From the diary of an infantry officer who participated in the war on the Eastern Front as a Captain.
Indeed, the greatest fantasy a soldier may have is to face the enemy in battle and pitch his skills against him. The soldiers with no practical experience of a real battlefield, often wonder what it would be like to be in actual combat. Likewise, ever since my induction in the army, I was also curious about the real feel of war. And more importantly, to know where we stood as an Army, as far as professionalism, dedication, and courage were concerned. My father had the bitter experience of being part of a war which was ultimately lost. He and his comrades in the field were not responsible for the political and diplomatic reasons which ultimately pushed East Pakistan towards separation and brought about the defeat of Pakistani forces in the Eastern Theatre. Yet, they were destined to experience the agony of a defeat and the humility of a surrender. Pakistan Army was, however, made up of courageous, devoted officers and men, who despite being aware of the situation on the ground, did not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for the motherland. History will not judge them by the yardstick of victory or defeat but by that of their devotion, selflessness and sacrifice. All these sons of the soil deserve recognition and our gratitude.
My father, Major (retired) Muhammadi Shah, was part of 15 FF Regiment during the war on Eastern Front, as a Captain, with hardly two years of service. Despite having a rural background, he somehow adopted the habit of maintaining a diary, which he regularly updated with his day-to-day observations and experiences. Being very young, whereas it would not be realistic to expect a mature analysis of the war as a whole or the national policy thereof, his observations, feelings, and experiences as a subaltern, could be of value and interest to our young officers.
15 FF Regiment was employed in Khulna/Jessore area in East Pakistan. The unit had the honour of having continued operating even after the bulk of the army surrendered under the instructions from the General Headquarters, on December 16, 1971. The regiment did not make part of the surrender ceremony and subsequently handed itself over on December 18, 1971, after having destroyed/disposed of its weapons and equipment at will. In succeeding paragraphs, I have tried to reproduce few of the experiences of my father during the said war. These have been extracted from his personal diary which he maintained from the beginning of the war until the final days.
Events of 1971 War-
September 19, 1971:
We moved to Karachi from Lahore, by train, as part of the Advance Party.
September 26, 1971:
We moved from Dhaka to Khulna, by Steamer, at 1130 hours.
September 27, 1971:
Reached Khulna at 1600 hours local time and boarded a train for Jessore which dropped us at Jessore at 1800 hours.
September 29, 1971 (Jessore):
Went for reconnaissance of the area where we had to take up defensive positions. Returned from the reconnaissance on the same day.
October 7, 1971 (Jessore):
Additional troops started reaching Jessore from West Pakistan by C-130.
October 16, 1971:
After completing handing/taking over of stores with 25 Baloch, moved to Satkhira, where our B Echelon was located.
November 19, 1971:
Curfew imposed in Satkhira.
November 22, 1971:
One of our soldiers, Sepoy Isra Khan and an East Pakistani volunteer, embraced shahadat due to enemy fire. We had our first contact with Muktis, and killed 5 Muktis in the encounter. Could not sleep the whole night due to cold weather.
November 23, 1971:
We are improving our defensive positions on daily basis. Remained busy in liaising with the neighbouring
November 26, 1971:
Killed one Mukti through sniping.
November 30, 1971:
Killed four Muktis across the river.
December 4, 1971:
Indian fighter planes crossed the international border. We could see them flying above our area.
December 8, 1971:
Jessore falls to the enemy. All troops deployed ahead of us thus fell back. We kept waiting for the enemy’s arrival at night. At 0030 hours, enemy reached our location. As per the instructions, we moved back to a new position in order to be able to take up defences at a more defensible ground and to be in a position to attrite the enemy.
December 9, 1971:
At around 0200 hours, reached at a new position in front of Khulna. Took some rest at the new defensive position. In the morning, sited some riflemen trenches and digging started. Occasionally the enemy fighter aircraft kept visiting our position. We observed that they were closely followed by our aircraft, but they were probably informed of the arrival of PAF fighters by their radars, and thus before the arrival of PAF jets, they used to make an escape towards their side of the international border. In any case, we carried on with the preparation of our defences uninterrupted as the enemy was still far away. The next night those deployed ahead of us came back. One of our companies was deployed ahead of us as a screen.
December 10, 1971:
Lieutenant Tariq from our unit, along with two sepoys, got injured and were sent back. Our troops deployed ahead of us were continuously repulsing enemy attacks and were raising the slogans of “Naara-e-Takbeer – Allah-o-Akbar” and “Pakistan Zindabad”. These slogans raised our morale and filled us with excitement and enthusiasm to confront the enemy. We asked for volunteers to place mines under enemy tanks and fire rockets at them from close ranges. These were to be suicidal missions. A number of soldiers volunteered themselves for the task. Everyone decided that this would be the last line, beyond which the enemy will not be allowed to advance. Although we had been ordered to move to this position as part of an overall plan, yet, the fighting soldiers were not satisfied with the arrangement, as they were not privy to the overall strategic thought-process going on at the Eastern Command level. When these troops were offered an opportunity to sacrifice their lives, while preventing enemy tanks from advancing, smiles came to their faces spontaneously. The enemy planes attacked our positions five times during the day, but by the grace of Almighty Allah none of our soldiers were injured. At around 1100 hours, we heard explosions and shelling behind us in the direction of Khulna. In the evening we came to know that two enemy boats, with Pakistani flags fixed over them (as deception), entered our area. Meanwhile, enemy aircraft also arrived and then the boats and the aircraft jointly attacked our positions. In the engagement, the enemy lost one of its aircraft and one out of the two boats. Our troops captured the other boat and made two officers and forty eight other Indian Navy personnel Prisoners of War (POWs). At around 1700 hours, the enemy came into contact with our company deployed in front of us. Artillery shelling started along with intense automatic fire. Till morning, the enemy had launched four attacks, all of which had been repulsed. Captain Ahmad Bilal, who volunteered to go to the front, engaged a tank with a rocket launcher while standing out of his trench. He received three bullets in his chest and embraced shahadat.
