Army of Empire: The Untold Story of the Indian Army in World War I

Army of Empire: The Untold Story of the Indian Army in World War I

by George Morton-Jack


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Drawing on untapped new sources, the first global history of the Indian Expeditionary Forces in World War I

While their story is almost always overlooked, the 1.5 million Indian soldiers who served the British Empire in World War I played a crucial role in the eventual Allied victory. Despite their sacrifices, Indian troops received mixed reactions from their allies and their enemies alike-some were treated as liberating heroes, some as mercenaries and conquerors themselves, and all as racial inferiors and a threat to white supremacy. Yet even as they fought as imperial troops under the British flag, their broadened horizons fired in them new hopes of racial equality and freedom on the path to Indian independence.

Drawing on freshly uncovered interviews with members of the Indian Army in Iraq and elsewhere, historian George Morton-Jack paints a deeply human story of courage, colonization, and racism, and finally gives these men their rightful place in history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465094042
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 728,459
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

George Morton-Jack studied at Oxford University and currently works as a lawyer in London. The author of The Indian Army on the Western Front, he lives in Bristol, UK.

Table of Contents

Maps v

Introduction 1

Part 1 The Road to World War

1 'The peasant's university' 31

2 'Inferiors in the scale of humanity' 51

3 'He merely obeys orders' 74

Part 2 1914

4 'Vivent les Hindous!' 99

5 'In the nick of time' 121

6 'The riff-raff' 142

7 That God-forsaken ground' 158

8 'Enterprises and surprises' 174

Part 3 1915

9 'An anti-British crusade' 191

10 'I could not bear the news' 204

11 'Just like the photos' 222

12 'Keskersay' 243

13 'As when the leaves fall off a tree' 266

Part 4 1916

14 'The Pasha of Baghdad' 291

15 'A tin full of kerosene' 314

16 'Looking for Germans' 333

Part 5 1917

17 'A cemetery of reputations' 355

18 'An ambulating refrigerator' 366

19 'No longer a Cinderella' 383

20 'Why did I leave my little trench in France?' 394

21 'Bonjour petite fille Louise' 406

Part 6 1918

22 'The political self-development of the people' 431

23 'We alone have got to keep Southern Asia' 450

24 'Each one of us must fight on to the end' 464

Part 7 Veterans

25 'Which side their bread is buttered' 491

Epilogue 517

Note on names and places 529

Endnotes 530

Glossary 551

Dramatis Personae 557

Acknowledgements 562

Index 563

Illustrations appear after page 288.

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