Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of field marshal.
His active military career spanned four decades and five wars beginning with service in the British Indian Army in World War II.
Here are some interesting facts about Sam Manekshaw:
1. Sam Manekshaw was widely known as Sam Bahadur and Sam of the Brave.
2. He was born on April 3, 1914, in Amritsar, Punjab.
3. As a young boy, Manekshaw was mischievous and high-spirited.
4. His early ambition was to study medicine and become a doctor like his father.
5. Manekshaw enrolled in the Indian Military Academy to rebel against his father as he wouldn't send him to London to study.
6. Manekshaw was selected as part of the first batch of cadets called "The Pioneers".
7. He proved to be witty during his stay at Indian Military Academy and went on to achieve a number of firsts: The first graduate to join one of the Gorkha regiments, first to serve as the Chief of the Army Staff of India and first to attain the rank of field marshal.
8. Manekshaw married Siloo Bode on April 22, 1939, in Bombay.
9. The couple had two daughters, Sherry and Maya born in 1940 and 1945 respectively.
10. Manekshaw died of complications from pneumonia at the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, at 12:30 am on June 27, 2008, at the age of 94. Reportedly, his last words were "I'm okay!"