Saturday, December 26, 2009

British India War Propaganda Leaflet Against Japanese (Indian) Forces

Here comes another war propaganda leaflet :-) This is one of the British India propaganda leaflet targeting Indian troops which were part of Japanese army. These were codes "SH/(numerical)". It is believed that no more that 33 of the "SH" leaflets were produced.

Shown above is leaflet SH/19 targeting Indian soldiers part of Japanese Army (Indian National Army led by Subhas Chandra Bose) in Arakan region.

Arakan (now known as Rakhine state of Burma) was situated on the western coast, bordering with other Burmese states, the Bay of Bengal to the west, and the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh (formerly part of British India) to the northwest. It was one of the strategic point to enter India.

Arakan Campaign was one of the famous battle campaigns in South East Asia region though some people doubt how much it contributed to defeat of Japan overall. I feel, it was one of decisive battle which ensured British India didn't get overrun by Japanese Forces (including INA). One can read the impressive details in brief here:

Now, coming back to leaflet. The leaflet as usual is printed in Hindustani language using English alphabets.

| Indian Brothers of Arakan! |

In the beginning of this year, many Indian soldiers (following footsteps of Subhas Chandra Bose) as a part of Japanese army had come to Manipur. They were close to their fellow country-men and brothers who serve in British Indian Army in Manipur. In fact, most of those joined their brothers in British Indian Army as they saw an opportunity. They are fortunate because they are living happily and safely in their respective home/native places. Some of their other brothers could not decide in time and as a result they had to retreat towards Chindwin and Tiddim along with Japanese forces who were defeated very badly. Most of those unfortunate died because of starvation while rest are trying to hide and escape from allied bombing.

| They have lost the opportunity now it's you turn! |

Indian brothers of Arakan! You are close to our forces. Gather your strength and grab the opportunity in your hand! If you join your fellow brothers in British Indian Army then you can easily and safely return to your home/native place.

If you continued to serve for or assist Japanese forces then you would never see your home again.

Which way would you like to choose? You have to decide now! Remember, your other friends who could not take decision fast in Manipur and now at the mercy of their fate.


Of course it is sheer propaganda where on the one hand it encourages INA soldiers to surrender and switch their side while on the other hand it reminds them of cruel fate of those who didn't act on time. I guess, these leaflets would have been more effective if they would have carried some visual images like Japanese colored leaflets which depicts blood (red color) and a peaceful image of home.

Nevertheless, I think these were very effective because of difficult terrain and unhealthy weather of Burma which caused thousands of casualties on both the sides.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jodhpur Government Gazette - August 10, 1940 (War News)

This year December has been unusually hectic for me. I was thinking it to be relaxed period but surprisingly it has been more busy month than October-November. Well, don't take it as excuse for not updating the blog. I am not complaining :-) I hope I can work like this even after marriage ;-)

I am planning to go to my native place Patna after more than 3 years. There are couple of reasons for it. Of course it has been a very long time since I visited there so there are nostalgic reasons as expected. Nostalgia has different meaning for different people. Like I want to feel the chillness and cold weather of North India, indulge into the great food of winter like Sweet Carrot Halwa, Sweets made out of Til (I need to find English word for it) and Kachori/Paratha (Indian Fried Breads) made out of fresh green Gram flour. Winter is the season when one shall visit North India. It's bad weather but an unique experience!

Last but the least, I also want to go to Gangaes Ghats and roam around old and new Patna to refresh my childhood memories. This time, I also plan to carry camera to capture some moments. Even though, I have been born and brought up there still I know Patna always gives you an experience every time one visits. So let's see this time what I will have to share with my friends here when I return.

So, there will not be any more updates after this weekend until 16th Jan! I will be back in Bangalore on 10th Jan but will post 1st entry of Jan only on 16th-17th. I will try to see how much I can update this holiday weekend to compensate for December-January.

I have lots of literature items coming in next months. To start with, today's post is based on "The Jodhpur Government Gazette" dated August 10, 1940. Sometimes back, I had shared 2 pages of same Gazette. This post covers remaining 2 pages of same Gazette on War News.

The scan above shows the first page I am going to translate. The headline says "News" and it covers some statements by Allied leaders on war followed by small commentary on WWII through a character. Next page then covers weekly war news from around the world. I will skip the statements part and directly jump on commentary on war.

----------------------------Page 1-----------------------------------

The Voice of your Uncle -

Dear children, though I have grown old still I am very much familiar with places like Palestine, Egypt, France, Belgium, Holland, England etc. You would have started hearing name of these places now days very often but I have seen them in the last world war itself. I was a serving soldier that time, and even now I am mentally.

You are sons and daughters of a great country. (Here country refers to the place where the princely state of Jodhpur used to belong i.e. Marwar region.) Marwar has also been the birth place of great warriors. Our land is famous for brave Rathors. Very recently in 1897-98, our ruler Maharaja Shri Sardar Singhji had provided assistance to British Army in Frontier War. Maharaja Shri Sumer Singhji fought in France in last European war. Our army secured/won Haifa in Palestine. We captured some 700 prisoners of war and a number of machine guns. They are now decorated in Jodhpur Fort. You have seen them already, now wait for more! Our officers and soldiers were awarded total of 88 medals/citations.

We stil have our army in Risalpur. Shri Darbar Saheb is getting trained in air warfare under the command of Indian Air Force. We are natives of a brave and glorious country. I wish, I was serving in army even now.


If you read you can make out that the article tries to raise partiotism in general public. It expresses a soldier's desire to fight for his country even though he is now retired. He still wants to serve. He recites examples set by Maharaja of the state and other dignitaries. It is like modeling the young minds of kids (or in crude way brain washing them so they grow up as loyal citizens of princely state and British Empire).

-----------------------------------Page 2------------------------------------------

Weekly News:-

Around the World:-

Air raids (German) continued on England. Sometimes, even Wales got hit. There was hardly any damage to England. Though, Germany had to suffer huge loss. (Seems clear propaganda !!)

Some Incidents:-

1. Only 6 of the British airplanes were enough for 80 German airplanes. The air raid consisted of 80 German fighter planes which were chased out of Britain by 6 of Royal Air Force fighters assisted by anti-aircraft guns. Whole battle lasted only 30 minutes, where Germans lost 15 of their planes while British only one. The damage caused to Britain was 1/5 of what Germany suffered. Germany has already lost some 318 of their fighter planes trying to capture Great Britain. In fact, they have lost 244 planes beginning 10th June. As an average they are losing almost 6 fighters daily.

2. Italian air force dropped some 280 bombs on a British naval warship near Mediterranean sea but not a single bomb hit the target. Actually, because of high tides and waves, warship was almost covered causing zero visibility to enemy thus they could not target it properly. We didn't suffer any damage. In between, one of Royal air force fighter chased enemy planes out of the area.

