Mumbai police now complaining about WWI rifles and WWII helmets

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Times reports the Mumbai police are now complaining about having to use WWI rifles (probably not quite true) and WWII helmets. Can you believe the audacity of these cowards!

The contrast between them was vividly illustrated yesterday by CCTV footage of two militants attacking Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus, Mumbai’s main railway station, last Wednesday.

It shows the gunmen spraying automatic fire while two constables cower behind pillars, one armed with a .303 rifle similar to the Lee-Enfield weapons used by British troops in the First World War.

Lee-Enfield Rifle No 4 Mk I

In other words: locally produced .303 Lee-Enfield Rifle No 4 Mk I. rifles (Used by the Allies in WWII) or Ishapore .308 Lee-Enfields. Now you may think its an unfair fight with the terrorist rate of fire far higher than the police but consider this:

Terrorists: 16
Mumbai police force: 16,308 (based on India’s ratio of 126 officers per 100,000 population)
Approx. ratio of terrorists to officers: 1:1000

AK Rate of fire: 600 rounds per minutes (effective rate of fire of fire when taking into account reloading is much less)
Lee Enfield rate of fire: 20+ aimed rounds per minute (a well trained operator).

Terrorist rate of fire: 9600 rounds per minute.
Police rate of fire: 327,600 rounds per minute.

The majority of the force would not be front line officers nor would they have 16,000 rifles, but you see the point I am trying to make.

“The helmets used last week were World War Two-era, not designed for combat,” he said.

I need not comment on this ridiculous statement.

Y. P. Singh, who retired after 20 years in the Maharashtra police in 2005, said that he knew of two batches of body armour that had failed tests in 2001 and 2004. “They couldn’t take rounds from AK47 or AK56,” he said. “The bullets pierced the jackets.”

(No doubt they are referring to the Chinese Type 56 AK clone. There is no AK-56)

Most police forces around the world likely use Type II armor. I don’t think anyone expected the cops to charge the terrorist with fixed bayonets.

Most of the police involved were carrying .303s or self-loading rifles like those adopted by the British Army in the 1950s.

Some officers said that they were not given enough weapons training because of a shortage of ammunition and shooting ranges. In theory, all officers shoot 50 rounds a year in training. In practice, senior officers get their full quota with small arms.

They then admit that their arsenal also includes the [likely semi-] automatic 7.62mm NATO FN FAL. From their performance I would have guessed they never trained with arms.

Type 56 (Top)

I would be criticizing any police force, from any country or city, if they performed this badly.

mattling posted this comment on the poor police response on the previous post where I discussed the attacks:

Numerous reasons:

1. Everyone’s gotten used to bomb blasts in Mumbai and Delhi.
2. Police forces still carry equipment from WWII (not that old but the factories all make replicas)
3. Even after years of dealing with the mob and terrorism, police hierarchy is simply not equipped to deal with these kinds of threats.
4. Private citizens can’t import modern guns, make do with homemade and unreliable pistols.
5. No intelligence on the ground and lack of inter-agency coordination.
6. Corruption plays a part as well.
Pretty much the same reasons that led to 9/11 and that lead to general police incompetence in any american city, except here the police vans don’t have kevlar lining in their doors and ambulances are cramped 10 year old suvs converted for private use. All these factors (and more) led to a domino effect which resulted in a days long siege where it would’ve ended in a matter of an evening in America.
You know there’s something wrong when police are setting up cordons with bungee cords. How do you expect them to contain these attackers on the move? Senior officers were killed within the early hours leading to even more chaos on the ground. The joker couldn’t have schemed it better. (And he’s the ultimate schemer of them all, despite all appearances and catchphrases).
Horrible analogy, but this was Heat turned into “The Kingdom”.

In unrelated new: I am kicking myself for recently turning down a Lee Enfield mk. 5 Jungle Carbine (a real one) for a very good price.

[ Photos from Wikipedia ]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Shudip Shudip on Feb 24, 2010

    Dear Steve,

    Thank you for your comments, but may I remind you that the Chinese were the aggressors in 1962. They are still encroaching on Indian territory. They were beaten back by India at Nathula in 1967 when they tried similar tactics. Then in the seventies Vietnam "taught them a lesson," when they invaded the tiny country, if memory serves right. The Chinese are overrated as soldiers, except for their overwhelming numbers. They haven't fought any wars in 50 years.

    • Steve Steve on Feb 24, 2010

      @shudip shudip, I realize that there is animosity, but this blog is not the place to debate. This blog is for people to come together, not to fight.

  • Shudip Shudip on Feb 24, 2010

    Thank you, dear Steve.