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. 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 centres of resistance and opened up axes of maintenance later. The objectives selected were communication centres 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 peo-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 ad hoc higher command set-up for the war. The lessons of 1971 have yet to be learnt. This book will be of interest to the general public, armed forces, staff and war colleges and all those concerned with the business of war.
Lt Gen Jack Jacob was Chief of Staff of India's Eastern Army during the Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971. He was awarded the PVSM by the Government of India for his role prior to and during the critical period of war operations. Jack Jacob retired from service in July 1978