Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Myanmar Military Displayed WW II-Era British Tanks On The Same Day It ‘Shot Dead’ 90 Civilians

The Myanmar military displayed its military might on its annual Armed Forces Day parade on March 27, showcasing some of the World War-II era British armored vehicles. Incidentally, on the same day, the military junta allegedly shot dead at least 90 people in a nationwide crackdown on the anti-regime protesters.    

The Myanmar military, also known as Tatmadaw, had seized power on February 1, overthrowing the civilian government. On March 27, it held the Armed Forces day, showcasing various defense equipment, including WW-II era armored vehicles.

India was among the eight nations that attended the annual military parade, drawing flak from various quarters.

Some of the vehicles that took part in the parade included the Comet A34 tanks, the famous Bren gun carriers, Dingo and Ferret scout cars in pristine condition along with modern Chinese-made vehicles of the Myanmar Army.

The parade was held in Naypyidaw, the capital city. Myanmar is one of the countries that display legacy military equipment in order to commemorate the battles of the bygone era.

Every year, Russia also holds a display of vintage military equipment during its annual Victory Day parade.

According to The Indian Express, besides India, Russia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand also sent their representatives to the military parade in Myanmar.

Comet A34

The Comets were the prime attraction of the parade. The Comet A34 is a type of British ‘cruiser tank’ designed in 1943 and put to use towards the end of World War II during the invasion of Germany. It was developed from the earlier Cromwell tank with a 17-pounder high velocity (HV) (3 inches, 76.2 mm – sometimes called ’77  mm’) gun, mounted in a lower profile, partly-cast turret. This gun was effective against German tanks, including the Panther and the Tiger.

The earlier versions of the tank lacked sufficient firepower against the heavy German vehicles. The Comet rendered the Cruiser Mk VIII Challenger obsolete and led to the development of the Centurion. Interestingly, when firing APDS rounds, the 77 mm HV (high velocity) proved superior in armor penetration capability to the 75 mm KwK 42 gun of the equivalent Axis tank, the Panther.

Cruiser tanks were faster and more mobile compared to slow-moving, heavier infantry tanks.

The Myanmar military was left with many British and American World War II-era weapons when it gained independence in 1948. Even its soldiers were seen using US knives and M1 carbines until the early 2000s.

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