How Indian Navy Fooled Pakistan Intelligence In 1971 War

On 3rd December 1971, India declared war on Pakistan with a pre-planned strategy of blocking East-Pakistan by all sides and then destroying the enemy. East-Pakistani defence forces were technically weaker from the start and by the time passed, they became helpless. They tried to fight without any supply because India had choked the supply routes. India had a plan to destruct everything in the enemy base.

West-Pakistan was supporting their troops in east but they were not successful because of Indian army and air force kept them busy on western front. Indian Navy was a fighting a war at the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. The strikes of Indian Navy on Karachi Port handicapped Pakistan’s capabilities of operation in waters. Karachi port was almost the half of Pakistan Navy and it went into flames.

The only route to supply ammunition and ration to East Pakistan was through the Bay of Bengal, and Indian Navy cut the route and even when UK and US wanted to come in the war, Russia sent their submarine which was enough for anyone.

The biggest challenge in front of Pakistani Navy was INS Vikrant, a 16,000 ton giant aircraft carrier with 23 aircrafts on board, guarding the blockade of Chittagong port. When India deployed its ace in the battle, Pakistan launched it’s submarine PNS Ghazi to sink INS Vikrant. The launch of PNS Ghazi was one victory of the game of Indian intelligence to counter the only threat to INS Vikrant.

Indian Navy passed a false intelligence in the Pakistani intelligence network and they knew Pakistan will respond to it. Indian Navy floated a tender for ration, meat and vegetables at Vishakhapatnam Port. The bait was caught by Pakistani intelligence operative in India and a message was transferred through Pakistan’s intelligence to Pakistan’s navy.

Indian Navy was successful in deceiving the PNS Ghazi. On 25th November 1971, the Pakistan Navy NHQ communicated with Ghazi that stated, “INTEL indicates carrier in port Visakhapatnam”. But, INS Vikrant was anchored in Port Blair. Some reports claim that INS Rajput was patrolling Vishakhapatnam port and destroyed PNS Ghazi. Some reports say PNS Ghazi went down mysteriously, Pakistan claims it went down due to internal explosions and contact with mines.

The presence of INS Vikrant in Port Blair doesn’t indicate that Indian Navy was hiding it. INS Vikrant was deployed in the Bay of Bengal in 1971 war. Initially, it had some technical glitches in one of its four boilers and it was proposed by MOD to not deploy it but Admiral S. M. Nanda showed his unwavering faith in the beast and got it deployed.

INS Vikrant was destroying everything sailing in the Bay of Bengal, there was not a single boat that could sail around Dhaka and Chittagong port from the Pakistan’s side. INS Vikrant had full control over the region, like a king.

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Ankit Singhal