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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2006 19:18 
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SBajwa wrote:
ParGha wrote:
Senior Punjab Regiment battalion are all from 1750/60s, while the earliest Bengal ones (like 1 Brahman or 2 Rajput) dont come about for a full decade or so. Just confused.



Well.. The army of Ranjit Singh (Ranjit Singh died in 1839) named khalsa army was defeated in 1849 and reorganized into british army by 1850s, the two Sikh regiments trace their history to Ranjit Singh and other Sikh States.

The punjab regiment was most likely created from the soldiers supplied by the cis-sutlej states (Maharaja Patiala, Nabha and Jind and modern day Haryana) that were under the protectorate of British when Ranjit Singh was ruling the area beyond Sutlej.

I remember that British army created three armies. Calcutta Presidency, Bombay Presidency and Madras Presidency, the first battle that modern indian army traces to is probably, the battle of plassey (1740s).

Where does the history of modern indian army starts? Is it with 1857 or battle of plassey or earlier battles close to calcutta, madras or bombay or even earlier with mughals, etc (Rajputana)?

thanks
Sandeep


The Punjab Regiment(s) were re-designated Carnatic Infantry Regiments of the Madras Army. It got the "Punjab" name only in 1900s when it, for the most part, began recuiting from the standard Punjabi Muslims of North Punjab, and to a lesser extent Hindu and Sikh Punjabis living in non-standard recruiting districts (ex. Hindu Ahir in a district that predominantly supplied men for a Jat Sikh unit, or vice versa). The original composition of these Regiments was Telingas and Deccani Muslims from the Carnatic Coast (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu areas, not Karnataka - a common source of confusion {to me atleast}), and to a lesser extent Tamils.

The senior battalions of the Sikh Regiment trace their lineage to Bengal Army Infantry. The slightly younger battalions trace their lineage to Punjab Frontier Force. The Sikh Light Infantry, otoh, is a consolidation and re-designation of many Pioneers Regiments brought about only in 1940s or so. The forces accepted from State Forces of Patiala, Nabh, Jind etc were accepted into these Regiments only after Independence, and still are very much junior to the original battalions (despite being older). Same with all other State Forces inducted into other Regiments as well.

Whenever the concept of "Modern Indian Army" might start, for the purposes of Infantry Regiments seniority determination its the simple policy to use the founding dates of the un-amalgamated senior-most battalion.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2006 21:22 
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folks,

This is the new Indian Army History thread.

please restrict yourself to modern military history preferably the 20th century (and in some cases - discussion on the older british indian army).

Any non-related posts will be deleted without any notice.

thanks for your cooperation.

Jagan


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2006 21:32 
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What happened to the regiments that were started by the Bombay Presidency? Are they still around? I know that Bengal and Madras still are.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2006 21:46 
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SBajwa wrote:
What happened to the regiments that were started by the Bombay Presidency? Are they still around? I know that Bengal and Madras still are.


Modern Indian Infantry Regiments from Bombay Army lineage:
1. Maratha Light Infantry
2. Grenadier Regiment
3. Rajputana Rifles

No longer in Indian Army, but definitely Bombay Army - Baloch Regiment.

Mahar Regiment, counterintuitively, is not of Bombay Army lineage even though its men have some of the oldest links with the Bombay Army. It was reconstituted in early 1940s so it was part of the Army of India/Indian Army era.


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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2006 21:47 
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Jagan wrote:
folks,

This is the new Indian Army History thread.

please restrict yourself to modern military history preferably the 20th century (and in some cases - discussion on the older british indian army).

Any non-related posts will be deleted without any notice.

thanks for your cooperation.

Jagan


Thanks for bring this back.


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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2006 00:33 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5pagsXcoYM

Video of Pakistan army surrendering to Indian army in 1971.


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PostPosted: 08 Nov 2006 02:36 
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I was doing some research on the Indian Army performance in Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan and thereafter. I can't help but draw similarities between the operations in Sri Lanka and the US Army operations in Iraq [presently]. The overall mission of both the armies is almost the same. In Iraq, the US Army/coalition is drawing flak from Iraqi insurgents, while in Sri Lanka the Army faced brutal attacks from LTTE who were pretty much using the same tactics, hit and run. In Iraq, snipers are increasingly becoming a menace while the Indian Army had to learn about the snipers the hard way. Overall, in the three years the IPKF was in Sri Lanka, the Army had a total fatality of about 1200 soldiers. The US Army since the invasion has had nearly 3000 fatalities. One must keep in mind, the IPKF had minimal if any body armor compared to the US army. So keeping this in mind, how do the two wars compare?? A lot of people consider Lanka a loss, But I strongly feel that with its hands tied to the back, the Indian Army did a great job. Any comments? Also, keeping this in mind, I'm sure the US army would like to learn more from the IA about its COIN operations and tactics. Also, there is very little in terms of operational details that is out there regarding the Sri Lanka war. BR has the best collection thus far, but IA was there for almost 3 years, and there is a section on Jaffna and then the jungles. There has to be more info out there regarding this war. What exactly happened for three years?

The following is a month by month break down of coalition deaths in Iraq

    Military Fatalities: By Month
    Period US UK Other* Total Avg Days
    11-2006 19 1 0 20 2.86 7
    10-2006 105 2 2 109 3.52 31
    9-2006 71 3 2 76 2.53 30
    8-2006 65 1 0 66 2.13 31
    7-2006 43 1 2 46 1.48 31
    6-2006 61 0 2 63 2.1 30
    5-2006 69 9 1 79 2.55 31
    4-2006 76 1 5 82 2.73 30
    3-2006 31 0 2 33 1.06 31
    2-2006 55 3 0 58 2.07 28
    1-2006 62 2 0 64 2.06 31
    12-2005 68 0 0 68 2.19 31
    11-2005 84 1 1 86 2.87 30
    10-2005 96 2 1 99 3.19 31
    9-2005 49 3 0 52 1.73 30
    8-2005 85 0 0 85 2.74 31
    7-2005 54 3 1 58 1.87 31
    6-2005 78 1 4 83 2.77 30
    5-2005 80 2 6 88 2.84 31
    4-2005 52 0 0 52 1.73 30
    3-2005 35 1 3 39 1.26 31
    2-2005 58 0 2 60 2.14 28
    1-2005 107 10 10 127 4.1 31
    12-2004 72 1 3 76 2.45 31
    11-2004 137 4 0 141 4.7 30
    10-2004 63 2 2 67 2.16 31
    9-2004 80 3 4 87 2.9 30
    8-2004 66 4 5 75 2.42 31
    7-2004 54 1 3 58 1.87 31
    6-2004 42 1 7 50 1.67 30
    5-2004 80 0 4 84 2.71 31
    4-2004 135 0 5 140 4.67 30
    3-2004 52 0 0 52 1.68 31
    2-2004 20 1 2 23 0.79 29
    1-2004 47 5 0 52 1.68 31
    12-2003 40 0 8 48 1.55 31
    11-2003 82 1 27 110 3.67 30
    10-2003 44 1 2 47 1.52 31
    9-2003 31 1 1 33 1.1 30
    8-2003 35 6 2 43 1.39 31
    7-2003 48 1 0 49 1.58 31
    6-2003 30 6 0 36 1.2 30
    5-2003 37 4 0 41 1.32 31
    4-2003 74 6 0 80 2.67 30
    3-2003 65 27 0 92 7.67 12
    Total 2837 121 119 3077 2.32 1329


source:
http://icasualties.org/oif/


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2006 15:40 
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question:

one indian general won a kirti or a shaurya chakra for defusing tenstion with north korean prisoners in 50s... when IA was there as part of UN

does anyone have the full story...


