Culture and Combat in the Colonies: The Indian Army in the Second World War

TitleCulture and Combat in the Colonies: The Indian Army in the Second World War
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBarkawi, Tarak
JournalJournal of Contemporary History
Volume41
Issue2
Start Page325
Pagination325-355
Date Published04/2006
Abstract

This article critiques the Eurocentric character of debates over combat motivation and battlefield conduct. It compares two approaches to these topics, the societal and the organizational, with the experience of the Indian army and other British imperial forces in the second world war. Different ways of thinking about nationalism, culture and military service are assessed against the distinctive character of colonial forces. Rather than seeing culture as derived only from ethnic heritage, as in the societal approach, the article develops a cultural analysis of the regular military institution and the ways in which it transforms people from diverse backgrounds into soldiers. This argument attends both to what soldiers share and to hybrid fusions of local and military culture.

URLhttp://jch.sagepub.com/content/41/2/325.short
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