Indian Navy Day 2019: Here’s why India celebrates its naval achievements and valour on 4 December annually
Indian Navy is commemorating its 48th Navy Day on Wednesday with the force paying tribute to the sacrifices made by its personnel and also celebrating the achievements over the years.
On 4 December every year, Indian Navy celebrates victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war and commemorates the role of the force during the war.
History of Navy Day and Operation Trident
The date commemorates the launch of Operation Trident, a devastating attack on the Pakistan Naval Headquarters of Karachi during the 1971 war. It was on this day in 1971 that Indian Navy left its shores for the very first time to successfully attack Pakistan. The operation is known for being one of the most successful operations in the post-World War II era.
Planned under the leadership of Admiral Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda and masterminded by then Fleet Operations Officer of the Navy Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani, it was decided to launch attacks on the Karachi harbour with missile boats. Karachi Harbour was not only the headquarters of the Pakistani Navy but was also oil storage.
During the attack, three Vidyut-class missile boats, two anti-submarine vehicles and a tanker of the Indian Navy successfully sank the enemy’s minesweeper, a destroyer and an ammunition supply ship.
The attack was carried out at night as intelligence confirmed that Pakistan did not have aircraft that could carry out bombings at night. The operation was deemed a big success as zero casualties were incurred on the Indian side while five Pakistani sailors and over 700 men were injured in the attack.
A 2004 review of the memoir The Man Who Bombed Karachi captured Nanda’s thoughts. An excerpt read, “according to Nanda, a misperception had gained ground among the political/military planners and decision makers that the Navy had only a marginal role to play in the armed conflicts India was forced into. The Navy practically played no part in 1962 and 1965.”
The success of Operation Trident marked a turning out for Indian Navy as it proved the government the effectiveness of sea power.
Today Indian Navy stands as the seventh largest in the world.