Operational Delirium: Indian Navy's Condescending Legacy.


Calling December 4, 1971, as a 'decisive naval action by the Indian naval ships on Karachi Port', which the Indian navy believes 'heralded the victory of India over Pakistan' could merely be a sardonic claim. Indian navy's Vidyut Class missile boats, Nipat, Nirghat and Veer armed with the ex-Soviet SSN-2B anti-ship missiles launched attack on Karachi port where a few oil storage tanks were set ablaze. Terming the operation as a 'decisive naval action' questions the consistency of Indian navy's military analysis methodology as five days later, on December 9, 1971, Pakistani submarine Hangor sank Indian naval ship Khukri and nearly destroyed another ship Kirpan. Had Operation Trident been decisive then why would it not have ended the hostilities or severely degraded Pakistani naval capability to remain poised and responsive at sea?

Indian navy celebrates 4 December as 'Navy day' when it purportedly overwhelmed Pakistani navy, not truly realizing that it is passing through, what I call the 'operational delirium', i.e., reliving moments of momentary success and painting it as a decisive action while shying away from the consequences that it had faced in the aftermath of Hangor attack. It is, at times, fine to recall the day of a military action with honour and pride but masking it with a theme it hardly deserves is creating a legacy wrapped in condescension. The condescending legacy misleads the theorists and practitioners inhibiting critical analysis that could help them draw the correct conclusions.

PNS Ghazi, the only submarine in Indo-Pak war of...

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