India's Generals who made an Impact

Jagan
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India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 06 Jun 2003 18:55

India's Generals who made an Impact --> Good or Bad

While sifting thru lot of stuff from my earlier days - I came across a bunch of notes i made including a list on 'india's generals'. A list of top General Rank Officers from Maj Gen to a full Generals (And field marshals) who had some kind of imprint on the Indian Army's history since 1947. Obviously several of them had a role/impact in the first 25 years from 1947-72 in all the wars that we fought. The list includes several outstanding officers - Thimayya, Thorat, Daulet Singh and several more controversial officers. Kaul, Niranjan Prasad, Pathania.

A Sampler from my list.

from my 1947-48 List

Lt Gen Dudley Russell GOC Jak Force
Lt Gen KM Cariappa COAS(later Gen, Field Marshal)
Lt Gen SM Shri Nagesh GOC JAK Force
Maj Gen Kalwant Singh GOC JAK Force
Maj Gen Atma Singh GOC Jammu Div
Maj Gen KS Thimmayya GOC Sri Div

1962

Gen PN Thapar COAS
Lt Gen LP Sen GOC-in-C Eastern Command
Lt Gen Daulat Singh GOC-in-C Western Command
Lt Gen BM Kaul GOC 4 Corps
Lt Gen Bikram Singh GOC XV Corps
Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh GOC 4 Corps (Temp Command)
Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad GOC 4 Div
Maj Gen AS Pathania GOC 4 Div
Maj Gen MS Pathania GOC 2 Div

More lists to follow.

Quite obviously the list is mine - and it suffers from my personal observations and thoughts and biases. However if I ask the BRF members to list down some of India's famous / infamous generals thier lists would be very different.

Plus my list relegates itself upto the early 80s. Several things have happened and several new notable names would be included.

So who would you want to see included in such a list of india's generals? I would be very much interested in the Generals percieved to have an impact on the Indian Army in the 80s and 90s.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 06 Jun 2003 20:44

1. Lt Gen Oberoi (Meghdoot)
2. Gen K. Sundarji (Brasstacks, Srilanka, RAPIDS, Mech Inf)
3. Gen A.S. Vaidya (65, 71, Bluestar, Vaidya Btns)
4. Gen B.C. Joshi (Kashmir, RR)
5. Maj Gen Mohinder Puri (Vijay)
6. Lt. Gen. A.S.Kalkat (Srilanka)
7. Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh (65)
8. Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (71)
9. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (71)

I believe the following Brigadiers need to be on the list. I am keeping them separate since the
person who started the thread does not want Brigadiers counted.
1. Brig Lakhwinder Singh (Vijay)
2. Brig M.P.Bhagat (Somalia)
3. Brig Thomas Theograj (65 Assal Uttar)

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby CPrakash » 06 Jun 2003 20:52

I guess being COAS automatically puts all previous full Generals and Field Marshals into the List.

Bishwa, Brigadier is not 'General' Rank in the Indian Army , even though it gives you a star plate to carry on your car. ;)

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Kakkaji » 06 Jun 2003 23:22

Lt. Gen. Jagajit Singh Arora (1971)
Lt. Gen.(?) Sagat Singh (1971)
Maj. Gen.(?) Harkirat Singh (Sri Lanka 1989)

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ASPuar » 06 Jun 2003 23:37

CPrakash, on the contrary, Brigadier is a flag rank in the Indian Army, and although it does not carry the title "General" with it, it is very much a general rank.

-> Briagiers are authorised for General salute


-> Their uniforms and cap insignia are of the same pattern as that of other general officers. they do not wear regimental insignia.

-> They are usually designated "Deputy Director General" or "Deputy general officer commanding" when they are in appointments other than commander of a brigade.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ASPuar » 06 Jun 2003 23:50

Lt. General KS Brar (Bluestar)
Gen. K Sunderji (Brasstacks, sri lanka, bluestar)
Lt. Gen. Ajay Singh (Op. Rhino)
Lt. Gen SPP Thorat (UN)
Gen KS Thimayya
Field Marshal SHFJ MAnekshaw

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 06 Jun 2003 23:50

CPrakash,
In addition I do not believe every General or Field Marshal would make the list either.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 07 Jun 2003 00:47

Let me add a couple of qualifiers - Lets keep Brigadiers out of this inspite of their status - otherwise we will have to come up with a Top 300 'Generals' list. :D

Lets also add a line so that we know why the General deserves a mention here.

