K S Katoch

Born(1915-07-15)15 July 1915
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, British India
Died25 April 2007(2007-04-25) (aged 91)
Flag of Jammu and Kashmir (1936-1953).svg
J & K State
 British India
Service/branch British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Years of service1936 - 1970
Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg
Lieutenant General
Commands heldXV Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Kashmir conflict
AwardsPadma Bhushan
Military Cross

Lieutenant General Kashmir Singh Katoch, MC (15 July 1915 – 25 April 2007) was an Indian Army General and military adviser to the Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir,[1] officiating as the Chief of Staff of the State Forces during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.[2] He later served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

Life and career

Katoch was born in 1915 in Srinagar to Janak Singh, an officer of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces, later a prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

He did his military training at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, completing the course in 1936.[3] After commissioning he was attached to the 1st battalion, East Surrey Regiment for a year.[4] He was posted to the 6th battalion Frontier Force Rifles (FFR, now the first Frontier Force Regiment of Pakistan) on 10 August 1937.[5] On 19 April 1942 he was attached to the 10th (training) battalion Frontier Force Rifles and by October 1942 held the rank of Lieutenant, war substantive Captain and temporary Major.[6]

He fought in World War II, commanding the Dogra Company of 6th battalion Frontier Force Rifles. The battalion served in Italy and fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino. When the Pathan company got severely mauled, the Dogra company cleared many of the machine gun nests. Katoch was awarded the Military Cross.[7][8]

Katoch became a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Indian Army at the age of 31.[1]

Jammu and Kashmir State Forces

After General Henry Lawrence Scott, the Chief of Staff of Kashmir State Forces, decided to relinquish his post in September 1947, the Maharaja requested the Government of India to second an officer to head the State Forces. Kashmir Singh Katoch, then a Colonel, was chosen for the job. However, Katoch felt that he was too junior to serve as the Chief of Staff and advised the Maharaja to appoint a senior officer such as Brigadier Rajinder Singh.[9][3] Katoch was then appointed as a 'military adviser' to the Maharaja.[10] However, Brigadier Rajinder Singh was killed in action within the first few days of the Pakistani tribal invasion,[11]

With the accession of the State to the Indian Union on 26–27 October 1947, the State Forces came under the command of the Indian Army. Colonel Katoch officiated as the commanding officer of the State Forces.[2]

Indian Army

On 18 November 1950, still only 35 years old, Katoch was promoted to acting brigadier and given command of a brigade.[12] He was promoted to colonel on 1 September 1955,[13] and to brigadier on 1 September 1958.[14] He was promoted to major-general on 1 September 1960,[15] and was appointed chairman, Permanent Joint Planning Committee on 4 February 1963.[16] He was promoted to acting lieutenant-general on 1 May 1963 and appointed the Adjutant General of the Indian Army,[17] with promotion to the substantive rank on 23 November.[18]

He subsequently commanded the XV Corps in the Kashmir Valley. It was the main force that fought against Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.[7][19]

Later life

On 8 June 1966, Katoch was appointed Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS).[20] He retired in 1970, and died on 25 April 2007.[21]


The Government of India awarded Gen Katoch the third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 1965,[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Independence Day and Kashmir". The Nation. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bhattacharya, NOTHING BUT! 2013, p. 61.
  3. ^ a b Bhattacharya, NOTHING BUT! 2013, p. 30.
  4. ^ October 1936 Indian Army list
  5. ^ July 1938 Indian Army list
  6. ^ October 1942 Most Secret edition, Indian Army list
  7. ^ a b London Gazette 28 October 1944
  8. ^ Hamid Hussain, The (British) Indian Army’s Legacy in India and Pakistan, Brown Pundits Archive, 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ Narain, Partap (1999), Subedar to Field Marshal, Manas Publications, p. 237, ISBN 978-81-7049-072-2
  10. ^ Karim, Afsir (1991), Counter Terrorism, the Pakistan Factor, Lancer Publishers, pp. 225–, ISBN 978-81-7062-127-0
  11. ^ Cardozo, Major General Ian (2003), Param Vir: Our Heroes in Battle, Roli Books Private Limited, pp. 31–, ISBN 978-93-5194-029-6
  12. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 13 January 1951. p. 5.
  13. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 23 February 1957. p. 45.
  14. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 10 January 1959. p. 9.
  15. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 16 September 1961. p. 245.
  16. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 13 April 1963. p. 123.
  17. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 8 June 1963. p. 193.
  18. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 January 1964. p. 11.
  19. ^ Bajwa, Farooq (2013), From Kutch to Tashkent: The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, Hurst Publishers, pp. 123, 168, ISBN 978-1-84904-230-7
  20. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 16 July 1966. p. 413.
  21. ^ "Former Vice Chief Katoch No More". OneIndia News. 27 April 2007.
  22. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.


Military offices Preceded byS. D. Verma General Officer Commanding XV Corps 1963-1966 Succeeded byKashmir Singh Katoch Preceded byBikram Singh Vice Chief of Army Staff 1966-1970 Succeeded bySartaj Singh