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FOR ALL WITH AN INTEREST IN THE HISTORY 

OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY AND THE BRITISH RAJ

LECTURES

HOW TO BOOK

Tickets £5 per lecture

 

Tickets may be booked online by selecting ‘BOOK NOW’, by post or by bank transfer. 

If booking by post, please make your cheque payable to ‘The British in India Historical Trust’ and post it to The British in India, PO Box 148, Liphook GU30 9DE with a covering note giving your name and email address. Your ticket/s will be emailed to you. If paying by bank transfer, please email for our account details.

How to book
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TUESDAY 19 MARCH 2024 18.30-20.00 GMT (ZOOM)

Conquering the Maharajahs

Harrison Akins

 

This lecture examines the overlooked history of princely India through the tumultuous end of British Empire in South Asia and the early years of Indian and Pakistani independence. The over 560 princely states dotting India's political landscape comprised 40 per cent of its territory and contained nearly one hundred million people. Far from playing second fiddle, the princely states played an integral role in the transfer of power in 1947. Under the Raj they were politically autonomous and their rulers had to be cajoled and in some cases forced to accede to India or Pakistan. The princes’ commitment to preserving their sovereignty not only threatened the territorial integrity of both India and Pakistan but brought them to the brink of war on multiple occasions.

 

Harrison Akins is a political scientist and writer based in Washington, DC. For over a decade, he has researched, written and advised on South Asian politics, conflict, governance and development from several positions within both academia and the US government. He is the author of Conquering the Maharajahs: India’s Princely States and the End of Empire 1930-50.

This link will take you to the booking page for the last lecture, 'The 1945 Burma Campaign'. The 'both lectures' ticket is available there.

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TUESDAY 16 APRIL 2024 18.30-20.00 BST (ZOOM)

The 1945 Burma Campaign and the Transformation of the Indian Army

Raymond A. Callahan and Daniel Marston

 

In 1945, the Indian British XIV Army inflicted on the Imperial Japanese Army in Burma the worst defeat in its history. That campaign, the most brilliant and original operational manoeuvre conducted by any British general in the twentieth century, is presented in this lecture by the two foremost historians in the field. After the retreat from Burma in 1942, Lieutenant General Sir William Slim, commander of the British XIV Army, played a crucial role in the remarkable military renaissance that transformed the Indian Army. Then, with that reborn army, Slim won two defensive battles in 1944 and in the 1945 campaign shredded his Japanese opponents.

 

Behind this dramatic story was another: the war marked the effective end of the Raj. As Slim’s great victory signposted the change from the army Kipling knew, the praetorian guard of the Raj evaporated. ‘Every Indian officer worth his salt is a nationalist’, the Indian Army’s commander-in-chief Claude Auchinleck said as the XIV Army took Rangoon.

 

Raymond A. Callahan is Professor Emeritus of History, University of Delaware, and author of Triumph at Imphal-Kohima: How the Indian Army Finally Stopped the Japanese Juggernaut. 

 

Daniel Marston is Professor of the Practice and the Director of the Secretary of Defense Strategic Thinkers Program, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, and author of The Indian Army and the End of the Raj.

Professor Callahan and Professor Marston are authors of The 1945 Burma Campaign and the Transformation of the British Indian Army, winner of the Templer Medal Book Prize.

This link will take you to the booking page for the last lecture, 'The 1945 Burma Campaign'. The 'both lectures' ticket is available there.

South Asian printed cotton wall hanging (detail), thought to celebrate the capture of Pondicherry, capital of French India, in 1761. The victorious British are shown marching alongside their Indian allies. Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, CC0.

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