My Revised List for 1947-62

from my 1947-48 List

Lt Gen Dudley Russell GOC Jak Force - For monitoring the Punjab Boundary Force and also the initial days in Kashmir.
Lt Gen KM Cariappa COAS(later Gen, Field Marshal) - For being the Army Commander and monitoring Kashmir after Russell left - and for having a handson experience on the situation.
Lt Gen SM Shri Nagesh GOC JAK Force - He was the 'Corps' Commander under Carriappa who was an Army Commander. he provided the resources for both the Sri and Ja Divisions.
Maj Gen Kalwant Singh GOC JAK Force - Initial days under Russell - he was the sole commander of the Indian Forces.
Maj Gen Atma Singh GOC Jammu Div - Sucessful ops at Rajauri, Poonch
Maj Gen KS Thimmayya GOC Sri Div - Tithwal offensive, Zoji La, Leh RElief..

1962

Gen PN Thapar COAS - he got a <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon13.gif" alt="" /> blamed for the soft approach on his generals - The buck stopped with him in 62.
Lt Gen LP Sen GOC-in-C Eastern Command - Exemplary record in WW2 and the 1947 Ops , Unexplainable conduct during 1962, though not directly blamed for the defeat, he was blamed for not sacking Kaul in the begining itself. Held responsible for succumbing to political pressure.
Lt Gen Daulat Singh GOC-in-C Western Command - Wonderful record in leading Western Command. No Major defeats in his area of ops
Lt Gen BM Kaul GOC 4 Corps - he got a <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon13.gif" alt="" /> Blamed for all reverses in NEFA. Resigned after 62. Nehru's favourite general.
Lt Gen Bikram Singh GOC XV Corps - Great record in defending Ladakh, Chushul. Died in Heli crash, else he would have probably been chief instead of Manekshaw.
Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh GOC 4 Corps (Temp Command)- Temp replacement while Kaul reported sick. however moved to another corps when Kaul came back. he is credited with improving troop morale during the interim period.
Maj Gen Niranjan Prasad GOC 4 Div he got a <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon13.gif" alt="" /> - Blamed for reverses and not standing up to kaul. Was sacked by Sen in 62 and later by Harbaksh in 65.
Maj Gen AS Pathania GOC 4 Div - he got a <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon13.gif" alt="" /> MVC from 47 War. Replaced Prasad - poor planning in 62. Blamed for bad placement of his troops and subsequent withdrawal from Kameng.
Maj Gen MS Pathania GOC 2 Div - Cousin of above. No black marks, but did OK in Walong sector.

Between the periods 1947-62 even though the following were not involved in any conflicts - they are counted as Generals who made an impact.

Lt Gen SPP Thorat - GOC in C Eastern Command - came up with the original plans for defence against china - was sidelined when turn came for COAS promotion.
Gen Thimayya (again) - For heading the NNRC in Korea. Heading the Indian Army before 62. For standing up against Nehru (once) and resigning.
Lt Gen Umrao Singh - GOC 33 Corps - when Kaul was CGS. He resisted most of the plans thrusted on him from Delhi.

<small> Disclaimer : All the <img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon13.gif" alt="" /> ranks are as per history books - I am not claiming to judge any of them here.</small>

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 07 Jun 2003 00:50

A Brigadier is actually a Brigadier General. Not used otherwise in the Indian and British Army.

Why is a Major General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major ?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Rupak » 07 Jun 2003 00:55

Jagan,
What about people who made it up...but were not Maj Gen or above during Ops?

1. T.N.Rainis - 1962 MVC 114 th Infantry Brigade in Chusul.

Also don't forget:
1. Lt. General Ajay Singh GOC 4 Corps (Op Rhino/Bajrang).
2. Lt. Gen. V.K. Jaitley (Op Khukri in Sierra Leone)

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 07 Jun 2003 01:05

Rupak,

Raina made an impact in the 71 War as GOC of 2 Corps. Ofcourse he went on to become COAS.

Does anyone remember who was the Divisional Commander of 3 Div during 1962 in Ladakh?

I forgot to add Lt Gen JN Chaudary (Maj Gen i/c of Op Polo Hyderabad, and GOC in C Southern Command and Overall i/c of Goa Operations 61)

Another Pre-65 General would be Maj Gen KP Candeth, Divisional Commander of Division that walked into Goa. He also earns a mention as the GOC in C of Western Command in 71

tommorrow morning when i wake up I will try to post a list of 65 Generals :D

Jagan

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Rupak » 07 Jun 2003 01:18

Jagan
IIRC 3 Div was commanded by Maj Gen Budh Singh.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ASPuar » 07 Jun 2003 02:06

I believe a major general is junior to a lieutenant general because the term major general is shortened from sergeant-major general.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby putnanja » 07 Jun 2003 02:56

A Lt General is actually a short form of "Lt Col General " and hence above "Major General".

