Remembering the 1971 war

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby JE Menon » 06 Dec 2010 13:23

And don't forget the Americans sent an aircraft carrier to the war theatre with the express intention to intimidate and, as far as we knew then, to participate.

Now imagine how much worse things were in 1947/48. We had just been born as an independent nation, and were invaded almost immediately. The situation at that time was worse economically, more complex geo-politically, more fluid diplomatically and and entirely unpredictable in terms of outcomes. And we were more vulnerable. Sorry for OT, but it is necessary to keep the exigencies of the times in mind when we pull out yet another argument to criticise civilian and military leaderships of the time.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 06 Dec 2010 13:55

there were many pressures, basically the IA had 2 weeks in which to get the job done before the major powers intervened. whilst the US and China were actively supporting Pakistan, teh USSR only gave us limited support - i don't think they were in favour of us taking on W. Pak decisively. however, they were in favour of bangladesh more as a finger in Unkil's musharraf
one of the telling quotes, i think it was general jacob, was "we got it done in 2 weeks"
also IG worked hard to not make it a communal or religious tinted war, despite the fact that it was the e-pak bengali hindus who bore the brunt of the PA and razakar's wrath

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Austin » 06 Dec 2010 14:04

Great Post Shiv !

From Archive the Soviet indeed supported us to the extent that the took care of American battlegroup pressure

Here is some history on Soviet Support during 71 war

1971. The War of Nerves in Bengal Bay



In the same day the Soviet Intelligence has reported that the British Naval group with the leadership of 'Eagle' carrier went closer to the territorial waters of India. The Soviet Government immediately sent a unit of battle ships under the leadership of counter-admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov for helping to the fraternal country.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembes:

"I received the order from the Chief Commander 'To not allow access of the American Navy to the Indian military objects'.

- On the way of American Navy stood the Soviet cruisers, destroyers and atomic submarines equipped with anti-ship missiles.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembers:

"We encircled them and I have targeted the 'Enterprise' by missiles. I have blocked them and didn’t allow enclosing to Karachi, nor to Chittagong or Dhaka".

On the Soviet ships then were only the missiles with limited to 300 km range. Thus, to be sure the rival is under the hindsight the Russian commanders have had to take the risk of maximal enclosing to the American fleet.

Vladimir Kruglyakov, the former (1970-1975) Commander of the 10th Operative Battle Group (Pacific Fleet) remembers:

"The Chief Commander has order me: 'Lift the subs when they (the Americans) appear!' – It was done to demonstrate, there are all the needed in Indian Ocean, including the nuclear submarines. I have lifted them, and they recognized it. Then, we intercepted the American communication. The commander of the Carrier Battle Group was then the counter-admiral Dimon Gordon. He sent the report to the 7th American Fleet Commander: 'Sir, we are too late. There are the Russian atomic submarines here, and a big collection of the battleships'.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 06 Dec 2010 14:08

i am a little skeptical about the above reports. i had read previously of soviet subs tailing the enterprise, but not of surface combatants

also, "we blocked them from karachi and chittagong and dhaka..." there was no US or USSR presence that i recall in the arabian sea...

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby sanjeevpunj » 06 Dec 2010 19:15

Nice to feel Russian presence, helping us at the time of need.US today of course has revised its strategy considerably towards India, but still perhaps we trust the russians more.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Rahul M » 06 Dec 2010 19:24

LM, perhaps it's lost in translation. what I read was that a sov navy surface fleet was en route when the war ended.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Jagan » 06 Dec 2010 20:53

We should note that the Soviets used their veto three times to prevent the Security Council passing a resolution for a ceasefire. If the resolution had been passed, we would have had to either stop opertions or end up looking like a bad apple. The best that the US could manage was a resolution in the general assembly which was non-binding. :)

I had put up the following notes to help in the so-called-1971airwar-book-delayed-for-eternity effort

