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Jackdaws

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The Pakistani Army’s special forces were raised as the Special Service Group (SSG) in 1956 using the cadre of 19 (Para) Baloch. This special force was trained in sobotage and disruptive activities behind enemy lines.

On the night of 6th September, around 200 officers and men of the SSG were air-dropped by C-130s near the Indian airbases of Adampur, Pathankot and Halwara on a bold mission to destroy Indian combat aircraft and put the bases out of action. They would then ex-filtrate back to Pakistan, following the numerous rivulets and streams that flow from Punjab back to their home territory.


Pathankot

It was wee hours of the morning when para-troopers landed at Pathankot. The pitch darkness and difficult terrain (it was criss-crossed by canals, streams and the fields were full of water) prevented them from regrouping. Most of them, including their Commander, Major Khalid Butt were arrested by the Police and the Army within the next 2 days.

Adampur


SSG wows the Pakistani public with their marching.

passg2.jpg


SSG is marched off by the unimpressed Indian public in 1965

1965ssg1.jpg



This group too faced the same fate as the Pathankot team - unable to assemble, they tried to hide in the cornfields during the day. However, the farmers formed mobs and captured them, and some were even killed by the Punjabis. Their Commander, Capt Durrani was also taken POW.


Halwara

Some of the men landed within the airfield perimeter itself and were soon rounded up. However the detachment commander, Major Hazur Hasnain, and one of his men managed to get away in a captured Jeep.


It is clear that troops possesed little knowledge of the terrain and were dropped in too large a number to be effective. The final analysis revealed that more than 180 commandos were dropped out of which 136 were taken prisoners, 22 were killed in encounters with the army, police or the civilians and 22-15 managed to escape to Pakistan. Considering the fact that Pathankot is barely 10 miles from the IB, this number is'nt too much of an achievement.

@Lonewolf @kumata @Nilgiri @crixus
 
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Nilgiri

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The Pakistani Army’s special forces were raised as the Special Service Group (SSG) in 1956 using the cadre of 19 (Para) Baloch. This special force was trained in sobotage and disruptive activities behind enemy lines.

On the night of 6th September, around 200 officers and men of the SSG were air-dropped by C-130s near the Indian airbases of Adampur, Pathankot and Halwara on a bold mission to destroy Indian combat aircraft and put the bases out of action. They would then ex-filtrate back to Pakistan, following the numerous rivulets and streams that flow from Punjab back to their home territory.


Pathankot

It was wee hours of the morning when para-troopers landed at Pathankot. The pitch darkness and difficult terrain (it was criss-crossed by canals, streams and the fields were full of water) prevented them from regrouping. Most of them, including their Commander, Major Khalid Butt were arrested by the Police and the Army within the next 2 days.

Adampur


SSG wows the Pakistani public with their marching.

View attachment 31272

SSG is marched off by the unimpressed Indian public in 1965

View attachment 31273


This group too faced the same fate as the Pathankot team - unable to assemble, they tried to hide in the cornfields during the day. However, the farmers formed mobs and captured them, and some were even killed by the Punjabis. Their Commander, Capt Durrani was also taken POW.


Halwara

Some of the men landed within the airfield perimeter itself and were soon rounded up. However the detachment commander, Major Hazur Hasnain, and one of his men managed to get away in a captured Jeep.


It is clear that troops possesed little knowledge of the terrain and were dropped in too large a number to be effective. The final analysis revealed that more than 180 commandos were dropped out of which 136 were taken prisoners, 22 were killed in encounters with the army, police or the civilians and 22-15 managed to escape to Pakistan. Considering the fact that Pathankot is barely 10 miles from the IB, this number is'nt too much of an achievement.

@Lonewolf @kumata @Nilgiri @crixus

Generally have to go big like Tangail or go home.

Large lessons were learned (by defending team as well) during WW2 when SAS successfully raided major Luftwaffe air base:


So replicating it after OG becomes fraught with difficulties given lessons learnt and actions taken by militaries going forward during war time.
 

