Sam Manekshaw

It took Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw only 14 days to secure his place in Indian history. The career officer, who died June 27 at 94, had a mystique as thick as his silvered mustache, after fighting heroically against the Japanese in World War II. But his defining moment came with the Indian army's decisive victory in the two-week 1971 war against Pakistan. For a country that had been mired in seemingly endless battles on its borders for most of its history, his triumph became one of India's crowning military achievements.

Manekshaw's winning strategy began with patience. As army Chief of...

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