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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Underestimating India- A story of 1965 Indo-Pakistani war

The origins of many a war in history remain disputed to this day. The 1965 War between India and Pakistan, however, has the unique distinction of there being utter confusion over the date on which it began. For Pakistan this happened only on September 6 of that year, when the Indian army started its march on Lahore. Remarkably, this date is still observed as the “Defence of Pakistan Day” every year. For many Indians the war started on September 1 and lasted 22 days. For, at the beginning of September a taskforce of Pakistani tanks had attacked the Chhamb-Jaurian sector in a bid to make a dash for Akhnoor, the fulcrum of the supply line from the rest of India to Jammu and Kashmir. The assault was thwarted by this country’s use of air power.
It is a different matter that all the resolutions of the UN Security Council demanded of both countries to withdraw their troops to the “positions they had occupied on August 5”. Most significantly, exactly this was the basis of the Tashkent Declaration that Lal Bahadur Sashtri and Field-Marshal Ayub Khan signed in the Central Asian city under the Soviet auspices on January 10, 1966. The prime significance of August 5 is that on that day were detected massive infiltrations of Pakistani troops in Mufti and other irregulars into Kashmir. As in 1947, so 18 years later this was Pakistan’s first step towards wresting Kashmir from this country.
The infiltrations, code-named Operation Gibraltar, were the brainchild of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then foreign minister, assisted by the veteran and hawkish foreign secretary, Aziz Ahmed, Defence Secretary Nazir Ahmed and Major-General Ahktar Hussain Malik, General Officer Commanding of Pakistan’s 12 Division. The general drew up the operational plan. Ayub Khan, a cautious man, was most reluctant to risk a war with India. But Bhutto and his cohorts talked him into it. If Pakistan wanted to wrest Kashmir by armed force, Bhutto argued, 1965 was the “last chance”. The opportunity would vanish once the expansion and reorganisation of the Indian Army was complete in a few years’ time. At the opportune time, said Bhutto, India was badly shaken by its “humiliating” defeat in the 1962 War with China, Nehru’s death, his successor Shastri’s “ineffectualness”, acute food shortage and a virulent anti-Hindi agitation in the South. “It was now or never”. Bhutto’s logic did appear persuasive. But both he and Ayub failed to realize that its two fundamental assumptions — that the arrival of “raiders” would start a revolt in the “discontented” Kashmir valley, and that because of “fear of China”, India “would not dare” extend the fighting in Jammu and Kashmir into a “general war” — could be dangerously wrong.
Ironically, after the Bhutto cabal had succeeded in convincing him, Ayub suddenly put his finger on Akhnoor on the sand model during a briefing, and said: “Why don’t you go for the jugular and cut Kashmir off from India”? He sanctioned more men and money for this assault that was code-named Operation Grand Slam. He also declared: “Hindu morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place. Such opportunities should, therefore, be sought and exploited”. The crowning irony is that — in the words of his information secretary, confidant, biographer and indeed alter ego, Altaf Gauhar — while Ayub uttered these words he “did not know that Gibraltar had failed”. By then Indian troops and paramilitary forces had not only driven the infiltrators out but also seized Pakistani strategic heights, most famously the Haji Pir Pass.
In order to cover up this stark failure, those who had kept the Field-Marshal in the dark immediately launched Grand Slam though it was meant to begin only after the infiltrators had succeeded in “setting the Kashmir valley on fire”. By this time, Major-General Akhtar Malik had become thoroughly discredited among his peers. The Army Chief, General Musa, relieved him of the command of Grand Slam and appointed swash-buckling Major-General (later general and army chief and later still president) Yahya Khan in his place.
Grand Slam was still stuck when at first light on September 6,Shastri did what he had publicly told Pakistan he would do. He sent the Indian Army into Pakistan’s heartland in Punjab in the direction of the prized city of Lahore. In a memorable phrase, Altaf Gauhar says in his biography of Ayub Khan that when “India attacked Pakistan the most surprised person was Ayub Khan”. He adds: “Ayub’s surprise was shared by the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army (Gen. Musa) — Ayub was now facing the moment of truth”.
In the fog of war, as fortunes changed, both sides made mistakes. Pakistan had occupied the Indian village of Khem Karan just across the border on September 8. From there it launched its counter-offensive with its second armoured division in the vanguard. Strangely, the Indian side was unaware of the existence of this formation. Probably in a moment of panic the chief of the army staff, General J. N. Chaudhury, ordered the Western Army Commander, Lt.-General Harbaksh Singh, to withdraw to the east of the Beas river. To his credit, Harbaksh refused. Meanwhile Pakistanis were overconfident of cutting through Indian defences because they felt that their state-of-the-art Patton tanks would get the better of India’s outdated Shermans and Centurians. Precisely the opposite happened. After an epic battle, Asal Uttar, not far from Khem Karan, became the “graveyard of US-supplied Pakistani Pattons”.
Let Gauhar tell the rest of the story of “September 11, a fateful day”. Ayub had taken his acolyte into his office and showed him “on a map how the counter-offensive personally ordered by him was progressing and was extremely optimistic about its outcome”. At that precise moment, Ayub’s Military Secretary, General Rafi, “walked into the room in a state of great agitation and almost shouted that the Indians had breached the Madhupur canal — The Khem Karan counter-offensive had run aground, and with that had collapsed Pakistan’s entire strategy. For Pakistan the war was over”.
Yet it took 12 more days before the UN-sponsored cease-fire came into effect. Why and how will have to be narrated later. 