December 11, 1971:
We had made contact with the enemy on December 10. We destroyed three enemy tanks on the same day. Intense enemy artillery shelling and small arms fire commenced early in the morning. By now we had become indifferent to the enemy shelling. We only had a paddy field in front of us. It was an open area. Just about 2000 yards ahead of us, our troops were engaged with the enemy. We could see the smoke rising from the destroyed enemy tanks and could also hear the “Naara-e-Takbeer” and “Pakistan Zindabad” slogans of our colleagues. We were eager to find out what was going on at the front and were watching through binoculars, but owing to thick vegetation, we could see nothing. The shelling continued throughout the day and night.
December 12, 1971:
In the morning, we could hear the sounds of automatic fire and artillery shelling from all directions. But despite this, everyone was in high spirits. Everyone was ready to sacrifice. We were all determined to fight till the last man, last bullet. We all wished to make history on this front. The shelling continued in intervals and enemy fighter aircraft were also flying over our positions four to five times a day. In the evening, intense enemy shelling commenced, followed by an attack, which was successfully repulsed. Our troops kept raising the slogans of “Naara-e-Takbeer” and “Pakistan Zindabad”. Around 0030 hours, the same night, the enemy launched another attack under the cover of intense artillery shelling. The attack was repulsed. The enemy attacked again at 0430 hours, but could not dare to advance in our area. During this night, the enemy shelled the area so much that in the morning the whole ground in front of us was dotted with shell craters. A number of local civilians and cattle died due to the shelling. A number of houses were also destroyed. Two of our men got minor injuries. We found a Bihari whose throat had been slit, surely by Muktis.
December 13, 1971:
Sporadic shelling continued. Enemy fighter aircraft often flew over our defences, but being unable to identify our positions, returned without any engagement. At 1230 hours, enemy aircraft attacked our position with rockets and machine guns but could not cause any damage or casualties. The enemy aircraft rocketed their own positions also (probably by mistake), after which smoke could be seen rising from the area. The enemy kept engaging our positions with artillery, but at a very slow fire rate. In the evening, however, the shelling commenced with such intensity that one felt as if the rounds were being fired from a machine gun. The enemy tried to launch an attack under the cover of this intense bombardment. We opened artillery and mortar fire in response. One could hear the sounds of shelling and automatic fire in all directions. The enemy attack was repulsed. Intense enemy shelling continued for 15 minutes. At night, the enemy kept firing one odd round, which had a sedative effect on us and we fell asleep. The enemy used air, artillery and armour in succession. When artillery would pause, tank fire would commence and when tanks would take a break, air would start engagement. Despite all this, somehow we managed to have a sound sleep and were in high spirits. At around 1130 hours, five Gnat fighter aircraft of the enemy attacked our positions with rockets, machine gun fire and bombing. They attacked our position five times, but failed to cause any casualty. At around 2100 hours, enemy attacked again under the cover of heavy artillery shelling but the attack was repulsed. During the attack, our artillery fired star shells which illuminated the whole area in front of us and we were able to engage the enemy with accurate fire. The enemy would turn on the tank engines, move them forward a bit and then pull them back, just to demoralize our troops. But our troops, despite knowing that they were surrounded by the enemy, were in unbelievably high spirits. The area where the enemy wished to make a dent, was so heavily shelled that it appeared as if the land over there had been turned upside down. Had the enemy troops been exposed to such a volume of fire, they would probably have even doffed their uniforms, considering them heavy, and fled away. Mysteriously, despite this intense artillery shelling, we did not suffer any significant damage. After having failed to make any breakthrough, the enemy attacked the unit on our flank at around 0730 hours (December 15) but the enemy did not achieve anything there either except failure and disappointment.
December 15, 1971:
On this front, the enemy had so far lost around 500 men and hundreds must have been wounded (the communication through wireless sets indicate these losses). Today again at 0715 hours, the enemy started shelling our positions with artillery as well as mortars. The enemy guns took a break at 0900 hours. Mortars continued engaging our positions at a very slow rate. Enemy aircraft flew over our positions ten times, but except for sporadic rocket and machine gun fire, did not cause much damage. SU-7 aircraft also flew over our positions for the first time. At 1740 hours the enemy artillery started engaging our positions and the fire continued through the night.
