REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY, THE second largest arm of the Indian Army, will celebrate its 192nd Gunners’ Day on September 28, 2019. As is the norm, Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held at Amar Jawan Jyoti by the Director General of Artillery and Colonel Commandant, Lt General K. Ravi Prasad, senior veterans and serving officers. The day has a special significance for the Regiment of Artillery as the first Indian Artillery Unit, 5 (Bombay) Mountain Battery equipped with 2.5 inch Guns, was raised on this day in 1827. Presently it forms part of 57 Field Regiment.
Post the 1857 mutiny, majority artillery units were disbanded, retaining only mountain batteries for deployment in the North West Frontier during Afghan Wars. Babur used artillery in the first battle of Panipat in 1526 to decisively defeat Ibrahim Lodhi. Mughal emperors, Tipu Sultan and Nizam of Hyderabad all used artillery, but maximum use was made by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The modern Indian Surveillance and Target Acquisition (SATA) Gunner evolved from putting ‘Nine Originals’ together in 1925 at the School of Artillery, Kabul, to form the First Survey Section. This nucleus by 1942 expanded to become the 1st Indian Survey Regiment. World War II saw Indian Gunners in action in East and North Africa and Middle East. Indian gunners had won 1 x Victoria Cross (Havaldar Umrao Singh), 1 x George Medal, 15 x Military Crosses, 2 x IOMs, 22 x IDSMs, 18 x Military Medals, 5 x OBEs, 1 x MBE, 3 x BEMs, 13 x Burma Gallantry Medals and 467 x Jangi Inams. In 1945, Indian Artillery was awarded the title of ‘Royal’ Winston Churchill rose in the House of Commons to pay tribute to their decisive role in the Battle of Bir Hachiem against Rommel’s Panzer Army.
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August - September 2019