The IAF History Thread

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The IAF History Thread

Postby Jagan » 03 Aug 2006 19:49

All topics related to the History of the IAF goes in here. I realise this is a low traffic thread - but all the same worth pursuing.

To start off - Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy writes about the 1965 War.

--------------------------------------------------------
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/9788._.html

Out of the blue

Air Chief Marshal (Retd), S. Krishnaswamy
Posted online: Thursday, August 03, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

September, 1965. The time had come for us fighter pilots to prove our worth. Six months earlier I was posted from a Hunter Squadron to 23 Sqn Ambala, to fly the Gnats. I found the air combat skills in the Gnat Squadron to be distinctly superior, which made me eager to learn every trick that was possible.

Sikand and Keelor were my flight commanders, Sikki rallied the squadron often during the weekends. The possibility of operations was in the air. I remember Sikki, with his trimmed hair and beard, saying he would be able to pass off as a Mussalman if he ever ejected in Pakistan. Many of us were focused on how to take on the F-86 in air. We were superbly confident and yet there were many unknowns. Looking back, I felt that the leadership on the desks did not show as much aggression and enthusiasm as we jockeys did.

On September 2, the Squadron was told to hurriedly dispatch four Gnats to Halwara to function on an Operational Readiness Platform (ORP) and undertake missions. We heard that four Vampires were shot down by F-86s in Chamb and that some of the pilots were killed. Gathering toothbrushes, Keelor, self, Pathania and Gill took off for Halwara, where we heard that the Vampires were attacking tanks when they were surprised by F-86s.

Soon, we were ordered to refuel and get to Pathankot. We were soon joined by four more Gnats from Ambala: Johnny Green from 2 Sqn, Sandhu (Black Leader) from 9 Sqn, and Sikki and Manna (Murdeshwar) from 23 Sqn. While the detachment was supposed to be from 23 Sqn, Green took over the command of the detachment. We knew if God had colour it would be Green! He commanded great respect as a fighter pilot; a cool and clear-minded professional but a loner.

The Gnats were expected to mount an offensive sweep to draw out F-86s and shoot them down. We were told that we would get no radar cover over the Chamb sector, from where we were to enter Pakistan territory, the R/T communication with the ground was reported to be poor and enemy deployment unclear. The PAF was known to have some F-86s and F-104s armed with missiles, their air defence cover over Chamb was known to be good.

The plan was that Jimmy Goodman (Sqn Cdr of 31 Sqn) would fly his Mystere with a wing man (Sethi — shot down and killed on a later mission) at a few thousand feet at low speed, simulating Vampires. Behind would be eight Gnats in two formations. Over Chamb, the Mysteres would get low and fast and run back to base. The Gnats would then head into enemy territory climbing to 20,000 ft, inviting PAF interceptors.

Looking back, it was a very audacious mission, having no radar cover but dependent only on visual sighting of the enemy and on our skills to spot and to shoot.

After the Mysteres left us, we were at 20,000 ft for about 10 minutes when a lone F-86 turned behind the front formation and right in front of my leader, Trevor Keelor. We both latched on to him. Keelor started shooting and we saw a panel flying out, smoke billowing. We broke, thinking he’d gone down, and started looking out for others.

The next day we flew a similar mission but this time, two Mig-21s took the lead. The eight of us who followed a couple of minutes later were bounced by a large PAF formation, at least six F-86s and a pair of F-104s with missiles. We’d been briefed not to take on PAF aircraft with missiles since their potential was unknown. We returned with no loss and no gain.

Over the next two days the Mysteres continued their ground attack. I heard from my colleagues that some of our strike aircraft flew over Bhaktanwala, where F-86s were parked in a line. We had strict instructions not to attack enemy assets on the ground, the logic being that if we did so they would do so too and that would escalate the war. It proved to be short-sighted; I could never understand this logic. I was angry and upset.

A course mate of mine, Darshan Brar, flying the Mystere told me that he hit Sargoda with a vengeance, making multiple passes even when extremely short of fuel. Such was the spirit of the youngsters in the cockpit. The first two months there were no words or suggestions of decorations. We were not familiar with these things and didn’t really care. Then came the announcement of decorations and other ‘goodies’ which definitely had a corrupting influence.

