Operation Jackpot - 15th August 1971 :

Discussion in 'Military History' started by leonblack08, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    16th August 1971 : "Operation Jackpot"

    Although during the nine months of the liberation war,a number of military operation by Indian armed forces was code named "Operation Jackpot".But the one we will be discussing here is about the Bangladeshi naval commando operation,which destroyed tonnes of Pakistani shipping anchored at Bangladeshi docks in a simultaneous attack.

    The outcome of this particular operation was very significant.

    Firstly,it busted the myth of "East Pakistan was under control".The world came to know more about the situation in East Pakistan.

    Secondly,it deprived Pakistan army off valuable logistical support.With air-drop option already cut down by India,it was a major set back for the occupying Pakistani troops.

    Thirdly,it certainly boosted the morale of Freedom fighters who were already high on spirit and patriotism.If the war from March 26th to August was won by Pakistani army,it can certainly be said that this operation turned the tide.


    Prologue

    Bangladesh naval commando operation actually originated at Toulon, a coastal city of Southern France. In 1971, there were 11 naval crews of East Pakistan who were receiving training in a Pakistani submarine. Among them, only one commissioned officer (Mosharraf Hassain) and 8 crews decided to take the submarine and to fight against Pakistani. However, their plan was disclosed and they had to ran away under severe death threats from Pakistani intelligence. Out of these 9 crews, one were killed by Pakistani Intelligence and rest of the 8 managed to travel to Indian Embassy in Geneva, Switzerland. From Geneva, Indian Embassy took them to New Delhi on the 9th of April at 9:30 a.m. and set up a top secret naval training for them.


    Planning

    At the conclusion of Operation Searchlight, the Pakistani Army had driven the Mukti Bahini into India, where they entered a period of reorganization during June and July 1971 to train guerrillas, set up networks and safe houses in the occupied territories to run the insurgency and rebuild the conventional forces. As the pace of military operations in East Pakistan slacked off, the civilian morale was adversely affected, which prompted Pakistani authorities to claim that the situation had returned to "normal".

    In response to this declaration, the Mukti Bahini launched 2 operations:

    1) Guerrilla attacks in targets in Dhaka by a crack commando group trained by Major ATM Haider (ex-SSG commando).

    2) the simultaneous mining and damaging of ships in Chittagong, Chandpur, Mongla and Narayanganj on the 15th of August, which became known in Bangladesh and international media as "Operation Jackpot".Now among naval commandos included Bengali sailors who defected from Pakistan navy and off course the civilians.From students to workers to farmers.


    Preparation

    Indian commander Bhattachariya, major Jalil and Colonel M.A.G. Osmani in collaboration with top regional commanders established the secret camp codenamed C2P in Plassy, West Bengal on May 23, to train volunteers selected from various Mukti Bahini sectors (Bangladesh was divided in 10 operational sectors for Mukti Bahini operations) for this purpose. Initially 300 volunteers were chosen, ultimately 499 commandos were trained in the camp. The course included swimming, survival training, using limpet mines, hand to hand combat and navigation. By August 1971, the first batch of commandos were ready for operation.

    Mosharraf Hossain,who was probably a Commodore in the Independent Bangladesh Navy later on.It nice listening to the details of the operation from him.I am just writing down some details,hope my memory doesn't betray me.

    The operation was an extremely dangerous one,actually it was a "suicide mission".How often one see such a large suicide squad,except may be for the Japanese in WW2.
    It was suicidal,as they had to attach limpet mines to their body and swim to the ships.Then there was the threat of triggering alarm and then get caught.Which meant certain death by torture.
    Every naval commando had accepted that this was a suicidal mission,yet they decided to volunteer.
    He mentions one particular case,where he even had to make one freedom fighter learn to swim and then given commando training.When asked,he said,"He was at the war longer than me,I was at France,but he was there from the word go".

    The Operation

    The operation was planned in the last week of September, under tight security. Information on river tides, weather and Pakistani infrastructure and deployment was collected through the Mukti Bahini.Even the commanding Generals,General M A G Osmani,Admiral Nanda and General Aurora were not informed about when the operation will take place.

    Selected commandos were sent from C2P to forward bases in Tripura and West Bengal, where a final briefing was given to them.
    Mukti Bahini in Sector 1 assisted the group going to Chittagong,
    Sector 2 aided the groups going to Chandpur and Naryanganj and
    Sector 9 assisted the group targeting Mongla.
    Each commando carried a pair of fins, a knife, a limpet mine, and swimming trunks. Some had compasses, 1 in 3 commandos had sten guns and hand grenades, the group leaders carried a transistor radio. All the groups carried their own equipment to their targets and after entering Bangladesh between August 3/9, reached their destinations by August 12th, using the local Mukti Bahini network of safe houses. A pair of songs was played in India Radio (Akashbani)at specific times to convey the intended signal for commencing the operations. The first song (Amar putul ajke prothom jabe shoshur bari) was played on the 13th of August, the second song (Ami tomay joto shuniyechilem gan tar bodole chaini kono dan) on the 14th.