Jackdaws

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79 years ago after 28-year-old Michilotte Madhavan from Mahe faced a firing squad in Paris, he remains a forgotten hero
Michilotte Madhavan was just 28 when he went down under a hail of Nazi bullets. Hogtied to a pole, without even the benefit of a blindfold, Madhavan, records show, sang `La Marseillaise' (the French national anthem) and looked his killers in the eye.
A native of Mahe (administratively part of Puducherry) near Kannur, Madhavan was a math student at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris when Hitler annexed France in June 1941. A humanist at heart, he joined the French Resistance and worked underground against the German occupiers till the notorious Gestapo (Nazi secret police) tracked him down. They accused him of leading a communist student group in Sorbonne and his fate was sealed. Madhavan's French girl friend Gisele Mollet too was arrested soon and she died a year later at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Seventy nine years after Madhavan, who was also a member of the French Communist Party (PCF), was murdered, he remains a forgotten hero, the story of probably the only Indian civilian to be executed by the Nazis at the height of the Second World War consigned to dusty history books and archival records.
In Mahe, last week, the anniversary of his martyrdom passed off uneventfully without any commemorative events. Noted Malayalam novelist M Mukundan, the chronicler of Mayyazhi (Mahe), said it was very painful that no one, including the Mahe administration, Kerala government or the Communist party, had bothered to pay Madhavan the tribute he deserves.
"He has been an unsung hero. You cannot see a single memorial for him or even a photograph of him anywhere in Mahe. It is baffling why the Communist party here has totally neglected him. While there are many martyrs who died fighting for the freedom of their homeland, Madhavan laid down his life fighting to uphold the universal ideals of freedom and liberty. I had been to Mont Valerien where Madhavan was executed by the Nazis. He suffered a lot, and was savagely tortured before being shot...," he said. Mukundan had portrayed the fictionalised story of Madhavan in his novel Pravasam.

Noted Paris-based historian J B Prashant More had provided an account of Madhavan's life by piecing together information collected from historical records, references about him in books published by Nazi death camp survivors and by interviewing fellow prisoner Pierre Serge Choumoff. More's article about Madhavan was published as 'A Mahesian in the French Resistance Movement' in the book `Maritime Malabar and the Europeans' edited by K S Mathew.
Madhavan was born in Mahe on July 7, 1914 as one of five children of Michilotte Govindan and Perunthodi Mathu, hailing from a middle-class family. After completing his primary schooling at a government school in Mahe, Madhavan proceeded to pursue his secondary studies at the College Francais in Pondicherry.
Young Madhavan got inspired by the values of equality and fraternity during his student days itself and took active part in the activities of the Youth League of French India which was founded in 1931. Later he joined the Harijan Sevak Sangh founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1932 to eradicate untouchability and for the upliftment of the marginalised sections. After his daily classes, Madhavan found time to work as a teacher in the evening schools opened to teach students from scheduled caste communities in Pondicherry. Later he went to Paris to study mathematics at Sorbonne

The communist leader from Pondicherry V Subbiah, who had met Madhavan during his visit to Paris in 1937, also talks of the latter's exploits. A Nazi police report had accused Madhavan for being instrumental in the constitution of a resistance group at the Lycee Buffon (Buffon High School) of Paris. On March 9, 1942, Madhavan was arrested by a special brigade of the French police in Paris in connection with alleged distribution of anti-Nazi pamphlets and police claimed to have confiscated them from his room at Cite Universitaire.
J B P More, quoting Choumoff, says that Madhavan was handed over to the Gestapo in April 1942 and was imprisoned in the Cherche Midi prison in Paris and later transferred to Romainville Fort in August, 1942. The Gestapo decided not to hand over Madhavan for trial by a Nazi military court and instead was kept hostage along with others, destined to be shot as retaliation for attacks on German interests.
After the attack on the Rex Cinema hall in Paris in September 1942, Nazi police ordered the execution of 116 prisoners, including 46 prison inmates in Paris, which included Madhavan, at Mont Valerien, on September 21.

According to various accounts, Madhavan and fellow prisoners faced their impending death valiantly and sang the French national Anthem 'La Marseillaise' when they were taken in a van from Fort Romainville prison to the execution site. "The hostages were put up in a chapel. They were not even permitted to write a last letter to their parents or relatives. Each hostage was tied to a pole. Their eyes were not blindfolded. By 10.47am all of them were executed," More says in the article quoting Choumoff about the final moments of Madhavan and 45 other prisoners. Their bodies were later burnt.
From the book of noted French writer Charlotte Delbo, who is known for her haunting memoir 'Auschwitz and After' about her life in the Auschwitz concentration camp, we know that Madhavan had a French girlfriend, Gisele Mollet, who worked as a maid in a hotel in Paris. She says that on knowing about the arrest of Madhavan, Mollet rushed to Madhavan's room at Cite Universitaire to take away the anti-Nazi pamphlets, but by the time she reached there police had raided the room. Later, she was also arrested for complicity and eventually transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp where she died in 1943.
According to Choumoff, Madhavan could have escaped from the Nazis if he had declared himself as Indian but chose not to do so and instead declared himself as a French national, as he hailed from Mahe, which was then a French colony. “At the same time, we come to know from Choumoff that Mouchilotte Madhavan was equally proud of his Indian origin, which according to him was fast adapting itself to modern civilisation," says More in his article.
Madhavan's niece Sucheta Ramakrishnan said that the family came to know about the death of Madhavan two years after his execution and her grandparents were shattered. “While those who participated in the Mahe liberation struggle were honoured, the life and sacrifice of Madhavan has remained unrecognised,” she said. She revealed that while authorities had promised to name the road in front of their erstwhile ancestral house after Madhavan, it has not been done yet.
 

