Operation Jackpot: History and Impact on Bangladesh Liberation War

 

Equipments of Operation Jackpot
Reading this article you will be able to know the introduction of Operation Jackpot, Initiation of Operation Jackpot, Preparation of Operation Jackpot, Operation in Different Places, Impact on Liberation War, Recognition and Casualties of Naval Commandos in Operation Jackpot.

Introduction

q  The first operation launched by the naval commandos

q  Launched on the night of 15 August 1971

q  Simultaneous attack on the port of Mongla, Chittagong, Chandpur, Narayanganj

q  The attacks impacted the tactical warfare

q  Apprised the attention of international media


Map: the locations of attacks on the operation jackpot.

Initiation of Operation Jackpot

No separate naval wing for Mukti Bahini during April–July 1971

08 Bengali Submariners defected from PN. (Undergoing training at Toulon in France, a submarine base)

They were the nucleuses of naval operations in Bangladesh.

Initiation of Operation Jackpot

On 23 May 1971, a secret training camp code name C2P was commissioned near the monument of Palassey on the bank of Bhagirathi.

More than 300 trainee were selected from 11 sectors over country who were good at swimming specially.

To disrupt seaborne trade and discourage international shipping from visiting Bangladesh in order to hinder the movement of troops and Military supplies.

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Preparation of operation jackpot

Training was for 3months which included-

  •  Swimming
  •  Survival
  •  Use of Limped mine, demolition
  •  Hand to Hand Combat
Preparation of operation jackpot

Each commando carried-

Ø  A pair of fins

Ø  A knife

Ø  A limpet mine

Ø  Swimming trunks

Ø  Some had compasses

Ø  1 in 3 commandos had Sten guns and hand grenades

Ø  The group leaders carried a transistor radio

By August’ 71 Suicidal Commando Team was ready to go!

  • All the groups carried their own equipment to their targets
  • The groups entered in Bangladesh between 3 to 9 August
  • Reached their destinations by 12 August.
  • They used the local Mukti Bahini network of safehouses.
  •  A pair of songs was played in All India Radio (Akashbani) at specific times to convey the intended signal for commencing the operations
  • The first song was played on 13 August
  • The second song was played on 14 August
  • Only Col M.A.G. Osmani and the regional commander knew about this operation to keep the secrecy .

The push in route for the naval commandos

Chittagong Operation

  • Sixty commandos divided into 3 groups of 20
  • One group failed to arrive on time
  • 31 commandos mined 10 ships
  • Led by Submariner Abdul Wahed Chowdhury (Bir Uttam)
  • The operations were launched under the leadership of sector commander Major Rafiqul Islam.
  • Explosions sank the MV Al-Abbas, the MV Hormuz and the Orient Barge no. 6
  • 19,000 tons of arms and ammunition sank along with them
  • 7 other barges/ ships were also damaged or sunk.   

 Chandpur operation

q  20 commandos were sent

q  18 commandos divided into 6 groups

q  Under the leadership of Badiul Alam (Bir Uttam)

q  4 ships were mined.

q  3 steamers and barges were damaged or sunk.

 

Chandpur operation

Narayangonj operation

q  20 commandos conducted the sabotage operation.

q  Four ships were sunk or damaged.

q  Submariner Abdur Rahman (Bir Bikram) and Shahjahan Siddique (Bir Bikram) conducted successful operation in Narayanganj and Daudkandi river ports.

q  9 commandoes were assigned to Daudkandi.

q  Ferries and jetties were destroyed there.

Mongla operation

q   60 commandos in 5 groups of 12 members each.

q  Ultimately 48 commandos mined 6 ships.

q  Twelve commandos had been sent on a separate mission.

q  Leader submariner Ahsanullah (Bir Pratik).

q   In this ops, ships from different countries like, China , USA, Somalia etc. were destroyed.

 Impact on the liberation war

       Naval commandos managed to sink or damage 126 ships/coasters/ferries during August- December 1971.

       Those included at least 15 Pakistani ships, 11 coasters, 7 gunboats, 11 barges, 2 tankers and 19 river crafts.

       At least 100,000 tons of shipping was sunk or crippled.

OPS Jackpot: A ship Destroyed in CTG Port

       Jetties and wharves were disabled and channels blocked.

       Pakistan Army investigation concluded that no one had imagined Mukti Bahini capable of conducting such an operation.

       The operational capability of Pakistan Navy was reduced.

       The control of the inland waterways, and of the Sea ports were removed from the hand of Pakistan Army.

       The movement and logistics of Pakistan army were largely disrupted.

       International shipping were discouraged from visiting Bangladesh and seaborne trading was stopped.

       The simultaneous attacks destroyed the myth of normalcy in East Pakistan in the international media.

 Recognition and casualties of Naval Commandos

  • Over the span from 15 August to 16 December

       8 commandos killed

       34 injured

       15 caught

The ‘national hero award’ recognition:

       6 Bir Uttam

       1 Bir Bikrom

       6 Bir Protik

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