6. In 1953, Sam was appointed as the colonel of 61 Cavalry and 8 Gorkha Rifles and he remained the honorary Colonel of the units until his death. He was made the Chief of Army staff in 1969. Sam Manekshaw was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1969 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 for his services.
7. He fought five wars for the nation and was the eight Army Chief. As the Chief of the Army Staff, his strategy and tactics played an important part in securing the victory for nation. Sam united the forces of Army, Navy, and Air force into a well coordinated team which resulted in the defeat of the Pakistani Army in 1965 and it was his strategy which led to the Bangladeshi liberation in 1971.
8. When Indira Gandhi asked him if the Army was ready for the 1971 war, his reply was “I’m always ready, sweetie.” It was his master strategy and careful planning which led to the war getting finished in 13 days and India securing a victory over Pakistan. The Pakistan army surrendered unconditionally and 90,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoners. This led to the birth of Bangladesh.
9. Although Manekshaw was awarded the rank of field marshal in 1973, but it was reported that Sam was not given the complete benefits and allowances which he was entitled to as per his rank and position. When A. P. J. Abdul Kalam met Sam Manekshaw in Wellington in 2007, he presented Sam with a cheque for ₹1.3 crore, his owed unpaid pay for over 30 years.
10. Sam Manekshaw died in 2008 due to the complications from pneumonia at the age of 94 at the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu. His last words were “I AM OKAY”.
He was given the military honors, and was buried adjacent to his wife’s grave. Due to the controversies and his outspoken nature, and comments avoiding the political correctness, his funeral was not attended by the Prime Minister or any of the VIP Ministers. Not even a national day of mourning was declared for this great brave soldier.