Today, 4th December, celebrated as Indian Navy Day. As every Indian Sailor, celebrating today victory of December 4th 1971 Battle against Pakistan Navy at Western coast of Indian border near the Arabian Sea. Here the glimpse of moments which occurred within the evening of that day of 4th December.
As today about 50 years ago, on December 4th, 1971, during the Indian-Pakistan War, where the Indian Army and Indian Air Force was mounting an offensive striking on the land and within the air, The plan war devised and carried out by the Indian Navy which become one among the foremost successful and first full-scale engagement-utilization of all three Armed Force of Indian after the Independence. The Victory were pipping the salute to brave sailer of Indian Navy and every solider of Indian Armed Force itself.
Let’s start with Commodore K P Gopal Rao, who was commander of INS Kiltan and INS Katchall that were a part of the Strike Task Force who attacked Pakistani Naval Ships on December 4, 1971. Both vessels are providing critical communication, conducting target acquisition and anti-submarine cover to the force. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for distinguished service of a high order in the battlefield for leadership. Commodore Gopal was the first in the Indian Navy to be awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) as second highest in Wartime gallantry.
The Indian Navy engaged in offensive action against the Pakistan Naval force on the western front, the year when eastern front was fighting Indian Army and Indian Air Force Bangladesh Liberation war alongside with Mukti Bahini. The Operation Trident was plan of Navy to block the Pakistani Port which eventually force shorting supplied on resources at eastern side. Indian Navy ended up infiltrating Pakistan Karachi port and damaged harbour, ships, and resources of supply.
INS Kiltan, INS Katchall both were Arnala class anti-submarine corvettes. Commodore K P Gopal Rao was deputed to the Eastern Naval coast and was called by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral S M Nanda to join the Western fleet to head the Task Group that launched the attack on the Pakistan Naval force.
INS Kiltan(P79) and INS Katchall(P81) were the vanguard of three missile boats stationed in the rear. At about 1800 hours, INS Kiltan detected the first target, a warship on patrol, the second was an oversized ship. “So, Commander gave order to switch on radars and acquire the targets. After the target was located, confirmed and acquired, he gave order to process with the Attacks, the both missile boats as hauled out of their formation and proceeded at higher speeds towards respective targets.” and thus the rest was history …
Step toward victory:
December 3: Pakistan Air Force launched airstrike from airfields in Western India
December 4: India declare war on Pakistan. The same day, Operation Trident was planned and implemented by Indian Navy.
December 4: Indian Naval Task Group sailed from Dwarka and carry out attack on Pakistan Navy.
December 16: Pakistan unconditional surrender in Dhaka at 1655 hours.
Here is the list of books and documents which every Indian should read about it.
- Blue Waters Ahoy! The Indian Navy 2001-2010 by Vice Admiral Anup Singh.
- Under Two Ensigns: The Indian Navy, 1945-1950 by Rear Admiral Satyindra Singh.
- Blueprint to Bluewater, the Indian Navy, 1951-65 by Rear Admiral Satyindra Singh.
- Trilogy on Indian Navy by Vice Admiral G. M. Hiranandani.
- The Maritime Heritage of India by Karuna Sagar Behera
- The Rise of the Indian Navy: Internal Vulnerabilities, External Challenges by Harsh V. Pant
- Foxtrots of the Indian Navy by Commodore P.R. Franklin (Retd)
- Handbook of Submarine Operations by Commodore P.R. Franklin (Retd)
- The Indian Navy: Ocean of Opportunities by Pranav Zope
- History of the Indian Navy. (1613-1863) Volume 1 by Charles Rathbone Low
- Low’s History of the Indian Navy by Charles Rathbone Low
- A Sailor’s Story by Arjun Krishnan and Nilakanta Krishnan
- Operation X: The Untold Story of India’s Covert Naval War in East Pakistan by Captain M.N.R. Samant
- The Sinking of INS Khukri: Survivor’s Stories by Major General Ian Cardozo.
For more exclusive and fascinating story of Indian Naval heritage, visit the Indian Navy website. In the end of the day, we salute all our soldiers, airman, sailor who fought for our Nation.