In India:-

Preparations are on full swing. Indian air force is expanding and similarly army and naval forces are also increasing. We are manufacturing ammunition and other war equipment rapidly.

People from every caste and society are collecting funds for war assistance.

Organizations like civic guards are performing their duty impressively for the defense of the country.

In Jodhpur:-

A message to general public of Marwar by Chief Minister Saheb Shri Lt. Col. D. M. Field:

"Shri Jodhpur Darbar Saheb has offered all the state resources to His Highness the Emperor and adviced the general public of state to face the difficult situation with confidence in unity and peace.

Shri Darbar Saheb advice general public to beware of rumors, warn of those people who spread fear and panic in society by word or their deeds.

Shri Darbar Saheb has firm belief that his fellow men will go beyond their ancestors loyalty and follow him."


Monday, December 14, 2009

Special Junagadh War Number - WWII Publication

Today's post is getting published on weekdays, breaking the old tradition of posting only on weekends. Well, there are couple of reasons for that: I was bit busy in some apartment meetings/inspection work, there was some laziness on my part as usual and last but the least, I watched 3 movies over weekends :-) It was long time since I decided to watch movies.

Coming back to today's item, there is little known about it other than that the publication itself provides some very useful information on war preparations and activities in Junagadh and other princely states during WWII. Yes, today's item is about a publication called "Naresh" published by some Mr. Makhan Singh.

The gentleman used to publish this magazine which used to cover news and stories from princely states of India. The edition I have is mainly dedicated to Junagadh called "Special Junagadh War Number".

The main magazine

This edition is dated June 10, 1942 and seems published from Kot Radha Kishen, a place in (now) Pakistan near Lahore. The publication itself is of unusual size, paper greater than an A4 Legal size. It has a main magazine and a supplement magazine and couple of pictorial posters. The main magazine is of some 12 pages excluding 2 posters attached to it. There are 2 more posters which are not attached to magazine and a supplement, a rather small booklet of 10 pages (shown below).

The supplement magazine

Since the edition was concentrating on Junagadh state, it has Captain His Highness Nawab Sir Mahabathkhanji Rasulkhanji Bahadur, C.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. (Knight Commander), Nawab of Junagadh state on front cover of both main magazine and the supplement magazine.

You can find tons of article on web about Junagadh. Junagadh is mainly famous for two reasons: the history behind accession of Junagadh state to India and one of popular tourist destination (do Lions ring bell ;-)

The main magazine talks about the war efforts of Junagadh state, loyalty of its Nawab and heir apparent to throne the princes and the Diwan of state towards British Empire. I must say that the magazine is one of the best example of flattery of Nawabs. This is how people used to worship rulers of princely states those times. It used to be like a break neck competition among people to show their loyalty to rulers by showing their devotion in such form of art and win some accolades in return in any manner.

The main magazine starts with that on 1st page. Let's skip all those glorification part and concentrate on war efforts. The magazine mentions that as soon as war was declared, the Nawab made his first contribution of 2.5 Lakh Rupees, followed by donating money for 3 spitfires to be named after "Junagadh" , "Lady Linlithgow" and "Dilawar".

It also mentions that the servants of the State, in order to show their loyalty towards the Empire voluntarily came forward to contribute in one month's salary and in another month 5% of their salaries to aid the War efforts.

The state also organised a Lucky Bag Scheme twice and tickets worth thousands of rupees were sold amongst the subjects of the State exclusively. After deducting the amount of prizes, the balance was subscribed towards the War Gifts Fund.

And then it goes on elaborating how Begum Sahiba had organized Ladies meet to raise funds and the two prince son of Nawab show their keen interest in war related activities. It also praises the effort of Diwan of state for his able administration during war period.

Finally, there are other pages covering news about National War Front activities from other princely states and other general news of those times like marriage and food situation etc. Finally at the end there are 4 pages written in Urdu.

Then the supplement magazine (booklet) starts with ID greetings to Captain His Highness Nawab Sir Mahabathkhanji Rasulkhanji Bahadur, C.C.I.E., K.C.S.I. (Knight Commander), Nawab of Junagadh state as shown above.

I have uploaded the complete scans of both the magazines here for leisure reading: Special Junagadh War Number. You can read them on your own. I tried but I can't keep off my hands from the text of these booklets. Here are some more samples of flattery:

Services in the Present War

As soon as the British Power declared War against the aggressive forces of Hitlerism, His Highness at once came forward and offered his personal services, the services of his troops and the entire resources of his state to His Majesty the King Emperor. The British Government has accepted His Highness' offer most gratefully.

Not to speak of this His Highness has contributed Rs 2.5 lakhs for War purposes. It is his first installment and if the War remains in the force, His Highness will certainly grudge no sacrifice for the British Government and will help it with men, money and material as best as he can.

All the resources of help are being mustered and it is hoped that state would beat the record of that help which it rendered during the Great War of 1914-1918.

The British Government can safely feel proud on the help of such loyal and faithful friends.

The people of the state are giving encouraging response to the appeal of their master the ruler. According to their means they have begun to contribute their help to the British Government.

To be brief Junagadh is very progressive state in Western India. --- I think this might be a fact.


Read it completely and enjoy the contents. I liked the magazine in first glance itself despite its flattering articles which was obvious of those time, isn't it? The magazine is also very colorful with so many portraits. I wish I could get hold of some more editions!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mysore State War Fund Label/Stamp

Today's items is about War Fund stamps/labels issued by Mysore State during WWI. Well, the name of Mysore brings image of the Palace and Brindavan Gardens in memory. Most of the people who visits India will be familiar with Mysore. It is one of the most friendly and popular city among tourists all over the world.

In fact, because of its proximity to Bangalore, we ensure that our colleagues who visit us from our office in US and China do make a trip to Mysore and surrounding places before returning. You can say we run an "Incredible India!" campaign free of cost for the benefit of Government of India. They shall list us in their website at least as one of partners in promoting tourism :-)

Anyway, let's get back to actual item. In short, the princely state of Mysore was a 21 gun salute state and one of the largest under British India. It was founded in 1399 and finally acceded to India in 1947. You can read more about the Mysore at Wikipedia. There are tons of article available on Mysore on Internet.

Kingdom of Mysore
Princely States of India

I will concentrate more on the war efforts part of Mysore state in this post. During WWI, state of Mysore was ruled by His Highness the Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV. The Maharaja offered to His Majesty's Government the military and other resources of his state for the Imperial purposes. He offered the Imperial Services Lancers which under the command of Urs Bahadur, left Bangalore on October 13, 1914 and took part in three engagements with the enemy in the Suez Canal zone. The state contributed 1355 combatants to the Imperial Service Troops and supplied over 6500 recruits to Regular Indian Army.

