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|Allegiance|| British India
|| Royal Indian Navy
|Years of service||1938-1947, 1947-1976|
|Commands held||Eastern Naval Command|
Vice Admiral Nilakanta Krishnan Padma Bhushan, DSC, PVSM (1919 – January 1982), was the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War. He is credited with using a very innovative strategy, while commanding the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, in the Bay of Bengal. He is believed to have tricked the Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi, which was on a search and destroy mission, into entering Visakhapatnam; where it was eliminated. Krishnan was the youngest son of Rao Bahadur Mahadeva Nilakanta Ayyar (an Executive Engineer  ). While his eldest brother Nilakanta Mahadeva Ayyar pursued his career in the Indian Civil Service cadre, Krishnan joined the Royal Indian Navy. Under his leadership, the aircraft carrier's Sea Hawks struck shipping in the Chittagong and Cox's Bazar harbors, sinking or incapacitating most ships in harbor. His command during the war, led the crew of Vikrant to earn two Mahavir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras.
Nilakanta Krishnan was appointed Sub-Lieutenant of the Royal Indian Navy on 1 September 1940.; this was a time, when India was still a part of the British Empire. In 1942 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "courage, enterprise and devotion to duty in operations in the Persian Gulf". He had been serving on HMIS Investigator at that time, Admiral Krishnan retired from the Indian Navy in 1976.
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- Krishnan, Nilakanta (2011). Krishnan, Arjun, ed. A Sailor's Story. Punya Publishing. ISBN 978-8189534134.
- Krishnan, Nilakanta (1980). No way But Surrender — An Account of the Indo-Pakistani War in the Bay of Bengal. Vikas,. ISBN 0706910184.