Indian Military History

Indian Military History Books

Indian Military History Books – a detailed and useful series of publications about the Indian Armies, campaigns and rebellions during the last two centuries.

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The Moplah Rebellion 1921/22

The Native Army of Madras


“Loyalty & Honour” The Indian Army

Duty & Fidelity : The Indian Army : August 1914 – 1921


The Armies of the Indian Princely States

Buttons of the Indian Army

THE MOPLAH REBELLION 1921/1922. by Lt. Col. A.C.B. MacKinnon : Includes an extensive introduction by Chris Kempton

This is an account of how the British forces suppressed the Moslem insurrection. A bloody but brief rebellion by Moslems in Malabar coastal region in southern Indian against the Raj. There is still bitterness in the region with the Hindus arguing that there was a Moslem massacre of Hindus and the Moslems arguing there was a Hindu massacre of Moslems and the Indians. 145x208mm pages. 6 maps & sketches. Softback Edition [publication Winter 2008.

THE NATIVE ARMY OF MADRAS. By Major General J Michael C.S.I. with an extensive introduction by Chris Kempton.

A paper on the Madras Army 1886 which includes extensive information on organisation, equipment and interior economy – Background history of the Army, strength and composition of the Regiments, recruitment, discipline/punishments, promotion, pay & allowances, rewards & decorations, musketry & shooting, &c &c. It also includes the responses from the presenters’ audience, as well a the candid comments by the Duke of Buckingham and Chando who had been the Governor of Madras.  145x208mm 57 pages. ISBN 978-0-85420-946-0 Softback Edition £ 8.99


SITANA by Colonel [later General Sir] John Adye R.A.

Originally published in 1867, reprinted for the first time. The 1863 Ambela campaign on the North West Frontier of India which the author witnessed as a staff officer. One of the largest military efforts in India after the Mutiny. Starting as a punitive expedition against a group of fanatics and dissident tribes it became a major frontier campaign involving two pitched battles with over 9000 British and Indian soldiers committed to the struggle. Two Victoria Crosses were won. The campaign also saw the involvement of some of the most influential figures in frontier political and military strategy and included the future Field Marshal Roberts. Sitana is an excellent study of a mountain campaign undertaken against overwhelming odds. This edition includes new maps as well biographical notes on the significant personalities and lists of the units involved. Shaun Corkerry, a member of the Victorian Military Society has written an extensive introduction setting the campaign in context and discusses the evolution of frontier warfare up to the 20th Century.  210x295mm A-N, i-iii, + 61 pages, 4 col maps, tables, index.
ISBN 978-0-85420-325-3 Hardback Edition £25.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-330-7 Softback Edition £15.99

” LOYALTY & HONOUR” THE INDIAN ARMY – September 1939 – August 1947. by Chris Kempton

Between September 1939 and the surrender of Japan in August 1945 the Indian Army expanded to become the largest all volunteer army in history. During this time it was involved in every theatre, except the Pacific, in effect defeated the Japanese in Burma on its own and subsequently was involved in the re-occupation of Malaya, Siam and Indo-China, also the re-occupation and uprising in the Netherlands East Indies, as well as contributing substantially to the Commonwealth occupation force in Japan. Despite this involvement only four full Indian Divisional histories [excluding the 3rd] have been written and there is very little detailed information on Orders of Battle of Divisions and Brigades, or their commanders and operational, or non-operational, performance. “Loyalty & Honour” is the only comprehensive record to be published and the first to use the War Diaries only recently available at the National Archives. In three volumes with over 400 pages coverage is comprehensive and it will form an essential part of the library of any serious student of the Indian Army, World War II, or both.

