Sikh Soldier - Battle Honours
By Narindar Singh Dhesi
Published by the Naval and Military Press in 2010, this is a first edition book. It is a new softcover book in excellent condition. Size: 9 " x 6". 192 pages.
|This book, written by Narindar Singh Dhesi, documents the complete collection of the Regimental Battle Honours won by the Sikh soldiers whilst serving in the British Indian Army and later the Indian Army after India's independence. The book records all the Battle Honours, won by the Sikh soldier, including those that have been declared repugnant to the modern Indian sentiment - primarily earned during the British Colonial period. Through these listings, Narindar Singh Dhesi pays tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of the Sikh soldiers. He has meticulously researched his material and there is not a similar book in this genre available that provides as much detail and information. It is an important and vital addition to the collections of avid aficionados of Sikh martial history.
The book begins with a short introduction explaining the tradition of Battle Honours and goes on to explain the origins of the Nishan Sahib, the holy flag of the Sikh faith and the Khanda, which is the symbol shown on all Sikh flags. Next Narindar writes the Antecedents giving the background of the Sikh homeland - the Punjab - and its native people. He next explains the transformation of the Sikh people into a fierce military brotherhood whose distinguishing feature was their tradition of reckless valour. They came to believe in the triumph of the cause as an article of faith and asked for no nobler end than a death on the battlefield. The following chapters detail the rise and fall of the Sikh Kingdom and Sikh soldier fighting under the British colours. Subsequent chapters the Sikh Soldier in the Far East; The Free Indian Legion, Sikh Princely State Forces; Sikh Soldier in Africa; Artillery; Indian Navy and the Sikhs in the Air. The last one hundred or so pages are devoted to the Chronology of Sikh Battle Honours, giving detailed descriptions of the Anglo - Sikh wars. These are followed by Regimental Battle Honours earned during the First and Second World Wars as part of the British India Army and those earned in the defence of their homeland since 1947, plus descriptions of each battle. In the final two pages Narindar Singh Dhesi writes about the Indo - Pakistan conflicts of "Siachen Conflict" of 1984 and the Kargil War in 1999.
Reviewed by Mr Graham Watkins