Showing posts from 2015

Vintage, Modern Guns on Display at Open House

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 t…

First Indian to Win the Victoria Cross: Khudadad Khan


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 OwnBaluchis 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 …

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 Vic…

The First War of Indian Independence & Britain’s National Day of Humiliation, October 7th 1857

On October 7th 1857 Queen Victoria proclaimed a day of national humiliation in recognition of the barbarous acts by rebellious Sepoys and the brutal reprisals made by British troops.   Throughout the spring of 1857 several incidents successively raised tensions and in May the long simmering resentments and tensions of Indians living under British rule boiled over.  When native troops refused to train with a new rifle cartridge, used by the 1853 Enfield rifle-musket, which was said to be coated in beef (offensive to Hindus) and pork (offensive to Muslims) fat.  While this was indeed the case the cartridges were not in wide circulation and the British eventually took steps to issue ungreased ammunition and also altering the loading drill so cartridges were ripped not bitten.  Regardless of these changes many Sepoys still believe this to be an attempt by the British to further humiliate and undermine their religious beliefs.   Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket The refusal to use the cart…

Colt Defense LLC: Maker of 'The Gun that won the West' files for bankruptcy

Bill Cody Announcement comes amid a slump in sales and delays in government orders Colt Defense LLC, the 179-year-old gunmaker that supplies M4 carbines and M16 rifles to the US military and those of many foreign nations, said it took the action to enable a quicker sale of operations in the US and Canada.The West Hartford, Connecticut-based company said it secured $20m in financing from its current lenders and will continue to operate while in bankruptcy, the Associated Press said. The entire restructuring process is expected to be complete within 90 days, after which Colt plans to remain in business.The M-4 carbine is one of Colt's best-selling weapons In its filing, the company estimated that it owes up to $500m to up to 50 creditors. It also listed assets of up to $500m.The company was founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt and the revolvers it produced helped propel the firearms industry away from single-shot pistols. More recently, it was a supplier of the M4 carbine to the U.S. militar…

Construction workers dig out cannon from BMRCI campus

Central Bengaluru, it seems, hides centuries of history under its garb of concrete and dirt.Construction workers at the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute stumbled upon a cannon hidden underneath the campus. The workers were excavating a foundation for the new block of BMRCI when they dug out the cannon – possibly belonging to Tipu Sultan – around noon on Monday.Third cannonThis is the third such cannon found in the area in the recent past. The cannon was around 11 feet long and possibly weighs around 400 kg, said Arun Raj T., Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Society of India, who visited the spot.Source

WWI memorial, museum will be set up in Delhi

2014 marked the centenary of the commencement of the Great War/World War I (WWI), fought from 28 July 1914 till 11 November 1918. Of the almost 1.5 million Indian troops on the rolls of the Indian Army then, 13,81,050, who fought in all theatres of this war, were the decisive factor leading to the Allied victory. While the Indian Army since its inception 256 years ago, has had a splendid and unsurpassed record of acquitting itself in every theatre, both in war and peace, it was the WWI which established its reputation globally as a very professional, disciplined and fearless fighting force, acknowledged by both allies and adversaries. In ceremonies held in the UK, France, Belgium, Turkey and Australia, in 2014 alone, praise has been showered on Indian Army’s exploits. More events have been planned till November 2018. Preceding the outbreak of WWI in 1914, the political consensus building up between Indian leaders was that if India desired greater responsibility and political autonomy…

WW-I exhibition extended till Mar 25 on PM's advice

An Army exhibition commemorating the World War I, in which at least 74,187 Indian soldiers died in action, has been extended till March 25 on the direction of Prime MinisterModi, who was impressed with it and wanted Parliamentarians and schoolchildren to see it. 

"We salute the sacrifice of each and every Indian soldier martyred in the war," the Prime Minister had said yesterday after visiting the exhibition, themed 'and World War I', at the Manekshaw Centre in the Cantonment area here. 

Army officials said the exhibition, which began on March 10 and was to end by March 15, has now been extended to March 25 on directions of Modi with March 18-20 being reserved for Parliamentarians. 

