Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General JS Nain along with other serving and retired personnel on Sunday paid respects to Lieutenant General Walter Anthony Gustavo ‘Wag’ Pinto (Retd), known as the ‘Victor of Basantar’ who passed away in Pune on March 25 at the age of 97
Lt Gen Nain along with other serving and retired officers and personnel laid a wreath to pay homage to Lt Gen Pinto at a ceremony held in Pune. The Army Commander along with all ranks expressed deep condolences at the demise of the General Officer. Lt Gen Pinto is survived by his son Cdr Kevin Pinto (Retd) and other family members.
Lt Gen Wag Pinto was popularly known for his dynamic leadership as General Officer Commanding of the 54 Infantry Division in the Battle of Basantar, during the 1971 war.
The General Officer was commissioned into 13 Frontier Force in September 1943. Post-independence, he joined the Brigade of Guards. He retired as General Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Central Command, and also Colonel of the Rajput Regiment. The General’s motto in life was ‘Bash on Regardless’, a term he had coined to motivate his division in the 1971 war.
The General was settled in Pune, he was better known as the ‘Victor of Basantar’ for leading 54 Infantry Division to victory in 1971 Indo-Pak War in what is arguably the country’s most famous battle. In the legendary battle, Pinto’s division won as many as 196 Gallantry Medals in just 14 days of fierce fighting including two Param Vir Chakras and nine Maha Vir Chakras.
A press release from the Southern Command said, for a man who had led from the front, the Lt Gen Pinto had a simple definition of leadership. He used to say, “To begin with, a good leader must have a strong personality and a good sense of humour. He must be able to inspire his men to do what he wants them to do”.