Thursday, April 7, 2011

Remembering Field Marshal SMH Manekshaw

Ref Blogpost: Field Marshal SMH Manekshaw
Dear Col Anand,
Thank you for your painstaking research on Field Marshal Manekshaw. I would however like to make a few observations so as to get the facts right.
Sam Manekshaw was never commissioned into the 8th Gorkha Rifles. He was commissioned into the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment which is now in Pakistan. On Partition he was transferred to the 5th Gorkha Rifles(FF) which was also a Frontier Force Regiment.
He was posted to MO Dte as a Lt Col at Partition and was promoted in situ as a Col. Sam never commanded an infantry battalion and has never served with the 8th Gorkha Rifles.
Although he was on the panel of the 5th Gorkha Rifles(FF), he was not made Col on the Regt because there were officers of the Regt who were senior to him. Sometime after 1958, when Maj Gen AS Pathania, MVC,MC was made Col of the 5th Gorkha Rifles(FF) Sam was offered and accepted Colonelcy of the 8th Gorkha Rifles and that regiment thereafter became ' His Regiment'. I hope I have been able to help you in some small way.
Best wishes
Maj Gen Ian Cardozo (Retd)

Dear Brigadier Kamboj,
I read with interest the details about Sam Manekhaw compiled by Brig LK Anand. Without detracting from his splendid effort, I would like to submit a few corrections and additions. These are based on Sam’s biography that is part of my book LEADERSHIP IN THE INDIAN ARMY – BIOGRAPHIES OF TWELVE SOLDIERS. The draft was vetted by Sam himself, not once but thrice, so I think it should be accurate.
The name of Sam’s mother was Hilla, and not Heerabai.
Sam did his Senior Cambridge from, Sherwood Collge, Nainital. He then joined and Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar, to study for his F.Sc. He Joined IMA on 1 October 1932. Sam passed out on 22 December 1934. He was commissioned on 1 February 1935, with the date of seniority fixed as 4 February 1934.
Sam was commissioned in 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment (FFR) and not 8th Gurkha Rifles. In fact, he never serviced in a Gurkha unit. Shortly after Independence, while he was in MO, he was posted as CO 3/5 Gorkha Rifles. However, before he could move, fighting broke out in Kashmir and his posting orders were cancelled. He was promoted Lt Col and Brig in MO itself. He never commanded a battalion. In April 1952, Sam was given command of 167 Infantry Brigade at Ferozepur. IN December 1957, Sam was promoted Major General and posted as GOC 26 Infantry Division. He became a Lt Gen in November 1962 (and not Dec 1963, as stated) and given command of 4 Corps. In December 1963, he was appointed GOC-in-C Western Command
He was married on 22 April 1939, to Silloo Bode. He has two daughters, Maja and Sherry. As regards the anecdotes, there are just too many. A large number are there in my book.
Maj Gen VK Singh

Dear Brig Kamboj
The following Para from the biography of Sam Manekshaw (RMS 140/2011) illustrates that for want of this element alone in our chiefs, not only the Defence Forces, but also the whole nation is suffering the manipulations of babus and politicians. Courage, gallantry, bravery, valour and all such words which every general chants at meetings with juniors sound hollow after witnessing all that is going on in this country. We are not the sentries of the nation; we are the guardians of the nation.
Is Military Watchdog for the Looters?
"Sub Para(h) Professional Competence. Once a defence secretary made an observation on the note written by Manekshaw for the PM and the Defence Minister. He walked straight into Mrs Gandhi’s office. He politely told her that if she found the defence secretary more competent than him on military matters, then she did not have a need for him. The defence secretary was given a new job."
Col Ram Gulrajani

Dear Chander,
Dehradun remembered Field Marshal SMH Manekshaw on 3rd April his birthday by cutting cake and paying rich tibutes to this unique soldier by lighting candles before his portrait at Hotel Regent. arranged by Marshal School and Dehradun Ex Servicemen. Different Papers in the town published articles eulogising his traits to mark the occasion. One such article published Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s Birth Anniversary- click here. We can never forget this illustrous soldier and he will keep youngsters inspiring the great traditions of Army which he practically followed in his life and rose to achieve the highest position.
Veteran Brig KG Behl
President DESL

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