Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quick Recap

The 4 Mountain Battery is also called Hazara battery as it was raised as the Hazara Mountain train on May 18, 1848 in Hazara district (now in Pakistan) by Maj (later General) Sir James Abbot as part of the East India Forces. During this time, the need for mountain battery was felt to keep the trade routes to Central Asia free from raids by tribesmen. Created out of the artillery of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the 4 Mountain Battery saw active action and went on to become the most decorated mountain battery in the world.
The gallant 4 Mountain Battery has a glorious 153 years old tradition of mountain warfare. The Battery persists in calling itself a ‘Mountain Battery’ even though it functions in the plains and the artillery regiment of which it is a part and is called ‘Field Regiment’. During the early 80s when the equipment used by both mountain and field regiments began to be similar, it was decided to do away with title ‘mountain’ in artillery regiments and to call them all field regiments. But the Hazarians refused to accept this.

A train of mules transporting parts of old screw guns over valleys and hills was familiar sight in the frontier passes of the Hindu Kush mountains at Bannu, Gilgit, Nomal or Kabul during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hazarians were then known to claim that their guns could be taken wherever an infantry man could go with his rifles, without using his hands and feet.

During the Afghan War Gen Williams who had come from England, declared that there were only three things worth seeing in India, namely the Taj at Agra, the way General Jough handled Cavalry Brigade and the Hazara Mountain Battery.

The honour title of Jitra was the reward given to 4 (Hazara) Mountain Battery (Frontier Force) for its outstanding performance in Malaya in 1941 (Second World War) and was taken over by 56 Composite Regiment (Pack). The Regiment is now a Field regiment as in 1967 and the mules had ceased to be used and this had seen the end of the days of Mule Pack Artillery.

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