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2006 18:39 
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Khalsa wrote:
question:

one indian general won a kirti or a shaurya chakra for defusing tenstion with north korean prisoners in 50s... when IA was there as part of UN

does anyone have the full story...
Maj Gen SPP Thorat got the KC

There is a story out somewhere might come up in googling.

in short the NK and chinese pows were rioting or about to riot. Thorat went in with a group of officers unarmed and diffused the tension.

added later: actually i found out that you had posted the story in part earlier on BRF here. Whats changed since then? what more do you want to know? Or is this soem kind of a quiz all over again? :)


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2006 00:08 
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Hi Jagan

thanks for that.. nothing changed except I just wanted to read it all over again and I had lost the story ...

I am profiling many of our top notch stories and starting a blog etc...

thanks so much

Kind Regards
Khalsa


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2006 01:57 
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How Indian Army saved Kashmir in 1947
[quote]On October 22, 1947, kabailis (tribesmen), backed by regular Pakistani army, attacked Jammu and Kashmir. To prevent the kabailis from occupying more areas, the Indian Army, with the Indian Air Force, landed in Srinagar on October 27 and since then the day is celebrated every year as Martyrs Day and also as Infantry Day.

The tribesmen supported by Pakistani soldiers swarmed across the Jhelum river and began systematic plunder, arson, rape and mindless killing of the unarmed and innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir. The state forces headquarters at Srinagar were informed and Brigadier Rajinder Singh reached Uri on October 23, 1947. The force of approximately one company held out against about 4000 tribesmen till October 24, 1947 and later withdrew to Mohura. Despite high casualties, the soldiers were able to hold the enemy till October 26, 1947, when they were overrun and almost all of them perished fighting. Brig Rajinder Singh, killed in the attack, was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously.

The raiders entered Baramulla town on October 26, 1947 and promptly set about raping, plundering and killing. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were killed and looted without discrimination while women were forcibly abducted to be sold in the streets of Rawalpindi and Peshawar or to live as slaves in distant tribal territories.

While Baramulla was being ransacked, Maharaja Hari Singh requested military assistance from the government of India, paving the way for induction of Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Maharaja later signed an instrument of accession with India, which was accepted by the then Governor General. Apart from the men in uniform, civilians also played a crucial role in liberating the valley. Very few people know that a civilian washerman, Ram Chander, won a Mahavir Chakra for rescuing an officer wounded during an ambush, shooting down several enemy troops in the process.

1-Sikh deployed at Gurgaon was ordered to concentrate in Delhi on October 26, 1947. The first battalion of Sikh Regiment, commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai, made a historic airlift to Srinagar on October 27, 1947 for the defence of Kashmir with the first aircraft landing in Srinagar airport at 0930 hrs. The raiders were now barely 60 km from Srinagar. Intelligence reports received by Col Rai revealed that they had not reached Baramulla. He then left a portion of 1-Sikh to guard the airfield and moved forward to Baramulla via Pattan, a small town 17 miles from Srinagar.

After advancing 34 miles from Srinagar on this road, Col Rai ordered his troops to take up positions around the hills east of Baramulla. He took a small party with him and when it had moved halfway into the town of Baramulla, the raiders fired on them.

Col Rai was killed by a burst of automatic fire from a hill outside the town of Baramulla, but the attack on Pattan defence did not materialise as expected. This was probably because the raiders were unsettled by the appearance of this force and were unsure of their strength. They instead decided to fan out and bypass the Pattan defence and head for Srinagar .

Mohammad Maqbool Sherwani laid down his life in defence of the ideals of Kashmir and India at a young age of 35 on November 7, 1947, when the raiders were heading for Srinagar, fall of which would have installed a theocratic government in the state. However, between those ambitions and a secular Kashmir, Mohammad Maqbool Sherwani stood like a rock. Deliberately misguiding the infiltrators on to wrong routes, he made them lose four precious days by which time the Indian Army was able to reach Srinagar for its defence and that proved to be a turning point for the future of Kashmir and India.

Having delayed the infiltrators, he informed the high command at Srinagar but in the process was caught at Sangrama by the Pakistani intruders. In return for his safety, he was asked to raise pro-Pakistani and anti-India slogans but he refused and instead shouted “Hindu, Muslim Ithadâ€


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2006 23:26 
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Voices of Indian soldiers search for roots

[quote]Chandigarh, November 19
It’s unbelievable. Somewhere in the archives of Humboldt University, Berlin, lie stacked hundreds of sound recordings of Indian soldiers, who died lusting for a glimpse of their native villages.

Taken prisoners of war in World War I by German troops and detained at the Halfmoon Camp at Wunsdorf, close to Berlin, these soldiers could never come back. But 90 years after their sound files were created, the voices of three Indian soldiers, one of them a Sikh from Ferozepore, are back to search for their roots.

Helping the ghost voices of Mall Singh from Punjab, Jasbahadur from Darjeeling and Bhawan Singh from Almora, find a body is Berlin-based filmmaker Philip Scheffner, who has embarked upon a historic documentary titled “The Halfmoon Filesâ€


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 05:07 
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Harshad wrote:
Quote:
On October 22, 1947, kabailis (tribesmen), backed by regular Pakistani army, attacked Jammu and Kashmir. To prevent the kabailis from occupying more areas, the Indian Army, with the Indian Air Force, landed in Srinagar on October 27 and since then the day is celebrated every year as Martyrs Day and also as Infantry Day.


Just for personal curiosity, have the tribesmen and their tribes ever been identified and cataloged?

As I understand there were three different enemy forces at play here:

1. Mutinous Gilgit Scouts and rebellious Muslim soldiers of the Dogra Army from Gilgit and Baltis. Technically both groups had/have tribal structures.

2. Pathan tribesmen from Northern parts of NWFP. I am guessing Orakzais, Ghilzais and maybe Afridi? Obviously tribals.

3. Last entered as "tribals" were disguised members of the newly formed Pakistani Army providing modern leadership and technical support in limited capacity. Some may have had direct tribal affiliations with the class 1 and 2 raiders, others may have somewhat tribal (Pathan or Punjabi Muslim) tendencies, and others may have been fully professional UW soldiers.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 05:16 
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ParGha wrote:
Pathan tribesmen from Northern parts of NWFP. I am guessing Orakzais, Ghilzais and maybe Afridi? Obviously tribals.


Mostly Mahsuds. They use their role in the invasion of J&K to claim a greater sense of integration into Pakistan than their closest rivals, the Wazirs of South Waziristan - this politics is entirely local; they want to be closer to the Political Agent (now the Chief Administrator) from Islamabad.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 06:01 
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Anoop wrote:
Mostly Mahsuds. They use their role in the invasion of J&K to claim a greater sense of integration into Pakistan than their closest rivals, the Wazirs of South Waziristan - this politics is entirely local; they want to be closer to the Political Agent (now the Chief Administrator) from Islamabad.


Mahsuds are from Waziristan area, right? Which would mean they either trekked through or were trucked through either North Punjab or North NWFP to arrive in Kashmir. Things just keep getting interesting.

Keep it coming :twisted:


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 07:17 
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Yes, the Mahsuds are mostly from South Waziristan, though in 1947, the GoP allotted them cheap lands in North Waziristan too.

I may have to qualify my previous statement; the Mahsuds may have been the most numerous among the South Waziristan tribes to participate in the 1947 invasion of Kashmir. They could still have been outnumbered by other tribes from the NWFP. There were also Hazara and Afridi tribesmen from the Northern Areas who took part in the invasion.


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 19:44 
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ParGha wrote:
Anoop wrote:
Mostly Mahsuds. They use their role in the invasion of J&K to claim a greater sense of integration into Pakistan than their closest rivals, the Wazirs of South Waziristan - this politics is entirely local; they want to be closer to the Political Agent (now the Chief Administrator) from Islamabad.


Mahsuds are from Waziristan area, right? Which would mean they either trekked through or were trucked through either North Punjab or North NWFP to arrive in Kashmir. Things just keep getting interesting.

Keep it coming :twisted:


I vaguely remember some accounts mentioning the tribes were 'bussed' over..


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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2006 19:47 
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Prem Shankar Jha's book on Kashmir has some details. Iskander Mirza organized the bussing etc. Akbar Khan was the officer in charge.


