- AUTHOR: Kaushik Roy
- PB ISBN: 978-93-89755-74-9
- Year : 2020
- Extent : 208
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India’s Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil focuses on the decisive battles that have shaped the course of Indian history. Taking into account recent research, especially in the field of technology, military theory and demography, this book is an attempt to analyse the twelve great battles that have had a crucial impact on the fate of the subcontinent. Moving freely across time and space, and focusing on cross-continental analysis to bring out the uniqueness of the big battles fought in India as well as their commonality, each chapter dwells on the nature of the weapons used, type of leadership displayed, and the experience of the soldiers in each battle. The period between 1750 and 1850witnessed the origin of modern warfare, with the twin element of infantry and artillery. Till 1947, armies not only consumed the largest chunk of the government’s revenue, they were also the biggest employers.
An attempt has also been made in this book to construct counterfactual scenarios for most of the battles to show how often luck and chance decide the course of history. Parallel imageries are constructed on ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. However, they also offer a check to determinism in history. Despite the focus of the structuralists on long term factors and their caricature of chance as ‘Cleopatra’s nose’, a crucial factor in war remains the role of the unforeseen.
Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Chair Professor in the Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India and Global Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. He has been attached with PRIO in different capacities for about a decade. Previously, he has taught at Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan, West Bengal, and at Presidency College, Kolkata. Roy specializes on the Eurasian military history. He has worked extensively on both conventional and unconventional wars of pre-modern, early modern and present eras. Some of his recent publications are Military Transition in Early Modern Asia, 1400-1750: Cavalry, Guns, Government and Ships (2015); Frontiers, Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies in South Asia, 1829-2014 (2015); India and World War II: War, Armed Forces and Society 1939-1945 (2016); Sepoys Against the Rising Sun: The Indian Army in the Far East and South-East Asia, 1941-1945 (2016); Military Manpower, Armies and Warfare in South Asia (2016); Battle for Malaya: The Indian Army in Defeat, 1941-1942 (2019); Indian Army and the First World War, 1914-1918 (2019). He has also published articles in various peer reviewed journals like Journal of Global History, Journal of Military Ethics, Journal of Military History, War in History, First World War Studies, Modern Asian Studies, Economic and Political Weekly, Studies in History, and Indian Economic and Social History Review. Roy is also one of the editors of the two series titled ‘War and Society in South Asia’ and ‘Wars and Battles of the World’ respectively.