Nilakanta Krishnan

Vice Admiral Nilakanta Krishnan, PVSM, DSC (1919 – January 1982) was an Indian Navy Admiral. He was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. He is credited with using a very innovative strategy, while commanding the Eastern Navy which had the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, in the Bay of Bengal. He is believed to have tricked the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi, which was on a search and destroy mission, into entering Visakhapatnam; where it was eliminated.

Nilakanta Krishnan

Image of Vice Admiral Nilakanta Krishnan from cover of biography
DiedJanuary 1982
Allegiance British India
Service/branch Royal Indian Navy
 Indian Navy
Years of service1938-1947, 1947-1976
Rank13-Indian Navy-VADM.svg Vice Admiral
Commands heldEastern Naval Command
INS Vikrant
INS Delhi
AwardsPadma Bhushan[1]
1971 Instrument of Surrender
Lt Gen A A K Niazi signing the Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt Gen J S Aurora. Standing immediately behind (L-R) Vice Admiral Krishnan, Air Marshal Dewan, Lt. Gen Sagat Singh and Maj Gen JFR Jacob.

Early life

Krishnan was the youngest son of Rao Bahadur Mahadeva Nilakanta Ayyar, an Executive Engineer.[2][3] While his eldest brother, Nilakanta Mahadeva Ayyar pursued his career in the Indian Civil Service, Krishnan joined the Royal Indian Navy.Krishnan’s other brothers included Nilakanta Ganapathy Iyer and Nilakanta Anjaneya Subramanian. NA Subramanian was a Constitutional lawyer, professor at Madras Law College and author of the book Case Law on the Indian Constitution.

Naval career

Krishnan was appointed a Sub-Lieutenant of the Royal Indian Navy on 1 September 1940,[4] with promotion to lieutenant on 16 August 1941.[5] In 1942, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "courage, enterprise and devotion to duty in operations in the Persian Gulf".[6] He had been serving on HMIS Investigator at that time,[7]

After India's independence in 1947, by which time he was an acting Lieutenant Commander, Krishnan continued in the new Indian Navy. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 16 August 1949,[8] and was appointed Director of Naval Plans on 19 December with the acting rank of Commander.[9] He was promoted to substantive Commander on 30 June 1952.[10] On 15 July 1955, Krishnan was appointed Director of Personnel Services, with the acting rank of Captain.[11] He was appointed a deputy military secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat on 9 January 1956,[12] and was promoted to the substantive rank of captain on 31 December 1957.[13] On 18 March 1958, he was promoted to Commodore 2nd Class,[14] subsequently reverting to his permanent rank of Captain but again being promoted to Commodore on 1 January 1966.[15]

On 12 December 1967, Krishnan was appointed Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (VCNS) with the acting rank of Rear-Admiral (paid from 18 February 1968).[16] He was promoted to substantive Rear-Admiral on 16 June 1968.[17] On 26 March 1969, the post of VCNS was upgraded to the rank of vice-admiral, with Krishnan being promoted to the acting rank from the same date.[18] He was promoted to substantive vice-admiral on 1 March 1970.[19] His command during the 1971 war led the crew of Vikrant to earn two Mahavir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras. Under his leadership in 1971, the aircraft carrier's Sea Hawks struck shipping in the Chittagong and Cox's Bazar harbours, sinking or incapacitating most ships in harbor. Admiral Krishnan retired from the Indian Navy on 29 February 1976.[20]

Krishnan wrote an autobiography, A Sailor' Story, which was edited by Arjun Krishnan.[21] He had also written No way But Surrender — An Account of the Indo-Pakistani War in the Bay of Bengal.[22]


  1. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Doyle, Patrick (1905). Indian engineering, Volume 37. Calcutta. pp. xii.
  3. ^ Krishnan, N. A Sailor's story. Bangalore: Punya Pub. ISBN 9788189534141.
  4. ^ "No. 34960". The London Gazette. 4 October 1940. p. 5841.
  5. ^ "The Royal Indian Navy". The Navy List: June 1944. HM Government, UK. 1944. p. 1965.
  6. ^ "No. 35481". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 March 1942. p. 1105.
  7. ^ Cannon, Peter (2011). "HMAS Yarra and Operation Marmalade". Australian Maritime Issues 2010: SPC-A Annual (PDF). Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs, No. 35. Sea Power Centre, Australian Department of Defence. p. 96. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  8. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 27 August 1949. p. 1171.
  9. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 31 December 1949. p. 1807.
  10. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 19 July 1952. p. 155.
  11. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 24 March 1956. p. 60.
  12. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 9 June 1956. p. 117.
  13. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 29 November 1958. p. 268.
  14. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 28 June 1958. p. 147.
  15. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 25 June 1966. p. 382.
  16. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 13 April 1968. p. 316.
  17. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 22 March 1969. p. 259.
  18. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 3 May 1969. p. 440.
  19. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 4 December 1971. p. 440.
  20. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Navy Branch)". The Gazette of India. 5 July 1975. p. 871.
  21. ^ Krishnan, Nilakanta (2011). Krishnan, Arjun (ed.). A Sailor's Story. Punya Publishing. ISBN 978-8189534134.
  22. ^ Krishnan, Nilakanta (1980). No way But Surrender — An Account of the Indo-Pakistani War in the Bay of Bengal. Vikas. ISBN 0706910184.
1969 Mass uprising in East Pakistan

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Abul Hasnat Muhammad Qamaruzzaman

Abul Hasnat Muhammad Kamaruzzaman (1926 – 3 November 1975) was a Bangladeshi politician, government minister and a leading member of the Awami League. A member of the Mujibnagar Government, Kamaruzzaman was murdered along with Syed Nazrul Islam, Muhammad Mansur Ali and Tajuddin Ahmed in the jail killings in Dhaka Central Jail on 3 November 1975.

Armed Forces Day (Bangladesh)

Armed Forces Day (Bengali: সশস্ত্র বাহিনী দিবস) is observed in Bangladesh on 21 November. This signifies the day in 1971, when the members of Army, Navy and Air force of the Bangladesh liberation war forces were fully operational and launched a coordinated offensive against the Pakistani Army. On 16 December 1971, the Pakistani Army of 93,000 surrendered to the allied forces of Bangladesh and India (The Joint Command), ending the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Baten Bahini

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Battle of Dhalai

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Battle of Kushtia

The Battle of Kushtia can refer to two incidents during the Bangladesh Liberation War, both of which happened in what is now Bangladesh:

A battle on 19 April 1971 between East Bengali rebels and Pakistani forces.

An Indian attack from West Bengal into East Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Chuknagar massacre

Chuknagar massacre (Bengali: চুকনগর হত্যাকান্ড) was a massacre committed by the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The massacre took place on 20 May 1971 at Dumuria in Khulna and it was one of the largest massacres during the war. The exact number of persons killed in the massacre is not known. Academic Sarmila Bose dismisses claims that 10,000 were killed as "unhelpful", and argues that the reported number of attackers could have shot no more than several hundred people before running out of ammunition. The majority of people killed in the massacre were men, although an unknown number of women and children were murdered as well.

Gonobahini (Mukti Bahini)

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K Force (Bangladesh)

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Liberation War Museum

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Syed Nazrul Islam

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Padma Bhushan award recipients (1970–1979)


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