Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Greetings Card - CBI Theater WWII

First of all Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the new year to all of my readers and their families. Today's post will be very short one as there is nothing much to talk about on the item except for the fact that it is an interesting one and rarely seen on internet.

It is Christmas Greeting card issued by CBI (China-Burma-India) theater for allied soldiers (Since it is CBI thus it has to be issued by US forces in India).

Year of issue is unknown. The card shows expression of words "Everything is O.K." in Hindi, Burmese and Chinese. It depicts landmark monuments such as Taj Mahal (India), Pagoda (Burma) and entrance of some palace/forbidden city (China).

The inside of card has a greeting printed with native people of CBI theater. It also has "FREE" printed on card indicating this must be free of post just like British Military Air Letter Cards (BMALC) or Airgraphs/V-Mails.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mengani (Mengni) State Cash Coupon - WW2 India

Today's post is on another princely state cash coupon issued during WWII. Mengani (Mengni) was an estate or taluk, formerly part of Western India States (Western Kathiawar) Agency which later merged in Saurashtra and now part of modern state of Gujarat in India.

I tried digging on it but couldn't make out how many gun salutation state was granted or when did it accede to India . There is very less information available on this princely state forget about trying to find out state's contribution on WWI and WWII.

Above one is the only cash coupon issued by Mengni State/Taluk with denomination of 1 paisa. It has been recorded as number 24.1 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. It carries a rectangular floral block pattern around a cow in center. This was issued in blue color.

It has text printed in Gujarati and English both. It states "Mengni Taluk Revenue Stamp" in Gujarati while "Mengni Taluka" in English.

Mengni state printed some revenue stamp of same design on wove paper with size of 43x28 mm between 1930-40. It is said that Mengni state printed same pattern on white cardboard (Cash Coupon) in 1942 to use during a coin shortage period (WWII).

Some princely states were permitted by British Government to issue card coupons; they would appropriately be considered as coins or paper money. But it is doubtful if very small state like Mengni would have been permitted to issue the one Paisa revenue stamps on thick card, which apart from their revenue use could also circulate within the small state as coins thus serving dual purpose.

Nevertheless, the dual purpose of these cards has been noticed in the illustration of the document with these stamps tied to the document with thick thread and and stamped " CANCELLED" by a rubber stamp. Besides, some people have seen bundles of well used cards neatly and meticulously tied into lots of 16, and these lots into groups of 4 to make a rupee's worth. (Note that 1 paisa was 1/64 rupee.) It is said that these cards were circulated as coins in the area of Mengni state from about 1942 until 1947.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

To Indian Soldiers - IIL War Propaganda Leaflet Against British Forces (WW2)

Every time I have confusion what to post, I pick a WW2 propaganda leaflet now that I have 100+ of them :-) In continuation to my IIL (Indian Independence League) war propaganda leaflet posts, I am sharing another such item. Before we walk through them, let me give some more information on these as I promised in my last IIL/INA post.

After formation of INA, Mohan Singh personally chose volunteers for his propaganda unit for their first assignment. He lectured them on the ideology of independence, infiltrating behind enemy lines and bringing men out of the British Army. The men wore regular uniforms and carried F Kikan passes and "F" insignia to get through Japanese lines. INA and IIL teams went back and forth through enemy fire, bringing in Indians, returning again to the front for more. It was an effective shuttle operation.

With a hand-printing press and Hindi and Urdu movable type, Mohan Singh and Pritam Singh worked day and night printing the first propaganda leaflets. They were distributed over the Slim battle-line by the 3rd Airborne Division, whose commander was a former teacher of Fujiwara in the General Staff College.

As fighting spread through Malaya and the Slim battle-line fell under Japanese assault, increasing numbers of Indians were brought into Ipoh by the propaganda teams. The propaganda was so effective that during the move to Kualalumpur, Indian officers and men holding white flags and propaganda handbills joined the growing procession to Kualalumpur on foot and in trucks, mingling with the pursuing Japanes troops. More than 1000 Indian men/soldiers of British Army surrendered to Japanese Army. This encouraged Mohan Singh to start propaganda broadcast from Saigon and Penang radio....