Till today, I could never understand how Chiefs of opposing Air Forces could have reached an understanding to keep away from conflict (if ever such an agreement was reached). Having lost many of my friends in the wars I could never call the enemy a ‘friend’. My motto in air warfare is: ‘‘Strike when an opportunity arises because there would be no second chance’’.

On September 6, we learnt our bitter lesson. Pakistan attacked IAF assets on the ground at Pathankot, Halwara and Kalaikonda most effectively. They did suffer serious attrition at Halwara but put the IAF on the defensive from which it never recovered.

My squadron was reduced to flying Combat Patrol (CAP) missions over the airfield from dawn to dusk for days on end. What a waste of combat assets! We should have kept the enemy busy instead of giving them a lead chance. As a young fighter pilot, I felt the commanders at the desks to be confused and under-confident, lacking imagination and grit. They were least inspiring.

I was fortunate to learn what grit and camaraderie mean from some of those who led us. I had the occasion to escort Canberras during daylight, flown by very brave crew on most audacious missions. When they climbed slowly to 6,000 ft laden with bombs in enemy territory, flying close with them I was worried for their safety! Once the bombs were released, they built up their speed so quickly that they often left the Gnats behind!

I had the opportunity to escort a severely damaged Mystere alone, which limped back to base with fuel running low, all emergency lights on and speeds just enough to maintain level flight. Yet the pilot was so cool and confident. This was Suppie Kaul, later to become the CAS.

The first Pakistani bomb fell in Pathankot on the night of September 6. Then we heard of parachutists being dropped. This pushed us to the trenches, all night. The day we prepared and flew missions. It was very tough on the men to keep repairing and pushing aircraft round the clock, they were brilliant! I distinctly remember flying aircraft with patched-up bullet holes but I never doubted the soundness of the aircraft that we flew.

There were some light moments too; We never believed in digging trenches deep enough. On the 6th, when the airfield was struck, guys piled up in the trenches one on top of the other. In fact, the last pile was well above the ground! The guy at the bottom complained of not being able to breathe — but stopped complaining when the guy on top offered to swap places!

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The recent Arjan Singh interview

Postby Jagan » 03 Aug 2006 19:51

http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/9549.html

PAF has the advantage, we are sure to have losses: Arjan told Chavan
Posted online: Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 0000 hrs IST

For Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, the 1965 war was a monumental challenge: as IAF chief at the time, his dated and old fighter fleet scrambled up against a blisteringly potent PAF, armed, alarmingly at the time, with air-to-air missiles. The war ended after just 21 days, but anxiety levels had begun to brim over long before operations began.

In an interview to The Sunday Express, Singh revealed, for the first time ever, his word of caution to then Defence Minister YB Chavan just before IAF fighters blasted off from Pathankot early on September 1, 1965.
‘‘It speaks volumes of Chavan that he gave us approval for air strikes in just five minutes. But I warned him about two things: that we were sure to have losses, since the PAF was very close at Sargodha, and I also told him that since the IAF and Army hadn’t had time to brief each other, it was possible that we would hit our own troops from the air. As it turned out, this did happen,’’ Singh said.

While things levelled out in the West, Singh admits that his force was ‘‘rather complacent’’ about the Eastern Sector. ‘‘Our commanders there should have been more aggressive. You can never win without being aggressive.’’

A more controversial aspect is the much-disected conversation between Singh and his PAF counterpart Asghar Khan earlier that year during Pakistan’s armoured incursion into Kutch. Khan called Singh and suggested that both air forces keep away from the conflict.

Later, Asghar Khan went on to justify the IAF’s lack of action in Kutch to his purported ‘‘threats’’ to Singh. That he did not consult Pak Army chief Gen Musa and President Ayub Khan, cost him his job two months later.
Singh, who remains in contact with his PAF counterparts of the time, remembers: ‘‘I agreed with him, because this was our stand too. We were just not prepared for a showdown in Kutch. Asghar was and is a close friend of mine, so is his successor Nur Khan. The high standards of efficiency of the PAF at the time were entirely because of Asghar’s dedication. They were both good colleagues and first class officers. When I visited Peshawar after the war, Nur Khan accommodated me in his own house.’’

In the final analysis, Singh feels the PAF was cautious because of limited resources, while the IAF kept away from full throttle because it thought the war would last much longer. The stakes for both, either way, were very high.