Ryder

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Whats Bose legacy in India.

Postive, Negative or Neutral?

He wanted India to become independant but he also had his fair share of controversy by allying with Germany and Japan.

Still I think he did out of politics not out of love for either.
 

Jackdaws

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Whats Bose legacy in India.

Postive, Negative or Neutral?

He wanted India to become independant but he also had his fair share of controversy by allying with Germany and Japan.

Still I think he did out of politics not out of love for either.
Bose is widely seen as a hero. His INA army were recognized as "freedom fighters" by the Nehru regime itself.

There is no controversy in India about him being in alliance with Germany and Japan - it was an alliance of convenience akin to Roosevelt and Churchill allying with Stalin.

A few years ago an excellent movie came out on Bose. Unfortunately it's more in the mould of the older movies and not as well edited as we are now used to. But still quite a tale.

 

Ryder

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Bose is widely seen as a hero. His INA army were recognized as "freedom fighters" by the Nehru regime itself.

There is no controversy in India about him being in alliance with Germany and Japan - it was an alliance of convenience akin to Roosevelt and Churchill allying with Stalin.

A few years ago an excellent movie came out on Bose. Unfortunately it's more in the mould of the older movies and not as well edited as we are now used to. But still quite a tale.


Okay thanks he did have a child with an Austrian women.

I watched a documentary on it. Germans were not so keen on an alliance with India due to racism. Germans were big time racist anyway at the time.

Hitler even justified British colonialism.
 

Jackdaws

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Okay thanks he did have a child with an Austrian women.

I watched a documentary on it. Germans were not so keen on an alliance with India due to racism. Germans were big time racist anyway at the time.

Hitler even justified British colonialism.
That's right. British colonial empire was a blueprint for the third Reich. The Germans didn't want a war with the Brits either. They saw them as a natural ally against the Communist Soviets initially.
 

Ryder

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That's right. British colonial empire was a blueprint for the third Reich. The Germans didn't want a war with the Brits either. They saw them as a natural ally against the Communist Soviets initially.

Germans also saw the British as the same Germanic and Nordic race.

Nazis were not just white supremacists but also Germanic supremacists. They saw other white people like slavs and southern europeans as inferior.

Its funny seeing southern europeans and slavs becoming nazis 😆
 

Jackdaws

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Germans also saw the British as the same Germanic and Nordic race.

Nazis were not just white supremacists but also Germanic supremacists. They saw other white people like slavs and southern europeans as inferior.

Its funny seeing southern europeans and slavs becoming nazis 😆
Not to mention the Nazi cult in India too.
 

Ryder

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Not to mention the Nazi cult in India too.

When i was 15 years old i used to be nazi fanboy because I played cod 2 and cod world at war a lot. Also nazi uniforms just made me a fanboy lmaooo

Ahhh so badass it was hilarious but dumb. After that I became a Soviet fanboy then a Empire of Japan fan.

Hilarious but dumb times.
 

Jackdaws

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When i was 15 years old i used to be nazi fanboy because I played cod 2 and cod world at war a lot. Also nazi uniforms just made me a fanboy lmaooo

Ahhh so badass it was hilarious but dumb. After that I became a Soviet fanboy then a Empire of Japan fan.

Hilarious but dumb times.
Lol. Yea, the Nazis had quite the uniform.



If I remember correctly some South American country trained by the erstwhile German regime still has that stormtrooper uniform.
 

Ryder

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Lol. Yea, the Nazis had quite the uniform.



If I remember correctly some South American country trained by the erstwhile German regime still has that stormtrooper uniform.

Its chile I think they still do german style military parades.
 

crixus

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Whats Bose legacy in India.

Postive, Negative or Neutral?

He wanted India to become independant but he also had his fair share of controversy by allying with Germany and Japan.

Still I think he did out of politics not out of love for either.
He is a hero and will remain so ...
 

Jackdaws

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A man who would go on to become chief of Pakistan Air Force was India’s first prisoner of war in 1971

The Bangladesh Liberation War officially began on 3 December 1971, but the Indian Army had already begun ‘inching forward’ into East Pakistan from the second week of November. I have an interesting tale to tell from this period, which has become part of the glorious history of the war, albeit as a footnote.

