This book offers diverse and original perspectives on South Asia’s imperial military history. Unlike prevailing studies, the chapters in the volume emphasize both the vital role of culture in framing imperial military practice and the multiple cultural effects of colonial military service and engagements. The volume spans from the early East India Company period through to the Second World War and India’s independence, exploring themes such as the military in the field and at leisure, as well as examining the effects of imperial deployments in South Asia and across the British Empire. Drawing extensively on new archival research, the book integrates previously disparate accounts of imperial military history and raises new questions about culture and operational practice in the colonial Indian Army.
This work will be of interest to scholars and researchers of modern South Asian history, war and strategic studies, military history, the British Empire, as well as politics and international relations.
Contributors. Acknowledgements. Introduction Kaushik Roy and Gavin Rand 1. The Indian Army: A Historiographical Reflection Ian F.W. Beckett 2. Sepoys and Sebundies: The Role of Regular and Paramilitary Forces in the Construction of Colonialism in Bengal, c. 1765–c. 1820 James Lees 3. Intelligence and Strategic Culture: Alternative Perspectives on the First British Invasion of Afghanistan Huw J. Davies 4. ‘At Ease, Soldier’: Social Life in the Cantonment Erica Wald 5. ‘The blind, brutal, British public’s bestial thirst for blood’: Archive, Memory and W.H. Russell’s (Re)Making of the Indian Mutiny Douglas M. Peers 6. ‘From the Black Mountain to Waziristan’: Culture and Combat on the North-West Frontier Gavin Rand 7. Deciphering the Maizar Military Tribunal, 1897: Civil-Military Tensions and Pukhtun Resistance on the North-West Frontier of British India Sameetah Agha 8. The Indian Army in Defeat: Malaya, 1941-1942 Kaushik Roy 9. Churchill, the Indian Army and the Second World War 304 Catherine Wilson 10. War and Indian Military Institutions: The Emergence of the Indian Military Academy Vipul Dutta 11. ‘Home’ Front: Indian Soldiers and Civilians in Britain, 1939-1945 Florian Stadtler. Index
The War and Society in South Asia series integrates and interrogates social, cultural and military histories of South Asia. The series explores social and cultural histories of South Asia’s military institutions as well as the impacts of conflict and the military on South Asian societies, polities and economies. The series reflects the varied and rich histories that connect warfare and society in South Asia from the early modern period through the colonial era to the present. By situating the histories of war and society in wider contexts, the series seeks to encourage greater understanding of the multidimensional roles played by warfare, soldiers and military institutions in South Asia’s history.