Captain Arjumand Yar Khand, 15 FF Regiment mentioned later in this article, embraced shahadat on this day (December 15, 1971). Here’s a narration of his brave fight and ultimate martyrdom, by Brigadier Mehboob Qadir:
“Captain Arjumand Yar Khand was a young and very handsome, rather feminish, officer from an infantry unit. He was known as the ‘baby of the battalion’. He was assigned the task of setting up a strong delaying position2 ahead of this defensive position to cause as much attrition and loss of time on the advancing enemy as possible. This officer, along with a handful of men, held his ground against repeated Indian armor and infantry assaults, hours of air bombing and straffing for nearly three days just as Headquarters Eastern Command was negotiating terms of surrender with Calcutta. On the third day, Arjumand’s delaying position was overrun after a pitched battle; not a soul returned. That day probably on December 15th, we received orders from Eastern Command to surrender. Brigadier ‘Makhmad’ Hayat refused to obey this order and we fought on for the next three days till literally the last bullet was left in our rifle chambers. We were facing 9 Indian Mountain Division whose officers told us the story of the incomparable bravery of Arjumand and his men after the war was over. During three days of pitched battle his men were being killed and seriously wounded, machine guns and anti-tank guns were being knocked out one after the other but Arjumand and his small force stood fast. On the last day, Arjumand was the only one left in the delaying position. His men were either all killed or seriously wounded. Attacking Sikh infantry surrounded his trench and asked him to surrender as he was profusely bleeding from his shattered legs that had probably absorbed a direct Mortar shell hit. In dire need of medical aid, he refused. After a lot of persuasion, he finally agreed. With one hand he lifted his weapon and with the other, he was about to lob a hand grenade when they spotted him and had to kill him. This fearless young officer died fighting extremely bravely; so much so that even the enemy was full of praises for him. They had buried him with honor.”
December 16, 1971:
The enemy shelling continued till morning. The battalion on our right withdrew after having caused significant damage to the enemy. After the withdrawal of the said battalion, the enemy encircled us and cut our route of withdrawal from behind. Around 1115 hours, while I was in D Company, busy in liaison, an order was received to move a platoon from D Company to the depth location. After about five minutes another order was received that the whole of D Company was to be moved to another location. I started moving towards my own company which was about 600 yards from D Company’s location. After having moved for about 400 yards, I saw my buddy approaching me from the direction of my platoon location. He told me that my platoon had been ordered to move to the location of the Company Headquarters. I reached my platoon Headquarters, and found my platoon ready to move. When I reached at the location of the Company Headquarters, the Company Headquarters had already left the place. I enquired about further orders on wireless and was asked to move backwards, staying away from the road. I was not aware of the situation at that moment. On the route which I adopted during my move back, I could hear some artillery shelling and automatic fire. I therefore adjusted my route a bit. I could, however, make out from this fire that the enemy had cut our route of withdrawal. The shells were landing at a distance of about 400-500 yards away from us. I increased my speed. There were two routes available. One passed through a forest, which was being engaged by the enemy with artillery and the other one passed through a marshy area, with paddy fields. We adopted the route passing through the paddy fields. While moving through the marshes, an artillery shell landed in the middle of my troops but no one got hurt. I got worried considering that probably the enemy Observation Post had located our movement. I was also concerned about my troops, as there was neither any cover available from air observation, nor could we run for safety in case of an air attack. It was difficult even to carry our equipment and luggage in these marshes, carrying a casualty would have been an uphill task. Initially, everyone tried to move as fast as possible and clear this open, coverless patch as quickly as possible, but very soon everyone got exhausted and the pace became slower. Meanwhile, enemy fired four more rounds on the field which we were crossing but luckily no one got hurt. By around 1230 hours, we were able to reach the forest, after having crossed the marshy patch. I gathered my men, took some rest and asked for further instructions from the Company Headquarters. We were asked to report at a certain location on the road. On my way back, I came across my Commanding Officer and 2nd-in-Command. They asked me to give my troops some rest in the Khulna High School. In the meantime, I accompanied Commanding Officer and the 2nd-in-Command to reconnoiter my new company position. It was around 1300 hours. After having chosen my new defensive position, I deployed my company there. The trenches were already available in the position. Then I went to the Battalion Headquarters. There I had conversation with other officers of the battalion and we discussed the overall situation. I stayed at the Battalion Headquarters till the evening. Our men kept getting out of the enemy encirclement. At around 1500 hours, we received the news of ceasefire. We were ordered not to fire unless the enemy attacked us. At 1730 hours, we reorganized A and C Companies and took stock of the injured and missing personnel. Four of our officers were inside the enemy’s encirclement. Owing to the deficiency of officers, I was appointed as Company Commander of C Company at 1800 hours. And I shifted from my company to C Company. We had given enemy a tough resistance and caused them numerous casualties, but after the fall of Dhaka, the Eastern Command appeared to be left with no option but to surrender.
December 17, 1971:
Around 2355 hours in the night, we received orders to leave our company position and move back to Battalion Headquarters. We prepared to surrender the next day (December 18) as per the instructions (but did not fail to destroy all weapon and equipment that we thought should not fall in to enemy hands).
December 18, 1973:
I came from India to Pakistan. I was the Luggage Officer and was travelling in an open truck, but due to excitement and happiness, I did not feel any cold. We were warmly received and were taken to the Reception Camp. There we had some tea, sweets and meat. I was having meat for the first time in two years (that too in abundance). We then moved to Lahore “A” Mess. There we were treated with love and care. After filling some forms we went to Captain Arjumand Yar Khand Shaheed’s house. I could not face his mother. Because, while leaving for East Pakistan, she had kissed the forehead of her son and myself, being his friend. I still remember how she had kissed her son. Probably her sixth sense had told her that her son will not return. I had seen this on her face. I shed tears in their house because I could not control myself. From her attitude and the way she talked, I am convinced of her greatness. She is indeed a great mother of a great son and a great nation.
