Empire's First Soldiers

Front Cover
Lancer Publishers, 2008 - History - 316 pages
On a pleasant October morning in the year 1746, a small army of one thousand men put together by the French East India Company, consisting of 300 hundred Europeans and 700 hundred Sepoys, the French-trained Indian soldiers, faced a massive Mughal Army of 10,000 across the Adyar estuary on the Southeastern seaboard of India. In a feat of arms that has few parallels in history, the puny French force forded across the river braving artillery, and trounced their opponents in a classical show of European musketry salvo; drawn up in three ranks and advancing while firing successive volleys of shot, before they pounced on the enemy with bayonets. The French had made a point; numbers didn't matter, training and discipline did. This landmark event in Indian History was to conceptualize the greatest military enterprise the subcontinent has ever known - the creation of the Indian Army. The British, who were mere bystanders to the event, were to pick up the trend and raise the first of their Presidency Armies, the Madras Army, and closely thereafter the other two, the Bengal and the Bombay ones; all of which were later, towards the end of the 19th Century, to be amalgamated to form the grand edifice that's the Indian Army.

Here, contained in the pages of this book, is a vivid recreation of the glorious battles the old Madras Army fought, those of the Carnatic, Mysore and Maratha Wars in India, and of the Burma and China Wars overseas; as well as those their descendants, the soldiers from the South in the Indian Army, fought during the two World Wars overseas and in wars that independent India fought. It's a two-and-a-half-century old saga of guts, gore and glory, from Adyar to Kargil all the way, that the doughty fighters of the South have woven in to the fabric of Indian nationhood; and part of the grand legacy that goes into the making of an Indian Soldier; always and every time, 'Better than the Best'.

 

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Contents

Arcot
12
Siege of Madras
33
War of the Khan Sahib
40
The day of the Mysore Horsemen
53
Seringapatam
62
Poligar Rebellion
77
Assaye
84
Pazhassi Raja and Velu Thampi
93
Second World War
155
Second World War
161
Free Indias Proud Soldiers
165
The Border War with China
183
The Bangladesh War 1971
204
War in the West 1971
218
Siachen Glacier
236
IPKF
253

Vellore Mutiny
100
The Third Maratha
106
CoorgWar
119
Subduing Asia
131
The Rising and After
137
The First World War
146
Kargil
262
CounterInsurgency Operations
269
Arms Uniforms and the Legacy
279
Afterword
288
Index
297
Copyright

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