An official release yesterday quoted Modi as saying that the exhibition "brings alive the participation and bravery of Indian soldiers in various battlefields of this war across Europe, and Asia". 

Modi said he was touched to meet the descendants of some …

World War I Role of India exhibition

First World War weapons and helmets at Redbridge Museum's First World War exhibition Redbridge Museum has unveiled Redbridge and the First World War – An Exhibition, a display which has been in the works for most of the year.
First World War uniform from India on display with a rifle at Redbridge Museum's First World War exhibition

Forces remember WW-I martyrs

NEW DELHI: The armed forces have kicked off a week-long commemoration of the centenary of World War-I, which saw over 74,000 Indian soldiers laying down their lives in battlefields spreading from Sonne and Flanders in France to Gallipoli and Canakkale in Turkey. 

President Pranab Mukherjee, accompanied by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, three Service chiefs and diplomatic heads of several nations involved in World War-I from 1914 to 1918, laid wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate on Monday. It came on the eve of the centenary of the battle of Neuve Chapple, which saw the maximum number of Indian soldiers being martyred. 

"On the centenary commemoration of World War-I, I join my fellow countrymen in paying homage to the brave and valiant sons of Mother India, who laid down their lives in the line of duty. I am sure that our great nation will continue to draw inspiration from the sacrifice of these bravehearts," said Mukherjee. 

A major exhibition, with war memorabili…

Exhibition to pay tribute to Indian heroes of World War I

New Delhi: Compelling photographs and rare objects used by Indian soldiers which shed light on their bravery and sacrifice during World War I will be on display at an exhibition here to honour them in the centenary year of the Great War. The exhibition “India And the First World War” from January 13 to February 10 will also have a separate section showcasing the actual uniform, turban and other memorabilia used by the Indian soldiers 100 years ago.   The images for the exhibition have been sourced from all over the world primarily from Imperial War Museum, British Library, London, French Military Archives, Flanders Museum, Belgium and many other private collections internationally.   Besides, there will also be a section featuring sound recordings and silent movies of the Indian soldiers made between 1914 and 1918. The exhibition has been organised jointly by Roli Books, Embassy of France in India, and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
When the Great War came to a hea…

WW-I expo to bring subcontinent together; opens in Delhi tomorrow

A cannon that would be part of exhibits on display
The centenary commemorations of World War-I (1914-18) will showcase the subcontinental heritage of what was once British India -- now divided into countries, separated in some cases by hostile borders. A five-day exhibition to mark 100 years of the war opens at the Manekshaw Convention Centre in Delhi Cantonment on March 10.
It will showcase the role of men from the subcontinent -- India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh -- in fighting the war in faraway Europe, Africa and West Asia. Organised by the Indian Army, the commemoration will be a mark of respect to all those who died, irrespective of which modern-day country their progeny now live in.
On March 9, a day before the exhibition opens, an event will create a history of sorts. President Pranab Mukherjee will lay a wreath at the India Gate.
Joining him in honouring the martyrs will be diplomats from  Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, UK and  France.
 It will be probably for the first …

Lancaster 4-Barrel Howdah Pistol : A Brief (From FireArm Blog

Lancaster 4-Barrel Howdah Pistol
The above pistol was made by Charles Lancaster of London and dates from the mid 19th century.  The pistol is chambered in .476 calibre centre fire, which possibly dates the pistol to the 1870s, and has four barrels which are fired in sequence by a rotating firing pin mechanism housed inside the pistol’s receiver.  Howdah pistols like this one, and those percussion pistols which preceded it, were extremely popular with British officers between the 1840s and the 1890s.  Typically they were large calibre pistols with two or more barrels.  The idea originated from the need for a large calibre defensive pistol for European hunters traveling in India - the word ‘Howdah' comes from the Hindi name of the platform which was mounted on an elephant's back during a hunt.  The early Howdah pistols were little more than sawn-off double barrel large calibre hunting rifles.

Cigarette card showing a Howdah during a Tiger Hunt (source)
However, Howdah pis…