Cmde. P.R. Franklin, AVSM, VSM (retd.) narrates some true accounts of the Soviet Foxtrot submarines that were in Indian Navy service. The names of the eight Foxtrots have been anagrammed to arrive at the name “Vanshali”, which is the central submarine character of these narratives. The book covers a spectrum of the activities of Foxtrots in the service including facets of training in the USSR, taking possession, bringing them to India, wartime and peacetime activities, and finally beaching a Foxtrot for display as a museum. The book has interesting revelations of a brush with a nuclear submarine in the Arabian Sea and of an Indian submarine’s predicament when confronted with the situation of meeting up with the American Carrier USS Enterprise when it entered the Bay of Bengal during 1971 Indo-Pak war.?
Commodore P.R. Franklin, AVSM, VSM, did his submarine training in Vladivostok, in erstwhile USSR. He commissioned the third and the sixth of the eight ‘Foxtrot’ class submarines that the Indian Navy purchased, and sailed them from Riga, Latvia, to India round Africa in the late sixties/early seventies. He subsequently commanded two of them. After a few squadron appointments both afloat and ashore, he headed the submarine arm as Director Submarine Operations in Naval Headquarters. Among his other appointments in the navy, he commanded the Training Squadron training officer cadets of the Indian Navy, INS Venduruthy in Kochi, was Naval Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Naval Advisor to the Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, and the Naval Officer-in-Charge Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry.
A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, he also served as Directing Staff in that institution. He did the higher command and staff course in the former Marshal A.A.Grechkov Academy in Leningrad (renamed now as the N.G. Kuznetsov Academy in St. Petersburg). He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995 and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2001 by the President of India.
After retiring from the navy after 36 years of commissioned service, he was a consultant for a brief spell to a private Indian company while it produced a Submarine Control Simulator for the Indian nuclear propelled submarine, INS Arihant. He is also the author of the book titled ‘Submarine Operations’.
The Grey Lady of Tallinn • Pre-Commissioning Revelries • The Commissioning
Acceptance and Work Up • Homeward Bound • Warmer Climes
Lagos and Christmas • South Atlantic and the Horn of Africa • The Coming of Age
The Indian Ocean – At Last! • Complexities of Undersea Warfare
A New Way Of Life • A Trip To The Andaman Islands
Girija! • Fleet Exercises • Catching Smugglers • Collision! • War Patrol
Bottom Cleaning In Company • Support Organisations • Off For A Mid-Life Update • Vladivostok
The Inspection • Stripe Wetting • The Piggery • The Rogue Torpedo • Operational Missions
A Foreign Cruise • VIP’s Onboard • Relegation To Second Line • The Final Countdown
Author: Cmde P R Franklin
Features: PB, Frontier India