The Forgotten Army: India's Armed Struggle for Independence, 1942-1945

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University of Michigan Press, 1995 - History - 573 pages
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The last days of the Raj bring to mind Gandhi's nonviolence and Nehru's diplomacy. These associations obscure another reality: that an army of Indian men and women tried to throw the British off the subcontinent. Now The Forgotten Army brings to life for the first time the story of how Subhas Chandra Bose, a charismatic Bengali, attempted to liberate India with an army of former British Indian soldiers - the Indian National Army (INA). The story begins with the British Indian Army fighting a heroic rearguard action against the invading Japanese down the Malaysian peninsula, loyally holding out until the fall of Singapore, and ends with many of these same soldiers defeated in their effort to invade India as allies of Japan. Peter Ward Fay intertwines powerful descriptions of military action with a unique knowledge of how the INA was formed and its role in the broader struggle for Indian independence. The author incorporates the personal reminiscences of Prem Sahgal, a senior officer in the INA, and Lakshmi Swaminadhan Sahgal, leader of its women's sections, to help the reader understand the motivations of those who took part. Their experiences offer an engagingly personal element to the political and military history. Subhas Chandra Bose created the INA from the imprisoned Indian soldiers in Singapore and set up a provisional government in exile, with himself at the head, and gained the support of Imperial Japan. His plan was to invade India from Burma and spark a full-scale rebellion. He failed. The INA was defeated at Imphal by Field Marshall Slim, swept back through Burma, and rounded up into British POW camps. In 1945 the British put selected INA members on trial at the Red Fort inDelhi. Until then, wartime censorship had concealed the very existence of the INA. The discovery created an uproar throughout India, which coincided with the revival at the end of the war of the drive for independence. The British confidence in their Indian Army was profoundly shaken. If Bose could persuade so many to change sides in the pursuit of independence, how many more might desert now that major demonstrations were taking place in their homeland? Without the Indian Army's loyalty the Raj was at an end.
 

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The forgotten army: India's armed struggle for independence, 1942-1945

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Although Fay got his title wrong--this army was hardly forgotten--his narrative of the famous--or infamous--Indian National Army (INA) and its leader, Subhas Chandra Bose, offers an important ... Read full review

Contents

PREFACE vn INTRODUCTION
1
PREMS YOUTH
11
LAKSHMIS YOUTH
33
THE FALL OF MALAYA
51
FARRER PARK
73
THE BEGINNING OF THE INA
87
QuiT INDIA
113
WAITING FOR A LEADER
137
AND THEY WERE ALL MY BROTHERS
223
HIGH HOPES IN BURMA
239
DISASTER AT IMPHAL
273
BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD
305
MOUNT POPA
325
THE LEADER LOST
361
LET INDIA LEARN
387
TRIAL AT THE RED FORT
465

SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE
153
CONGRESS REBEL
171
A FRESH START
201
THE TRIUMPH OF THE INA
493
MAPS
566
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