Volume I. DIVISIONS. This volume contains an introduction and general background followed by coverage of all Armoured, Infantry and Airborne Divisions. Each Division, including 1st Burma Division, has a comprehensive Order of Battle, details of Divisional, Artillery and Engineer Commanders and a divisional history. For the first time this detail is given for the short lived Armoured Divisions, [2nd/32nd, 43rd & 44th], the Middle East[PAIFORCE] Divisions, the two Training Divisions and the virtually unknown 21st and 34th Divisions. Post-war deployments in Malaya, Burma, Siam, Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies are covered as is the occupation force in Japan [Brindiv]. As well as in-depth coverage of all aspects of the war in Burma from 1942 on there is considerable detail on 4th & 5th Indian Division’s East African Campaign in 1940/1941, the operations in the Middle East, and also the Malayan Campaign involving 9th & 11th Indian Divisions. The volume concludes with a section showing Divisional Formation Signs, in colour, an alphabetical listing of Divisional Commanders and CRA’s, and a comprehensive Bibliography for all parts. 161 Pages. Coloured Ills. 210 x 295mm.
ISBN 978-0-85420-223-2 Hardback Edition £32.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-228-7 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume II. BRIGADES Volume II contains Orders of Battle and Commanders, where known, for all Armoured, Cavalry, Tank, Motor, Infantry, Parachute and Frontier Brigades. Operational histories are given which are brief unless the brigade concerned was independent, or operating in a detached role for a specific engagement in which case full details are given. Detailed information is given on 5th Brigade in Syria, 7th Brigade in the Sudan, 16th Brigade at the Sittang, 29th Brigade in East & North Africa, 43rd Brigade in the Middle East & Italy, the 77th & 111th ‘‘Chindit’’ Brigades and 123rd, 161st and 268th Brigades in Burma. Coverage is also given to the Burma and Lushai Brigades, Force 401 [Iran 1946/7], the ad-hoc brigades formed in the NEI, and, of particular interest, detail on the ‘‘brigades’’ formed in PAIFORCE. There in an alphabetic listing of all known Brigade Commanders.  108 Pages. 210 x 295mm.
ISBN 978-0-85420-233-1 Hardback Edition £32.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-238-6 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume III. DEPLOYMENT OF REGIMENTS & BATTALIONS, HIGHER FORMATIONS, FORCES & COLUMNS, THE ARMY IN INDIA, MAPS. The third volume gives the deployment of all RAC and British Infantry Regiments and Battalions whilst under command of Indian Divisions or Brigades followed by the deployment of all Regiments and Battalions [ including non-active service Battalions] of Indian Armour and Infantry, the Gurkha Brigade, Indian States Forces [serving outside their State], the Burma Army and the Nepalese Contingent. Higher Formations and their Commanders are listed for all theatres involved and there is a comprehensive listing of the various Forces and Columns operating in East & North Africa, the Middle East, France/England, Italy, Greece, Arakan, Burma, Malaya & Borneo: of particular interest are Force 136 & ‘‘V’’ Force in Burma, Sarforce in Borneo and Force K6 in France & England. The Appendices cover the overall command structure of the Army in India, statistics and details of the complex Lines of Communication Organisation in Assam and Burma. Finally there are 43 colour maps which cover all theatres, including India, as well as specific actions including Keren, Cassino, the Senio, Jitra, Slim River, Singapore Island, Kohima, Ukhrul/Sangshak, Bilin River, Sittang River, the Irrawaddy Crossing, the Nyaungu Bridgehead, the Capture & Defence of Meiktila and Mandalay. This volume contains a wealth of important information, much extremely hard to find, and published for the first time in a consolidated form. 150 Pages. Coloured Maps. 210 x 295mm. ISBN 978-0-85420-243-0 Hardback Edition £37.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-248-5 Softback Edition £22.99

DUTY & FIDELITY: THE INDIAN ARMY August 1914 – 1921 by Chris Kempton These volumes are a detailed study of the formations and units of the Indian Army of World War I that served in France & Flanders, the Middle East, Turkey , East Africa and North-West Frontier. By late 1918 there were over half a million soldiers serving in it.

