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The Indian Mutiny 1857-58 (Essential Histories) Paperback – May 22, 2007
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Toward the front, there is a graphic map that lists all the major landmarks and battles. This map is an easy reference for the reader. In addition, the book contains a wide assortment of both black and white and color paintings. The drawings are conveniently placed next to the text, which describes that specific event. Although common sense would dictate that photos are placed next to the relevant text, that is not always the case. In any event, this book got it right.
A commonly held belief is that the mutiny was caused by a rumor that the new Enfield cartridges were covered in pig grease. The author, Mr. Fremont Barnes, tells the rest of the story. He goes on to describe underlying causes such as the loss of power by Indian rulers, new enlistment contracts that took away pensions for the sepoys, and a lack of bonding (a.k.a.: leadership) between the British officers and their native troops.
The "Fighting" chapter focuses on the three major conflicts, the siege of Delhi, the massacres at Cawnpore, and the relief of Lucknow. The author included clean tactical maps of these three operational areas. Thus, the reader should have no difficulty in understanding the locations and movements of the opposing forces.
The book also contains two "Portrait" chapters.Read more ›
OSPREY PUBLISHING, 2007
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $14.95, 96 PAGES, MAPS, ILLUSTRATIONS, CHRONOLOGY
In the mid-19th Century, India was the focus of Britain's international prestige and commercial power-the most important colony in an empire which extended to every continent on the globe and protected by the seemingly dependable native armies of the East India Company. When, however, in 1857 discontent exploded into open rebellion, Britain was obliged to field its larhgest army in forty years to defend its "jewel in the crown". The Indian Mutiny of 1857-1858 had diverse political, economic, military, religious, and social causes.
The sepoys (the native Indian soldiers) had their own list of grievances against Company rule-mainly caused by the ethnic gulf between the British officers and their Indian troops. In the early years of Company rule, the British tolerated and even encouraged the caste privileges and customs within the Bengal Army, which recruited its regular soldiers almost exclusively amongst the landowning Bhumihar Brahmins and Rajputs of the Ganges Valley. By the time that these customs and privileges came to be threatened by modernizing regimes in Calcutta from the 1840s onward, the sepoys had become accustomed to a very high ritual status and therefore were extremely sensitive to suggestions that their caste might become polluted. The sepoys also gradually became dissatisfied with various other aspects of army life. Their pay was relatively low and after Awadh and the Punjab were annexed, the soldiers no longer received extra pay (batta or bhatta) for service there, because they were no longer considered "foreign missions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Short account of the Mutiny. Nicely done with enough detail for the individual for whom this is an unknown area.Published 6 months ago by E.P. McLean
GREAT BACKGROUND INFORMATION REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND LEIRGER PICTURE THEN AND NOWPublished 10 months ago by GERARD LA TOURNERIE
This book is a great addition to a great series. I enjoyed learning about the Indian Mutiny which is the topic I knew very little about. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Michael Lapelosa