Shown above is one such War Propaganda Leaflet dropped by IIL/F-Kikan over British Forces somewhere in Eastern Asia. Exact location where and date when this was dropped is unknown. The propaganda urges Indian soldiers part of British Army to kill their British officers and change side. It is printed in English only and uncoded. The text reads:


All Indians in our Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere are now combined and marching for India's freedom. Inspite of British oppression, the independence movement is progressing in all parts of India. They are fighting for the establishment of India for Indians. Now you are at the point of choosing slavery or freedom for India.

Don't be a tool in the hand of the English. Kill English officers and come to our side. We heartily welcome you as a comrade of Asia.

The leaflets also clearly shows influence of Japanese F-Kikan. Notice the words used in leaflet such as Japanese concept of "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere" and term "Comrade of Asia" which were frequently used for IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) who were projected as liberator of Asia.

Hope you would have enjoyed! I will post more leaflet in coming days. Probably, I will try to post them in chronological order depicting INA/IIL exploitation and advancement through war history even though none of them carries date but I will try to present them to the best of my knowledge based on text present in them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bharatpur State Gazette on withdrawl of National War Front restrictions - WW2

Today's item is an important Bharatpur State Gazette issued on 15th May 1945. The gazette carries a message from Maharaja of Bharatpur, Sawai Brijendra Singh on lifting of restrictions imposed as part of National War Front when the war started. Since, the victory is in sight and war is coming to an end, the restrictions are being lifted.

The Gazette was posted hence carries a seal of 19th May 1945. The message is written in English.

Orders, Circulars, Notifications etc.

As else-where in India, the National War Front was established in this state early in 1942. It was a time when owing to Japan's winning a series of victories almost dramatically and appearing at the eastern gates of our beloved country, nervous minds were badly affected. Foodstuffs and other civil supplies were cornered and even currency coins began to be hoarded. Under such circumstances, I and my Government considered it necessary to restore confidence by mobilising public opinion and forestalling a lowering of morale not only for the sake of Country's War efforts but also for the welfare of my people and a smooth running of their day to day life.

In a public meeting held on the 1st of May 1942, which was attended by my subjects of all caste, creeds and shades of opinion, I explained the aims and objects of the National War Front in the State, and assumed its command as its "Leader". I am glad to note that under the various committees and sectional leaders, my subjects stood to the occasion and were behind nobody in shouldering their responsibilities.

Thanks to the strategy of the Allied Nations, the situation has changed and we are no longer threatened with the dangers which once loomed over our skies. I therefore think that the need for the National War Front has passed, and therefore order that it may be discontinued forthwith. This should however in no case let us slacken our War Efforts which should be furthered with redoubled energy and zeal till final victory is gained over the enemies of liberty and civilization.

We have yet another task before us - effective solution of problems arising directly out of the War, post-war reconstruction and speedy progress of nation building activities. For this purpose my Government has decided to establish a permanent department of Publicity, which is intended to be a more efficient instrument of public information and instruction. It will be essentially mobile in a character and is designed to reach my subjects even in remotest corners of my State. Its approach to the people will be informative and factual rather than emotional or exhoratory and the Staff will be paid and work under the direct supervision and control of my Government.

I cannot close this, without an expression of my deep appreciation of the work done by all officials and non-officials in making the National War Front movement in the State a success.


Maharaja of Bharatpur.

Indian Independence Movement Fund - WW2

Today's item is an Indian Independence Movement Fund receipt issued during WWII. Before I share the item and talk about historical background, I want to present my opinion on these kinds of items available for sale.

As we all understand that over period of time, these items have become rare and definitely command a good amount of money. I have seen people selling these items (whenever they appear) on eBay and other auction sites at very high price. I understand that like Gandhi anything related to INA/IIL or Subhas Chandra Bose is now days difficult to procure and they have been becoming costly year by year. Still, I think some of the gentlemen (sellers) on eBay have become greedy. For example, I bought this item at reasonable rate and when I saw similar item for sale later on eBay, the price was at least 6 times more than what I had paid! You can imagine the difference.

I just thought I should warn fellow readers from purchasing such items on any auction site. Just think for a moment before buying whether it is worth paying or not irrespective of emotions flowing in your mind :-) This way we all can keep these items within our reach and available for trade.

