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Wednesday, September 29th 2004, 3:40pm

C. Naval Organization

The Indian Navy is organized into eight districts, corps, and commands.

At the top of the pyramid is the Fleet Admiral, who reports to the Minister of Defence. The current Fleet Admiral is Kashiram Paswan, who replaced Sanjay Das in early 1928.

Reporting to Admiral Paswan are eight senior officers, representing four geographic commands and four organizational commands. This does make the Indian Navy somewhat top heavy in theory.

Administrative Command is exactly that, an administrative body that deals with human resources, military law, training, and so forth. This Command is based in Madras, and is typically filled by a Rear-Admiral.

Capital Projects Command is responsible for acquiring, maintaining, and disposing of assets. This can include buildings, base facilities, warships, ordnance, and aircraft. With four major facilities - at Mumbai, Madras, Sittwe, and Trincomalee, plus smaller depots and bases elsewhere - it's generally necessary to fill the post with a Vice-Admiral.

Naval Aviation Command operates the fleet's aircraft and provides the groundcrews necessary to support them. This has been the case since the very first aircraft was acquired by the navy - though both plane and pilot were seconded from the Army Aviation Corps, they were administratively Navy. For its part, the Army would rather see the junior service with its own aircraft, pilots, and doctrine than have to actually get involved with "wet" operations. Since the Raj agrees, there's no real debate on the subject. The Naval Aviation Command at this time is commanded by a Brigadier - Army ranks are retained for this command.

Naval Infantry Corps at this time consists of a regiment-sized formation, though this is largely an administrative convenience. In practice, the Corps is primarily utilized as on-ship security, though they may also be put ashore for various duties if appropriate. The Corps does not have an amphibious assault capacity at this time, much to its dismay - the use of two Army regiments to take As Salif was greatly lamented within Naval Infantry circles. NIC is also commanded by a brigadier; again, army ranks apply here.

Western, Central, and Eastern Maritime Districts are all senior-level commands and have major combatants attached to their order of battle. All three are commanded by a Vice-Admiral, typically supplemented by a Rear-Admiral.

The Southern Maritime District is a junior command, with at most a cruiser attached to its order of battle. Consequently, the post is usually held by a Rear-Admiral or even Commodore.

The As Salif Squadron is an extension of the Western Maritime District, but is often reported separately due to the geographic difference.

Recent thinking has suggest that the Maritime Districts are no longer a useful way of dividing command authorities. Consideration is being given to breaking up the Navy along squadron lines instead. In many cases the same ships would be present in a certain area, but there would be less bureaucracy involved in transferring them between theatres.


Sunday, October 30th 2005, 12:27am


Major Warships

Battleships (BB): Rulers of the Mughal Dynasty
Aircraft Carriers (CV): Weapons
Heavy Cruisers (CA): Large cities
Light Cruisers (CL): Large cities
Daakuu (DK): Animals
Destroyers (DD): Smaller cities and towns
Torpedo Boats (TB): The letter "T" plus hull number
Submarines (SS): The letter "I" plus hull number
Monitors (BM): Notable non-Mughal sovereigns

Patrol and Escort Ships

Seaplane Carriers (CVS): Lakes and marine features
Frigates (PF): Mountains
Paratraatii (PP): Towns
Charavaahii (PC): Towns
Survey Ships (PS): Mountains

Coastal Forces

Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB): The letters "BT" plus hull number
ASW Launches (ASL): The letters "BA" plus hull number
Harbour Patrol Craft (PH): The letters "BH" plus hull number

Mine Warfare

Minelayers (CM): Rivers
Minesweepers (AM): Rivers

Fleet Train

Oilers (AO): Islands
Tenders (AT): Famous naval personnel
Repair Ships (AR): Retain pre-conversion name
Hospital Ships (AH): Adjectives appropriate to hospital type functions
Harbour Defence Vessels (AN): The letters "AN" plus hull number
Ocean-going Tugs (AU): Retain pre-acquisition name

Amphibious Assault

Landing Ship, Command (LSC): Famous army personnel
Landing Ship, Infantry (LSI): Famous army personnel
Landing Craft, Vehicle (LCV): The letters "LCV" plus hull number


Saturday, December 6th 2008, 2:37pm

Excerpts of The Sword of the Raj: History of the BNS 1900-1950; Chapter 4

The Effects of the Karachi Agreement

Although the Cleito Treaty was now dead Bharat recognized that the new alliance aimed directly at them and their allies was a threat to their continued existence. While the fleet by itself could be capable of facing the navies of certain European powers on a one to one fight with a good chance of victory the SEAR Pact basically eliminated the chances of the Fleet of surviving any long engagement with the combined European nations. When Persia opened the door for negotiations to end the British rule in Pakistan Bharat jumped to the opportunity of securing their Western Borders. In these circumstances the acceptance of naval limits to bring the Pakistan negotiations to a favorable conclusion was clearly a correct one. Bharat was prohibited to build any capital ship for a period of five years and to only have a total of fifteen ocean going submarines during the same five year period. Bharat was allowed to build two armored cruisers, the Delhi and the Mumbai-designed to serve as fast escorts for the new carriers. The plan for Bharat was to comply scrupulously with the Karachi Accord but the perceived political situation made them change their views.

