Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One of two large cannon on display at Jhansi Fort


One of two large cannon on display at Jhansi Fort. This one is the Bhavani Shankar cannon which was operated by Moti Bai.

Source: http://www.liveindia.com/freedomfighters/jhansi_ki_rani_laxmi_bai.html

Monday, January 18, 2016

28 Rare and Amazing Photos of Indian Soldiers from World War I


T he Indian Army is built upon a long and proud tradition of valour. During World War I, Indians formed a large contingent of soldiers in Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Over 1 million (10 lakh) troops from undivided India served overseas, of which over 60,000 were killed. Claude Auchinleck, who was commander-in-chief of the Indian Army, had said that the British "couldn't have come through both wars if they hadn't had the Indian Army." Here are some photos from that forgotten time. 

1. Sikh soldiers arrive in France

world war

Source: Old Indian Photos

2. A young French boy introduces himself to Indian soldiers in Marseilles

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Source: Old Indian Photos

3. Wounded Sikh soldiers at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton

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Source: Old Indian Photos

4. A regiment of Indian lancers preparing to charge

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Source: Old Indian Photos

5. Gurkhas in campaigning kit

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Source: Old Indian Photos

6. An Indian cavalry regiment in Mesopotamia

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Source: Old Indian Photos

7. On the march in France

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Source: Old Indian Photos

8. Unloading baggage at Alexandra Dock, Bombay

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Source: Old Indian Photos

9. Indian troops in France

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Source: Old Indian Photos

10. Indian troops in the Persian Gulf

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Source: Old Indian Photos

11. Indian reinforcements who fought at Givenchy

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Source: Old Indian Photos

12. Sikh havaldar at Marseilles

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Source: Yahoo

13. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala performing a guard inspection

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Source: Old Indian Photos

14. Bhupinder Singh with Belgian generals

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Source: Old Indian Photos

15. Bhupinder Singh inspects a 12-inch Railway Howitzer

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Source: Old Indian Photos

16. A lancer from Bengal

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Source: Old Indian Photos

17. 5th Royal Gurkha Rifles at the North-West Frontier

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Source: Wikimedia

18. Indian Army gunners at Jerusalem

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Source: Wikimedia

19. Indian troops manning a Hotchkiss gun in Mesopotamia

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Source: Wikimedia

20. Indian Army Mountain Gun crew, East Africa

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Source: Wikimedia

21. Checking a map on the Western front

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Source: Wikimedia

22. Indian cavalry from the Deccan Horse during the Battle of Bazentin Ridge

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Source: Wikimedia

23. Indian bicycle troops at the Battle of the Somme

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Source: Wikimedia

24. Indian soldiers digging trenches

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Source: British Library

25. Indian infantrymen training in case of a gas attack

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Source: British Library

26. Group of soldiers, Highlander and Indian Dogra, sitting together in a trench

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Source: British Library

27. The Dome Hospital in Brighton, which had 680 beds for Indian soldiers

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Source: British Library

28. Bal Bahadur, who was wounded while rescuing fellow soldiers

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Source: British Library

Source https://in.yahoo.com/news/pictures-28-rare-amazing-photos-085938338.html

Friday, November 13, 2015

Vintage, Modern Guns on Display at Open House

A police officer explaining the functioning of an assault rifle to schoolchildren at the Open House organised by the city police at the Parade Grounds in Hyderabad on Monday | A Radhakrishna

Oct 20 2015 

HYDERABAD: Though the most modern and deadliest assault rifles rule the security system today, it is the 19th century’s .303 rifle that is believed to be the most accurate and effective (lethal). Not for anything else but for the wooden sturdiness and a firing range of 2,000 yards (1.8 km), no urban weapon is a match for this Enfield-born rifle that was once used in trench warfare.

As part of the Police Commemoration Week, vintage rifles like the British-era 410 Mascot rifle, 12-bore pump action gun and the .22 rifle (used mostly in training purposes) to the light machine guns(LMG) most advanced AK-47, guns like MP-5k and MP-5 A3 used by NSG commandos were on display at the Open House organised by the state police at Parade Grounds here on Monday.