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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2006 09:16 
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http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/cata ... 0521824443


Image

Quote:


The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India
The Struggle for Control of the South Asian Military Economy
Randolf G. S. Cooper
University of Cambridge
Hardback

This is a cross-cultural study of the political economy of war in South Asia. Randolf G. S. Cooper combines an overview of Maratha military culture with a battle-by-battle analysis of the 1803 Anglo-Maratha Campaigns. Building on that foundation he challenges ethnocentric assumptions about British superiority in discipline, drill and technology. He argues that these campaigns, in which Arthur Wellesley served with distinction, represent the military high-water mark of the Marathas who posed the last serious opposition to the formation of the British Raj. Dr Cooper asserts that the real contest for India was never a single decisive battle for the subcontinent. Rather it turned on a complex social and political struggle for control of the South Asian military economy. The author shows that victory in 1803 hinged as much on finance, diplomacy, politics and intelligence as it did on battlefield manoevre and war itself.


• A groundbreaking account of the last major indigenous challenge to the establishment of the British Raj
• Challenges existing assumptions about British superiority in discipline, drill and technology
• A major contribution to British military history beyond Europe in the Napoleonic period, and to the political economy of warfare in South Asia
Contents

Introduction; 1. Maratha military culture; 2. British perceptions and the road to war in 1803; 3. The Deccan campaign of 1803; 4. The Hindustan campaign of 1803; 5. 'Coming in'; 6. The anatomy of victory; Appendix I: Anglo-South Asian conflict chart; Appendix II: British troop strengths and casualties for the Hindustan and Deccan campaigns 1803; Appendix III: Governor General Wellesley's 'Maratha' proclamation of 1803; Appendix IV: Mercenary pension records; Appendix V: The Marathas' employment of mercenaries in historic perspective; Bibliography.
Reviews

'… it is unlikely that the author's analysis of that fascinating and turbulent period at the turn of the 19th century will be bettered for some considerable time … first modern analysis of the Anglo-Maratha wars … highly recommended.' Chowkidar

'Randolf Cooper's study of the Anglo-Maratha conflict of 1803 makes a valuable contribution to the new military history that examines not simply the development of warfare, but its complex interaction with wider technological, political, socio-economic and cultural factors.' Rusi Journal

'In short, drawing on a wide reading of British and Indian material, and displaying a commendable ability to understand the different military cultures of the combatants, this important book will not only be the leading work on its subject, but also one of more general interest.' The Journal of Military History

'In all this, Cooper skilfully combines his military scholarship with his insights into wider issues and into the unique features of the Indian polity, heavily dependent as it was on the dynamics of the South Asian military economy. … this is no less than a revolutionary book. By convincingly explaining the E.I.C.'s conquest of India in the broader context of the South Asian military economy, it aims at the hard core of old imperial historiography and thus prepares the road to re-interpretations in the field of colonial history that are bound to do far more justice to the internal dynamics of Indian society than we have been able to do so far.' Itinerario

' … lucid and culturally-nuanced account of the key battles which comprised the Anglo-Maratha War of 1803-1805 … anyone interested in how the British succeeded on Indian battlefields would be well advised to consult this work …' Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

' ... brings out very interesting and revealing conclusions regarding the misconceptions perpetuated by the British authors about the Marathas ... The book is a refreshing attempt at objective analysis of convenient stereotypes ... highly recommended ...' U.S.I. Journal



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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2006 05:27 
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Posted by rajkumar
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Post subject: Oral History of Indian Army in WWII

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/standateast.shtml

I urge all forumities to click and listen to the series of programme by Mark Tully


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2006 06:59 
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Rakesh wrote:
Posted by rajkumar
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Post subject: Oral History of Indian Army in WWII

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/standateast.shtml

I urge all forumities to click and listen to the series of programme by Mark Tully


This is awesome. The Indian Army role in WW2 has really been forgotten. Whenever there is talk about WW2 the IA is never mentioned. We need to change this.


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PostPosted: 05 Dec 2006 03:59 
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Emerging new challenges

Quote:
The author's narration of some experiences with political readers is quite revealing. In a meeting convened by Lal Bahadur Shastri to discuss the possible response of India to Pakistan's provocations in 1965, Gen. J. N. Chaudhuri, Army Chief, said that, in order to worst the enemy, "we must have three times the resources that they have" and plunged into details of guns, arms, ammunition, and even shoes, to show that the ratios did not work out in favour of an Indian army action. Shastri's response was, "General Saheb, if everything is in exactly the same proportion as laid down in the copy book, even I can be a General! Where is then the question of leadership?" The General deflated with a hiss and said, "Give the orders, sir. We are ready."


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2006 02:00 
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I am surprised no one posted this yet.

Rediff special on 35 Yrs of the 1971 War

http://www.rediff.com/news/bangla06.html

http://specials.rediff.com/news/2006/dec/05sld01.htm

The Rediff Special/ Anil Athale
Memories of a Prisoner of War
http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/dec/06spec1.htm

notice the active involvement of BR in providing the pics / maps . Rediff has also linked the Liberation Times as recommended reading.


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2006 20:36 
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Thanks Jagan.

I have a question on the regimental origins of the TSP Army. I know Baloch Regt was under Bombay Presidency. What were the BIA affliations of the regiments that went to Pakistan? Where they from the Bengal Prseidency? How were they affected by the Kitchner reforms? Where there any Madras Presidency troops that got transferred or was it only State Forces?


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2006 22:12 
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Second part of Col. Anit Athale's POW story. Interesting snippets:

'We thanked our stars that the jail walls were solid enough not to let anyone in'

Quote:
The Pakistani behaviour towards the Indians was correct, gentlemanly and courteous to a fault. Many Pakistanis shared their happiness that their soldiers were in Indian army custody and not in Bangladeshi captivity. They also expressed their happiness that they were rid of Bangladesh, which they described as a burden, and warned us that soon we would regret having created it. In some ways, it was a prophetic remark.

All armies have their peculiar internal dynamics. While in the Indian army the 'working class' is essentially the junior officers, lieutenants, captains and majors, in Pakistan it is their NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers) like naiks and havaldars (like the US Army, that is run by their sergeants).

The Pakistani NCOs then were well educated, motivated and had lots of initiative. In our army, close to a third of NCOs end up as officers through the in-service route. I once asked a particularly bright Pakistani NCO why he did not try for commission as officer. His reply was revealing.

'In Pakistan,' he said, 'to become officer you have to have an 'Uncle'!'

In a sense that situation seems to prevail even today. There is a oft repeated story about how Pakistani prisoners in India told our officers that they would prefer to fight under them. This is the same story we heard in Pakistan under very different circumstances.

The same NCO told us that 'Sir, our jawans and your officers, together we can conquer the world.' We, of course, told them that we prefer our own jawans.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2006 00:36 
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Kakkaji see my post above yours for I had a serendipitous thought about the last bolded part!


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2006 01:35 
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ramana wrote:
Thanks Jagan.

I have a question on the regimental origins of the TSP Army. I know Baloch Regt was under Bombay Presidency. What were the BIA affliations of the regiments that went to Pakistan? Where they from the Bengal Prseidency? How were they affected by the Kitchner reforms? Where there any Madras Presidency troops that got transferred or was it only State Forces?


A quick reply, in order of seniority:

Punjab Regiment: Madras Presidency + Bengal Presidency lineage, Madras battalions being generally the senior ones. By 1900s most Madras Army infantry were Punjabis; on the other hand by Partition there were no Presidency armies, but rather an Indian Army only (also a significant number of Southerners were now recruited into Madras Regiment, while the Punjabi battalions had been consolidated into the Punjab Regiments).

Baluch Regiment: Bombay Presidency.

Frontier Force Regiment: Bengal Army - or more properly, the Punjab Government.

"Azad" Kashmir, Sindh, Northern Light Infantry, and SSG are post-Independence raisings. But it must be noted that NLI has traces to various old Militias.