04-Dec Security council Draft Resolution for Ceasefire (IUS) Immediate cessation and immediate withdrawal on both sides Soviet Veto
05-Dec Security council Draft Resolution for Ceasefire (8 non perm members) Soviet Veto
06-Dec Indian recognition to bangladesh
06-Dec Security council sends isse to Gen Assembly
07-Dec General Assembly Approved by 108 votes , eleven No, ten abstains Pakistan Accepts, India Rejects
09-Dec Indian government (Under consideratio - neither rejected nor accepted)
12-Dec India to UN Ceasfire only if West Pakistan withdrew from East
12-Dec Security council Draft Resolution (US) Speeches by Bush, Swaran Singh, Bhutto
13-Dec Security council Continuation of Debate of Draft Resolution Soviet Veto
14-Dec Security council Further drafts in progress - polish , french, british
15-Dec Security council Bhuttos Speech
15-Dec Security council Draft Resolutions (four with political clauses)
16-Dec Draft Resolutions USSR and uS/japan Ceasfire only



Towards the end of it, the Soviets were getting tired as well. There was NO WAY that a war in the west could have been undertaken at that point. INfact the Soviets heldout only on our assurances that we will stop after the east had fallen.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 06 Dec 2010 21:03

the gnats v sabres over boyra was a very iconic episode
there was a book called "pakistan cut to size" which was very good, authored by de mellow(?) - did he also do these wonderful documentaries of 'our boys' kicking musharraf big-time? had a real WW2 newsreel quality to the docs

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby ramana » 06 Dec 2010 21:56

Lalmohan, The Publications division put out a small paperback book with Melville Demellow's interviews and broadcasts called "Remember the Glory". It had nice b&w pics of people, places and battle damage. The interviews were verbatim of the broadcasts of those days.

Yes he was great one who brought the war to the people on AIR. He usually broadcast after 9:30pm the days progress. We used to listen to him and pull out a map and discuss.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Austin » 06 Dec 2010 22:29

Lalmohan wrote:i am a little skeptical about the above reports. i had read previously of soviet subs tailing the enterprise, but not of surface combatants

also, "we blocked them from karachi and chittagong and dhaka..." there was no US or USSR presence that i recall in the arabian sea...


There was probably no way for Indian Navy to know the bigger games being played by USN and USSR in the open sea during or prior to war.

At the highest political level IG would be aware of the help Soviet gave us Diplomatically and Militarily

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Surya » 07 Dec 2010 07:09

sometimes I wonder why the Russians were getting tired towards the end. Was it american anger?? Surely the chinese could not do much then.

On hindsight they must have regretted not letting us go in the west after all the Pakis were the base for the Mujahideen.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby shiv » 07 Dec 2010 07:13

Austin wrote:There was probably no way for Indian Navy to know the bigger games being played by USN and USSR in the open sea during or prior to war.

At the highest political level IG would be aware of the help Soviet gave us Diplomatically and Militarily


I recall my own feelings of some anxiety over news reports of the 7th fleet sailing into the Bay of Bengal. I think there was a national sense of outrage. After the war I recall asking Suresh - "What would we have done if the Americans had attacked?" and his reply with a nonchalant smile was "We would have hit them back and sunk their carrier". Whatever people may want to quibble about this reply the one take way lesson from that reply for me was a strong sense of absolutely no SDRE dhoti shivering here. That reflected the mood of Indians in general.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby nachiket » 07 Dec 2010 07:19

rohitvats wrote:^^^Add to it the situation on Western Front prior to the outbreak of formal war in East.....In words of Lt.General Candeth, the Western Army Commander, "‘The most critical period was between 8 and 26 October when 1 Corps and 1 Armoured Division were still outside Western Command. Had Pakistan put in a pre-emptive attack, during that period, the consequences would have been too dreadful to contemplate and all our efforts during the war would have been spent in trying to correct the adverse situation forced on us".

These were some of the odds we faced.