A few months back, there were reports that the Army wanted "Col General" ranks above the "Lt General" , but haven't heard much abt it lately.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ASPuar » 07 Jun 2003 03:02

Ravi, I have not heard of a lieutenant general being short for lt. col general before... could you please provide some source for this belief?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 07 Jun 2003 08:19

Originally posted by ASPuar:
Ravi, I have not heard of a lieutenant general being short for lt. col general before... could you please provide some source for this belief?
ASPuar,

You were right. Its Sargeant Major General and Lieutenent General.

Colonel General is still in the German Army to the best of my knowledge.

Lt Gen JN 'Muchu' Chaudhuri became Gen Chaudhuri and was the COAS in the 65 War.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ASPuar » 07 Jun 2003 08:53

Hi...
The bundeswehr no longer uses the rank 'Generaloberst' (literally general colonel), with the army and airforce using instead ranks up to generaleutnant(lieutenant general), and then simply general. The highest german military appointment is the 'general inspekteur'. Rather like the CDS. HOwever there is no combined general staff for all three armed forces, due to the condemnation heaped upon the Oberkommando Der Wehrmacht by the trail authorities after WW II.

The deutsches heer up to the end of second world war used ranks higher than lt. gen which were

1. General der (insert branch of service)
ie 'General der artillerie' would be full general of the artillery...

2. Generaloberst

3.Generalfeldmarschall The highest operational rank, held by the highest german commanders such as Rommell, Paul Von Hindenberg etc.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 07 Jun 2003 10:46

Originally posted by ASPuar:
Hi...

Das ist richtig. Sehr gut.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Kapil » 07 Jun 2003 12:09

Sehr Schon!
Wir haben vielen Deutsch sprecher menschen.
:)

Kapil

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ramana » 07 Jun 2003 21:36

Jagan, Lt Gen Shrinagesh was from Hyderabad. He became a Governor after retirement. He used to live in Hyderguda, around Kamal Manzil.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby advitya » 07 Jun 2003 22:08

Guys can we please get back to topic.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 07 Jun 2003 23:52

Originally posted by ramana:
Jagan, Lt Gen Shrinagesh was from Hyderabad. He became a Governor after retirement. He used to live in Hyderguda, around Kamal Manzil.
Ramana garu,

Thats what i heard but somehow I could never fathom as to why he dissappeared off the scope after retirement. Unlike the high visibilities made by other chiefs in Hyderabad (Krishna Rao and Latif are at the fore front of all events), Not much is known as to where Shrinagesh went after retirement. I am pretty sure he must have retired at a young enough age even as COAS.

Incidentally a recent Deccan Chronicle News report mentioning the appointment of Hariprasad as the Army Commander stated that hariprasad was the only other army commander that the State had produced other than Krishna Rao (and ofcourse Krisha rao later rose to become the Chief). While I can excuse DC for not knowing about Shrinagesh as Army Chief and a GOC in C, I am surprised that no other Andhraite had gone to the level of GOC-in-C other than these three - I was so sure there must have been more.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby saip » 08 Jun 2003 00:10

Ray:

Why is a Major General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major
What I read in an officer handbook (for indian officers) was that major general was short form for sargeant major general and so he is junior to Lt General

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby AmanC » 08 Jun 2003 13:54

Originally posted by ASPuar:
Ravi, I have not heard of a lieutenant general being short for lt. col general before... could you please provide some source for this belief?
Col Gen was supposed to be a new rank above Lt Gen. The proposal was made by the Bagga Committee and is still far away from implementation. The MoD is learnt to have turned down the new rank.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby khan » 08 Jun 2003 13:55

This is irrelevant, but Field Marshal Manekshaw (sp?) is My Hero. God bless him.

Added Later: Let me open with a statement that I know very little about the top leadership of the IA.

Is the Indian military leadership top heavy or vice versa? Please don't compare with TSP, we all know that they are beneath us :D ( and that they are top Heavy). If you want to make a comparison (or already know the situation), please make the comparison with the US armed forces.

Thanx for your indulgence.

Added even later: BTW, I know that there is a shortage of officers in the IA/IAF, please make that irrelevant, let us talk about the top leadership.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ks_sachin » 08 Jun 2003 18:19

What about Gen Sardeshpande of IPKF fame? Now that was an interesting episode.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ks_sachin » 08 Jun 2003 18:21

I what I have heard is to be believed (please take this in conjunction with above post)

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 08 Jun 2003 18:34

1965

<img src="http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif" alt="" />

Gen JN "Muthu" Chaudary - For taking the bold decision to 'cross the border' . He is also blamed for the panic order to withdraw beyond Beas which Harbaksh reportedly vetoed.
Lt Gen Harbaksh Singh - GOC in C Western Command
Lt Gen KS Katoch - GOC XV Corps (Haji Pir, Kargil, Tithwal Ops - Reverses in Chamb)
Lt Gen PO Dunn - GOC I Corps (Phillora Chawinda Ops - But too slow a progress)
Lt Gen Joginder Singh - GOC XI Corps (Intial Reverses - Lahore dash, Burki and Khem Karan sector)
Lt Gen Moti Sagar - GOC in C Southern Command (Kutch Operations)