                          PICTURES OF THE INDO-PAKISTANI WAR OF 1965

Destroyed or abandoned Pakistani Patton tanks near Khem Kharan  after the battle of Asal uttar.

         File:Brig.Hari Singh at Barkee Capture.jpg
Lt.Col Hari singh  of the India's 18th cavalry posing outside a captured Pakistani police station (Barkee) in Lahore district.

      File:1965 Infiltrators.jpg
A declassified  US state department letter wich shows the existence of hundreds of 'infiltrators'  in Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir . Dating upto the events running to 1965 war.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

List of Chief of Army staff of the !ndian army

General Sir Mcgregor Macdonald Lockhart KCB, CIE, MC
(15 Aug 1947 to 31 Dec 1947)
1.     Born on 23rd Jun 1893, General Sir Robert McGregor Macdonald Lockhart, KCB, CIE, MC was commissioned in the British Indian Army and joined 51 Sikhs Frontier Force on 08th Mar 1914.   He served as Military Attache to  Kabul from Mar 1934 to Dec 1935 and DSD of India from Dec 1939 to Dec 1941.  In Apr 1945 he was posted to Southern Army. The General Officer relinquished the appointment of General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Southern Army in Jun 1947. He was appointed Commander in Chief of the Indian Army from 15th Aug 1947 to 31st Dec 1947.
2.     After the World War he served on the World Scout Committee of the World Organisition of the Scout movement from 1953 to 1959. He was awarded the Bronze Wolf Award, the only distinction of the World Organisition of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world scouting, in 1961.

General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher, CB, OBE, MC
(01 Jan 1948 to 15 Jan 1949)
1.     Born on 31st Aug 1895, General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher, CB, OBE, MC was commissioned in the British Indian Army on 15th Aug 1914. The General officer has held various appointments including Assistant Adjutant General from Jan 1941 to Jun 1941 and Additional Quartermaster General, in Iraq , from Jun 1941 to Mar 1942. He was appointed as General Officer Commanding Bengal and Assam Area in 1946 and latter took over as General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Eastern Command,  in 1946 to 1947.
2.     Later, the General Officer took over as Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters, and was  appointed Commander in Chief and Chief of General Staff of the Indian Army from 31st Dec 1947  to  15th Jan 1949.


Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, OBE
(16 Jan 1949 to 14 Jan 1953)
1.     Field Marshal K M Cariappa, fondly known as 'Kipper', was born on 28th January 1900 in Mercara state, now called  Karnataka. He received the  King's Commission in 1919 with the first group of Indian cadets, and in 1933, was the first  Indian officer to join Staff College, Quetta. In 1942, Lt Col K M Cariappa raised 7th Rajput Machine Gun Battalion (now 17 Rajput). In 1946, as a Brigadier, he joined the Imperial Defence College, UK. Recalled from the UK to serve  as  a  member of the Army Sub Committee of the Forces Reconstitution Committee, during the partition, he achieved  an  amicable settlement for the division of the army between India and Pakistan.
2.     On 21st November 1947, Lieutenant General Cariappa took over as Army Commander, Eastern Command.On 20th January 1948, he took over as Army Commander, Delhi and East Punjab Command (now Western Command). Finally on 15th January 1949, General Cariappa became the first Commander - in - Chief of the Indian Army. He was appointed Colonel of the Rajput Regiment from 1949 to 1959. A veteran soldier, he has served with 2/125 Napier rifles, 1/7 Dogra  and 1/7 Rajput. He had campaigned in Iraq, Syria and Iran. He won the award of OBE in 1945 while serving as the  Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General with 26 Indian Division in the Arakans. He also commanded the Bannu Frontier. General K M Cariappa relinquished his office of the Chief of the Army Staff on 14thJanuary 1953.  
3.     He was the Indian High Commissioner to Australia for two and a half years. In 1986, General K M Cariappa was honored with the rank of Field Marshal by the President of India. Finally on 15th May 1993, a glorious  chapter  of  the  Rajput Regiment and the Indian Army came to an end with the passing away of Field Marshal K M Cariappa, OBE.


General Maharaj Shri Rajendra Sinhji, DSO
(15 jan 1953 to 14 may 1955)
1.     General M R Sinhji belonged to the house of Nawanagar. Born at Sarodar in 1899, he had his education at Rajkumar College , Rajkot , Malvern College , UK and Royal Military College , Sandhurst .  In 1921, he was commissioned into the 3rd Bn the 60th Rifles (KRRC British Army) and the 2nd  Royal Lancers a year later.  During World War II in 1941 he went to North Africa as a Squadron Commander where, for his courageous leadership and determined actions he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

2.     In 1943 he was appointed Commandant of the 2nd  Royal Lancers.   In May 1945 he went to Washington as the firstMilitary Attache to that country.  During this tour of duty he was decorated by President Truman with the order of American Legion of Merit.
3.     In September 1946 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and commanded a Sub Area. In 1947 he was promoted to the rank of Major General and took over command as GOC Delhi and East Punjab Area. He rendered valuable and effective service in controlling the disturbances in Delhi and the Punjab .  Subsequently, In Jan 1948 he became General Officer Commanding -in- Chief Eastern Command, thereafter moved as General Officer Commanding -in- Chief Southern Command in May 1948, where he directed the swift police action in Hyderabad in September of that year.

