Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw | Biography, Early Life, Military Career, Movie

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, also known as Sam Manekshaw and Sam Bahadur (3 April 1914 – 27 June 2008). Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the very first  Indian Army officer who was promoted to the rank of field marshal. During his four decades of military career, Manekshaw actively served in five wars including World War II, the 1948 Kashmir War Against Pakistan and Afghan tribals, the 1962 Indo-Sino war, 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars. Sam worked as the Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

In 1932, Sam Manekshaw joined the first intake of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and was designated into the 4th Battalion and 12th Frontier Force Regiment.  He actively participated in World War II and was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.  He was reassigned to the 8th Gorkha Rifles in 1947.

Manekshaw never supervised an infantry battalion because, during the 1947 Indo-Pakistani War and the Hyderabad crisis, he was backed up for a planning role.  While serving at the Miltary Operations Directorate, Sam Bahadur was promoted to the rank of brigadier in 1952. After being promoted, he became commander of 167 Infantry Brigade and worked in the same position for 2 years. In 1954, he was brought to the director of military training at Army Headquarters.

Sam Manekshaw completed his higher command course at the Imperial Defence College. After that, Sam Bahadur was appointed general officer commanding the 26th Infantry Division.  He also worked as the commandant of the Defence Services Staff College.

In 1963, Manekshaw was promoted to an army commander. He took over the Western Command but transferred to the Eastern Command in 1964.

In  1969, Sam Manekshaw became the 7th chief of the army staff because of his experience as commander of troops at the division, corps, and regional levels. In 1971, Under his supervision, The Indian forces conducted several victorious campaigns against Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani War. In December 1971, as a result the Indo-Pak War led to the creation of Bangladesh. He received several awards including the Padma Vibhushan, and Padma Bhushan, the second and third-highest civilian awards in India.

Early Life and Education of Sam Manekshaw 

Sam Manekshaw was born in a Parsi family on April 3rd, 1914 in Amritsar, Punjab. His father, Hormizd Manekshaw was a doctor, and His mother Hilla Mehta, was a homemaker. Sam had 5 siblings ( 3 brothers and 2 sisters). He was the third son of his parents. His elder brothers Fali and Jan were Engineers. His sisters Cilla and Sheru were teachers. His younger brother Jami also worked in the Indian Armed Forces.

Sam Manekshaw was a naughty and high-spirited boy. He wanted to become a doctor like his father. He completed his primary education in Amritsar, Punjab, and then he was admitted to Sherwood College, Nainital. In 1929, at the age of 15 years, He secured a Junior Cambridge Certificate, an English language curriculum developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations, and left his college. He secured his Senior Cambridge (in the School Certificate of the Cambridge Board) with distinction  In 1931.

Manekshaw wanted to go to London for further study in medicine. But his father refused. So, he was admitted to the Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar (which is now known as the Hindu College, Amritsar), and in April 1932, he passed his education in science with 3rd division from the University of the Punjab. He applied for the entrance examination to enroll in the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and secured the 6th rank among one of the 15 cadets through open competition.

Military Career of Sam Manekshaw

During the 4 decades of military career, he served the nation with courage and dedication.  In 1934, Sam Manekshaw was employed in the British Indian Army. In 1947-48, he served with recognition in World War II and the Indo-Pakistani War.  In 1971, during the Indo-Pakistan war as the chief of the Army Staff,  he showed his leadership qualities and directed a strong victory leading to the creation of Bangladesh.  His exceptional leadership qualities paid off and he earned  the title of “Sam Bahadur.” 

In 1973, He was appointed as the First Field Marshal of the Indian Army, in recognition of his contributions in the wars.

Major Wars Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw Involved 

During his military career, he participated in several wars. Here are the five major wars he was involved in:

World War II (1939-1945)

 During World War II, Sam Manekshaw noticed movement in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Burma Campaign. During his service, he showed his military skills and served with honor in the British Indian Army.

First Kashmir War (1947-1948)

In 1947, Following the partition of British India,  During the first war between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir,  Sam Bahadur showed his leadership quality as a brigade major.

Sino-Indian War (1962)

During the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Manekshaw served as  GOC-in-C (General Officer Commanding-in-Chief) of the Eastern Command. His insights as GOC-in-C contributed to the modernization and restructuring of the Indian Army.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Sam Bahadur served as the Chief of the Army Staff. He headed Indian military operations against Pakistan and during the war his leadership qualities and strategies were noticeable.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the leadership of Manekshaw as the Chief of Army Staff was commendable in the creation of Bangladesh. He did not only prepare but executed a military strategy brilliantly. His brilliant strategies led to the powerful victory of Indian and Bangladeshi forces over Pakistan.

Post-Retirement Life of Sam Manekshaw

After getting retired from military service, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw contributed his time to public life.

Military Advisor:

Post-Retirement, Sam Manekshaw became a military advisor because of his strategic thinking and knowledge. He continued to give his input to discussions as a military advisor on national security, defense policies, and international relations.

Public Figure:

Because of his strong character, Sam Manekshaw became a beloved public figure, often seen in the media. Through media channels, he kept sharing his stories from his military career and provided commentary on various issues.