Shown above is the fund receipt issued in 1944 at Taiping, Mallaya. Even though the date mentioned on receipt indicates 24-12-04, seller from whom I bought it told it is 1944. I forgot to ask him how did 04 (which I thought to be year) change to 1944 (like everyone my mind was already over powered by my emotions :D

Well, I believe the seller. There are couple of reasons behind it. I will trace them through history lesson that I am about to start so anyone not interested can stop here. I sound like a prof in college :-) In professional life also, I have to wear sometimes 3GPP hat and act like a professor in front of customers.

History (Guest) Lecture - Prof. (self crowned) Jyotirmay Bareria

It was late 1941 when Japan unfolded its strategy in Asia to counter British forces. Based on experiences in China, the Imperial Japanese Army established a semi-autonomous unit to carry out liaison duties with local independence movements in Southeast Asia and transmit intelligence gathered from these movements back to the army command. Two such units were established before the outbreak of World War II in South-East Asia: the Minami Kikan and the F Kikan. We will focus on F Kikan in this post.

The Japanese IGHQ in October set up the Fujiwara Kikan, or the F-kikan, in Bangkok, Headed by the Major Fujiwara Iwaichi, chief of intelligence of the 15th army. He was tasked with intelligence gathering and contacting the Indian independence movement, the overseas Chinese and the Malayan Sultan with the aim of encouraging friendship and cooperation with Japan. Fujiwara's staff included five commissioned officers and two Hindi-speaking interpreters. Again, we will focus of F-Kikan's achievement with Indian Independence Movement. In reality also, they were hugely successful with Indian struggle than Malayan or Indonesians.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th Dec 1941, the 15th Army was tasked with the invasion of Malaya. During Malaya campaign, Fujiwara was camping in Alor Star when he learnt that there was a body of men from the 1/14 Punjab Regiment, with their British commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzpatrick, sheltering in the jungle east of Alor Star. The British force in the northern part of the Malaya Peninsula including Captain Mohan Singh's battalion, 1/14 Punjab Regiment, was fleeing towards the south. Mohan Singh's own forces had been outgunned and destroyed by superior Japanese forces at Jitra.

After preliminary negotiations, Fujiwara went into the jungle to contact the unit, and persuaded the wounded battalion commander that it was his duty to his men to surrender. Captain Mohan Singh agreed with Fujiwara and was taken to Alor Star where he met Pritam Singh at a joint office of the F-Kikan and the Indian Independence League (IIL). Although Pritam Singh was involved to a large extent, it was Fujiwara who, with his sincerity of purpose and belief, convinced Mohan Singh to betray his oath to the Crown by uniting with the Japanese mission for the greater motive of Indian freedom.

Fujiwara accompanied Mohan Singh to the Tactical Headquarters of 25th army where they met General Yamashita. Impressed by general's sympathetic views, Mohan Singh returned to F-Kikan HQ with a set of propositions that had been drawn up by him after discussion with other Indian prisoners-of-war.

1) An Indian National Army (INA) should be formed.
2) The Indian National Army should cooperate with the already existing Indian Independence League.
3) Indian POWs should be put under Mohan Singh's command for the Indian National Army.
4) The Indian National Army should be considered by the Japanese as an allied force.

These principles were accepted, in principle, by Yamashita, and the Indian National Army was born at Taiping on 31st December 1941. Now you understand the importance of Taiping :-) To me, Taiping holds a very important place in history.

After the British surrender of Singapore in 1942, F-Kikan was dissolved, and replaced by a new liaison agency, the Iwakuro Kikan, or "I-Kikan", to coordinate activities between the Indian National Army and the Japanese army.

Of course later, INA was put under supreme commander Subhas Chandra Bose. There is more history behind it. I will shed more light on exploits of INA under Mohan Singh and Subhas Chandra Bose in future posts (next class :-) when I share IIL/INA war propaganda leaflets.

For now, go ahead and read Wikipedia and other links to lighten yourself :D

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hyderabad War (WW2) Purposes Fund - Part II

Last weekend, I had to travel to my relatives place hence I couldn't update the blog. My aim this year is to not only to cross last year's posts but also touch at least 52 posts (1 each for 1 week in year :-) That was the goal I had in mind when I started blogging for this year. One can say it should have been easy posting at least a week but I think that's max for me :-) You can see that I have barely been able to maintain it. I am naturally excited hoping to cross the mark this year! Another successful blogging year for me.

