Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Indian Submarine Intrigue: The Diablo is in the Details

During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani crisis, the USS Enterprise sailed for the Bay of Bengal...

PM Indira Gandhi: What are you going to do?

Admiral S M Nanda: Madam I have given instructions to my captains to treat them as friends, and to invite them on board for a drink. (American ships do not serve alcohol).

Pakistan's Military had predictably decided to neutralize India's aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. PNS Ghazi, Pakistan's first sub, was expected to be a decisive weapon in the 1971 war.

Admiral Nanda, India's Naval leader, recalls how he fooled Pakistan into sending their only long-range submarine to stalk the Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant outside Visakhapatnam, while the carrier was safely in Andamans waters too shallow for a sub.

The Ghazi, formerly USS Diablo SS-479, was a long-range submarine leased to Pakistan in 1963. The lease was renewed in 1967. The sub was the flagship of Pakistan's Navy until it sank in 1971. Able to carry up to 28 torpedoes and fitted for minelaying capability, she was still considered a potent threat. During the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, the Ghazi had won 10 awards including two decorations of Sitara-i-Jurat and the President's citations.

A floating, American-made lifejacket hinted to the Indian Navy that the Ghazi had been sunk with all hands on 4 December 1971. The position was marked, and divers returned with the sub PNS Ghazi's logbook.

India's Navy claims the submarine was sunk by two depth charges from the destroyer INS Rajput after it sighted Ghazi diving diving from periscope depth. Pakistan, however, maintains that Ghazi sank in a mine-laying accident.

The United States and the Soviets offered to raise the submarine at their expense, but India's Government rejected both offers. The Ghazi's log book, and official Pakistani tapes were later displayed in India's Eastern Naval Command.[1]

Submarines are always silent and strange.


At 26 March, 2007 21:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Diablo was a well built sub in its time. While in American hands it made over 12,000 dives! I was aboard during the Korean War and we hit every port on the east coast from Nova Scotia to Key West plus most of the islands south of the keys. We were always a bit short of crew members but they were exceptionally qualified at sea and absolutely insane ashore! At the time, Batista ruled Cuba and Havana was really wild! Dan L.

At 27 March, 2007 00:45, Blogger Vigilis said...

Dan L., thanks for your interesting, personal comments about Diablo.


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