Sam Manekshaw collaborated with  Lieutenant General D. K. Palit and wrote an autobiography, titled “Sam Manekshaw: The Man and His Times”. His autobiography on his military career explains how he joined the military, the wars he participated in, and how his thoughts and strategy worked during wars

Advocate for Veterans:

He became an articulated advocate for the welfare of military veterans. He highlighted the requirement for a powerful support system for retired servicemen and their families post-retirement. His advocacy helped in the challenges faced by veterans 

Legacy of Sam Manekshaw

During his post-retirement life, Sam Manekshaw received several awards and recognitions. In 1973, Due to his outstanding services, he was appointed as the first Field Marshal of the Indian Army. His legacy as a symbol of goodness and a brave military leader continued to grow and became unforgettable 

Sam Manekshaw Awards

Padma VibhushanPadma Bhushan
Burma StarPoorvi Star
Paschimi Star1939–45 Star
Sangram MedalRaksha Medal
Military Cross (MC)Sainya Seva Medal
India Service MedalBurma Gallantry Medal
General Service Medal 1947War Medal 1939–1945
Indian Independence Medal9 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal25th Independence Anniversary Medal
Awards of Sam Manekshaw

Dates of Rank Which is Given to Sam Manekshaw

RankComponentDate of Rank
Second LieutenantBritish Indian Army4 February 1934
LieutenantBritish Indian Army4 May 1936
CaptainBritish Indian ArmyJuly 1940 (Acting)
1 August 1940 (Temporary)
20 February 1941 (War-Substantive)
4 February 1942 (Substantive)
MajorBritish Indian Army7 August 1940 (Acting)
20 February 1941 (Temporary)
4 February 1947 (Substantive)
Lieutenant ColonelBritish Indian Army30 October 1944 (Local)
5 May 1946 (Acting)
MajorIndian Army15 August 1947
ColonelIndian Army1948 (Acting)
BrigadierIndian Army1948 (Acting)
Lieutenant-ColonelIndian Army26 January 1950 (Substantive; Recommissioning and Change in Insignia)
ColonelIndian Army4 February 1952
BrigadierIndian Army26 February 1950 (Acting)
April 1954 (Acting)
4 February 1957 (Substantive)
Major GeneralIndian Army20 December 1957 (Acting)
1 March 1959 (Substantive)
Lieutenant GeneralIndian Army2 December 1962 (Acting)
20 July 1963 (Substantive)
Indian Army8 June 1969
Field marshalIndian Army1 January 1973
Dates of Rank Which is Given to Sam Manekshaw

Death of Sam Manekshaw

On June 27, 2008, at Military Hospital in Wallington, Tamilnadu, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw took his last breath and passed away at the age of 94.

Motivational Quotes By Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

  1. If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.
  2. Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership.
  3. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader.
  4. Give me a man or a woman with common sense and who is not an idiot and I assure you can make a leader out of him or her.
  5. Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way. It is continuous study and you never acquire it in today’s fast-moving technological world that you are living in.
  6. You should have to fight and fight to win. There is no roof for the losers. If you lose don’t come back. You will have disgraced the country and the country won’t accept you.
  7. A ‘Yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace. He will go very far. He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected.
  8. I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, guerilla from a gorilla, although great many resemble the latter.

Sam Manekshaw Book

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the Chief of the Indian Army from 1969 to 1973. This book reflects Sam, his character traits, sense of humor, moral and professional courage, and the enigma that made up his personality.

Sam Manekshaw Movie

The Sam bahadur movie is based on sam manekshaw.

Sam Bahadur is a 2023 Indian Hindi-language biographical war drama film based on the life of India’s first field marshal, Sam Manekshaw. It is directed by Meghna Gulzar who co wrote with Bhavani Iyer and Shantanu Srivastava. Produced by Ronnie Screwvala, under the banner of RSVP Movies.

Watch Sam Bahadur’s Movie Trailer Here

Sam Bahadur’s Movie Trailer

Sam Bahadur Starts: Vicky Kaushal in the title role, alongside Fatima Sana Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Neeraj Kabi, Edward Sonnenblick and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.

Sam Manekshaw Movie won several awards, including:

Filmfare Award for Best Film (Critics)
Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critics) – Vicky Kaushal
Filmfare Award for Best Director – Meghna Gulzar

Frequently Asked Questions Related Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

Who is Sam Manekshaw Wife?

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s wife was Siloo Manekshaw

Sam Manekshaw Son Name?

The Sam Manekshaw have two sons named Raoul Sam and Jehan Sam.

Who is Sam Manekshaw Daughter?

Sam Manekshaw had two daughters:

  • Sherry Manekshaw Batliwala: Born in 1940
  • Maya Manekshaw Daruwala: Born in 1945

What is Age of Sam Manekshaw?

Unfortunately, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is no longer alive to have an age. He passed away on June 27, 2008, at the age of 94.

What is Sam Manekshaw Religion?

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw’s Religion is belongs to the Parsi community, a Zoroastrian religious minority group in India.

What is Height of Sam Manekshaw?

Sam Manekshaw Height (approx.) 173 cm. And in meters- 1.73 m.

Why is Sam Manekshaw So Famous?

He is most famous officer becuase he led the Indian Army to its momentous victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Which Book is Based on Sam Manekshaw?

The Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw: The Man and His Times is based on sam manekshaw.

Who is the Man in Sam Manekshaw Movie?

Sam Manekshaw played by Vicky Kaushal.

What is Sam Manekshaw Movie Release Date?

Sam Maneksh or Sam Bahadur release on December 1 2023.

How Many Times Was Sam Manekshaw Shot?

The exact number of times Sam Manekshaw was shot is disputed, with sources reporting between 7 and 9 bullets.

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