S. M. Shrinagesh
2nd Governor of Mysore
In office
4 May 1963 – 2 April 1965
Chief MinisterS. Nijalingappa
Preceded byJayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur
Succeeded byV. V. Giri
3rd Governor of Andhra Pradesh
In office
8 September 1962 – 4 May 1964
Chief MinisterNeelam Sanjiva Reddy
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Preceded byBhim Sen Sachar
Succeeded byPattom A. Thanu Pillai
6th Governor of Assam
In office
13 January 1961 – 7 September 1962
Chief MinisterBimala Prasad Chaliha
Preceded byVishnu Sahay
Succeeded byVishnu Sahay
In office
14 October 1959 – 12 November 1960
Chief MinisterBimala Prasad Chaliha
Preceded byChandreswar Prasad Sinha
Succeeded byVishnu Sahay
2nd Chief of the Army Staff
In office
15 May 1955 – 7 May 1957
PresidentRajendra Prasad
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Preceded byGeneral Rajendrasinhji Jadeja
Succeeded byGeneral Kodendera Subayya Thimayya
Personal details
Born(1903-05-11)11 May 1903
Kolhapur, Kolhapur State, British Raj
(now in Maharashtra, India)
Died27 December 1977(1977-12-27) (aged 74)
New Delhi, India
SpouseRajkumari Kochhar
Military career
Allegiance British India
Service/branch British Indian Army
 Indian Army
Years of service30 August 1923- 7 May 1957
Rank General
Service numberIA-417[1]
Unit19th Hyderabad Regiment presently Kumaon Regiment
Commands held Chief of Army Staff
Southern Army
Western Army
GOC Madras Area
V Corps (later XV Corps)
Lushai Brigade (Burma)
64th Indian Infantry Brigade
6/19 Hyderabad (now 6 Kumaon)

General Satyawant Mallanna Shrinagesh (also known as Satyavant Shrinagule Mallannah) (11 May 1903 – 27 December 1977) was an Indian military officer who served as 2nd Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 14 May 1955 till 7 May 1957.[2][3][4] After retirement he served as the governor of Assam from 14 October 1959 to 12 November 1960 and again from 13 January 1961 to 7 September 1962. He was the governor of Andhra Pradesh from 8 September 1962 to 4 May 1964 and governor of Mysore from 4 May 1964 to 2 April 1965. He also served as principal of the Administrative Staff College of India in Hyderabad, Hyderabad State from 1957 to 1959.

Early life and education

Shrinagesh was born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, the eldest son of Dr. Shrinagesh Mallannah, in a Kannada-speaking Lingayat family influenced by Brahma Samaj.[5] His father was the personal physician to H.E.H. Mir Sir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII, the Nizam of Hyderabad. His mother was Ahalyabai, daughter of Krishnaji Kelavkar. Born in 1903 at Kolhapur, Maharashtra he went to West Buckland School in England and entered the University of Cambridge in 1921.

He was among the earliest batches of Indians to be nominated for the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in England. He won the Quetta Cup for the best man at arms entering the Indian Army in 1923.

Military career up to 1939

From Sandhurst he was subsequently commissioned a second lieutenant on the Unattached List for the Indian Army on 29 August 1923.[6] After the mandatory one year attachment to a British regiment in India, in his case the 1st Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment, he was admitted to the Indian Army and posted to the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Madras Pioneers (erstwhile 64th Pioneers) on 14 October 1924, with which he served mostly in Burma until it was disbanded.[7] In 1933, he joined the 4th battalion 19th Hyderabad Regiment and served in Singapore as its adjutant from December 1935 to December 1939.[8] In December 1939, he was posted as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun.

Later career

During the Second World War, from 17 December 1942 till 28 August 1945, Shrinagesh was the commanding officer of the 6/19th Hyderabad Regiment (now 6th Kumaon). He then officiated as the brigade commander of the 64th Indian Infantry Brigade of the 19th Indian (Dagger) Division in Burma from August 1945. He was selected to go to Germany as deputy chief of the Indian Military Mission in November 1945.[9] In that capacity, he also worked as the economic adviser and consul looking after the interests of Indian nationals in Germany and locating missing Prisoners of War (POWs).

He was then appointed the first Indian commandant of the Kumaon Regimental Centre in Agra on 2 October 1946 and served in that capacity till 12 December 1946. He was then chosen to lead the 268th Infantry Brigade British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in post World War II Japan and served in that post till 1947. He was also brigade commander of the famous Lushai Brigade in Burma in 1947.

