Armies of the 19th Century: Asia - CENTRAL ASIA & THE HIMALAYAN KINGDOMS
Armies of the 19th Century: Asia
CENTRAL ASIA & THE HIMALAYAN KINGDOMS
by Ian Heath
This volume is probably the very first to examine the 19th-century military history of this remote region, wedged uncomfortably and ‚Äì ultimately ‚Äì terminally between the British, Russian, and Chinese empires: Central Asia‚Äôs long-established Uzbek states of Bokhara, Kokhand, and Khiva were all destined to submit to the expanding Russian Empire in the 1870s, while the ancient kingdoms of the Himalayas would be contested between the vigorous British Empire and ailing China ‚Äì whose nominal satellites and tributary states they largely were ‚Äì before mostly ending up in British hands. The resultant unrest throughout the region led in turn to the outbreak of rebellion in Chinese Turkestan, and to the brief existence of a new kingdom, Kashgaria, whose leader Yakub Beg was courted by British and Russians alike as they tried respectively to close or open this perceived door into British India‚Äôs most exposed flank. Of the several native states in existence as the century commenced, only Tibet and Nepal would remain nominally independent as it ended, and free to fight their own wars. This book describes the arms, dress, organisation, and tactics of the armies of all the region‚Äôs native states during the 19th century, covering Baltistan, Bhutan, Bokhara, Chinese Turkestan, Kashgaria, Kashmir, Khiva, Khokand, Khotan, Kuldja, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, as well as the nomadic Kirghiz and Turcomans, and provides details of their interaction with the British, Russian, and Chinese empires. Illustrations include 133 drawings of warriors and soldiers, 41 other illustrations, and 12 maps.