Book review: Guts, Guns and Some Glory

A military history about the Indian armed forces sets a benchmark for thoroughness and excellence.

Book | India’s Wars: A Military History 1947-1971
Author: Arjun Subramaniam
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 576
Price: Rs 799 It is a refreshing change to see a senior, serving IAF officer writing an all-encompassing tri-service military history, following in the footsteps of the great Thucydides, and closer home, Lt Gen P S Bhagat,Maj Gen DK Palit and Lt Gen S K Sinha. Most of our military history, written by retired armed forces officers, concerns their own service and are either personal accounts justifying their conduct, or provide their perception of historical events. The author has maintained a detached, scholarly approach, devoid of service and regimental loyalties or even patriotic emotions. To that extent, the book is
a benchmark. Subramaniam is widely read and his research is thorough, as is evident from72 pages of endnotes, detailed secondary sources and an elaborate index. His…

Pistols & revolvers in the Crimean War & Indian Mutiny (Adams & Colt)

A look at the use and effectiveness of revolvers and other types of pistol during the mid-19th century, specifically in the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, which an original source reading of the ineffectiveness of one particular revolver.


Indian Mutiny combat account and the weapons mentioned - Sabres, tulwars, carbines, rifles, pistols

Published on Feb 14, 2017
Reciting an original close combat account with swords and firearms by Lieutenant de Kantzow, 9th Bengal Native Infantry, from the Indian Mutiny of 1857. Weapons featured are the 1853 pattern cavalry sword, an Indian tulwar, an 1845 pattern infantry officer's sword, an Indian cavalry carbine dated to 1859, an 1853 pattern Enfield rifled musket and bayonet, a French 0.72 single shot pistol, an English transitional revolver, a Beaumont-Adams revolver and a modern replica 1851 Colt London Navy by Uberti.

Bhagat Singh’s gun that killed John Saunders, found after 90 years

School students have a look at a pistol with which freedom fighter Bhagat Singh had shot British police office... Read MoreIndian Freedom fighter Bhagat Singh had killed British officer John Saunders on December 17, 1928. The pistol that Bhagat Singh had used to fire the bullet killing Saunders has found after 90 years.
Indian Freedom fighter Bhagat Singh had killed British officer John Saunders on December 17, 1928. The pistol that Bhagat Singh had used to fire the bullet killing Saunders has found after 90 years and half a century of being lost in a storeroom in CSWT museum. According to reports by ToI, the .32 mm Colt automatic was sitting on public display at the Reoti firing range of the Border Security Force in Indore on Tuesday. It must be noted that it was on this very day, February 15, 1931, that the Viceroy, Lord Irwin had rejected the final mercy petition filed by Congress President Madan Mohan Malviya.
According to reports, many people saw the gun placed in a glass case on…

Oldest gun salute at Durga puja in mumbai

 Kolkata is an early riser. From the farthest east of the country to Allahabad, the sun takes two hours to travel, which is why the City of Joy, despite its sleepy legacy, is up and about when the rest of the country is still dreaming. However, it's only at this time of the year the city needs no excuses, no threats, no alarm clocks to greet the dawn. Durga Puja is here with its call of festive duty.
But, while this annual Bengali carnival sees millions milling the streets, hopping from one pandal to the next, taking in all kinds of odes to the goddess — artistic, macabre and sometimes, outlandish, there's also another, more intimate side to this festival, that quietly lingers among the misty chandeliers of the baithak-khanas, the dappled porticos and the thakur dalans of Kolkata's very ancient family homes, some of which date back to around 200 years. These are, what the Bengalis call the "bonedi baris" or homes of the aristocrats. Their antique a…

Mughal era gunsmiths now struggling businessmen

Gunsmith Hafiz Fariduddin posing with an antique 12 bore gun made in England by acclaimed gunsmith Charles Lancaster. The gun is only one-of-its-kind in India, says Fariduddin. (Prabhakar Sharma/HT Photo) Jaipur: Once celebrated Mughal era gunsmiths to present-day struggling gun dealers, this Rajasthan family can tell you in single breath how warfare and guns have evolved over the years.
But, now they regret how they are losing their gun-making skills in an effort to maintain themselves as gun dealers, thanks to the government restrictions on private gun manufacturing since 1961.
The ministry of home affairs is in the process of drafting the Arms Act Amendment Bill, which will allow open arms manufacturing to private firms again with some restrictions. So far, the manufacturing is limited to government ordnance factories and 92 licensed firms. The family has set their eyes on the amendment for achche din.
Royal assignments
Meet 65-year-old Hafiz Fariduddin, w…

Jim Corbett’s 100-yr-old rifle returns home

Marc Newton, MD of a firm specialising in antique guns, and Samir Sinha of Corbett Tiger Reserve with Corbett’s gunNAINITAL: A rifle once used by the legendary hunter-turned conservationist Jim Corbett was brought to Chhoti Haldwani, the village he set up, on Sunday by Marc Newton, managing director of John Rigby & Co, a London-based company specialising in antique guns.
Sameer Sinha, director of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) told TOI on Monday that the rifle had been able to come back to India after more than a year of sustained efforts. ''We are thankful to Marc for bringing the rifle back to the land where Jim Corbett lived and worked."

The rifle would be on display at the Corbett Tiger Reserve for the next 10 days.