India's Generals who made an Impact

S Bajwa
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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby S Bajwa » 15 Jun 2003 18:43

What is the highest rank indian officer that attained martyrdom on the battlefield against foreign aggression?

I have hears lots of lieutenants, captains, majors but few maj. generals and above.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 15 Jun 2003 20:58

Brigadier Rajinder Singh MVC & Brigadier Mohammed Usman MVC died fighting in 1947.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 16 Jun 2003 14:19

Brig Hoshiar Singh was KIA in 1962
Brig JP Dalvi was taken POW in 1962
Brig BF Masters died in Arty Shelling in 1965
Maj Gen Gurbux Singh of 101 CZ in 1971 was wounded badly (when the jeep he was travelling ran over mine )

The IA has a list of Maj Gens listed as Peace time combat casualities. These include Maj Gen Atma Singh (1949-50 Unknown Causes), a couple of Maj Gens whose helicopters crashed while touring forward combat areas and Maj Gen EW Feranandez whowas killed at the Badami Bagh Cantonment area blasts in 1990s (said to be a IED Timer in an arms cache he was examining). Atleast two Brigadiers were also killed in COIN Ops in J and K.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 16 Jun 2003 14:27

To the Forum Mods

Please do not lock this thread but keep this thread alive and running. We will keep the thread discussion within the scope of the title. Pl feel free to delete all offensive/ out of context topics if this is going astray

Jagan

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Paul » 16 Jun 2003 16:44

Muhammad Osman was awarded MVC in 1948 operations as well.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Y I Patel » 16 Jun 2003 19:59

Lt Gen Rustom Kaikhusro Nanavatty - commanded a brigade in Siachen, a Division in JK (instrumental in regaining control over Baramulla), and went out in a blaze of glory by executing Sarp Vinash. His seems to be an amazing bio.

Often times, a general will be a product of his times. Anyone in Vaidya's place would have had to undergo the agony of Blue Star; likewise, Kumarmangalam's tenure saw the biggest and best organized expansion of the army. Both's tenures were products of their times. Same can be said, in different ways, of others like Chaudhry, Manekshaw, Malik, Padmanabhan, even Sundarji.

But still, there is room for those in the higher reaches to leave their own imprimatur - Krishna Rao sowed the seeds of the mechanized revolution that came to bloom in Sundarji's time, and he is also credited for pushing forcefully for a nuclear deterrent. Under his urging, Indira Gandhi nearly tested in the early 80s. Add to that the fact that K Rao commanded the elite 8 Mtn before and during Liberation of Bangladesh. So, to my mind, Krishna Rao is one of the stellar generals India has had.

Another general, who by my reading seems to have left a big impact, is Gen Hanut Singh, who was a big influence in shaping the doctrine of thrust to Indus in the open spaces of Rajasthan. His theory was implemented in Op Digvijay, the forerunner of Op Brass Tacks. One of the generals participating in Digvijay, of course, was Sundarji. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Sundarji has a habit of showing up at just the right places.

Vaidya's two MVCs, one as a Col, and one as a Brig, qualify him as a general who had a positive influence on the Army. He is (IMHO) unfairly remembered as the General who superseeded Sinha and the one who ordered Blue Star to be launched.

So the ones that really stand out, as having transcended their circumstances, are Harbaksh Singh and Krishna Rao. I may add Rustom Nanavatty to this list if I get to know more about him, but right now, its just these two gents.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Saurabh » 16 Jun 2003 20:27

Originally posted by Jagan:
Brig Hoshiar Singh was KIA in 1962
Brig JP Dalvi was taken POW in 1962
Brig BF Masters died in Arty Shelling in 1965
Maj Gen Gurbux Singh of 101 CZ in 1971 was wounded badly (when the jeep he was travelling ran over mine )

The IA has a list of Maj Gens listed as Peace time combat casualities. These include Maj Gen Atma Singh (1949-50 Unknown Causes), a couple of Maj Gens whose helicopters crashed while touring forward combat areas and Maj Gen EW Feranandez whowas killed at the Badami Bagh Cantonment area blasts in 1990s (said to be a IED Timer in an arms cache he was examining). Atleast two Brigadiers were also killed in COIN Ops in J and K.
Lt Gen. Jameel Mehmood - Army Commander Eastern Command died in a Helicopter Crash with his lady wife in the early 1990's (ish).

