This is a remarkably detailed history of the Royal Engineers in India beginning with the first British Enginers at the time of the establishment of the East India Company. Since the Engineers were present at all the wars involving East India Company soldiers and later the Indian Army, this is, in fact, a history of that Army over nearly 300 years to 1932. What makes the book so unique is that it is concerned solely with India & expeditions launched from there. There are accounts of the Mysore, Maratha, Nepalese, Burma, Afghan & Sikh Wars. The Indian Mutiny is covered in great detail – companies of the Bengal Sapper and Miners were among the mutineers. We read of siege warfare in practice – breaching batteries, tunnelling, mining, blowing obstacles & paving the way for infantry assault. There are also accounts of more peaceful activities such as the construction of roads, forts but by and large, it was a life of active service. Reorganizations of the Indian Army, the creation of the Bengal, Bombay & Madras Sappers & Miners (a gradual evolution from the original pioneer companies) are fully covered. In the Great War we follow the Sappers to the Western Front, to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine, Persia and East Africa. This is a fine book, a worthy tribute to the British Officers of the RE who served with the Indian Army Sappers & Miners and to their men. There is a very good index.
MILITARY ENGINEER IN INDIA.
A fine and detailed history of the nuts and bolts of Britain’s Indian army – the Engineers- for 300 years to 1932. Although civil construction is duly detailed, this is mainly a record of military skill in war – particularly the Indian Mutiny.