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How India brought down the USí supersonic man
IDRW.ORG ^

Posted on 01/19/2012 4:23:21 AM PST by MBT ARJUN

The 1971 India-Pakistan war didn’t turn out very well from the US’ point of view. For one particular American it went particularly bad. Chuck Yeager, the legendary test pilot and the first man to break the sound barrier, was dispatched by the US government to train Pakistani air force pilots but ended up as target practice for the Indian Air Force, and in the process kicked up a diplomatic storm in a war situation.

Yeager’s presence in Pakistan was one of the surprises of the Cold War. In an article titled, “The Right Stuff in the Wrong Place,” by Edward C. Ingraham, a former US diplomat in Pakistan, recalls how Yeager was called to Islamabad in 1971 to head the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) – a rather fanciful name for a bunch of thugs teaching other thugs how to fight.

It wasn’t a terribly exciting job: “All that the chief of the advisory group had to do was to teach Pakistanis how to use American military equipment without killing themselves in the process,” writes Ingraham.

Among the perks Yeager enjoyed was a twin-engine Beechcraft, an airplane supplied by the Pentagon. It was his pride and joy and he often used the aircraft for transporting the US ambassador on fishing expeditions in Pakistan’s northwest mountains.

Yeager: Loyal Pakistani!

Yeager may have been a celebrated American icon, but here’s what Ingraham says about his nonchalant attitude. “We at the embassy were increasingly preoccupied with the deepening crisis (the Pakistan Army murdered more than 3,000,000 civilians in then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh). Meetings became more frequent and more tense. We were troubled by the complex questions that the conflict raised. No such doubts seemed to cross the mind of Chuck Yeager. I remember one occasion on which the ambassador asked Yeager for his assessment of how long the Pakistani forces in the East could withstand an all-out attack by India. “We could hold them off for maybe a month,” he replied, “but beyond that we wouldn’t have a chance without help from outside.” It took the rest of us a moment to fathom what he was saying, not realising at first that “we” was West Pakistan, not the United States.”

Clearly, Yeager appeared blithely indifferent to the Pakistani killing machine which was mowing down around 10,000 Bengalis daily from 1970 to 1971.

After the meeting, Ingraham requested Yeager to be be a little more even-handed in his comments. Yeager gave him a withering glance. “Goddamn it, we’re assigned to Pakistan,” he said. “What’s wrong with being loyal?!”

“The dictator of Pakistan at the time, the one who had ordered the crackdown in the East, was a dim-witted general named Yahya Khan. Way over his head in events he couldn’t begin to understand, Yahya took increasingly to brooding and drinking,” writes Ingraham.

“In December of 1971, with Indian supplied guerrillas applying more pressure on his beleaguered forces, Yahya decided on a last, hopeless gesture of defiance. He ordered what was left of his armed forces to attack India directly from the West. His air force roared across the border on the afternoon of December 3 to bomb Indian air bases, while his army crashed into India’s defences on the Western frontier.”

Getting Personal

Yeager’s hatred for Indians was unconcealed. According to Ingraham, he spent the first hours of the war stalking the Indian embassy in Islamabad, spouting curses at Indians and assuring anyone who would listen that the Pakistani army would be in New Delhi within a week. It was the morning after the first Pakistani airstrike that Yeager began to take the war with India personally.

On the eve of their attack, the Pakistanis, realising the inevitability of a massive Indian retaliation, evacuated their planes from airfields close to the Indian border and moved them to airfields near the Iranian border.

Strangely, no one thought to warn General Yeager.

Taking aim at Yeager

The thread of this story now passes on to Admiral Arun Prakash. An aircraft carrier pilot in 1971, he was an Indian Navy lieutenant on deputation with the Indian Air Force when the war broke out.

In an article he wrote for Vayu Aerospace Review in 2007, Prakash presents a vivid account of his unexpected encounter with Yeager. As briefings for the first wave of retaliatory strikes on Pakistan were being conducted, Prakash had drawn a two-aircraft mission against the PAF base of Chaklala, located south east of Islamabad.

Flying in low under the radar, they climbed to 2000 feet as they neared the target. As Chaklala airfield came into view they scanned the runways for Pakistani fighters but were disappointed to see only two small planes. Dodging antiaircraft fire, Prakash blasted both to smithereens with 30mm cannon fire. One was Yeager’s Beechcraft and the other was a Twin Otter used by Canadian UN forces.