— SHIV AROOR

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Postby Harry » 03 Aug 2006 22:31

Till today, I could never understand how Chiefs of opposing Air Forces could have reached an understanding to keep away from conflict (if ever such an agreement was reached).


From : http://www.defencejournal.com/may98/fightergap1.htm

On Saturday, our revision was complete, we were as ready as could be expected, and the Director Operations took the responsibility and placed the Air Force on alert. The C-in-C returned in the night, called us to work and reversed all the orders. He took one other action -- spoke to his counterpart in India offering that he would not use the PAF if Air Marshal Arjun Singh did not use the IAF! Arjun Singh flew one of his PR Canberras, took photographs of US Aid supplied equipment, when these were seen by the Americans, military aid to Pakistan was stopped!

Were Asghar Khan and Musa on speaking terms? Will we have a one sided story now? Why did Asghar Khan speak to Arjun Singh? Was Asghar Khan under orders to speak or was it initiative on his part? Did he speak? This is contained in John Frickers book 'Battle for Pakistan and in the 'Story of the PAF and also reported in the press without contradiction by Asghar Khan.

So it is a fact that Asghar Khan did speak to Arjun Singh. Did he do so because he was directed or whether it was initiative on his part- if the former is a fact then he should have committed 'hara kiri, if the latter is true then he should have been court-martialled, for 'cowardice in the face of the enemy and shot.

Was this the only problem? Asghar Khan claimed that there was no effort to spare for the Army as such the Army doctrine of not to include the PAF in the preparation plans. Asghar Khans policy was dictated by : 'It is true that the PAFs primary role, in essence, is to assist the Army in every possible way to achieve its objectives. But in order to be able to do this the PAF must first achieve a high degree of air superiority over the land battle areas, and it must be equipped to do this effectively. The Army seldom understood or recognised this precondition.

[hr]

Now coming to the 1971 war, I chanced upon this post at an unmentionable forum. A member called Saker_2000, who says he spoke to Aftab Alam, mentions

as said before the two lost examples of RJAF F-104s are contributed to InAF Night Raid at Masroor AFB on 6-Dec-71 in which also PAF RB-57D was also destroyed...they were not reported in PAF losses as they were never PAF aircraft same can be said about 12 IIAF F-5As (916-928) which we recived during the War and said to have taken part in attacks on Indian Army in Thar Desert on 16th and 17th of Dec..after the War we recived at least 36 more from IIAF which were operated till 1974 untill we recived large number of Shenyang F-6Cs (the ones with Drag Chutes) they are even PAF Models of F-5As one of them is in my Taya`s Room Doning Desert camo - with PAF Marking!


Aftab Alam...once told me how he planned in 1965 to hit Ambala AFB flying atleast 6 aircraft formation...by taking up 4 x tanks and hot guns...340 ktns ingress two passes each..and 600ktns egress....certainly was facinating....planed on 21st sep..what would happend if that has happend...!

And i dead sure we lost 2 RJAF machines when InAF Canberra hit..on 6th Dec...one thing one of RJAF Machine was involved in Night Engagement on i think 8th or 9th dec whne it forced 1 Inaf Cannberra to crash in Sea...while escaping....I think the pilot was Flt Ltn.(cant remmber his name) by the way the lost two RJAF F-104s were not even operation at that time they just got hit!

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Postby Jagan » 03 Aug 2006 22:46

War and said to have taken part in attacks on Indian Army in Thar Desert on 16th and 17th of Dec.


All in all interesting stuff from that guy - but it needs to be verified from addiitonal sources. Does anyone have any friends in the RJAF Archives?
Last edited by Jagan on 07 Aug 2006 19:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Harry » 07 Aug 2006 00:41

I knew this thread would'nt take off. Just curious but does anyone other than Jagan, Samir, Sree, Shiv and me, actually research or take interest in IAF history?

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Postby Jagan » 07 Aug 2006 18:50

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/10058.html

Flying in the face of facts

Arjan Singh
Monday, August 07, 2006 at 0000 hrs

The truth about the 1965 air war with Pakistan



I have grave problems with the inferences drawn by the former air chief, S. Krishnaswamy, in his article ‘Out of the blue’ (IE, August 3). I was the chief of air staff, and P.C. Lal the vice chief, during the 1965 war with Pakistan. Air Vice Marshal Rajaram was the air officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Air Command. We were responsible for the planning and conduct of the Indo-Pak war in 1965. All of us had taken part in World War II in 1944, and had been decorated. In 1965, we were not sitting at our desks but were engaged in regular flying practice of the latest aircraft types in the IAF.