    One extract from the account of a naval commando.

    Consequence:

    Chittagong: 60 commandos were sent, out of which 31 finally took part in the sabotage operation on the 16th. Between 1:45 to 2:15AM explosions sank the MV Al-Abbas, the MV Hormuz and the Orient barge no.6, sinking 19,000 tons of arms and ammunitions.
    Chandpur: 18 out of 40 commandos finally took part in the operation. 3 steamers/barges were damaged or sunk.
    Narayanganj: 20 commandos conducted the sabotage operation. 4 ships were sunk or damaged.
    Mongla: 20 commandos managed to damage 6 foreign owned ships.

    The operation was a success and worked greatly in favour of the allied forces.But it took away lives of many brave freedom fighters.

    Naval Commandos killed in Operation Jackpot

    * Commando Abdur Raquib, who was killed in Foolchhori Ghat Operation
    * Commando Hossain Farid, who was killed in second Chittagong operation. He was caught by Pakintaki army. They put him in a manhole and bend his body until his vertebral column was broken.
    * Commando Khabiruzzaman, who was killed in second operation in Faridpur
    * Comamndo Sirajul Islam, M. Aziz, Aftab Uddin, and Rafiqul Islam, nothing further known about them.

    Naval Commandos Who Received Bangladesh 'National Hero' Recognition

    * Mr. A.W. Chowdhury- Beer Uttam
    * Mr. Badiul Alam- Beer Uttam
    * Dr. Shah Alam- Beer Uttam
    * Mr. Mazhar Ullah- Beer Uttam
    * Mr. Sheikh Md. Amin Ullah- Beer Uttam
    * Mr. Abedur Rahman- Beer Uttam
    * Mr. Mosharraf Hossain- Beer Uttam
    * Mohammad Khabiruzzan- Beer Bikrom
    * Mr. Momin Ullah Patwari- Beer Protik
    * Mr. Shahjahan Kabir- Beer Protik
    * Mr. Faruq-e-Azam- Beer Protik
    * Mohammad Rahmatullah-Beer Protik
    * Mohammad Mojjamel Hossain- Beer Protik
    * Mr. Mosharraf Hossain- Beer Uttam

    "Operation Jackpot" will probably go down in the history as one of those battles which changed the course of the battle.
    An unconfirmed source told me that,war colleges in US and UK have taken this operation as a case study,if anyone can verify it,I will be more than happy.
     
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  3. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Referrences:

    1.Daily star (victory day special edition)
    2.Baishakhi tv talk show ( অতন্দ্র প্রহরী )
    3.Bangladpedia
    4.Wikipedia
     
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  4. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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  5. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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  6. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    man thats tooooo dastardly so the pakistani army has an experince of doing this huh
     
  7. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    A map of Bangladeshi FF sectors and location of the "Operation Jackpot"

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Foxtord50

    Foxtord50 Regular Member

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    Dear Lurker Baba,
    Many thanks to send me editing link.Please find below the editing which are done heading or Paragraph wise.

    Following factual mistakes could be so far determined:
    Prologue

    Bangladesh naval commando operation actually originated at Toulon, a coastal city of Southern France. In 1971, there were 11 naval crews of East Pakistan who were receiving training in a Pakistani submarine. Among them, only one commissioned officer (Mosharraf Hassain).
    Here is the error: Moshraf Hossain was not an Officer of Pakistan navy,he was a Patty Officer.
    PLANING
    At the conclusion of Operation Searchlight, the Pakistani Army had driven the Mukti Bahini into India, where they entered a period of reorganization during June and July 1971 to train guerrillas, set up networks and safe houses in the occupied territories to run the insurgency and rebuild the conventional forces. As the pace of military operations in East Pakistan slacked off, the civilian morale was adversely affected, which prompted Pakistani authorities to claim that the situation had returned to "normal".