Can provide a detailed break-down if interested (nothing special, only open-source info).


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2006 01:39 
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ramana wrote:
Kakkaji see my post above yours for I had a serendipitous thought about the last bolded part!


Well, you have your answer now. :wink:

But seriously, has the PA brass raped their country so much that even in 1971 their Jawans had no respect for their officers?

We talk about officer shortage in the IA because a career as an oficer in the IA is not as lucrative as in the civilian occupations. But in the case of PA, a career as an officer there is the best that Pakistan offers to its young men. So the PA must be getting the cream of the Paki crop to join as its officers. Even then, if they cannot earn the respect of their Jawans, it is a pathetic situation for them.

So my non-PC observation is that the PA officers of Pakistan, and the IAS officers of India, being the best, the brightest, the most privileged, and the most powerful in their respective countries, have both conducted themselves in a manner that they have lost the respect of their countrymen.


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An article in the Beeb of the Animal transport company of the Army Service Corps who had their 245th Aniversary on Dec 8th.

The Royal Indian Army's flying visit

A few photos of the 'Mule train' men in a Danish website
Royal Indian Army Service Corps


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An article in the Armed Forces Journal about armed forces in Colonial India.

Going Native

Has quotes from Jadunath Sarkar etc.


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A very interesting account of 1971 operations by Lt Gen Jacob. A must read for everyone interested in IA operations.

'I had to find troops for Dhaka'


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It was decided on the outbreak of war in 1939 that Indian troops would not fight in France unlike the First World War. However the lack of animal transport in the BEF meant that the Indian Army would have to provide it from India. 'K' Force of 4 Animal Transport Companies of the RIASC (mainly composed of Punjabi Mussalmans) set sail for France.

The Liberal leader Paddy Ashdown's father was an officer with 'K' Force. It was alleged in a discussion through the pages of 'Durbar' the journal of the Indian Military Historical Society that Capt Ashdown was ordered during the retreat to Dunkirk to 'lose his Indians and animals'. However the devoted officer refused to do so and brought all his men back in good order with all their kit intact in sharp contrast to some of the British units.

However with the horses and mules it was a different story and they had to be abandoned, very reluctantly by their devoted muleteers. 'K' Force stayed in Britain for the duration of the war.


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[url=http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20061217/spectrum/main1.htm]War of Memory
DEAD OR ALIVE
[/url]
Quote:
Even 35 years after the India-Pakistan war ended on December 17, 1971, the families of 54 soldiers who were declared ‘missing in action’ do not know the fate of their kin. Simmi Waraich reports on the trials and trauma of the affected families.



"If the cause be just and mind be strong,
No force is great, No distance long,
If selfless souls with such a strength,
Face hazards all, they win at length."

This is a diary noting in Dr R.S. Suri’s diary, father of Major Ashok Suri, captured in the 1971 war. The Army had declared Major Suri as "Killed in action". Then on December 26, 1974, R.S. Suri received a hand-written note dated December 7, 1974 from his son. The letter contained a slip in which his son had written, "I am okay here." The covering note read, "Sahib, valaikumsalam, I cannot meet you in person. Your son is alive and he is in Pakistan. I could only bring his slip, which I am sending you. Now going back to Pak." Signed M. Abdul Hamid, the postmark was New Delhi, December 31, 1974.


A file photo of Capt Kamal Bakshi with his parents before the war

"In August, 1975, he received another missive postmark dated ‘June 14/15/16, 1975, Karachi.’ The letter said, "Dear Daddy, Ashok touches thy feet to get your benediction. I am quite ok here. Please try to contact the Indian Army or Government of India about us. We are 20 officers here. Don’t worry about me. Pay my regards to everybody at home, specially to mummy, grandfather – Indian government can contact Pakistan government for our freedom." The then Defence Secretary had the handwriting confirmed as Ashok’s and changed the official statement from "killed in action" to "missing in action"!

When one gets one’s son’s letter from a prison in Pakistan, what does one do? Well, R.S. Suri spent the rest of his life making weekly trips to the MEA where everyone got to know him well. He worked with the government, careful not to involve the media because MEA officials advised him that the missing servicemen were in danger of being killed if they did so.

(First tabled in the Lok Sabha in 1979 by Samarendra Kundu, Minister of State of External Affairs, in reply to unstarred question 6803 raised by Amarsingh Pathawa-Initial list consisted of 40 names which later on expanded to 54)

Damayanti Tambay knew her husband was alive too. His name came in the Karachi Sunday Observer as Flt Lt Tombay among four pilots captured alive. He had told her he would say he was Tombay instead of Tambay if he was captured so she would know that he were alive. Later, T.A. Yusuf, a Bangladeshi Officer, told her he had met him in Lyallpur jail in 1974 along with other Indian defence personnel while he too was in jail.

There are numerous other such stories. Wing Commander Gill, known as ‘High Speed Gill’ for his love of flying at top speed and for his daredevilry, was awarded the Vir Chakra ostensibly posthumously. He was befriended by Major Ayaaz Ahmed Sipra and Colonel Asif Shafi, two Pakistani officers who were interred in Attock jail after being arrested for the "Attock conspiracy"—in which senior Pakistani army officers were indicted for conspiring against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1973. These two officers independently told this to Mohan Lal Bhaskar, a spy who was repatriated in 1974 and wrote a book Main Bharat ka Jasoos tha.

Major S.P.S. Waraich and Major Kanwaljit Singh were captured from Husainiwala sector on December 3, 1971, when the Pakistani army made a full-scale surprise attack. 15 Punjab lost 53 men and two officers and 35 men were taken prisoners. Later, Ashwini Kumar, DIG, Punjab police, was told by General Riaz at the Munich Olympics that Waraich was in Dargai jail, NWFP.

The Indian Army and Air Force have erected memorials to these men as martyrs. They write of them as "killed in action" and their family members were forced to acknowledge that they were killed in action so that monetary benefits could be released. The USA has Missing in Action Day and there is a cell that searches for their men missing in Vietnam and follows up leads where someone may be alive but in India there is no such thing.

Family members of the missing men been working on this incessantly for the last 35 years now. They have met every prime minister, every foreign minister to date but they are repeatedly told, "We believe the men are there but what can we do when they do not acknowledge it!"

Two Chinese soldiers were repatriated from India in 2005, after 43 years in India. The point is to continue to search for the truth.

It is not that the government has not done anything. In 1983, Narasimha Rao, the then Foreign Minister, sent six family members of the missing men to Pakistan after an agreement was reached that they would be shown all Indian prisoners. However, on the way, relations soured as Indira Gandhi made statements on the treatment meted out to Frontier Gandhi. In addition, India which was supposed to show the Pakistanis 23 prisoners in Patiala jail showed them only three. When the Indians reached Multan jail, they were shown only those prisoners already cleared for repatriation and not "all security prisoners". They were told "those who you are looking for are not here." Imagine what the family members went through, they had come this close only to return dejected.

Even if one man is still alive, India needs to transmit to the Pakistanis that it is determined to find out what happened to his whereabouts. It is not enough to merely ask ‘Do you have them.’ Pervez Musharraf said categorically in 2000 that they had no Indian Army personnel when Jagseer Singh and Mohammed Arif were there. If this could happen in 1999, anything could have happened in 1971. Then Pakistan had lost the war and was concerned that it should not be charged with war crimes in East Pakistan. India was in a hurry to repatriate 93000 prisoners of war who were difficult to feed and look after.

India has never set up any commission as per the Geneva conventions according to which, a commission should be set up to handle unresolved cases of PoW. Pakistan tabled a report last year saying it has 182 Indian prisoners since 1971. Who are these men? Even if they are civilians, they may have answers about the forgotten 54 POWs. Is the MEA following this up?

