Home->Chief of the Army Staff->General PN Thapar (08 May 1961 to 19 Nov 1962)
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Chief of the Army Staff
General Pran Nath Thapar
(08 May 1961 to 19 Nov 1962)
1.     General Thapar was born on 8th May 1906 and was educated at Government College, Lahore .  He was commissioned into the 1st Punjab Regiment from Sandhurst in 1926.  As a regimental officer, he spent nearly ten years with the 1st Punjab Regiment and later attended and qualified on staff courses at Quetta and Minlay-Manor in England.

2.     During the Second World War in 1941, he saw service in Burma , followed by a tenure in 1943-44 in the Middle East and Italy. In 1945 he was appointed as the Assistant Military Secretary, General Headquarters in India .  Later on he was selected to serve on the Army Reorganization Committee.

3.     In 1946, after victory over Japan , he commanded the 1st Battalion of his parent Regiment in Indonesia during the national trouble in that country.  Later he commanded the 161 Indian Infantry Brigade in East Bengal .  On the advent of partition and during its first turbulent months, General Thapar was Director of Military Operations and Intelligence at Army Headquarters, India from August to December 1947.  In November 1947, he was promoted to Maj General and officiated for a few months as Chief of the General Staff and later appointed as Military Secretary which post he held till Aug 1949.  This was followed by his appointment as Master General of Ordnance from Aug 1949 to Apr 1950.  He served as the Colonel of The Rajputana Rifles from 18th Jul 49 to 20th Jul 63.

4.     He commanded an Infantry Division for about four years and was promoted to the rank of Lt Gen in 1954 as Commander of a Corps.  He held this appointment till Dec 1955 when he was selected to attend the Imperial Defence College , London , from Jan to Dec 1956.  On successful completion of the course he was appointed as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command, and later took over Western Command on 25th May 1959.  General PN Thapar took over as Chief of the Army Staff on 8th May 1961 and served till 19th Nov 62.

5. General Thapar who hails from a distinguished family brought to his high office a wealth of experience and knowledge gained on various fronts during his thirty five years service.  A keen tennis and golf player, General Thapar was at one time services tennis Champion.  After retirement he was appointed as Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan from Aug 64 to 1st Jan 69.  He passed away on 23rd Jan 75 at the age of 69 yrs and 01 month.

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