02 September, 2012

Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation

Surrender at Dacca: Birth of a Nation

By- Lt. Gen. J.F.R. Jacob

The campaign for the liberation of Bangladesh was short and swift, spread over some thirteen campaign days, conducted in riverine terrain highly suitable for defence.

The author describes events leading to the creation of Bangladesh, beginning with the Pakistan Army’s crackdown in East Pakistan on 26 March 1971, to the outbreak of full scale war following the Pakistani bombing of Indian airfields in the west on the evening of 3 December 1971 and the subsequent military operations leading to the surrender of Pakistan Eastern Command.

Outlining the evolution of the strategy for the campaign, he details the selection of thrust lines using subsidiary dirt tracks that bypassed centers of resistance and opened up axes of maintenance later. The objectives selected were communication centers in relation to the geopolitical heart—Dacca. A concise account of the execution of the campaign is given. He highlights the role of the Mukti Bahini and the great contribution they made towards the liberation of their country. He describes the pressures exerted at the Security Council and the pro-Pakistani stance of China and the United States as well as giving a first hand account of
the negotiations and the signing of the Instrument of Surrender.

The author draws lessons from the political and military aspects of the campaign and highlights the lack of clear directives both political and military and the adhoc higher command set up for war. The lessons of 1971 have yet to be learnt. This book will be of interest to general public, armed forces, staff and war colleges and all those concerned with the business of war.

Lt. Gen. Jack Jacob was born in Calcutta and commissioned into the Indian Artillery in June 1942. He saw active service with his regiment during World War II in the Middle East, Burma and later in Sumatra.

ISBN  81-7304-189-X                2011   264p.   Rs.450/ pounds 45

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