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When the first world war raged from 1914 to 1918, hundreds of thousands troops fought valiantly and millions of lives were lost. Much has been written about the allies (Britain, France and other European powers, Russia, the United States, Canada) battles with the opposing central powers (Germany, Austria - Hungary, Italy, Turkey) but few know that 1.38 million men from India were also sent to various theatres of war. As many as seven Indian expeditionary forces fought battles far from home. Whether it was the damp, flat fields of Flanders or the burning sands of Mesopotamia, the rocky, cold and windy hills of Gallipoli or unhealthy uplands and stifling jungles of East Africa, Indian soldiers left indelible imprints of their heroism, winning world-wide acclaim. For the first time, this book fills in the abysmal gap in the records of the war. Drawn from archives, regimental histories and other sources, this book tells the story of the tremendous contribution of the Indian corps to the victory of the allied forces. Printed Pages: 432. Size: 15 x 23 Cm. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 037970
Inhaltsangabe: The First World War is tremendously significant to India's history. Largely considered a European war, it actually involved the participation of more than a hundred countries, allowing for it to be also known as, The Great War. In 1914, it was thought by Indian political leaders, that offering support to the British would further the cause of India's independence. Accordingly, Indian soldiers were sent to fight alongside the British in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), Egypt, Palestine, France, Aden, Belgium, East Africa, Gallipoli and Salonika. About twenty-five princely states contributed over 26,000 combatants. The Dalai Lama offered his support through Tibetan troops, and Gurkhas were deployed from Nepal as well. They accompanied Britain's soldiers in the artillery, cavalry, infantry, engineers, signals service, sappers, and miners, arms of the army. Indian services to Britain extended to the Royal Navy as well as the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service.
Indian troops who fought in Europe, had stepped outside their homeland, across the kala pani, for the first time. The sophistication of the artillery used abroad, required remarkable adaptation on the part of the soldiers. The drastically different landscape and colder weather was a shock as well. Socially too, they felt displaced among the Europeans, with their vastly different cultures and mannerisms. This was a very new scenario for Indian men; to fight side-by-side the people who were their colonizers back home. Though the Indian combatants received care matching their British counterparts, a close eye was kept on their outings, making them feel trapped. The entire experience of fighting overseas was culturally alienating for many Indians, as mentioned in their letters home, which were also often subject to military censorship.
Though mentally ill equipped to deal with an emotional and physical relocation as vast as this, Indian soldiers fought valiantly. Inder Singh, in a letter back home from the Somme in September 1916, wrote, 'It is quite impossible that I should return alive. [But] don't be grieved at my death, because I shall die arms in hand, wearing the warrior's clothes. This is the most happy death that anyone can die'. By the end of the war, about 60,000 troops from India had fought for Britain. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded and over 13,000 gallantry medals were earned. Despite India backing it s efforts during the Great War, Britain s denial to grant India independence, created conflict and unrest among Indians, leading to the beginning of the uprising for independence. The author, Captain Amarinder Singh is himself a product of the Indian army. He served as ADC to the GOC-in-C, Western Command, during the 1965 war with Pakistan. A published military historian, he painstakingly retraces the footsteps of the Indian battalions during the First World War, using official battle details, war diaries, and maps.
About the Author: Captain Amarinder Singh, who is from the royal family of Patiala, was educated at the Doon School. After graduating from the National Defence Academy at Kharakavasla and the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, he was commissioned into the 2nd Battalion of the Sikh regiment. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, he was ADC to the GOC-in-C, Western Command, in whose theatre of operations the entire war was fought. Later, as member of Parliament, he was a member of Parliamentary Defence Committee. Amarinder Singh spent four terms in the Punjab legislature, during which time he served as minister in the Punjab government. He has served as the president of the Congress party in the state of Punjab. He was the chief minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007. He is presently in the state legislature. His previous works include The Last Sunset.
Titel: Honour and Fidelity: India's Military ...
Verlag: Lotus Collection/Roli Books
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: New
Auflage: First Edition.
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