    In response to this declaration, the Mukti Bahini launched 2 operations:

    1) Guerrilla attacks in targets in Dhaka by a crack commando group trained by Major ATM Haider (ex-SSG commando).
    Here is the error :
    The above paragraph is a big facutal error.After 26 March,1971,fighting continued in many places of Bangladesh.For example in Tangail
    the kaderia Bahini fought against Pakistan Army,In Khulna and Chittagong fighting continued.The Mukti Bahini started their operation
    from Last week of May 71 from Tokipur, Hasanabad.Severat times the attack were launched from Tokipur.
    From May 71 til August 1971 more than 100 such attack took place in diffrent district of Bangladesh.
    References:Operation Jackpot,Sezan Mahmud,Chetonai Ekattor,Mustak Ahmed Robi etc.
    In Preparation Paragraph

    It is written that Mr.Moshraf Hossain who was probably a Commodore in Bangladesh Navy.
    Here is the error:
    Moshraf Hossain was never been in a Commodore in Bangladesh Navy.Among eight Submariner only submariner that was A.W.Chowdhury was commmissioned after Independence of Bangladesh.
    In Consequence: Paragraph:
    In Mongla operation its written 20 Commandos took part:
    Here is error,The above paragraph have lot of factual errors,which I have edited below
    It would be 24 Commandos,who took part in Operation In Monglaport
    Commanders of the Operation were as Follows:

    Chittagong:Commanded by A.W.Chowdhury (60 Naval Commandos were sent to Chittagong Sea Port,Among 60 Commandos only 31 Commandos took part in Operation, and destroyed 2 small ships and 3 Big Ships were destroyed in this operation)

    Mongla Sea port: Commanded by Aminur Rahman,Khosru(60 Naval commandos and 200 C&C Commandos were sent to Mongla sea Port,Among 60 Naval commandos only 24 took part in Operation,6 Big Ships were destroyed in this operation.The commander Aminur Rahman,Khosru was youngest among all commanders of Of operation jackpot and under his command highest number of Ships were destroyed in Mongla port on 15th Aug.1971.
    Chandpur river Port: Commanded by Badiul Alam(20 Naval Commandos were sent to Chandpur River port operation,amon 20 Naval commandos 18 Commandos took pat in operation and 2 steamers and 4 food grain carrying vessels were destroyed in this operation)
    Narayanganj river Port: Commanded by Abedur Rahman(20 Naval Commandos were sent to Narayanganj,All twenty commandos took part in operation,4 Small ships and two steramers were destroyed in this operation.
    Among trainer of Naval Commandos from Indian Navy who received the Highest Militaty Award from Indian Govt are as follows:
    1.Commander M.N. Sammath MVC
    2.Lt.Commander George Martis Vrc,NM
    3.Lt.V.P.Kapil ,VrC
    4.Lt.Das, VSM
    5.Leeading seaman C.Sing, MVC
    6.Leading seaman M.K.Gupta, NM
    7.Leading seaman K.Singh,NM
    The name of above trainer must be included in Operation Jackpot,otherwise Operation Jackpot article will remain empty.
    I shall request you to edit the article as soon as possible.
    References:
    1.Ray,Mihir,K. Vice Admiral,War in the Indian Ocean Page 141,147,154,175,ISBN 1-897829 11-6,Lancer Publisher & Distributer Newd Delhi
    2.Robi,Mir Mustak Ahmed,Chetonai Ekattor,Page No 66,68,69,70,ISBN 984-70226-0011-2,Zonaki Publisher,Dhaka
    3.Shafiullah, Maj. Gen. K. M. Bangladesh At War, p. 159, ISBN 984-401-322-4
    4.Islam, Major Rafiqul, A Tale of Millions, p. 228–230, ISBN 984-412-033-0
    5.Shamsul Huda Chowdhury.Ekattor Ranaggon. Publisher:Ahmed Publishing. ISBN 984-11-0505-0.
    6.Rahman, Md. Khalilur, Muktijuddhay Nou-Abhijan, pp. 268–270, ISBN 984-465-449-1
    7.Operation Jackpot, Mahmud, Sezan, Mukhobondho
    8.Khatun Tayeba,Naval Commando Journal,Pages 13,14,16,17-3698,99,102,1972,Publisher Bijli Press ,Khulna

    Best Regards,
    Foxtord50
     
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  9. Foxtord50

    Foxtord50 Regular Member

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    Dear Luker Baba,
    The Operation was on 15th August,1971 not on 16th August,1971.This has to edited either.
    Regards,
    Foxtord50
     
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    LeonBlack08,

    Please use imageshack to host images. It is free.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Foxtord50

