Thursday, July 25, 2019

India's Contribution towards the British War Effort in World War I and Research Paper

India's Contribution towards the British War Effort in World War I and the Aftermath - Research Paper Example Since the Ottoman Empire sided with the German forces, the Ottoman army started attacking various strategic positions (oil depots, ports and locations military importance) in the Middle East. Moreover despite the neutral role of the Shah of Afghanistan, the Ottoman army influenced some of the local tribesmen on the Indian-Afghan border in the North-West of India to who started attacking the British forces and captured some of the land and supply routes. The British Army was a mixture of races from different dominions and colonies of the British Empire and the British Indian army was one of them. 2 regiments of the British Indian Army were permanently stationed in various other British colonies before the start of WWI but in WWI it played pivotal role on various frontiers in Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The Indian Army mainly comprised of the lower Castes of Hindus; the untouchables, the Shudras (artisans, craftsmen and service providers) and the Vaishyas (agriculturis ts, cattle traders, merchants and bankers) and also in Muslims the Ajlafs (the local converts) and the Arzals. The Indian people were not trained to become high ranked officers in the army and only served as soldiers commonly known as Sepoys (derived from Persian word Sipahi meaning soldier). In World War I the Indian Army fought against the German Empire in German East Africa and on the Western Front. The Indians also served on various other frontiers in Egypt, Gallipoli. The most remarkable of the efforts by the Indian army was in Mesopotamia where nearly 700,000 soldiers served against the Ottoman Empire. In addition to these foreign expeditions the Indian Army also defended the British Indian Empire at the North Western frontier and also in the South East at Burmese border. The Largest Volunteer Army The British established their first cantonment in India in 1757 at Goa to fight against the French forces in India and it marked the beginning of the inductions of Indians to the Br itish Army. As the British invaded more and more land the Indian population in the army went on increasing and when in 1857 the Indian throne was brought under the British crown, the British Indian Army was formally established. The Sepoy mutiny of 1857 forced the British to limit the Indian inclusion in the army to lower rank soldiers and as a result mostly the lower castes joined the army. By 1914, the British Indian Army was the largest volunteer army in the world with a total strength of 240,000 men. The largest increase in the army happened during the WWI when the recruitment process was very fast and the Lower Caste Indians were more and more interested to join the army not only because of the incentives but also the sense of security for being in the British army was a big motivational force for a lower caste Indian who was treated in an inhumane manner. This large induction increased the number of Indians in the British army to almost 550,000 by November 1918. This large str ength also increased the importance of the British Indian Army which was called upon to deal with incursions and raids on the North West Frontier. Moreover the Indian army was also deployed in the British Empire in China, Singapore and Egypt. Events during the War 1. The Indian army was sent to Marseilles on 30th September 1914 as reinforcement to the British Expeditionary Force but the Indian army was not familiar to the local conditions and climate and was poorly equipped to resist weather. Moreover the uneducated, less-trained lower caste soldiers from India could not learn to operate the new war equipment. This force took part in the four major battles namely

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