Ar­moured Rolls Royce

Commercial Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Re­leased in 1982, the movie Gandhi went on to win eight Os­car awards, and was nom­i­nated for no less than 20 awards. An epic his­tor­i­cal drama film based on the life of Mo­han­das Karam­c­hand Gandhi, the leader of In­dia’s non-vi­o­lent, non-co­op­er­a­tive in­de­pen­dence move­ment against the United King­dom’s rule of the coun­try dur­ing the 20th cen­tury, Gandhi fea­tured Bri­tish-In­dian ac­tor Ben Kings­ley in the ti­tle role. Cov­er­ing Gandhi’s life from a defin­ing mo­ment in 1893, as he is thrown off a South African train for be­ing in a whites-only com­part­ment, to his as­sas­si­na­tion and fu­neral in 1948, the movie, avail­able in English and Hindi lan­guages, has an im­por­tant scene where thou­sands of In­di­ans were mas­sa­cred by troops of the Bri­tish In­dian Army un­der the com­mand of Colonel Regi­nald Dyer on April 13, 1919, at Jal­lian­wala Bagh, Am­rit­sar, a pub­lic gar­den of six to seven acres, walled on all sides, with five en­trances. It was the day of Baisakhi, the main Sikh fes­ti­val. Hav­ing as­sem­bled to peace­fully protest and con­demn the ar­rest and de­por­ta­tion of two na­tional lead­ers, Satya Pal and Sai­fud­din Kitch­lew, the peo­ple, all of them civil­ians, valiantly faced the bul­lets and gave up their lives for their coun­try.

Shown at the head of Colonel Dyer’s bat­tery is an ar­moured Rolls Royce ve­hi­cle. Re­ferred to as Rolls Royce In­dian Pat­tern, the ve­hi­cle was in­tro­duced in 1921. Based on the 1920 Pat­tern, it had ex­tended hull ar­mour to pro­vide ex­tra space and a domed tur­ret with four ball mounts for ma­chine guns. Struc­tured on a 1914 Rolls Royce Sil­ver Ghost chas­sis, the ar­moured ve­hi­cle weighed 4.7-tonnes, and had a crew of three (com­man­der, driver, and ma­chine-gun­ner). Mounted on the ve­hi­cle was a .303 Vick­ers ma­chine gun. Boast­ing of a 12 mm ar­mour, the ve­hi­cle was pow­ered by a 80 hp, six-cylin­der en­gine. Con­sist­ing of two wheels at the rear, the ve­hi­cle was fit­ted with leaf spring sus­pen­sion all­round. Ca­pa­ble of a top speed of 72 kmph, the ar­mored ve­hi­cle was also used in var­i­ous parts of the world by the Bri­tish un­til 1941. A model of the Rolls Royce ar­mored ve­hi­cle, which played a role in the mas­sacre of un­armed peo­ple at Jal­lian­walla Bagh, is on dis­play at the Cav­alry Tank Mu­seum, Ahmed­na­gar.

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