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Bishwa » 16 Jun 2003 23:18

That was not combat related. That helicopter crash was caused by weather/technical reasons.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby AmanC » 16 Jun 2003 23:29

Originally posted by bishwa:
That was not combat related. That helicopter crash was caused by weather/technical reasons.
The chopper hit electric high tension wires while taking off. The Gen and his wife plus all others were burnt alive.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Kedar » 17 Jun 2003 01:51

Originally posted by sbajwa:
What is the highest rank indian officer that attained martyrdom on the battlefield against foreign aggression?

I have hears lots of lieutenants, captains, majors but few maj. generals and above.
Just before the 1965 war, TSP had sabotaged a plane that was to carry some top military officers. The plane did crash and five top officers died. :mad: One of them was Maj-Gen Nanavati and my Dad knew his wife and son (only one I believe).

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 17 Jun 2003 12:55

YiP

Thanks for the informative post. I am sure you will be able to put in much needed info in this thread on the Post 1971 generals. Krishna Rao is one of the few Generals whose stellar contribution went beyond his term of service in Uniform. His role as Governor of J and K is an important contribution. But that is outside the purview of this thread.

While Vaidya's contribution to the 65 and 71 wars is not in doubt, weren't there questions asked about his conduct and public display of political affection to a certain Political party? I heard of a certain Air Marshal who was accused of similar acts who went on to become CAS later.

Kedar,

The temptation to blame 'Pakistan' for everything is high. But accidents involving Senior Officers is not uncommon.

The particular incident in which Nanavati died is a famous one . it was an Alloutte crash in Nov 63 that killed AVM Erlic Pinto, Lt Gen Daulet Singh, Lt Gen Bikram Singh and others. The loss of so many senior officers in an accident always raised suspicions , but the CoI ruled out sabotage and has stated that the Chopper hit electric wires over the Poonch River and crashed.

The consipracy theory surfaced again lately, IIRC someone from Hindustan Times was trying to investigate possible sabotage into the accident. I dont know how far the report has come yet.

Jagan

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby debjani » 17 Jun 2003 13:17

If a heicopter crashes by hitting high tension wires, then it can hardly be a conspiracy; unless of course the pilots had been'bought'. Obviously they couldn't have been since there were no jihadis then!

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Y I Patel » 18 Jun 2003 01:06

Jagan thanks a lot for the kind words. Re Vaidya, the charges of him being friendly with Cong appeared in Gen Sinha's book, so I have applied the maxim of innocent until proven guilty by a non-hostile witness :)

I would really appreciate it if Ray sahab or anyone else can shed some more light on RK Nanavatty's career. Ray Sahab has, on one occassion, spoken very highly about Gen Shekatkar (exGOC 8 Mtn and 4 Corps). Ray sahab since this is an innocent and benign issue, I am taking the liberty of posting your reminiscence here. Please expand if you feel it is appropriate to do so.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Paul » 20 Jun 2003 14:10

Can one of the BR gurus comment on the role played by Brig. Zoru Bakshi in 1965 and 1971. Seems to me his career ended early for some one who played such a prominent and successful role in both wars. What was his equation with the Military top brass at that time.

I think he was a Dogra by origin.

Also why did we lose Chamb in 1971?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Surya » 20 Jun 2003 16:47

Jagan,

I think we should seperate their professional aspects out. Many big shots have other unsavoury behaviour on thri books - not related to the military work

Surya

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Y I Patel » 21 Jun 2003 01:42

I second Surya, especially when it comes to personal aspects. This is actually a very common phenomenon that all of us encounter. I see one aspect of my boss, working with him day in day out. My wife, who meets him occassionally in a social context, sees an entirely different aspect. And our work colleagues/clients see a third aspect. So who is right?

All of us operate in grays, and in the most part we are all products of our circumstances and environment. It is very rare to find someone who can be truly said to transcend his environment - a Zhukov or a Rokossovsky, perhaps? But then again, Rokossovsky would have perished in Siberia but for Op Barbarossa!

Such a recokning becomes even more difficult in an organization that is so dependent on teamwork, like the army is. If Lt Gen XXI Singh has a killer plan to slice to the Indus, how much of that is his inspiration, and how much is owed to his staffs' perspiration?

So we go for the task of looking for that one spark that can set a General apart from many others. We sift through personal memoires of those he has served with, we ask for spoken rep, we pour over salad bars to divine the life experience that formed him... and then, we pass tentative judgement.