Krishnaswamy was then a pilot officer or flying officer. In that rank, the focus is on flying and assessing their flight or squadron commander’s leadership; they do not have the knowledge of higher planning and the overall conduct of war. Krishnaswamy’s assessment of leadership in his August 3 article is probably due to hindsight, confusion, or loss of memory.

The former air chief’s remarks about the two chiefs of the two opposing forces reaching an understanding are made due to some ignorance of facts. The facts are that the talk between Air Marshal Asghar Khan and myself took place in March 1965, when an intrusion was on by Pakistan in the Kutch area, and not before the 1965 war itself, when it was Nur Khan who was the PAF chief.

The Kutch affair was discussed with the defence minister of the time, Y.B. Chavan, and it was decided that it was not in India’s interest to fight a war in that area. Both the army and the air force were not quite prepared to fight in that area. As chief I could not allow my force to cross the border and enter another country without the express orders of the defence minister. Our air support of the army in the Chamb-Jaurian sector in 1965, and more recently in the Kargil sector, was given after approval of the defence minister.

It was in that context that when Asghar Khan rang me up in March 1965, suggesting that the air forces of the two countries should not operate across the borders, I agreed with him as that was also the order from our government.

The writer, a former air chief marshal, holds the lifetime honorary post of marshal of the Indian Air Force

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Postby Rahul M » 08 Aug 2006 00:58

I knew this thread would'nt take off. Just curious but does anyone other than Jagan, Samir, Sree, Shiv and me, actually research or take interest in IAF history?


Harry,don't loose heart. you people are doing a great work. we are interested in IAF history, but may not have the patience (or ability) to research for it.

Please keep up the good work!!

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Postby Kakkaji » 08 Aug 2006 01:26

Wasn't Krishnaswamy the one who had a Starfighter in his gun sights in 1965 and claimed he did not shoot because he was "awed by the beauty of the plane (Starfighter)" or something on those lines?

If he did not show aggression in that incident, then why does he accuse the top AF brass of that time of not showing aggression?

The incident SK has described about IAF finding a line a Sabres on the ground and not attacking, because the top brass had ordered them not to, sounds typical. Time and again we trust the enemy, to be betrayed yet again.

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Postby CPrakash » 08 Aug 2006 01:33

RajeevT wrote:Wasn't Krishnaswamy the one who had a Starfighter in his gun sights in 1965 and claimed he did not shoot because he was "awed by the beauty of the plane (Starfighter)" or something on those lines?

If he did not show aggression in that incident, then why does he accuse the top AF brass of that time of not showing aggression?


You cant blame kiccha - its not so easy to align a gyro sight onto a fast moving target properly and fire away your cannons - by the time you do it - the targets long gone - I suspect thats what happened to him. the realisation dawns when you fly some realistic flight sims - even hitting a target on the ground with an aircraft cannon takes incredible concentration.

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Postby Kapil » 08 Aug 2006 12:03

Hi Harry,

As Rahul says- please do keep up the good work.

Cheers

Kapil

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Postby Harry » 08 Aug 2006 22:59

Thanks.

Coming back to history, does anyone know why SDRE Alam stayed back in the PAF while Bengalis like Azam and Shaukat joined the BAF?

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Postby Jagan » 08 Aug 2006 23:08

Harry wrote:Thanks.

Coming back to history, does anyone know why SDRE Alam stayed back in the PAF while Bengalis like Azam and Shaukat joined the BAF?


Alam culturally may not have been a bengali. It has been reported he was a bihari muslim (the same types who went razakar during the mil crackdown in 71)

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Postby Harry » 09 Aug 2006 05:30

The timing of this thread was good. The most extensive list of IAF Kill claims for the 1971 war, ever compiled. At last!

http://www.orbat.com/site/cimh/iaf/IAF_1971_kills.pdf

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Postby Samir » 09 Aug 2006 16:54

Jagan wrote:
Harry wrote:Thanks.

Coming back to history, does anyone know why SDRE Alam stayed back in the PAF while Bengalis like Azam and Shaukat joined the BAF?


Alam culturally may not have been a bengali. It has been reported he was a bihari muslim (the same types who went razakar during the mil crackdown in 71)


Though I think he mentions (in the foreword to the Fricker book) that he grew up in Calcutta?