“An AK-47 is automatic and can fire a full round in 30 seconds in a firing range of up to 800 yards but it cannot match the accuracy of .303 rifle which can shoot down a person at a distance of 2,000 yards,” said a policeman from the Armour divison of City Armed Reserve (CAR) at a stall. According to him, the antique nature of the rifle and non-availability of its components makes it less preferred today while the warfare too has certainly evolved. 

On display was the 410 mascot used in training purposes. The next was a 12-bore pump action gun which uses ball bullets, and are used in films and also to inflict minor injuries on members of an agitating mob. A .22 rifle, used in NCC training, is considered the starter for it is used to overcome one’s fear of firing. A modified .303 rifle, called the grenade fire rifle(GF rifle) used to fire grenades, was also on display.

Coming to sleek modern weapons, a 9mm carbine Close Quarters Battle  (CQB) weapon whose butt can be folded, usually seen with VIP security men is an easy to carry and fire weapon. The next in line was a 7.62 mm self-loading-rifle which can fire up to a range of 600 yards.

Source http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/Vintage-Modern-Guns-on-Display-at-Open-House/2015/10/20/article3088959.ece

Thursday, October 15, 2015

First Indian to Win the Victoria Cross: Khudadad Khan

Source: http://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/101450547504/first-indian-to-win-the-victoria-cross-khudadad

First Indian to Win the Victoria Cross: Khudadad Khan
During the First Battle of Ypres on the 31st October 1914, Khudadad Khan became both the first Indian and the first Muslim to win the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest decoration for gallantry.  Khan was a sepoy (private) of the 129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis a regiment of the British Indian Army raised in the Punjab Province of British India, present-day Pakistan. 
A photograph of the still recovering Khudadad Khan in a January 1915 edition of the Daily Mirror (source)
Khan was part of the first Indian Force to reach Europe in autumn 1914, on the 31st October his battalion was in action near the Belgian village of Hollebeke, just south of Ypres.  His medal citation describes Khan’sact of bravery in the face of a dogged German attack:
“On 31 October 1914, at Hollebeke in Belgium, the British officer in charge of the detachment having been wounded and the other [Vickers] gun put out of action by a shell, Sepoy Khudadad, though himself wounded, remained at his gun until all the other men of the gun detachment had been killed”
Hal Bevan Petman’s painting of Subedar Khudadad Khan VC, c.1935 (source)
Each Indian battalion, like its British counterparts, had two Vickers Machine Guns, it was one of these which Khan manned throughout the battle.  With the other Vickers knocked out and the rest of his own gun’s crew killed as the German infantry approached Khan continued to work the gun although badly wounded until he too was incapacitated.  His actions and those of the other men manning the Vickers gunsbought time for reinforcements to be brought up to halt the German breakthrough.
Khudadad Khan was awarded his Victoria Cross by King George V on one of his visits to France.  The 129th Baluchis went on to fight a number of engagements in Belgium and Northern France in 1914 before joining the campaign in German East Africa.  Khan remained in the Indian Army after the war rising to the rank of Subedar by 1935.  He died in 1971.
Sources:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Firearms of INA / Azad Hind Fauj

The INA’s impact on the war and on British India after the war has been analysed in detail. The INA’s role in military terms is considered to be relatively insignificant, given its small numerical strength, lack of heavy weapons (it utilised captured British and Dutch arms initially), relative dependence on Japanese logistics and planning as well as its lack of independent planning.


A soldier of the Rani of Jhansi Regiment in training. Circa1940s. 


Indian troops man a Bren gun on an anti-aircraft tripod, Western Desert April 1941

The 1st Division was lightly armed. Each battalion was composed of five Companies of infantry. The individual companies were armed with six antitank rifles, six Bren guns and six Vickers machine guns. Some NCOs carried hand grenades, while men going forward on duty were issued British stocks of hand grenades by senior officer of the Bahadur groups attached to each unit. Mortars were available, but Fay points out these were not available at battalion level. 


A Vickers machine gun crew in action at the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, September 1917


The 2nd Division under Aziz Ahmed. The 2nd division was formed to a large extent after the Imphal offensive had started, and drew a large remnant of the Hindustan Field Force of the First INA. The 2nd Division consisted of.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_National_Army

Books

The Evolution of the Artillery in India: From the Battle of Plassey (1757) to the Revolt of 1857
By R. C. Butalia
Published by Allied Publishers, 1998
ISBN 8170238722, 9788170238720