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Timeless Tales of Naval Narratives

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Vision that leads to success necessitates a clarity of perspective that must be built on the foundation of historical legacy. One arena in which this presents its soundest illustration is in the maritime dimension.” Timeless Wake : The Legacy of the Royal Indian Navy during World War II – Johnson Odakkal

The gripping compilation of relatively unsung narratives of naval legacy nearly eluded a treasured authorship. When Commander Mohan Narayan, the then Curator of Maritime History Society, mentored by Western Naval Command of Indian Navy asked me to consider writing on the Royal Indian Navy in World War II, I declined. The society and the Curator, the Patron Emeritus, Late Vice Admiral MP Awati and Founder Trustee, Lat Admiral JG Nadkarni had more faith in me. I am eternally grateful that in a meeting near the backwaters of Kochi in Kerala, I agreed to take on the assignment that would be released as my first book on December 4th, 2013 at Navy House, Mumbai.

Do read the book to find a timeless saga of the World War II. Set as a seamless bridge from Indian mercantile and naval past to an emerging navy of young India, it is a fitting narrative to heed in the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (commemoration of 75 years of independent India)! It unfolds action across a vast theatre, from North Atlantic to Singapore Strait and from Madagascar to Arakan in then Burma apart from East Africa, Arabian Gulf and South Indian Ocean.

A review published in the Hindu on December 24th, 2013 called the book "a reader's delight."

The inspirational saga of Timeless Wake was part of a great conversation led by Paul Woodadge, a British born battlefield guide and historian living in Normandy, France. He is a published author and runs the WW2TV Channel. The engagement with the author of “Timeless Wake” – Dr Johnson Odakkal, an Indian Navy Veteran and a Maxwell Leadership Certified Coach brought alive the multi-spectral nature of the maritime theatre. The show was aired at 11:30 am CEST / 4 pm IST on WW2TV YouTube Channel. on Tuesday, March 15th, 2022. It was encouraging to see an audience across the globe seek to know more on this fascinating segment of naval history. There will be a follow up show sometime soon.

Know more of the show guest can be found at


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