Getting to Know the British Indian Army Just before 1947

The Indian army throughout the days of the Raj was a volunteer force with British officers and was instrumental in helping Great Britain control the subcontinent. In addition this army also manned lots of outposts of the British Empire where the adage ‘The Sun by no means sets on the British empire’ held true. that is glossed more than is that this army was for the higher portion of its existence supported by Indian taxation. London hardly financed this volunteer force. Despite being financed by Indian tax payers this army was an necessary cog in the wheel of British domination more than the globe, extra particularly its grip more than India. Maybe they would never ever have been capable to rule India without this army at their get in touch with.

Alterations soon after 1857

The Indian mutiny 1857-1858 was a watershed in Indian history and had far-reaching consequences. Firstly the force was downsized in numbers and artillery and engineering had been place exclusively out of the attain of native troops and had been therefore manned only by Britishers. The second transformation was the induction of the Sikhs, Gurkhas, and Pathans in a primary role in the British army as a reward for their loyalty through the mutiny. They replaced the Bengalis, Marathas, and other groups who were earlier portion of the East India organization army.

The Use of the Revamped Army

This revamped army was applied to put down internal dissent and was also employed to cow the Indian population. It was also employed as a mercenary army against Indians as effectively like the Jallianwala massacre when Indian troops below General Dyer had fired on unarmed civilians.

The Indian army following 1857 became a trusted part of the Raj and was utilised for action against the Afghans for the duration of the Anglo-Afghan wars. They were also utilized to enforce the British writ in the North West frontier province. In one well-known battle at Saragrahi in 1897 21 Sikh soldiers faced Muslim horde of ten,000 all for the Raj and empire.

The Indian army was also made use of to defeat Tibet with the YoungHusband expedition in 1903-04. The British Indian army hence became an important element of the Raj.

The Indian Army in World War I

The revamped British army gave a telling account of its potential through several campaigns for the Raj. As an instance the Indian troops fought for the crown for the duration of World War I. They were active in the trenches of the Western Front and took component in battles at Neuve-Chapelle, Loos, and Ypres.

This Indian army was to a excellent extant in a position to support Britain sustains its battle positions immediately after their arrival in France and the Mediterranean in the course of 1915. This truth is now belatedly acknowledged by military historians. It is on record that some of the Indian units fighting this Terrific War suffered over 100 percent casualties for the result in of British Imperialism. In the period among the wars the British Indian Army policed the North Western Frontier and also served in Malaysia and Singapore.


As World War II unfolded the Indian Army which then numbered 270,000 males with 64,000 British was very much a regular colonial force. The process of Indianization as envisaged by the 1919 and 1935 India Acts had hardly begun, as in a force of over 200,000 soldiers only 577 Indians held commissions. This situation underwent a dramatic change with the defeat of France in June 1940 and suddenly, the Indian Army assumed greater importance in helping Britain hold its lifeline through Suez and the Middle East.

The pace of expansion and Indianization got a tremendous fillip as Japan mounted an assault on the British Empire in SE Asia towards the finish of 1941. This war did not go smoothly as the Japanese Imperial army took large numbers of Indian soldiers as POWs. This brought on a split in loyalty of the Indian soldier as a nationalist appeal by Subhas Chandra Bose produced a lot of Indian soldiers trade their POW status for freedom by having recruited into the anti-British Indian National Army. Thus the complete concept of a European empire in Asia was under threat from Japan

Indian Army in World War II

The Second World was now was thrust on the British by Hitler. The British had now no option but to expand Indian regiments and as there was a shortage of British officers Indians had to be accepted as officers. In addition it became required to expand the recruiting base as extra sepoys have been required. Thus in addition to the Sikhs, Rajputs, and Pathans other religious groups and races like the Madrassis and Biharis have been also recruited.

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