Morton-Jack, G: The Indian Empire At War
From Jihad to Victory, The Untold Story of the Indian Army in the First World War
While the First World War has been best known for trenches, Tommies and war horses on the western front, and more widely for the Australians at Gallipoli or Lawrence of Arabia, the astonishing story of Britain's Asian great connection of 1914-18 has been neglected: the 1.5 million men of the Indian Army. Extraordinarily, this book is the first single narrative of their remarkably global war as Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs of Britain's Indian Empire, fighting for the Allies against the Central Powers in the mud of Flanders, the steaming jungles of Africa and the baking deserts of the Islamic world.
The Indian Empire at War is a brilliantly original re-telling of the First World War like never before, finding the Indian Army's true place at the heart of its global events - from 1914's German invasion of France and the Sultan of Turkey's jihad summoning all Muslims to holy war on the British, to 1918's Allied victory over the Germans and the Turks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Using previously unpublished veteran interviews, George Morton-Jack re-traces the Indian soldiers' footsteps across the continents, revealing their dangerous missions as secret agents, their eye-opening discoveries of foreign cultures and their heart-breaking ordeals as prisoners of war - as well as exploring how they came home with fresh hopes for their families and their country, playing their part in the story of Indian Independence.
George Morton Jack studied history at Oxford University and wrote his first book on the First World War, The Indian Army on the Western Front, for Cambridge University Press. He currently lives in London.