Part I : THE DIVISIONS. In World War I 5 Cavalry and Mounted Infantry Divisions, 18 Infantry Divisions and three Divisional areas were raised. Each theatre of operations has a chronology of events. Indian Divisions served in France & Flanders, Mesopotamia , Egypt and Palestine . Each division has its operational history, a list of the Brigades and Divisional troops that served with it together with the dates of their attachments and detachments. The Division Commanders and Commanders R.A. and R.E. with their dates of attachment and detachment are included. There are appendices providing details of the British divisions that were ‘Indianised’ and an alphabetical listing of their Commanders and CRA’s.
ISBN 978-0-85420-406-9 Hardback Edition £34.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-408-3 Softback Edition £22.99

Part II : The BRIGADES also NORTH WEST FRONTIER & OTHER THEATRES. The Cavalry, Mounted and Infantry Brigades are listed with their operational histories, commanders and subordinate units.The Secondary Theatres. Frontier operations: 3rd Afghan War, Waziristan 1919-21, The Kohat, Bannu, and Derajat Frontier Brigades their component units, commanders and operations. East African Theatre: Operational history, units, commanders, distribution of British & Indian units. Gallipoli: 29th Brigade. Operational history, commander, component units. Aden: The Aden Brigade: Operational history, commanders, component units. Persia & The Gulf: Brigade: Operational history, commanders, component units. Units in Muscat : Sykes Mission and East Persia Cordon / Seistan Force. Operational histories, commanders, component units.Macedonia, Trans-Caucasia , Russia & Turkey : Indian units were allocated to British Divisions and were involved in operations from 1918 to 1920, these units are listed with their commanders and locations. Brigades with the commanders, units and short histories.The secondary theatres in East Africa, Aden , Persia and the Gulf, Macedonia , Trans-Caucasia , Russia and Turkey as well Mespotamia [the Arab Revolt 1920-1921]. Also the Static / Internal Security & Temporary Brigades their subordinated units and commanders are included.
ISBN 978-0-85420-406-9 Hardback Edition £34.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-408-3 Softback Edition £22.99

Part III (I) : DEPLOYMENT OF REGIMENTS/BATTALIONS. British Cavalry and Infantry, Indian Cavalry, Indian Cavalry & Infantry [The Guides], Indian Infantry, Gurkha Regiments, Imperial Service Troop [Cavalry & Infantry] and the Nepalese Contingent are listed with their deployments.The 1921/1922 Re-organisation of the Cavalry, Pioneers Infantry and the formation of the Indian Territorial Force.
ISBN 978-0-85420-419-9 Hardback Edition £34.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-421-2 Softback Edition £22.99

Part III(II) : MAPS The maps illustrate the operations of the Indian forces WESTERN FRONT including the Battles of Neuve Chapelle, 2nd Ypres and Cambrai as well as the front line of the Indian Corps 1914-1915. EAST AFRICA – Indian Expeditionary Forces. MIDDLE EAST – East Mediterranean, Egypt , Palestine & Asia Minor : Mesopotamia, Caucasia & West Persia , East Persia . Lower Mesopotamia, Upper Mesopotamia, Euphrates Line, The Tigris Front – Shaikh Saad to Shumran and Kut-al-Amara to Bawi, Battle of Ctesiphon 21st – 25th November 1915, Kut-al-Amara December 1915- April 1916, Kut-al-Amara Fort Baghdad March 1917. SUEZ CANAL AREA, Aden , East Africa – Tanga 3rd – 5th November 1914. Palestine, Lebanon & Syria – Main Lines of Communication 1917 – 1918. Palestine – Gaza to Nablus. Palestine – Jaffa to Jerusalem . Palestine – Jerusalem to Damascus. INDIA Western India [Baluchistan], Western, Central & North Central India, North India, North West Frontier Area [General], North West Frontier [Waziristan 1914 – 1921], North West Frontier [3rd Afghan War 1919] East & North East India, Burma, South India.
ISBN 978-0-85420-424-3 Hardback Edition £37.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-426-7 Softback Edition £29.99

