Bharat Rakshak

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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 04:53 
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Folks,

I am pleased to announce the recent release into the market of the second book that myself and Samir Chopra have collaborated and written - "Eagles over Bangladesh : The Indian Air Force in the 1971 Liberation War" . Once again we tackled one of the Air Wars of the Indian Air Force (not that there are many in the first place!)

Image

This was a follow up project from eight years ago when "The India-Pakistan Air War of 1965" was completed. EoB71 tells the complete story of the Air War over the Eastern Sector over Bangladesh. The book covers the preliminary events, the training of the Bangladesh Air Wing, the IAF's operations against the PAF installations on December 4th and thereafter and the massive onslaught against all the Pakistani Ground forces for the duration of the war.

We had consulted official records wherever possible, and interviewed dozens of veterans and compiled this history which imo is as best as it gets.

The book is published by Harper Collins India - and thus its availability in India is well established. Its in paperback format and over 400 pages with nearly 60-70 images. It retails for Rs499 in India

Here are some links to the sites

Lancer | Flipkart | Infibeam

There is a limited edition Hard Bound run that has been printed but available only in the US (Through BR) and UK (Through AViation Bookshop).

Normally , the Hardbound edition retails for $24.99 on BR (with free shipping) .

However for any forum members who have an interest here - and /or followers of the BR IAF site - there is a special offer

The book is available within the US for $20 inclusive of Shipping for interested forum members and site followers.
There are only a limited number of copies available at this price. first come first serve and all that...
Updated July 2014 : The $20 priced copies are all sold out. Few copies still available for $25shipped (US only)

So if you are interested - please email me at airforce AT bharat-rakshak.com for payment details or any other questions.

Unfortunately due to postage costs etc, the HB availability is available only for shipping in the US - no overseas shipping is possible at this moment.

------------------------
a peak into the Table of Contents

Quote:
Preface ix
Introduction xi
1. The IAF between the Wars 1
2. Across the Border 23
3. War Clouds Gather: The First Clashes 57
4. The Air Offensive over Dacca 106
5. Close Air Support: The Early Days 157
6. Back to the Airfields 185
7. Unopposed in the Skies 228
8. Tightening the Noose 286
9. Governor’s House to the Race Course Grounds 325
10. The Aftermath 358

APPENDICES
✈ Appendix A: Order of Battle of the Different Air Bases in EAC
✈ Appendix B: Aircraft Movements
✈ Appendix C: Indian Air Force Sortie Details by Date, Sector and Aircraft Type
✈ Appendix D: Aircraft Losses in Eastern Sector - Indian and Pakistani
✈ Appendix E: Ammunition Expenditure by the - IAF in the Eastern Sector
✈ Appendix F: Pakistan Aircraft in Dacca
✈ Appendix G: Gallantry Awards - IAF, BAF and PAF
✈ Appendix H: Aircraft Roster—Indian Air Force - Tail Numbers by Unit
✈ Appendix I: Commanders
✈ Appendix J: Officers Roster of Flying Units (IAF, BAF, PAF)
✈ Interviewees and Correspondents
✈ Abbreviations
✈ Bibliography
✈ Index
Acknowledgements


PS: If you already have it, then we would appreciate your feedback on the book and the stories in it!


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 10:53 
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Got a message from Infibeam.com that they have shipped my copy of your book. Should be in my hands tomorrow. Now you better come over and sign it! :twisted:


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 15:12 
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shiv wrote:
Got a message from Infibeam.com that they have shipped my copy of your book. Should be in my hands tomorrow. Now you better come over and sign it! :twisted:

hakimullah, good to see you posting again. does anyone know if enqyuub still enjoys regularly scheduled programming here? and now back to lurking for me.

jagan - good luck with the book.


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 20:36 
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Webmaster BR

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shiv wrote:
Got a message from Infibeam.com that they have shipped my copy of your book. Should be in my hands tomorrow. Now you better come over and sign it! :twisted:


Keep the scotch ready :mrgreen: ..


