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Remembering Field Marshal KM Cariappa on his Death Anniversary

KM Carriappa

KM Carriappa

During the Indo-Pakistani War in 1947, KM Carriappa led the nation on the Western Front. He is one of the two recipients of the title of Field Marshal of India

Kodandera ‘Kipper’ Madappa Carriappa, popularly known as KM Carriappa, was the first Indian post-Independent Commander-in-Chief. During the Indo-Pakistani War in 1947, KM Carriappa led the nation on the Western Front. He is one of the two recipients of the title of Field Marshal of India. The other holder of the title of Field Marshall is Sam Manekshaw.

Cariappa hailing from Karnataka was one of the first two Indians who were selected for training at the Imperial Defence College, Camberley, United Kingdom. He served as the commander of the Indian Army’s Eastern and Western Commands before taking over as the Indian Army’s Commander-in-Chief.

Army Day is celebrated to mark the important moment when Lieutenant General KM Carriappa took over as commander-in-chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher, the last British commander-in-chief of India in 1949. Infact, he 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.

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He saw action in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Burma and became the first Indian Officer to be given command of a unit in 1942. In 1947, he became the first Indian to be selected to undergo a training course at Imperial Defence College, Camberly, UK. On January 15, 1949, Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army

Even after his retirement from the Indian Army in 1953, he served as the High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand till 1956. He died in Bengaluru in 1993 at the age of 94.

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