Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri

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Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri
Nickname(s) Muchhu
Born 10 June 1908
Died 6 April 1983 (aged 74)
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Rank Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army
Battles/wars Operation Polo
Awards Order of the British Empire, Padma Vibhushan
Major General Syed Ahmed El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) J. N. Chaudhuri at Secunderabad.

Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri, usually J. N. Chaudhuri (10 June 1908 – 6 April 1983) was Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1962 to 1966 and the Military Governor of Hyderabad State from 1948 to 1949. After his retirement from the Indian Army, he served as the Indian High Commissioner to Canada from 19 July 1966 until August 1969.[1]

Biography[edit]

Born in a Bengali family, on 10 June 1908, studied at St. Xavier's College, Calcutta of the University of Calcutta in the city of Kolkata, Highgate School in London, and Royal Military College, Sandhurst. At Sandhurst, he got his nickname "Muchhu" (owing to his rich mustachios).

Commissioned from Sandhurst onto the Unattached List, Indian Army 2 February 1928. Returning to India he was attached to the 1st battalion North Staffordshire Regiment from 19 March 1928. He was accepted for the Indian Army and joined the 7th Light Cavalry on the 19th March 1929. He was promoted Lieutenant 2 May 1930. In 1934 he attended the course at the Equitation School, Saugor. Promoted Captain 2 February 1937. He attended Quetta Staff College from December 1939 to June 1940.

In 1940, he went overseas on the staff of the 5th Indian Division and saw service in Sudan, Eritrea, Abyssinia and the western deserts of Africa. For his services he was Mentioned in Dispatches (London Gazette 26/12/41 distinguished services in the Middle East Feb to July 1941 (Captain, Indian Armoured Corps) and was awarded the OBE (London Gazette 18/2/43 for gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East May to Oct 1942 - Lieutenant Colonel, Indian Armoured Corps). Recalled to India, he was appointed as the Senior Instructor at the Quetta Staff College as a G.S.O.1 in 1943.

In August 1944 he transfers to the 16th Light Cavalry. Commanded it September 1944 - October 1945 in Burma for which he was twice more Mentioned in Dispatches, London Gazette 9/5/46 for gallant and distinguished services in Burma (Temporary Lt-Col 16th Light Cavalry) and London Gazette 17/9/46 for gallant and distinguished services in Burma (Temporary Lt-Col, Indian Armoured Corps). At the end of the Burma campaign, he saw service in French Indo-China with his regiment in Java, Indonesia. Promoted substantive Major 2 February 1945

In 1946, he was promoted Brigadier in Charge of Administration in Malaya and in the same year was selected to command the Indian Victory Contingent to London. Following a course at the Imperial Defence College at England in 1947, he returned to India and was appointed Director of Military Operations & Intelligence at Army Headquarters in New Delhi in November 1947. Chaudhuri worked with Major General Mohite to complete military evacuation from Pakistan. He had to organise the Kashmir war effort up to May 1948, when he was succeeded by SHFJ Maneckshaw as DMO and Chand Narayan Das as Director of Military Intelligence. In February 1948 he was promoted Major General and became the officiating Chief of the General Staff. In May 1948, he took over command of the 1st Armoured Division which played a major role in the 1948 Hyderabad Operations. Following Operation Polo in 1948, he was appointed as the Military Governor of Hyderabad. In the years following, he occupied important military posts and led an Indian Military Delegation to China. In 1949, he was appointed as the first Colonel Commandant of the Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. In January 1952, he was appointed as the Adjutant General, Army HQ and in January 1953, he again took over as the Chief of the General Staff. On 19 November 1962, he was promoted General and took over as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). It is for him India won the war against Pakistan in 1965. Khemkaran became the gravyard of Patton tank. He retired on 7 June 1966, after completing 38 years of military service. For his services to the nation, he was presented with the Padma Vibhushan - India's second highest civilian honour — by the President of India.

Family background[edit]

Chaudhuri hailed from a distinguished Bengali family that has produced many renowned lawyers and writers. His family were the Zamindars of Haripur and the family was known as Chaudhuris of Haripur in the province of Bengal, British India. His grandfather was a landlord of Chatmohar Upazila of Pabna district of present day Bangladesh. Noted writer Pramatha Chaudhuri, who married a niece of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, was his uncle. His mother Pramila was the daughter of Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee, who was the first president of the Indian National Congress. He was also related to Barrister Kumud Nath Chaudhuri and Raisahib Babu Narendra Krishna Talukdar, Zamindar of Maligacha and honorary first class magistrate for Pabna District, Rajshahi.He wrote two books on military matters and served as a literary reviewer for a leading Indian daily The Statesman. He was the first Indian army chief to write an autobiography in 1979. He loved Western music and founded and was first president of the Delhi Symphony Society, an organization that promoted Western music. He retired in 1966 after 38 years of military service. Subsequently, he served as the Indian High Commissioner to Canada. Chaudhuri was married and had two children. He died on 6 April 1983.

Gen. J N Chaudhuri's father's six elder brothers, were all distinguished in their own right. Sir Asutosh Chaudhuri, Jogesh Chaudhuri, Kumudnath Chaudhuri, Pramathanath Chaudhuri, Capt. Manmathanath Chaudhuri and Dr. Suhridnath Chaudhuri. All the Chaudhuri wives belonged to the elite and aristocratic families of Bengal. J N Chaudhuri's cousin was Devikarani Rai Roerickh, 'First lady of Indian cinema', daughter of Capt. M N Chaudhuri.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • London Gazette (various dates)
  • Indian Army List (various dates)
  • Pradeep P. Barua, Gentlemen of the Raj: The Indian Army Officer Corps, 1817-1949

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Pran Nath Thapar
Chief of Army Staff
1962–1966
Succeeded by
Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam