Sunday, July 06, 2008

World War - II, Pagoda Hills, Rangoon
Capt. Sam Manekshaw leads British Battalion "A" company against Japanese Army, captures the hill despite losing half the battalion, but severely wounded in stomach and liver ridden with 9 bullets.

Major General Cowan to Capt. Manekshaw: "A dead person cannot be awarded a Military Cross."
(pins his own Military cross on Capt. Manekshaw and gets him to Rangoon hospital)

Surgeon to Manekshaw: "What happenned?"

Manekshaw: “Oh, a donkey kicked.” [1]

The surgeon decides that if a soldier could have such a sense of humour at that critical hour, he must operate to save him. Capt. Manekshaw survives and and eventually rises to become India's eighth army chief.

"The prime minister, along with the army, navy, and air-force chiefs, all missed his funeral—which was a modest one held in Tamil Nadu in the south, not a grand one in the capital. His friends grumbled that even foreigners such as Lord Mountbatten were afforded greater respect in death. Bangladesh, however, paid grateful tribute to his part in the nation’s foundation." [2]
His last words were “I’m OK”

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji "Sam Bahadur" Jamshedji Manekshaw MC (April 3, 1914June 27, 2008)

My salutes. My tributes. You deserve better. Rest in peace.

[1] Wikipedia
[2] The Economist

No comments: