During the Independence Day official ceremony at Floriana on Saturday, the 21-gun salute by the Armed Forces of Malta attracted various Maltese and tourists who followed the ceremony.
“The 21 gun salute is reserved for the 21st September and for the appointment of a new President in April every five years”, Major Andrew Harrison said.
For the Independence ceremony, Major Harrison said that the Armed Forces use prestigious guns they inherited from the British military. D Company of the First Regiment has six, and in occasions like these it uses four. They consist of the 25 pounder quick firing gun type, manufactured before the Second World War.
“The guns were extensively used in the war and were effective as field artillery and to fire directly on enemy tanks. It was widely used in the North Africa campaign when the British defeated the Nazi forces”.
The use of these guns involves also preparations and training before their official use, as Bombardier Christian Bartolo explained:
“There is the Master Gunner who gives order to the gun assigned to him. There is the layer who fires the first shot; then there are two loaders whose duty is to reload the gun on the order of the Master Gunner. This continues until the remaining gun salute is given”.
The same procedure continues until a total of 21 gun salute is given, attentively watched by the present crowd at Floriana.