New Delhi: Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw will never be forgotten by India and certainly not by our armed forces, which he had commanded as the Chief of Staff with flying colours. His professionalism, bravado, and undying loyalty to the country won us the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
Today is his 11th death anniversary but still his legacy lives on in every officer’s heart. Chief of Army, Bipin Rawat and all other ranks of the force paid homage to Sam Manekshaw. The Army is ever in debt to Manekshaw for making it into an effective instrument of war.
Sam Bahadur, as he was often called, was the architect of many military victories. He is credited for crafting India’s greatest military victory in the Indo-Pak war of 1971 which led to the creation of Bangladesh.
Manekshaw was born in 1914 and participated in the Second World War and distinguished himself in combat. He was awarded the Military Cross on the battle field of Burma in 1942 as he lay on the ground seriously wounded by a sub machine gun fire. Moments earlier he had succeeded in capturing a key position by leading his company in a counter-attack against Japanese forces.
His military career spanned four decades and five wars and is the only person in independent India to be honored with the rank of Field Marshal.
While India suffered at the hands of the Chinese troops when red army swept into India through the North East in 1962, it was Sam Manekshaw who brought back the morale and spirit among the Indian soldiers.
However, Manekshaw was heading the Indian Army during 1971 when the Indo-Pak war broke out. This time India was fully prepared and the army delivered a severe blow to Pakistan and won the war.
Sam Manekshaw retired from active service in 1973 after he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.
He died in a Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu on this day in 2008 at the age of 94.
Incidentally, actor Vicky Kaushal, has announced that he will potray the role of Sam Manekshaw in a yet untitled movie directed by Meghna Gulzar.