Diplomatic chatter and political rhetoric do not interest soldiers as much as the dribble of artillery shells or the rumbling of air strikes. During wars, field soldiers seldom, if ever, bother themselves with what is going on at the strategic level. They are neither judgmental about the planning process nor comment on the orders. They struggle on the battlefield with whatever they have at their disposal to accomplish the assigned tasks. A host of circumstances, influencing the overall battlefield environment, may then ultimately bring about either the victory or defeat of an army. Even the most splendid armies in the history of mankind suffered reverses on the battlefield. British, Germans and Japanese, to name just a few, all have had their share of defeat at some stage of their histories. Armies learn from their and others’ mistakes and build on their strengths through a process of evolution. In the battle of Al-Jisr (Persian Campaign – October 634 AD), for example, during the era of Caliph Umar bin Khattab (R.A.), Muslims suffered a setback and were routed from the battlefield. The Muslim fighters, who had thus fled the battlefield, were concerned as to how Hazrat Umar (R.A.) would deal with them. But to their surprise and against all the expectations, to the contrary, he protected them, solaced them and honoured them, because he understood the circumstances at the battlefield in that particular war. The same army got refitted and continued the tide of Muslim conquests.
In 1971, our armed force fought a desperate war under impossible circumstances; in a battlefield entered with insufficient resources and an unreliable supply line from the outset. At several places, individual units fought isolated battles, despite having been encircled and cut off from their bases. Neither the incessant bombing, however, nor the poor supply conditions, nor the political and diplomatic failings, could affect their morale or waiver their resolve. They remained committed and steadfast till the last moment. With enemy in front and enemy at the back, they fought with honour, courage, dignity and professionalism; bearing the brunt of intense shelling and bombardment.
Your Cartoon on (my Chief of Army Staff and) the Chief of the Army Staff of the second largest Army in the world is hopelessly distasteful, downright repugnant and flawed on the following counts.
1. A guard at the housing society is not responsible for the territorial integrity of the housing society but CAOS is responsible for the territorial integrity of the Republic of India!!
2. A guard at the housing society does not put his life in the line of fire when situations like 26/11 happen but COAS and his men will not let a Kasab and Co inflict death and mayhem on our countrymen, come what may!! Remember the heartwarming sight of soldiers slithering down the chopper, yes… the then COAS had ordered them??
3. A guard at housing society will not land a chopper at rooftop to save a pregnant lady and her unborn child but COAS and his men will stand between nature’s fury and our countrymen like a rock of Gibraltar!!
4. Guard at the housing society does not receive body bags of his men at technical area of Palam airport every alternate day, but COAS does this with a heavy heart and a bleeding soul and he and only he understands the pain of saluting the mortal remains of our fallen comrade !!
5. Last but not the least the guard at the housing society has not taken an oath to serve the Union of India, observe and obey all commands of the President of India even to the peril of his life. COAS and his men will save both the constitution and the Editorial staff of Economic time even at the cost of certain death so that you live in free India and exercise their FoE with Impunity!!
A hurt serving officer of Indian Army!!
PS. Mr. R Prasad, please don’t take advantage of the fact that the COAS has curtailed human rights and limited fundamental rights whereas you as cartoonists enjoy the full complement of constitutional rights along with fruits of freedom which the COAS has provided you at the cost of his and his men’s life. Please show some character and don’t brutalize the honour of the only organisation that not only keeps the nation together but keeps it “First” always and every time!! And yes illegal migrants must be deported forthwith because you and your ilk do not understand National Security and business of war fighting just as I and my tribe does not understand the business of making cartoons!!
Sandeep Ahlawat (89’s Panzer )
Dear Economic Times/Mr R Prasad,Your Cartoon on (my Chief of Army Staff and) the Chief of the Army Staff of the second…
The same officer had sent a legal notice to Twinkle Khanna and Akshay Kumar when they wanted to auction the “Original Naval Officers Uniform” that Akshay Kumar had worn in movies Rustom. The star couple had to withdraw the auction after Col Ahlawat’s objection.
More power to such fearless tribe of serving officers….our Army is in safe hands!!
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On May 2, a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of the United States discreetly intruded into the Pakistani airspace moving towards the designated compound at Abbottabad where the “Geronimo” of their purpose was placed. Comprising of men from DEVGRU’s Red Squadron aka the SEAL Team 6, they stormed the compound breaching walls and doors to push into what was the culmination of a decade-old manhunt.
On the third floor of the main building where the SEALs had stormed, they found a man “wearing the local loose-fitting tunic” who was none other than the Osama Bin Laden, a man convicted of multiple criminal and terror attacks including the 9/11 Attack which left more than 2000 people dead and 6000 injured. A Point Man, who is claimed to be Rob O’Neil pointed his HK-416 Carbine as he tapped his trigger bringing an end to the operation and the manhunt.
The HK-416 Carbine is a level ahead of the standard AR-15 Family of Weapons, introduced by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s. HK-416 was introduced by German Defense Manufacturing Company, Heckler & Koch in 2004 and since then it has become a niche and a Top-Tier Military Equipment for many of the Tier-1 Special Operations Forces around the world with a renown for its reliability, accuracy and its compatibility which far outclasses the AR-15 and its derivatives like the military M16 and M4.
HK-416 had its origins in the 1990s when the DELTA Force of US Army asked for the development of a new carbine to replace the older M4 Carbines in service. H&K took up the project and introduced many of the revolutionary features in the already existing AR-15 and M4 design to develop what is known today as the HK416. HK-416 inherited an upgraded short stroke gas system taken from AR-18 which doHK-416 acquired a redesigned short stroke gas framework taken from AR-18 which does not make carbon fouling inside the jolt transporter and doesn’t overheat in the wake of dumping magazines which severely reduces Type 1 and Type 2 Malfunctions in any Rifle.
The AR-15 and M4 design used a proprietary direct impingement gas system which was affected by reliability issues and was thus replaced off in HK-416 with a more reliable gas piston system. A free-floating barrel is also used thus increasing the accuracy of HK-416. Amid the tests, HK-416 shot approximately 10,000 rounds with no breakdown which says a lot about the capacity of this weapon. Due to its cold hammer-forged barrel, it shows a service life of almost 20,000 rounds.
