Indian Soldiers in World War I

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Indian Soldiers in World War I

Race and Representation in an Imperial War

Andrew T. Jarboe

Studies in War, Society, and the Military Series

334 pages
11 tables, index

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Hardcover

July 2021

978-1-4962-0678-7

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July 2021

978-1-4962-2717-1

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eBook (PDF)

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July 2021

978-1-4962-2719-5

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About the Book

More than one million Indian soldiers were deployed during World War I, serving in the Indian Army as part of Britain’s imperial war effort. These men fought in France and Belgium, Egypt and East Africa, and Gallipoli, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. 

In Indian Soldiers in World War I Andrew T. Jarboe  follows these Indian soldiers—or sepoys—across the battlefields, examining the contested representations British and Indian audiences drew from the soldiers’ wartime experiences and the impacts these representations had on the British Empire’s racial politics. Presenting overlooked or forgotten connections, Jarboe argues that Indian soldiers’ presence on battlefields across three continents contributed decisively to the British Empire’s final victory in the war. While the war and Indian soldiers’ involvement led to a hardening of the British Empire’s prewar racist ideologies and governing policies, the battlefield contributions of Indian soldiers fueled Indian national aspirations and calls for racial equality. When Indian soldiers participated in the brutal suppression of anti-government demonstrations in India at war’s end, they set the stage for the eventual end of British rule in South Asia.
 

Author Bio

Andrew T. Jarboe is an assistant professor of liberal arts at Berklee College of Music. He is also a history teacher at Match High School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the editor of War News in India: The Punjabi Press during World War I and coeditor with Richard Fogarty of Empires in World War I: Shifting Frontiers and Imperial Dynamics in a Global Conflict

Praise

Indian Soldiers in World War I portrays, for the first time, a nuanced picture of what it was like for Indian soldiers during World War I. . . . Andrew Jarboe brings out both the globality and interconnectedness of the soldiers’ experience during the war. In addition he uses the hitherto neglected source of the Indian press. This extremely readable monograph will inevitably become an essential text for anyone interested in Indian soldiers during World War I.”—Alan Jeffreys, senior curator of the Imperial War Museum and author of Approach to Battle: Training the Indian Army during the Second World War

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Peasants into Sepoys
2. India’s Splendid Rally
3. In Flanders Fields
4. Healing the Empire
5. In the Hands of the Enemy
6. The Empire’s Fighters
7. The War’s Most Critical Phase
8. Into the Face of Bayonets
Conclusion
Notes    
Bibliography
Index

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