Helion's Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Vol. 2

Author/Artists: Ravi Rikhye


Helion  Publishing


$29.95 MSRP from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 86 pages, softcover, approx 100 images
ISBN 978-1-914059-34-6

One area of fairly recent history that I've come to enjoy reading about has been the various conflicts between India and Pakistan. While they have always had the ability to turn into really horrendous conflicts, in most cases, they have ended without turning into a major conflagration.

The most recent major conflict between the two was in 1971, though there have been a number of smaller actions since then and in some cases they still continue. The 1971 war saw the invasion of East Pakistan by India and the formation of the nation of Bangladesh as a result. That was covered in the first volume. This one concentrates on the northwest area of the India/Pakistan border in an area generally referred to as Kashmir. Of course, Kashmir is only a part of this part of the world, but it has been an area of contention every since the division. It is also where there were major clashes during the 1971 war.

Despite the image of the Hunter on the cover, this book covers the ground campaign. The war in the west was rife with poor leadership, hesitant planning and, at least on the Pakistani side of things, a paucity of manpower and modern equipment. For the most part, the Indians were on the defensive and it wasn't until Pakistani forces had made inroads that they went on the offensive. Even then many opportunities were lost due to either political meddling or lack of initiative.

The author has done a superb job of researching this one including both Pakistani and Indian archives, though much comes from the Indian side. What I really appreciate is the inclusion of more than the usual number of maps that show how each of the battles played out. You also are provided with some great period photos and the usual number of well done, full color profiles and artwork. In all, a great book on this important campaign and one that I can easily recommend to you.

 December 2023

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