Book Review: Military History of India by Uma P. Thapliyal

Military History of India
Author: Uma Prasad Thapliyal
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

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‘Military History of India’ is a well-researched and a very informative book that has a penetrating collection of pieces of different battles fought by the Indian Military forces. Written by one of the most eminent historians of the country, this treasure trove of organizational and operational details of the military forces that safeguard us from air, water and land enemies has insightful minutiae.

Reflecting on the combats that were fought in the Vedic and pre-Vedic age, the author draws parallels between how the role of the army has changed from quelling mutinies and civil disturbances to fighting wars at the borders and executing surgical strikes. Pre-independence wars were characterized by high drama and moral complexities while the post-independence wars have had less drama and more strategic planning. The book captures the need and urgency of the transformation that the entire Military set up has gone through. Following Darwin’s principle of ‘survival of the fittest’, this book, very intelligently, describes how once Military was even deployed to restore order when civilian affairs could not be solved by the police. But post-independence, the army mostly remained deployed at the North-east and Northern borders.

Lucid and clear-cut description aids quick reading and a better understanding of the facts. The author uses very simple language and that makes it easier for a layman to absorb the essence of the book. I am totally in favour of the idea of including the military history of India as a part of the academic curriculum because the changes, the procedures and the discipline are some things that the children of today need to learn.

There have been other books on the history of the armed forces. Since this book is the first book of this kind that I have read, I can say that it is a successful attempt to recognize the efforts put in by the soldiers who put the nation first and take a bullet so fearlessly. Overall, ‘Military history of India’ is a well-written book that deserves to be read.

Buying Link: Amazon

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