Rohit, can you post something more about this? I hadn't heard about this before. Thanks.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby shiv » 07 Dec 2010 07:24

Surya wrote:
On hindsight they must have regretted not letting us go in the west after all the Pakis were the base for the Mujahideen.


Surya - I don't believe that we would have gone ahead.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Philip » 07 Dec 2010 17:11

The main aim of the Indian forces was to liberate Dacca and cut Pak to size-into two.A holding exercise was envisioned in the west while we went full speed to liberate E.Pak before both the US and the Chinese stirred.The "Yellowskins" could do little in winter and the Yanquis responded by sending in a posse by sea,but Gen.Sam and the Indian armed forces were too fast on the draw than Martial,sorry!...Marshal Nixon and his sidekick "Doc" Kissinger.Even though the posse to save the Pakis got to the "corral" at the fag end of the shootout,they found that the "Injuns" had already lassoed 95,000 Pakis and their friends the Cossacks had the cowboys outflanked.Thus both the Pakis and the Yanquis kissed the dust,one physically and the other diplomatically and the Yellowskins' reputation lived up to the colour of their skin!

Almost 40 years on,the Yanquis have learnt nothing from their humiliation of '71 and along with their posse pals the Brittanic Barbarians and their Paki "halfcastes",being cut down to half their former size,are embroiled in a poker fight with the Afghanis,the Asian version of the afeared Apaches.While the duplicitous bloody Great Game being played by the Yanquis,Pakis and Afghanis,"the Good,the Bad and the Ugly",each trying to get one to slit the others' throat for a "Fistfull of Dollars", the Injuns sit on the borders a-waiting-a-watching-and-a-laughing at their mortal enemy and its bum-chum savage each other and waste the blood of their palefaces and braves.The Yanquis have not been able to win because their rent-boy the Pakis keep on asking "For a few Dollars More"!

Ultimately,it is going to be "Obama's Last Stand" and this is what the Pakis will get,"A present for you Amigo,a coffin from (the Great) Satan".

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby rohitvats » 07 Dec 2010 19:32

nachiket wrote:
rohitvats wrote:^^^Add to it the situation on Western Front prior to the outbreak of formal war in East.....In words of Lt.General Candeth, the Western Army Commander, "‘The most critical period was between 8 and 26 October when 1 Corps and 1 Armoured Division were still outside Western Command. Had Pakistan put in a pre-emptive attack, during that period, the consequences would have been too dreadful to contemplate and all our efforts during the war would have been spent in trying to correct the adverse situation forced on us".

These were some of the odds we faced.


Rohit, can you post something more about this? I hadn't heard about this before. Thanks.


Please to read the detailed analysis of Western Sector in 1971 by Mjor AH Amin (ex-PA). Even though it is written by ex-PA officer, he is much better than most others. He does not hesitate to rip apart PA and its senior leadership. With some dicsounting for rehtoric, this is a good analysis:

http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/india/indiawest1971.html

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby negi » 07 Dec 2010 20:54

For a moment I will take off my EB hat and admire what we have been able to achieve in 1971, I mean it gives me immense joy to see BD as an independent country and on it's path to join the rest of the developing/developed world compare this to countries which a so called world suber power bombed to stone age in the name of bringing 'peace and democracy'. Finally the fact that 90k bakis surrendered in process under 7th fleet's watch is an icing on the cake . :mrgreen:

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 07 Dec 2010 21:01

critical moment in the surrender was the Mig21's rocketing the government house - that strike alone hastened the process by atleast 24 hrs. Who knows what could have happened if the 7th Fleet had sailed on for another day...

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby ramana » 07 Dec 2010 21:21

Philip, I would use Paki Gubodins instead of your usage. And point out that the roles of the Good, Bad and Ugly keep rotating between those three entities. Totally relativistic!

