Saturday, February 26, 2011

Operation Barisal

Operation Barisal
Part of Operation Searchlight and Bangladesh Liberation War
Date25 April 1971 -May 1st, 1971
LocationBarisal, Bay of Bengal, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
ResultTemporary Pakistan naval success
Starting of Bangladesh Liberation and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Bangladesh Mukti Bahini
Commanders and leaders
Captain Ejaz ChaudhriColonel M. A. G. Osmani
Units involved
17th Naval Gun Boat Squadron
8th SEALs, SSG(N)
22nd Frontier Force Regiment
6th Punjab Regiment
14 Squadron Tail choppers
Bangali Riverine Units
4 gunboats
1 destroyer
1 patrol boat
24 fighter jets

Casualties and losses
23 woundedunknown
Further information, see Operation Searchlight, Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Barisal is located in Bangladesh
The Operation Barisal, was a naval operation commenced by the Pakistan Navy to curb and liberate the city of Barisal, East Pakistan from Mukti Bahinis and the dissidents/armed personnel of the Pakistan Defence Forces. It was the part of Operation Searchlight, and commenced by the Eastern Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Rear-Admiral Mohammad Shariff.[1] Operation Barsil was a temporary success, it had met the same fate as of Operation Searchlight. Prior to the starting of the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, both IAF and INAA had led the successful Air operations that further paralyzed and crippled the Pakistan Navy on December 16, 1971.[2]


The Barisal city of Bay of Bengal served as the command and control center for the dissident Pakistan Armed Forces units. On March 26, 1971, the Pakistan Army's 14th, 16th, and 9th Infantry Division began the Operation Searchlight, under the command of Lieutenant-General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, the commander of Eastern Military Command. It was the part of Operation Searchlight which was led by the Army. Meanwhile, the Bangli units were well dug in all over East Pakistan waging urban and rural riverine areas.[3]
The Army had faced logistics failure, and the army was unable to eliminate the Bengali units from the Barisal City. On April 25, Pakistan Navy launched "Operation Barisal" under the command of Eastern Naval Command's commander Rear-Admiral Mohammad Shariff, who was the lead planner of the operation.[4] The Pakistan Navy began its operation under the commanding officer (Operation Barisal) Captain Ejaz Choudhry, with the support of Major Raja Nadir Pervez of 6th Amphibious Company, 6th Punjab Regiment, Major John Harris of 22nd Frontier Force Regiment, and Squadron Leader (Major) Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi of 14th Squadron Tail Choppers , Pakistan Air Force.[5]
Location of Pakistan Naval assets in the East-Pakistan.


Rear-Admiral Mohammad Shariff, commander of Eastern Naval Command, had coordinated the operation from Dacca, East-Pakistan.[6][7] The naval gun boats, PNS Rajashahi, and PNS Jessore were dispatched Narayanganj at full speed to embark troops. On April 24, the first gun boat arrived and commenced embarking the first naval team 8th SEALs, SSG(N). It was followed by the deploying of 6th Infantry Company, Punjab Regiment. At the same time, PNS Comilla and PNS Titumir at Khulna in the west commenced embarking troops of 22nd Frontier Force Regiment.[8]
Pakistan's Brown-water navy was tasked with to transport the troops/equipment of the SSG(N) and infantry regiments to the area of operations and to land them at a suitable site on the out­skirts of Barisal.[9]
Locations of Pakistan Naval operations in the East Pakistan.
The operation was began first by the 8th SSG(N) team, and commenced at 08:45 hours on April 26, 1971. The OTC Commander I. A. Khan, boarded on PNS Jessore, led the 8th SSG(N) team.[10] It was followed by the disembarking the 6th Company, Punjab Regiment. Around 0900, Comilla began to disembark the troops. Soon after the naval and infantry troops entered the city, the sporadic gun battle was insued and the attack was later followed by morter attacks. The Navy gun boats provided an effective fire power to overcome the resistance. Jessore and PNS Rajshahi commenced patrolling the south-west and north-east river approaches towards Barisal, while PNS Comilla proceeded to disembark the army troops embarked on her and the accompany­ing craft.[11]
During the battle, Rajashahi came under the attack, and its Commanding Officer Lieutenant A. Qayyum Khan was hit. The Executive officer Lieutenant CD Bhatti returned the fire upon the target, and members of Bengali units were seen jumping over­board towards the disengaged river bank side. Lieutenant Bhatti was unable to contact Commander IA Khan, and Major Nadir. Lt. Bhatti decided to walk where the troops were landed, with no maps, Lt. Bhatti followed general direction towards which the troops had headed.
At 1400 hours, the rendezvous was achieved and, after two hours passed, Major Nadir was informed about the attack on Rajashahi. The OTC AQ Khan was immediately taken to the military hospital from Mil Mi-8 helicopter.
After days of fighting, the Pakistani naval and infantry forces slowly advanced, but cautiously toward the city. The teams were spread all over the area, under the command of Commander IA Khan. The troops entered the city of Barisal in an evening. The infantry teams had took over the police station, while the SSG(N) team had liberated the premises of the local jail and a school where members of Bengali units had been holding pro-Pakistani elements hostage.
Following unit commanders also served in operation Barisal.

Air Operations

PNS Rajashahi and Jessore repeatedly directed the air strikes of F-­86 Sabrejets from PAF's No. 14 Squadron Tail Choppers led by Squadron Leader (Major) P.Q. Mehdi. The PAF had heavily pounded the suspect posts.[17] The pres­ence of the PAF fighter greatly helped in not only putting down the fire of the Bengali units, but also provided a respite to PNS Rajshahi for the aerial evacuation of its wounded Commanding Officer by army MI-8 heli­copter. Additionally, the PAF aircraft responded to the call for fire of 6 Punjab relayed through PNS Jessore and struck at least two Mukti Bahini bunkers located in the paddy fields.


The Pakistani naval and infantry troops had gained a complete but a temporary control of the city. However, after the creation of Mukti Bahini, an urban and bloody guerrilla war was started. This embark the start of Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The successful Air Operations led by the IAF and the INAA, crippled and paralyzed the Pakistan Navy. After months of fighting, the Barisal was fall in the total and absolute control of Mukti Bahini. And, around 93,000 Pakistan Defence Forces soldiers were surrendered on December 16, 1971.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...