Fishing in troubled waters

When Yeager discovered his plane was smashed, he rushed to the US embassy in Islamabad and started yelling like a deranged maniac. His voice resounding through the embassy, he said the Indian pilot not only knew exactly what he was doing but had been specifically instructed by the Indian prime minister to blast Yeager’s plane. In his autobiography, he later said that it was the “Indian way of giving Uncle Sam the finger”.

Yeager pressured the US embassy in Pakistan into sending a top priority cable to Washington that described the incident as a “deliberate affront to the American nation and recommended immediate countermeasures”. Basically, a desperate and distracted Yeager was calling for the American bombing of India, something that President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were already mulling.

But, says Ingraham: “I don’t think we ever got an answer.” With the Russians on India’s side in the conflict, the American defence establishment had its hands full. Nobody had time for Yeager’s antics.

However, Ingraham says there are clues Yeager played an active role in the war. A Pakistani businessman, son of a senior general, told him “excitedly that Yeager had moved into the air force base at Peshawar and was personally directing the grateful Pakistanis in deploying their fighter squadrons against the Indians. Another swore he had seen Yeager emerge from a just-landed jet fighter at the Peshawar base.

Later, in his autobiography, Yeager, the subject of Tom Wolfe’s much-acclaimed book “The Right Stuff” and a Hollywood movie, wrote a lot of nasty things about Indians, including downright lies about the IAF’s performance. Among the things he wrote was the air war lasted two weeks and the Pakistanis “kicked the Indians’ ass”, scoring a three-to-one kill ratio, knocking out 102 Russian-made Indian jets and losing 34 airplanes of their own.

Beyond the fog of war

The reality is that it took the IAF just over a week to achieve complete domination of the subcontinent’s skies. A measure of the IAF’s air supremacy was the million-man open air rallies held by the Indian prime minister in northern Indian cities, a week into the war. This couldn’t have been possible if Pakistani planes were still airborne.

Sure, the IAF did lose a slightly larger number of aircraft but this was mainly because the Indians were flying a broad range of missions. Take the six Sukhoi-7 squadrons that were inducted into the IAF just a few months before the war. From the morning of December 4 until the ceasefire on December 17, these hardy fighters were responsible for the bulk of attacks by day, flying nearly 1500 offensive sorties.

Pakistani propaganda, backed up by Yeager, had claimed 34 Sukhoi-7s destroyed, but in fact just 14 were lost. Perhaps the best rebuttal to Yeager’s lies is military historian Pushpindar Singh Chopra’s “A Whale of a Fighter”. He says the plane’s losses were commensurate with the scale of effort, if not below it. “The Sukhoi-7 was said to have spawned a special breed of pilot, combat-hardened and confident of both his and his aircraft’s prowess,” says Chopra.

Sorties were being launched at an unprecedented rate of six per pilot per day. Yeager himself admits “India flew numerous raids against Pakistani airfields with brand new Sukhoi-7 bombers being escorted in with MiG-21s”.

While Pakistani pilots were obsessed with aerial combat, IAF tactics were highly sophisticated in nature, involving bomber escorts, tactical recce, ground attack and dummy runs to divert Pakistani interceptors from the main targets. Plus, the IAF had to reckon with the dozens of brand new aircraft being supplied to Pakistan by Muslim countries like Jordan, Turkey and the UAE.

Most missions flown by Indian pilots were conducted by day and at low level, with the pilots making repeated attacks on well defended targets. Indian aircraft flew into Pakistani skies thick with flak, virtually non-stop during the 14-day war. Many Bengali guerrillas later told the victorious Indian Army that it was the epic sight of battles fought over their skies by Indian air aces and the sight of Indian aircraft diving in on Pakistani positions that inspired them to fight.

Indeed, Indian historians like Chopra have painstakingly chronicled the details of virtually every sortie undertaken by the IAF and PAF and have tabulated the losses and kills on both sides to nail the outrageous lies that were peddled by the PAF and later gleefully published by Western writers.

In this backdrop, the Pakistani claim (backed by Yeager) that they won the air war is as hollow as a Chaklala swamp reed. In the Battle of Britain during World War II, the Germans lost 2000 fewer aircraft than the allies and yet the Luftwaffe lost that air war. Similarly, the IAF lost more aircraft than the PAF, but the IAF came out on top. Not even Yeager’s biased testimony can take that away from Indians.


