Sam Mannekshaw, the legend,passes away

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Wellington, Tamil Nadu, Jun 27 (UNI) Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw (94) passed away at the Wellington Military Hospital.

In a long career spanning nearly four decades, from the British era and World War II to the three wars against China and Pakistan after India's Independence in 1947, Manekshaw, hero of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, was the first of only two military officers to hold the highest rank of Field Marshal, the other being Kodandera Madappa Cariappa.

Born in Amritsar to Parsi parents who immigrated to Punjab from the small town of Bulsar on the Gujarat Coast on April 3, 1914, Sam Manekshaw became the eigth Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1969.

After completing his schooling in Amritsar and Sherwood College, Nainital, he joined the first batch of 40 cadets at Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehra dun on October 1, 1932.

He passed out of the IMA in December 1934 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Indian Army. He held several regimental assignments and was first attached to the Royal Scouts and later to the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment.

During World War II, Manekshaw saw action in the Burma campaign on Sittang River as a Captain with the 4/12 Frontier Force Regiment (I) and had the rare distinction of being honoured for his bravery on the battle front itself.

Towards the close of World War II, Manekshaw was sent as the Staff Officer to General Daisy in Indo-China where, after the Japanese surrender, he helped rehabilitate over 10,000 POWs.

He, then, went on a six-month lecture tour to Australia in 1946, and after his return, served as a First Grade Staff Officer in the Military Operations Directorate.

Manekshaw showed acumen for planning and administration while handling the issues related to partition in 1947, and later put to use his battle skills during the 1947-48 Jammu and Kashmir operations.

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