4.     The General Officer was selected to succeed General Cariappa as C - in - C and assumed office on 15th January 1953.  The General Officer was awarded Queen Elizabeth II's Commendation Medal in June 1953. The Order of Yugoslavia Army Class I was bestowed on him by HE Marshal Tito.   The General Officer was appointed as Chief of Army Staff from 1stApril 1955 to 14th May 1955. He passed away on 1st Jan 1964.


General Satyawant Mallana Srinagesh
(15 May 1955 to 07 May 1957)
1.     Commissioned as an officer in 19 Hyderabad Regiment  (now Kumaon Regiment) on 30thAug 1923, he commanded 6/19 Hyderabad Regiment from 17th Dec 1942 to 28th Aug 1945. He was the first Indian Commandant of The Kumaon Regiment Centre from 2nd Oct 1946 to 12th Dec 1946.
2.     Later, he was Commander of 268 Infantry Brigade British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in JAPAN in 1946-47.  He was also Brigade Commander of the famous Lushai Brigade in Burma in 1947.  In Dec 1947 he was appointed General Officer Commanding Madras Area and was Adjutant General at Army Headquarters from Jan 1948 to Aug 1948.  Later he commanded 5 Corps. He was Chief of the Army Staff from 14th May 1955 to 7th May 1957.

3.     He was Governor of Assam from 1959 to 1962, Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 1962 to 1964 and Governor of Mysore (now Karnataka) from 1964 to 1965.  He passed away on 27th Dec 1977.


General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya, Padma Bhushan, DSO
(08 May 1957 to 07 May 1961)
1.     Commissioned as an officer in 19 Hyderabad Regiment (now Kumaon Regiment) on 4thFeb 1926, he took over Command of 8/19 Hyderabad Regiment during World War II in Arakan (Burma) from 19th  May 44 to 24th  Mar 1945.
2.     He was Brigade Commander in World War II in Burma Campaign and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). He was also Commander of 268 Infantry Brigade in Japan (The British Commonwealth Force) in 1945.  He was Commander of Indian Force Jammu & Kashmir in 1948.  He earned international fame as Chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea in 1953, and for his services there the government conferred on him Padma Bhushan in 1953. He had the privilege of being the General Officer Commanding in Chief (over separate tenures) of all the three Commands that existed at the time i.e. Southern, Eastern and Western.  He was the first Indian Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment from 1st Jan 49 to 8th May 1961.

3.     He was Chief of Army Staff from 7th May 1957 to 7th May 1961. During his tenure as Chief of the Army Staff, the Military Academy was set up with Indian aid in Ethiopia . In appreciation of which, the Emperor of Ethiopia conferred upon him the Grand Cordon of Menelik II in Feb 1961.  He retired from Army on 8th May 1961.  He was Commander of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus from Jun 62 to Dec 1965 and died in Cyprus while on active duty on 18th Dec 1965.


General Pran Nath Thapar
(08 May 1961 to 19 Nov 1962)
1.     General Thapar was born on 8th May 1906 and was educated at Government College, Lahore .  He was commissioned into the 1st Punjab Regiment from Sandhurst in 1926.  As a regimental officer, he spent nearly ten years with the 1st Punjab Regiment and later attended and qualified on staff courses at Quetta and Minlay-Manor in England.
2.     During the Second World War in 1941, he saw service in Burma , followed by a tenure in 1943-44 in the Middle East and Italy. In 1945 he was appointed as the Assistant Military Secretary, General Headquarters in India .  Later on he was selected to serve on the Army Reorganization Committee.

3.     In 1946, after victory over Japan , he commanded the 1st Battalion of his parent Regiment in Indonesia during the national trouble in that country.  Later he commanded the 161 Indian Infantry Brigade in East Bengal .  On the advent of partition and during its first turbulent months, General Thapar was Director of Military Operations and Intelligence at Army Headquarters, India from August to December 1947.  In November 1947, he was promoted to Maj General and officiated for a few months as Chief of the General Staff and later appointed as Military Secretary which post he held till Aug 1949.  This was followed by his appointment as Master General of Ordnance from Aug 1949 to Apr 1950.  He served as the Colonel of The Rajputana Rifles from 18th Jul 49 to 20th Jul 63.
4.     He commanded an Infantry Division for about four years and was promoted to the rank of Lt Gen in 1954 as Commander of a Corps.  He held this appointment till Dec 1955 when he was selected to attend the Imperial Defence College , London , from Jan to Dec 1956.  On successful completion of the course he was appointed as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, and later took over Western Command on 25th May 1959.  General PN Thapar took over as Chief of the Army Staff on 8th May 1961 and served till 19th Nov 62.
5. General Thapar who hails from a distinguished family brought to his high office a wealth of experience and knowledge gained on various fronts during his thirty five years service.  A keen tennis and golf player, General Thapar was at one time services tennis Champion.  After retirement he was appointed as Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan from Aug 64 to 1stJan 69.  He passed away on 23rd Jan 75 at the age of 69 yrs and 01 month.


General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri, OBE
(20 Nov 1962 to 07 Jun 1966)
1.     General JN Chaudhuri, was born on 10th Jun 1908 and received his early education in Calcutta and the High Gate School, London.  He obtained a nomination to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst and was commissioned in February 1928 into the 7 Light Cavalry.

2.     During World War II he went overseas with the famous 5 Indian Division and saw active service in Sudan, Eritrea, Abyssinia and the Western Desert and was awarded the OBE and Mentioned in Dispatches thrice.  In August 1944, he took over command of the 16 Light Cavalry, to become the first Indian Commanding Officer to lead an armoured Regiment into battle and won great renown for fighting in Central Burma.  At the end of the Burma campaign, he saw service in French Indo-China with his regiment in Java.

