The Satria Mandala Museum
On Friday the 6th of May 2011, I visited the Satria Mandala Museum which is located at Jalan Jendral Gatot Subroto, South Jakarta. I went to this museum after Friday prayers at school and I was accompanied by my driver. At around 1:45 pm, I arrived at the museum. Actually, this is not the first time I visited this museum. When I first visited this museum, I was a 3rd grader. "Why I chose to visit this museum?" The answer is very simple because this museum was my favorite museum in the city of Jakarta or even Indonesia, other than completing the history subject assignment. Besides those reasons, I am always interested to visit the museum of military history in various countries, including Indonesia. I was not surprised when I had to pay Rp 2500,00 from my wallet to purchase a museum entry ticket, with a very cheap to buy tickets, you can freely visit all the existing objects in this museum. "Why I say it is very cheap?" Based on my experience from visiting the museum with the same theme in many developed countries, the average price for entrance fee in their museum was 46 times more expensive than the price of entrance fee at this museum. Therefore, do not be surprised if we see several ceiling had rotted and the roof leaked in the building at this museum, as well as several conditions of war equipment seems less maintained and impressed ‘allowed’ to die eaten by the time. That is what happens if the entry ticket price is too cheap, so the budget that actually used for maintenance of the museum was cut and used for other purposes. In spite of all these deficiencies, I got a lot of information and additional knowledge that is valuable to me from visiting this museum. Other than that, sense of my nationalism and my appreciation to the heroes who have fought in liberating this country is also increasing. Satria Mandala Museum is a museum of Indonesia’s military (TNI) history, because in this museum we can see various kinds of war equipment from the Army, Navy, and Air Force who had owned and operated since the time of independence in 1945. Whenever I visited this museum I was always interested to visit the garage of the armored fighting vehicles. I concentrate my visit at the garage where the tank and armored vehicle which was formerly used by the TNI was parked. There are many collections of former military used armored fighting vehicles in the garage, including; Panhard EBR Armored Car, M3A1 Stuart Light Tank, Amphibious Light Tank PT-76 , BRDM-2 Armored Scout Car, Humber Scout Car, BTR-152 Armored Car, BTR-50 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), and several other armored fighting vehicles. I chose the Amphibious Light Tank PT-76 as one of the museum’s collection that I describe.
|Mil Mi-4 helicopter formerly operated by the Army|
The PT-76 Tank Description
After the World War 2 ended, the concept of light tanks began to be developed in the Soviet Union (now Russia). They will be used in reconnaissance units and amphibious capability is needed considering the geographical conditions of the Russian State, where there are many large rivers, lakes, and swamps. N. Shashmurin who worked as an engineer at the Leningrad Kirov Factory, succeeded in designing the amphibious light tank prototype. The vehicle was successful because it has a simple design, properties of good navigation, and also the ability of a good cross-field. Further development was conducted in 1949-1951 under the leadership of Zh. Y. Kotin and formally the PT-76 tank model was adopted in 1952. The production of this tank began in 1953 in Volgograd Tractor Plant (VTZ) and the Leningrad Kirov Factory. The 1st model of the tank was produced in limited quantities and quickly replaced by the production of the 2nd model. In 1958, a developed variant, the PT-76B was adopted and remained in production until 1968. To this day, there are approximately 12,000 units of PT-76 tanks which are operated by the military in 25 countries around the world.
PT-76 has an empty weight of 13.5 tons and 14.6 tons in a state ready for battle. Because this tank has a capacity of amphibians, it is designed so it can operate in seas with only a thin layer of steel, which is 20 mm in the tank’s body. This tank has a crew of three people consisting of the driver, commander, and loader. In addition to reduce the load of passengers, the commander of the tank doubles duty as field observers, gunners, and radio operators. The PT-76 dimensions when measured without the cannon have a length of 6.91 m, with a width of 3.15 m, and height of 2.325 m. Furthermore, the ground clearance is 370 mm. If measured by the length of the cannon and the antiaircraft guns mounted on the PT-76, the dimensions become: length 7.62 m, width 3.15 m, and height 3.70 m.
