Saturday, June 28, 2008

India's best-known soldier dies

The general who commanded the military campaign that led to the creation of Bangladesh has died at the age of 94.

Sam Manekshaw, whose career spanned four decades, was one of India's best known and well-respected soldiers.

Under the British, he was decorated for gallantry in World War II for his part fighting the Japanese army in Burma.

Under his command, India went to war with Pakistan in 1971, supporting Bengali nationalists in what was then East Pakistan.

Pakistan surrendered within 14 days and Bangladesh was born.

In 1973, only a fortnight before he retired, he was promoted to the rank of field marshal, one of only two Indian army generals to rise to the post.

Long Live Sam Bahadur