The First Anglo-Sikh War Hardcover – 1 Aug 2010
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With this book in hand, the battlefields of the Punjab come alive once again. --Professor Peter Doyle, Battlefield Archaeologist, Co-Secretary, All Party War Graves and Battlefield Heritage Group.
The First Anglo-Sikh War' unearths a wealth of rarely studied sources and marries them to exhaustive field research to produce a detailed study of an important but largely forgotten campaign. --John Keay, Historian, Author of India: A History
The sections on the battlefields today, which include vivid descriptions of the aftermath of combat by eyewitnesses, so often overlooked in works of military history, will help to make this a key work for a long time to come. --Dr. Tony Pollard, Battlefield archaeologist (BBC TV series presenter Two Men in a Trench)
About the Author
Amarpal Singh Sidhu was born in the Punjab, India. He spent over 20 years working in the software industry before turning to his real interest in military history and the exploration and analysis of battlefields. His first book "The First Anglo-Sikh War" has been well received. Amarpal has appeared and collaborated on history programs for several TV channels. He currently lives in London with his wife and two sons. His other interests include the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire and World War Two.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a cracking read. Buy it. Do it now.
The First Anglo-Sikh War is a singular book in that it manages to elicit favorable comments from proper historians, battlefield archeologists and now, from History Poodles like me.
The foreword by Prof. Peter Doyle BSc PhD Cgeol FGS; Battlefield Archeologist; Co-Secretary, All Party War Graves and Battlefield Heritage Group says "With this book in hand, the battlefields of the Punjab come alive again". And Professor Doyle aint wrong. The sleeve reviews are by people of stature in the serious history game.
But for those of us who like to poodle through our history, cherry-picking obscure wars and events, and who get bored easy, this book is also a fascinating page-turner.
It is set in 1845. Just after the horrible retreat from Kabul. So John Company and British Pride weren't exactly screaming from the terraces. We had captured most of India using a simple but effective proposition:
"See things our way and you can keep your Palace and some of your revenue. Oppose us, and you see those Irish guys polishing their bayonets over there? Look. They are waving". Superior military technology and back-stabbing diplomacy, God love us.
I had assumed the Sikh wars were pretty much the same sort of thing. A couple of wars, the Sikhs see things our way then come to be as useful to us as the Gurkha for the next hundred years or so.
My first surprise was my definition of `Sikh'. Having spent time in and around Amritsar as a younger man, I assumed that would be their capital. Wrong again. It was Lahore in Pakistan. They had also nicked Kashmir and hoofed the Afghan out of Peshawar.Read more ›
The author gives a nice brief description of the background to the cause of the war but the real strength of his book is the chapters outlining each major battle.
For each battle the author gives us an overview of the battles context within the war, a nice break down of the forces involved, a good narrative of the actual battle and then the aftermath of the battle and where this leaves us within the wider war.
The best thing about each chapter is the maps. The author uses modern maps but overlays them with older maps so you can see where the battle and incidents happened within the landscape (if I ever get to see the battle landscapes then this is the book I'm taking!)
This is a well written and researched book that is useful for people who have only just started reading about the Sikh Wars but also bring new insights which would interest the more experienced reader.
This is a wonderful history of the 1st Sikh war and I highly recommend it to anyone with a passing history of the Formation of the British Raj and the Bravery of the Sikh Armies.
A large proportion of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of what remains to be seen today. I have visited these battlefields and without local knowledge or language did not see a tenth of what Mr Sidhu lists. (I did see the curious museum of the Sikh Wars, in which over-enthusiastic and unsupervised workmen had splashed whitewash over all the exhibits. Paintings, weapons, artefacts - all splattered. The poor curator must have cried when he or she went back into their exhibition hall.) I want to go back armed with what will be a very well-thumbed copy of 'Sidhu'. Very helpfully he gives GPS coordinates so that you can maximise your time on site but also follow the campaign virtually, on Google Earth or a similar online resource. This is huge fun and very very informative. (Remember you get height readouts whenever you require them, e.g. checking how far one river bank dominates the other.)
And if all that were not enough, there is a superb collection of illustrations, extremely well chosen, nicely reproduced, and in colour!
A wonderful, beautiful book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The First Anglo-Sikh War is one of those conflicts that are often overlooked by historians and authors. Read morePublished 21 months ago by NMS1975
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone interested in the first Anglo-Sikh war. Readable, balanced and with an eye for important matters of terrain and communication, not... Read morePublished on 20 Dec. 2013 by stpark
I really enjoyed reading the factual insight of the events leading upto the battle and lively style of the authorPublished on 9 Dec. 2013 by Anoop Joshi
I was a tad reluctant to get this book at first, fearing that it wouldn't contribute to what I had already read about the first Sikh conflict with the Anglos (and their supporting... Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2011 by Dally
Thank you Mr Sidhu - for a book that clearly gives new insights on the events of 1845-46. The book is a solid work of historical inquiry but is blessed with the personal moments... Read morePublished on 25 Dec. 2010 by Tooting Gooner