Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Elite 75
The Indian Army 1914–1947

by Ian Sumner
illustrated by Mike Chappell


S u m m a r y

Publishers Details: Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 1–84176-196-6
Price: £7.99/US$12.95.
Review Type: Book Review
Advantages: Welcome reference for an area not well covered; discusses domestic and international operations and organisation; plenty of photos
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by John Prigent




There isn’t exactly a lot of material in print on the Indian Army of this period, so this book is very welcome. Indian troops’ service in the Great War was wider than is often thought, not just in France but also in East Africa and Palestine, and they played a full part in the battle of Megiddo which Mr Sumner describes. Between the World Wars the Indian Army continued to give sterling service on the famous North-West Frontier, and this is described as well.

With World War 2 we often assume that Indian troops only served in their own local area, with the Burma Campaign looming large. What many of us haven’t realised is that four Indian Divisions also served in the Western Desert and Tunisia, and three of those also fought in Italy. Alas, the only battle described is that for Meiktila in Burma, but photographs show the Indian troops with their armoured cars in the desert and in Italy as well as with their tanks in Burma. These are all from the Imperial War Museum collection, and it makes one wonder what remains to be seen from the Army museum photograph collections in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

After a section on the division of the Army at Partition the second half of the book describes the organisations of infantry, cavalry, pioneer and other units including those of the Princely States. A good selection of photographs and Mike Chappell’s splendid plates make this a very good uniform reference, and armour modellers will relish those rare photos of Indian-manned tanks and armoured cars.


Review Copyright © 2001 by John Prigent
Page Created 23 August, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page