Punjab

Military Literature Festival 2019: Lessons of Burma Campaign are still relevant, panelists echo during discussion on second day of MLF

Punjab Tribune Bureau | December 14, 2019 05:37 PM

CHANDIGARH: The lessons learnt from the use of armours in Burma Campaign are still relevant to the present day as it was one of the toughest wars fought by the armies.

 

Besides, discussing the other strategic points in ‘Tanks Setting the Jungle Ablaze – Employment of Armour in the Burma Campaign’ panelists highlighted these points during the discussion.

 

Stuart Wheeler, from Tank Museum, also showed a detailed presentation about the use of armours and strategy of British alliance armies against the Japanese army.

 

Meanwhile, Moderator Major General AP Singh shared interesting tales of Burma war and another panelist Lt General PS Mehta emphasize the necessity of history preservation and learning experiences of war. Panelist Richard Smith said that even after more than 70 years, the practical learning outcomes of the Burma are still useful for the armies

 

Moderator Major General AP Singh, while opening the session, said that it was not possible to fight with the Japanese without using tanks and other armoured vehicles. He added that the techniques of Japanese soldiers like attacking the tanks with Samurai swords, anti tank rifles and sniper guns were also the major challenges for the combined armies.

 

While narrating the tales of courage of soldiers, Major General AP Singh said that during the war there was an instance when there were very narrow lanes in the mountains and the commanders had to navigate the tanks by walking in front of them or looking out of the tanks even in the heavy shelling by the enemy. He added that despite of numerous causalities, the combined armies succeeded to reach their target.

 

Telling another tale, Major General Singh said that the commanding officer of 'A' Squadron, 7th Hussars (Major Llewellen Palmer) persuaded a ferry-boat captain to tow a Stuart tank, bizarrely named 'The Curse of Scotland', across the river on a raft, which he did, but the ferry-boat crews refused to tow another. He added that as they had to destroy the abandoned 70 tanks fearing the use by the enemy. He added that later, stripped of its turret, this tank became the command vehicle of the Indian 7th Light Cavalry.

 

Panelist Lt General PS Mehta said that Japanese army was comfortable to fight in the jungles without using tanks as they were fully aware of the region. He added that the Japanese used only one regiment of tanks including 14 tanks only.

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