The Logical Indian Crew

Here Are 4 Indian Army Generals Who Scripted India's Victory In 1971 War

On December 16, 1971, India claimed victory from Pakistan and declared, what we know today as Bangladesh as an independent country. The Indian side reported 471 casualties but made sure to return home victorious.

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The military confrontation between India and Pakistan in 1971 led to the birth of yet another country named Bangladesh. Fifty years ago, the Indian troops returned home victorious on December 16, 1971. Pakistan began the war with operation Chengiz Khan, which included airstrikes on 11 air force stations on the Indian side, after which then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared war. After 13 days into the war, the Indian military had the upper hand, and the Eastern Command of Pakistan signed the famous instrument of surrender, which transformed East Pakistan into Bangladesh. The Indian Army had taken more than 93,000 Pakistan troops as Prisoners of War after India emerged victoriously.

Who Was Leading The Indian Army?

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, a Mahavir Chakra awardee widely known as Sam Manekshaw and Sam Bahadur, was the Chief of the Indian Army during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. In April 1971, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked him if he was ready for a war, he straight-forwardly replied that most of his armoured and infantry units were deployed elsewhere, and only 12 of his tanks were prepared for the combat. Moreover, he highlighted that the Himalayan passes would reopen, and the region would be flooded. He asked the Prime Minister of India could win the war if she let him plan independently and lead the war, and she agreed.

He sent radio messages to the Pakistani troops three times before their surrender. In his message on December 9, the General said, "Indian forces have surrounded you. Your Air Force is destroyed. You have no hope of any help from them. Chittagong, Chalna and Mangla ports are blocked. Nobody can reach you from the sea. Your fate is sealed. The Mukti Bahini and the people are all prepared to take revenge for the atrocities and cruelties you have committed...Why waste lives? Don't you want to go home and be with your children? Do not lose time; there is no disgrace in laying down your arms to a soldier. We will give you the treatment befitting a soldier". The surrender happened at 3:00 PM on December 16, 1971. Two years later, in 1973, General Sam Manekshaw became the first Indian soldier to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.

Chief Of Eastern Command: Lt Gen JFR Jacob

During the 1971 war, another notable Indian Soldier was Lt General JFR Jacob, who served as the Major General of the Eastern Command. In his 36-year-old military career, the officer had already fought two wars, namely, the second world war and the Indo-Pak conflict of 1965. General Jacob served as the Chief of Staff for the Eastern Command and was awarded merit for his role in the Bangladesh Liberation war.

The General disagreed with several senior officials and said that his 'war of movement' plan aimed to take control of all of East Pakistan. General Jacob understood that a protracted war would not be in India's best interests. On December 16, during a lull in the battle, Jacob sought permission to visit Niazi to seek his surrender, and he flew to Dhaka and obtained an unconditional surrender from Niazi. After he retired from the Indian Army in 1978, Lt Gen JFR Jacob served as the governor of Punjab and Goa.

GOC Of Eastern Command: Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora

Lt General Jagjit Singh Arora was the General Officer Commanding-In-Chief (GOC) of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army during the 1971 war. The General was responsible for organizing and leading the ground forces in the 1971 war, which led to the overwhelming defeat of the Pakistani Army. As the General commanding the Indian and Bangladesh Forces in the Eastern theatre, Gen Aurora received the surrender from the Governor of East Pakistan and Commander of the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army, Lt Gen A. A. K. Niazi.

Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

At the outbreak of the war on December 3, 1971, General Arora oversaw the battle in East Pakistan. Forces under the General's command organized themselves in several small units. They organized a four-front attack to confront and defeat the Pakistani Forces on the selected fronts while defeating them on other fronts. In 14 days, his troops advanced from the Indian border towards Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan. All the 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, more than 80,000 were uniformed personnel, surrendered to General Arora. The other 13,000 included civilians or locals who had pledged their allegiance to Pakistan or families of those in the Army.

Founder Of SFF- General Suban Singh Uban

One of the many Indian soldiers who played an instrumental role in the 1971 war was Major General Sujan Singh Uban, who laid the foundation of India's 'fifth army'. This Army, named Special Frontier Force (SFF), primarily comprised Tibetan refugees or the Tibetan resistance fighters in India. The primary task of SFF is a defence against the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Ground Force and conducting covert intelligence gathering and commando operations along the Chinese border. The SFF is also known as 'Establishment 22' or just '22' due to its first Inspector General, Maj. During World War II, Gen. Sujan Singh Uban commanded the 22nd Mountain Regiment, Royal Indian Artillery. The SFF was a part of primary combat operations of the Indian side in the war.

The SFF was ordered to attack the Chittagong hills since cross-border attacks increased. The Inspector General also urged that the SFF capture the second-largest city, Chittagong. Still, the idea was not favourable to New Delhi military planners since the unit lacked artillery or airlift support capabilities to conduct a mission of such magnitude.

The Logical Indian salutes the exemplary courage of the Indian Defence Forces, which not only safeguarded Indian nationals but also freed thousands of people from the oppressive regime of the Pakistani government. On the 50th Anniversary of the 1971 war, The Logical Indian stands firmly with fellow citizens to honour the bravery, sacrifice and indomitable spirit of the Indian soldiers, who never think twice before sacrificing their lives to uphold the integrity and safety of the nation.

Also Read: More Than 6 Million Salaried Jobs Lost In November 2021 In India: CMIE

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