3.     In January 1946 he was appointed as Brigadier-in-Charge, Administration, Malaya Command, and was the third Indian to become a Brigadier in the Indian Army.  A year later, he went to England to attend a course at the Imperial Defence College and on his return to India he became Brigadier (Plans) and later Director of Military Operations and Intelligence at Army HQ.  In February 1948, he was promoted Major General and became officiating Chief of the General Staff. In May 1948, Gen Chaudhuri took over command of the 1 Armoured Division which played a major role in the Hyderabad Operations, and then   was appointed Military Governor of the Hyderabad State for over a year. In January 1952, he became Adjutant General, Army HQ and in January 1953, he again took over as Chief of the General Staff.  

4.     Gen Chaudhuri served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 20th Nov 1962 to 7th Jun 1966 with great distinction. He passed away on 6th Apr 1983.

General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumramangalam, DSO
(08 Jun 1966 to 07 Jun 1969)
1.     Born on 1st Jul 1913, he was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery on 29th Aug 1933.  He was the second Indian Officer to be commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery.  During World War II, as a Major, he took part in the operations in the Middle East and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for an outstanding action in Libya on 27thMay 1942.
2.     General Kumaramangalam took over as General Officer Commanding-in - Chief, Eastern Command in May 1963.  In Nov 1964 he was appointed  Deputy Chief of the Army Staff and on 15th Jan 1965 he became Vice Chief of the Army Staff.  General Kumaramangalam took over as the Chief of the Army Staff on June 8th 1966, the first Indian gunner officer to reach this coveted appointment. The tenure of General Kumaramangalam as Chief of the Army Staff was marked by an unpublicised but exhaustive re-organisation of the service, up gradation of weapons, training and tactics based on the lessons learned from the 1965 war.

3.     General Kumaramangalam was a keen cricketer, horseman, show jumper and an avid polo player.  He was a member of the MCC, a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, President of Indian Polo Association and Equestrian Federation of India. He was Senior Colonel Commandant of Regiment of Artillery from 5th Jul 1959 to 4th Jul 1969 and Honorary Colonel Commandant from 5th Jul 1969 to 30th Jun 1975. He passed away on 13th  Mar 2000.

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, MC
(08 Jun 1969 to 15 Jan 1973)
1.     Known to his friends as SAM, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, Militry Cross, was born on April 3rd, 1914. He had his early schooling in Amritsar and Sherwood College Nanital. Manekshaw belonged to the first batch of 40 cadets to be selected for the Indian Military Academy and was commissioned into the 12 FF Rifles on 4th Feb 1934.
2.     In the first Burma campaign, he took part in several actions against the Japanese.  On the Sittang river when he came to grips with the Japanese, during the push towards Pegu and Rangoon , Field Marshal (then Capt) Manekshaw led his company with courage and tenacity, despite being wounded. He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his gallantry and leadership. Later he was again wounded a second time and evacuated to India .
3.     Later Manekshaw commanded an Infantry Brigade for two years.  The Field Marshal is also a graduate of the Imperial Defence College .  He was later awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1968 for his distinguished service. He commanded a Division in the J&K for a short duration and took over the command of a Corps on the Eastern Frontier in November 1962. On 4th December 1963, then Lt General Manekshaw became the first Indian Commissioned Officer to become an Army Commander and became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command before taking over as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command in November 1964.  Field Marshal Manekshaw was appointed the Chief of the Army Staff on 8th Jun 1969.
4.     Manekshaw was appointed the Colonel of the Regiment 8 Gorkha Rifles and 61 Cavalry on 24th May 1953 and continues to be the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment of the 8 Gorkha Rifles and 61 Cavalry till his death.
5.     As Chief of the Army Staff, he rendered yeoman service to the Nation by forging the Indian Army into an efficient instrument of War.  In his capacity as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, he welded the Army, Navy and Air Force into a well knit team working in perfect harmony which resulted in the capitulation of the Pakistani Army in the Eastern Front.  The decisive results achieved by the Indian Army during the 1971 conflict with Pakistan under the able military leadership of Manekshaw gave the nation a new sense of confidence and his services were recognized by the President of India when in January 1973, he was elevated to the rank of Field Marshal.
6.     The Field Marshal passed away on 27 Jun 2008 after a long illness at age of 94.  The knight shall be missed forever.


General Gopal Gurnath Bewoor, Padam Bhushan, PVSM
(16 Jan 1973 to 31 May 1975)
1.     General GG Bewoor, PVSM was born at Seoni, Madhya Pradesh on 11th Aug 1917. He is an alumini of Royal Indian Military College (RIMC), Dehradun and the Indian Military Academy . He was commissioned in 2 Green Howards Regiment on 15th July 1937 during operations in Waziristan . Later, he was transferred to 5th Baluch and served with them till July 1945. He attended Staff College course at Quetta and was specially selected as Under Secretary (Military) to the Viceroy's Co- ordination Council - the only Indian officer to be given this coveted appointment. He took over command of 2 Dogra in Oct 1947. With a view to imparting basic military training to school and college student, he became the First Director General of NCC in April 1948.

