Sunday 12 April 2020

The British and the Sikhs book review

A new book from Helion, in their ‘Musket to Maxim’ series. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this book, but I have to say it was an enjoyable and enlightening read. It's also very objective and non-partisan when it comes to the relationship between the Sikhs and the British which I like, especially where the author describes the myriad of treasures taken by the British after the two Anglo-Sikh Wars. No demands for the return of the artefacts, as they are safe and accessible where they are. Obviously much of the book covers the aforesaid conflicts between the British and the Sikhs, of which I know a fair bit, but these wars served as a foundation for the recruitment of Sikhs into the army of the East India Company and later of the British Indian Army where they were to serve valiantly for almost 100 years through many conflicts including the Indian Mutiny, Wars in Afghanistan and on the NW Frontier and of course the two World Wars. New to me was the description of the neglected era of rise of the Sikh confederacy, prior to Maharajah Ranjit Singh, and their conquest of the crumbling Mughal empire and capture of Delhi. The author has done a great job in whetting my appetite to learn more about the Sikh empire prior to their conquest by the British by producing a deeply researched, well written and scholarly work. Well worth it. 


  1. Happy Birthday Colin, on this cold Easter weekend. Hopefully you will have received what you asked for and will be now painting the presents furiously.Have a nice day.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes Robbie. Quite mild here in the Boro. No new little men to paint, just more from the lead mountain. All the best.

  2. I have 2 books in the queue regarding the Anglo-Sikh Wars, looks like this could complete the hat trick.