only public surrender in known history.

Bibliography

1. Witness To Surrender by Siddique Salik

2. A Stranger in my own country by Major-General (retd) Khadim Hussain Raja

3. Hamoodur Rahman commission report

4. Pakistan’s drift into extremism by Hassan Abbas

5. Liberation: Bangladesh – 1971 by Maj Gen Dhruv C Katoch

6. A Talent for War: The Military Biography of Lt Gen Sagat Singh by RandhirSinh

7. Leap Across Meghna: Blitzkrieg of IV Corps 1971 by Onkar Singh Goraya

8. India’s War since Independence By Maj Gen Sukhwant Singh

14-16th Dec 1971 – Inside Enemy Camp
 
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tunguska

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India is today celebrating Vijay Diwas to mark the victory of our soldiers during the 1971 War.
It is on this day in 1971 when our soldiers gave India its finest moment with victory over Pakistan which resulted in creation of Bangladesh.
As the nation pays rich tributes to the heroes of 1971 War, here are five facts about the saga.
1: Apart from the endless tales of valour, what's etched in every Indian's memory is the photo of Pakistan Army surrendering to Indian Army soldiers. It was Lt Gen AAK Niazi, who led the 93,000 Pakistani soldiers to surrender to India Army Commander of eastern Command Lt Gen JS Arora.
2: Indian Air Force, with its sheer brilliance change the course of war. The Indian Air Force continued operations at an unprecedented pace of 500 sorties per day, a rate higher than in the Second World War.
3: Frustrated over losses, Pakistan began attack on all fronts. Not only in east, Islamabad started targeting Delhi from west also.
4: The strategy led to attack on Longewala in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district. The epic Battle of Longewala saw an Infantry company of 23 Punjab under Major (later Brigadier) KS Chandpuri, who withstood an assault by hundreds of tanks throughout the night. The Pakistan tanks were decimated the next morning by the Indian Air Force.
5: The victory gave birth to a new country in Indian Subcontinent. Bangladesh was formed after India's successful military campaign. Prior to this, East Pakistan, as it was known then, witnesses an era of imaginable brutality. A campaign of rape, torture, killings and conflicts pushed about nine million refugees into India following the widespread genocide which Pakistan conducted against the Bengali population of East Pakistan, aimed at the minority Hindu population

Vijay Diwas: When Lt Gen Niazi-led 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to Indian Army in 1971– 5 facts | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
 

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Comments: Not sure how true this claim is (although G Parthasarthy is a very respected man), or why she ultimately backed out (maybe she was afraid of overreaching and turning global opinion against India or facing US pressure?). But I found this to be an interesting bit of history.

New book claims Indira Gandhi wanted to recapture Pak-occupied Kashmir after 1971 war
VANDANA MENON 24 March, 2018

Indira Gandhi, 1971 | Fox Photos/Getty Images

A. Parthasarathi’s book claims Indira Gandhi received a secret telegram from then Soviet President Brezhnev who pledged military support if she decided to ‘re-take’ PoK.

New Delhi: A new book by Ashok Parthasarathi, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s science adviser, claims that she was seriously considering using the momentum of India’s 1971 victory to recapture Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the Northern Areas of Gilgit, Skardu and Baltistan.

Parthasarathi says that Gandhi received a secret telegram from Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev on 16 December, 1971 congratulating her for the victory of the Indian armed forces in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The telegram also urged her to take the crucial decision about what to do with West Pakistan, and apparently pledged the unconditional support of the Soviet forces — no matter what she decided to do.

“She didn’t tell anyone about the message,” Parthasarathi told ThePrint. “She gave it to me one month later.”

Starting a new war
The Pakistani forces surrendered at 5 pm on 16 December, immediately after which Gandhi called a meeting with the inner cabinet. It was apparently attended by defence minister Jagjivan Ram, external affairs minister Swaran Singh, finance minister Y.B. Chavan and then chief of army staff Sam Maneskhaw, among others. Parthasarathi and his father, renowned diplomat on whom the book is based, G. Parthasarathi, were also present.