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Postby CPrakash » 10 Aug 2006 19:37

Harry wrote:The timing of this thread was good. The most extensive list of IAF Kill claims for the 1971 war, ever compiled. At last!

http://www.orbat.com/site/cimh/iaf/IAF_1971_kills.pdf


Harry , you will have a hard time defending some of the assertions in the document - but as pointed out it is only "Ver 1.0", so corrections and updates are part of the job.

Other than that - the layout is a little bit hard to read - it has good referencing - but at some point it gets confusing. Hopefully future versions will be easier to read.

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Postby Harry » 10 Aug 2006 22:09

Everything was gathered from open sources and the sources were provided. These are an attempt at a complete list of claims made by various sources, with cross-referencing taking many months. There will not be any corrections (in the tables) unless the concerned parties/authors themselves approach or new references are provided for additional info.

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Postby Jagan » 12 Aug 2006 21:28

Image

NEW BOOK THE EAGLE STRIKES - The Royal Indian Air Force 1932-1950
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Books ... rikes.html

For the first time an excellent book with hundreds of rare photographs of the Royal Indian Air Force has been published. Polly Singh has reviewed the book for our Book Reviews section

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Thanks Harry

Postby Rien » 13 Aug 2006 13:47

It was good to see some analysis done by Harry about the kills in the 1971 war, but what about 1965? Can we talk you into doing a repeat of 1965 as well?

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Re: Thanks Harry

Postby Harry » 13 Aug 2006 23:54

Rien wrote:It was good to see some analysis done by Harry about the kills in the 1971 war, but what about 1965? Can we talk you into doing a repeat of 1965 as well?


I think Jagan's book already covered that in the appendices and a new list would be little more than a repeat of it. The book does well to kill the earlier myth of "the IAF being a glorified flying club" in 1965 but I feel that it could go even further. There are a few corrections that need to be done (in the appendices) namely,

- Addition of AT Cooke's second kill (acc to PAF, 'written off due to lack of spares')
- Removal of BS Sikand's navigation error as a 'kill'
- Removal of MM Alam's fifth kill. (Kacker)
- Addition of the Mystere's kill of an L-19

That makes 16 A2A kills for both sides (PAF admits 8 ). The IAF claimed 18 a/c on the ground, the PAF admitted just 1 loss. The official history of the 1965 war mentions 25 ground fire kills, the PAF admits 5-7 (including fratricide claims). I have no idea where 16 other 'claims' come from? (The IAF claimed 75 PAF a/c in 65).

One of my arguments was that the 1971 war was decisive and thus IAF claims would be more credible. Not so (in the air) in 1965 so fudging of numbers did matter a bit then. However, as per the referenced defencejournal articles in the page, the Pakistanis themselves admit to having inflated their performance in 1965.

It is interesting to note that the PAF had only two F-86F squadrons in 1971, compared to nearly 120 F-86Fs in 1965. While it is known that some of these became airfield decoys, the disparity is still huge.

Jasjit Singh also gives his attrition figures for 1965,

http://www.aerospaceindia.org/Journals/ ... %20IAF.pdf

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Re: Thanks Harry

Postby Rien » 14 Aug 2006 06:55

Harry wrote:I think Jagan's book already covered that in the appendices and a new list would be little more than a repeat of it. The book does well to kill the earlier myth of "the IAF being a glorified flying club" in 1965 but I feel that it could go even further. There are a few corrections that need to be done (in the appendices) namely,

- Addition of AT Cooke's second kill (acc to PAF, 'written off due to lack of spares')
- Removal of BS Sikand's navigation error as a 'kill'
- Removal of MM Alam's fifth kill. (Kacker)
- Addition of the Mystere's kill of an L-19

That makes 16 A2A kills for both sides (PAF admits 8 ). The IAF claimed 18 a/c on the ground, the PAF admitted just 1 loss. The official history of the 1965 war mentions 25 ground fire kills, the PAF admits 5-7 (including fratricide claims). I have no idea where 16 other 'claims' come from? (The IAF claimed 75 PAF a/c in 65).


I was thinking about how you tracked down that those Jordanian planes were shot down. Surely at least some of the PAF losses must have been Gulf country planes. It would be very nice for political reasons to have that documented and verified. It would be really nice if you could approach current or former Jordanian Air Force officers and see what they will admit to decades later.

