1971 India– Pakistan War

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  • The Mukti Bahini: Three Dimensional Guerillas

    Introduction

    October–December 2021

    Planning and Impact of Special Operations during the 1971 Indo-Pak War

    India had all of two weeks to achieve the politico-military end state of liberating Bangladesh, before the international community intervened to impose a ceasefire. Speed and tempo of operations were imperative.Indian Armed Forces exploited the special operations capabilities to ensure an early fall of Dhaka. The airborne assault at Tangail, the audacious helilift of troops across the mighty Meghna by General Sagat Singh with effective support from the Mukti Bahini contributed to the early fall of Dhaka with most defences still intact.

    October–December 2021

    The Protection of Sea Lines of Communication during 1971 War

    As the bulk of India’s foreign trade transits through sea, it turns sea lines of communication through the Indian Ocean strategically important for India. The newly independent India did not pay adequate attention to this factor. Consequently, within two decades of independence continuous flow of unprotected large volume of India’s sea trade had become a strategic target for its adversaries. In this context, during the 1971 India–Pakistan war, India efficiently protected its vital sea lanes, ensuring that goods and commodities continued to reach Indian ports.

    October–December 2021

    Operational Aspects of the 1971 War in the Maritime Domain

    The 1971 Indo-Pak War can be described as the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) finest hour. Until then, save for limited action in Liberation of Goa in 1961 and defensive operations in the 1965 Indo-Pak War, the IN had not been called ‘into harm’s way’ or for offensive action in a major manner. Consequently, the spectacular show in 1971 may have surprised or even stunned many observers or analysts in the military/maritime realm.

    October–December 2021

    The Battle of Garibpur

    The ‘Lightning Campaign’ to liberate Bangladesh during the 1971 IndoPak War was one of the finest moments in Indian history. The ‘Battle of Garibpur’ fought on 21–22 November 1971, before the Indo-Pak War was officially declared on 3 December 1971, was a key battle in East Pakistan where a single infantry battalion, 14 Punjab (Nabha Akal) supported by a squadron of armour and intimate artillery support, successfully fought a Pakistani attack by infantry and armour.

    October–December 2021

    Land Warfare in the Eastern Theatre: 1971 Indo-Pak War

    The formation of Bangladesh resulted from the military operations undertaken in erstwhile East Pakistan by the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Air Force established air superiority in the first few days which enabled land operations to be executed smoothly. The Indian Army outclassed the Pakistan Army by avoiding capture of towns and built-up areas. They headed for the capital Dacca which was the centre of gravity of the operations. The operations were preceded by detailed planning, logistics build up and war gaming which led to outclassing the enemy in the field.

    October–December 2021

    India’s Politico-Military Strategy for the 1971 India–Pakistan War

    India displayed its firm political resolve, robust military capability and deliberate decision-making process in the 1971 India–Pakistan War to achieve significant strategic success. The politico-military strategy evolved progressively from a cautious response to a firm decision to employ the Armed Forces at an appropriate time as the last instrument. India adroitly calibrated an indigenous freedom movement led by Mukti Bahini and concurrently launched a diplomatic outreach campaign to shape the environment in its favour.

    October–December 2021

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