The First Anglo-Sikh War

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Amarpal, Dec 22, 2010.

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  1. Hi all,
    In case anyone has an interest in this period of history,just thought i'd do a bit of shameless plugging and flag up my recent effort "The First Anglo-Sikh War" (ISBN 1848689837). I spent quite a bit of time at the battlefields (Aliwal,Ferozehshah, Sabroan, Mudki,Bhudowal) over the last couple of years doing research and there's a good size battlefield guide for these sites for any battlefield fans like me out there including positions of the Sikh and British forces during the conflict, British war graves (some in surprising places!!) etc and plenty of other stuff including photos of the sites as they are now which tend not to figure in previous books.

    Secondly also working on the Second AngloSikhWar book and battlefield guide at present -would be great to hear from anyone who's paid a visit over the years to the battlefield sites of Chillianwalla, Gujrat, Multan,Ramnuggar etc. in Pakistan and their feelings and any info/experiences they may have visiting these places.
     
  2. Superb! I will be buying this, thanks for the shameless plug bringing it to my attention, I have only really read Flashman's account of this war, which of course is authoritative but one can always read more
     
  3. Cool !! Actually have had Flashman on my bookshelf for quite a few months myself and still unread - wish there was 30 hours in the day :)
     
  4. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Are you going to send a copy to the arrse review team?
     
  5. On the case already.
     
  6. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    In hand Rampant - thanks for flagging up though.


    A-Y
     
  7. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Are you Writing from the Sikh point of view of the war ,or just rehashing the sometimes confused British accounts, as in some of my books they can't even get the Date of Aliwall right, was it the 28th or 29th of January, CPL Cowton of the 16th Lancer even said he could see the " Snow covered Himalayas" well I couldn't when I walked down to the river Surlej in 1977, I think I still have some photographs somewhere
     
  8. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Superb Chaps, looks like an cracker of a history, I am rather au fait with Sikh History in Imperial, it being one of my areas of study at uni in days gone by. Nudge nudge, wink wink. (Aye right! find someone a lttle more reliable than I for it.)
     
  9. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    You said it mate!! I have a sucker (sorry supposed to use volunteer) for this book. Had you been but a few moments earlier, I could have formally ignored you :winkrazz:
     
  10. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    The one good thing about the Battlefields in India is that they are almost all along the Grand Trunk Road, so no probs if you just happen to be driving overland to Nepal. mind you Assaye was a bit of a swan
     
  11. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Nah would have been far more entertaining if ya had just let rip on me instead, would have deserved it. :muhaha:
     
  12. Jim, Aliwal was on the 28th and you're right -no way can you see the himalayas.

    Regarding book i deliberately went down the "warts and all" neutral point of view. Spent several weeks going through all the numerous first hand accounts at the National Army Museum (which really show how the battle went) - was fascinating !! - like time travel really and bit different from how for instance Sir Gough or Governor-General Hardinge wrote of their battles. You gotta rely on troops on the ground to relate how difficult a battle really is.:-D:-D

    Most books tend to gloss and sanitize over the battle details just saying it was 'hardfought' but eventually "so and so prevailed" etc but i thought i'd put in as much of the soldiers point of view as i could. So there's as much blow by blow action and quotes on whats happening on the left and right flanks and everywhere else as it was good to put in to keep the narrative flowing. Battle of Ferozeshah accounts -that wot really got me - brutally honest about the fierce battle and how close it was.

    Also most British books on the subject being written in the Victorian period tend to blame the war on the Sikh army for crossing over the Sutlej first but there was a lot more to it than that. For instance, the Governor-General had stationed armoured boats for a bridge at Ferozepore so the Company forces could march into the Punjab whenever ready and exercises were taking place at building it which was highly provocative. Several villages were seized on the left bank which belonged to Lahore plus lots of various other argy-bargy.

    oh and the treachery of the Sikh commanders - the Sikh army had gone totally republican and the vizier and commanders were getting a hard time from the SIkh troops and couldnt wait to destroy it and live in safety under British rule.

    I threw in everything I could !!
    :santa::santa:
     
  13. Here's a few recent pics for you guys. Pic of Mudki battlefield . On maps of the battle of Mudki you can see a fork in the road where where the British line was formed - fork shown in photo. Jungle got chopped down a long time ago unfortunatley !!
     

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  14. Aliwal battlefield from highest house in Porein village (from where Harry Smith wrote he surveyed the field before the battle)
     

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  15. Ferozeshah battlefield (western section ) from where HM62nd regiment advanced - and got a real hard time. Ferozeshah village in the distance.
     

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