Harry wrote:It is interesting to note that the PAF had only two F-86F squadrons in 1971, compared to nearly 120 F-86Fs in 1965. While it is known that some of these became airfield decoys, the disparity is still huge.


One thing I always wondered. Can we get access to records from Dassault? Official mirage shipments and actual PAF strength would be very very interesting.

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Postby Harry » 14 Aug 2006 07:12

I was thinking about how you tracked down that those Jordanian planes were shot down. Surely at least some of the PAF losses must have been Gulf country planes. It would be very nice for political reasons to have that documented and verified.


The IAF has always claimed that the downed F-104s had a desert camo. W/C Mervyn Middlecoat led the delegation which brought these RJAF F-104s to Pakistan.

Check the references which mention foreign aircraft in the PAF. More than Jordanian transfers, I'd like to know more on Libya's role during wartime.

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Postby Jagan » 14 Aug 2006 08:19

Now its ACM Krishnaswamy's turn
________________________________

http://www.newkerala.com/news4.php?acti ... ws&id=4082

`We were not allowed to take the initiave in the 1965 war,' Air Chief Marshal Krishnaswamy

By Suman Sharma, New Delhi, Aug 8: Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S.Krishnaswamy said on Tuesday that Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots were virtually prevented from taking the initiative in warding off aerial attacks from Pakistan during the 1965 India-Pakistan War.

Taking his war of words in the media with Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh forward, Air Chief Marshall (retired) Krishnaswamy told ANI in a interview that though he was a junior fighter pilot during the 1965 war, the lasting impression of that conflict was of being repeatedly plastered, and not being able to hit back in spite of possessing the required firepower.

During the 1965 war, the Indian Air Force lost many planes on the ground as well as in the initial phase of the conflict in the Chhamb-Jaurian sector. These could have been avoided, many young pilots felt if the IAF had taken the courage and the initiative to attack the Pakistan fighters on the ground.

Accepting that he could not have been aware of all the facts, Krishnaswamy said that his reactions in the media more than four decades down the lane were purely based on the circumstances in which he was placed as a young pilot in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

“Certainly, there may have been a compulsion, but I am not aware of it, but certainly, as a man, when you are fighting a war, it churns you, that we missed them yesterday and the same aeroplanes get up and shoot us down. It’s a powerful impression that was left on us,â€

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Re: Thanks Harry

Postby Jagan » 14 Aug 2006 08:36

Harry wrote:There are a few corrections that need to be done (in the appendices) namely,

- Addition of AT Cooke's second kill (acc to PAF, 'written off due to lack of spares')
- Removal of BS Sikand's navigation error as a 'kill'
- Removal of MM Alam's fifth kill. (Kacker)
- Addition of the Mystere's kill of an L-19


Harry,

The main text makes all the above quite clear.

I guess Appencix A does need soem fixing - there has to be a clarification that some of the IAF losses are claimed as kills by the PAF even though the IAF considers them combat related 'accidents' - like Kacker and Sikand.

However , for anyone trying to figure out the actual causes for IAF losses they will do better to refer to Appendix B - which gives correctly the cause of Kacker as Booster pump failure and of Sikand as landing at Pasrur.

The Kills claim in the appendices are the IAF's official list as in 1965 - thus Alfred Cooke's second kill and Bhattacharyas L-19 , as well as Trevor Keelors L-19 dont appear in the official claims. Though they are addressed in significant detail in the main text. If one feels the necessity to 'correct' the official claims with 'recent findings' (Cooke's kill and the Mystere /L19) - then one also has to go all the way and remove some of the 'non-confirmed' kills from the official list, some of which we know today are not exactly in the confirmed category.

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Postby Johann » 14 Aug 2006 11:26

Harry wrote:More than Jordanian transfers, I'd like to know more on Libya's role during wartime.


I have a phantom memory of a report that the Libyans gifted the handful of their (pre-Qadhdhaffi) F-5s still in flying condition to the Pakistanis, but that they got there too late to get in to action. The Pakistanis unable to acquire additional aircraft disposed of them - might have sold them to the Saudis. Nothing about Mirage Vs, those were being handed over to the Egyptians.

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Postby JCage » 14 Aug 2006 13:53

Jagan wrote:Now its ACM Krishnaswamy's turn


Jagan
Whats with Kiccha taking on Arjan Singh openly?

