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Remembering Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw: 5 lesser-known facts about India’s greatest soldier

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 03 April 2019, 11:46 AM
Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw known as Sam Bahadur, the greatest military commander of India was born today
Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw known as Sam Bahadur, the greatest military commander of India was born today

Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw known as Sam Bahadur, the greatest military commander of India was born today. His military career spanned over four decades and has fought in five major wars. Sam Bahadur started his service with the British Indian Army during World War II. It was under his leadership that India won the war that led to the creation of Bangladesh under his leadership. Manekshaw joined the first intake of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun in 1932. He was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion, Royal Scots, and later posted to the 4th Battalion, 12th Frontier Force Regiment. In World War II, he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. 

Manekshaw was selected as part of the first batch of cadets called "The Pioneers", his class also produced Smith Dun and Muhammad Musa, future commanders-in-chief of Burma and Pakistan. Manekshaw married Siloo Bode on 22 April 1939 in Bombay. The couple had two daughters, Sherry and Maya (later Maja), born in 1940 and 1945 respectively.

Sam Manekshaw: Top 5 facts about the military commander

  • When Sam Manekshaw was asked what would have happened if he had opted for Pakistan during partition, to which he replied, “then Pakistan would have won all wars.”
  • Sam Manekshaw’s famous quotes is: “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or he is a Gorkha”.
  • He was awarded the Military Cross in 1942, the Padma Bhushan in 1968 and the Padma Vibhushanin 1972.
  • Sam Manekshaw guaranteed Indira Gandhi’s victory in the 1971 War if she allowed him to handle the conflict on his own terms, and set a date for it; Indira agreed. He prepared the Army for war from April to December 1971. On the eve of the war, Indira Gandhi again asked General Maneksaw if he was ready for the war. He replied: ‘I am always ready Sweetie’. He said this because of his Parsi connection (Indira’s husband  Feroze Gandhi was Parsi).
  • Annually, on 16 December, "Vijay Diwas" is celebrated in memory of the victory achieved under Manekshaw's leadership in 1971. On 16 December 2008, a postage stamp depicting Manekshaw in his field marshal's uniform was released by then President Pratibha Patil. 
First Published: Wednesday, April 03, 2019 11:46 AM
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