The Mysore Lancers played a leading role in pursuing Turkish forces after their unsuccessful attack on the Suez Canal in February 1915. They were responsible for the defense of the breach in the British line at Gaza in September 1917. The Lancers distinguished themselves in the capture of Gaza and were acclaimed far and wide for their daring charges against the enemy across the Jordan in July 1918. In the final defeat of the Turkish army in September 1918 the Mysore Lancers were once again conspicuous notably in the capture of Haifa, Homs, Alleppo and Maritan.

After the first world war the Mysore Lancers were again recognized to form part of the Indian State Forces with which they remained till the integration of the country after Independence and the amalgamation of the State Forces with the Indian Army.

The Maharaja also supplied ambulance carts and trained horses. Besides he contributed 50 Lakhs of rupees towards the cost of the Indian Expeditionary Forces in Europe, 10 Lakhs as free gifts, 14 Lakhs to Relief Fund, 65 Lakhs to War Loans, 21 Lakhs in British and 19.5 Lakhs as Indian Treasury Bills.

Mysore was second only to Hyderabad state in terms of contribution towards War purpose accounting all sort of war relief, loan and other funds. Naturally for the Maharaja's great effort he was awarded GCSI (Knight Grand Commander) by the British Empire. The award was created in 1861 and was the senior order of chivalry associated with the Empire of India.

Shown above is a special cover issued by Bangalore G.P.O. on 15th October 2008 on the occasion of Philatelic Exhibition on Post Office in Bangalore. The special cover carries pictorial presentation of picture postcard issued by British India showing His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore riding a horse and it mentions the reason for issuing such postcard as benefit of M.I.S.L. War Fund (Mysore Imperial Services Lancers War Fund).

The special cover also carries a special postmark of "War Fund Mysore State" with Mysore Palace shown. The design of postmark was borrowed from actual War Fund stamp/label issued during WWI by Mysore State as shown below.

Well, the general people of Mysore were never behind the Maharaja. They contributed nearly 45 Lakhs of rupees to different War funds and the war loans. Some 19,000 army blankets were supplied by the state, along with the 1,50,000 feet of rose wood to the Gun carriage factory at Jabbalpore (now Jabalpur) and 30,000 teak metre gauge sleepers for railway construction in Mesopotamia. The pecuinary assistance rendered by His Highness, his state and his people amounted to over 2 Crore of rupees.

Shown above is 2 different kinds of War Fund stamps/labels issued during WWI by Mysore State. Both of stamps/labels are of denomination of 1/2 anna each but in different color carmine red and violet. The stamp/label show the Mysore Palace in centre. Well, I have no catalogue to quote here how many such varieties or different denominations exist. In fact, getting a Mysore state War Fund stamps/labels are now very very difficult.

To conclude the War saga of Mysore state, let me post some of other information I could gather from Internet after WWI ended. At the end of WWI, a peace celebration was held in the city for 4 days from December 13, 1919, on which Rs. 10,000 was spent. The programmes included feeding and distribution of clothers to the poor, religious services in all places of worship, organising Bhajans and Harikathas in select locatlities, march past by the troops, music, distribution of sweets to school children and organising of sports events for them, along with exhibitions and public meetings. Public buildings were illuminated and crackers were burst (obviously!!!).

Even though, WWI ended in 1918-19 and WWII ended in 1945-46, Mysore Palace continues to be illuminated every night. In fact, watching the Palace illuminated at night has become one of major tourist attraction of state.

And talking about bursting crackers, well Indians are never enough of it. We look for excuse to burst crackers whether it is a festival, a marriage or a cricket match!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jaora WW2 Cash Coupon - India

I happen to be slightly busy last week thus couldn't post any more updates. Even this Saturday was tight. So, lets see if I can post today and tomorrow something to make up. Today's post is about another princely state's cash coupon issued during WWII period.

Jaora was a 13 gun salute princely state in Malwa region. The state was founded by Abdul Ghafur Muhammad Khan, a Muslim of Afghan descent. He was a cavalry officer serving the Pindari leader Amir Khan. He later served the Holkar Maharaja of Indore, subduing Rajput territories in northern Malwa and annexing their lands. In return for his services, he was granted the title of Nawab in 1808. The state was confirmed by the British government in 1818 by the Treaty of Mandsaur.

The total area of the princely state, with the dependencies of Piploda and Panth-Piploda, was 1471 km² (568 square miles). Located between Ratlam and Neemuch, Jaora state was divided into four tehsils, Jaora, Barauda, Tal, and Barkhera.

Nawab Muhammad Ismail (ruled 1865-1895) was an honorary major in the British Army. During the reign of Nawab Muhammad Iftikhar Ali Khan (ruled 1895-1947) Piploda became a separate state in 1924, and Panth-Piploda became a province of British India in 1942. Nawab Muhammad Usman 'Ali Khan (ruled 1947-1948) acceded to the Government of India on June 15 1948.

Shown above are three cash coupons issued by Jaora state during WW2. The cash coupons carry the portrait of Nawab Lt. Col. Sir Muhammad Iftikhar Ali Khan. They were issued in the denomination of 1/2 anna, 1 anna and 2 annas. They have been listed in "Indian Paper Money Catalogue" by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. The cash coupons are found in 2 different sizes: one with rectagular corner and other as curve corner (as shown above).

Currently, Jaora is a city and a municipality in Ratlam district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscape offering great scenery. It is also world famous for Hussain Tekri, which attracts millions of people every year, among all religions.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

British India Propaganda Leaflet Against Japanese Forces

Before I talk about today's post, I just wanted to share the gloomy cloudy weather of Bangalore. Well, Bangalore's weather used to be always like that through out year couple of years ago. Even now, it's still great. Though, I say the cloudy weather as gloomy but the reason is darkness of clouds not otherwise. I just love rainy, cloudy and windy weather :-)

Though, most of the people will disagree with me because it forces them to stay indoor. I agree that point but at the same time I just love the mystic rainy weather. The above photograph is taken from my apartment roof top. It shows still some what green line of Bangalore :-) over shadowed by mighty clouds!

So before the clouds start raining let's begin our topic :D Today's post is about a British India (Allied Forces) propaganda leaflet used against Japanese Indian forces (read INA) during world war two (WWII). It's code named 2 M. P. S./H.3 (2nd Mobile Printing Shop written in Hindustani). This is third leaflet of this type.

As usual it is written in Urdu on one side while Hindustani (written using English alphabets) on other. The English translation is:

To the Soldiers and Officers of 1/2, 2/2 and 3/2 Infantry Regiment

All the officers and soldiers of 1/2 regiment know me very well because I was their commander until July 1944. Besides that even other compatriots of other regiments also know me because I was 2nd in command of my regiment. I know very well that most of you would like to return to India. Allow me to help you achieving that.

