Ocean balance

Unlike the 1965 War, the Pakistan Navy was well-prepared for a war with India in 1971. It was not in a position to fight a hostile war in the deep sea against the Indian Navy, nor was it prepared to mount a serious defense against the Navy’s attack.

In his report submitted before the 1971 War, Captain Shariff (Later, Admiral Shariff, CNS Pakistan Navy), suggested a program of modernization and modernization for all naval weapons. Recommendations cannot be implemented due to lack of funds. When Shariff became CNS, the Navy, which was currently operating on a policy of Power, chose to operate, for a period of time, on a policy of denial at sea despite the sea has more power. While India is acquiring the latest Soviet warships and submarines for a song, against payments in the form of boots and the like, the Pakistan Navy has scrapped its old WW2 weapons. . China has donated several naval vessels. So PN was relegated to a sea defense, no, a port defense force.

Read more: 1971 War – Wash your hands

Indian naval attack in Karachi port

Before the 71st War, the Soviet Union supplied Ossa missile ships to Pakistan. These were rejected by the Pakistan Navy due to their limitations, such as naval top brass, reducing the Pakistan Navy to a coastal defense force.

In 1971, the same missile boats were deliberately used by the Indian Navy to attack the port of Karachi. They towed these missile boats behind the frigates when they were near Karachi, they used them to destroy the Khyber destroyer PN and two other unmanned warships, although parts of the Pakistan Navy maintains that Khyber was captured by a Soviet ship.

Was PNS Khyber sunk by a Soviet submarine?

A naval force under Admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov left Vladivostok on 3 December 1971. It consisted of the Kynda anti-ship missile cruiser, a diesel-electric cruiser (probably the Juliet class), a missile destroyer anti-aircraft, and a Foxtrot course. (diesel-electric) submarine warfare in the Indian Ocean. After the war, Admiral Kruglyakov stated, in an interview, that he had received orders to stop the US fleet from interfering with the Navy’s operations. (www.history.stackexchange.com).

The Soviet class submarine Foxtrot, which was in the Indian Ocean (we didn’t know where it was before it rejoined Kruglyakov’s flotilla), was able to rejoin the Navy’s task force. India and participated in Operation Trident. Foxtrot class submarines are equipped with 10x torpedo tubes (6x bow, 4x stem) and carry 22 torpedoes. A Pakistan Navy source’s statement was based on submarine signatures. Before the 71st War, the Indian Navy had no experience in using missile ships. Was Operation Trident a joint Indo-Soviet Operation?

According to Indian sources, the IN missile fleet, which had been retrained in the Soviet Union, was launched against Karachi port. Upon entering Pakistan’s maritime border, the crew switched to Russian on their radio broadcasts. It was done, like the Indians, to achieve a surprise. It may have been a reason to deny Soviet involvement in the Raid on Karachi Port.

Read more: 1971 War: A military or political victory?

The fleet of seven is tough

In his interview, Admiral Kruglyakov made contradictory statements. He claimed that his task force entered the Bay of Bengal three days after the arrival of the USS Enterprise, although the distance from Vladivostok to the Bay of Bengal is true. On the other hand, he said upon arrival, he ordered his submarines to surface and reveal their presence to the American task force. By then, the Pakistani forces had already surrendered and the war in the Eastern theater was over. With the fighting, the USS Enterprise was running out of time to help out the Pakistani military.

US Task Force 74 was led by the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Carrying out its routine operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, the task force was ordered into the Indian Ocean on 14 December 1971, across the Malacca Straits on the night of the 14th -15th of December, and entered the Bay of Bengal on the morning of the 15th of December. The surrender of Pakistani forces took place on December 16. According to Kruglyakov’s account, the fleet commanded by him arrived in the Bay of Bengal on the morning of December 18.

Thus there was no requirement for a show of force by Admiral Kruglyakov’s task force. Therefore, if the Soviet force had launched from Vladivostok on December 3, it would not have been able to capture PNS Khyber on December 4 (when the Indian Army launched Operation Trident to opposite Karachi port).

PAF bombards Okha port

The PAF responded to the attack by shelling Okha, where the Indian Navy had launched operations against Karachi, the following night. However, the Indians had already returned their naval assets to Bombay. PN’s response to the Indian attack on Karachi was the sinking of the Indian ship Khukri by the submarine Hanger, the first sinking of a surface ship by a submarine since WW2. IN said it was a plan to attack Gwadar.

If the Indian Navy had a plan, it was sealed after the defeat of Khukri. In 1971, Gwadar was a sleepy fishing port. We also heard about India’s plan to station a reduced brigade at or near Gwadar. Without logistical support, how long would such a task force survive?

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PNS Ghazi gives chase to Indian Air Force

Speaking of Vikrant, it was inactive during the 71st War, until it was brought down by the Ghazi submarine, or by the Indian Navy, as they say. Fearing Ghazi, Vikrant was transferred from Bombay to Vishakapatnam, and from there to the Andamans. Only when it was confirmed that Ghazi was defeated did Vikrant move to the Bay of Bengal. Never before had an aircraft carrier been relieved of the responsibility of attacking enemy gunboats, merchant ships, and cargo ships.

In the absence of PAF and PN, Vikrant launched a naval assault on East Pakistan, and his Sea Hawk aircraft destroyed about a dozen Pakistani improvised gunboats and civilian vessels. However, PNS Rajshahi, the only Pakistani submarine in the Bay of Bengal, slipped into the barrier and reached West Pakistan sometime after the war. According to the Indians, the Sea-Hawks emerged unscathed, achieving the highest kill rate for any aircraft in the entire war. They were right. As for Ghazi, India rejected US and Soviet offers to save Ghazi’s destruction. The rescue may have been confirmed if Ghazi was destroyed by a depth charge launched by INS Rajput, as the Indians claimed, or by hitting one of the mines, left located in the Vishakapatnam drainage basin.

The Indian Navy has debunked the story of the sinking of the Ghazi submarine

The downing of the Pakistani submarine Ghazi during the Indo-Pak war in 1971 may have been one of the high points of India’s first major naval victory but there is no record available with naval officers about it. when the popular act is drawn. A report in the Times of India revealed that the naval authorities had destroyed the records of the Ghazi’s sinking.

On June 22, 1998, Rear Admiral K Mohanrao, then chief of staff of the Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command, told Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani, who was writing the official history of the Navy, “All efforts have been made to find historical treasures. of Ghazi from various departments and organizations of this headquarters. However, regrettably, I cannot place my hands on many documents that I have seen in my previous stay.

The Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi, considered a major threat to India’s plans to exploit its maritime superiority, sank at midnight on December 3, 1971, off Visakhapatnam, killing the 92 on board in the early days of the war between India and Pakistan. The Indian Navy said the submarine was destroyed by depth charges fired by its ship INS Rajput. Pakistani officials said the submarine was destroyed by an internal explosion or the detonation of mines laid by the submarine around the Vizag port.

Read more: How India is an obstacle to the Kashmiri freedom movement

A retired Navy officer said in 1971 that the destruction of Ghazi’s papers and the army’s material in Kolkata deserved a bigger picture, many of them believed that about Indian war history, for cheating many times. It is high time that the true story of those past actions is revealed. “We have enough soldiers,” he said. “In the fog of war, many myths and false heroes are created and many useful things are left untouched,” he said.

Saleem Akhtar Malik is a veteran of the Pakistan Army who writes on national and international affairs, defense, military history, and military technology. He posted on @saleemakhtar53. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.



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