A great read!,
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This review is from: The Indian Mutiny (Kindle Edition)
A very good overview of the Indian Mutiny that is quite neutral in its telling. Nonetheless, it will not escape the readers attention the precarious position that the British found themselves in, nor of the immense task of the soldiers and their leaders in undertaking to restore British rule.
In these days of apologists and overwhelming political correctness, no one could deny that at its most basic, it is an incredible story of bravery and endurance by small numbers of British and loyal Indian troops taking on vastly superior numbers of well trained rebels and succeeding despite the odds.
Despite the modern view of British armies having an easy time against colonial opposition, how anyone with a soul could fail to be inspired by a tiny British army of a few thousand men storming the fortress city of Delhi, inhabited by 30-40 thousand British trained troops and a hostile population, by ordinary soldiers, should form the basis of a Hollywood blockbuster today. (And no doubt if Americans had done anything remotely similar, it would be).
The fact that the soldiers and officers never flinched in undertaking this task, despite attacking through murderous fire, and despite the fact they had to fight their way through an entire hostile city whilst never doubting they would be victorious, (even though even a small failure would have spelt disaster and the end of British rule), is simply breathtaking.
The courage, endurance and the unshakeable belief that they would ultimately win, despite the reader wondering how on earth this could possibly happen, shows how a tiny island nation was able to rule much of the world in time gone by.
Finally, to the hand wringers and apologists of the Empire today, one has to look at results of the Mutiny. The mutual respect between British and Indian troops after the mutiny, the loyalty of Indian soldiers to Britain for nearly a century afterwards and the fact that the Indian army which fought for Britain in WW2 was the largest volunteer army in history. Why is it, we can wonder, why we no longer respect the remarkable achievements of British soldiers and leaders when Indians themselves, despite holding different views, still do?
Read this book an understand how ordinary individuals could build build an Empire.