2.     On promotion to the Rank of Brig in July 1951, he was initially appointed as Commander 'Chand Sector' and later as Commander of an Inf Bde located in J&K. This time he commanded of an Inf Bde located at Ambala. He was the  First Chief of Staff , HQ Western Command, Shimla in Feb 1959 and had the unique distinction of becoming the youngest Major  General of the Indian Army at   the  age  of  42  years and  six  months.  He assumed the appointment of   the Colonel of the 11 Gorkha Rifles on 25th May 1960.  
3.     After about two year's tenure as Chief of Staff, he was appointed General Officer Commanding of an Inf Div in Feb 1961 at Jalandhar. Later he moved this division to Kalimpong in the wake of Chinese Aggression of 1962. After finishing the command of the Mountain Division in May 1963, he was posted to Army HQ, New Delhi as Director of Military Training and remained there till Nov 1964.  
4.     He was   promoted   as General Officer Commanding Corps in Nov 1964. After the command of the Corps, he moved to Army HQ, as Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Where he was awarded Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) for meritorious services. In July 1969 he assumed the appointment of General Officer Commanding -in- Chief Southern Command. In 1971, he was awarded Padam Bhusan for conducting successful operations in Rajasthan Sector. In Jan 1973, he was appointed Chief of Army Staff.  
5.     He retired from the Army in May 1975. In Feb 1976, he was appointed as Ambassador of India to the Royal Court of Denmark where he served till Feb 1978. The General remained a member of the Senate of the University of Pune for two years with effect from Aug 1979. Also, he was on the Board of Directors of Kirloskar Oil Engines & Vickers Sperry of Pune. Besides, he was often invited to give talks on leadership and military matters by various educational societies. He passed away on 24th Oct 1989.


General Tapishwar Narain Raina, Padam Bhushan, MVC
(01 Jun 1975 to 31 May 1978)
1.     Commissioned as an Officer in The Kumaon Regiment on 12th Apr 1942, he took part in World War II (Burma Campaign) and was Mentioned -in- Despatches for gallentry. He commanded an Infantry Brigade from 1959 to 1962 during INDO-CHINA Conflict-1962 and was awarded Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for showing great courage and leadership qualities in organizing the defences of Chushul. He later commanded Infantry Division and held higher staff appointments.2.     He was Deputy Adjutant General at Army Headquarters. He commanded a Corps in 1971 during liberation of Bangladesh. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1971.  He was General Officer Commanding-in- Chief of Western Command from 1974 to 1975.  He was Chief of the Army Staff from 1st Jun 1975 to 31st May 1978.  He was Colonel of the Kumaon and Naga Regiments from 16th May 1971 to 31st May 1978.
3.     He was appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada in Feb 1979 after his retirement, where on 19th May 1980 he died in Ottawa (Canada).


General Om Prakash Malhotra, PVSM
(01 Jun 1978 to 31 May 1981)
1.     Born in August 1922, General Malhotra was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in November 1941.  He commanded different Artillery Regiments between November 1950 and July 1961, besides being an instructor at the Defence Service Staff College , Wellington . He was the Military Attache at the Indian Embassy in Moscow for over three years from June 1962. 
2.     He commanded an Artillery Brigade from August 1965 to January 1966 and there after took over a Mountain Brigade. He was promoted as Major General in September 1967 and commanded an Infantry Division for two years.  He was posted as the Chief of Staff in a Corps Headquarters in the Eastern Sector in September 1969 till May 1972, when he took over a Corps in the Western Sector. In 1974, General Malhotra was appointed General Officer Commanding - in - chief Southern Command and in Jan 1977, he was appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.  General OP Malhotra, assumed the office of the Chief of the Army Staff in June 1978.

3.     After completing his three year tenure as the Chief of Army Staff, he was appointed as the Indian Ambassador to Indonesia in March 1982 and continued in that appointment for three years.  In December 1990, he was appointed as the Governor of Punjab, a post he held till August 1991 when he resigned from this assignment. He was the President of the Equestrian Federation of India for nearly nine years. In 1994, the University of Jammu conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honours Causa) upon him.


General Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao, PVSM
(01 Jun 1981 to 31 Jul 1983)
1.     Born on 16th Jul 1923, General KV Krishna Rao was commissioned into the Mahar Regiment on 9th Aug 1942. He commanded a brigade in Ladakh Sector during the 1965 war. 
2.     During 1969 -70, the General commanded a Mountain Division in Jammu . After the 1971 war with Pakistan , he was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his most laudable command of the Mountain Division. In 1974, he took over a Corps in Jammu and was later appointed Deputy Chief of Army Staff in 1978. Subsequently he served as General Officer Commanding - in - Chief Western Command in 1979. General Rao attained the ultimate in his military career when he became Chief of Army Staff in 1981.

3.     General KV Krishna Rao was the Colonel of the Mahar Regiment from June 1968 to June 1983. After his retirement in July 1983, General Rao served as Governor of Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura from June 1984 to 1989 and subsequently as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir till January 1990. Presently, he is the Honorary Colonel of the Mahar Regiment.


