India at War
Author: Yasmin Khan
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
"First published in Great Britain in 2015 as The Raj at War by The Bodley Head"--Title page verso.
Author: Srinath Raghavan
Publisher: Basic Books
India’s role in World War II has long been overlooked. But as Srinath Raghavan shows in this authoritative account, India did not fight the war as merely an appendage of the British Empire. From the start, India defended its own sub-empire from Imperial Japan and assisted its allies in battles in Italy, East Africa, and the Pacific. The war also brought great changes to the subcontinent. By the war’s end, the Indian Army had become the largest volunteer force in history, while many millions more Indians had worked in their nation’s rapidly expanding industry and agriculture. This nationwide commitment to victory altered the country’s social landscape, overturning assumptions about class and opening up new opportunities for India’s most disadvantaged people. The first major account of India during World War II, India’s War chronicles how the demands of war forever transformed the country, its economy, its politics, and its people, laying the groundwork for the rise of modern South Asia.
A brilliantly conceived nonfiction epic, a war narrated through the lives and deaths of a single family. The photographs of three young men had stood in his grandmother’s house for as long as he could remember, beheld but never fully noticed. They had all fought in the Second World War, a fact that surprised him. Indians had never figured in his idea of the war, nor the war in his idea of India. One of them, Bobby, even looked a bit like him, but Raghu Karnad had not noticed until he was the same age as they were in their photo frames. Then he learned about the Parsi boy from the sleepy south Indian coast, so eager to follow his brothers-in-law into the colonial forces and onto the front line. Manek, dashing and confident, was a pilot with India’s fledgling air force; gentle Ganny became an army doctor in the arid North-West Frontier. Bobby’s pursuit would carry him as far as the deserts of Iraq and the green hell of the Burma battlefront. The years 1939–45 might be the most revered, deplored, and replayed in modern history. Yet India’s extraordinary role has been concealed, from itself and from the world. In riveting prose, Karnad retrieves the story of a single family—a story of love, rebellion, loyalty, and uncertainty—and with it, the greater revelation that is India’s Second World War. Farthest Field narrates the lost epic of India’s war, in which the largest volunteer army in history fought for the British Empire, even as its countrymen fought to be free of it. It carries us from Madras to Peshawar, Egypt to Burma—unfolding the saga of a young family amazed by their swiftly changing world and swept up in its violence.
The Great Partition
Author: Yasmin Khan
Publisher: Yale University Press
A reappraisal of the tumultuous Partition and how it ignited long-standing animosities between India and Pakistan This new edition of Yasmin Khan’s reappraisal of the tumultuous India-Pakistan Partition features an introduction reflecting on the latest research and on ways in which commemoration of the Partition has changed, and considers the Partition in light of the current refugee crisis. Reviews of the first edition: “A riveting book on this terrible story.”—Economist “Unsparing. . . . Provocative and painful.”—Times (London) “Many histories of Partition focus solely on the elite policy makers. Yasmin Khan’s empathetic account gives a great insight into the hopes, dreams, and fears of the millions affected by it.”—Owen Bennett Jones, BBC
Soldiers of Empire
Author: Tarak Barkawi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
How are soldiers made? Why do they fight? Re-imagining the study of armed forces and society, Barkawi examines the imperial and multinational armies that fought in Asia in the Second World War, especially the British Indian army in the Burma campaign. Going beyond conventional narratives, Barkawi studies soldiers in transnational context, from recruitment and training to combat and memory. Drawing on history, sociology and anthropology, the book critiques the 'Western way of war' from a postcolonial perspective. Barkawi reconceives soldiers as cosmopolitan, their battles irreducible to the national histories that monopolise them. This book will appeal to those interested in the Second World War, armed forces and the British Empire, and students and scholars of military sociology and history, South Asian studies and international relations.
