A substantial amount of work has been carried out to explore the military systems of Western Europe during the early modern era, but the military trajectories of the Asian states have received relatively little attention. This study provides the first comparative study of the major Asian empires' military systems and explores the extent of the impact of West European military transition on the extra-European world. Kaushik Roy conducts a comparative analysis of the armies and navies of the large agrarian bureaucratic empires of Asia, focusing on the question of how far the Asian polities were able to integrate gunpowder weapons in their military systems. Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750 offers important insights into the common patterns in war making across the region, and the impact of firearms and artillery.
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.
The Routledge Handbook of the History of Colonialism in South Asia provides a comprehensive overview of the historiographical specialisation and sophistication of the history of colonialism in South Asia. It explores the classic works of earlier generations of historians and offers an introduction to the rapid and multifaceted development of historical research on colonial South Asia since the 1990s. Covering economic history, political history, and social history and offering insights from other disciplines and ‘turns’ within the mainstream of history, the handbook is structured in six parts: Overarching Themes and Debates The World of Economy and Labour Creating and Keeping Order: Science, Race, Religion, Law, and Education Environment and Space Culture, Media, and the Everyday Colonial South Asia in the World The editors have assembled a group of leading international scholars of South Asian history and related disciplines to introduce a broad readership into the respective subfields and research topics. Designed to serve as a comprehensive and nuanced yet readable introduction to the vast field of the history of colonialism in the Indian subcontinent, the handbook will be of interest to researchers and students in the fields of South Asian history, imperial and colonial history, and global and world history.
The Mughals, British and Soviets all failed to subjugate Afghanistan, failures which offer valuable lessons for today. Taking a long historical perspective from 1520 to 2012, this volume examines the Mughal, British, Soviet and NATO efforts in Afghanistan, drawing on new archives and a synthesis of previous counter-insurgency experiences. Special emphasis is given to ecology, terrain and logistics to explain sub-conventional operations and state-building in Afghanistan. War and State-Building in Modern Afghanistan provides an overall synthesis of British, Russian, American and NATO military activities in Afghanistan, which directly links past experiences to the current challenges. These timely essays are particularly relevant to contemporary debates about NATO's role in Afghanistan; do the war and state-building policies currently employed by NATO forces undercut or enhance a political solution? The essays in this volume introduce new historical perspectives on this debate, and will prove illuminating reading for students and scholars interested in military history, the history of warfare, international relations and comparative politics.
This book focuses on the relation between technology, warfare and state in South Asia in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. It explores how gunpowder and artillery played a pivotal role in the military ascendancy of the East India Company in India. The monograph argues that the contemporary Indian military landscape was extremely dynamic, with contemporary indigenous polities (Mysore, the Maratha Confederacy and the Khalsa Kingdom) attempting to transform their military systems by modelling their armies on European lines. It shows how the Company established an edge through an efficient bureaucracy and a standardised manufacturing system, while the Indian powers primarily focused on continuous innovation and failed to introduce standardisation of production. Drawing on archival records from India and the UK, this volume makes a significant intervention in our understanding of the rise of the British Empire in South Asia. It will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of history, especially military history, military and strategic studies and South Asian studies.
How did British authorities manage to secure the commitment of large dominion and Indian armies that could plan, fight, shoot, communicate, and sustain themselves, in concert with the British Army and with each other, during the era of the two world wars? What did the British want from the dominion and Indian armies and how did they go about trying to get it? Douglas E Delaney seeks to answer these questions to understand whether the imperial army project was successful. Answering these questions requires a long-term perspective — one that begins with efforts to fix the armies of the British Empire in the aftermath of their desultory performance in South Africa (1899-1903) and follows through to the high point of imperial military cooperation during the Second World War. Based on multi-archival research conducted in six different countries, on four continents, Delaney argues that the military compatibility of the British Empire armies was the product of a deliberate and enduring imperial army project, one that aimed at standardizing and piecing together the armies of the empire, while, at the same time, accommodating the burgeoning autonomy of the dominions and even India. At its core, this book is really about how a military coalition worked.
This book examines military success of the British in South Asia during the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries. Placing South Asian military history in global, comparative context, it examines military innovations; armies and how they conducted themselves; navies and naval warfare; major Indian military powers, and the British, explaining why they succeeded.
What exactly is military history? Forty years ago it meant battles, campaigns, great commanders, drums and trumpets. It was largely the preserve of military professionals and was used to support national history and nationalism. Now, though, the study of war has been transformed by the war and society approach, by the examination of identity, memory and gender, and a less Euro-centric and more global perspective. Generally it is recognised that war and conflict must be integrated into the wider narrative of historical development, and this is why Ian Becketts research guide is such a useful tool for anyone working in this growing field. It introduces students to all the key debates, issues and resources. While European and global perspectives are not neglected, there is an emphasis on the British experience of war since 1500. This survey of British military history will be essential reading and reference for anyone who has a professional or amateur interest in the subject, and it will be a valuable introduction for newcomers to it.
This omnibus brings together some old and some recent works by Jos Gommans on the warhorse and its impact on medieval and early modern state-formation in South Asia. These studies are based on Gommans’ observation that Indian empires always had to deal with a highly dynamic inner frontier between semi-arid wilderness and settled agriculture. Such inner frontiers could only be bridged by the ongoing movements of Turkish, Afghan, Rajput and other warbands. Like the most spectacular examples of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empires, they all based their power on the exploitation of the most lethal weapon of that time: the warhorse. In discussing the breeding and trading of horses and their role in medieval and early modern South Asian warfare, Gommans also makes some thought-provoking comparisons with Europe and the Middle East. Since the Indian frontier is part of the much larger Eurasian Arid Zone that links the Indian subcontinent to West, Central and East Asia, the final essay explores the connected and entangled history of the Turko-Mongolian warband in the Ottoman and Timurid Empires, Russia and China.
The Indian Army which was the bulwark of the British Empire in South Asia functioned as an imperial fire brigade force during the Great War. The "brown warriors" of the Raj defended the British Empire from Belgium and France in the west to Singapore in the east. The Indian Army fought theKaiserheer and the Ottoman Army in diverse theatres like Flanders, Gallipoli, Salonika, East Africa, Egypt-Syria-Palestine and finally Mesopotamia. Indian society was mobilized to provide military and non-military manpower as well as economic assets in order to sustain the British imperial wareffort.The Indian Army before 1914 was geared to conduct unconventional warfare/irregular warfare against the Indus tribesmen and to police the subcontinent to prevent any anti-British uprising. However, between 1914 and 1918 due to the demands of "Total War", the Indian Army learnt to conduct highintensity conventional war against the armies of the Central Powers. In fact, it could be argued that during the four years of the First World War, the Indian Army probably exhibited a high learning curve. A force originally geared for waging low intensity warfare became adept, not only forconducting trench warfare within the context of high intensity conventional war in France but also mobile mounted warfare across Sinai and in the flat plains of Mesopotamia.