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby bksahu » 08 Dec 2010 10:46

Can anyone post the link to Indira Gandhi's speech on raamleela maidan addressed to the public just before the before got finished.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Pratyush » 08 Dec 2010 11:01



Rohit,

Upon reading the analysis linked it seems that the author is benefiting form Hindsight. The analysis in order to be complete will make sense if we are aware of the official Indian aims in the western front. From the Indian side, rather then conjuctures and could bes and would bes.

IIRC, it was the TSP which opened the western front and not India on 3rd of Dec. Up until that moment India was focused on the Eastern theater only. Indian tanks having crossed into East Pakistan on 23rd Nov IIRC.

What we are seeing is a result of western thoughts WRT what India could have done in the west. Rather then what Indians had pllaned to do.

Also, it is extreamly unusual for an army to get everything done in one area with an absolute degree of competence, and yet completely fail to acheave exploitable results in the next due to its own incompetence and failure at the higher levels. In the course of the same war.

Take it as JMO onlee.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Dec 2010 13:46

another big plus from the war, the F104 Starfighter was shown to be not as fearful as it was projected to be
the Mig21 emerging as a superior platform

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby shiv » 10 Dec 2010 09:17

I had uploaded the follwing story 'Pete Wilson's war" many months ago. It tells of how some kick-ass Chankianism led to the eventual shooting down of a Paki F-104 in 1971.
Download, read and enjoy.

http://rapidshare.com/files/409373561/petewilson.pdf

But I have another reason for recalling this story. When I looked at the photo on page 168 my heart skipped a beat. It has two faces that have now left holes in my heart. I will speak of that in a separate post.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby shiv » 10 Dec 2010 09:49

Here is the photograph I am speaking of:
Image

Many of the Longewala battle pilots are there. I am not sure. But seated at extreme left is my cousin Suresh. What I had missed earlier in this photo is that the man standing at the back, third from the left below the letters ".qua." of the word "squadron" is (unless I am mistaken) Deepak Yadav - another name from my childhood.

If you look at the Longewala memoial plaque you find Deepak Yadav's name there too. Here is the image
Image

But that is not why I remember Deepak Yadav. In my mind he represented the story of the movie "Aradhana" played out years before the movie was made.

Living in Poona I had as my neighbors a Gujarati family whose son was my childhood mate. His parents were like foster parents to me. They had two older daughters - the eldest being a beautiful young lady then. My cousin Suresh often visited Poona or passed through and made it a point to drop in and see us. And he would often bring interesting Air Force mates along. On one occasion in the early 1960s he brought his mate Philip Rajkumar along - now Air Marshal (retd) Philip Rajkumar. On another occasion it was Deepak Yadav.

On the day Suresh and Deepak came all the families in the block that we lived in were about to leave for a picnic to a nearby Hill station - I think it was Panchgani. So we took these two along with us. The chemistry between Deepak Yadav and my neighbor's eldest and very pretty daughter was evident to everyone except me and my mate - who were too young to understand chemistry. In a short few months a marriage had happened and Deepak Yadav became my neighbor - in a sense, and a son in law of people who were like parents to me.

Deepak Yadav featured in the Longewala action and his name appears in another story that i will scan and put up here in due course. But more than all that I recall asking my cousin Suresh about the action in the 1971 war when he came home on leave after the war. And I recall him telling me of an incident in which deepak Yadav was attacking a train in Pakistan in a Hunter aircraft. Ground fire set one of his drop tanks on fire. Deepak Yadav did not jettison it immediately, but positioned his aircraft, aimed for the train and dropped the burning drop tank on to the train.

Deepak went on to become a test pilot. One of the saddest days in my life was the news of his having been killed in a test flight of the HJT-16 Kiran in Bangalore in the late 1970s

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby sanjeevpunj » 10 Dec 2010 10:13

rohitvats wrote:sanjeevpunj, the only paradrop which took place in BD that I'm aware of is the drop at Tangail to capture the Poongli Bridge on Jamuna by 2 Para. While SFF was involved in operations in Chittagong tract, AFAIK, it was not involved in any paradrop.