Over a million Indian soldiers fought in the First World War, the largest force from the colonies and dominions. Their contribution, however, has been largely forgotten. Many soldiers were illiterate and travelled from remote villages in India to fight in the muddy trenches in France and Flanders. Many went on to win the highest bravery awards. For King and another Country tells, for the first time, the personal stories of some of these Indians who went to the Western Front: from a grand turbanned Maharaja rearing to fight for Empire to a lowly sweeper who dies in a hospital in England, from a Pathan who wins the Victoria Cross to a young pilot barely out of school. Shrabani Basu delves into archives in Britain and narratives buried in villages in India and Pakistan to recreate the War through the eyes of the Indians who fought it. There are heroic tales of bravery as well as those of despair and desperation; there are accounts of the relationships that were forged between the Indians with their British officers and how curries reached the frontline. Above all, it is the great story of how the War changed India and led, ultimately, to the call for independence.
This book examines the origins, courses and consequences of conventional wars in post-colonial South Asia. Although South Asia has experienced large-scale conventional warfare on several occasions since the end of World War II, there is an almost total neglect of analysis of conventional warfare in the Indian subcontinent. Focusing on China, India and Pakistan, this volume, therefore, takes a unique approach. Regional rivalries between India and Pakistan are linked with global rivalries between the US and USSR (later Russia) and then China, and war is defined in a broader perspective. The book analyses the conduct of land, sea and air warfare, as well as the causes and consequences of conflicts. Tactical conduct of warfare (the nature of mobile armoured strikes and static linear infantry combat supported by heavy artillery) and generalship are studied along with military strategy, doctrine and grand strategy (national security policy), which is an amalgam of diplomacy, military strategy and economic policy. While following a realpolitik approach, this book blends the development of military strategies and doctrines with the religious and cultural ethos of the subcontinent’s inhabitants. Drawing on sources not easily accessible to Western scholars, the overall argument put forward by this work is that conventional warfare has been limited in South Asia from the very beginning for reasons both cultural and realpolitik. This book will be of much interest to students of South Asian politics, security studies, war and conflict studies, military studies and International Relations in general.
This collection of seventeen essays based on archival data breaks new ground as regards the contribution of the Indian Army in British war effort during the two World Wars around various parts of the globe.
First Published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Churchill's Secret War
Author: Madhusree Mukerjee
As the United States was drawn into the Second World War, pressure grew from a number of nations for India’s independence. Prime Minister Churchill, in Britain's name, engaged deliberately in propaganda in the United States to persuade the American public and, through it, President Roosevelt that India should not be granted self-government at that time. Weigold adroitly unravels the reasons why this propaganda campaign was deemed necessary by Churchill, in the process, revealing the campaign’s outcomes for nationalist Indians. In 1942 Sir Stafford Cripps went to India to offer limited self-government for the duration of the war. However, when negotiations between Churchill and his newly convened India Committee collapsed, the failure of the talks was publicized in the United States as a matter of Indian intransigence and not Britain’s failure to negotiate—a spin of the news that critically affected public opinion. Relying upon extensive archival research, Weigold exposes the gap between Britain’s propaganda account and both the official and unofficial records of the course the negotiations took. Weigold concludes that during the drafting, progress and planned failure of Cripps’ Offer, this episode in the imperial endgame revolved around Churchill and Roosevelt, leaving Indian leaders without influence over their immediate political future.
Fighters in the Shadows
Author: Robert Gildea
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Robert Gildea’s penetrating history of France during World War II sweeps aside the French Resistance of a thousand clichés. Gaining a true understanding of the Resistance means recognizing how its image has been carefully curated through a combination of French politics and pride, ever since jubilant crowds celebrated Paris’s liberation in 1944.
His Majesty’s Opponent
Author: Sugata Bose
Publisher: Harvard University Press
This definitive biography of Subhas Chandra Bose, the revered and controversial Indian nationalist who struggled to liberate his country from British rule before and during World War II, moves beyond the legend to reveal the impassioned life and times of the private and public man.
The Chaos of Empire
Author: Jon Wilson
The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.