How long will the families of the missing men fight? The services need to account for each man. What happened to Major Ghosh whose photo was published as a POW in Time magazine but whose name was not on the list of prisoners? If Musharraf so wishes, he can answer the question now. It would be a step forward for humanity. After all, these soldiers fought for India and after 35 long years, it is high time the country asks for them to be brought back home.

Doubts continue to hauntfamily members. They do not know whether they should mourn for their loved ones or pray for their return. Can we not have an annual official MIA day? Why has our government forgotten them? Why are the Army and the Air Force so lackadaisical about the case. Are they working on it still? Of what use are the awards, the Vir Chakras? Take them back but find out what happened to these men.


THE MISSING 54

Army

Service No Unit
Major SPS Waraich IC-12712 15 Punjab

Major Kanwaljit Singh Sandhu IC-14590 15 Punjab

2/Lt Sudhir Mohan Sabharwal SS-23957 87 Lt Regiment

Capt Ravinder Kaura SS-20095 39 Med Regiment

Capt Giri Raj Singh IC-23283 5 Assam

Capt Om Prakash Dalal SS-22536 Grenadiers

Maj AK Ghosh IC-18790 15 Rajput

Maj AK Suri SS-19807 5 Assam

Capt Kalyan Singh Rathod IC-28148 5 Assam

Major Jaskiran Singh Malik IC-14457 8 Raj. Rifles

Major SC Guleri IC-20230 9 Jat

Lt Vijay Kumar Azad IC-58589 1/9 G R

Capt Kamal Bakshi IC-19294 5 Sikh

2/ Lt Paras Ram Sharma SS-22490 5/8 G R

Capt Vashisht Nath

L/Hv. Krishna Lal Sharma 13719585 1 JK Rifles

Subedar Assa Singh JC-41339 5 Sikh

Subedar Kalidas JC-59 8 JK LI

L/Nk Jagdish Raj 9208735 Mahar Regiment

L/Nk Hazoora Singh 682211303

Gunner Sujan Singh 1146819 14 Fd Regiment

Sepoy Daler Singh 2461830 15 Punjab

Gnr Pal Singh 1239603 181 Lt Regiment

Sepoy Jagir Singh 2459087 16 Punjab

Gnr Madan Mohan 1157419 94 Mountain Regiment

Gnr Gyan Chand

Gnr Shyam Singh

L/Nk Balbir Singh

S B S Chauhan


Air Force

Service No. Unit

Sq Ldr Mohinder Kumar Jain 5327-F(P) 27 Sqn

Flt Lt Sudhir Kumar Goswami 8956-F(P) 5 Sqn

Flying Officer Sudhir Tyagi 10871-F(P) 27 Sqn

Flt Lt Vijay Vasant Tambay 7662 –F(P) 32 Sqn

Flt Lt Nagaswami Shanker 9773-F(P) 32 Sqn

Flt Lt Ram Metharam Advani 7812-F(P) JBCU

Flt Lt Manohar Purohit 10249(N) 5 Sqn

Flt Lt Tanmaya Singh Dandoss 8160-F(P) 26 Sqn

Wg Cdr Hersern Singh Gill 4657-F(P) 47 Sqn

Flt Lt Babul Guha 5105-F(P)

Flt Lt Suresh Chander Sandal 8659-F(P) 35 Sqn

Sqn. Ldr. Jal Manikshaw Mistry 5006-F(P)

Flt Lt Harvinder Singh 9441-F(P) 222 Sqn

Sqn Ldr Jatinder Das Kumar 4896-F(P) 3 Sqn

Flt Lt LM Sassoon 7419-F(P) JBCU

Flt Lt Kushalpal Singh Nanda 7819-F(N) 35 Sqn

Flg Offr. Krishan L Malkani 10576-F(P) 27 Sqn

Flt Lt Ashok Balwant Dhavale 9030-F(P) 1 Sqn

Flt Lt Shrikant C Mahajan 10239-F(P) 5 Sqn

Flt Lt Gurdev Singh Rai 9015-F(P) 27 Sqn

Flt Lt Ramesh GKadam 8404-F(P) TACDE

Flg Offr. KP Murlidharan 10575-F(P) 20 Sqn

Naval Pilot Lt. Cdr Ashok Roy

Sqn Ldr Devaprasad Chatterjee

Plt Offr Tejinder Singh Sethi


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I had a few questions about nicknames of some of the infantry regiments.

I know a couple of nicknames
8 GR => Shiny Eights
5 GR => Frontier Force
Rajputana Rifles => Raj Rif

Can someone tell me if there are more nicks for the IA regiments?

Also, Is the 1 GR still called the Malaun Regiment? The 3GR used to be called the Kumaon Regiment during the British Indian Army days. Does this name still exist for the 3GR? (may have been removed as the Kumaon Regiment exists in the IA, but not sure) Thanks.


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WW2 experiences of an Indian enrolled in the British Airborne troops

Alfredo de Mello


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A recent strand in British historiography of India is to ensure that the British period is not seen by new Indians in bad light for they dont know how a backlash will turn out.


Gresham College Lectures:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=39&EventId=420

[quote]

INDIA: THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN

Professor Kathleen Burk

PICTURE 1: TITLE - My intention during my three years as Professor of Rhetoric has been to give an overview of British external relations. During my first year, I concentrated on Anglo-American relations; last year I focused on Anglo-European relations; and for my final year, I want to look at Britain and her Empire, beginning this evening with India.The perception of many Britons of the place of India in the Empire is coloured by the peaceful withdrawal of British authority and by the structures of politics and government left behind: a semi-representative political system, a trained civil service and a university system in which to train an élite to run the country. But the story is darker than such a summary implies. One shorthand might be greed, violence, despotism, adaptation, weakness and scuttle. Alternatively, it might be trade and commerce, defence and expansion, economic development, political development, and gradual withdrawal, leaving a former colony well able to govern itself and to develop successfully. The fact that the story ended more or less successfully can mask the fact that the first century and a half of British involvement in India was dominated by violence and despotism. The Great Mutiny of 1857, or the Great Rebellion, or the First War of Independence - all names by which this event is known - was a watershed, forcing changes in the manner in which the British governed India. The subsequent century saw the development of forces for change in both India and Great Britain which climaxed in 1947 and the independence of India - and Pakistan.

PICTURE 2: MAP OF THE MUGHAL EMPIRE - From 1526 until the British took hold, the territory of India was dominated by the Mughal Empire. ‘ India ’ as such did not exist: rather, the empire was split up into what were effectively regions, such as Bengal, each of which was ruled by a subordinate ruler, a nawab or viceroy, or perhaps a nizam or prince. Thus when the East India Company began establishing trade links on the sub-continent, it did so primarily with individual rulers. PICTURE 3: TEA CLIPPERS AT THE EAST INDIA DOCKS AT DEPTFORD - This is a picture of tea clippers at the East India Docks at Deptford. The East India Company was the great overseas trading company which dominated British trade with India until the mid-19th century. From the beginning of the 17th century, it held a monopoly of English trade east of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of Africa. By the end of the 17th century, its most important settlements were on the coast of India. PICTURE 4: MAP OF INDIA IN 1765 - It owned the island of Bombay outright, whilst at Madras and Calcutta, Indian rulers had given the English grants of territory that included growing towns. Although during the earliest years of trading the main focus had been pepper and spices, during the 17th century it was textiles: Indian cotton goods were desired through Europe, and there was a lively re-export market in the Americas and along the West African coast. At the beginning of the 18th century, the English operated out of the great Mughal port of Surat on the west and Madras on the east. Calcutta in Bengal in the north had been largely founded by the British; by this time, they had built a fort there and exercised control over the town. Bengal was very rich, and from the 1720s, the shipments from Calcutta usually amounted to at least one-half of all East India Company cargoes from India.