I know you may not be interested in my personal gains :D so lets talk about something which interests you. Today's post is continuation of an old post "Hyderabad War Purposes Fund, Part-I" where I had shown 3 different war purposes fund issued by Princely State of Hyderabad during WWII. I had mentioned that Hyderabad had issued some more such stamps and I would share them in future.

Well, the reason was I didn't have that stamp in my possession that time. I was desperately looking for one of them shown at the end of this post. Even when it was offered on eBay, it was neither in good condition nor at good price. Finally, I bought it in good condition at very reasonable rate. Patience finally paid off. In fact, during that process I bought another rare War Charity stamp issued by Princely State of Hyderabad which is not mentioned anywhere. Since I am still trying to do research on it, I would keep it for future post ;-) I guess, this way I can still keep my readers interested :D So, we will cover them in Part-III of this post.

Before I share the stamp of this post, I would like to show some better images of earlier stamps. Over period of time, I happen to gather block of 4 of such labels in my collection. Shown below is first of such one Anna "Faithful Ally" Hyderabad War Purposes Fund label in green color.

Next is another variety again in block of 4 (this one seems more colorful and attractive to me):

I have yet to acquire block of 4 of third stamp of this set. Still, you can see 2 stamps set below.

And finally, the main attraction of this post is shown below. It was issued with 1/2 Anna denomination. The label shows famous tourist attraction of old Hyderabad "Charminar" and its market through one of doors leading to Charminar.

The stamp/label was issued in yellowish brown color and it has a text "Hyderabad War Relief Seal". The exact year and reason behind this issue is unknown. I am still digging on it to find out more. If any of my readers have any information to share please feel free to comment.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Outward Bound Souvenir Edition - WW2 Newspaper

As the Cyclonic Storm ‘JAL’ is weakening over Bay of Bengal, I think it is time for another voyage into history :-) Hell, no I even don't know swimming forget about sailing. The only sea where I can attempt to dive is history. So, I will post a small article today on one of the on board publication called "Outward Bound".

June 1945, a British ship sailed towards India carrying British Soldiers to carry on their duty in that vague area termed S.E.A.C (South East Asia Command). The warship was commanded by Lt. Col. G. M. Perry of Coldstream Guards. As usual, the two main things which the troops missed on board the ship were mail and news. To compensate that and keep sailors in high spirit for long voyage to India, the officers of ship made use of reverse side of Army Form N1513.C. by converting them into a wall-newspaper. The broadsheet contained all the latest news [culled from the B.B.C.'s news broadcasts], items of topical interest en route, Quizzes [with prizes] and items of general information. Based on the grand reception the newspaper received along with contribution from soldiers, it was decided to conjure a kind of newspaper out of absolutely nothing. Hence the Outward Journey, a souvenir edition was printed on board the ship.

It was 12 page special edition newspaper, published just above the water line with 3,000 copies only. The newspaper or booklet contains short stories and poems penned down by the sailors along with interesting events organized on board the ship through the eyes of sailors.

The booklet just leaves short of naming the actual ship. It gives some hint though. It mentions that the ship (named S.S. ----) was once the pride of P.&O. line. It was kind of a floating palace-like the Ritz. During the war, it was rechristened as Mistress H.M.T. (His/Her Majesty Trawler) carrying troops overseas.

I tried looking into P&O line ships but couldn't identify this one which sailed in June 1945 to India. It will be great if someone can shed some light on this beauty so I can dig more on history of this ship.

Friday, November 5, 2010

German WW2 Propaganda Leaflet against Indian Soldiers - Hoshiar!

It's celebration time :-) It's Diwali today. So, along with my best wishes here is a propaganda leaflet for my readers to celebrate with!

It's long time since I showed a German WW2 propaganda leaflet against British India. This one is not in very good condition but then you can't expect more from a leaflet. It survived all odds of war for us to enjoy and admire it now after more than 60 years itself is wonder.

