"At 2345 hours, when we were about 12 miles off Karachi, the shore batteries opened fire ineffectively against us. At the same time, Captain (F) 15 FS designated four ship targets to the Commanding Officer of the missile boat, who promptly worked out the fire control solution and launched four missiles at the ships at anchor off Karachi harbour. Three missiles scored lock-ons and 4 vessels were seen ablaze soon after. The last missile was targeted and locked onto an oil storage tank which was located away from the city, which started a massive conflagration. The devastation wrought by this missile must have been colossal since the blaze was visible to us even when we had moved 60 miles away from Karachi."
By any account, the maritime operations on the Western Seaboard of India, during the 1971 Indo-Pak War were outstanding episodes in naval warfare in Indian waters, nay, in the world. The 2 attacks on Karachi harbour which delivered stunning blows on Pakistan's only naval port were taken serious note of, and were appreciated by the world maritime community since purely harbour defence boats were taken to the vicinity of Karachi to launch the deadly missiles on ships and shore installations. It was truly a magnificent feat of innovative planning & resourcefulness depicted by the WNC, and will, I have no doubt, find pride of place in our naval annals, if not actually be written in letters of gold.
On 04 December 2002, the Indian Navy celebrated the 31st Anniversary of its daredevil attack on Pakistan's only naval base at Karachi. On this occasion, the Indian Navy's Western Naval Command - Headquartered @ Mumbai - brought out her ships and sailors for the grandiose event. Kapil Chandni was present for this celebration and was armed with his Nikon camera. Kapil brings to us what he saw through his lens. BHARAT RAKSHAK is extremely grateful for the pictures he took and I hope that you enjoy these pictures as much as we did.