Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (3 April 1914 – 27 June 2008) was one of the greatest military commander India had.
Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC also known as Sam Bahadur (Sam the Brave). At the age of 15, he asked his father to send him to London to become a gynecologist. His father refused to send him and Manekshaw took the entrance examination for enrollment into the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun.
“Loss of Medical profession is the gain of Indian Army”.
1. Sam Manekshaw was the 8th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 8 June 1969 – 15 January 1973.
2. He was among the first batch of Indian Military Academy, Dehradun which consist of 40 cadets got commissioned to British Indian Army (1st October 1932 to 4th February 1934). The batch now known as “The Pioneers” included Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, General Muhammad Musa and Lieutenant General Smith Dun, who became the Army Chiefs of India, Pakistan, and Burma, respectively.
3. In his long military career, he saw action in five wars:
World War Two,
Indo Pakistan War of 1947,
Sino Indian War of 1962,
Indo Pakistan War of 1965
And the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
4. Commanded –
Defence Services Staff College
26th Infantry Division
The Infantry School
Director, Military Training
167 Infantry Brigade
GSO-I, Military Operations Directorate
Brigade Major, Razmak Brigade
5 Gorkha Rifles
Honorary Colonel Of The Regiment of the 8th Gorkha Rifles
5. During World War Two, Manekshaw saw action in Burma in the 1942. After capturing the target, he was hit by a burst of LMG bullets and was severely wounded in the stomach. When the surgeon asked what had happened to him, he replied that he was “kicked by a donkey”.
6. He led Indian Forces in victorious war against Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 that led to the liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971
7. Awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1972 the nation’s second highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan in 1968, Military Cross in 1942 and rose to the rank of Field Marshal on 1 January 1973. He was the first ever soldier of Indian Army to rose to the rank of Field Marshal.
8. One of the famous quotes by him is “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gorkha”
9. Served Indian Army nearly for 40years. 4 decades can you imagine? But he was on duty till he died because of his rank.
10. He died of complications from pneumonia at the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, on 0030 hours, 27 June 2008 at the age of 94. The Prime Minister, President or other leaders from the political class did not turn up at his funeral, nor was a national day of mourning declared.