On his return from Japan, he was promoted to acting major-general on 3 September 1947 and was appointed the general officer commanding of the Madras Area.[10] From January 1948, he was appointed the adjutant general at the Army Headquarters and held that post till August of the same year. Promoted to acting lieutenant-general, he also commanded the 5th Corps (later designated as 15th Corps). He was appointed the overall commander of all troops in Jammu & Kashmir during the 1947–48 Indo-Pak War and held this command till the ceasefire on 1 January 1949. He was chosen as the GOC-in-C Western Command on 15 January 1949 and promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant general in 1950. He was then appointed the GOC-in-C Southern Command and held that post, till he assumed charge as the Army Chief on 14 May 1955. He was decorated with the U.S. Legion of Merit in September 1955.[11]

General Shrinagesh retired on 7 May 1957, completing 34 years of distinguished military service. Post retirement, he served as the governor of Assam from 1959 to 1962, then as the governor of Andhra Pradesh from 1962 to 1964 and finally as Governor of Mysore (now Karnataka) from 1964 to 1965. From 1957 to 1959, he also served as the principal of the Administrative Staff College in Hyderabad.

Personal life

In 1934, Shrinagesh married Rajkumari Kochhar (14 April 1915—24 January 2017),[12][13] with whom he had three sons and two daughters. One son, Satish, also joined the Indian Army, retiring as a major.[12]

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the late 1950s,[12] Shrinagesh succumbed to the disease in the morning of 27 December 1977 at the Army Hospital Delhi Cantonment. Survived by his wife and children, he was cremated with full military honours in New Delhi the following day, with his funeral attended by senior military officers including the Chief of the Army Staff Tapishwar Narain Raina.[14][15]

Awards and decorations

General Service Medal 1947 Indian Independence Medal 1939–1945 Star
Burma Star War Medal 1939–1945 India Service Medal Legion of Merit

Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
Second Lieutenant British Indian Army 29 August 1923[6]
Lieutenant British Indian Army 30 November 1925[16]
Captain British Indian Army 30 August 1932[17]
Major British Indian Army 30 August 1940[18]
Lieutenant-Colonel British Indian Army December 1942 (acting)
27 March 1943 (temporary)[19]
Colonel British Indian Army November 1945 (acting)[9]
Brigadier British Indian Army December 1946 (acting)
Major Indian Army 15 August 1947[note 1][20]
Major-General Indian Army 3 September 1947 (acting)[10][note 1]
Lieutenant-General Indian Army 1948 (acting)[note 1]
Lieutenant-Colonel Indian Army 30 August 1949[21][note 1]
Lieutenant-General Indian Army 26 January 1950 (recommissioning and change in insignia)[20][22]
Indian Army 14 May 1955[1]

Further reading


  1. ^ a b c d Upon independence in 1947, India became a Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations. As a result, the rank insignia of the British Army, incorporating the Tudor Crown and four-pointed Bath Star ("pip"), was retained, as George VI remained Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. After 26 January 1950, when India became a republic, the President of India became Commander-in-Chief, and the Ashoka Lion replaced the crown, with a five-pointed star being substituted for the "pip."


  1. ^ a b "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 11 June 1955. p. 113.
  2. ^ "Devon, destiny, drama in the skies". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Satyavant Mallannah Shrinagesh - Munzinger Biographie".
  4. ^ "The Sunday Tribune - Spectrum".
  5. ^ "S. M. Shrinagesh". Udayavaani. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b "No. 32858". The London Gazette. 31 August 1923. p. 5911.
  7. ^ "No. 33018". The London Gazette. 6 February 1925. p. 858.
  8. ^ October 1939 & April 1940 Indian Army Lists
  9. ^ a b Indian Army List for April 1946 (Part 2). Government of India Press. 1946. p. 1688.
  10. ^ a b "Five More Indians Promoted Major Generals" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 3 September 1947. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  11. ^ "General Shrinagesh Received U.S. Legion of Merit" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 2 September 1955. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "Showers of love as Army's grand old lady turns 100". The Tribune (Chandigarh). 15 April 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Rajkumari Shrinagesh". The Times of India. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  14. ^ "General S.M. Shrinagesh Passes Away" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 27 December 1977. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  15. ^ "General Shrinagesh Cremated" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. 28 December 1977. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  16. ^ "No. 33124". The London Gazette. 15 January 1926. p. 374.
  17. ^ "No. 33871". The London Gazette. 7 October 1932. p. 6337.
  18. ^ "No. 34993". The London Gazette. 15 November 1940. p. 6570.
  19. ^ Indian Army List for October 1945 (Part I). Government of India Press. 1945. pp. 137A.
  20. ^ a b "New Designs of Crests and Badges in the Services" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2017.
  21. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 24 September 1949. p. 1375.
  22. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 February 1950. p. 227.
Military offices Preceded byK. M. Cariappa General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command 1949-1953 Succeeded byK. S. Thimayya Preceded byKumar Shri Rajendrasinhji General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Command 1953-1955 Preceded byKumar Shri Rajendrasinhji Chief of the Army Staff 1955-1957 Government offices Preceded byChandreswar Prasad Sinha Governor of Assam 1959–1960 Succeeded byVishnu Sahay Preceded byVishnu Sahay Governor of Assam 1961–1962 Succeeded byVishnu Sahay Preceded byBhim Sen Sachar Governor of Andhra Pradesh 1962–1964 Succeeded byPattom A. Thanu Pillai Preceded byJayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur Governor of Mysore 1964–1965 Succeeded byV. V. Giri