Nov 21 Armed Forces Day being observed in Bangladesh

Nov 21 Armed Forces Day being observed in Bangladesh

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Armed Forces Day is bring observed in Bangladesh on Saturday November 21. On this day in 1971 the members of Army, Navy and Air force of the Bangladesh liberation war were fully operational and launched a coordinated offensive against the Pakistani Army.On 21 November, after almost eight months into the war of liberation, all three forces led the joint operation simultaneously, marking the day to be the day as Armed Forces Day. The joining of these forces resulted in large areas along the border to be liberated every day. This allowed the Bangladesh Forces to disrupt the lines of communication within a few days. This day bears special significance in the history of Bangladesh and is being celebrated every year with due solemnity and importance, to honour the sacrifices made by the members of the Bangladesh Armed forces, who fought and gave their lives in the liberation war.
Bangladesh Liberation War initially commenced in the form of resistance movement as the Pakistan Army cracked down on 25 March 1971 primarily at Dhaka and subsequently extending it to the entire of Bangladesh. Gradually, the Bangladesh Forces organized small groups of guerrilla fighters who followed ‘hit and run’[3] tactics. As a third stage in the war, the Bengali military personnel who were members of Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force deserted their respective units to join Bangladesh Forces and organized them into regular units across the border of Indian territory primarily as Land Force. A small group of Naval Commandos also opened the Naval wing and a few Pilots and Airmen formed the Air Wing.
After a prolonged guerrilla warfare was launched by Bangladesh Forces, which continued for a number of months, the Bangladesh Army was formed. A further restructuring was undertaken, and the Bangladesh Forces were organised into three brigade size combat groups.
‘Z’ Force: Lieutenant Colonel Ziaur Rahman was the commander of this force. The brigade was formed with the 1st, 3rd and 8th Battalion of East Bengal Regiment on 7 July 1971. The Z Force was raised at the foot hills of Tura hill, opposite to Mymensingh.
‘K’ Force: Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) Khaled Mosharraf was the commander of this force. The brigade was formed at Agartala, with the 4th, 9th and 10th Battalion of East Bengal Regiment on the month of September 1971.
‘S’ Force: Major K M Shafiullah was the commander of this force. The Brigade was formed at Hezamara, with the 2nd and 11th Battalion of East Bengal Regiment on the month of October 1971.
Many of the bangali sailors and officers in the Pakistan Navy decamped, in order to form an emerging Bangladesh Navy. Initially, there were two ships Padma and Palash and 45 navy personnel. They prevented the supply of arms, ammunition and ration for the occupation forces. This operation from the Naval Commandos made Ports in Chittagong and Mongla highly lethal for the occupation forces.
The official date of formation of the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) is 28 September 1971 and it was launched formally by the Government on 8 October 1971. BAF was formed with all officers and airmen of Bengali origin serving in the Pakistan Air Force prior to the war. Out of 11 sectors, the most tactically significant sector, the Central Sector – Sector 11, was under the command of a BAF officer. The BAF started their operation from an abandoned airfield at Dimapur.
On December 16, 1971, the Pakistan Army of 93,000 surrendered to the allied forces of Bangladesh and India, heralding the Liberation of Bangladesh.
The observane of the day has started with laying of floral wreath at ‘Shikha Anirban’ (Eternal Flame) at Dhaka Cantonment by the President, the Prime Minister and the Services Chiefs. In the afternoon a reception at Senakunja, Dhaka Cantonment is held where the Prime Minister, ministers, the leader of opposition and other high civil and military officials attend. In other Cantonments, naval and air bases similar receptions are held.
A special TV programme “Anirban” has been broadcast on different TV channels and special newspaper supplements have been published in national dailies. Receptions are also held by the Prime Minister and Service Chiefs for recipients of the gallantry award winning freedom fighter. Improved meals for family members are served in all military stations. The Armed Forces Division has brought out a special publication with articles related to the War of Independence and armed forces.
The Armed Forces Day is observed on 21 November. Official functions are held at “Bangabhaban”, Dhaka, “Armed Forces Division Headquarters”, Dhaka Cantonment, and at every military installation throughout the country. – News Desk

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