I found this info at the site of the parachute regiment http://www.indianparachuteregiment.kar.nic.in/heroes.htm
Image

Lt Col S Bhawani Singh, MVC

During the 1971 Indo Pak war, Lt Col Bhawani Singh was commanding 10 PARA(SF). Led by their Col, the battalion infiltrated deep inside enemy territory and for four days carried out lightening raids on the strongly held enemy posts at Chachro and Virwah. For his inspired leadership and personal courage Lt Col Bhawani was awarded the MAHAVIR CHAKRA.

So if he was commanding 10 PARA (SF) , if they were not paradropped, then I do wonder how they made their way to Dacca.. Maybe because they were SF their mission was kept under cover.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Dec 2010 13:56

chachro and virwah are in the rajasthan sector, these were the SAS/LRDP style jeep raids i think
the only reference i have seen to large scale para drops is tangail
one of the youtube clips referenced above seems to show paras entering dhaka in jeeps being cheered by locals

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby sanjeevpunj » 10 Dec 2010 14:00

Well what I heard from Lt Col Bhawani Dutt Dogra. MVC,retd. directly was that he was with Brigadier Bhawani Singh,MVC,retd. when they rescued Mujibur Rahman at Dacca. I will ask Lt Col Dogra in detail when I meet him again in Jan 2011.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Dec 2010 15:13

sanjeev - AFAIK, mujib was arrested and kept in jail in pakistan for around 9 months. following the war, he was flown to london from where he then came to dhaka. he was not liberated in dhaka, atleast not in 1971.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby rohitvats » 10 Dec 2010 15:35

^^^I have an interesting story related to that Tangail drop - me was appearing for my interview as part of the GD and interview session. Now, it so turns out that the gentleman interviewing me was an ex-Col. from Para - and I came to know that from the tie he was wearing. One question (from me) led to another and he turned out to be ex-2 Para....aha! me seized me moment and regaled him about the Tangail drop....he was happy to come across a nava mujahid versed in matters of defense and Indian Military History. The question from there on switched from Economy to Defense and lateral lines of communication advantage of TSPA.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Dec 2010 15:47

in East Bengal/Bangladesh, there is a river every 6kms. the land is often marshy or covered in rice paddies. many rivers are large and some are several kms wide, bridges are of variable quality. TSPA was relying on the lack of mobility to dig into defensible fortresses and wear down the Indian advance. However, a massive war of manouevre was fought in this very difficult terrain to utterly surround and confound the TSPA and blitz Dhaka. Remarkable achievement

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby dnivas » 10 Dec 2010 15:51

Shiv, thanks for the posts regarding Deepak.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Pratyush » 10 Dec 2010 16:16

The bravery of Albert Ekka, Lt Khetrapal, Shekhon, Hoishiyar Singh, all PVC and others was legendery.

Lt Khetrapal and Major Hoishyar Singh earning PVC in the same battle one of them no longer there to recieve it. The name of the Pakistani officer who recieved the tamga e Jurrat ? escapes me at the moment. The citation for him was written by the Indian officer facing him. The copy of it is at home. Shows the moral character of the Indian Army Officer.

The epiloge to Lt Khetrpal story is equally moving and I think, if only, the PA and the Pakistani state had more men with the character of that Pakisatani Brigadier. Then things may have been for that country and perhaps for the Subcontinent as well.


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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby rohitvats » 10 Dec 2010 16:27

Lalmohan wrote:in East Bengal/Bangladesh, there is a river every 6kms. the land is often marshy or covered in rice paddies. many rivers are large and some are several kms wide, bridges are of variable quality. TSPA was relying on the lack of mobility to dig into defensible fortresses and wear down the Indian advance. However, a massive war of manouevre was fought in this very difficult terrain to utterly surround and confound the TSPA and blitz Dhaka. Remarkable achievement


There is a reason a western military analyst called 1971 as Blitzkrieg without tanks..... :twisted:

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Sachin » 10 Dec 2010 19:44

Pratyush wrote:The bravery of Albert Tikka,

Minor nit pick. It should Ekka.
OT: The old serial of DD Param Vir Chakra at least made me aware of these great heroes of 1971 (plus the other Wars).