…The Bharat’s 1936 Naval Plan followed the spirit of the letter but the perceived events by both sides made the BNS to start plans to bend the rules. The British perceived a threat by the large number of landing barges constructed by Bharat during 1936 and an even larger number announced for construction in 1937. Bharat saw the British agreements with the Middle East nations and Persia as an attempt to distance Bharat from their oil supplies plus similar agreements with the Middle East nations by the Dutch and the Turks during the same time period caused many to believe collusion between the British and the Dutch…

…In late 1936 the emergency plan of liners to support carriers conversions was studied to try to counter the increase in the number of British and Australian carrier construction. Finally the conversion of three fast liners was approved; with one ship approved for 1937 and two for 1938. That would give the BNS naval parity with the British-Australian in the Indian Ocean till the arrival of newer purpose built carriers later on…

…The misinformation campaign by Bharat in regard to the Satyakis was nothing compared to the one that followed the Hyderabad armored cruisers. The ships were announced as 210mm armed ships to comply with the Karachi and Australians agreements but their construction was timed with the end of both Agreements. The ships were going to be finally armed with 280mm; with the similarity to the SAE Radiance being noticed by the military experts when finally completed…

Extract of The Sword of the Raj: History of the BNS 1900-1950 Chapter 7

“The BNS was fascinated with the possibilities offered by the aircraft carrier almost from it’s inception…Moreover, from the early 1920’s onwards, it was clear that treaty carrier tonnage would be insufficient. Plans were therefore prepared for the conversion of liners to second-rate carriers, although in the late 1920’s there were no liners fast enough to be satisfactory in this role. This program included the design and construction of some long lead time mobilization items, such as lifts, in the early 1930’s and even the reduction of taxes to companies that designed ships specially tasked for emergency conversions during the same period. This program actually was activated during the Naval Plans of 1937 and 1938; making possible for the fleet to field an aircraft maintenance ship, an experimental carrier and a secondary role carrier without weakening the carrier strike force. In addition, the success of the initial conversions inspired later on the BNS Plan Division to use a Chapra class cruiser hull to build a light carrier taking precedent over the construction of a fleet carrier.”

Extract of The Sword of the Raj: History of the BNS 1900-1950 Chapter 8

“…the terms of the Cleito Treaty restricted the heavy cruisers of the signatories to 210mm guns except for some exceptions, being the Iberian ship El Cid the best know…while El Cid could be considered the father of the light fast battleships that appeared in the 1930’s you have to look on the direction of the small nations to see the appearance of the next generation of cruisers... the Polish Lew Class cruiser is considered as the first example of cruisers with a main armament over 210mm but it was the Mexican Villa the ship that started to exemplify the new class (armament 250mm guns or more, speeds over 30 knots and under 20000 tons) that reached their apex in the South African Radiance Class…”

“By this time proposals for a 280mm gun-under 20000 tons ‘super-cruiser” had being circulating within the BNS for some time. Such a ship could be ideal for the role of distant cruising in hostile waters, raiding and protecting the long lines of communication. It was argued that any European power attempt to outmatch them would deplete their battle fleet for the moment when they have to face the Japanese fleet; a fast battleship would of course be better, but those were in short supply. Moreover, at this time the concept of the carrier strike force was becoming more and more important, so important that a memorandum by the BNS Plans Division observed that the carrier program should determine the character of the cruiser program. This concept was the origin of the Delhi and Hyderabad classes. Quite possible no Chapra class heavy cruisers would have being built, have there had not being severe constraints in shipyard space and industrial resources; the papers of 1939-40 clearly stated that cruisers in the 12000 to 14000 tons range with armament over 210mm were considered very much a second-class investment. The great need were for ships to support the carriers, and for ships to support the battlefleet; for both functions the BNS considered that ships armed with dual purpose guns were required. The first attempts were the Patna Class, followed later by the Panvel’s and finally the Penshawar’s. While the major fleet commanders considered the Patna’s as only marginal and mostly refused to support enlarged versions they considered the Panvel’s as very capable ships or better yet a more powerful design based on then, the later named Penshawar’s.”

Extract of The Sword of the Raj: History of the BNS 1900-1950 Chapter 4

“…Bharat strategists recognized their fleet couldn’t stand up to the combined fleets of the European powers, their fleet being designed to weaken European reinforcements entering the Indian Ocean; with the Japanese and other Satsuma nations’ fleets given the coup d’grace…BNS came to see in it’s large, fast carriers the cores of powerful raiding and sea control forces, and it began to suspect the Australians and British would use their heavy carriers and light carriers in a similar raiding role, attacking Bharat’s interior lines. Considerations of raiding warfare, together with the Karachi Agreement political considerations, led in the 1930s to the design of the very large cruisers of the Delhi’s and Hyderabad’s classes. With the political constrains of the Karachi and Australian agreements it became clear that such formations, suitably concentrated into task forces, could replace the traditional battle fleet. Still the Big Gun cabal was strong enough to push for the construction of a fast battleship in 1940…”

“One important element of the BNS’ war plans was the requirement to seize forward bases for the fleet; from the early 1930’s the commando branch increased in size and during the late 1930’s construction of specialized assault ships was started. Troops had to be transported over some distance and air support was considered to be a problem; this is one of the reasons the carrier branch exploded during the 1940’s…”

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "perdedor99" (May 1st 2009, 4:24pm)