Mountain Artillery

From FIBIwiki
Jump to: navigation, search

History

Mountain Artillery

Mountain Artillery was developed to allow field guns to accompany forces operating in mountainous regions. The guns were dismantled into three loads (piece, carriage and wheels) and carried on mules. The first mountain train in India was formed in 1840 for service in the 1st Afghan War and disbanded in 1843. Mountain Batteries formed part of the forces raised to defend the territory gained in the 2nd Sikh War in due course known as the North West Frontier Province. The Hazara Mountain Train was the first to be formed in 1850 from a nucleus raised by Capt J Abbott, Bengal Artillery, during the Hazara rebellion of 1848.

Punjab Irregular Force

When the Punjab Irregular Force was formed in 1851 it had four batteries of artillery mainly recruited from defeated Sikh artillerymen. They were known as Punjab Light Field Batteries:

  • No 1 Horse Light Field Battery
  • No 2 Horse Light Field Battery
  • No 3 Horse Light Field Battery
  • No 4 Garrison Company

The force later gained two further units:

  • Hazara Mountain Train
  • Peshawar Mountain Train

The Indian Mutiny

As a consequence of the Indian Mutiny the European artillery regiments (21 horse batteries & 48 field batteries) of the Presidency Armies were taken into the Royal Artillery of the British Army. The Bengal, Madras and Bombay Native Foot Artillery were disbanded except for the Mountain Trains, the Horse Light Field Batteries, three companies of Madras Native Foot Artillery (disbanded in 1870), three companies of Bombay Native Foot Artillery (one disbanded in 1870) and some garrison and local units which were soon disbanded.

Punjab Frontier Force

The Punjab Iregular Force became the Punjab Frontier Force in 1865 and the two mountain trains were redesignated mountain batteries. The No 1 Light Field Battery was disbanded in 1870. In 1876/7 the remaining batteries were renumbered as follows:

No 2 Horse Light Field Battery became No 1 Mountain Battery (PFF)
No 3 Punjab Horse Light Field Battery became No 2 Mountain Battery (PFF)
Peshawar Mountain Battery became No 3 Peshawar Mountain Battery (PFF)
Hazara Mountain Battery became No 4 Hazara Mountain Battery (PFF)
No 4 Garrison Company became No. 5 Garrison Battery

In 1879 the titles were further changed to:

No 1 Mountain Battery (PFF) became No 1 (Kohat) Punjab Mountain Battery
No 2 Mountain Battery (PFF) became No 2 (Derajat) Punjab Mountain Battery
No 3 Peshawar Mountain Battery (PFF) became No 3 (Peshawar) Punjab Mountain Battery
No 4 Hazara Mountain Battery (PFF) became No 4 (Hazara) Punjab Mountain Battery

Also in 1876 the two remaining companies of Bombay Native Foot Artillery became No 1 & No 2 Bombay Mountain Batteries. In 1890 there were again renumbered:

No 1 Bombay Mountain Battery became No 5 (Bombay) Mountain Battery
No 2 Bombay Mountain Battery became No 6 (Bombay) Mountain Battery

In 1886 No 1 & No 2 Bengal Mountain Batteries were formed and renumbered in 1899:

No 1 Bengal Mountain Battery became No 7 (Bengal) Mountain Battery
No 2 Bengal Mountain Battery became No 8 (Bengal) Mountain Battery

Also in 1899 the 9th (Native) Mountain Battery was raised at Rawalpindi
and in 1900 the 10th (Native) Mountain Battery was raised at Abbottabad

Titles in use in 1900 were again changed in 1901:

No 1 Kohat Mountain Battery became Kohat Mountain Battery
No 2 Derajat Mountain Battery became Derajat Mountain Battery
No 3 Peshawar Mountain Battery became Peshawar Mountain Battery
No 4 Hazara Mountain Battery became Hazara Mountain Battery
No 5 Bombay Mountain Battery became Quetta Mountain Battery
No 6 Bombay Mountain Battery became Jullundur Mountain Battery
No 7 Bengal Mountain Battery became Gujarat Mountain Battery
No 8 Bengal Mountain Battery became Lahore Mountain Battery
No 9 Native Mountain Battery became Murree Mountain Battery
No 10 Native Mountain Battery became Abbottabad Mountain Battery

1903 reorganisation

The units were again numbered and their names changed:

Kohat Mountain Battery became 21st Kohat Mountain Battery (FF)
Derajat Mountain Battery became 22nd Derajat Mountain Battery (FF)
Peshawar Mountain Battery became 23rd Peshawar Mountain Battery (FF)
Hazara Mountain Battery became 24th Hazara Mountain Battery (FF)
Quetta Mountain Battery became 25th Quetta Mountain Battery
Jullundur Mountain Battery became 26th Jacob's Mountain Battery
Gujarat Mountain Battery became 27th Mountain Battery
Lahore Mountain Battery became 28th Mountain Battery
Murree Mountain Battery became 29th Mountain Battery
Abbottabad Mountain Battery became 30th Mountain Battery
  • 1907 two more batteries were formed: 31st Mountain Battery and 32nd Mountain Battery
  • 1920 all batteries were titled 'Pack' rather than 'Mountain"
  • 1921 names in bracket were restored to Nos 25-30. No 31 named Dehra Dun. No 32 named Poonch
  • 1922 80 added to all numbers
  • 1924 became batteries in the Royal Regiment of Artillery
  • 1927 100 deducted from numbers and all retitled Indian Mountain Batteries RA
  • 1928 Indian dropped from title
  • 1939 transferred to the Indian Regiment of Artillery
  • 1942 retitled Indian Mountain Batteries IA

Armament

See separate article Mountain Guns

External links

Historical books online