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The Indian Corps on the Western Front:
A Handbook and Battlefield Guide

by
Simon Doherty and Tom Donovan
Published 24 October 2014
 

 

The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Handbook and Battlefield Guide contains in one convenient volume a description of the Indian Army in 1914 and the component parts that made up the Corps that landed in Marseilles from September 1914 onwards.

The Indians came to a country and a war totally beyond their experience and training. Thown into battle on arrival, sometimes with no time at all to acclimatize to their surroundings, their reaction to the strain of war and their battlefield performance has been challenged by some historians. Recent scholarship refutes these allegations and the conclusion is that the Indians performed well in France and Flanders, especially given the heavy losses they suffered in both officers and men and the difficulties of reinforcing them over Lines-of-Communication reaching back to India.

The Indian Corps, comprising two divisions, Lahore and Meerut, remained on the Western Front for a year, participating in ten major battles or operations as well as the constant trying routine of trench warfare. This was particularly grim during the first winter, 1914-15, when trenches were rudimentary and the supply of specialist weapons and other instruments of trench warfare was extremely limited.

As well as a complete history of the Indian Corps, covering its background and operational experience, this book contains detailed battlefield tour guides of all the main operations, with easy-to-follow instructions and specially commissioned maps. These are in colour coded sections to differentiate them from the historical narrative.

Following the history and guides are chapters on cemeteries and memorials in France and Belgium, the Indian hospitals established in England during 1914-15 and particularly convalescence in Brighton, where 12,000 Indian soldiers were treated and seventy-four died. The final guide is to locations in Brighton, the hospital buildings and the two post-war memorials.

The Indian Corps on the Western Front: A Handbook and Battlefield Guide includes over 200 illustrations and thirty-five maps. It is available in paperback and hardback editions. The paperback edition is priced at £20 plus postage and the hardback edition is priced at £35 plus postage.

The Authors

Simon Doherty and Tom Donovan founded Tom Donovan Editions Ltd. in 2006 with the aim of publishing fine books that add to the canon of scholarly writing on the First World War and related topics. Their showcase Scholars’ Collection now includes four major works including The Memoirs of Sir James Edmonds and an account by Captain B.H. Liddell Hart of his time on the Western Front as a young lieutenant.

Tom Donovan Editions has also published books relating to the Indian Army, including the first volume of a history of the Indian Order of Merit, the highest gallantry award in the Indian Army and considered to be the equivalent of the British Victoria Cross. During his career Tom Donovan has combined publishing with a thriving antiquarian book business specialising in books on British military history. Simon Doherty moved into publishing following a successful career in Finance and IT. Both Simon and Tom have been associated for many years with the Chattri Memorial Group who organize an annual ceremony to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in Brighton during 1914-15. They are both longstanding students of Indian Army history and particularly of the Indian Corps and were responsible for creating an exhibition on this topic that has been shown at several locations in the United Kingdom and at the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium.

 

 

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