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Postby Jagan » 14 Aug 2006 18:39

JCage wrote:
Jagan wrote:Now its ACM Krishnaswamy's turn


Jagan
Whats with Kiccha taking on Arjan Singh openly?

I dont think his intentionwas to demean or insult Arjan, but that things just got out of hand with that 'friendliness with the enemy' comment. Kiccha erroneously attributed this to the September period whereas it happened much earlier in April / May.

That said the rest of Kicchas point is very much valid. I believe that there are other officers who field similar views - That the 65 war was not handled well by the top brass - but at the same time they respect Arjan so much that they would not want to say anything that might embarrass him.

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Postby khukri » 14 Aug 2006 20:09

Harry wrote:I knew this thread would'nt take off. Just curious but does anyone other than Jagan, Samir, Sree, Shiv and me, actually research or take interest in IAF history?

I think Jagan will confirm that I do...

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Postby Arun_S » 15 Aug 2006 01:22

Know what they did that summer
Shekhar Gupta
Posted online: Saturday, August 12, 2006

To understand why the mole story has bombed, you need to rewind to the summer of 1990. A story in two parts
[quote]

Shekhar Gupta
Related Stories

Mountain in the molehill The mole and the fox They strike when iron is cold Handicap at 7, Race CourseHandicap at 7, Race Course

One of the great mysteries of our contemporary history is, just what happened between India and Pakistan in the summer of 1990? Did India and Pakistan come close to a war without any immediate provocation? Or, more precisely, did Pakistan deliberately increase tension levels and then threaten India with a pre-emptive nuclear strike? This is when the then prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, now a peacenik-come-lately, was shouting her slogans of azaadi, and exhorting the people of Kashmir to cut Jagmohan, then governor of the state, into pieces, as in “jag-jag, mo-mo, han-hanâ€

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Postby JCage » 15 Aug 2006 04:41

Jagan wrote:
JCage wrote:
Jagan wrote:Now its ACM Krishnaswamy's turn


Jagan
Whats with Kiccha taking on Arjan Singh openly?

I dont think his intentionwas to demean or insult Arjan, but that things just got out of hand with that 'friendliness with the enemy' comment. Kiccha erroneously attributed this to the September period whereas it happened much earlier in April / May.

That said the rest of Kicchas point is very much valid. I believe that there are other officers who field similar views - That the 65 war was not handled well by the top brass - but at the same time they respect Arjan so much that they would not want to say anything that might embarrass him.


Thanks Jagan, well put.

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Postby Rien » 15 Aug 2006 11:15

Harry wrote:The IAF has always claimed that the downed F-104s had a desert camo. W/C Mervyn Middlecoat led the delegation which brought these RJAF F-104s to Pakistan.

Check the references which mention foreign aircraft in the PAF. More than Jordanian transfers, I'd like to know more on Libya's role during wartime.


Well, which war? From what I was reading, the US transferred some planes during 1971 illegally via Iran to Pakistan, that were intended for Libya. Was there another Libyan angle to 1965? It would be very handy if I could talk you into documenting foreign arms transfers to Pakistan during these wars, particularly ones that were crucial during war time.

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Postby Jagan » 15 Aug 2006 19:16

Rien wrote:[

Well, which war? From what I was reading, the US transferred some planes during 1971 illegally via Iran to Pakistan, that were intended for Libya. Was there another Libyan angle to 1965? It would be very handy if I could talk you into documenting foreign arms transfers to Pakistan during these wars, particularly ones that were crucial during war time.


Document 44 is the interesting link from the above - but the date confirms that the transferhappeend after the ceasefire in the west.

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Postby Harry » 16 Aug 2006 00:53

Rien wrote:
Well, which war? From what I was reading, the US transferred some planes during 1971 illegally via Iran to Pakistan, that were intended for Libya. Was there another Libyan angle to 1965? It would be very handy if I could talk you into documenting foreign arms transfers to Pakistan during these wars, particularly ones that were crucial during war time.


No known transfers during 1965. All the documents which mention transfers are already mentioned in the kills list pdf. The book "The White House and Pakistan" should provide more details but I don't have that now.

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Postby Johann » 16 Aug 2006 01:25

Rien,

What Iran did in 1966 the year after the war was to buy some 3 sqns worth of ex-Luftwaffe Sabres that the Germans had retired. They then sent these aircraft to Pakistan for 'overhaul' and never picked them up again.