The 1720s are important for another reason, which is that from that period, the French East India Company was also trading on a considerable scale in Asia. Their headquarters were in Pondicherry, close to Madras. Anglo-French conflict is an important reason for the abrupt change in British activities in the sub-continent from largely peaceful trading in a period of stability to wars and conquests: the need to fight the French increased the size of the Company’s arm, thereby massively increasing the Company’s need for revenue. This would have repercussions in due course. Meanwhile, in 1744, fighting broke out between the British and French at sea, a reflection of the fact that a Franco-Spanish alliance had declared war on Great Britain. The French retaliated against the British seizures at sea by attacking and taking Madras in 1746. In 1746, hostilities began on land in south-east India in the territories claimed by the Nawabs of Arcot and later those of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The British and French fought out their own rivalries in part as allies of contestants for the succession in both regions of Indian ‘country powers’. War ebbed and flowed across southern India with little break between 1746 and 1761: in 1760, the British won a decisive victory at Wandiwash and the French stronghold of Pondicherry surrendered the following year. Arcot became a client state of Great Britain. Under British protection, a Carnatic state was gradually built up which the Company was formally to annex at the end of the 18th century.

PICTURE 5: SIRAJ-UD-DAULAH - Meanwhile, however, in 1756, relations between the Company and the Nawab of Bengal exploded into violence. This is a picture of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah. The Nawab, as had rulers in other parts of India, maintained the outward forms of rule by the Mughal Emperor in Delhi, but he was essentially the independent ruler of Bengal. The British presence was becoming too intrusive for an ambitious ruler to leave unregulated, and Nawab feared that he was losing control of part of his territory. He tried to impose constraints on the Company, which the Company, contemptuous of the fighting qualities of the Bengalis, rejected. As a result, he attacked and on 20 June 1756 took control of the British centre, Calcutta. The British who surrendered the fort were well treated, but later that night, some European soldiers got drunk and assaulted the native guards who, in their turn, sought justice from the Nawab. He ordered the confinement of those soldiers who had misbehaved. They were put in a room of 18 feet by 14 feet 10 inches, with only one window. The morning after that hot night, many were found to have died from suffocation. PICTURE 6: PUTATIVE PICTURE OF THE BLACK HOLE OF CALCUTTA -The incident gave rise to a huge outcry in England, primarily due to an exaggerated report by the defender of Calcutta, John Holwell: he claimed that 146 died, but modern historians consider that it was more likely 50 [Marshall], and that the Nawab did not intend it to happen.

PICTURE 7: ROBERT CLIVE, OR CLIVE OF INDIA - For the Company, it was vital that Bengal be grabbed from the Nawab. The hero was Robert Clive, known to his later admirers as ‘the conqueror of India ’. He first went out to India in 1743 as a civil servant for the Company, but soon transfered to the military service; he returned to England in 1753, where he lived, shall we say, in an ostentatious manner. However, he was summoned to return to India when the troubles in Bengal erupted, and he arrived in Madras in 1756, immediately securing the British forces there. He then moved to Calcutta, and in early 1757 he captured Bengal. On the 23rd of June, at the Battle of Plassey, the forces of the East India Company under Clive defeated the army of Siraj-ud-daulah. The battle lasted only a few hours - indeed, the outcome had been decided long beforre swords were drawn. There was another Bengali, Mir Jafar, who wanted the Nawab’s throne; he was persuaded to throw in his lot with Clive. In addition, the majority of the Nawab’s soldiers were bribed to throw away their weapons, surrender prematurely, or even to turn their weapons against their own army. In short, the Battle of Plassey was won by bribes rather than by bravery. PICTURE 8: CLIVE OF INDIA - Nevertheless, as demonstrated by this rather bad picture, Clive’s reputation in Great Britain did not suffer thereby.

The new Nawab, Mir Jafar, refused to make what the Company considered would be an adequate grant of funds, and he was deposed in favour of another ruler. Finally, in 1765, Clive took the decision to demand the diwani, the right to rule, from the Mughal Emperor: he had decided that only direct control of the whole resources of Bengal would give the Company the funds it required - maintaining an army was an expensive business. PICTURE 9: MAP OF INDIA IN 1765 - Therefore, by 1765, the East India Company had become the outright ruler of small areas in the south and of the whole of the great province of Bengal; it held the Nawab of Arcot in a tight grip, which gave it effective control over the Carnatic territories of the south-east; and it had taken the Wazir of Oudh under its protection and was maintaining garrisons in his dominions. In short, the Company had become an Indian territorial power. However, it is probably the case that in 1765, British supremacy over the whole of the sub-continent was envisaged by few.

During the second half of the 18th century, the balance of Great Britain ’s imperial interests began to shift from the west to the east, a swing which was greatly encouraged by the loss in 1783 of most of her American colonies. When the stimulus was perceived as commerce, no one objected; however, as the British political class gradually realised the form the Company’s activities were taking beyond trade, there was increasing unease. Conquest disturbed them, for a number of reasons. First of all, the resources devoted to military conquest would be better spent on developing commercial links; secondly, the reports of greed and corruption aroused fears that these forces might eat away at traditional British liberties and virtues; and thirdly, following from that, was the question as to whether the Company was the appropriate vehicle for British commercial and administrative activity in India. What began as limited governmental investigations into Company affairs and activities in India ended in 1813 by the British government assuming some responsibility for the Indian Empire.

It is fair to say that this decision was not taken quickly or lightly. The state hardly had the expertise or indeed the resources to deal with the problems of India. However, once Clive had taken Bengal, large territorial revenues poured into the coffers of the Company; this transformed the London view of India, and acted as a spur to those, such as the Prime Minister William Pitt the Elder, who believed that the state had a ‘right’ to a share of the revenues, not least because the state had provided military and naval assistance to the Company in time of need. It took several years for this to be agreed - many in the Commons believed that the Government was illegitimately stealing private wealth - but by 1767, the government established its entitlement to £400,000 a year from the Company. Unfortunately for the Company, even beyond the loss of a proportion of its revenue, they became subject to parliamentary enquiries into its shortcomings: the collapse of the Company’s finances in 1772 threatened the stream of revenue from Bengal to Westminster, and acrid reports about greed and corruption refused to go away.

PICTURE 10: WARREN HASTINGS - The great set piece of this crisis was the parliamentary impeachment of Warren Hastings, charged with tyranny, rapacity and corruption while the first Governor-General of India from 1774 to 1785. In Bengal, Hastings did not pretend, as Clive had done, that the Nawab remained sovereign; rather, he stripped him of his powers. He required loans from Indian bankers, whether they would or no: essentially, it was claimed at his trial, he extorted money from them. However, he also created an efficient and economical system for collecting the land revenue, the main source of the Company’s financial stability. PICTURE 11: POLITICAL CARTOON ATTACKING THE EAST INDIA COMPANY - What he did not do was what virtually every other official in India did: trade on his own account, and extract what funds he could from the Indians, a habit greatly facilitated by conquest - as one Company official pointed out, it was a question of ‘whether it should go into a blackman’s pocket or mine’. The picture shows the reaction of one cartoonist to the activities of the Company and its servants. The approach of the Company to the payment of its employees was small salary and large perquisites; Hastings, rather, expended much of his princely salary on institutions in Bengal and on purchasing Mughal manuscripts and works of art. When he returned to England, he carried back a modest £80,000 - he later claimed that he was astonished at his own moderation. But he was dogged by implacable enemies from his days in India, and although he was acquitted of all charges, the ten-year ordeal destroyed his financial resources. Fortunately, the Company came to his rescue, and he was able to live out his years in some comfort. But he refused a peerage.

One outcome of the political fighting was the passage of the India Act of 1784, again under William Pitt. One real problem of the Company’s activities in India was the mixing up together of its commercial activities and its revenue-collecting activities. If it was primarily a company, why was it collecting taxes? If it was a government, why was it involved in trade? What this act required was that the government should review and if necessary revise the Company’s despatches sending out instructions to India. Because of the confusion of activities, the government began to interfere in commercial matters, causing a great deal of tension. However, it now had the upper hand, a power made manifest in 1813 with the renewal of the Company’s charter, which underlined the Crown’s ‘undoubted sovereignty’ over all of the East India Company’s territories.