Maj Gen Rajinder Singh "Sparrow" - GOC 1 Armd Div
Maj Gen Gurbaksh Singh GOC 4 Div - Battle of Khem Karan and Assal Uttar
Maj Gen HK Sibal Div Cdr under I Corps awarded MVC
Maj Gen ML Thapan Div Cdr under I Corps
There was another Maj Gen who replaced Niranjan Prasad in Lahore Sector whom i cannot recall.

sachin

Sardeshpande was the CoS of the IPKF HQ right? I haven't read his book - But was his contribution outstanding enough to overshadow all others? (Kalkat, Ashok Mehta, Bhalla etc). Maj Gen Harkirat Singh probably gets into the negative list.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Anoop » 08 Jun 2003 19:22

Originally posted by Jagan:
[There was another Maj Gen who replaced Niranjan Prasad in Lahore Sector whom i cannot recall.
Jagan, it was Maj. Gen. Mohinder Singh who took over the 15 Division on 7th Sept.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby ks_sachin » 09 Jun 2003 16:47

Ah! Jagan, The circumstances under which Gen Sardeshpane put in his papers is what needs to be considered. From what I have heard that alone puts him above the likes of some of the names you have mentioned.
regards

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 10 Jun 2003 11:13

One of the greatest Chiefs India has seen was Gen Bipin Joshi. He died in harness, but the man had vision.

Those who know him will vouch for it. However, he could not suffer fools and had a vitriolic tongue!

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby AmanC » 10 Jun 2003 13:24

Originally posted by Ray:
One of the greatest Chiefs India has seen was Gen Bipin Joshi. He died in harness, but the man had vision.

Those who know him will vouch for it. However, he could not suffer fools and had a vitriolic tongue!
I agree with Ray. Joshi had tremendous plans for the army and had he completed his tenure he would have seen them through. And in the normal course of succession, he would have been replaced by Lt Gen Surinder Singh, then commanding northern army. He was another officer with vision and professional acumen. Unfortunately this was not to be and the entire line of succession went awry.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 11 Jun 2003 20:16

Ray,
I agree with you on Gen B.C.Joshi . He is on my list of generals (No 4 in list). Unfortunate
that he did not complete his tenure.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 11 Jun 2003 22:10

bishwa,

I stand corrected.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby daulat » 11 Jun 2003 22:21

In the Invalides museum in Paris there is an enormous painting of Prince Murat leading Napoleon's Cavalry into battle armed only with a riding crop - something about 'a general of the grande armee considers a sabre beneath his dignity...' - were any of the modern Indian generals of a similar flamboyant mindset? Or did this breed of leadership die out with the Boer war?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 11 Jun 2003 22:27

Generals dont lead armies into battle like that any more.

We could find instances of Cols and junior officers displaying it.

I am aware of officers refusing to wear body armour protection since their troops did not have the same.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Rudra » 11 Jun 2003 22:41

how did Rajinder singh 'sparrow' get the nickname.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Kedar » 11 Jun 2003 22:55

Originally posted by Ray:


Why is a [b]Major
General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major ?[/b]
Why is -2 less than -1 when 1 is less than 2. :D

On a serious and unfortunate note, Maj Gen (?) Shabeg Singh who was Bhindranwale's right hand man and the brain behind the terrorist resistance during Operation Bluestar.

Can we add Admirals and Air Marshals too?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 11 Jun 2003 23:06

Maj Gen Shahbeg Singh was involved with the Mukti Bahini in 71.

He had a hand in the defensive placements in the Golden Temple under Bhindranwale.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 11 Jun 2003 23:10

Originally posted by Kedar Bhandary:
Originally posted by Ray:
[b]

Why is a [b]Major General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major ?[/b]
Why is -2 less than -1 when 1 is less than 2. :D

On a serious and unfortunate note, Maj Gen (?) Shabeg Singh who was Bhindranwale's right hand man and the brain behind the terrorist resistance during Operation Bluestar.

Can we add Admirals and Air Marshals too?[/b]
Kedar,

Shahbeg distinguished himself in the 1971 War as a Brigadier incharge of an irregular force in Bangladesh. Earlier to that he had a good record as a Junior Officer in WW2. He is said to have got into personality clashes and got severely disillusioned with the army. i do not have the details of his latter days when his commission was terminated, but I do recall reading that his decorations were cancelled and pension etc stopped. I do not know if he had already started his khalistani activities by then, but it would seem quite early if he had. He probably got out of the army around 75 or so..too early for Brindhanwale to show influence? So what exactly went wrong with him? does anyone know the story?

Jagan


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