Helion's Against All Odds
|Author/Artists:||Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail|
|$29.95 MSRP from Casemate|
88 pages, softcover, over 100
The partition of British India following the independence of India created the nation of Pakistan. At the time, Pakistan was divided into two parts. One was the much larger and current nation and the other was East Pakistan, which was far to the east. Throughout the history of Pakistan, India has been fairly belligerent towards this Muslim nation. This stems from the large loss of life on both sides between Hindus and Muslims during the partition. India did not fare as well as they wanted in 1965 during the short war with Pakistan and realized that it may well be possible to take over East Pakistan.
The distance between the two Pakistans was such that the East was fairly isolated and near impossible to reinforce if war broke out. This situation was not helped by the embargo on Pakistan placed by many western nations, including the US. This was particularly troublesome as many of Pakistan's weapons systems were originally purchased from the US and spares were an issue.
War in East Pakistan was begun by Indian backed insurgents. Slowly India itself started ramping up support and eventually started shelling East Pakistan border posts, prior to invading the nation. This was seen as an opportunity by Pakistan to take an equal amount of land from the Kashmir region, an area where past and future conflicts occurred.
Though spread thin, the Pakistan Air Force was well trained and motivated. They did a superb job of defeating the Indian Air Force in 1965, and while still a superb force, the IAF had learned from their mistakes. To skip a lot of the contents of the book, the war in East Pakistan was over quickly and the nation of Bangladesh was formed. In the west, it turned into a stalemate and an armistice was signed.
The author of this book has really done his research while writing this one. He is a retired Pakistan AF Air Commodore and a little bit of bias creeps in from time to time, but his work comes across as quite neutral. I found that the author's writing ability is first rate. He makes wide use of some great adjectives and adverbs that one rarely sees used and it spices things up quite a bit. All of this is greatly enhanced by a quality batch of photos, maps and color profiles. I completely enjoyed reading this and can offer this one my highest recommendation.
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