India has a rich naval history that stretches back as far as the 10th century when Rajendra Chola embarked on an expedition to Southeast Asia. However, in a post-independence India, the military exploits of the Indian Navy have proved crucial in, at least, four major operations. These tales illustrate why the Indian Navy has, over the last few decades, come to be regarded as a force to be reckoned with.
The nation celebrates Navy Day on December 4th in honour of the brave sailors who carried out Operation Trident that culminated in a devastating attack on the Karachi harbour during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Tensions between East and West Pakistan had been simmering since Partition but reached a boiling in 1971.
Then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi issued a pledge to help liberate the people of East Pakistan from the grips of West Pakistan. Yet, it was Pakistan who engaged first, with an aerial strike on Indian air stations that convinced India that war was the only solution.
Fighting on both the eastern and western fronts in nearly every sector, Indian forces finally overcame the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Army. The 13-day war which ended with the formation of Bangladesh is one of the shortest wars in history.