IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st December, 2023 Defence


Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


Sam Manekshaw, India’s beloved war general and the country’s first Field Marshal, is now the subject of a biopic, Sam Bahadur.


  • "Sam Bahadur" is a revered nickname for Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, one of India's most celebrated military commanders.
  • His leadership during critical moments in India's history, especially during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, earned him respect and admiration from the nation.

Early Life and Education

  • Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw was born on April 3, 1914, in Amritsar, Punjab (now in Pakistan), into a Parsi family.
  • He attended the Sherwood College in Nainital and later joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.

Military Career

  • Manekshaw was commissioned into the British Indian Army in 1934 and served with distinction in various campaigns during World War II.
  • He was one of the few officers to be selected for the first post-independence batch of the Indian Army officers in 1947.
  • Manekshaw quickly rose through the ranks due to his exceptional leadership, tactical acumen, and bravery.

Key Roles and Achievements

  • During the 1962 Sino-Indian War, he served as the Director of Military Operations (DMO) and played a crucial role in handling logistics and planning.
  • In 1969, he was appointed as the 8th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army.
  • His most notable moment came during the 1971 Indo-Pak War when he orchestrated one of the most decisive victories in military history.
  • Manekshaw's strategic brilliance and meticulous planning led to the creation of Bangladesh following the surrender of Pakistan's forces in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in December 1971.
  • He was honored with the rank of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the Indian Army, in recognition of his exemplary service and leadership.

Leadership Style and Personality

  • Manekshaw was known for his wit, humor, and straightforwardness. His charismatic personality earned him the respect and admiration of his troops and colleagues.
  • He was a compassionate leader who cared deeply for the welfare of his soldiers.

Later Life and Legacy

  • After retiring from the army in 1973, Manekshaw remained a revered figure and continued to be a voice of wisdom on military and national matters.
  • He lived a simple life and was known for his humility and integrity.
  • Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passed away on June 27, 2008, at the age of 94, leaving behind an enduring legacy as one of India's greatest military leaders.

Honors and Recognition

  • Manekshaw received numerous awards and honors, including the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan, and the Military Cross for his distinguished service.


Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's leadership, valor, and dedication to the nation have etched his name indelibly in India's history as a true hero and a patriot. His life story serves as an inspiration and a testament to the virtues of courage, leadership, and selflessness.


Q. Analyzing the Leadership and Legacy of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, discuss his pivotal role in shaping India's military history and its implications on the country's strategic developments. How did his exceptional leadership during the 1971 Indo-Pak War redefine the geopolitical landscape in South Asia? (250 Words)