Waziristan To Tibet: The Chronicles of Colonel H. R. Brander C.B., 32nd Sikh Pioneers 1882-1910., by Cyril Lucas

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Waziristan To Tibet: The Chronicles of Colonel H. R. Brander C.B., 32nd Sikh Pioneers 1882-1910., by Cyril Lucas

Waziristan To Tibet: The Chronicles of Colonel H. R. Brander C.B., 32nd Sikh Pioneers 1882-1910., by Cyril Lucas

Waziristan To Tibet: The Chronicles of Colonel H. R. Brander C.B., 32nd Sikh Pioneers 1882-1910., by Cyril Lucas

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Waziristan To Tibet: The Chronicles of Colonel H. R. Brander C.B., 32nd Sikh Pioneers 1882-1910., by Cyril Lucas

“Colonel Brander’s service in and eventual command of the 32nd Sikh Pioneers put him in personal contact with the problems of India’s frontiers a century ago and reveal how little has changed other than the scale of weaponry and cost of conflict in a savage landscape and barbarous region. America’s ten year War in Afghanistan has seemed interminable to her people. To her Taliban opponents it has been a short phase in their Holy Jihad which has continued for hundreds of years since the birth of the Wahhabi cult, and for Waziri tribesmen violence has seemed the natural state of society ever since the invasion of Alexander the Great.

“Waziristan to Tibet” tells the story of Colonel Brander’s experiences in the 32nd Sikh Pioneers, using his history of the Regiment, his personal recollections of its campaigns 1882-1910, and other contemporary sources. Its background covers the relationship of Britain and Afghanistan from a troubled beginning with accounts of the disasters and successes of the 1st and 2nd Afghan Wars, the perennial political problems along India’s’ tribal frontiers, the role of the Wahhabi sect which developed into the Taliban as it is today, the ‘Great Game’ of political strategy played out between Britain and Russia, and the British Invasion of Tibet 1903/04 which was motivated by fears of the Tsar’s conquests in central Asia and his expansionist intentions towards the jewel of the British Empire, only to be marred by political indecision and incompetent military leadership.

The feats of personal endurance demanded by service in the ‘Indian Army’ of Colonel Brander’s day may seem to surpass fiction but they are recorded by history as fact. His colorful personal story portrays vanished days of the Raj at its apogee, as well as the unchanging dynamics underlying today’s conflict in Afghanistan and the dire consequences of Tibet’s attempt to preserve its treasured mediaeval isolation in a changing world.”

  • Sales Rank: #2249267 in eBooks
  • Published on: 2012-08-06
  • Released on: 2012-08-06
  • Format: Kindle eBook

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
A treasure-house of unfamiliar and unexpected information
By RainbowWA
“Waziristan to Tibet” was my most rewarding read in a long time. Don’t be put off by the purely military title of this engaging book because it opens eyes to all sorts of ancillary interests. For example I had no idea that units of the Indian Army constructed the railway from Sibi to Quetta through perhaps the most challenging mountain terrain ever attempted, or later the Gilgit stages of the Indus Valley Highway. The railway included 158 bridges including the dizzying Chappar Rift crossing. Its scenic wonders made it a tourist attraction until sections were destroyed by Baluchistan terrorist action in 2006. All this, as Colonel Brander remarks, by Sikh volunteers whose valorous service was given with spade in one hand and rifle in the other. As to the fruitless invasion of Tibet, with its bizarre personality conflicts at every level and the amazing endurance of the troops concerned, the historic facts challenge belief. The book has enduring relevance to current problems of the region as well, including the rise of the Taliban, which will not escape the thoughtful reader. Stimulating and enjoyable. (Google ‘Chappar Rift’ for amazing pics. Colonel Brander was much too modest about the railway which was called “The Engineering Miracle of the World”.)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
A fascinating historical account of the British in India and Tibet
By RONWA
I found this book to be fascinating and very well done. Based on the journals of his grandfather, Colonel H.R. Brander, Cyril Lucas has provided a very interesting and coherent account of the world and happenings of India and Tibet during the period of the late 1880s to early 1900s. In reading the descriptions of the life and campaigns of the British and Indian armies in India, Afghanistan, and Tibet, I was impressed at how much has changed but how much is still the same in that area. For example, I read the book on a Kindle while following the routes of travel on an iPad using Google Maps. But, Afghanistan is in as much turmoil now as it was at the turn of the last century when the British and Indian governments were concerned about potential Russian influence in the region.

It helps, but you do not have to be a history buff to enjoy this book. The marches, battles, and interpersonal relationships are interesting enough to be enjoyed even if the book had been pure fiction. It just makes it more special to know that the book is based on a factual account and that the battles and marches really happened.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Fascinating and Insightful
By Helena
A friend recommended this book and I was delighted to find it lived up to his glowing review. Combining extensive contemporary research with the personal journals of his grandfather, Cyril Lucas, tells the story of Colonel H. R. Brander’s service in the 32nd Sikh Pioneers from the late 1880’s up to the British expedition to Tibet, culminating in 1904. It is a truly astounding tale of courage and fortitude, displayed by Brander and the men he commanded, who together faced danger and hardships that often defy belief. It is the personal element that makes it such a riveting read, bringing to life the culture, history and politics of India, Afghanistan and Tibet during that period. Tragically, it is all too relevant to today and it helped me understand the historical context for the continuing turmoil in this deeply troubled part of the world. Highly recommended!

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