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 21:26 
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Bought mine too. Through Amazon so it will take a while for me to get. I know it will not disappoint.


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 21:38 
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Great Job Jagan......when do we get the western front?


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 22:11 
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Webmaster BR

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sameerjoshi wrote:
Great Job Jagan......when do we get the western front?


I will refrain myself from providing estimates that end up being laughably inaccurate. :)


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2013 22:13 
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Sanjay wrote:
Bought mine too. Through Amazon so it will take a while for me to get. I know it will not disappoint.


Look forward to your feedback Sanjay.


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2013 22:36 
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Ordered mine through Jagan, can't wait to receive it.

Jagan: Thanks for shipping it out so quickly.


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2014 20:49 
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Just got my copy a couple of hours ago.

Where is the sequel 'Vultures of Kabrastan' ???


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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2014 00:57 
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Webmaster BR

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Kersi

Read the book. At the end is a multiple choice question and answer paper. fill that in. You should get 90% correct before you get to buy the sequel :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014 19:48 
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Webmaster BR

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Our first book review has been published in City Express section of the Bangalore "The New Indian Express" published on 7th January 2014 written by one of the editors Vyas Sivanand.

Quote:
Their narrative, which according to the authors, relies on a day-today recounting of activities, is gripping and transports the reader to the battleground. Their account has been enriched by first-person descriptions from IAF pilots as well as rare photos, which add to the entire ‘experience’ of the book.


Quote:
Chapter six of book, Back to the Airfields is particularly noteworthy and takes the reader into the war and its moments in such realism that it hardly leaves any room for ‘insufficient’ material. The pictures in the chapter just increases the pace of the events.


Quote:
A matter of honour indeed, Eagles over Bangladesh is definitely one that should find a place of esteem in your shelf.


Tarmak has the complete review:
http://tarmak007.blogspot.in/2014/01/re ... nging.html


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014 20:22 
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BRFite

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Just ordered through Jagan. Thanks for the quick shipping! :)


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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014 18:18 
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Webmaster BR

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You are welcome Shameek and others. Hope you will enjoy it.

Sanjay,

Can you let us know how fast the shipment from Amazon came? (or from its sellers?) I note the book is available mostly from third party sellers on Amazon (And there seems to be some 'auto' price war for the softbound version - leading me to think they are just consignment shippers).

Meanwhile, one of our readers posted a review on the Amazon page. He is already a well versed gent in the Air wars of the Indian subcontinent.. so in that context..here is the review

Quote:
Writen by the same duo who co-authored the authoritative tome on the 1965 Air War over the Indian Subcontinent,it is only natural that expectations of Aviation and Military History enthusiasts would be high.
Well,i am happy to find that these expectations have not only been met,but exceeded.Eagles over Bangladesh certainly provides a credible historic record,which comprehensively covers the entire spectrum of the Air action that took place in this theatre of the 71 war,accounting for practically every mission and sortie.
Despite the scale of effort,the narrative is very interesting to read,and easily rises above the level of a mere compilation of Sqn/Unit records or after action reports.
In this regard i found this book to be more exciting to read,then,at least a few tedious sections,of their previous 65 Air war book.Perhaps this could also be due to the fact that this was a shorter war,as also the authors decision to confine this volume to the East Pakistan theatre of operations,leaving the "holding" action in the Western front for a later work.
While accounts of some of the more famous air actions were already available in the public domain(most notably the Bharat Rakshak website...run by Jagan)these were a collection of single person narratives,which fell short of providing an overall perspective on events.
Eagles over Bangladesh does a commendable job of researching other sources and interviewing veterans from all the 3 Air Forces involved,and producing a fascinating 3 dimensional composite big picture of the entire Air Campaign.
The role played by former PAF officers of Bengali origin in 'Kilo Flight",and the senior level oversight involved in the Runway Busting effort over Tezgaon and Kurmitola using standard issue munitions,are just 2 cases where the full story emerges for the first time.
Continuing their past practice of not flinching from putting on record unpleasant facts,the treasure trove of first person accounts does not fail to include Blue on Blue incidents,and even a tragic case of 'collateral damage"wrongly attributed to the PAF.
I also found it interesting, that in a few instances, while setting forth facts,the authors refrain from directly commenting about individuals or situations,leaving the readers to draw their own conclusions.
This ofcourse also leaves the field wide open for the prospect of further debate and discussion and hopefully more books covering these aspects of the campaign in more detail later!( the use and efficacy of air to air misiles by both sides is but one such example)
Eagles over Bangladesh is without doubt the difinitive work on this little known Jet Air War,and will add significant value to the collection of any aviation/military history buff with a special interest in Jet Air Combat


