Saturday, 24 January 2009

The Sikh Army, 1799-1849 (Men-at-arms)

The Sikh Army 1799-1849 (Men-at-arms) (Osprey details the Sikh wars 1845-46 and 1848-49 that saw the British Army pitted against its most formidable enemy in the whole history of British India, and perhaps of the whole expansionist phase of the 19th century British Empire. The Sikh Army created by Maharaja Ranjit Singh from the 1820s was inspired by its warrior faith, but organised, drilled, uniformed, and armed in Western style. Its artillery was unrivalled in Asia, and by the 1840s the Sikhs had 50,000-70,000 regular troops and similar numbers of irregulars. Although the British were victorious, they suffered huge casualties, and the major pitched battles of the wars more closely resembled Waterloo than the actions typically fought in this theatre. It could also be argued that the Sikh's lost because of the betrayal at the hands of the Dogra brothers that negotiated with the British and other allies of the British, whom without the British would have found hard to have any gains against the Sikhs. The author Ian Heath is a highly respected author and has written a number of Osprey titles, including Men-at-Arms volumes 89: 'Byzantine Armies 886-1118', 287: 'Byzantine Armies 1118-1461' and 275: 'The Taiping Rebellion 1851-66'. He is currently working on a five-volume project covering the armies of 19th-century Asia. Ian lives and works in Cambridgeshire, UK. The book has been illustrated by Michael Perry who has worked for 22 years as a sculptor/designer at Games Workshop and 16 years for the historical figure company, Wargames Foundry, along with his twin brother Alan.

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