Showing posts from November, 2017

The Sinking of Afonso de Albuqueque: 1961

The December 1961 Indian invasion of the Portuguese colony of Goa resulted in one of the few surface actions of the post-WWII period. Although not well documented and little known outside of Portugal and India, the Battle of Mormugao Harbor and the larger naval operations surrounding it are interesting and worth examining. After Britain granted India independence in 1947, Portugal continued to maintain its three coastal enclaves of Goa, Diu, and Daman. Although they were arguably more symbolic than economically important, Portugal resisted turning the colonies over to India and, in 1961, India resolved to take them by force. Operation Vijay (the name was later reused for a 1999 operation in Kargil) was a corps level joint offensive involving tens of thousands of soldiers, dozens of aircraft, and most of the Indian Navy. When India gained independence, her navy consisted of a small force of sloops and frigates crewed by ex-Royal Navy sailors. Understanding the importance of a s