In the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Brigadier Gowri Shanker Krishnaswamy commanded the 86 Infantry brigade stationed at Dera Baba Nanak area. The area was critically important as major roads leading to Punjab converged on it. Reports of the Pakistani army massing at the Indo-Pak border at Dera Baba Nanak and their setting up a well-fortified camp across the river, Ravi, filtered in Brigadier Krishnaswamy was asked to eliminate this threat by advancing and destroying the Pakistani entrenchment across the river.
The Brigadier planned the operation well. As his troops advanced, he was at the forefront, directing and encouraging them to persist despite the barrage of enemy artillery fire. His very presence buoyed his men and the attack proceeded as planned with speed and precision.
For his leadership and military skills, brigadier Krishnaswamy was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.