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby sum » 10 Dec 2010 21:34

Sachin wrote:Minor nit pick. It should Ekka.
OT: The old serial of DD Param Vir Chakra at least made me aware of these great heroes of 1971 (plus the other Wars).

+1 to that.
Was truely a superb series, more surprising given that it was on DD...

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby surinder » 10 Dec 2010 22:07

Lalmohan wrote:in East Bengal/Bangladesh, there is a river every 6kms. the land is often marshy or covered in rice paddies. many rivers are large and some are several kms wide, bridges are of variable quality. TSPA was relying on the lack of mobility to dig into defensible fortresses and wear down the Indian advance. However, a massive war of manouevre was fought in this very difficult terrain to utterly surround and confound the TSPA and blitz Dhaka. Remarkable achievement


This was the idea of Gen. JFR Jacobs to take the byways and leave the highways. Also to make taking Dhaka as the major aim of the war. TSPA just waited in their dug in locations waiting for Indians to attack. Rest is history, a great victory for us to savor for a long time.

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby negi » 11 Dec 2010 03:16

sum wrote:
Sachin wrote:Minor nit pick. It should Ekka.
OT: The old serial of DD Param Vir Chakra at least made me aware of these great heroes of 1971 (plus the other Wars).

+1 to that.
Was truely a superb series, more surprising given that it was on DD...

Long time back I had written to Prasar Bharati and even DD guys requesting them for the complete series unfortunately I did not get any response. :((

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby brihaspati » 11 Dec 2010 03:50

Does anyone have access to the minutes of the "tri-partite" meeting between Pak-India in the presence of Sk. Mujibur Rehman and Dr. Kamal Hossein that decided the fate of the Paki POW's and many of whom were then facing allegations of serious war-crimes?

Starting from the 46-48 period, there always appears to be a pattern of not pursuing up war-crimes, or crimes against humanity, or perhaps asking people to "minimize/reduce lists of war criminals" - if and only if they come from a certain faith?

The issue of the "Simla Pact" is a hotly debated issue for BD, and the entire responsibility for "protecting" the paki sadists engaged in rape, sex-enslavement, torture and massacre of Bengalis is now being thrown at "India" due to the increasingly heated debate over re-trial of the accused. By never following up on these deviants from normal humanity coinciding with a faith origin - we have encouraged and preserved terror. At least India should not be made to shoulder the burden of sharing in that protection.

Isn't it time to clear this issue up?

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Re: Remembering the 1971 war

Postby Airavat » 11 Dec 2010 08:33

Sachin wrote:
Pratyush wrote:The bravery of Albert Tikka,

Minor nit pick. It should Ekka.

Image

GOC 57 Mountain Division Maj Gen DS Hooda also inaugurated a major traffic roundel in Leimakhong dedicated to Lance Naik Albert Ekka. HQ 57 Mountain Division or the 'Red Shield Division' as it is commonly referred to was raised on this day in 1969 at Masimpur village in Cachar district of South Assam to conduct Counter Insurgency Operations in the Mizo Hills.

Since its inception the Red Shield Division has created history and has carved a niche for itself bringing glory and valour to the Indian Army, through its intrepid actions in the various operations, such as 'OP CACTUS LILY' or the battle for the Liberation Of Bangladesh – 1971. Lance Naik Albert Ekka of 14 Guards won the rare accolade of being decorated with the only Param Vir Chakra (posthumous) of the 1971 war in the Eastern Theatre.

Red Shield Division celebrates its 41st Raising Day


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