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Every year on December 4, Indian Navy Day is celebrated, wherein the whole nation remembers one of the most significant operations, Operation Trident.

Every year on December 4, Indian Navy Day is celebrated wherein the whole country remembers one of the most significant operations, Operation Trident.

This year, the nation is all set to celebrate the day as ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’, as it shall be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the victory in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.


It must be noted that the Indian Navy was established by the East India Company (EIC) in the year 1612. Later on, it was named as Royal India Navy, and post-Independence, it was again named as the Indian Navy in the year 1950.

The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces which is led by the President of India as Commander-in-Chief. Moreover, the Maratha Emperor, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered as the Father of the Indian Navy.

Now, Indian Navy Day becomes much more important because this day commemorates Operation Trident– a key offensive during the 1971 India-Pakistan War, when the Indian Navy inflicted heavy damage on Pakistani vessels in Karachi harbour area.


Signing of Instrument of Surrender Lt. Gen A.A.K. Niazi of Pakistan signing the Instrument of Surrender with Lt. Gen J.S. Aurora of India watching with a smile, at Dhaka at 4:55 pm that day.Photo by Wikimedia Commons.


Going back in history, the India-Pakistan War of 1971 had begun on December 3, when the Pakistan Air Force launched pre-emptive strikes on airfields in Western India regions. To this, India responded by formally declaring war in the wee hours of December 4.

Now, on December 4 under Operation Trident, the Indian Navy sank three vessels near the Pakistani port city of Karachi. The stalwarts of the mission were the then-recently acquired Soviet Osa missile boats, fitted with 4 SS-N-2 (P-15) Styx missiles.

INS Kiltan, Katchall, Nipat, Nighat, and Veer sank PNS Khaibar killing almost 222 Pakistani sailors, and PNS Muhafiz killing around 33 Pakistani sailors, along with a merchant ship, MV Venus Challenger.

At the same time, the Indian Air Force (IAF) also played a crucial role during Operation Trident.

Operation Trident came to an end when on December 5, the Indian Navy’s Western C-in-C, Vice Admiral SN Kohli received the code word “Angaar”, which meant nothing but success.

Finally, the war of 1971 came to an end on December 16 when Lt. Gen A.A.K. Niazi of Pakistan signed the Instrument of Surrender with Lt. Gen J.S. Aurora of India watching with a smile, at Dhaka at 4:55 pm that day. This successfully marked India’s victory in the war of 1971!

Keywords: Indian Navy Day, India, History, 1971 War, Indo-Pak War, Victory, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Operation Trident.


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