A Soldier Till the Last
India's most celebrated army chief, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, has died. He was 94.
Manekshaw had been in a military hospital in the southern Indian town of Wellington for some time because of a progressive lung disease, the ministry said in a statement. Almost all his family members were by his side when he died Friday, it said.
Born on April 3, 1914, Manekshaw was commissioned into the Indian army in 1934 when the country was still ruled by Britain. He served in Myanmar, then called Burma, during World War II.
He became chief of the Indian army in 1969 and went on to lead troops to victory in a 1971 war against neighboring Pakistan that led to the creation of an independent Bangladesh.
He rose to the rank of field marshal in 1973, one of only two Indian army generals to have risen to that position, the ministry said.
Defense Minister A.K. Antony called Manekshaw "one of the most decorated officers of the Indian army."
"In his demise, the nation has lost a great soldier, a true patriot and a noble son," he said in the statement.