General Arunkumar Shridhar Vaidya, Padam Vibhushan, PVSM, MVC, AVSM
(01 Aug 1983 31 Jan 1985)
1.     Born on 27th January 1926, General AS Vaidya was commissioned in the Armoured Corps in 1945 and saw battle during the Second World War. During Indo-Pak war of 1965 as Commandant, of an Armoured Regiment in the Khemkaran Sector, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for conspicuous bravery.  In 1971 as Brigade Commander in Shakargarh Sector, he again displayed gallantry and leadership qualities of a very high order and was awarded a Bar to the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC).2.     Elevated to the rank of Major General in 1973, he held the appointments of Director Military Operations, Chief of Staff at Headquarters Command and as Commandant Armoured Corps Centre and School.
3.     Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in January 1980, he held the appointment of Master General of Ordnance and later as General Officer Commanding of a Corps before being elevated to the appointment of General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Command in Jun 1981.  His tackling of the insurgency problems in his command has been particularly praiseworthy.  He was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) in 1983 for distinguished service of the   most exceptional order.  
4.     General  Vaidya  took over  as  Chief  of  the  Army  Staff  from  1st   August 1983 to 31st  January 1985.  An outstanding military leader, General Vaidya gave the Indian Army a very sound leadership and brought with him an aura of gallantry and valour and remarkable reservoir of combat experience befitting the head of the Army.  He had the distinction of being among the most decorated soldiers in the Defence Services of the country. He passed away on 10th  Aug 1986.


General Krishnaswami Sundarji, PVSM
(01 Feb 1985 to 31 May 1988)
1.     General Sundarji was born on 30th Apr 1928 and was Commissioned into 2 MAHAR in April 1946.
2.     A graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington he also attended the General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth (USA) in 1967-68 and subsequently the Senior Officers Preventive Maintenance Course at Fort Knox (USA). He was also a graduate of NDC, New Delhi .
3.     General Sundarji held a number of coveted staff and instructional appointments with distinction. He was Brigade Major of an Indian Independent Brigade Group Congo in 1962-63 as part of UN Peace Keeping Force where he was awarded Mentioned - in - Despatches and Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of a Corps in Eastern Sector.

4.     He commanded a mountain Brigade, an Infantry Division, an Armoured Division and a Corps. He was the Commandant, College of Combat and later General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Western Command. He was Vice Chief of Army Staff prior to reaching the pinnacle of his career as COAS in 1985.
5.     General Sundarji conducted 'Operation Brasstacks' in Rajasthan in Dec 1986 to test new concept of mobilisation with precision. He was also awarded the PVSM in 1978 in recognition of his distinguished service of the most exception order. He passed away on 8thFeb 1999.


General Vishwa Nath Sharma, PVSM, AVSM, ADC
(30 Jun 1988 to 30 Jun 1990)
1.     General VN Sharma belongs to a distinguished military family that has served the Armed Forces for two generations and produced three Generals. He is the younger brother of late Major Som Nath Sharma, PVC, who was awarded Independent India's first posthumous Param Vir Chakra (PVC) on 3rd   Nov 47 for the battle of Badgam in Kashmir.   
2.     General Sharma was educated at Sherwood College, Nainital and Prince of Wales' Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun. He joined the 5th Regular Course at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and was commissioned on 04 Jun 1950 into the 16 Light Cavalry.  As a Major he saw action during the 1965 Indo-Pak War in the Lahore Sector. He commanded Armoured Regiment and held important staff and instructional appointments.

3.      On promotion to the rank of Brigadier, he commanded a Mountain Brigade in an insurgency affected area and was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 1977 for distinguished service. Later he commanded an Armoured Brigade in the Rajasthan desert.  
4.      In 1980, he was elevated to Major General and commanded a Mountain Division in the Western Sector. He was elevated to Lieutenant General and took over command of a Corps in the Western Sector in 1984 and was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for rendering distinguished service of the most exceptional order.  
5.      General Sharma took over as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command, on 1st Jun 87. He was appointed Honorary Army ADC to the President on 25th Jul 87. General Sharma served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 30th Jun 88 to 30th Jun 90.

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues, PVSM, VSM
(01 Jul 1990 to 30 Jun 1993)
1.     Born on 19th Sep 1933 in Bombay, he was educated at St Xavier's High School, Bombay.  He joined the Joint Services Wing of the Indian Military Academy in 1949 and was commissioned in Dec 1952 into the Regiment of Artillery. In 1972, he was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for distinguished service. He commanded a Mountain Brigade in high altitude sector from 1975 to 1977 and then attended the 1978 Course at Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK.  Later he commanded a Division also in a high altitude area.  He was the Chief of Staff of a Corps from 1983 to Sep 1985, and then took over as Director General Military Training (DGMT) post.  He also took over Command of a Corps in the Northern Sector.

2.     He was Vice Chief of Army Staff  from Nov 1987 to Apr 1989 and then General Officer Commanding in Chief of Central & Western Commands from Apr 1989 to Oct 1989 and from 1st Nov 89 to 30th Jun 1990 respectively. He became the Chief of Army Staff in 1990 and retired on 30th Jun 1993.   
3.     The   General was Director of the International Centre, Goa for nearly six years after retirement.  He served two terms in the National Security Advisory Board.  He has been continuously engaged in social and literary pursuits and has also been delivering talks on strategic issues.  He was on the Executive Council of Goa University for seven years and in the Managing Committee of the Goa Chamber of Commerce.  He is also a long standing Member of the Goa Planning Board and in the Board of Governors of the Goa Institute of Management.  General SF Rodrigues, PVSM, VSM was appointed as the Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union TerritoryChandigarh on 8th Nov 2004.

General Bipin Chandra Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, ADC
(01 Jul 1993 to 19 Nov 1994)
1.     Commissioned in Dec 1954 in the Armoured Corps, General BC Joshi has held important command and staff appointments which include staff officer in the UN Force in Gaza , Brigadier General Staff in a Corps Headquarters and Military Advisor in Australia from May 1973 to October 1976. He commanded a Corps in the Eastern Sector and was also the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command.  
2.     General Joshi commanded an Armoured Regiment in the Western Sector during the 1971 Indo-Pak operations. He has also commanded an Independent Armoured Brigade and an Infantry Division.

