The exploits of the 71 Mountain Brigade – “The Brigade of the Year” begins with its having the lush green hills of Nagaland to fight the war of Liberation of Bangladesh shoulder to shoulder with the Mukti Bahini. From the time it left its location in Limakong (MANIPUR) till it finally settled down in Barrackpore, it went through eight formations in a short period of seven months moving from place to place. The Brigade was the first to enter Bangladesh from the North and the first to take the surrender and return to India. This formation did the longest advance in the shortest possible time and according to the Pakistanis “the entire action went with the precision of a clock work and according to the Book”.
It was the integral brigade of 9 Mountain Division, which was placed under command of 8 Mountain Division for insurgency operations. From there it moved to defend the 1,200 mile-long Siliguri Corridor and then with a stroke of luck got converted into the Independent Brigade Group for the duration of the war. It reverted to its original self and was looking after Calcutta in aid of civil authorities in 1972 after the war. Thereafter, it finally managed to be an integral part of 6 Mountain Division.
This book is primarily addressed to the younger lot of officers, since at the brigade level small unit actions assume significance and bring out tactical lessons useful to the young officers. The author has made an endeavour to place the actions of the Brigade in its proper perspective by covering what was generally happening all around. This has been done in order to bring out that no actions are fought in isolation in a conventional warfare. In fact this may even be true for a nuclear war.
This book, which is the only one of its kind as far as unit and sub-unit actions in Bangladesh were concerned, will be of interest to students of military history and to every unit of the Indian Armed Forces.
eBook Edition also available
Author: Lt Gen PN Kathpalia