BRIGHT EYES OF DANGER: An Account of the Anglo-Sikh Wars 1845-1849
Details the seven battles and one siege of Britain's two wars with the Sikhs. Includes 80 illustrations with eight pages in color and eight pages of color maps.
The first battle was brought on by the demise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the machinations of palace officials and rapacity of the Sikh Army. Despite traitors in command, the Sikhs gave the invincible British Army a run for its money. The Battle of Ferozeshah was a closer run thing than Waterloo as the British Indian Empire stood at the brink of disaster.
At the close of the first war, many expected a British annexation of the Punjab. Yet Governor-General Sir Henry Hardinge, mindful of British public opinion and deeming the Sikh real estate too large and expensive to hold, opted instead for a quasi-independent Sikh State. In deference to the parsimonious East India Company Directors in London, he charged the Sikh State war reparations, annexed the most productive province of Jullundar, and sold Kashmir to the 'biggest scoundrel in India' for 75,000 pounds.
The second war erupted with a rebellion at Multan and the British Army advanced to battle with a new Governor-General and the same Commander-in-Chief, Lord Gough, whose catalogue of tactics did not extend beyond the awesome charge of British bayonets. This was not enough at the bloody onslaught of Chillianwala, where both sides fought to a stand still. At Gujerat Lord Gough, with a greater number of guns than Wellington had at Waterloo, crushed the Sikhs into submission and the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, annexed the Punjab.
Having rocked the British Indian Empire at Ferozeshah, Ranjit Singh's soldiers helped save it during the Great Indian Mutiny, and later in both the World Wars.
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Updated as of 3/23/2023ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price