Gandhi opened the meeting by asking Sam Manekshaw how long it would take to reach Peshawar, to which he replied three days. He admitted being prepared for the question. Gandhi then asked for everyone’s opinion.

“Everyone said go to Peshawar,” Parthasarathi said. “The only person who said no was P.N. Haksar.”

Haksar was Gandhi’s principal secretary, and a close adviser. He counselled against going to war with West Pakistan, and said that anarchy would ensue if they did. India would also be answerable to international scrutiny, and subject to scrutiny when the people in Pakistan protested, which he said was an eventuality.

At this point, Parthasarathi says that Jagjivan Ram clarified what they meant. He said that the Indian Army should “correct the losses of 1948”, and “re-take” Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the northern areas.

On the way back to Gandhi’s residence from the meeting, Parthasarathi says he tried to persuade her to take the “historic step” of re-taking these territories. “Mrs. Gandhi looked at me and said that when prime ministers and presidents have to take such decisions, they have to make them alone,” he said.

The final decision
As history tells us, Gandhi chose not to go to war with West Pakistan. This decision was announced to her inner cabinet via All India Radio, which announced a ceasefire at 8 pm, bringing a close to the India-Pakistan war.

“I don’t know why she didn’t. If I was in her place, I wouldn’t have waited,” said Parthasarathi. “We lost an irretrievable opportunity to change Asia.”

“She also had the ace of trumps in her hand – Brezhnev’s letter,” he said.

Parthasarathi says he still cannot understand why Gandhi chose to do what she did, calling it an enigma. “I asked my dad why she didn’t — and he said that in history there are many instances where logic cannot be applied. This was one of them,” he said.

Parthasarathi’s book on his father, commonly known as GP, is an account of his experiences as a diplomat, journalist, and educationist during India’s formative years as a nascent democracy.

The book, G.P.: 1912-1995, will be launched Saturday by noted historian Romila Thapar, former union minister Natwar Singh and senior journalist N. Ram, among others.

Original Link: New book claims Indira Gandhi wanted to recapture Pak-occupied Kashmir after 1971 war
 
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Vicky

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She wanted a lot of things. But widely circulated theory was US was ready to defend W Pakistan at any cost and Soviets didnt want this war to become an global war. Moreover to the contrary, even invading PoK would have spilled the war to Pakistan proper.
 

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India hands over helicopter, tanks to Bangladesh as 1971 memorabilia
India has handed over to Bangladesh a Mi-4 helicopter and two PT-76 tanks as part of the 1971 Liberation War memorabilia, officials said here today.
“The gifts are to be showcased at the Bangladesh army and air force museums,” a defence ministry spokesman said today.
He said the helicopter and the tanks were part of gifts given by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her Bangladesh visit last year.
The memorabilia included 25 weapons like pistol, rifles, machine guns and mortars alongside a large number of artefact, historical photographs, archival audio and video clipping, maps and battle records related to the 1971 Liberation War.
“While most items of memorabilia have been handed over to the Bangladesh National Museum; the larger items ie PT-76 Tanks and Mi 4 Helicopter are now being handed over to the Bangladesh Army and Air Force,” Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
The light amphibious PT-76 tanks were used by the Indian Army’s armoured regiments in 1971 which played a crucial role in crossing rivers and water bodies during the war.
Analysts said these tanks often outclassed a much larger force and technically superior M34 Chafee tanks, used by the Pakistani Army in the war.
The Mi-4 transport helicopter was extensively utilised for heliborne operations by the India-Bangladesh joint forces in the eastern sector confirming early defeat of Pakistani troops in 1971.
Indian air force earlier gifted Bangladesh one Hunter jet fighter, one Dakota transport air craft ahead of this helicopter while India’s navy previously gifted memorabilia of its INS Vikrant, models of ships that took part in the war and archival photographs and its army gifts included six 3.7 Howitzer Guns.
India backed Bangladesh’s Liberation War, which began after the sudden crackdown at midnight past on March 25, 1971 in the erstwhile East Pakistan by Pakistani troops.
On December 16, the same year as Pakistan conceded defeat and its troops unconditionally surrendered in Dhaka to the allied forces comprising the freedom fighters and the Indian Army.
India hands over helicopter, tanks to Bangladesh as 1971 memorabilia
 

Gautam

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Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: Air combat in the world’s smallest jet fighter, the ferocious Gnat

July 10, 2019

In 1971, Indian Air Force Gnats fought Pakistan’s Sabres in ferocious bloody dogfights. Despite only weighing the same as a a Dodge Durango, the tiny jet fighter proved a formidable machine. We spoke to IAF Wing Commander Sunith Francis Soares about flying and fighting in the Gnat.


