THE PUNCH THAT MATTERS Image Credit: Geopolitics
THE PUNCH THAT MATTERS Image Credit: Geopolitics

The Punch That Matters

September 28 is a significant day for the Regiment of Artillery: it was on this day in 1827 that the first Indian artillery unit, 5 (Bombay) Mountain Battery, equipped with 2.5-inch RML gun – was raised. Today, India has made commendable progress in every aspect of indigenous development, manufacture and testing of various ingredients needed for total self-reliance in the field of Artillery – not just guns and howitzers but rockets and rocket launchers, surface-to-surface missiles, weapon locating radars for fire correction as well as detecting locations of enemy’s firing positions, command and control systems enabling network-centric capabilities, secure communication and so on.

Ravi Kumar Gupta

 Cannons, by virtue of vastness of the devastating power behind their punch, ability to hit hard behind enemy lines at relatively low costs and risks have been playing decisive roles in battles ever since they were invented. The importance of artillery can be gauged from the pace with which artillery became an independent but integral and essential part of military. Immense capacity to cause unbearable damage to not just enemy combat units, but also to its combat support and combat service support assets make the artillery forces indispensable. In the context of our own country, the two most decisive factors in the outcome of battles against invading Mohammand Shah Bahamani or the Moghuls or the Britishers had been 1. “Availability and/or the quality” of guns” and 2. the “treachery of traitors”.

Effectiveness of field guns was amply demonstrated in all the wars imposed on post-independence India. Artillery, along with Infantry and the Air Force had played key role in saving Kashmir from invading Pakistani forces soon after independence in 1947,although much of the advantage secured at the price of sacrifices of our brave soldiers was lost by the political decision declaring a premature ceasefire. Crucial role played by our artillery units in liberating peaks during the “Kargil War” is well known and well appreciated. Use of heavy artillery on such a massive scale in the high-altitude mountainous terrain was indeed a watershed e

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