Victory Day : The Battle of Shiromoni

News Desk, News Nation 360 : The 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh was comparatively short-lived but included some of the finest examples of modern-day warfare. As the Indians joined on the 3rd of December, Bangladesh theatre saw increased usage of heavy weaponry and tactics. Many of the 1971 battles remain important due to their unique strategies and tactics involved, often employed by the Indian army. The battle of Shiromani is one such. A fierce all-around battle fought in the Khulna region of Southern Bangladesh, at least 35 military schools have included the war strategy in their curriculum. There were two reasons for this, One, Pakistanis lost the battle of Garibpur to the Indian army, and second, they thought Khulna might be an escaping point just in case the war was lost. As the 7th fleet of the US navy was coming towards the Bay of Bengal, Pakistani Commander Hayat Khan chose Khulna as a vantage point. Khulna was an industrial city and Shiromani, the designated battleground was surrounded by rivers on several sides. It was a perfect point for die-hard battle and Pakistanis left no stone unturned. Bunkers, barbed wires, mines, and tanks were set up for one last showdown. Muktibahini, on the other hand, lacked the types of equipment needed to fight heavy armour, but their Indian colleagues had tank and air support to provide, alongside foot soldiers. From 10 to 13th of December, Shiromani was continuously pounded by Indian guns and aircraft. However, Muktibahini’s intelligence report stated the Pakistanis were to be fully prepared even after the continuous bombing of three days. Divided into 7 columns, Muki Bahini surrounded Pakistani position by 16th December. By this time, Dhaka fell but Hayat Khan and his soldiers decided to keep on fighting. A combined attack of tanks and guerillas, alongside an airstrike, was directed towards the enemy position. Eventually, the attack led to hand-to-hand combat among allied and Pakistani forces. However, surrounded by all sides by the joint command, Hayat Khan eventually gave up the defences and surrendered. The battle of Shiromoni remains a fine example of a combined air-tank-artillery-infantry battle. Also, the struggle shows the efficiency of the Joint Indo-Bangla command as they were able to defeat one of the finest units of the Pakistani invaders. The strategies and tactics remain a point of study in many defence schools even to this date. 

Report : Anustup Kundu