The years after the passage of this act saw a social transformation in India. Under what was called the ‘Permanent Settlement’, tax levels on the land in Bengal were fixed ‘for ever’, but at a very high level, and rights to land were thereby created that could be bought and sold. Many of the old landowners, unable to pay the taxes, sold out, whilst tens of thousands of high-caste Bengali Hindus consolidated their position within the framework of the Permanent Settlement. Thousands of them entered the world of service and trade in what was now the pre-eminent town of Calcutta ; many of them were especially keen to have a liberal English education. A new élite was gradually created, one which had perforce to support the British. The members of this élite were vastly more influential with the British than were the Mughal noblemen and former Rajas: the hierarchy was truly turned upside down.

During the period of the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, the imposition of despotism, a terrible economic depression, and the displacement of Indians from leading offices of wealth and power all took place. The first of these stemmed from the change in ideas as to how to govern India. Whilst the earlier imperialists had notions about basing governance on English principles, those now in charge moved to the idea of Oriental despotism: they were primarily military commanders, and preferred to have all law and power centralised in the hands of the Company. Military power was to be used both for external defence and for the consolidation of power. Roughly two million armed men were wandering around the provinces looking for military jobs, and the countryside was also infested with bandits; the Company determined that these threats had to be eliminated. The problem here was that military justice clashed with ideas of the rule of law. As the military frontier made headroads into civil society, army commanders were inclined to suspend civil justice and enforce martial law, executing men on the slightest of pretexts. In other words, the rulers considered themselves above the law.

{Here are the begining seeds of the trend in TSP for despotism couched as dictatorship}

At the same time, changes instituted by the Company stimulated a terrible economic depression which lasted for over twenty years. For one thing, the sweeping away of native courts and soldiers eliminated their purchasing power; unfortunately, the new rulers bought Western, not local, goods, in addition to which wealth became increasingly concentrated in the main colonial centres. As well, much less money flowed into India in payment for Indian exports, which meant less domestic purchasing power. It did not help that the Company no longer used Indian commercial and banking systems, but ran its own. In short, demand contracted, unemployment rose, and millions descended into poverty.

This combination of despotic rule and economic depression was the context within which Indian society was forced into what the British thought of as their traditional way of life. Many of those who had been artisans, soldiers and servants now became peasants tied by heavy taxes to the land; the movement of travellers was restricted; and those who worked for the Company and its governing structures, whilst gaining privileges thereby, were nevertheless prevented from rising above a certain level: the soldier never became an officer, a business employee never a director. These privileged soldiers and servants were selected according to criteria of caste and race and blood, thereby emphasising their importance in a way never before prescribed, and freezing these attributes as marks of status. Privilege and power amongst the Indians themselves became frozen.

PICTURE 12: LORD DALHOUSIE - It was the British themselves who shook the aedifice. This is a picture of Lord Dalhousie, Governor-General from 1846 to 1856. Dalhousie had a strong belief in the superiority of British principles and procedures. It followed that British rule was more beneficial to the Indians than that of their own princes, and he therefore annexed teritories whenever he could. He fought the second Sikh War in 1848-49 and annexed the Punjab. He introduced the Doctrine of Lapse: formerly, when the ruling family of a state lacked a direct heir, they adopted one; Dalhousie now forbade the right of adoption, and if a ruling family lacked a natural heir, Dalhousie annexed the state. In this manner, six formerly independent states were added to the Indian Empire.

He made changes to the system. He re-organised the administration; he laid down the main lines of development of the railway system, set up telegraphs and reformed the postal system; public works projects, such as the construction of roads and bridges, were undertaken. He promoted mass education and laid plans for the first universities (the Universities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras were opened in 1857 after his departure). But he also encouraged Anglican missionaries, which threatened Hindu and Muslim religious leaders, whose authority had been enhanced by the earlier withdrawal of state authority over them; he attacked native customs, including suttee or the burning of widows; he spurned the new ‘aristocracy’, repudiated caste and threatened their status and economic privileges; and, most dangerous of all, he tried to produce a more disciplined, European-style, Bengal army, thereby threatening the status and privileges of the soldiers, not least that of avoiding flogging. He failed to restrain the blatant greed for land and money which drove the Briton in India, especially those of the lower middle class, which greatly offended Indians of rank, who were still looked up to by most Indians as their natural leaders. The combination of simmering discontent, economic depression and the mutiny of many of the Bengal soldiers sparked off the Great Rebellion of 1857, which threatened to destroy a substantial portion of the Indian Empire.

PICTURE 13: MAP OF THE REBELLION - This map shows the main areas of conflict. On the 10th of May 1857, sepoys or Indian soldiers, drawn mainly from Muslim units from Bengal, mutinied in Meerut. The rebels marched to Delhi and offered their services to the Mughal emperor; for the next year much of north and central India were in revolt against the British. Some of the long- and medium-term causes of the insurrection have already been indicated; the immediate cause was rifle cartridges. There was a very convincing rumour that the cartridges had been greased by a combination of pig and cow fat, offensive to the religious beliefs of both Hindu and Muslim; because the sepoy had to bite off the end of the cartridge, he had either to taste the fat or be flogged. Under threat by their British officers, the soldiers mutinied. The revolt of the Bengal Army neutralised British power in the central Ganges valley and opened the way for widespread attacks by the civilians as well, who attacked Company institutions such as courts and revenue treasuries, which had strengthened the rights of the new landlords against the peasants; they also attacked Europeans, both male and female.

PICTURE 14: THE MUTINY - Here is a contemporary picture of the fighting. One point which emerges is that sepoys fought on both sides - indeed, the majority sided with the British. The Punjab remained loyal, and provided a stready stream of Sikh and Pathan recruits; the Madras and Bombay armies remained loyal; and most of the princely states remained untouched. In the areas of fighting in the north and in central India, it was effectively a civil war. The unprepared British were terrified; however, the prompt arrival of British troops re-directed from duties in China and the Persian Gulf enabled them to neutralise Bengal and most of Bihar. As they regained strength, they attacked the rebels with a savagery which was matched by that of their enemies. For the British both in India and in Great Britain itself, the slaughter at Kanpur was convincing evidence of the essential barbarity of the Indian. The Nana Sahib, with some reluctance, became leader of the rebels in that area and, after a three-week siege, took the surrender of the 400 British in Kanpur, to whom he gave a safe-conduct. As they boarded boats to take them downriver to Allahabad, many were massacred. Passions were running high, because reports had arrived of vicious British reprisals at Varanasi, followed by the news of a line of gibbets along the road to Allahabad. However, the Nana Sahib, far from ordering the massacre, organised the rescue of some British women who had been abducted during the chaos. They, along with other surviving women and children, perhaps 200 in all, were lodged under his protection. With the avenging British advancing rapidly from Allahabad, the idea seems to have been to use them as hostages. But they were not. As the insurgent commanders discussed escape, the order was given to kill them all. [b]The soldiers did not wish to do it, so five men, two of whom were actually butchers, were recruited from the baszaar, and they proceeded to hack them to death. As one historian has noted, ‘for sheer barbarity this “massacre of the innocentsâ€


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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2006 20:01 
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Posted by Sanjay, BRFite

Post subject: Use of Firearms in Mughal, Rajput and Maratha forces

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Trawling through my old history books, I've found a lot of reference to battles in India but insufficient reference to the weapons used therein.

Firearms, in particular receive only a certain amount of attention.

Airavat Singh did some phenomenal work on matchlock armed infantry and their effectiveness and there is some useful work on the Anglo-Sikh and Anglo-Maratha wars which give a very good indication of the Sikh and Maratha armies of that time.

But what of the period when Mughals, Marathas and Rajputs all existed in roughly the same time period: c. 1600-1750 ?

