Spying for Empire: The Great Game in Central and South Asia, 1757-1947
'The Great Game' was the struggle between Russia and Britain for imperial influence over southern and central Asia, immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim. For the British, the threat to India's frontiers compelled them to dispatch diplomats, or more clandestine agents, to survey, map and monitor the approaches to the Indian subcontinent. Anxieties about Russian ambitions in central Asia were magnified by the discovery of military plans and the arrival of 'shooting parties' and 'scientific explorers' on the mountains adjacent to India's northern border. The British faced major problems compounded by the unresolved status of Afghanistan, the interception of agents, and the division of opinion in British military and political circles about the real or imagined nature of the Russian threat to India. The situation was further complicated by the instability of the Indian border area, a region through which British and Indian troops would need to operate in wartime, but which was inhabited by bellicose tribesmen who fought the imposition of British rule every step of the way. Spying for Empire gives a fascinating insight into how the British intelligence network worked in the 1800s. It also examines how the intractability of Afghanistan plagued imperial defense planners, and how the threat of conflict with Russia colored Britain's dealings with the peoples of south-west Asia.
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Add Mss Afghan Afghanistan Amir Asian Asian agents Bailey Biddulph Bokhara Bolsheviks border Boundary Commission Brackenbury Britain British intelligence British officers Captain Caspian Caucasus central Asia Chinese Chitral Colonel Communist Connolly consul Correspondence Curzon despatched Durand East Elias espionage established exploration force Foreign Department Foreign Office Game German Gilgit Government of India Herat Hindu Kush Hopkirk Hunza Imperial India Office Indian Army Indian Intelligence Intelligence Branch Intelligence Department Intelligence Division intercepted Kabul Kandahar Kashgar Kashmir Khan Lockhart London Lord Maclean March Memorandum Merv Meshed military intelligence Mirza mission Mohammed Moorcroft mountains Muslim Nevertheless newswriters North-West Frontier northern OIOC operations Oxus Pamirs Papers passes Penjdeh Persia Peshawar political Pundits Punjab railway region Report revolutionaries Roberts route Royal Geographical Society Russian Russian troops Salisbury Secret Service sent shah Simla Singh Soviet St Petersburg Tashkent Teheran territory threat Tibet tribesmen tsar's Turkestan Viceroy whilst Younghusband