Russia’s Role in Indo-Pak Naval War 1971

India will always be thankful to USSR’s power play that prevented a Joint British-American attack on India

On 3rd December, 1971, the World was shaken by another war between India and Pakistan. Pakistani airforce raided Indian cities and airstrips. The Indian PM, Indira Gandhi, brought the country in the state of emergency and ordered Indian army to reflect the aggression.

A week later the war is not going very well for Pakistan, as Indian army scythes through East Pakistan and the Pakistan Air Force is blown out of the subcontinent’s sky. Meanwhile, the Pakistani military in the west is demoralised and on the verge of collapse as the Indian Army and Air Force attack round the clock.

On December 10, Indian intelligence intercepted an American message, indicating that the US Seventh Fleet was steaming into the war zone. The Seventh Fleet, which was led by the 75,000 ton nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. The world’s largest warship, it carried more than 70 fighters and bombers. The Seventh Fleet also included the guided missile cruiser, guided missile destroyers, and a large amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli.

Standing between the Indian cities and the American ships was the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet led by the 20,000-ton aircraft carrier, Vikrant, with barely 20 light fighter aircraft.

Meanwhile, Soviet intelligence reported that a British naval group led by the aircraft carrier Eagle had moved closer to India’s territorial waters.

This was perhaps one of the most ironic events in modern history where the Western world’s two leading democracies were threatening the world’s largest democracy in order to protect the perpetrators of the largest genocide since the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. However, India did not panic. It quietly sent Moscow a request to activate a secret provision of the Indo-Soviet security treaty, under which USSR bound to defend India in case of any external aggression.

To counter this two-pronged British-American threat, Soviet Union also dispatched the 10th Operative Battle Group of its Pacific Fleet under the command of Admiral Vladimir Kruglyakov in Vladivostok to the area.Then the United States Seventh Fleet had to leave the Bay Of Bengal and had to abort their mission. In the same time Britan’s naval ships were also there in Arabian sea with the same mission as US but they also have to abort there mission also.

Rest is history

This Historic Picture

Surrender of 90000 Pakistani soldiers

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