SIKHIM by Colonel John Cox Gawler

Originally published in 1873 – reprinted for the first time. Col Gawler commanded this punitive expedition into a small but strategically important kingdom on the north east borders of British India which also bordered on to Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The author recounts his campaign by the use of his contemporary reports and dispatches. He conducted this jungle campaign brilliantly, and despite being almost bloodless, the 1861 expedition into Sikhim has much to teach modern readers on the conduct of operations in jungle covered mountain regions. Colonel Gawler served on the South African Frontier (Kafir)Wars and was an expert in fighting in the jungle and bush. His modifications to British infantry tactics and equipment in Sikhim makes fascinating reading. New maps and biographical details of the key figures have been added to this edition as well as details of the units involved. An introduction by Shaun Corkerry, a member of the Victorian Military Society, discusses the conduct of the campaign and subsequent wars in Sikhim and Tibet.  210x295mm xii + 81 pages, 3 maps, index.
ISBN 978-0-85420-345-1 Hardback Edition £25.99
ISBN 978-0-85420-350-5 Softback Edition £15.99


Volume 1: An Historical Overview This volume sets the Princely States into the overall context of the British Indian Empire, listing those States which participated in the Schemes, as well as reference to the British raised contingents and subsidiary forces. The introduction of the IST Scheme and it’s later replacement, the ISF Scheme is detailed and the states and units involved in them are listed as are Indian army units raised from within the states in time of war. The basis of the Battle Honours awarded to state units are explained, as are the honours and rewards made to soldiers of the states. 210x295mm iv + 141 pages, 36 ills, map.
ISBN 978-0-85420-133-4 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 2: The Patiala Army 210x295mm iv + 154 pages, 2 maps.
ISBN 978-0-85420-143-3 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 3: The Gwalior Army 210x295mm iv + 179 pages, 2 maps.
ISBN 978-0-85420-158-7 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 4: Sappers and Miners [Part 1] Faridkot, Tehri-garhwal, Suket 210x295mm ii + 151 pages, maps.
ISBN 978-0-85420-011-5 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 5: Sappers and Miners [Part 2] Malerkotla, Mandi, Sirmoor 210x295mm ii + 137 pages, maps.
ISBN 978-0-85420-070-2 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 6: The Bikaner Army 210x295mm ii + 121 pages, maps, ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-221-8 Softback Edition £19.99


These reference books have taken many years of research and the cataloguing of some hundreds of Indian Army buttons worn between Pre 1861 to 1947 when the old Indian Army was split between Pakistan and India. The outcome of this research is being published in a series of volumes. Each volume is divided into Serials; each Serial covering one Regiment giving details of its lineage from formation to disbandment, (or to 1947). In addition it contains details of the Regimental Battle Honours, colour of uniform lace and finally descriptions of the buttons with the period they were worn; most of the buttons are illustrated. The buttons described cover the period from pre Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the granting of Independence. Early Infantry buttons of the pre Mutiny era were mainly numbered buttons, very similar to those used by French Infantry Regiments. Over the years the buttons developed incorporating battle honours, emblems and other designs; some of them being works of art. It is hoped these reference books will go some way to help clarify the minefield of Indian Army Buttons, a mission that has never been attempted before, and will result in an increasing interest in Indian Army militaria.

Volume 1 Cavalry  210x295mm vi + 108 Pages, 144 ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-094-8 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 2 Bengal Army Infantry  210x295mm vi + 172 pages, 430 ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-164-8 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 3 Punjab Frontier Force Madras Army Infantry, Hyderabad Infantry  210x295mm vi + 123 pages, 308 ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-156-3 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 4 Bombay Army Infantry, Gurkha Infantry 210x295mm vi + 106 pages, 188 ills ISBN 978-0-85420-166-2 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 5 Arms and Services 210x295mm vi + 45 pages, 93 ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-176-1 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 6 Comprehensive Index covering Sections 1-5, Summary of Battle Honours awarded to each Regiment, and summaries of the post 1922 Amalgamations. 210x295mm vi + 121 pages.
ISBN 978-0-85420-186-0 Softback Edition £19.99

Volume 7 Additions, Amendments, Alterations, Corrections, Post 1914 Battle Honours 210x295mm ii + 216 pages, 610 ills.
ISBN 978-0-85420-196-9 Softback Edition £19.99

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Indian Military History Books