HK-416 like other 21st Century Weapons includes a Full-Length MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny Rail to append different accessories like Optics, Flashlights, Designators and more to cling to any Special Operations Loadout.
HK-416 was adopted by DELTA Force in 2004 and was further adopted by many of the Tier 1 Special Operations Forces around the world as the French GIGN, German GSG-9, Polish GROM among others and was used during the Operation Neptune Spear when Osama Bin Laden was killed by SEAL Team 6 Operatives.
In 2007, HK-416 was evaluated by the US Army alongside FN SCAR, XM-8 and M4 Carbine where each weapon was made to fire some 60,000 rounds after a torture test which visualized HK-416 showing some 223 stoppages.
HK-416 has been presently formed into the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle Variant in an offer to supplant the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in administration with United States Marine Corps. It has additionally been produced into a new M38 assigned marksman rifle for marksmanship purposes.
HK-416 also features a larger calibre variant: HK-417 chambered for a 7.62 mm NATO round and has likewise been embraced by numerous Special Operations Forces far and wide as a Designated Marksman Rifle. HK-416 has now picked up a clique status among different powers the world over for everything it’s great at and this adoration would not promptly stop for this gem of H&K’s innovation and engineering.
It is no surprise that China has been expanding its footprint considerably. From the South China Sea to Silk Road to even Africa, they are not leaving any stones unturned. This is giving major alerts to nations like the USA, Japan, and India. The tri-lateral dialogue between the three nations in November 2017 was a direct consequence of the growing Chinese influence across the region. Japan too has been an active participant is countering Chinese influence mainly in the South China Sea. And to aid the friendship and cooperation between the nations, India and Japan is likely to share military bases soon.
The pact to share and use each other’s military bases for basic logistics and maintenance was mooted in August when Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera met in New Delhi. Soon after the meeting, discussions between two nations was in full swing to get the decision onto paper. Last week, National Security Advisers of both nations met in New Delhi to discuss the agreement.
Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi at the 13th India-Japan Summit, Credits to owners
It is highly likely that the agreement would be inked when Indian PM Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe meets on the 13th Indo-Japanese Summit in Tokyo on October 29 and October 29. If the agreement sees daylight, it could give militaries of both nations to share resources, logistical support, transportation, maintenance, medical assistance, fuel and utilize military bases for logistics purpose.
The biggest perk for Indian military is that it could use the sole Japanese overseas base in Djibouti, where incidentally China has a base too. The Chinese base in Djibouti is part of its “String of Pearls” policy which has raised some tension in Indian military circles lately, which is strategically located near the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which separates the Gulf of Aden from the Red Sea and guards the approaches to the Suez Canal.
INS Trikand during her visit to Djibouti. Credits to ownersThere isn’t any doubt about the advantages gained by Japan by signing the deal. They are possibly looking at the Indian Naval base in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is a major listening point for Chinese subs passing through. The area also holds significance due to its close proximity to the key underwater communication cables connecting Europe to Asia.
The move is seen as something of immense strategic value and is almost sure to see the green light during the summit. The agreement could bolster India’s position as a major power in the area and would also aid in keeping an eye on Chinese activities in the area. For the Indian Navy, it has been quite difficult to operate in the area without no major logistical support systems and in a way has hampered India’s Anti-Piracy operations in the area.
India has taken some very promising steps in order to concrete its presence as a major stakeholder in the Indian Ocean. The Quadrilateral dialogue between US, Japan, Australia, and India was a major step in the direction and China was not very happy with it. Deepening military and diplomatic ties has been one of the prime agenda of the Narendra Modi government and is sure to reap in future.
The agreement if signed will be the 3rd major logistic support agreement after a breakthrough pact with the US and one with France.
After a long search to replace the ageing and underperforming INSAS rifles in service with the Indian military, the efforts have finally reaped. India and Russia will sign a deal to Make-in-India AK-103 rifles to be supplied to the Indian security forces. These rifles will soon replace the ageing INSAS and AK-47 rifles.
AK-103 7.82mm rifle
The deal will be signed at the end of the year and it will be also laid out the framework for a JV between JSC Kalashnikov Concern and India’s Ordnance Factory Board. The JV will have OFB holding 50.5% ownership and 49.5% with Kalashnikov. As of now, 650,000 7.62mm Kalashnikov rifles will be made at an OFB-Kalashnikov factory, which will be raised soon. Indian Army will receive the rifles on a priority basis to equip the frontline infantry units.
Indian Army soldiers are still heavily reliant on the Soviet era Ak-47 rifles
The JV will be a huge boost to the domestic rifle production and development. India has been struggling hard to develop a worthy rifle, with some prototypes made, none seems to have caught the Indian Army’s interest. The JV opens up scope for joint research and development and could also export to foreign users.
The AK-103 is one of the most advanced in the AK series. It sports foldable plastic butt, mounting rail for attaching different sights. weapon stability during automatic firing and more. The addition of the rifle will phase out the modern rifle shortage in Indian Army. Another tender for phasing out carbines is in its final stages.
Lt Gen Satish Dua, ex-chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) hung up his boots a few days back. He was a son of a JCO in Indian Airforce. He studied wherever his father was posted. He was in no ivy league school and had no Sainik school grooming. He left studying first year of MBBS(in Bellary) midway to join NDA.
