General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya- only Indian to command an Infantry brigade during the WW-II
In these series of post where we are discussing about the brave and the distinguished heroes of our armed forces, today I will share with you about General Thimayya who was an exceptional soldier of the Indian Army who served as Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 in the crucial years leading up to the conflict with China in 1962. This post will be full of knowledge and helpful for the aspirants.
So let’s begin
Life before joining the army
- He was born in Madikeri (formerly known as Coorg), Karnataka, on 31 March 1906.
- The family was a middle class leading coffee planter in that area, and her mother was very educated and was honoured with Kaiser-e-Hind Medal for contribution during the 1935 Quetta earthquake.
- His father’s side he belonged to the Kodendera clan to which India’s first commander-in-chief Cariappa also belonged as well.
- His maternal uncle C B Ponnappa was in the first batch of commissioned Indian officers from the Indore defence school and a batchmate of Cariappa.
- He completed his graduation from RIMC and was one of only six Indian cadets selected for further training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
Life in the army
- After completing his training, he was commissioned into the Indian Army on 4 February 1926 as a Second Lieutenant.
- Thimayya was attached to the Highland Light Infantry before a permanent posting with a regiment of the British Indian Army.
- He was soon posted to the 4th Battalion of the 19th Hyderabad Regiment now known as Kumaon Regiment.
- Thimayya brushed his soldiering skills on that excellent training ground in the Northwest Frontier (present-day Pakistan), battling Pathan tribals.
Deeds of Honour
- He was detailed to attend the Staff College at Quetta(Balochistan) where he and his wife had earlier made a name for themselves by selfless service during the 1935 Quetta earthquake.
- He then served as GSO2 (Ops) (a Grade II Staff Officer) of 25th Indian Division, the first Indian officer to get this coveted staff appointment.
- During the second world war, his division was given the task to face the Japanese Army, serving in the Second Arakan campaign.
- He was the commanding officer for this infantry, which he led with outstanding success in battle.
- It Was the first time when any Indian officer commanded an infantry brigade during world war 2.
- Thimayya represented the country during the surrender of the Japanese in Singapore, followed by the submission of the Japanese in the Philippines.
- He was awarded the ‘Keys to Manila’ when he was sent to the Philippines.
- He was promoted to the acting rank of Major-General in September 1947 and was then assigned the command of the 4th Infantry Division and also to take over the Punjab Boundary Force.
- In 1948 he was one of the active officers in the actions against the forces of Pakistan in the conflict over Kashmir.
- He succeeded in driving the raiders and the Pakistan Army out of the Kashmir Valley. Personally leading the attack in the forward-most tank, he was promoted to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, with the rank of Lieutenant-General, in January 1953.
- In 1954, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for Civil Service.
- General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya assumed charge of the Indian Army, as the 6th Chief of the Army Staff, on 7 May 1957.
Awards and medal
- Gen Thimayya received many awards for his tremendous and selfless service some of them are-
- Padma Bhushan
- General Service Medal 1947
- Indian Independence Medal
- Distinguished Service Order
- Burma Star
- War Medal 1939–1945
This all about the brave heart who not only made our country proud but also played the role of saviour for many others.
I hope this post motivated you all.
Share and stay tuned to DDE.