I also know why haven't you returned yet. There is only one reason for that, you fear Japanese officers. Why do you get scared of Japanese? When I along with four of my other officers escaped from 2 Div HQ so easily then it should be an easy job for you because you are serving in front line.

We (myself and my officers) have been treated very well here. There has not been any restriction on us or anyone guarding us. I am also aware of the fact that the same treatment is given to every Indian soldiers. Everyone here knows under which circumstances you have decided to come along with cruel and notorious Japanese. Then, why do you care or fear?

Just come our side (surrender) and you will be back to India in couple of days.

March from PoPA to Shamal and you will find our patrol there to help you out.

GIII Ind Officer 2nd Div.
Mohd. Sarwar Maj.


Basically, this leaflet is also written on the same pattern where a surrendered Indian officer from Japanese regiment is appealing his fellow countrymen of Japanese forces to cross over and join British troops.

PoPA mentioned in leaflet is famous Mount PoPA in Burma. But, I couldn't figure out this place called "Shamal". It will be great if some expert can enlighten me on that place so that I can locate the path between PoPA and Shamal on Google Earth.

Hope you would have enjoyed the leaflet amid cloudy weather of Bangalore and rainy forests of Burma :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Military Achievement in Burma - Book by SEAC

I happened to visit the Bangalore Book Fair 2009 today. I planned to go early to avoid usual weekend rush and was happy to see most of book stalls empty. That allowed me to browse through most of book stalls at leisure searching for any WWII related original books etc. Unfortunately, there were none. Most of such stalls had at the most old literary books all fictions but no reality.

Anyway, then I decided to look for my favourite Indian author R. K. Narayan's books. I could find in Blossom book stall. Blossom is one of Bangalore's famous book store known for quality books and good price. I bought complete collection of R. K. Nararyan's books. They are reasonably priced but since I bought almost 15 books of his it cost me a lot! Anyway, I have become fan of his way of writing after reading "The Sampath" and "The English Teacher". It also gives nostalgic feeling of life in 1930-50s.

I know I went off the topic but just wanted to share the Indian genius work. Now, let's concentrate on actual content of today's post. It's a 24 page book titled "BURMA - A Miracle In Military Achievement". The book was published by Frank Owen for the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia and printed by "The Statesman Press, Calcutta".

As you know that Frank Owen was editor of SEAC (South East Asia Command) newspaper which used to be published from Calcutta. Thus, the book carries SEAC name with price of 8 Annas on front page.

This book can be treated as one of the official account of Burma Campaign by allied forces as it was published by SEAC. In just 24 page, the book attempts to cover from the start of war in Burma to Wingate and Slim's offensive campaign and the gruelling gorilla warfare in misty, dense and infected rain forests of Burma on such a difficult terrain. It shows determination of allied forces and the impossible achievement in terms of building Burma road. The book also has plenty of photographs and maps which makes it an interesting read.

You can read complete book here: BURMA. I have scanned all the pages of book and uploaded them at my picasa page.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monthly Selection for November

Starting this month I decided to post pictures of items that I plan to cover following month. This will give an idea to all of my readers what's coming this month :-)

Just thought of making some changes in blog. Hope you will like it. Here is list of items which I will be covering November month hopefully. If I slip then the same item will be covered in next month.

Jaora Cash Coupon

Indian Information Publication by British Government

Hamara Hindustan Newspaper Leaflet by SEAC

Junagadh War Magazine

Japanese Propaganda Leaflet

Military Achievement in Burma - Book by SEAC

Mysore War Fund Stamps/Labels (WWI)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taj Mahal India War Fund or War Loan Label

Last week was another very hectic week on personal front. It was also a very emotional one . There were some problems in family which needed to be sorted out very delicately. Things are now getting normal as usual. It was one of very important and most learning week of my life. As they say, life is full of turns and twists. One shall observe, feel, be part of it, learn, and then move on for new things ahead.

Thus, moving on to new things :-) Today's post is about a war fund or war loan label issued during world war 2 in India. Every time I see this label in my collection I get excited because I had never seen this before earlier neither in Internet nor on any Dealer's possession. This is one of a rare label and very beautifully crafted one.

Don't go on the crude nature of printing but appreciate the way Taj Mahal has been captured on a label. Mind you that it was not a regular stamp where a state machinery would have been used to come out with proper design and printing. These were very low cost production. Still it has been very aesthetically presented in those times.

Compare it against commemorative Indian stamps issued depicting Taj Mahal shown below and you will appreciate the way this war fund label has been designed.

A 1935 Taj Mahal Stamp under British India

A 1949 Taj Mahal Stamp after Indian Independence

A 1967 Taj Mahal Stamp

A 2004
Taj Mahal Stamp

I have this particular war fund or rather war loan label on one of Maihar state revenue paper affixed shown below. This label has Taj Mahal depicted with V (Victory) sign on top of it. This was printed in denomination of 2 Annas. I couldn't read the text in Urdu written on top portion of label but as soon as I got it translated, I will add to the post.

The reason I have confusion if it is war loan than war fund label is because revenue paper mentions "War Loan" in Hindi below this label but the purpose was more or less same so it hardly matters.

This label is also not listed in first edition of "Patriotic and Propaganda of the British Commonwealth" catalogue by Clive Edwards. Perhaps, it was listed in later revisions. As there are many more such labels which are not covered by first edition of the catalogue.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Victory Amusement Park Ticket - WW2 India

Today's post will be a very short one as I failed to gather any information on it. See if any of you can come up with some information. It is about ticket issued for "Victory Amusement Park" in India after allied victory over axis powers.

I am not sure if the ticket issued was part of Victory Week celebration which happened in April 1946 in Delhi or it was for some separate event in 1945/46. I not only tried as usual searching on internet but browsing some magazines/books I have which talk about Victory week celebration in Delhi. But there was no mention of Victory Amusement Park at all.

I even don't know whether these were entry tickets or related to some performance etc. The ticket carries crown and Union Jack. It also mentions "SKILL PRICE" on it with different denomination such as 1, 2, 4, and 8 annas.

I have a set of 19 different (colorful) such tickets. I was told that this is one of biggest such set available in market. Most of the time people get couple of such tickets but not more than ten. Looking into these tickets, I wonder how many such colorful tickets would have been issued. Like I have some 12 tickets of 4 annas denomination, 5 tickets of 2 annas denomination and 1 each for 1 anna and 8 annas. At least, similar colorful shades must be available in all denomination which makes it really difficult for any collector to have a complete set.

But basically, what I am really interested is knowing history behind them. What was the purpose behind these tickets and when were they issued along with what "SKILL PRICE" means. Please share any information you have on these.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

WW2 Cash Coupon - Sayla State

The week was very hectic for me as I spent 3.5 days traveling out of 5 days - a sudden personal trip to Delhi happened. There were personal gains too out of the trip but I lost opportunity to bid on some items on eBay as well ;-) but they are materialistic loss. I can get them later anyway. Family and life always comes first. It's just that I have become too much addicted to eBay. It's time to get married :D so that I will have a better company to spend my quality time with!