Shown above is front side of German War Propaganda leaflet targeting Indian Soldiers part of British Army. It depicts a Sikh soldier listening to radio broadcast consisting of news and music/dance program. The soldier is imagining a female dancing on some music. It also has text in Urdu and English (Hindi words formed using English alphabets).

Attention! Attention!

Bhai Band is calling you!
You are listening to Radio Bhai Band.

"Bhai" in Hindi means brother in English.

If you see the reverse side then you will understand the real propaganda. The reverse has text in Hindustani (Hindi), Urdu and English (again Hindi words are formed using English alphabets).


Do you know how to listen to Indian music and dance program?

Tune in to Bhai Band Radio!

Do you want to get the true news from all over the world?

Then listen Bhai Band Radio!
When can you listen Bhai Band Radio?

Daily 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the evening on 449.1 medium wave and 28.3 or 39.6 short wave.
Who speaks on Bhai Band?

Only your fellow countrymen, Indian Brothers!

Basically, the leaflet asks soldiers to tune in to Bhai Band Radio so they can be brain washed and misled about the then situation of war in Africa, Europe and Asia where Indian soldiers were fighting against German and Japanese forces as part of allied forces.

Here I am borrowing text from Herbert Friedman's article, which states:

It is said that India’s real involvement in modern psychological warfare began when Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army waged it. The Azad Hind radio stated its regular broadcasts from January 1942, in most of the prominent Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Pashto and also English.

"Free India Radio" (Azad Hind Radio) was the main propaganda station for India set up by the exiled Subhas Chandra Bose with German assistance. Bose’s Provisional Indian Government in Berlin also had two other radio stations, namely "National Congress Radio" and "Free Moslem Radio." ("National Congress Radio," by the way, had nothing to do with the short-lived "Congress Radio," which was a clandestine station operated by Gandhi supporters on British soil). Moreover, there was an Italian-sponsored Indian station known as "Radio Himalaya," run by the exiled Indian Moslem Iqbal Shedai. In addition to these stations, there was a German station manned by Indians called "The Brothers" or "Bhai Band" (BBC Monitoring Service translation), to which the soldier in the above leaflet is shown listening.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WW2 V-Mail (India) - Thanksgiving Greetings

It's Deepawali or Diwali time in India. I was searching for some WWI or WWII item in my collection which could be related to Diwali but there was none. So, I settled down on next big holiday, of course not for India but nevertheless it is related to WWII. Yes, I am talking about Thanksgiving Day celebration.

For the US forces stationed in India, V-Mail served the same purpose as Airgraph for British forces. There are variety of V-Mails known to exist for India Command with creative illustration though Airgraph is more popularly seen. I bought this item sometime back because I had no example of V-Mail and it was related to India.

Shown below is example of V-Mail which was also photographed and sent as picture roll which got later developed and then posted.

But the surprising thing is that it was posted from New York to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania i.e. within US and still it was posted as V-Mail. Though, the posting date indicates 19 Sep, 1945 so it was posted after the war had ended. And that's the reason there is no censor marking in it. Still, I wonder why it was posted as V-Mail since it was within US. If you see the cover already mentions that usage of this for private will attract penalty of USD $300 but we still see this example! Or is it that sender address is misleading where it mentions NY?

Anyway coming down to the mischievous illustration itself, it mentions "Thanksgiving Greetings" from the India-Burma Theater. One of the character is shown wearing CBI (China-Burma-India) patch on his dress. A really funny and interesting example of V-Mail.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Field Service Postcard for Italian POW from India (WW2)

Today happens to be "Rajyotsva Day" in Karnataka i.e. State Formation Day and it is state holiday! So, I have decided to post an article making best use of holiday.

Today, I will introduce you to Prisoner of War (POW) postcards. During WWI and WWII, prisoners were allowed to send postcards to home following Geneva Convention. Depending upon the POW camps and type of prisoners, some were permitted to write a proper letter while rest were just allowed to select options printed on the postcard.

Shown below is a type of postcard where prisoner was not supposed to write anything. All it could do was select some options and put his signature at the bottom of the card.

The postcard indicates that it was printed on 13-12-1941 with quantity of 6,00,000. It is of type A.F.A-2042 (Italian) with censor marking stating "Passed".