Commando Instructor at Infantry School
He had no godfather in the service, and he was first to become corps commander and also army commander from JAKLI regiment. All his commands have been in LC/CT milieu. He was also Coy commander, also Op rhino. Staff BM in Kargil and BGS 16C. He loved to be with troops, in operations.
Lt Gen Satish Dua
He indulged in horse riding and (jumps, tent pegging) adventure sports like skydiving, motorbiking, mountain riding, bungee jumping, snow skiing, water skiing etc.
Posted by Adamya Dua on Thursday, November 1, 2018
Lt Gen Satish Dua’s son shared his emotions on his retirement day.
As I write this, I’m in a strange mix of emotions and nostalgia. Today feels like a new beginning but also, the end of an era. An era that is more than a lifetime for Ardaman and me as part of an institution that has literally moulded who we are as individuals and shaped our value system. We were born into the Indian Army family and are super proud to have had the privilege of being called Fauji kids.
As Dad calls time on a glorious and long career of 39 years, I just want to express my gratitude and respect for this institution. The Fauj is a lifestyle unlike any. Period. The class, the traditions, the camaraderie. It truly is a life less ordinary. To have the honour of growing up around real-life superheroes and hearing their tales of valour is the stuff every boy dreams of. A salute to all the unsung heroes and martyrs who keep this nation and its citizens safe.
Posted by Adamya Dua on Thursday, November 1, 2018
Lastly, a huge thanks to Dad for his service to the nation and to always being the larger than life role model two young boys always looked up to. His career is better than any action movie out there and I now know how Legends are made. And much love and gratitude for Mom for being the rock of support, calm and motivation that no successful officer or Fauji kid can do without. Indeed, without such strong women, an army cannot hope to march into any battle ♥️
Posted by Adamya Dua on Thursday, November 1, 2018
(How the armed forces gives a farewell to his distinguished soldier.)
On this red-letter day, I want to share a few glimpses of Dad’s farewell which began with a dinner hosted by the 3 chiefs and culminated in a beautiful jeep pulling ceremony, with him riding off into the sunset.
Also, a farewell banquet was given by the three chiefs and the release of the HQ IDS coffee table book.
Farewell banquet by the 3 chiefs and the release of the HQ IDS coffee table book
On his last day in the army, he invited soldiers, sailors, airmen and civil staff from office and guard for dinner.
Lt Gen Satish Dua was also given an emotional farewell by IDS in traditional style; rides into sunset. Final guard of honour was given by JAKLI guard at Trident House.
When he rode home on his bike after handing over, no staff, no staff car. We salute him for his many contributions to nations security, well regarded & respected military leader & and a great role model.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has taken the opportunity at the AirShow China 2018 exhibition to unveil a new-generation stealth unmanned combat aircraft.
CASC is planning to unveil its new CH-7 fighter-sized stealth unmanned combat aircraft during the AirShow China 2018 exhibition, which is set to take place in Zhuhai from 6–11 November.
According to CASC’s officials, the new CH-7 is a stealth unmanned reconnaissance aircraft but some experts said that this is a new Chinese unmanned combat air system a similar to Northrop Grumman X-47B. It aircraft is designed for stealth or low observable relevant requirements.
The first prototype will have a 20 m wingspan and a cruising altitude of less than 10000 – 13000 m.
CH-7 will can to conduct last reconnaissance, guard detection, air defense operation, and operation support. It can also launch a strike or guide other weapons to hit on targets of high value.
After the 1971 Indo-Pak War finished, it was acknowledged that Indian Air Force had an enduring predominance over its partner Pakistani Air Force who lost considerably aircraft than Indian Air Force during the combat. After the war finished, John Fricker, authorized by Pakistan Air Force out of the blue asserted that Indian Air Force had really obtained a Tu-126 AWACS Aircraft from its customary ally Soviet Union which it used to control Night-time Strikes upon PAF Bases.
Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system can be termed as any Air Force’s ‘Eye in the Sky’ as it can carry out long-range surveillance in all-weather conditions and also perform command and control. Tu-126 entered service in 1965 and only 12 were ever built and it is a popular perception that India leased at least one Tu-126 during 1971 Indo-Pak war taking into account the effectiveness of IAF Fighters during Night Time and the coordination achieved by IAF which dumbstruck PAF.
Anyway, the truth was a long way from what saw. Amid the 1971 Indo-Pak War, another unit was raised at Ambala to direct provocation strikes against PAF amid Night. They were named CADU and were furnished with Mig-21 and Su-7 yet the issue was that they were not fit for Night Time Operations. Their route gear just comprised of a KCI Gyro Compass and Stop Watch as the Moving Thumb Indicator and Radio was of little utilize.
With no navigational guide and absence of flying in the evening time, the first class pilots of CADU discovered it very extreme to adapt to such circumstances. Add to it the low fuel limit of the warriors they used to fly and the conceivably lower battle span which constrained the pilots to assess at dearest cordial spaces in the evening time.
Image Credit- bharatrakshak.com
These pilots flew at a low level which in military terms is known as “Ground Napping” which was used to dodge radars and military block attempts. In any case, this likewise implied even the agreeable radars were not able to recognize these airships and were not ready to signal the airplanes to neighbourly landing strips. This expanded the danger of peril for pilots on the off chance that they are not ready to identify the landing strip in all-out dull. This prompted two or three misfortunes as the pilot were not ready to distinguish the landing strip in obscurity and this prompted the introduction of the “SPARROW”.
Indian Air Force chose to put a Mig-21 Type 77 Aircraft at an elevation of 9000 meters-10,000 meters which could hand-off homing and other essential data to the strike flying machine returning after the mission. PAF Strike Aircrafts were a danger accordingly as an aircraft set at such a high height were potential easy pickings for Mirages and Starfighters of PAF. Anyway, the Type 77 SPARROWS would be all around put inside Indian Airspace under inviting spread to anchor them from PAF.