The Gnat was conceived by the British designer, ‘Teddy’ Petter. One of the greatest aircraft designers was lived, his other creations included the Lysander, Lightning and Canberra. Countering the trend for ever larger, more costly, fighter aircraft the Gnat, which first flew in 1955, was a ‘pocket rocket’. Although relegated to training duties in Britain, Finland and India used the type in the fighter role. India received its first Gnat in 1958, and it went on to prove itself in the heat of battle.


Images: The Statesman Group via K S Nair

“With slats out and full power he executed a motherless turn, but the Gnat not only kept up with him degree for degree but gained some distance in. After, we found that we had clocked more than 9G during this turn. Roy hit the right wing near the fuselage. I saw the wing catch fire, canopy fly off, before we overshot the flaming aircraft. Strike one Sabre.”
How long did you fly the Gnat and with which unit?

“I flew the Gnat from Mar 1969 to Nov 1972 with 22 Sqn based at Kalaikunda. I flew 500 Hrs Plus, including intensive flying in the Indo-Pak conflict of 1971”


What were you first impressions of the aircraft?

“Diminutive beast.”

What was the best thing about the aircraft?

“Powerful and manoeuvrable.”



What was the worst thing about the aircraft?

“Poor serviceability in the initial years due high rate of minor failures – brakes / hydraulics. Fleet was also grounded occasionally during modifications.”


Which other types have you flown?

“HF-24 Marut and MiG-21 variants.”

What was your most interesting mission?

“It was a few days before the 1971 war with Pakistan actually began. We were based at Kalaikunda, near Kharagpur, and for many months had been maintaining a detachment at Calcutta for air defence duties. The ORP was a make-shift one, with sand bags to protect the aircraft and tents for the crew.

The Indian army was geared for battle and in the Boyra sector had moved adventurously into Pakistan territory setting up defensive positions in preparation for the coming battle. This sort of aggressive posturing must have been particularly provocative to the military authorities at Dacca and they decided to use some airpower to displace our troops.”


“The first strike by the PAF sabres was on 22 November 1971, at around 10.00h – just as the sun dispersed the morning fog. Four Gnats were scrambled but arrived too late to pose a threat. A second strike followed soon thereafter but once again the Gnats could not make contact and returned to base a trifle dejected. Wg Cdr BS Sikand, our CO, who had led the first two sorties, then decided to take the afternoon off for some beer and socialising and handed over the lead to Roy, and I was slotted in as number 2. Ganapathy and Don retained their positions at 3 and 4.

As I settled into the makeshift ORP, I silently prayed for another strike. Don and I were playing scrabble when the klaxon went off once again. One more formation had been picked up on the radar heading toward Boyra. Our controller this time was Fg Offr Bagchhi and the time was 14.40h, and soon we were hurtling through the skies at low level with the throttles against the stop. At low-levels and high speeds, the Gnat is not easy to fly as the noise level is atrociously high and the aircraft bucks like a rodeo horse. It became difficult to hear Bagchhi and after a slight reduction in speed and a modest gain in height we reached the border to be told that the enemy was at 2 o’clock 4 miles. Ganapathy and Don being on the right flank and therefore closer to the target should have been able to spot the aircraft but the afternoon haze made this difficult.