The reverse side was printed in Italian which when translates read as (I have translated only phrases which has not been stroked through):



It is not allowed to write on this postcard other than the date and name of the person.
The person is allowed permission to delete those phrases or words that are not needed.
If you add any words then the card will be destroyed.

I am fine.

I received your letter.

I'll write you a letter at the earliest opportunity.

Date: 26-6-1942
No. 12368/26 P. of W. Camp. c/o G.P.O. Bombay

Shown above is another variety of such postcard which was used at the end of WWII. If you see the reverse side, this one allowed prisoner to write proper letter.

This is of type I.A.F.Z. - 2240. This is a letter from P.O.W. No 341344, dispatched from G.P.O. Bombay.

Madras District War Committee - War Fund Advertisement

It's going to be very short post since I have literally no information on it. I tried doing Google but no information at all.

This appears to be an advertisement cum brochure for defence exhibitions and demonstrations organized by Madras District War Committee in 1942. The brochure mentions that there were two programs planned on 27th and 29th January, 1942.

Shown above is one side of the advertisement pamphlet in English. It mentions:


The Defence Services Exhibition Train
27th January 1942 and 29th January 1942

Six Coaches containing various Exhibits and
photographs, Models of Warships and Aeroplanes,
tanks, shells, ammunition, Weapons, clothing, Wireless
sets, telephone exchanges, bombs, Battle of Keren-
4 inches Naval Gun, Fuselage of an aeroplane etc.

Time: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 4-30 6 p.m. - Open to all.
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - Ladies only.

Rate of Admission: 27th January ... 4 Annas
29th January ... 2 Annas


Demonstrations of guns in action, removal of mines
and other Military displays will be shown at the
S.I.A.A. Grounds (People's Park, Madras) on the
27th and 29th January 1942.

12 noon to 1-30 p.m. and 4-30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
CINEMA SHOW (War Films) at 6-30 p.m.

Rate of Admission: 27th January ... 4 Annas
29th January ... 2 Annas

Inauguration by SIR GEORGE BOAG, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., I.C.S.,
First Adviser to His Excellency the Governor of Madras
at 12 noon on the 27th January 1942



Secretary, Propaganda Sub-Committee.

Govt Press, Madras

Shown above is other side of brochure with same content printed in Tamil.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bundi State Cash Coupon - WW2 India

I know it's bad time for economy in most of the places. We are in recession; people are loosing jobs and life is tough! The pay check or take home is shrinking. Oops! did I say that, oh ya you are right. My salary has drastically reduced. So much that I have decided to show it to you all. Pity on me! Presenting salary of the month -- Princely State of Bundi Cash Coupon! What else you can expect after I spent all of what was supposed to be my October month salary on bunch of WWI Indian labels on eBay. Hence, this is only what I am left with :-) I realize now that we are in recession :D

Jokes apart, let's focus on today's item. I was planning to show this cash coupon for long but I had only one of *this* with me. I was looking for long time to buy another such cash coupon to make it at least pair. Hey, it is still not complete set :( There is one more cash coupon left though, I have rarely seen it on offering. So, I thought I now deserve to celebrate with this post :-)

Princely state of Bundi was formerly part of Eastern Rajputana States Agency which is now part of modern state of Rajasthan in India. It bordered on the north by the princely state of Jaipur and Tonk state; on the west by Mewar, and on the south and east by Kotah state.

The state was granted 17 gun salute. It accessed to India on 7th April 1949. Even though, I couldn't find much information on Bundi state contribution on WWI and WWII on internet but based on postal items issued by Bundi state one can easily guess that it contributed a lot to British Empire not only in WWI but also in WWII.

It is said that Bundi state issued below stamp during WWI. Pay special attention to left side one. The stamp is recorded in Stanley Gibbons catalogue.

It states: "A special printing of the (1 Anna) took place in late 1917 in connection with the "OUR DAY" Red Cross Society Fund. This had the "RAJ BUNDI" inscription in the bottom tablet with the face value below it. The top tablet carried four Devanagari characters for "OUR DAY". No evidence has been found to suggest that this 1a. stamp was used for postal purposes."

So you can see that Bundi even issued stamp for Red Cross charity during WWI. It was similar to actual postage stamp. