He was born on 28 April 1930 at Chengelpet in Tamil Nadu. He joined the Madras Christian College only to leave it before receiving a degree. Subsequently, he graduated from the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington, Tamil Nadu. He also studied at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in the US, and the National Defence College in New Delhi. He held an Master of Arts in International Studies from Allahabad University and an M.Sc. in Defence Studies from Madras University. He had married Padma Sundarji when he was a Major serving with the MAHAR Regiment, an infantry Unit in the Indian Army. Padma spent the best years of her life giving him company throughout his various postings. When he was serving as General Officer Commanding (GOC), XXXIII Corps in Eastern command, she died at Army Hospital, Delhi Cantt in 1978, of cancer. He had two children, Pria and Vikram, from this marriage. Later, he married for the second time. General Krishnaswami Sundarji, PVSM
(01 Feb 1985 to 31 May 1988)
1. General Sundarji was born on 30th Apr 1928 and was Commissioned into 2 MAHAR in April 1946. 2. A graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington he also attended the General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth (USA) in 1967-68 and subsequently the Senior Officers Preventive Maintenance Course at Fort Knox (USA). He was also a graduate of NDC, New Delhi . 3. General Sundarji held a number of coveted staff and instructional appointments with distinction. He was Brigade Major of an Indian Independent Brigade Group Congo in 1962-63 as part of UN Peace Keeping Force where he was awarded Mentioned - in - Despatches and Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of a Corps in Eastern Sector. 4. He commanded a mountain Brigade, an Infantry Division, an Armoured Division and a Corps. He was the Commandant, College of Combat and later General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Western Command. He was Vice Chief of Army Staff prior to reaching the pinnacle of his career as COAS in 1985. 5. General Sundarji conducted 'Operation Brasstacks' in Rajasthan in Dec 1986 to test new concept of mobilisation with precision. He was also awarded the PVSM in 1978 in recognition of his distinguished service of the most exception order. He passed away on 8thFeb 1999. Life as a soldier
Even as a young soldier he proved himself to be a leader, a man of foresight and wisdom. He was commissioned in 1946 into the Mahar Regiment, where his work involved two of the most troublesome areas of North-West Frontier Province and then in Jammu and Kashmir. In the period following India's independence (and separation from Pakistan), he was involved in action in Kargil, when a host of mercenaries supported by Pakistan invaded Kashmir. In 1963 he served in the UN mission in the Congo, where he was chief of staff of the Katanga command and was mentioned in dispatches for his gallantry. In 1965 he was once again back in action in India, to fight in the Indo-Pak war. The war was a complete misadventure by Pakistan. This might have made Sundarji realize the crucial role, technology could play in winning wars, placed as he was in command of an Infantry battalion. He played an important role as Brigadier General Staff of corps in the Rangpur sector of Bangladesh, during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. This war led to the liberation of Bangladesh. He became a Major General in 1974.For the first time in the history of Indian Army, an Infantry Officer became the General Officer Commanding(GOC)of the elite First Armoured Division. He was chosen by Gen. KV Krishna Rao to be part of a small team for reorganizing the Indian army, especially with regard to technology. He came to head the Mechanised Infantry Regiment, which he had himself shaped, by inducting various battlaions from Indian army's premier regiments.
Sundarji as a writer
He had other sides to his personality. He had written many articles and even...
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