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: india; pakistan; russia; us
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To: AppyPappy
The Indians were in bed with the Soviets.

Yes, but for the purposes of this biased crap article, the Soviets (Evil Empire) are referred to as Russians.

21 posted on 01/19/2012 5:41:21 AM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: Zhang Fei

The pro-Russian tilt arose after India was denied American warplanes at the time (and America’s pro-Pakistan tilt was already present), but I’ve never heard of any proposed Indian attack on Diego Garcia. Any links on the subject?


22 posted on 01/19/2012 5:43:56 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Trailerpark Badass

Well it depend on you .Everyone look for their own interest 1st no matter an american or indian ..


23 posted on 01/19/2012 5:43:57 AM PST by MBT ARJUN
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To: AppyPappy

And Pakistan was and is an apartheid state where non-muslims are freely attacked and even enslaved.

Siding with Pakistan is like siding with the Third Reich.


24 posted on 01/19/2012 5:45:44 AM PST by LastNorwegian
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To: James C. Bennett
On top of that, the Russians quite early on shored up support for India in booting out French and Portuguese territorial claims from within her territory - especially Goa.

Goa wasn't Indian territory. When the Indians invaded, the Goanese fled in droves. The Indian position on Japanese war criminals was that the Japanese perpetrators of Bataan and various other atrocities against Americans and Europeans in the Far East were being railroaded. Indian leaders spent much of the war snuggling up to Imperial Japan, and Mahatma Gandhi was a pretty big fan of Nazi Germany.

25 posted on 01/19/2012 5:45:51 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: MBT ARJUN
How on earth would it depend on me?!

Thanks for the heads up.

26 posted on 01/19/2012 5:46:23 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: James C. Bennett

Exactly friend ,US tillted towards pakis for short term gain but lost in long run even till date they are paying for that.
And Indo-Russia recently celebrated 60years of friendship with Nuke submarine leased for 10years to India..


27 posted on 01/19/2012 5:48:40 AM PST by MBT ARJUN
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To: MBT ARJUN
Fascinating. I'm a fan of Yeager but if you read his autobiography you realize that his primary motivation is being a bon-vivant, always seeking ways to exploit his duties to enjoy himself.

Yeager: "I stayed in Pakistan for more than a year after the war ended and it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life. From 1972 until we came home in March of 1973, I spent most of my time flying in an F-86 Sabre with the Pakistani fighter outfits. I dearly loved the Sabre, almost as much as I loved the P-51."

28 posted on 01/19/2012 5:48:40 AM PST by Theophilus (Not merely prolife, but prolific)
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To: James C. Bennett

Exactly friend ,US tillted towards pakis for short term gain but lost in long run even till date they are paying for that.
And Indo-Russia recently celebrated 60years of friendship with Nuke submarine leased for 10years to India..


29 posted on 01/19/2012 5:50:25 AM PST by MBT ARJUN
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To: LastNorwegian
And Pakistan was and is an apartheid state where non-muslims are freely attacked and even enslaved. Siding with Pakistan is like siding with the Third Reich.

But it wasn't. That started very gradually in the 1970's, beginning with alcohol prohibition for Muslims in mid-1970. It's only in the 2000 time frame that Taliban-like incidents have started to occur on a regular basis.

30 posted on 01/19/2012 5:52:25 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei
Goa wasn't Indian territory. When the Indians invaded, the Goanese fled in droves.

Goa was lost to the Portuguese when they fired on Goan protesters demanding their exit from the territory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ZMrsIlnlo

Indian leaders spent much of the war snuggling up to Imperial Japan, and Mahatma Gandhi was a pretty big fan of Nazi Germany.

"Gandhi initially favoured offering "non-violent moral support" to the British effort when World War II broke out in 1939, but the Congressional leaders were offended by the unilateral inclusion of India in the war without consultation of the people's representatives. All Congressmen resigned from office. After long deliberations, Gandhi declared that India could not be party to a war ostensibly being fought for democratic freedom while that freedom was denied to India itself. As the war progressed, Gandhi intensified his demand for independence, calling for the British to Quit India in a speech at Gowalia Tank Maidan. This was Gandhi's and the Congress Party's most definitive revolt aimed at securing the British exit from India."

