Ancient history of logistics in Sri Lanka
Early years of Sri Lanka saw the evolvement logistics through the renowned work of the historical books. The military logistics has taken an essential part in the early history of Sri Lanka. The best examples of military logistics can be given below.
Mahawamsam Chapter 24: “Skilled in (guiding) elephants and horses, and in (bearing) the sword and versed in archery did the prince Gámani dwell thenceforth in Mahágáma. The prince Tissa, equipped with troops and chariots did the king cause to be stationed in Dighavápi in order to guard the open country.” According to the Mahawamsam the troops equipped with sword and archery provide the support in the dwell.
Chesterfield Armament “The Puttalam Elephants”: “An Elephant towing a Corsair (Chance Vought F4U) fighter aircraft, at Airfield near Kalpitiya (Puttalam), Ceylon 1944.
The island of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, off the southern tip of India, was a strategic bastion commanding the sea routes from Europe to the Far East.
In April 1942 the island had been narrowly saved from invasion by gallantry of Canadian pilot Sqn. Ldr. Leonard Birchall who, flying a Catalina patrolling 250 miles south of Ceylon, sighted a huge Japanese invasion fleet. Under attack from Zero fighters he managed to radio the alarm before being shot down into the Indian Ocean. Alerted, the British forces withstood the heavy air and naval assaults that followed.
As the British expanded operations on the island, the hastily built airstrip of HMS Rajaliya was carved out of dense jungle at Puttalam. The soft grass strip, reinforced with metal. Somerfield tracking, enabled the heavy American-built Chance Vought F4U Corsairs to use the runway, but during the monsoon season the Corsair’s tricky landing characteristics often sent them slithering off into the water-logged ground. It was then that the Navy called in its secret weapon to haul the Corsairs back to firmer ground – The Puttalam Elephants! Operating...