Propulsion generated from the PT-76 6-cylinder diesel engine with a power of 240 hp (179 kW). This tank has a fuel capacity of 250 liter diesel (HSD), then 60 liter of water as a radiator coolant and engine lubricant type DCO.50 uses as much as 45 liters. This tank has a power/weight 16.4 hp/tone and uses a torsion bar suspension. This tank has a cruising range as far as 370-400 km and 450-510 km with external fuel. In Regular Street, this tank has a maximum speed of 44 km/h and when in the water, the maximum speed is 10.2 km/h. The advantage of PT-76 lies in the power of the engine, because it can provide a good ability to swim toward the down payment of 11 km/h for a distance of 70 km and takes about 8 hours. When moving backwards, it has a speed of up to 5 km/h. That is why the PT-76 is deemed to have qualified as an amphibious tank.
The other advantages of the PT-76 is the ability to climb elevation of up to 380 in slope or vertical barriers as high as 1.06 m, it also has the ability to move stable over a field that has a slope of up to 180, across the trench with a width of up to 2.8 m or through derivatives up to 0.75 m deep with surface pressure at 0.49 kg/cm square and a power to weight ratio at 17.5 horsepower/ton. The entry angle when the tank will go down to the sea, lakes or rivers is 300 and as it exit to the surface, the muzzle looked angle is 250. The PT-76 electrical power systems come in 2 pieces of Accumulator, each with a 12 volt voltage. As a tool of communication, PT-76 uses R-123 type radio.
A PT-76 tank by default has 2 armaments, which consist of primary and secondary armaments. The primary armament is a low-speed gun D-56T rifled tank gun 76.2 mm caliber and for the secondary armament is a coaxial machine gun 7.62 mm caliber SGMT type. In addition, PT-76 can also be equipped with anti-aircraft machine gun DShK type of 12.7 mm caliber placed in the turret, which has a dual drive system, which consists of manual and electric, which is capable of rotating a full 3600 within 20 seconds. D-56T cannon have a barrel length of 3.315 m and are able to shoot straight as much as 40 times with a speed of 8 to 15 shots per minute and have a range of fire up to 4 km. In single firing, the effective firing range from the cannon of this type is capable of reaching 12.8 km. These cannon have the highest elevation angle to 400 and the lowest angle when down is 40. PT-76 carries cannon ammunition as much as 40 rounds a mixture consisting of ammunition type HE (High Explosive), HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank), and HVAP (High Velocity Armor Piercing). Its coaxial machine gun weighs 13.8 kg equipped with 1000 rounds which is divided into 4 magazines. The SGMT machine gun is capable of firing in a row 350 shots per minute with an effective range 2 to 2.5 km. This machine gun is located in the right of the cannon. Furthermore, as a defense of the crew of PT-76 is also equipped with 18 hand grenades. Specifically on the operational tasks at night, the machine gun crew is supported with TSK 66 type sights.
|Amphibious Light Tank PT-76 on display at this museum|
The PT-76 Tank History in Indonesia
In the early 1960s, under the leadership of President Soekarno’s Indonesia is very close/leaning more friendly with the Eastern Bloc countries, especially the Soviet Union. Due to the close friendship between Indonesia and the Soviet Union, Indonesia gets a lot of assistance in various fields, especially the military field. Various kinds of military equipment was received and purchased by Indonesia from the Soviet Union, consisting of warplanes, warships, armored cars, tanks, etc. One of them is the Amphibious Light Tank PT-76. Here is the explanation of why the Government of Indonesia at that time would prefer to buy military equipment from the Eastern Bloc countries.