"Gandhi was criticised by some Congress party members and other Indian political groups, both pro-British and anti-British. Some felt that not supporting Britain more in its struggle against Nazi Germany was unethical. Others felt that Gandhi's refusal for India to participate in the war was insufficient and more direct opposition should be taken, while Britain fought against Nazism yet continued to contradict itself by refusing to grant India Independence. Quit India became the most forceful movement in the history of the struggle, with mass arrests and violence on an unprecedented scale."

Patel: A Life Gandhi, Rajmohan (1990).

31 posted on 01/19/2012 6:04:52 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett
I’ve never heard of any proposed Indian attack on Diego Garcia. Any links on the subject?

Not an essay as such - just commentary by various Indian servicemen on military forums. I don't remember the specific forum, but the keywords to search on would be India, Indira Gandhi, Diego Garcia and invasion or attack.

My sense about Indians is that they are intensely anti-American, even though they may mask that lifelong indoctrination in order to get along. Until the past decade or so, Pakistanis used to be pretty pro-American. That sentiment is probably at least part of what made American policymakers side with Pakistan for most of the post-WWII period. Why make nice with a country that hates your guts? And Pakistan's fervid anti-Americanism in recent years, far exceeding India's antagonism towards the US, is partly the reason for our tilt towards India.

32 posted on 01/19/2012 6:05:28 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: James C. Bennett

That excerpt just confirms Churchill’s low opinion of Gandhi. What. A. Scumbag.


33 posted on 01/19/2012 6:08:36 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

No.

Non-muslims were being killed and driven out from the start.
Non-muslim girls were being kidnapped and forcibly married since the inception of that state (and probably even longer).

Moderate islam has always been just a fantasy. The only thing that has changed is that as western influence wanes islam comes out of hiding and cities fall back into line with the rest of the country.


34 posted on 01/19/2012 6:09:24 AM PST by LastNorwegian
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To: Zhang Fei
And Pakistan was and is an apartheid state where non-muslims are freely attacked and even enslaved. Siding with Pakistan is like siding with the Third Reich.

Actually, this is true. Pakistan was lost when Jinnah's apparent moderation died with him in 1948. Nonetheless, no country once declared 'Islamic' can escape that fate.

This is precisely the blunders made with regard to Afghanistan and Iraq, allowing both to declare an Islamic "constitution". The vanquished Japanese didn't get to choose like that, so why were the Koranimals provided the privilege?

35 posted on 01/19/2012 6:09:24 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Haiku Guy

As a post-colonial response and due to a large Hindi population, India moved left and used the soviets as a blocking agent to help them firm up and develop infrastructure. In the cold war that was perceived as a large domino that had to be counteracted should it fall completely...thus Pakistan. It was only after many years they came around to more capitalistic thinking - still heavy on social projects, but the offset social spending by slower infrastructure projects. The infrastructure really didn’t kick off until the last 15 years and was provided by companies as payment for allowed market access.


36 posted on 01/19/2012 6:12:01 AM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.)
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To: James C. Bennett

The Indian pretext for annexing Goa was pretty weak. By that standard, we’d be within our rights to annex Grenada after Bernard Coard started slaughtering his political opponents.


37 posted on 01/19/2012 6:13:35 AM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Give you sense a break.
And Why Indians are anti american ?
?
> Because US president is being loved by Indians more than his own countrymens
>Because US for the 1st time in the history supports India for permanent UNSC SEAT
>For the 1st for an exceptional seat in NSG without signing any CTBT or bonds .
>Supporting India from grass root to top strageic fronts.

So stop B.S and propganda about being Indians are anti americans.
Am an indian and I love US .
Tell me you want some more?


38 posted on 01/19/2012 6:21:19 AM PST by MBT ARJUN
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To: Zhang Fei
A lot of Indians actually share that opinion with regard to Gandhi. The bulk of the Hindus hate him today, and it was one of them who actually assassinated him - for being sympathetic towards Pakistan - something related to a transfer of money from India to Pakistan over a dispute.

Churchill did play a role in India's Bengal Famine, and apparently regretted it on his deathbed, confiding to his doctor that he was "wrong about India."

- Rediff

39 posted on 01/19/2012 6:23:10 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: Zhang Fei
The Indian pretext for annexing Goa was pretty weak. By that standard, we’d be within our rights to annex Grenada after Bernard Coard started slaughtering his political opponents.

LOL, next thing you'll want would be to return the territory between and including California and Texas to the Mexicans!

The Portuguese should have quit when the British left, instead of having to suffer being booted out militarily for trying to support a lost cause.

40 posted on 01/19/2012 6:27:44 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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