Image Credit- bharatrakshak.com
Amid the 1971 War, SPARROW directed exactly 30 missions from Adampur transferring hit aeroplanes with code words to trick and confound the adversary if these transfers are captured by PAF. These codes were utilized to pass on Homing and Diversion Parameters and Proximal Airbases to strike flying machines and messages could likewise be handed-off to Indian Radar stations accordingly making these SPARROW’s control a gigantic volume of airspace with coordinated activities and battlespace administration.
This was a powerful military strategy utilized by Indian Air Force to hand-off its strike warriors in Low-Level Strike Missions and furthermore to sign them back securely to their command post while befuddling the adversary that IAF had really acquired a Tu-126 AWACS to control its flying machines. It was the most straightforward thought and powerful strategy used by the Indian Air Force to meet its closures.
Dogs of war are a special breed of warriors and soldiers who are fearless and ferocious in their attack and are renowned for their courage, loyalty, and devotion throughout the world. These are four-legged warriors who have been going into battlefields since the ancient times and are rightly referred to as the man’s best friend.
Pic by Pravin Talan
The use of dogs in war is not new. Since the earliest days of recorded warfare, man has employed dogs as combatants or in direct support of combat operations.
‘War dogs’ were utilized by Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, British and Romans in ancient times. They were deployed mostly in a sentry role but sometimes they were taken into battle. Dogs were first used in war by Alyattes of Lydia against the Cimmerians in 600 BC when the dogs killed some invaders.
In mid 7th century BC Magnesian horsemen, in a war against the Ephesians, were each accompanied by a war dog and a spear-wielding attendant. The dogs were released to breach the enemy ranks, followed by a spear assault and then a cavalry charge. War dogs were often sent into battle with spiked collars and coats of mail armour. Dogs were used by the Romans during invasions to hunt out local guerrillas who resisted the Roman invaders.
Caesar’s invasion of Britain was opposed by Celtic warriors and their dogs in 55 BC, the English Mastiff is one of the oldest recorded breeds. Attila the Hun used giant Molosser dogs in his military ventures. Armoured dogs were also utilized by ancient armies to defend their position or for attack purposes. Their key role was to distract soldiers and unseat horsemen. Mastiffs and other large breeds were used by the Spanish conquistadors against native Americans in the 1500s. Elizabeth I used dogs against the Irish in 1580 while Frederick the Great and Napoleon both used dogs as messengers and as guard dogs during their campaigns.
During World War I, the American Sanitary Corps used dogs to locate wounded soldiers. The two world wars saw the use of dogs to detect mines, explosives, booby traps, and also locate camouflaged enemy snipers, in addition to using them as messengers. But it was the Soviets who in World War used dogs effectively as anti-tank weapons, with explosives strapped to their backs. Anti-tank dogs were used extensively by the Soviets during 1941–1942 against the German tanks on the eastern front in World War II. According to reports, some 40,000 dogs were deployed by the Soviet Army, mostly for anti-tank operations.
Dogs also jumped into combat alongside British Paratroopers on D-Day in World War-2 where they together fought the German Armies. In Modern, Warfare Dogs have served primarily in explosive detection roles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kashmir. Dogs are also trained to engage directly with the enemy as part of special forces assault teams.
U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six during Operation Neptune Spear in Abbottabad, Pakistan on the night of May 02, 2011, had Cairo in their team which was a Belgian Malinois dog. Cairo was entrusted with detecting bombs, concealed enemies and even detect secret doors or passageways. Cairo was held-dropped into the compound with the other DEVGRU Operators and played a key role along with his teammates secure the perimeter around the dwelling.
In the art of modern warfare, the role of dogs has changed from attack to other roles like
Sentry and Guard duties
Logistics and Communications including Rescue and Casualty
Warning dogs including detection and tracking,
Drugs and Explosive detection
Companions and Mascots.
Indian Army association with dogs is old. Army dogs were pressed into service for the first time in the middle of 1959. With the encouraging performance shown by the first batch, they were deployed on a large scale. A war dog training school was raised on March 1, 1960, at Meerut. Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) Center and College imparts Basic and advance training to dogs and their trainers on specialized jobs like explosive detection, mine detection, tracking, guarding and assaulting. The Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC) is one of the oldest services of the Indian Army, carrying the motto ‘Pashu Seva Asmakam Dharm’. The Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) has been entrusted with the responsibility to procure, enroll, train and deploy Army dogs, which are imparted rigorous training, depending on their breed and aptitude. After that, they are placed in one of the numerous categories such as tracker dogs, guard dogs, infantry patrol dogs, mine detective dogs, explosive detective dogs, avalanche rescue dogs and so on.
These trained dogs are deployed in various operational roles in J&K, Northeast as well as LOC. They are also entrusted with the task of providing security to VIPs and guarding vital defence installations. Many of the elite Army dog units have excelled in a large number of operational missions, numerous dogs along with their handlers have even received awards like Shaurya Chakras, Sena Medals and Chief of the Army Staff’s commendation cards in recognition of their exceptional performance.
There are around 1200 trained dogs in Indian army at present. These are mainly foreign breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors, Belgian Shepherds and Great Swiss Mountain dogs which are trained by Remount and Veterinary Corps (RVC), but now the army is inducting indigenous dog breed known as the Mudhol Hound. A Lean dog with long legs, the Mudhol Hound belongs to the family of sighthounds, meaning that it depends on its keen sense of sight to hunt and chase prey. This hound has the ability to run swiftly and sniff suspected items, with its speed and swiftness as well as size it can be a good guard dog.