I will try to refrain myself from typing "anyway" and "I think" as much as possible as I read it recently that they figure in top 10 most annoying words/sentences all over the world. Did you mean it! errr... anyway (one last time :-) !@#$%## Let's start today's topic.

Today's topic is based on cash coupons issued by Sayla state. As discussed in last post of cash coupons that there was need during WW2 for princely states of India to issue cash coupons to compensate shortage of precious metals used for coins. Just like others Sayla state also issued cash coupons.

Just to give a brief introduction about Sayla state, it was more of a Royal province, formerly in Western India States Agency (Kathiawar), which merged into Saurashtra; now in Gujarat state of Modern India.

Sayla was a 575 km² princely state ruled by the Jhala Rajputs, a clan that came to Saurashtra from Sindh and established their reign at Patdi in the 12th century. After the Islamic invasions, the Jhalas moved their capital to Halwad and made it their capital. Over the centuries, the Jhalas established Dhrangadhra near Halwad, Wankaner, Limbdi, Wadhwan, Sayla, Chuda and other princely states. Sayla accessed to India on 15th February 1948.

Show above are three known cash coupons issued by Sayla state numbered D, E and F. All three of them were of denomination of 1 Paisa. They have been mentioned in "Indian Paper Money Catalogue" by Kishore Jhunjhunwala.

These coupons are more like old railway platform tickets which Indian railway replaced by small paper tickets. The coupons give nostalgic feeling of those platform tickets which used to be made of thick cardboard paper. Even the printing of these coupons are similar to what most Indians are used to seeing it on railway platform tickets which are also part of history now!

Perhaps just like these cash coupons, those old Indian Railway Journey/Platform Tickets will also become a collectors paradise soon.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

War Advertisement India

Today's article is one of different type. It's an advertisement published during war days. This is unlike advertisements printed in newspaper or magazines but rather a pamphlet/leaflet. I love collecting such original leaflets/pamphlets. While, one can easily see and get War posters, advertisement of US, UK or other allied countries. I have found it extremely difficult to get an Indian one.

None of the websites or dealers (with whom I have interacted) claim to have one to offer. Though, I have seen war advertisements in princely states gazettes or Indian Information periodicals and they also serve as more original than private advertisements printed in private magazines. But, there is nothing comparable to original pamphlet/leaflet.

The above advertisement was printed by the Eagle Lithographing Co., Ltd, Calcutta, and published by Provincial & State Committees for War Savings. The advertisement talks about importance of savings and how can one contribute by doing so. It definitely has immediate visual impact because it shows how each saving however small it is helps India defend its people and territory in war.

The text on advertisement reads:


Here are a few war weapons - from Bullet to Battleship - with the approximate cost of each of them.

So when you have contributed Rs. 100 - possibly by buying DEFENCE SAVINGS CERTIFICATES - you have provided the cost of a Rifle, or two Pistols or a hundredth part of a Barrage Balloon.

Money for the war, whether by the purchase of DEFENCE SAVINGS CERTIFICATES or otherwise, means help to India's Fighting Troops. The money will pay for the Bullets they shoot from Pistol, Rifle and Machine Gun; or the Barrage Balloon and Anti-Aircraft Gun that may protect them. It helps to provide the Aeroplanes that Indian Pilots fly; and the Destroyers, Cruisers and Battleships that are protecting India, its Troops and its Trade.

YOU can also SERVE by SAVING.


If any of my readers have such original Indian war advertisements or posters in terms of pamphlets/leaflets and willing to sell then please contact me. I am more that willing to buy those.

WW2 Japanese Propaganda Leaflet against British India

First of all I would like to give my best wishes for Happy and Safe Deepawali to all of my readers. For those of you who don't know about it here is brief intro on it.

Diwali is a festival which is celebrated in India and Nepal. While it is particularly sacred to Hindus, practitioners of other Indian religions also celebrate Diwali, and Jainist, Hindu, and Sikh communities all over the world commemorate Diwali with smaller festivals of their own. The timing of this holiday varies, since it is based on the Hindu lunar calendar, but it is generally celebrated in the fall. Diwali festivities in India involve everyone, not just the religious faithful, and the holiday is a major event in the Indian year.

On this auspicious occasion, I decided to show Japanese world war two propaganda leaflets. I have very few of them in my collection. They are generally rare and very costly to acquire. But each of Japanese leaflets are gem on its own due to colorful delight and propaganda it offers.

Shown above is one of such propaganda leaflet. Again, I am going to take the text directly from Herbert Friedman's article (Axis Propaganda Aganist India) as he has described it very clearly.

This leaflet depicts the British piling onto the back of a truck in an attempt to escape the victorious Japanese military forces. A Japanese bomber is in the background. Some Indian colonial troops try to get into the truck along with the British, but they are kicked aside and knocked to the ground. One lies dead beneath the rear wheels. This clearly shows the regard the British have for their Indian colonial troops.

The leaflet has text in Hindi and Bengali. The translated version in English is:

The Englishmen are just not bothered about you.
You will see this scene wherever you look.

I am sure you would like the leaflet because of its message and colorful representation.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Envelopes with printed war slogans

Today's item is double bonanza :D I am showing four different envelops which not only have war related slogans printed on it but some of them also carry postmark in different shape with slogans on it.

The first envelope is shown below, posted to A.R.P. (Air Raid Protection) Controller in Bombay. The envelope was posted on 7th May 1943. It carries printed slogan of "Make India Strong - Buy Defence Saving Certificates" at bottom left corner. On right hand side top it also carries cancellation slogan in waves format "Buy Post Office Cash Certificates".

As we all know during war days British Government had number of saving schemes running to allow public to put their savings which was utilised by Govt. for war and relief funds.

Here is second such envelope with same printed slogan. Shown below is an envelope with rather crude printing but carrying the same slogan of "Make India Strong - Buy Defence Saving Certificates" in different pattern. The envelope was posted on Dec 1942. Even though it is crude printing but I hope you will like it.

The third in series carry a slightly different printed slogan but it is loosely based on similar pattern. Shown below is an envelope posted on 21st Feb 1945 from Warli, Bombay. It carries a printed slogan of "Save For Safety With ... Defence Saving Certificates". In fact this letter is VPP not an ordinary letter. Though, that doesn't matter. I like the slogan and its design. Again it is different from all of above.

Now, last one in this series is again with very crude printing. This is a telegram posted on 9th Feb 1944 from Gujarat. The cancellation is on back side of the cover. Also it appears from front that right hand side is diagonally cut which is not the case :-) The telegram is wrapped diagonally (it's strange) and intact from reverse side. Anyway, as you can see the letters are barely visible. It has a printed slogan of "Safety - Buy Defence Saving Certificates". Not sure if the slogan was printed incomplete or this was intended slogan :D This is another strange but interesting variety.