3.     General Joshi also held the appointment of Additional Director General of Perspective Planning (ADG PP) and Director General Military Operations (DGMO) at the Army Headquarters. He had three tenures as an Instructor in the Armoured Corps Centre and School Ahmednagar and was also a Directing Staff in the College of Combat , Mhow.  
4.     General  B C Joshi  has been  a  recipient  of  Param  Vishisht  Seva Medal (PVSM)  and  the  Ati Vishisht Seva  Medal (AVSM)  for  distinguished  service  of  the  most exceptional order.  
5.     The General officer died in harness on 19th Nov 1994.


General Shankar Roy Chowdhury, PVSM, ADC
(22 Nov 1994 to 30 Sep 1997)
1.     General S Roy Chowdhury, PVSM, ADC was born on 6th September 1937 at Calcutta and was educated at Calcutta and Mussorie. He joined the Joint Services Wing, Dehradun in 1953 and was commissioned into 20 Lancers on 9th June 1957. He participated in the Indo-Pak conflict in 1965 and 1971 including operations for the liberation of Bangladesh.

2.     He commanded an Independent Armoured Brigade from December 1980 to July 1983 and Armoured Division from May 1988 to May 1990. He subsequently commanded Corps in Jammu and Kashmir in 1991-92.

3.     He is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College and held several staff andinstructional appointments, including that of Director General Combat Vehicle dealing with the Indian Main Battle Tank 'Arjun'.
4.     The General Officer was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for distinguished service and valuable contribution. He took over as General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Army Training Command (ARTRAC) in August 1992, and was the Chief of Army Staff from 22nd Nov 94 to 30th Sep 97.
5.     Post retirement the General has taken to active politics. As a member of the Rajya Sabha he has highlighted and taken up Defence related issues with great passion and vigour in the Parliament.

General Ved Prakash Malik, PVSM, AVSM
(01 Oct 1997 to 30 Sep 2000)
1.     General VP Malik was born on 1st Nov 1939 at Dera Ismail Khan, NWFP, now in Pakistan . Alumni of the National Defence Academy , Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy , Dehradun, he was commissioned into 3 SIKH LI on 7th Jun 1959. He commanded Infantry Brigade in Jammu & Kashmir where he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).2.     In Dec 1989, he was appointed General Officer Commanding, Mountain Division and in Aug 1992, he assumed command of Corps in Punjab, where he oversaw anti-militancy operations in the state.

3.     In Jul 1995, he was appointed General Officer Commanding -in- Chief Southern Command before moving to Army Headquarters as Vice Chief of Army Staff in August 1996.  He was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) in 1996. 

4.     He assumed the charge of Indian Army as the 19th Chief of Army Staff on 1st Oct 1997. Concurrently with the appointment, he took over as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee of India with effect from 1st Jan 1999.  He coordinated and oversaw the planning and execution of Operation Vijay to successfully defeat Pakistan's attempted intrusion in Kargil sector during May to Jul 1999.  

5.     He was felicitated with the 'Excellence in Leadership' award by the Atur Foundation, Pune and also the `Distinguished Fellowship' of the Institute of Directors, New Delhi in 1999. The Doon Citizens' Council gave him the 'Pride of the Nation' award in Jul 2000.  He was Colonel of the Sikh Light Infantry from 1990 to 1998, and continues to be Honorary Colonel of the Regiment for life.  

6.     General V P Malik retired on 30th Sep 2000, and has settled in Panchkula, near Chandigarh .


General Sundararajan Padmanabhan, PVSM, AVSM, VSM
(01 Oct 2000 to 30 Dec 2002)
1.     Born on 5th Dec 1940, General S Padmanabhan was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery on 13th Dec 1959.   He served as Instructor Gunnery at School of Artillery , Deolali and attended the Staff Course at DSSC, Wellington in 1973.  He commanded an Independent Light Battery from Aug 1975 to Jul 1976, and then commanded a Mountain Regiment from Sep 1977 to Mar 1980.  He served as Colonel General Staff of a Mountain Division from Jan 1983 to May 1985 and was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal.2.     The General Officer commanded an Independent Artillery Brigade and a Mountain Brigade before attending the prestigious NDC course at Delhi .  He commanded an Infantry Brigade from Dec 1988 to Feb 1991 at Ranchi and Punjab and then was appointed as General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division in Punjab from Mar 1991 to Aug 1992.  He served as Chief of Staff, Corps from Sep 1992 to Jun 1993 and commanded Corps from Jul 1993 to Feb 1995 where he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).  He held the appointment of Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI) after the successful culmination of which he took over the challenging command of the Northern Army followed by Southern Army before assuming command of the Indian Army on 1st Oct 2000.
3.     The General Officer is a prolific writer and has authored two books titled 'The Writing on the Wall, India Checkmates America-2017' and 'A General Speaks'. The General presently resides in Chennai.