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2014 23:42 
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Some days you wake up and it turns out to be an awesome day..

Shekar Gupta, Editor in Chief of the Indian Express weighs in on the book in his Editorial for today

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinio ... ive-peace/

Quote:
Need to deal with our military past with genuine scholarship, not jingoism — like this new book on 1971.


Quote:
That is why writers and historians like Jagan Mohan and Chopra are so unique and valuable. I know neither of them personally — which underlines how outdated I am as a reporter — but their latest book is compulsory and therapeutic reading for anybody who loves the armed forces or is interested in national security. It is a remarkably detailed and dispassionate account of IAF operations in the eastern sector in that decisive war -


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 00:20 
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Jagan, got a copy - very detailed, kudos. Reading it slowly and steadily!

Now, whens the book on the western sector coming out? Any rough estimate.. got us wanting more!! (Hope its 1200 pages and all, and this time I'll buy a hardback, softcover quality is very good but its not got the same experience).


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 00:33 
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Karan, agree on the hardback. we were disappointed that HCI opted to go for the SB edition for the Indian market.. But in their logic, a 400 page paperback priced Rs500 in itself was a tough sell for them. a hardbound would have seen a very short print run and sales. But who knows they might change their mind if there are a few more positive reviews (and good sales)..

The Western Sector - honest confession - we have the material some basic structure but havent put pen to the paper yet (figuratively speaking).. no estimates on it.. but maybe we will get going on it faster than this one than the last one.. (blame it on family / job / kids :P )


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 00:39 
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He he on the positive review, you can count me in.. I will write some very nice words for the publisher too.. :D

On the western sector aisa mat karo saar... you have delivered part 1 of a magnum opus...and will now leave us hanging...!!

Will it be roughly out in a year or two? Because this book, let me tell you, is amazing. You guys have, on my first glance, covered eqpt, operational bases, methods etc. Really good stuff. You could have taken the easy way out, but you didnt. In fact, I'd rate it higher than several other books I have read from the best authors etc.

BTW, I was pleasantly surprised that softback also, ink is not smudging and paper is decent quality.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 02:09 
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ordered my copy from Amazon… already shipped, all excited to read about IAF glory...


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 02:56 
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Jagan, take SG's comments as no less than your due. Superb effort. Will be getting my copy soon. Unfortunately, reading will have to wait - of to China to look at warships for Trinidad.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 19:00 
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read the book..well done !! there could have been a section as to where the oldies are today like it was in the 1965 book? some questions for the gurus a) why were the canbera's so ineffective in bombing the airport? b) even when the airfield was neutralized, the canberas were not effective. Did the canberas do day bombing or they were still doing night bombing? c) what was the range of the AA guns at tezagaon airport? how did the canbera got shot down on last day? d) i would have thought more squadorns would be transferred to western front? espicially Gnats with the pakis airfield neutralized.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 19:22 
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manjgu wrote:
read the book..well done !! there could have been a section as to where the oldies are today like it was in the 1965 book?

Had to skip that due to two reasons . This one is effectively half the book.. we thought it should go towards end of the "Volume 2 - The western front ops". maybe a bad decision as it would be out of place there too.. The other reason was that the book was getting to be too long..

manjgu wrote:
some questions for the gurus
a) why were the canbera's so ineffective in bombing the airport? b) even when the airfield was neutralized, the canberas were not effective. Did the canberas do day bombing or they were still doing night bombing?