I really love to collect such envelopes which carry printed war slogans and if possible with some war slogan cancellation postmarks. I hope, there will be more varieties of such envelopes issued in India. I will be glad if someone has spare to offer.

I still have some more covers with or without printed slogans in my collection. There are some with only war slogans cancellation postmark. I will show remaining in future post to keep up excitment among my readers ;-) Hope you will continue to come to my blog.

I am not really sure if I will be updating blog coming weekend as there are some family gatherings planned at my home. I most likely be busy. But if I could get some relaxing time then you will get posts!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jodhpur Government Gazette - August 10, 1940

Last two days were very frustrating for me. My internet service provider BSNL's local exchange had some outage and all the broadband services got disrupted. October 2nd happens to be National Holiday in India commemorated as Mahatma Gandhi's birthday so they could fix the problem by later afternoon today only. You can take it as excuse for me not posting any item on blog :D I felt as if life was all of sudden dull and boring ;-) It's good to be back.

Anyway, let's focus on today's item. This is another post on Princely States Gazettes. This Gazette was issued by Jodhpur state on August 10, 1940. The unqiueness about this Gazette is that it was first edition when Jodhpur state started reporting war news to general public. Since it was slightly late attempt thus this edition carries WW2 news in brief (as summary) from the start of war until the date of publication. It's an interesting two page brief reporting on advent of war till this date.

Princely state gazettes used to be printed both in English and Hindi but the one I have in my possession is in Hindi. I treat it as an opportunity and a TOEFL test. Let's see how do I score today :D

Here is the translated text in English (this time I will try to translate it in informal manner) :

War News

Britain is fighting for the freedom and if she could not defeat Germany then we should assume that World would loose all the goodness. For years, it was being tried to resolve all the conflicting issues of each country with other but all this has gone in vain now. England started disarming herself thinking all the other nations would follow it and there would no longer be war in this world. But, Germany was in control of Hitler that time and he had other plans. He formed an unrelenting army and powerful air force. His aim was to control whole of Europe under his power and world acknowledge the power of mighty Germany.

Finally, when he attacked Poland in September, 1939 then world war two started. Since this is first edition of war news, we are providing some of main events which has happend so far.

Hitler was elected as Vice Chancellor of German Parliament called Reichtang in 1932. He crushed and as needed got murdered all of his opponents to take control of power by 1933. Then he started building a powerful army and arms/ammunitions for its need. With the help of Gestapo (German Secret Police) and his staunch supporters like Goering, Goebbles and Ribbentrop, he literally brought whole Germany under him. Now, german newspapers publish only those kind of news or articles which suits Nazi Government. Jewish people are murdered and Government seize all of their property and belongings. People have lost freedom and opportunity to express their views openly. Gestapo arrests people and confine them to jails without any proved crime or court order.

By 1938 Austria become part of Germany and just after couple of months Czechosolvakia followed suite. Czech people resisted but since France and England were not ready for war thus Mr. Chamberlain submissivley agreed on the proposal in Munich Agreement. This cleared the way for Germany to capture Czechoslovakia.

Hitler attacked Poland in 1939. Despite all the brave effort of Poles, Germany won the war using her bigger and powerful mechnaised army (which consisted of war machines and motors) which spread all over Poland like ants and captured it. After couple of months German Army entred in Denmark and then attacked Norway. Even though Hitler lost half of its naval force still he was successful in capturing strategic part of Norway. Then he attacked Holand, Belgium and France in succession.

Again, French, Dutch and Belgians fought very hard but neither they were match for German Army nor they had matching arms, ammunition, tanks or fighter planes. Besides that they were also betrayed by some of their own people in each country. In the meantime, Britain took complete control of sea and maritime boundary. It also sent some regiments to France and started air raids over Germany. Despite British help, France lost the war sometime in May/June 1940 because of lack of able military leadership. Britain managed somehow to rescue its forces and retreated. All these victories have caused Germany more than 1 million people and now it is in bad shape lacking both people to fight and arms/ammunition for it. Italy has come in favor of Germany. But it could not cause any significant damage because of British powerful navy. Thus, almost complete Europe is being terrorized by Hitler at this moment.

The countries won over by Hitler even lack basic human rights. Poles are especially ill treated under Nazi occupation. Germans are served first in all of Polish shops and restaurants. Poles are forced to clear the road for Germans. They are also obliged to do Nazi salute. If anyone is found to have any kind of relation with German women then they are doomed to death sentence. There is such a strict control of Germans on food and beverages in Holland that Dutch people are dying due to hunger. All sort of milk products such as butter, cheese and other food items are being diverted to Germany which is lacking it big time. Hitler has even given orders not to take out potatoes from field in Belgium until they are ripen completely. Those who disobey the order are given severe punishment. These are some of fruits of Nazi occupation and this is the kind of world Hitler wants to establish.

British air force is getting strong day by day. While the army which also consists of people of Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand are well equipped with arms/ammunition and at the same time British navy has complete control over sea and naval routes. Now most of the war will be fought over air and sea only. And, Britain is certainly gaining grounds on air also. Hitler wants to attack England but so far all of his efforts have gone in vain.

Britain is fully prepared to defend herself and it seems almost impossible that Germany can attack or land its army in Britain. Meanwhile, British air force is destroying German oil depots, railway tracks, canals and camps. While, Navy is preventing any ammunition or help reaching Germany by sea routes. In fact, British navy is so powerful that there is not even a single opportunity for Italy or Germany to exercise over sea routes. Even though, USA is not fighting still it is helping Britain in terms of arms and ammunition. We hope that British air force and navy will come out victorious with their bravery at the end.


Oh boy! this was such a big translation. Even though we know that allies came out victorious out of war but I am not sure if I scored well or not. Since this was my first attempt to translate it in informal way rather than just do exact word by word translation, I hope I will get at least B grade :-)

Jokes apart, the news gazette offers is mix of truth and propaganda. As you read it, you can feel it. Those who can read Hindi will be delighted to read it. The article is full of adjectives and at the same time written in colloquial way. I think the idea was to have immediate and significant impact on reader. That's why the language is so different than formal newspapers.

Though, its years since I have read proper Hindi newspapers so I could be wrong here as well. I have lost touch and the command I used to posses on Hindi being born and brought in hardcore north Indian Hindi region. Sometimes, I regret losing touch of my mother language and just limited to very few words of it as we speak now days. It is really soothing experience reading such articles. And I enjoyed it and I hope you will also like whether in Hindi or English!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Governor of Sindh's message for war fund - Pamphlet

Today's item is an interesting piece of pamphlet dropped over Karachi in end of 1944 to encourage people to contribute whole heartily to war funds. During world war II, British government came up with National Saving Certificates or Saving Bonds to encourage general public to buy it. This was a great idea to offer public to put their savings in bonds. This allowed general public to get money back after 5/10 years of span with some interest and for government to fund any spending as needed.

British government in India used to come up with such schemes time to time during war days and set target for each province/presidency for collection. This pamphlet shows the need for people of Sind or Sindh to do their part to fulfill the obligation.

The pamphlet is dated 29th December, 1944 and carries a message from then Governor of Sind "Sir Hugh Dow" with his printed signature at last page. The pamphlet is of 4 page, printed in both English and Urdu.

Here is text from Page 1:

"ALREADY one week of the National Savings Fortnight has passed to hit our target in this province we shall have to subscribe still three crores of rupees within the next seven days. This gigantic task cannot be completed without YOUR cooperation and YOUR good sense. Read the messages from His Excellency the Governor and the Honourable Premier which are printed in this pamphlet and realize why it is necessary for you to help yourself and your countrymen in this way."

NOW is the time to Save ...
Save all you can ...
Invest all you Save.

Here is the message on page 4:

Governor's CAMP,

29th December, 1944.


"This is the first day of a Savings Fortnight which is being held all over India and I welcome this opportunity to appeal to the people of Sind to surpass the target of five crores which has been set for this Province. After a somewhat slow start, Sind has taken a high places among the Provinces, and I hope that everyone will take a pride in this and in improving on it. Victory is now insight and cannot be long delayed. We can do much to speed its coming by helping in the battle against inflation and investing in Victory Bonds and National Saving Certificates. I appeal today particularly to those who can only afford to put aside a small amount each month. National Saving Certificates are designed especially for them, so that they may share in the pride of victory and in its necessary sacrifices, and that they may have some reserves with which to face the vicissitudes of the future. Britain and the United States have met much of the vast cost of this war by means of the savings of quite poor people. There are few people in Sind so poor that they could not afford to save even four annas a month. Yet that is all that is required as an average for the whole Province. Remember that every anna will help your own countrymen and your allies in the fighting line, and that with your help they will be enabled more speedily to restore peace to this tortured world."

Finally shown above is same text written in Urdu in page 2 and 3. I have to admit that the message was quite touching :D We can argue both sides of it for hours. But at first instance it is a propaganda for sure.

"Britain and the United States have met much of the vast cost of this war by means of the savings of quite poor people. There are few people in Sind so poor that they could not afford to save even four annas a month. Yet that is all that is required as an average for the whole Province."

Statements like above seems outrageous to me. While I don't deny the contribution of any country but imagine asking four annas from poor fellow who can't even save that in whole of a month (which was known fact to British Empire).

Anyway, it is a great piece of history and I hope you will enjoy reading it without getting into merit/demerits of it. Even I understand importance of this message and such contribution only helps a cause but I got carried away by that statement, you know ;-) after all I am also human.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bikaner War Fund Lottery - WWI & WWII

This weekend happens to be another long weekend in India with Monday being holiday for "Dussehra" a Hindu festival. I didn't keep my promise last weekend of writing blogs on each holiday, just published 2 posts out of 3 days. Let's see if I can manage to do this weekend. It will indeed be an achievement for me :D

Today's post is about couple of war fund or loan lottery tickets issued by the princely state of Bikaner during WWI and WWII.

Shown above is the "Bikaner War Loan Lottery" ticket. The ticket was issued by the "War Loan Commitee" of Bikaner state. Though, the lottery doesn't mention the year of publication but my guess says it belongs to WWI. The reason is I have seen another similar lottery where 1918 is printed. Moreover, WWII tickets were called war fund or war fete. With that assumption in the mind, lets continue with this lottery.

The lottery ticket was priced 1 rupee each. It mentions that the total amount of lottery is 25,000 Indian rupees on front but reverse side mentions that winning amount can be increased or decreased as needed depending upon the sale of tickets. It also mentions that the tickets will be sold until 30th of september and results will be declared in 1st week of october, exact date to be announced later. The back side of ticket has details in both English and Hindi. The above ticket is issued to someone called Daluram Sarawagi of Rajgarh which was another small princely state in India.

Here is my first ticket of WWII series. The ticket is called "Bikaner State War Fund Lottery" and carries Bikaner state's official seal on it in center. This ticket was issued sometime in 1942 by the state government; it bears the name of then revenue minister of state "Prem Singh" on it. It mentions the closing date of 23rd Feb, 1942 and drawing date of 10th March 1942. The ticket was priced 1 rupee each same as earlier one. The ticket also carries 'V' symbol. The ticket has text only in English even on back side of it. This ticket also carries name of person to whom it was issued: Bhanwari Lal Surana and his wife Santi Nath.

Last in the series is ticket shown above. The ticket is issued on the occassion of "Bikaner State II War Fete". As it mentions, the drawing date was 24th October 1942. The price of this ticket was rupees 25! That's huge money in those times.

Again, the purpose of issuing all of these was to raise fund for war contribution & relief programs. Bikaner being one of the loyal princely state to British Empire was very active in these activities (perhaps second only to Hyderabad) and helped significantly by organising these programs /activities to serve the cause.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Banganapally State - Madras War Fund Seal

It's long time since I showed some war fund stamps. Today's item is not an ordinary war fund stamp but a rare item nowadays. I have to admit the fact that I was so fascinated with this item when I saw first time on eBay for sale that I decided to buy it. And I won eventually, of course spending a huge amount.

It is one of the costliest item I have purchased ever on ebay :-) But I still think I got a good deal given rarity of this item. It is a true gem. I know how I pursued behind dealers to get even one stamp of this nature only to be asked is there really such stamp in existence? To prove all those dealers wrong, I bought a complete booklet of this stamp :D

Banganapalli or Banganapally or Banganapalle became a princely state of British India in the early 1800s. The British governor of the Madras Presidency twice took over the administration of the state for financial mismanagement, the first time from 1832 to 1848, and the second time for a few months in 1905. On the eve of bankruptcy more than 50% of the revenue was being expended for the maintenance of the Nawab and the family!

The princely state of Banganapally, 275 square miles in size, with a population of 44,631 (1941 census), the majority being Hindus was the only Muslim soverign state down south in British India, ruled by the Nawab of the Shia sect. Urdu was the court language until 1939, when it was replaced by English, Telugu being used at the village level.

In 1948, the ruler of Banganapally acceded to newly-independent India, and Banganapally was incorporated into Kurnool district of the then Madras Presidency. In 1953, the northern districts of Madras state, including Kurnool district, became the new state of Andhra Pradesh.