It was basically a gift from the Shah who was out to become the biggest and most influential regional power. The Shah and the Saudis were in stiff competition. The next year the Saudis paid for the Pakistanis to buy a squadron of brand new Mirages IIIs in exchange for seconded PAF personnel and PAF training. In exchange the Pakistanis declined the Shah's suggestion that Pakistan and Iran co-produce the Mirage. This kind of competition between the Iranians and the Arabs continued through the 1970s up till the Iran-Iraq war.

Those days air forces were seen as the real technological prize, the deterrent force within reach. In the 1980s and 90s Pakistan's role in the bidding war between Iran and Saudi had more to do with ballistic missiles and nuclear capabilities than conventional air power.

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Postby Jagan » 16 Aug 2006 06:33

Harry,

This link should be of interest to you.

SUB-TYPE
P-YEAR
Qnt
S/N
REMARKS

Mirage-IIIEP
1967
18
101 to 108
Acquired under ‘Blue Flash One’ contract

Mirage-IIIDP
1967
3
301 to 303
Acquired under ‘Blue Flash One’ contract. Given ROSE-1 upgrade

Mirage-IIIRP
1967
3
201 to 203
Acquired under ‘Blue Flash One’ contract

Mirage-IIIDP
1970
2
304 to 305
Acquired under ‘Blue Flash Two’ contract. Given ROSE-1 upgrade


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Postby Harry » 16 Aug 2006 09:17

After nearly smashing my computer in frustration in trying to get this right, here it is. Turn the volume up loud. If this don't get the average BRite interested in history, nothing will.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUSvPy1SWAo

Your impressions welcome.

Jagan, I've seen it. They mention 13 RP instead of 3, twice.

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Postby JCage » 16 Aug 2006 15:40

Public details from nachiketa, first time iirc this is being admitted *publically*

Posted by MNK:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... urpg-2.cms

"About two to three hours after I ejected, I was ambushed and there was a fire fight. Regular Pakistani Army troops fired at me, I fired back. Eventually, I was captured because I was outnumbered. I had one pistol vis-à-vis five-six AK-56s," Nachiketa stated.


Asked how his captors treated him, he said: "They took it in two phases. First they declared me uncooperative. Then it became quite bad. I don't want to go into specifics."


He replied in the negative when asked if he expected to come back after he was captured.

"Absolutely not. As per our background, from 1971 what we have seen, no one generally comes back," he said.


Nachiketa indeed, eh?

Did he debate issues of life and death after being captured?

"The only thing I was planning from my side was escape. But that takes time. Initially, there is high security, and then slowly there is dilution. Being released by Pakistan was a surprise."

Asked if the IAF trained its personnel about what to do if one is captured, he replied: "In all our training, starting from the cadet days, the entire focus is on survival. In the air force, we have a special survival course for aircrew so that we are better prepared to handle such eventualities."

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Postby Jagan » 16 Aug 2006 16:44

wow, the nachiketa article was great - one for the archives. so he did fire his weapon back. Probably the only guy to get in a fight.

Ajay Ahuja could hae done the same (As kaiser tufail claims) and got killed in a fire fight.


Harry, great job - some of the gun cam shots I am seeing for the first time - like the oil tank strafing. Not to mention the several clips of canberras. thats the background music?

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Postby Jagan » 16 Aug 2006 17:45

Harry wrote:
Jagan, I've seen it. They mention 13 RP instead of 3, twice.


We should be concerned only about the deliveries till 1971 - the RPs are mentioned only once and the numbers as three - anyway it confirms that 26 mirages were procured before th 71 war.

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Awesome

Postby negi » 16 Aug 2006 18:40

Harry wrote:After nearly smashing my computer in frustration in trying to get this right, here it is. Turn the volume up loud. If this don't get the average BRite interested in history, nothing will.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUSvPy1SWAo

Your impressions welcome.

Jagan, I've seen it. They mention 13 RP instead of 3, twice.


Awesome video and a befitting sound track(Master of Puppets)."Taste me you'll see more is all you need dedicated to you how i am killin you ".Phew :wink:

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Postby Harry » 17 Aug 2006 01:36

This should've been in the humor thread but still,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b-aXBGZ ... ed&search=


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