Indian Army’s campaign’s blitzkrieg techniques exploited weaknesses in the Pakistani positions and bypassed their opposition. Faced with insurmountable odds, the Pakistan Military capitulated in less than a fortnight. Some of the major battles fought by the Indian Army in the 1971 war were the battle of Basantar, battle of Gangasagar, battle of Hilli and the battle of Bogra besides several others.
On the western front, the Indian Navy carried out a daring operation in concept and execution by carrying out a raid on Karachi harbour. On the night of 4th/5th December, Indian ships approached the harbour making light of the gunfire from the enemy. The first target they hit was a destroyer 'Khyber'. Another ship, possibly a minesweeper, disintegrated almost immediately. A third ship was hit; it exploded into flames and sank. Indian missile boats then attacked the oil tanks on ‘Keamari’ island and left it ablaze for several days.
In the eastern sector, India’s aircraft carrier ‘INS Vikrant’, naval frigates ‘Brahmaputra’ and ‘Beas’ executed a complete blockade of coast of East Pakistan. On 4th December 1971, Vikrant’s aircraft struck the airfield at Cox’s Bazaar. By late afternoon, the action was moved to the Chittagong harbour. Six Pakistani ships in the outer anchorage were damaged in a rocket attack. The harbours AT ‘Khulna’, ‘Mongla’ and ‘Chalna’ were raided on the night of 5th/6th December. At Mongla, two gun boats were sunk and two more were rendered useless. On 8th December, three gun boats and the army barracks in Chittagong were destroyed.
In Bangladesh, the IAF achieved total air superiority within the first 24 hours of the outbreak of hostilities. This enabled it to concentrate undividedly on operations in support of the Army. In order to cut off the withdrawal of Pakistani troops to Dacca from the Mymensing area, it was decided to airdrop No. 50 Para Brigade, between 6th to 12th December, forming aerial bridges and lifting 5000 troops and 51 tonnes of equipment across the mighty Meghna river to Rajpura, Narsingdi and Narayanganj. IAF helicopters were extensively used by the army for 'air-bridging' innumerable water obstacles criss-crossing the countryside. This went a long way in speeding up the campaign and reducing casualties. On 11th December, in another significant operation, 22 Dakotas, 20 Packets, 6 AN-12s and 2 Caribous were used to para-drop 2 Para Batallion at Tangail to prevent retreating enemy troops from reinforcing the Dhaka garrison. Entire operation was completed with clock-work precision in just 30 minutes. This was the first large scale para operation ever undertaken by the IAF in war. Years of methodical joint training paid handsome dividends. Such operations were made possible only because total command of the air had been achieved by the strike force of the IAF.