One of the reasons was that the marshy regions surrounding the airfields swallowed many a bomb that the canberras dropped. the 4000 lber raid did cause soem damage..again a whole lot of bombs were not accounted for and only damage from two or three could be assesed in the end. All the canberra raids till Dec 15 were by night.. the last one in which the Canberra was shot down was around dusk.

manjgu wrote:
c) what was the range of the AA guns at tezagaon airport? how did the canbera got shot down on last day?


From top of my mind , i believe it was around 6000 feet. Wilsons Canberra was flying around that height or below - it was a totally unnecessary loss of life and a lot of folks we spoke with think it is a mystery how and why Wilson got below the AA ht and got hit.. (Some think Wilson attacked the airfield - but K K Dutta confirms that the airfield was never the target for the formation)

manjgu wrote:
d) i would have thought more squadorns would be transferred to western front? espicially Gnats with the pakis airfield neutralized.

So we had three Squadrons transferred in total (No30, 220 and 7). The Gnats had short legs and could only be used for Air Defence on the Western Front and it probably didnt make operational sense to send more Gnats there as the threat of PAF raids on Indian Airfields in the west had receded by that time. The Gnats were not used in Ground ATtack mode in the West due to thier primary role being Point Air Defence.


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 19:35 
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I just ordered a copy through Amazon prime.. @$14.75. Cant wait enough for it..!!


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 19:43 
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jagan, why were canberas doing night bombing even when PAF was neutralized?


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 19:45 
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and how effective were canberas against other targets in BD? didnt get much info abt that as well in the book?


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2014 21:40 
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manjgu wrote:
jagan, why were canberas doing night bombing even when PAF was neutralized?


After the PAF was neutralised there was only one night that the Canberras bombed the airfield - that was the raid with 4000lbers... which was also to quash a potential escape by the Pakistani aircraft.. so it must have been obvious to the planners that no more night raids were needed to be flown by the Canberras after 6 dec. Even before the runways were neutralised. the Canberras were used only on two nights. All other times they were used .

In effect, the Canberras were used in night raids against the airfields only on three nights - Dec 3/4, 4/5 and 11/12. The air effort of the Canberras were as follows:

Total Sorties : 53 (out of the 2000 that the IAF flew)
Missions : 9 (3 against airfields at night, 2 against Dacca by day, 4 against other targets )

in the grand scheme of things, really not much to write about. I only had access to the airfield damage assessment and it was not really positive for the canberras apart from the two 4000lb hits (one of which was a dud)


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2014 01:28 
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Another great thing you guys have done is brought out exactly how aircraft attributes matter:
- Fuel
- All weather sensors (eg radar)

And weaponry
- Likely more MiG-21 kills if those AAMs were all aspect or didnt deviate easily

Good stuff to validate how current IAF would perform.


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2014 05:45 
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Thanks Karan. We discovered many stories for the first time and were delighted .... like using the K-13s for harrasment .. or that station commanders themselves were itching to fly sorties during the war..

There were a whole bunch of airfield bombing photos from AVM Bishnoi that didnt make the book (due to quality).. I will be uploading them on BR in a few weeks.


Also a request to you and others who have got their copies and read them.

Please do leave a short review on Amazon or other websites where you got them. Even a short three to four line review is fine. And dont hesitate to write in your suggestions for improvement either..

For starters, the Amazon REviewers link is here:
http://www.amazon.com/Eagles-Over-Bangl ... Descending


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2014 13:50 
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Eagles over Bangladesh : The Indian Air Force in the 1971 Liberation War (Paperback)
Qty: 1

Your order has been placed.
Fri, 17th Jan 11:40 pm
Payment Approved

Standard
Delivery
by Mon, 3rd Feb

Cant wait! :cool:


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2014 14:22 
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jagan -just ordered from flip cart -wish you wrere there to sign it-cheers


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PostPosted: 23 Jan 2014 04:54 
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Cool guys.. again. appreciate your interest in the book

Aditya G - atrocious shipping time! :((


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2014 21:30 
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Jagan wrote:
Cool guys.. again. appreciate your interest in the book

Aditya G - atrocious shipping time! :((


Infact am a proud owner of a copy as we speak 8) Flipkart shipped it ahead of time and without issues in the delivery. It came in from their Bilaspur depot.


