Sunday, October 25, 2009
Rama invited me to contribute to this blog and I quote him. “I wait with abated breath to read your exploits. Don't forget the sufferings ,honour ,humour etc. of service as gunners.”
I am not sure if I can live up to his expectations as I really do not have that many exploits during my career over a span of 36 and a half years. Nonetheless I’ll try to post as many of my personal (Arty and non Arty) experiences and thoughts as possible, given that age is catching up on me and that I probably would have not remembered the full details of each episode.
I have been quiet for a while not knowing where and when to start. So many things came to mind. So where do I start ?
Perhaps I’ll pen my thoughts about something current like the issue of new medium regiments. I hear there are talks and musings of new purchases involving medium SP guns. The new firepower is basically to support our Mechanized Brigade. We hear of either the French Caesar (Wheeled) or the Korean K9 (Tracked) are in the pipeline.
My two sens worth of my thoughts stems from my trials conducted on maneuverability and mobility in the early Sixties. Yes during the Sixties. I had just returned from my YO course in Larkhill, UK. Fresh and a full fledged Gunner. And I had said at that time “SP ? Sure we should look at the Abbot 105mm SP gun”. It was THE SP gun then which would be the most suitable for our terrain. Taking into account gross weight and the requirements for high angle fire. My Mat Salleh BC, Major John Lane was not too impressed and replied “ Let’s do some local trials first. So we did. See photo above.
I have no qualms about SP guns, wheels or tracked except that they are expensive and would have a whole lot more logistics and maintenance problems. Gaya is for sure. I am all for more medium guns, any modern makes and types with 52 mm caliber. BUT TOWED. Mobility is an essential element in maneuverability. Towed guns have more flexibility in mobility and are lighter in weight than SP guns. What about air portability, jungle, swamplands, highlands and bridges? OK, so a pair of two cowpower cows cannot tow medium guns, maybe six to eight ‘cows’ (read crew).
But I digress. I actually know there would be more criteria and factors involved in the evaluations and considerations. I wish the Corps the very best in the acquisition plan. We do need more medium regiments, SP or otherwise. Good luck.