I then saw a glint of metal and by sharply focusing my vision saw one aircraft at about three kms, perched as if to commence a dive. I called out contact and commenced a crisp commentary on the flight path. Roy having spotted the aircraft, decided to pull over the flank pair to manoeuvre behind the aircraft. This positioned us at about 1.5 kms behind the Sabre. Someone by this time must have warned him about us, as he went into a classic steep turn with the intention of shaking us off. With slats out and full power he executed a motherless turn, but the Gnat not only kept up with him degree for degree but gained some distance in. After the incident, we found that we had clocked more than 9G during this turn. The Sabre now came out of the turn to gain some speed and this allowed us to close in, as the Gnat has a very good acceleration, and we were soon at firing range. Roy fired a small burst which missed but followed quickly with another which hit the right wing near the fuselage. I saw the wing catch fire, canopy fly off, and the start of the ejection process before we overshot the flaming aircraft. Strike one Sabre.


Credit: Priyanka Joshi

While we were in combat, I heard Ganapathy call out that he had spotted a Sabre and he manoeuvred behind the aircraft very quickly to fire his first burst which missed. In the mean-time, a third sabre came out of the blue- literally- between Ganapathy and Don, at a distance of 200 yards or so. With lightning quick reflexes Don swerved his aircraft and in a flash, fired his guns which struck the Sabre on the wing causing it to explode. The debris hit Don’s aircraft on the nose and drop tank. Yes, drop tank! In our enthusiasm, we had forgotten the cardinal principle of combat: jettison the tanks. Strike two Sabre. The pilot ejected. This pilot was taken PoW and later released. He went on to become the Chief of the Air Staff of the PAF.”



Meanwhile Ganapathy had fired a second burst which this time was better directed and hit the sabre on the right wing which also caught fire. Strike three Sabres. During our combat which I estimate did not last more than 3 minutes, I saw small puffs of incandescent lights which I later found to my dismay, was AA shells bursting all around. The Indian army air defence regiment was having a field firing practice at our expense. It’s a good thing their gunnery was not as good as ours.

It was now Bagchhi’s turn to take over and he assembled us for our return to base. After our rendezvous we came in a finger four formation for a run in, but because of Don’s damaged aircraft did not intend to do any dramatics, but Ganapathy would not have any of it. After peeling off he came in for a victory roll to tell the world that we had shot down three Sabres without any loss.”

How combat effective was the Gnat?

“Quite. It had a good kill-to-loss ratio.”

Instantaneous turn rate

“Good to excellent”

Sustained turn rate

“Ditto”

Climb rate

“Good to excellent”

Acceleration

“Again, good to excellent”



What was your most memorable mission and why?

“I would like to mention another memorable occasion. Our Stn Cdr in 1971 before and during the conflict was a tea drinker who took drastic action to curtail our alcohol consumption (to no avail). He exhorted us to emulate the Israel pilots who in the 67 conflict flew 4 to 5 sorties, who drank only orange juice (which by the was was not available at the time except in rusty tins of doubtful quality). On 5 Dec six of us flew five sorties in a span of 9 hrs literally jumping from one aircraft to another with briefings and nibbling snacks in between. we gleefully sent our ‘autho’ book that evening to the Stn Cdr and requested him to join us for a drink.”


Which three words would you use to describe the aircraft?

“Float like a….”

What were the threat aircraft it was facing and which was the most challenging and why?

“Sabre. That was the most potent threat in the sub-continent. Its turn performance was quite good.”




Where were you based and what was life like on the base?

Kalaikunda. Due poor govt remuneration in that period, life was dictated by the letters ‘NM’….no money or next month. however life was not uncomfortable.


What was the social life like?

“Serendipitous, in that most of the married pilots had intercaste/creed marriages which made for excellent social action. parties were great fun with dancing and games. occasional interspersed picnics and overnight outings were happy events.”

How effective were the weapon systems and avionics? What additional equipment would you have liked?

“Nothing to shout about. We made do with ‘Mk 1 eyeball’ and ‘moving thumb display.'”

How good was your training?

“Highly indigenous with no exposure to international tactics

I’d like to dedicate this to the IAF Gnat Brotherhood and especially to the war veterans of 22 Sqn, IAF (Swifts) who did a splendid job!”

Special thanks to Anshuman Mainkar for making this interview possible. Excellent article on the this subject on his blog here.


Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: Air combat in the world’s smallest jet fighter, the ferocious Gnat
 
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