19-nov-70    to    11-dec-70

Operation Burlap

19-nov-70    to    11-dec-70

bangladesh East Pakistan cyclone relief

On the night of 12 November 1970, a tropical storm (known as a Cyclone in the Indian Ocean) that had been building to the south for some days, made landfall near the border of West Bengal (India) with East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

The effects were made worse by a tremendous storm surge driven by it from the Bay of Bengal and the funnelling effect of the coastline. Estimates of the casualties vary but up to half a million may have lost their lives and countless others were flooded out. Thousands of hectares of food crops were also destroyed.

Many services sent aid to relieve the victims of the Bhola Cyclone and ships from the Royal Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary were amongst the first on the scene. The role of HMS Hydra was primarily to re-chart the sea floor around the Ganges delta (after the 4 metre tidal wave had swept though it), assisted by recent satellite images from the US Navy, to ensure safe passage and anchorage for other relief vessels. HMS Intrepid and HMS Triumph both deployed, carrying Brunei Flight of 3 CBAS, a detachment from 847 NAS (and HMS Triumph) 200 Hovercraft Sq RCT, to the scene.


Dates UnitModels
    nov70 to dec70 UK 847NAS Royal Marines Wessex
    nov70 to dec70 UK 3 CBAS Royal Marines Scout

Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

helicopter   Individual helicopters

Model IDs
Westland Wessex HU.5 XT459     XT470     XT471     XT761    


Landing Ship/Platform Dock   Fearless class Royal Navy L11 HMS Intrepid,
Landing Ship/Platform Dock   Round Table class Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3005 RFA Sir Galahad,
Support Ship   Ness class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A344 RFA Stromness,
Support Ship   Triumph class Royal Navy A108 HMS Triumph,
Support Ship   OL class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A122 RFA Olwen,
Support Ship   Hecla class Royal Navy A144 HMS Hydra,
Support Ship   Regent class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A480 RFA Resource,

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