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2014 21:42 
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Pah! You TFTA elites and your amazon prime....I got my copy lovingly signed and gift wrapped by Jag Man himself :P Finished reading in 2 days ..... simply unputdownable!! Awesome work Jag Man!! 8)


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 05:07 
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Raja Bose wrote:
Pah! You TFTA elites and your amazon prime....I got my copy lovingly signed and gift wrapped by Jag Man himself :P Finished reading in 2 days ..... simply unputdownable!! Awesome work Jag Man!! 8)


Lovingly is right - I take my book-wrapping seriously :P

Yeah super deal for the HB edition.. isnt it? :D


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 10:28 
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Prof Satadru Sen's critique of the book on his blog "Das Blog"

http://satadru-sen.blogspot.com/2014/01 ... h-war.html


He pulls no punches in reviewing the book from a professional historian's perspective. I found myself agreeing with some portions of the critique (book being a chronicle rather than an historical analysis) and disagreeing with other sections (whether it should have covered the lead up to the war, the death toll and the politics of that era).

All in all a very thoughtful piece


Full Disclosure: Satadru is Samir's colleague and CUNY.


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 11:01 
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Yeah price-wise it was a good deal for the HB edition for sure. 8) Now when is part deux coming out in true Hot Shots tradition??


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 13:05 
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Jagan -reading it and loving it .was in kolkata during the war and have actually seen some of the missions bu too young to understand :-)


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 16:10 
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the one para which i found very pertinent and summed up things rather well....

' The result is a methodological slippage: the work drifts periodically from the terrain of the historian, who must evaluate and organize material with a ‘so what’ question in mind, into that of the chronicler, who wants to catalog ‘everything that happened.’

besides this i find the review quite below par...


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 16:12 
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Jagan, one question still remains....why did the IAF not use the russian bombs+MIG 21 combo in the west?? even when they saw its efficacy in the eastern sector??


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2014 16:38 
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I disagree with the reviewer in that he doesnt seem to understand the constraints that an author has to work under - word limits, attempting to cover all the material etc.
While a stronger stance could have been taken against the PA atrocities, I submit that a lot has been written on that whereas very little on the IAF air campaign. Words counts dictate these choices.

One criticism that can be made is the authors don't directly call out how tough the effort was to keep Tezgaon & Kurmitola off the threat radar given the range/payload issues of the bulk of IAF fighters & the fact that the PAF would not come out to play. Ergo, when the authors say the IAF failed in this task, well one can also put it another way, the PAF didn't come out to play, so the IAF changed tack and followed another approach to keep them on the ground. :)

There is some constant fear amongst Indian reviewers that the authors of any Indian book shouldnt be "jingoistic" which is a catch all term apparently. IMO, this detracts from pointing out how skilled the IAF aviators were in 1971.

Conducting the attacks on the runway with steep attacks, navigating to the Governors house with a shell map (and no detailed directions!), doing a lone wolf attack on the Tezgaon runway.. stuff like this means the IAF pilots would have put in countless hours before the conflict. I wish there were more details on that.

Sometimes for the average reader, all these factors need to be explicitly pointed out, because they expect to be hand held. The academics/professionals will know anyhow about the difficulties of the effort and what the IAF pulled off.

Having said all the above, its still THE BEST book on 1971s air war, period. The authors have gone to extreme lenghts to pull together diverse accounts of the IAFs effort, its effectiveness from the POV of the ground troops, journalists who were observers and so forth.

Net - BUY IT or be left high & dry if stocks run out.

I will post a better & more comprehensive review with more focus on the books positives (not just the carping as above) online.


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