    Foxtord50 Regular Member

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    Leonblack 08,
    Thanks to write the article Operation Jackpot in Pakistan Defense Forum too .
    I have noticed few factual error in the article,I have tried to edit them.This errors often occurs if the writer were not present himself in the field.
    Honestly I very much appreciate you to do many positive arguments in favor of Naval commandos in PK Defense Forum.
    Back to your request to display images, I have few original photos of Mongla Operation,which were
    photographed from Dhangmari dam on 15th August,1971 at 7.30 AM.I have talked to my mother in Bangladesh andshe said he will
    try to send me those photographs.
    We had cameras with us and I was ordered by Lt.Gen.G.S.Aurora to take pictures of ports after the operation.This was briefed to me during our operation briefing meeting at port canning Matler on 27th July 1971 at 3.30 PM.In fact we were 260 commandos.Among us 200 were C&C Special commandos and we 60 Naval commandos.I was the commander of the Operation of Mongla Port only on 15th Aug,1971.Before 26th March 1971,I was a student of 1st year science group of Sathkhira College and joined freedom fight.I think I was the youngest Commander among other 3 commanders of Operation Jackpot.
    We could have mined 14 ships on that day night at Mongla port but due to the Navigator Mr. Afzal´s mistake, we arrived at Mongla port on 4.00 A.M.So we had no other choice than to attack from Bania Shanta side.We came through Dhangmari Marsh area from a left zaminder house which was located behind the Dhagmari canal.We took our shelter there on 13th Aug,1971.But I thank to Almighty Allah for our success.Beside this I thank also to our Instructors who trained us as professional commandos within short time.Among the Indian trainer,I am grateful to Commander, M.N.Samath, Lt. Commander Martis,Lt.Das,Lt.Kafil,Leading seaman Gupta,Leading seaman K.Singh,Marathi Combat instructor Nanabuz..And to our all Bengali instructors.In all most all camps the trainees had to address the instructors as sir,I think,we were only a camp where we addressed our Bangladeshi instructor as Dadu.They were really our Dadu.
    I would like to make it clear why Palassey was chosen as our training camp.This is because Bengols Independence was lost from this Palassey War Field
    and Nabab Sirajudaullah was killed by the Collaborators of English occupation army.That`s why our Bangladeshi instructors talked to Brig.Bhatchariya to setup our training camp at Pallasey Mango Field as token of challenge to bring back the Sun to the sky of Bangladesh from the same field where we lost our independence on 23rd June 1957.Our Camp was situated at bank of Baghirothi river and at rear end of Palassey mango field which is further south of Palassey monument.We were trained in the same Bahgirothi river which flows by the side of Nawabs House.I wont be able to explain the feeling of our commandos of that time. I have seen many times that our commandos were taking oath by touching Nawabs house to fight against Pakistan Army in order to bring back our independence under any circumstances. Our camp and training were often inspected by Gen.M.A.G. Osmani,C&C of Bangladesh Armed Forces along with Admiral Nanda,the then Chief of Naval Staff and Lt.Gen.Gen:J.S.Aurora.They use to stay with us for hours together and use to inspire us . So far I know,no Mukti Bahini training camps were visited by high ranking Bangladesh and Indian officers so many times.We were supplied with best Navy ration and our cook was Bangladeshi Naval commando Ful Babu.After taking his launch with Naval commandos, Admiral Nanda once said,Ful Babu is one of the best cook among the Armed Forces cook of, all over India.
    I am grateful to India for many reasons such as they accommodate our 9 Million Refugees for 9 Months,they gave us their best support in all possible ways,the politician,parliamentarians and very specially Her Excellency Prime Minster Mrs.Ghandhi her restless effort to create an International Opinion on Bangladesh was one of the vital key to introduce Bangladesh to the World. , I am very grateful to Indian Armed Forces, among them 10,000 soldiers sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Bangladesh.When we left India for our Operation,I told my fellow commandos,the help, affection and love I received from Indians,can not be forgotten by me ever.Commandos present there told to me not only you, rather we all are grateful to India.
    For me and like me and for many others like us, India shall remain the best friend of Bangladesh and we shall not compare this friendship with any country in future even.I pray to Almighty Allah for all kind of success of Indians in all respect.We shall further follow the slogan of our current Prime Minister Sk.Hasina that ,One who want to leave in peace and freedom ,must try to maintain good relation with his neighbor.Let us have that Slogan now,let us be united to arrange trail of War criminals of Bangladesh, and let us create a Bangladesh where all religious people shall have same and equal right ,specially the poor shall get priority in all fields of life.( a Major Slogan of Bapuji & Bangobhandhu)
    I shall post the photos as soon as I receive them from Bangladesh.Once again, thank you to write about Naval commandos.

    With best Regards,
    Foxtord50
     
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  12. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Sir, leonblack is no longer active.

    If you have any articles to share or images, please send them via private message to moderators. We'll publish them to the front page
     
  13. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    I think he is no longer active on DFI.
     
  14. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Foxtord50 Sir,

    Thanks for joining the forum, and what a fine introduction. We welcome you, and extend our warm and best wishes to you.

    Regards.
     
  15. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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