- History of the Indian Navy
Many powerful navies, of the
Maurya, Chola, Vijayanagara, Kalinga, Marathaand Moghul empires ruled the oceans, in and around India, for many centuries. [ [http://indiannavy.nic.in/history.htm History of the Indian Navy] ] The two notable naval chiefs Kanhoji Angreand Kunjali Marakkarare considered among India's finest warriors since they were able to defy the British and the Portuguese Navies.
Expeditions of the Cholas
Cholasinitiated their grand naval conquests during the reign of two of its most illustrious monarchs, Raja Raja Cholaand his son Rajendra Chola. Under Rajendra Chola, the Cholas expanded their empire with the use of their strong navy and subdued many kingdoms of South-East Asiaand occupied the region which included Myanmar, Malaya, Sumatraetc., and sent ambassadors to countries as far off as China.
British East India Companywas established in 1612. In 1612Captain Thomas Best encountered and defeated the Portuguese at the Battle of Swally. This encounter and piracyforced the British East India Companyto build a port and establish a small navybased at a small village Suvali, near Surat, Gujaratto protect commerce. The Honourable East India Company's Marine was thus formed by the arrival of fighting ships led by Captain Best during the 10th voyage of the Company on 5 September 1612.
This force protected
merchant shippingoff the Gulf of Cambayand the rivers Tapti and Narmada. The ships also helped map the coastlines of India, Persia and Arabia.
Bombay(now Mumbai) had been ceded to the British by the Portuguese in 1662, they physically took possession of the island on
1665, only to pass it on to the East India Company on 27 September 1668. As a consequence, the East India Company's Marine also became responsible for the protection of trade off Bombay.
1686with British trade now concentrated off Bombay(Mumbai) the marine was renamed the "Bombay Marine". The marine was involved in fighting against the Marathasand the Sidis and participated in the Burma Warof 1824.
1830, the Bombay Marine was renamed "Her Majesty's Indian Navy". The capture of Adenincreased its commitments and fought in the China War of 1840.
Her Majesty's Indian Navy was renamed back to the "Bombay Marine" from
1863to 1877, then becoming "Her Majesty's Indian Marine". The Marine had two divisions; the Eastern Division of Calcuttaand the Western Division at Bombay.
In recognition of the services rendered during various campaigns, "Her Majesty's Indian Marine" was renamed as the "Royal Indian Marine" in
1892, by which time it consisted of over 50 vessels. [http://indiannavy.nic.in/genesis.htm]
Engineer Sub Lieutenant
D.N. Mukerjibecame the first Indian to be commissioned into the Royal Indian Marine (RIM), 6 January 1928. The first few officers commissioned in the Royal Indian Navy were recipients of the "King's Commission", and those commissioned thus considered themselves a cut above later officers.
1934the Royal Indian Marine was reorganised into the Royal Indian Navy (RIN). At the start of the Second World War it was very small and had eight warships, though this increased during the war. In the war, the Royal Indian Navy sloops ‘Sutlej’ and ‘Jumna’ played a key role in Operation Husky– the invasion of Sicily. [http://www.wewerethere.mod.uk/wewerethere_old/inmed.html]
Indian sailors started a rebellion also known as the The Royal Indian Navy mutiny, in 1946 on board ships and shore establishments which spread all over India. A total of 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors were involved in the rebellion.
India gained independence from the
United Kingdomin 1947, though senior officers were initially drawn from the Royal Navy. The "Royal" title was initially kept as George VI remained head of stateand vessels were known as His Majesty's Indian Ships (HMIS).
15 August 1947the Indian Navy was split between Indiaand Pakistan, the division being thus:
Modern Indian Navy
When India became a
republicon 26 January 1950, it became known as the Indian Navy, and its vessels as Indian Naval Ships (INS).
The first involvement of the Navy in any conflict came during the Liberation of Goa in 1961 with the success of Operation Vijay against the Portuguese.
The Navy has been involved in 2 wars with
Pakistan. While its activity in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965largely involved patrolling of the coast, India's navy played a significant role in the bombing of Karachiharbour in the 1971 war. The name given to the attack was Operation Trident which was launched on December 4. Owing to its success, it has been celebrated as Navy Day ever since. The attack was followed by Operation Python before the crux of the war shifted to the east.
INS Nirghat and Nipat sank a destroyer each and INS Veer accounted for a minesweeper. The naval aircraft, Sea Hawks and Alizés, were also instrumental in sinking many
gunboats and merchant navy vessels. There was one major casualty, the frigate "Khukri" (sunk by "Hangor") with another vessel INS "Kirpan" damaged in the western sector, but on the eastern front the opposing Pakistan Navytook a severe beating. The blockade of East Pakistanport with a major naval presence proved to be a vital link in the war. Type of Vessel Indian Navy losses Pakistan Navy losses Destroyers 1 2, PNS Khaibar and Shahjahan*(damaged) Frigates 1, INS Khukri** 3 Submarines 0 1, PNS Ghazi Minesweeper 0 1, PNS Muhafiz Navy Aircraft 0, (Alize) 0 Patrol boats and Gunboats 0 4 Gunboats and 3 patrol boats Merchant navy and others 0 9 (including one US ammunition ship)
*PNS Shahjahan was presumably damaged beyond repair.:: **The second frigate INS Kirpan was damaged although it remained in service later on after salvaging it.
It was also instrumental in overthrowing the coup attempt by Tamil mercenaries in
Maldivesby pouring troops there in 1988. The campaign led by the Indian navy was known as "Operation Cactus".
In 2006 the Indian Navy successfully evacuated 2280 persons including Indian, 436 Sri Lankan and 69 Nepali and 7 Lebanese citizens from war torn Lebanon. This operation is named
Operation Sukoon. [http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=20224]
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