Does anyone have any information, pictures and/ or illustrations showing the use of:

(A) Artillery in the Mughal, Maratha and Rajput forces during that time period

(Cool Matchlock muskets by both infantry and cavalry units in the above three armies during that time

It is known that the Mughals did employ some mounted matchlock musketeers against the Maratha light cavalry, but did the regular Maratha cavalry do the same ? And what of the Rajputs ?

Moreover, if one looks at artwork of the period, a disproportionate number of soldiers in the Maratha, Rajput and Mughal armies seem to be carrying very traditional weapons - kamtha bows (non-composite), swords and half-pikes.

What proportion of the infantry in the Maratha, Rajput and Mughal armies of the period were armed with matchlocks or other muskets ?

It is known that Jai Singh II converted his traditional infantry to a matchlock armed army but nothing is known if his cavalry adopted the matchlock.

Also, at Panipat in 1761, mention has been made of rifled muskets being used by the Afghans. Were any of these adopted for use by Rajput or Maratha armies ?

And then there's the flintlock. How widely was this weapon used ?

In the early 17th century many cavalry units in Europe had adopted the pistol as part of their armament - Ivan the Terrible's cavalry each carried two wheelock pistols.

What about our Indian cavalry units ?

I know we don't discuss much of our older history on this forum, but perhaps we might want, given our diversity of readers and members, to share information and illustrations on this subject as it is part of our military history.


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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2006 20:20 
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Sanjay, I assume its SBM. In the History of India by the two German Scholars there are refs to the organization of musketmen by the Mughals- called bandookchis. I recall seeing an illustrated book of soldiers unifoms through ages at the National Army Museum in Chelsea London which had watercolors of such bandookchis. The Afghan Jezail is based on the bandook.

I beleive there are examples in Victora and Albert Museums.

I also have an old book "Paegant of the Gun" by Harold Peterson, which has Chapter 49 titled "Variety in India" which I will scan and send to Rakesh to disseminate.

In a copy of History of India by Flora Anne Steel(rememebr her) ther is an account of Akbar shooting a Rajput sentry at a fort who turned out to be the master of the fort. Must be some accurate gun!


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PostPosted: 21 Dec 2006 20:57 
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Ramana, I have that book by the two German authors. The thing is that no real information exists regarding about the organization and/or equipment of the matchlock men. Sher Shah Sur also had some 25,000 infantry allegedly armed with matchlocks. Funny enough I've seen some literature that suggests that most matchlockmen in the Mughal and even in the Sur dynasty's armies were Hindus from the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

Regarding Akbar: the story is true. At the siege of Chittor, Akbar's engineers made a breech in the fort's walls using mines under the cover of very heavy artillery fire. The Rajput defenders hurled back numerous attempts by the Mughals to storm the forts but were definitely being worn down. One night, the fort's commander, Jaimal, appeared at the breech. Akbar took his musket - called Sangram - and fired, hitting Jaimal in the thigh.

The Indian matchlock as I understand it, had a very long barrel - between 4 and 6 feet in length - and the design of the breech allowed the powder enough oxygen to burn more efficiently than European matchlocks. It is said that the Indian matchlock outranged and was more accurate than European flintlocks and was easier to manufacture and maintain in the field. The drawback was that it was considerably slower to load and matchlockmen were not trained to fire in disciplined ranks as was becoming the norm in Europe.

Again, outside of India so little information is known that it is very frustrating.

As a point of trivia, it is alleged that Kunwar (later Raja) Man Singh 1 (the victor over Pratap at Haldigati) of Amber (later Jaipur) brought the secret of artillery production from Lahore and Kabul to Amber. In time, Amber, under Jai Singh 2 produced the largest cannon ever made at the Jaigarh fort. It's still there.


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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2006 06:00 
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1857 mutiny- a global Moslem conspiracy?

India is celebrating 150th anniversary of the 1857 mutiny which has been described by Veer Savarkar as India's 1st war of Independence. The 1857 war resulted in the termination of the Mughal rule in India and the establishment of the direct Crown rule. The causes of the mutiny are stated to be the use of Cow's and Pig's meat in the grease prepared for cartridges which infuriated Hindus and Muslims alike and which was regarded as an attempt by the British to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity. Bahadur Shah Zafar was the nominal Mughal Emperor at that time. The mutineers overthrew the Britishers but later on the Britishers made their entry into Delhi. Delhi was plundered by the mutineers as well as the triumphant British soldiers. The lanes and by-lanes of old Delhi and the Civil Lines area, Flag Staff road, Jama Masjid, Delhi Gate, Ajmeri Gate, and Khuni darwaza bore witness to massive blood shed and loot of property.

Willian Dalrymple's "The Last Mughal-the fall of a dynasty, Delhi 1857" bears testimony to the ghastly events in and around Delhi. The book is the result of four years of research and is based on the material- Urdu, Persian translations of the manuscripts stored in the National Archives and other information not available to the earlier writers. The book challenges the locus standi of the East India Company in trying Bahadur Shah Zafar. The company was not the ruler of India. The company took the position that Zafar received pension from the company and therefore was company's pensioner and thus a subject.

However the actual factual position was considerably more ambiguous. While the company's 1599 charter to trade in the East derived from Parliament and the Crown, its authority to govern in India actually legally flowed from the person of the Mughal emperor who had officially taken on the company as its tax collector in Bengal, in the years following the battle of Plassey on 2nd August 1765.

The illegality of the Trial abinitio is obvious. However, it was a trial by the military tribunal. The charge against him was of treason against the British. When the company was not the ruler, how could there be a treason. He was accused of leading the revolt which he denied stating that he was protecting his subjects. The charges against him were much wider and serious in scope than one could have thought of. The Emperor was accused of religious bigotry. The conspiracy, from the very commencement, was not confined to the sepoys, and did not even originate with them, but had its ramifications throughout the palace and city....Harriott in his prosecution speech stated.

"[Was Zafar] the original mover, the head and front of the undertaking, or but the consenting tool..the forward, unscrupulous, but still pliant puppet, tutored by priestly craft for the advancement of religious bigotry? Many persons, I believe, will incline to the latter. The known restless spirit of Mahommedan fanaticism has been the first aggressor, the vindictive intolerance of that peculiar faith has been struggling for mastery, seditious conspiracy has its means, the prisoner its active accomplice, and every possible crime the frightful result...The bitter zeal of Mahommedanism meets us everywhere... Perfectly demonic in its actions.." It was a part of a global Muslim conspiracy. He closed his two and a half hour speech about the uprising being an international Islamic conspiracy thus "I have endeavored to point out" he declaimed how intimately the prisoner, as the head of the Mahommedan faith in India, has been connected with the organisation of that conspiracy, either as its leader or its unscrupulous accomplice...". He added "If we now take a retrospective view of the various circumstances which we have been able to elicit during our extended inquiries, we shall see how exclusively Mohommedan are all the prominent points that attach to it. A Mohommedan priest, with pretended visions, and assumed miraculous powers- a Mohommedan King, his dupe and accomplice- a Mohahmmedan clandestine embassy to the Mahommedan powers of Persia and Turkey- Mahommedan prophecies as to the downfall of our power-Mohommedan rule as the successor to our own- the most cold blooded murders by Mohommedan assassins- a religious war for Mahommedan ascendancy- a Mahommedan press unscrupulously abetting- and Mahommedan sepoys initiating the mutiny. Hinduism, I may say, is nowhere either reflected or represented....." (pages 440-443)This charge gives a new twist to the interpretation of 1857 mutiny. This version reminds us of the present onslaught of global terrorism (mainly Muslim) on the Western world and India.

Why the English rulers became soft towards the Muslims after the mutiny?. They did not find Hindu hand in the mutiny, then why did they give step motherly treatment to Hindus by way of separate electorates and weightage to Muslims in government services and India's polity, remain an unanswered question politicians and historians.


RS Khanna, (The author is former Chief Secy GoMP) Manuj Features




http://www.centralchronicle.com/20061230/3012302.htm


Last edited by svinayak on 31 Dec 2006 03:19, edited 1 time in total.

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