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By T. Moreman

This finished research is the 1st scholarly account explaining how the British and Indian armies tailored to the ordinary calls for of battling an abnormal tribal opponent within the mountainous no-man's-land among India and Afghanistan. It does so by way of discussing how a tactical doctrine of frontier battling was once built and 'passed on' to succeeding generations of squaddies. As this publication conclusively demonstrates this way of colonial conflict continually exerted a robust impact at the company, gear, education and ethos of the military in India.

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Extra resources for The Army in India and the Development of Frontier Warfare, 1849–1947

Example text

Despite this concern displayed in India and England following the Umbeyla campaign, knowledse of mountain warfare bought at heavy cost by British and Indian regimenls was soon losl as they relumed 10 the mainstream of professional soldiering in India with its emphasis on insiiUction for operalions against convenlionally organised, trained and equipped European troops. The Punjab Irregular Force arul Hill Warfare 27 During the 1860s the PIF was kept on a permanent war footing and maintained a high degree of efficiency given the likelihood of further operations against the Pathan tribes.

Opposing tribesmen normally concentrated on attacking and harassing Indian columns as they marched through tribal territory. The comparative immobility of Indian columns to tribal/ashlwrl· exposed them to attack from the flank. rear and directly against the vulnerable pack transport which made ensuring allround security of special importance. The essence of the tactical problem Jay in ensuring the security of the main body of a column and protecting its long. vulnerable train of pack transport from attack from the surrounding hills.

It would also lose what limited cohesion it possessed if defeated, as its discredited leaders lost all authority and were unable to rally the tribesmen or organise further opposition. Lashkarwals would disperse to their homes carrying their dead and wounded, mourn their losses and wait while tribal jirgas deliberated the need for further action. These factors meant the strength of a lashkar therefore was liable to fluctuate wildly in accordance with its mercurial morale, the state of its provisions and the success of the fighting in progress.

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