I was the Adjutant (officer responsible for operational staff work) of 4th Battalion of the Sikh regiment (4 Sikh). Beginning 11 November, 4 Sikh had gradually secured an area six kilometres deep and eight kilometres wide across the international boundary, north of Boyra. On 20 November, we were ordered to establish a bridgehead across the Kabadak River at Chaugacha, which was about 15-20 kilometres northwest of Jessore. Beginning mid-day and led by a squadron of tanks, we rapidly advanced brushing aside minor opposition. At Chaugacha, the leading troops and tanks tried to rush the bridge, but it was blown up by the enemy. The far bank was held in strength and we firmed in on the western bank and began planning for a deliberate attack across the river.

The 14 Punjab regiment had crossed the river unopposed 10 kilometres to our southeast and established a bridgehead in the Garibpur village area. At first light on 21 November, in thick fog, Pakistan’s 6th Battalion of their Punjab regiment, with one squadron of Chafee tanks, counter-attacked the bridgehead held by14 Punjab. After a fierce battle, the counter-attack was repulsed with heavy losses to the enemy force.

As soon as the winter fog lifted, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) became very active. From 21 November to mid-day of 22 November, 24 sorties were flown primarily against the positions of 4 Sikh and 14 Punjab. We repeatedly requested for fighter aircraft cover, but no clearance was given as war had not been officially declared yet.

At 3 pm on 22 November, I was returning to the unit headquarters from our logistics base when I saw three Pakistani Sabres coming in for probably the last sortie before sunset. The Sabres were carrying out high dive attack on our positions. In turn, the Sabres were climbing up to 2,000 feet and coming down to 500 feet for weapon release like the German Stuka bombers. Our medium machine gun and light machine guns were engaging the aircraft.

Suddenly, another mission of four fighter aircraft appeared from the east and flew over me at tree-top level. My jeep swayed and it appeared to me that the PAF had thrown its entire 14 Squadron into the battle to deter our impending attack on Chaugacha. Seconds later, three aircraft from the second mission peeled out of formation and headed for the Sabres, which, oblivious to their presence, were continuing with the dive attacks. It was clear that our Gnats had joined the battle. I stopped the jeep and stood waiting for the ‘dogfight’ to begin. It never took place, as in a jiffy, three of the four Gnats chose one unsuspecting Sabre each and closed in. The Gnats fired long bursts of 20 mm cannons and flames erupted from the three Sabres as they plunged towards the ground. It was all over in three minutes and the Gnats headed back to Kalaikunda airfield.

Two parachutes opened up from the plunging Sabres. The third Sabre wobbled back towards Jessore and made it to Dacca (now, Dhaka). One of the parachutes with the pilot drifted towards our defences. Our troops rushed out of the trenches towards the descending parachute. Fearing, that our jawans may assault the pilot in the heat of the moment, I also ran towards him as fast as I possibly could. When I was a stone’s throw away, three to four of our jawans had already knocked the pilot down and had started hitting him with rifle butts. More soldiers were running to join them. I shouted at them to stop. I had to physically move the jawans away and shield the pilot by lying down over him. I calmed down the jawans and assured the pilot that he was safe.

The pilot was tall and fit; he was shaken up and had a cut on his forehead, but put up a brave face.

As per procedure, I took him to the battalion headquarters. Our doctor dressed the wound on his forehead. I ordered a cup of tea for him and began his formal interrogation.

His name was Flight Lieutenant Parvaiz Qureshi Mehdi. He was the Squadron Commander of 14 Squadron PAF based at Dacca, and a Sword of Honour from the PAF Academy in 1964.

Mehdi had his wife’s photo in his pocket. I made a list of all his belongings: A watch, a 9 mm pistol, 30 rounds of ammunition and his survival kit.

I told him that he was now a prisoner of war (PoW) and would be treated as per Geneva Conventions. Interestingly, he had not seen the Gnats approaching and thought that he was hit by ground fire. His conduct, despite the shock of being shot down and taken PoW, was that of a very brave man — stoic and dignified.

The action at Chaugacha and Garibpur and the historic air battle made national and international headlines and is part of history now. Our Gnat pilots and air traffic controllers were deservedly decorated afterwards.

Parvaiz Qureshi Mehdi was the first PoW of the 1971 war and was imprisoned for one-and-a-half years. He would go on to become an Air Chief Marshal and the Chief of Pakistan Air Force (1997-2000).

Lt Gen H.S. Panag PVSM, AVSM (R) served in the Indian Army for 40 years. He was GOC in C Northern Command and Central Command. Post retirement, he was Member of Armed Forces Tribunal.

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Jackdaws

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images (2) (11).jpeg


First image shows him as PoW
Second image has him as Chief of Pak Air Force.
 

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