scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Who was Field Marshal KM Cariappa?

KM Cariappa received the prestigious order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in the Burma against the Japanese during the Second World War.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 20, 2020 11:02:35 am
first Indian Army chief, General K M Kariappa, General K M Cariappa on Constitution, Indira Gandhi term, Indian army head Kariappa on Indira Gandhi Kodandera Madappa Cariappa became the first Indian Officer to be given command of a unit in 1942

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday pitched for Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, independent India’s first army chief, to be conferred the Bharat Ratna. However, few know of the man whose unrelenting patriotism and secular beliefs blazed a trail in the Indian Army.

KM Cariappa is a man known for many firsts, but most importantly, he is known as the man who took charge of the Indian Army from its last British Commander in Chief, General Sir Roy Bucher. Born on January 28, 1899, in Coorg, Cariappa completed his education at Central High School at Madikeri and went on to study at the Presidency College in Madras.

However, Cariappa began his Army stint under the British and was among the few selected for the first batch of KCIOs (King’s Commissioned Indian Officers) at the Daly Cadet College in Indore and was commissioned in the Carnatic Infantry. He was in active service with the 37 (Prince of Wales) Dogra in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and then posted to the 2nd Rajput Light Infantry (Queen Victoria’s Own). Cariappa went on to become the first Indian officer to undergo the course at Staff College, Quetta in 1933. In 1946, he got promoted as the Brigadier of the Frontier Brigade Group.

ALSO READ: Army Chief Bipin Rawat says Field Marshal KM Cariappa deserves the Bharat Ratna

Subscriber Only Stories
Delhi Confidential: Raghav Chadha strikes a lyrical note as he bids farew...Premium
PM’s Office declares assets of Ministers, Modi donates share in only prop...Premium
9 FIRs, many notices: Shrikant Tyagi’s long record of notorietyPremium
Post pandemic, employees reluctant to return, firms take offices to small...Premium

By Indian independence, Cariappa saw action in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Burma and became the first Indian Officer to be given command of a unit in 1942. He went on to receive many awards and accolades in his career spanning three decades. He received the prestigious order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in the Burma against the Japanese during the Second World War.

In 1947, Cariappa became the first Indian to be selected to undergo a training course at Imperial Defence College, Camberly, UK. His role during the Partition is rarely mentioned, during which he oversaw the division of the Army. Cariappa also led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pak War of 1947 and successfully recaptured Zojila, Drass and Kargil and established a linkup with Leh.

On January 15, 1949, Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. He held the five-star rank of field marshal, the highest honour in the Indian Army, which Sam Manekshaw is the only other officer to have held. He was also awarded the ‘Order of the Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit’ by US President, Harry Truman

Advertisement

Even after his retirement from the Army in 1953, Cariappa was not finished yet and served as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956. He died in Bengaluru in 1993 at the age of 94.

With PTI inputs 

TWO IS ALWAYS BETTER | Our two-year subscription package offers you more at less

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Who Is News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
First published on: 04-11-2017 at 05:10:47 pm

Featured Stories

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement