Bangladesh Liberation @50 Years ‘Bijoy’ with Synergy India-Pakistan War 1971

Editors: VK Ahluwalia | AN Jha

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The Liberation War of 1971 was a culmination of months of suffering being subjected by Pakistan on their Eastern Wing —Bangladesh. India, on the other hand, was forced to go to war with Pakistan after it carried out air attacks against several Indian Airfields on December 3, 1971. Pakistan’s strategy of ‘The Defence of the East lies in the West’ was badly shaken with India-Bangladesh ferocity. The Liberation War was also first of its kind as it established a strong relationship between India and Bangladesh. I am highly impressed by the number of authors who have shared their experiences of the war. This book is a tribute to the local populace of both India and Bangladesh, as also to the armed forces of both the countries. Written in a lucid language, this book would be of interest to all—military, civilians, academicians and policy makers alike as it gives a vivid account of the war.

                                                                                                         General NC Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retd)
                                                                                                                                Former Chief of the Army Staff

The book gives an excellent account of the synergised operations fought by the Army, Navy and the Air Force in the Eastern and Western sectors during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. In a well calibrated air campaign, while IAF acted as a spearhead in Indian Military’s blitzkrieg in the East; in the West, it stood as a wall to thwart any offensive design of the Pakistan Army to violate India’s territorial integrity.

IAF achieved unique distinction by conducting precision strikes against selected targets in both wings of Pakistan. Not only did it destroy the Karachi oil storage tanks and refineries, severely degrading their warfighting capabilities in the West; the bombing of the Governor’s House in Dhaka acted as a psychological blow, resulting in Pak Army’s unconditional surrender in the East. The anecdotes given by the veterans and their families have added immense value to the book.

                                                                                            Air Marshal VK Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, Vr C & Bar (Retd)
                                                                                                                   Former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
                                                                                                 Western, South-Western and Central Air Commands

Editors: VK Ahluwalia | AN Jha Editors

Lt Gen (Dr.) VK Ahluwalia is Director, CLAWS. Lt Gen Ahluwalia superannuated as Army Commander, Central Command in March 2012. Thereafter, he served as a Member in the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).

Brig AN Jha is Senior Instructor (SI), PROMEX. Brig Jha has been an instructor in The Infantry School and Army War College, Mhow (MP).


Message by Defence Minister
Shri Rajnath Singh
Message by COAS
General MM Naravane,PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC
List of Abbreviations

Section 1: Defence of the East Lies in the West: Dynamic Leadership at Play

1. Historical Perspective and Geo-Strategy: ‘Defence of the East Lies in the West’
VK Ahluwalia and Narjit Singh

2. As India Decided, Pakistan Initiated the 1971 War
JS Cheema

3. Leadership@1971: An Amateur’s View
Shreya Das Barman

4. SAM: Our Chief during ’71 Operations
Behram M Panthaki

Section 2: Eastern Sector: Acts of Valour

5. The War I Experienced: Armour and Air Battle

6. The Battle for Sylhet
Ian Cardozo

7. A Rescue to Remember: First Family
Ashok Kumar Tara

8. The Battle of Garibpur
Vijay Gidh

9. Manoeuvre Warfare: Battle of Govindganj
JBS Yadava

10. The First Amphibious Assault by the Indian Army
ARK Reddy

11. Battle of Chatlapore: Reminiscences of a Subaltern
BM Daniels

12. Discard Pamphlet Teaching in War

13. The Belated Battle Honour: Raghupratap at Shyamganj
Ghanshyam Singh Katoch

14. First Artillery Unit of Bangladesh
OS Goraya

15. Scintillating Saga of Sagat Singh
Probal Das Gupta

Section 3: Power of the Muktijoddhas and the Local Populace

16. Attack: Kalachara Tea Garden
M Harun-Ar-Rashid

17. Calculated Brutality: The Ordeal
Shamsher M Chowdhury

18. Operation Kilo Flight

19. My Brother NaseemMohsin: A Freedom Fighter
Selina Mohsin

20. An Overview of Bangladesh Liberation War
IshfaqIlahi Choudhury

21. Unheard Voices: Revelations by Bangladesh Citizens
(Excerpts from Personal Interviews)
Jyoti M Pathania

Section 4: Pakistan’s Miscalculations in the Western Sector: Most Befitting Response

22. The 1971 India-Pakistan War: Through a Captain’s Eyes
Zameer Uddin Shah

23. 1 Corps Operations: A Critical Appraisal
PJS Sandhu

24. Battle of Chhamb
AJS Sandhu

25. Capture of Lipa Valley (POK)
RS Sujlana

26. Battle of Dera Baba Nanak
JKV Singh

27. Saga of Capture of Parbat Ali (Nayachor)
DC Berry

28. Strange Gift for a Regimental Medical Officer
David Muthumani

29. Unheard Voices of the Indian Armed Forces
(Excerpts from Personal Interviews)
Jyoti M Pathania

Section 5: Fire and Fury of the Sister Services: The Synergy Operations by the Indian Navy

30. Geopolitics of Cold War: How it Impacted the India-Pakistan 1971 Maritime Operations
SCS Bangara

31. Commissioning with Five Medals
Mani Singh Mamik

32. Indian Navy’s Biggest Bonfire in the Arabian Sea
Soumya Nair

Section 6: Operations by the Indian Air Force

33. Spectacular Joint Operations in the Eastern Theatre
Arjun Subramaniam

34. Radar Orbat of Pakistan 1971: Reminiscences
AG Bewoor

35. The Attack on Governor’s House: My Memories as a Flying Officer
Harish Masand

36. Personal Accounts: The Untold Stories on the Eastern Sector
Ashminder Singh Bahal

37. My Husband: Squadron Leader Anil Bhalla

Section 7: Subalterns: Baptised by Fire

38. “Write to my Parents, I fought Well”

39. Probationer Paratrooper
LJS ‘Lali’ Gill

40. Battles of Nainakot and BissoBuzurg
Rajiv Williams

41. Battle along Akhaura-Ashuganj-Dhaka Axis

42. When Time Stood Still
GG Dwivedi

Section 8: 50 Years of Liberation War: We look Beyond

43. Major Takeaways: Liberation War
AjinkyaJadhav and Narjit Singh

44. Regional Dynamics: Beyond the Liberation War
VK Ahluwalia

45. India-Bangladesh Relations: Expectations for the Next 50 Years
ANM Muniruzzaman

46. India-Bangladesh Relation and Way Forward

Notes on Editors

Notes on Contributors




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