General Nirmal Chander Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM
(31 Dec 2002 to 31 Jan 2005)
1.     General NC Vij, PVSM,UYSM, AVSM (Retd) passed out in December 1962 from the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun and was commissioned into 4 Dogra.  During the 1971 Indo-Pak war, his company was the first one to occupy the 'Chicken Neck' and also captured the 'Chhote Chak'  post of Pakistan in Miran Sahib Sector. He became the Colonel of the Dogra Regiment and Dogra Scouts on 1st  April 2002 and continued to hold that office till his retirement in Jan 2005.2.     General Vij commanded Mountain Brigade; Infantry Division (RAPID); two Corps and Southern Command. He was Deputy Director General of Perspective Planning.

3.     He was decorated with the AVSM in 1996, and PVSM while he was the General Officer Commanding Corps. He was conferred with an Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM) while he was serving as Director General Military Operations during Operation Vijay.   
4.     On 31st December 2002, General N C Vij, took over as the Chief of the Army Staff.
5.     General Nirmal Chander Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retired) is presently Honorary Colonel of the Dogra Regiment & Dogra Scouts and also Vice Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority, Govt of India.


General Joginder Jaswant Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC
(01 Feb 2005 to 30 Sep 2007)
1.     General (Retd) Joginder Jaswant Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM  was born on 17 Sep 1945 in Bahawalpur (now in Pakistan). An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in The 9 MARATHA Light Infantry on 02 Aug 1964.
2.     The General Officer is a third generation soldier; an ace shooter and a mountaineer. During his tenures with his battalions, he has served in Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Sikkim. During one of these tenure he was wounded in a counter insurgency operations. Later, he was India's first Defence Attache to Algeria (1987-1990).

3.     After his return from Algeria, the General officer commanded a Mountain Brigade in Baramulla Sector, Jammu & Kashmir, with the insurgency at its peak, in 1991-92. He attended the National Defence College in 1993 and later commanded  Infantry Division from 1996 to 1998.
4.     General J J Singh commanded Corps  and in Jan 2003, he was appointed as the General Officer Commanding - in - Chief of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC). The General officer took over as Army Commander Western Command in Feb 2004.
5.     On 31st Jan 2005, General Joginder Jaswant Singh assumed the office of Chief of Army Staff. As the Chief of Army Staff, it was his constant endeavour to modernise the Army, enhance its combat potential and reach, as also strengthen the welfare of all ranks and their families. The General officer retired on 30 Sep 07 and is presently the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.


(30 sep 2007 to 30 Mar 2010)
1. General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC was commissioned from the Indian Military Academy into the Indian Army and the Regiment of Artillery on 11 June 1967. He took over as the Chief of Army Staff on 30 September 2007 and as Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on 31 August 2009.

2. In a distinguished career spanning over four decades, he has held important command and staff appointments. The General Officer has taken active part in the Indo-Pak War of 1971 in the operations for Liberation of Bangladesh. As Commanding Officer of 74 Medium Regiment he oversaw its conversion from heavy mortars to medium guns. His performance as Chief Operations Officer for all United Nations forces deployed in Somalia was recognized by the award of the Vishisht Seva Medal.

3. Besides commanding a Line of Control Mountain Brigade in Jammu & Kashmir for which he was awarded the Sena Medal, he has steered an Infantry Division which is part of the Strike Corps, during mobilization of Indian Army on the Western borders in Operation PARAKRAM. The General Officer was conferred the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his inspiring command of a Corps deployed on the Indo-China border in the North East.

4. On promotion as Army Commander, he initially commanded the Army Training Command, and then the Northern Command. His strategic guidance and astute handling led to stabilization of the situation in the State of Jammu & Kashmir; which was recognized by the award of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. Prior to his present appointment, he has served as Vice Chief of Army Staff. He has been appointed Honorary ADC to the Honorable President of India.

5. The General Officer has schooled at Sainik School, Kunjpura and is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and National Defence College. He has an abiding interest in self education, self improvement and acquisition of knowledge. He is an excellent sportsman and has played hockey, basketball, tennis and golf at various levels. The General officer retired on 30 Mar 10.

General Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC is a third generation officer of the RAJPUT Regiment.  An  alumnus of Birla Public School, Pilani and National Defence Academy, the General  was commissioned in 2 RAJPUT (KALI CHINDI) in 1970 and commanded  the  same  battalion  with  distinction  from June 1991 to May 1994.
General Singh has seen action in the liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971 and Op. Pawan in Sri Lanka in 1987 where he was awarded Yudh Seva Medal. He has vast operational experience in Counter Insurgency Operations, LC, LAC and HAA environment. He has had an illustrious career with outstanding performance on all the courses that he has attended. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington with a competitive vacancy. He is also a graduate of US Army Rangers Course at Fort Benning, USA and US Army War College, Carlisle.
The General has wide-ranging experience of various high profile commands, staff and instructional appointments. He commanded his battalion in an active LC environment and brigade in an operationally sensitive area. While in command of a Counter Insurgency Force in J&K, he was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service as General Officer Commanding. On staff, he has served in MO Dte at Army HQ, Col GS of an Infantry Division and BGS of a Corps during OP PARAKRAM. The General Officer has also commanded the Prestigious Strike Corps in Western Sector, before taking over the command of the Eastern Army in March 2008. He has been an instructor at Inf. School, Mhow and Chief Instructor at JLW (Commando Wing) at Belgaum. He has also served as an Instructor at HQ IMTRAT. The General Officer has also been awarded with the Param Vishisht Seva   Medal by the President of India in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished services on the eve of Republic Day 2009.
The General is also a keen sportsman and plays almost all troop games as well as Tennis, Badminton and Golf. His hobbies include Trekking and Photography.
The General Officer has taken over as the Chief of the Army Staff on 31 Mar 2010.