The recognition of sovereignty over the independence of the Republic of Indonesia by the Royal Netherlands at the end of 1949 marked the end of the Indonesian War of Independence period from 1945-1949. The recognition of sovereignty itself is an outcome from the Round Table Conference (RTC) in The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands, between the Government of Indonesia with the Kingdom of Netherlands. One of the results of the Round Table Conference mentioned that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is obliged to restore the entire territory of occupation to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, including the West Papua or the Nederlands Nieuw Guinea. On the results of the conference are also mentioned that the Netherlands will return the West Papua to Indonesia, no later than 1 year after the recognition of sovereignty or more precisely at the end of 1950. However, 9 years after the recognition of sovereignty, the Dutch government did not implementing the results of the Round Table Conference.
In order to restore the West Papua to the fold of the motherland, Indonesia took a variety of diplomatic channels, including through the UNO (United Nations Organization / United Nations). However these efforts stalled, so the Indonesia under the Soekarno’s leadership then proclaimed the People’s Tri Command (Trikora) that essentially demanding the return of West Papua (Irian) to the motherland as quickly as possible. The Dutch responds with strengthening the military in West Irian by bringing the aircraft carrier Hr.Ms. Karel Doorman. In response, Indonesia decided to solve the problem of the West Irian through military force to support diplomacy. In the military field, Indonesia government realizes that the strength of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia (APRI) is not balanced in comparison with the Dutch. Therefore, the Government of Indonesia seeks to bring a number of military equipment, which is done with the purchase of new and used military equipment from various countries since 1958. The first efforts made through the approach to the countries of Western Europe and the United States, but the results were not satisfactory. This was caused by the high sense of solidarity from them to the Netherlands who is also a member of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) based in Western Europe. The NATO led by the United States was a counter force against the Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union.
Since the era of the Cold War began in 1949, the two world superpowers are always competing to develop influence and its military forces in various parts of the world. Unfortunately, Indonesia who has a system of independent and active foreign policy, also dragged into the feud of the two ‘giants’. The victory of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) in 1955 elections seen as a threat to the American dominance in Southeast Asia, so inevitably the United States prefer to support the Netherlands, who has clearly violated the agreement in the Round Table Conference. Therefore, the purchase of military equipment by the Indonesia which is considered harmful to the Netherlands impressed inhibited. Dealing with such an urgent condition, the Indonesia Government glance the Eastern Bloc countries, such as the Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China, and Yugoslavia. Since 1960 a large number of modern military equipment from the Soviet Union entered Indonesia, and one of them is an amphibious light tank PT-76 (Tank Plavayushtshiy-76), as previously described.
Since 1962, the PT-76 amphibious tanks purchased by the Indonesian government formally entered into an APRI (Angkatan Perang Republik Indonesia) cavalry unit. Because this tank has the amphibious capability, most tanks were operated by the Amphibious Tank Battalion of the Naval Command Corps (KKO AL), now known as the Amphibious Landing Vehicles Battalion of the Indonesian Navy Marine Corps. These combat vehicles initially prepared to support the operations of the largest military campaigns in the history of Indonesia, known as Operation Jayawijaya, which was held in the framework of the liberation of Western Irian in the year 1962-1963. Furthermore, PT-76 is actively involved in various activities in domestic security and military operations such as Dwikora (1964-1965) in Indonesian-Malaysian border, Operation Seroja (1975-1979) in East Timor and Integrated Security Restoration Operation in order to fight GAM separatist movement in the Province of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam (2002-2005). Today, after 40 years since it was first operated by the military (TNI), some of the PT-76 tank has been on display at the Satria Mandala Museum, while about 30 units still operated by the Amphibious Landing Vehicles Battalion of the Indonesian Navy Marine Corps. If you get a chance to visit the Marine Corps Headquarters in Cilandak, you will see a number of PT-76 tanks in the tank garage and still used for combat training. It seems quite reasonable if the Indonesian PT-76 nicknamed “Battle Proven” aka the legendary master of war in the Navy Marine Corps environment (quoted from Cakrawala TNI-AL magazine).
|M3A1 Stuart Light Tank|