Besides these known breeds with strong lineage, local and stray dogs also play a crucial role in the Indian army. These are local dogs which are adopted by the army unit based there, they feed and look after these dogs. Such dogs have proved their mettle in detecting the movements of infiltrators and providing early warnings. Their presence also neutralized and dulls the effect of isolation on the soldiers deployed at forwarding posts.
Indian Army also earlier euthanasizes (Mercy Kill) Military Dogs after their retirement from active military service. There was a huge outcry over this when it was revealed through the RTI Act. After a public outcry, this move was taken back except for those cases where the canine is suffering from an incurable disease. Now the retired Army Dogs can be adopted after their retirement where they are kept at Meerut Cantonment for rehabilitation. At Rehabilitation Centres, these Dogs had little to no scope for physical activities and hence many people especially dog-lovers are carrying the message to adopt a military Dog and take home a national hero.
Countries like USA, England, Belgium, Netherlands all have dedicated monuments and memorials for those war dogs who were martyred on the line of duty acting with utmost devotion and loyalty. I sincerely hope that India should also duly honour these War Dogs who have proved their mettle on the Battlefield not only as Partners or Mascots but also as a brother in Arm who equally serve their nation as any other warrior under the flag.
As John Grogan once said, “Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs—loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love—can be elusive to humans.”
Warm Greetings folks! I am writing this article with a hope that it might help someone. I’ll consider it worthwhile even if one person effectively benefits from it. All that matters is how you see yourself. Faith in your abilities goes a long way.
In my engineering, I studied subjects like Aerodynamics, Flight mechanics, Propulsion which dragged my interest towards planes. Inspired from a visit to Sirsawa Airbase I started working on drones and eventually mastered flying them. I participated in various national drone competitions and secured prizes over there.
Still, defense forces were never on my cards but the craving for fighters was started. And the final icing to cake was done when I did my summer internship at Air-force only, then and there I decided this is the place I want to work for. I gave AFCAT exam and after clearing the written exam, my eyes were set on clearing the SSB.
Now, I would like to share my 5 Day Experience at 3 Air Force Selection Board, Gandhi Nagar.
I left home with great positive energy and still remember the words said by mother “Agr vo tujhe nahi select krenge to vo log apna nuksan krenge”. As soon as I boarded the plane I started observing things because that might be asked in the interview. I reached a day before and stayed in a hotel nearby railway station where we had to report next morning at 5.30 AM. I practiced verbal and non-verbal reasoning for around 10 hours.
I reported at the concerned place and found a good number of young candidates in formals with a military haircut. One glance and a person could know that those young lads were going for SSB. After observing a huge number of candidates who appeared focused to crack the SSB, my mind became anxious for a second. But then, I realized that getting recommended depends upon one’s performance and not on the number of candidates. With that in mind, I embraced the opportunity of meeting new people and learning new things from the whole process.
At the reporting point, I made some new friends, some were repeaters and the rest were fresher. They hailed from different states ranging from Jammu to Kerala.
Our luggage was loaded in a Military Truck and 2 buses came there to accommodate nearly 220 candidates. After a small briefing, the candidates were told to sit inside the buses. It was a 30 min journey from Ahmedabad Railway station to AFSB, Gandhinagar.
I started to have Goosebumps as soon as we entered the AFSB. As soon as we reached, there was a detailed briefing followed by allotment of the chest numbers. The screening process began and all the candidates were asked to be seated in a hall.
After filling some forms, the first step of screening started with OIR (Officers’ Intelligence Rating) test which is basically an IQ test. It had a blend of both easy and difficult questions and we were supposed to do two sets of papers. There were a total of 80 questions, divided into 40 questions each in the two papers. I was able to do all the questions with revision (because of practice I did a day before)
Immediately after the OIR Test we were asked to assemble in another room which had a projector and a big screen for Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PP&DT). A hazy picture was shown for 30 seconds and we had to write a story on it in the next 4 minutes. As I looked around, I could see both confident and nervous faces. I am not sure whether I belonged to either of the categories. There was no time to read the story and the candidates were asked to move to different rooms according to their groups. The papers containing stories were remained to be folded and submitted at the end of the narration and discussion process.
Soon, we were divided into the groups of 10-15 and sent to different rooms for the Narration and Discussion Test. Three assessors were present in the room and the candidates were sitting in a Semi-circular pattern. After a small briefing and introduction, the Individual Narration started with me as I was sitting at the extreme end. I narrated my story in about 45 seconds sticking to the theme of my story. My narration was short, to the point and even had a conclusion.
After the narration, Assessors asked the group to start a discussion and reach towards a common story. I was looking towards the assessors while they were telling us to begin the discussion. Even before I could turn my head towards the group, most of the candidates began to speak at the top of their voice. The discussion was a complete chaos. I didn’t speak anything for a while waiting for the “right time”, but it seemed like none of the group members would ever stop speaking for a second. Even I joined the massacre and tried to be a significant part of the discussion.
At last, I found the “right time” and put forward my thoughts in an effective manner. Post that, the discussion continued and the assessor had to stop the discussion so that we could reach a conclusion. A fellow candidate concluded the discussion and we were lauded by the assessors before being asked to disperse.
With this our screening process was complete and candidates were free to have lunch. All of us were hoping for the best. The result was out after 2 hours. 24 out of 220 candidates were screened in. Screened in candidates were allotted new chest numbers and my new chest number was 11….