Shown above is front cover of complete booklet of 64 Banganapally State revenue stamps with Madras War Fund Seals. The stamps were issued between 1939 - 42, size of 27 x 33 mm with perforation of 12 on wove paper in demonitaion of 3 pies. The color of stamp is Green with Madras War Fund Seal printed in black sans-serif caps in upper half of oval portrait. As usual, the reason of issuing this stamp was to raise fund during World War II for fighting troops.

Strangely, this stamp is not listed in K&M (Koeppel - Raymond D. Manners "The Court Fee and Revenue Stamps of the Princely States of India" catalogue) though the same stamp with overprint in dark blue in rectangular box in sans-serif caps with "ONE ANNA" is listed as Type 11. That's the reason above stamp is called Type 10 by some philatelists.

It's no wonder that used example of this stamp is extremely rare given the fact that mint stamp itself is difficult to get.

Last but the least, Banganapally is famous in current southern India for its famous Mangoes named after it "Banganapally Mangoes"!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Greetings Postcard from Bombay Presidency - WWI

Coming Monday happens to be holiday here in India to be celebrated as Ramzan, an important Muslim festival. Thus, I will try to post 3 articles if possible enjoying my holidays at home.

Today's article is about British Indian Army or more popularly known as Indian Expeditionary Force's participation in World War I in Mesopotamian and Persian campaign.

The Middle Eastern theatre of World War I was the scene of action between 2 November, 1914, and 29 October, 1918. This theatre encompassed the largest territory of all the theatres of the war. There were five main campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign and the Gallipoli Campaign. Indian army participated in all of campaigns but today's focus is only two of them based on articles that I am going to produce here.

Mesopotamia Campaign

Shown below is a postcard printed and published by Times of India press, Bombay for the Women branch of the Bombay Presidency War & Relief Fund headed by Lady Willingdon. It was Xmas and New Year greetings card for troops. The postcard depicts British Indian Army soldier trying to host British Flag on left side while right side shows an ancient bridge destroyed by the Turks in Mesopotamia.

The largest Indian Army force to serve abroad was Indian Expeditionary Force D in Mesopotamia, under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir John Nixon. The first unit sent in November 1914, was the 6th (Poona) Division they were tasked with guarding British oil installations in and around Basra. Firstly under the command of Major General Barrett and then Major General Townshend, the Mesopotamian campaign after a string of early successes, was delivered a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915 due to Logistical constraints. Following this engagement, the Poona Division withdrew back to Kut, where Townshend made the decision to hold the city and the Siege of Kut began.

Between January and March 1916, both Townshend launched several attacks in an attempt to lift the siege. In sequence, the attacks took place at the Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad, the Battle of the Wadi, the Battle of Hanna, and the Battle of Dujaila Redoubt.

These series of attempts to break through the encirclement did not succeed and the cost was heavy with both sides suffering high casualties. In February food and hopes were running out for Townshend in Kut-al-Amara. Disease were spreading rapidly and could not be cured and Townshend surrendered in April 1916. In December 1916, the 3rd and 7th Divisions arrived from the Western Front.

In 1917, the British force, under Frederick Stanley Maude, which now included one cavalry and seven infantry divisions from the Indian Army, in the III Corps (India) advanced towards Bagdhad which was captured in March. The advance continued in 1918, and after the Battle of Sharqat in October the Turkish forces surrendered and the Armistice of Mudros was signed. The Mesopotamian campaign was largely an Indian Army campaign the only British formations involved were the 13th (Western) Division and British battalions assigned to Indian brigades. The casualties for the campaign were 11,012 killed, 3,985 died of wounds, 12,678 died of sickness, 13,492 missing and prisoners which includes the 9,000 prisoners from Kut and 51,836 wounded.

Persian Campaign

Shown below is another such postcard printed and published by Times of India press, Bombay for the Women branch of the Bombay Presidency War & Relief Fund headed by Lady Willingdon. It was again part of same series of Xmas and New Year greetings card for troops. The postcard depicts British Indian Army soldier trying to host British Flag on left side while right side shows troop movement on Persian frontier.

In 1914, Britain had British Indian Army units located in the southern influence zone of Persia. Indian Expeditionary Force F's 33rd Brigade participated in this Campaign. The 33rd Brigade was sent to Bushire in Persia in August 1915, and then disbanded in December 1915. The aim of brigade was to protect the Anglo–Persian oil installations in south Persia and the Persian Gulf. In 1916, the British formed the South Persian Rifles after disbanding Indian units to protect their interests in Persia.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

World War II - Pamphlets on India

Well, I learnt today couple of essential features of blogging :-) As a lazy blogger, I never checked advanced features offered by Google. I used to write my blog hard way ;) by making all changes myself as required in "Edit HTML" tab (yeah, I still have some element of programming left in me!!) I plan to explore more to make blog more user friendly and presentable slowly so you may observe some changes (including blackouts!!) over period of time.

I never asked for feedback from my readers (again because of my laziness) but I would like to know if you would like certain features to be enabled/disabled or want change in layout etc. Feel free to comment or drop me an email.

Now, lets return to original post. Today's item is about two pamphlets produced by the Directorate of Army Education, India meant for British soldiers arriving in India during war period.

The first pamphlet is on India itself titled "This India". There were some 15000 copies of this pamphlet printed in April, 1945.
The pamphlet talks about the first impression soldiers get when they land versus what they learn through movies and books. For most of them, it is disappointing end of an illusion that they had. Then in next couple of pages it goes on explaining what is India all about - starting from its thousands year old civilization (giving a short lecture on history) to its current state.

Of course the pamphlet is kind of propaganda showing East India Company and British Crown in positive manner and what all they have done for Indian subcontinent dismissing all allegations of wrong doing or not doing enough to improve the living standard of Indians despite exploiting them for hundred of years.

And the uniqueness about this pamphlet is that it is not brain cleansing program for Indians but for British soldiers so that they don't get discouraged observing current situation of India and return to England at this need of hour.

For benefit of readers, I have scanned the pamphlet completely so one can read it here on my picasa link This India. It's a small but very interesting pamphlet.

Once the pamphlets succeeds brain washing soldiers then comes the next step of introducing them to Indian soldiers. Here the second pamphlet comes into picture. This pamphlet is also produced by the Directorate of Army Education, India titled "The Indian Army". Similar copies of this pamphlet were printed in same time.
This pamphlet introduces British soldiers to Indian army and its various regiments. The pamphlet describes the valor and bravery of Indian soldiers in current and previous war. This one is rather fact than any propaganda. It encourages soldiers to get accoustomed to Indian traditions and befriend their Indian counterparts. That's the key to success in this war as both British and Indian soldiers have to fight together in all fronts.

This is another interesting read and for those of you who would like to read it completely, here's link The Indian Army.

Finally, the pamphlets shown here are reprinted version from original pamphlets but these are original reprints during war days not the usual modern reprint. It's just like the way "Indian Information" - periodical of British India goverment were reprinted in US during war timer to save the paper and transportation cost.
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