Sorry of the ramble! If you got so far, thanks for putting up with it :) Am in a philosophical mood today.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Mandeep » 21 Jun 2003 22:45

Does anyone recall an Indian general who migrated to Pakistan after retirement ?

This was Maj Gen Aftab Ahmed Khan, Director of Supplies and Transport 1949-53. A KCIO.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby member_5708 » 31 Aug 2003 08:52

Originally posted by Ray:
A Brigadier is actually a Brigadier General. Not used otherwise in the Indian and British Army.

Why is a [b]Major
General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major ?[/b]

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby member_5708 » 31 Aug 2003 08:58

Originally posted by Ray:
A Brigadier is actually a Brigadier General. Not used otherwise in the Indian and British Army.

Why is a [b]Major
General junior to a Lieutenant General and yet a Lietuenant is junior to a Major ?[/b]
hi
the ranks in the field army are based on field ranks.
the field ranks for junior officers start from
Lt (2nd Lt has gone) to Col as he is the last man really in command of a effective field/fighthing force.

from the ranks of brig the same approach to the junior rank starts.the history is that the rank of the brig was supposed to be equated with the rank of capt in the field army.now the rank of capt general was not accepted and the field rank of brig general was accpeted.then the ranks of the general officers took the same sequence as the field officers:
maj
lt col
col
thus
general officers rank field officer ranks
brig capt
maj general maj
lt gen lt col
col gen(has been done away col
with by the british)
gen

the rank of col gen was very much present in the soviet army.
regards
tonmoy

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby mikoyan » 01 Sep 2003 03:35

Would like to add a couple of more Generals to the pool.
Lt. Gen KS Brar (Bluestar)
Lt. Gen Satish Nambiar ( supposedly a Sundarji protege - commanded the first mech brigade & later division, + Bosnia where he got the boot because the goras refused to operate under an asian) - his brother is the India rep to the UN.
Lt. Gen TB Henderson Brooks (Who's evaluation of 62 is something the government is not willing to declassify even 40 years on)
Maj. Gen DS Brar (reported to be the first Indian to command a battalion in action in 1943, Italy), If I'm not wrong he's also the father of Gen.KS & TPS Brar. He was also Commisioner of a UN mission in Vietnam in the 50's.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Mudy » 01 Sep 2003 04:08

Any news about two Generals (brothers) caught in golf club in 80's passing scerets to USA.
Are they still alive?

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 01 Sep 2003 07:20

Originally posted by Mudy:
Any news about two Generals (brothers) caught in golf club in 80's passing scerets to USA.
Are they still alive?
You probably mean the Larkin brothers. One of them was not an Army General, but an Air Force AVM. Some of the documents they were asked to pass on were manuals for the MiG-23 or MiG-25

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Airavat » 01 Sep 2003 11:23

Brigadier Rajinder Singh MVC (Posthumous), a Rajput of Jammu, became Chief of J&K State Forces on the day of Pakistan's creation viz. 14th August 1947.

He replaced Maj Gen HL Scott of the British Indian Army. Scott had shown bad judgement in undermining the threat perception from Pakistan, and had distributed the nine infantry battalions of the J&K Army in penny packets all across the state.

Thus when the invaders struck at Muzzafrabad, Rajinder Singh from Srinagar could only muster a 250 strong force to oppose them, and had to do so in person.

Incidentally he died while commanding the state army and never became part of independent India's Armed Froces; before the accession was signed. But he had saved the state from the invaders against all odds, and was thus awarded the MVC.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Jagan » 01 Sep 2003 11:53

Originally posted by addy:

Thus when the invaders struck at Muzzafrabad, Rajinder Singh from Srinagar could only muster a 250 strong force to oppose them, and had to do so in person.
This is actually a myth that no additional troops were available. Lt Gen LP Sen in his book writes that all the time the Indian army had streched itself and fighting the battle for its life at Shelatang, there were nearly 2000 fully armed troops of JAK State forces stationed in the badami bagh cantonment in Srinagar. Aparently they never ventured out of thier barracks to find out what was happening.

Rajinder singh knew of them and it is indeed perplexing why he did not take more troops with him.

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Re: India's Generals who made an Impact

Postby Airavat » 01 Sep 2003 12:08

Jagan,

I've read Sen's "Slender was the Thread".

He explains that these were part of the 1000 strong cavalry regiment who performed ceremonial duties and were not suited for combat.

Sen later used them for patrolling the outskirts of Srinagar city on horseback, and confessed that they were competent in that job.


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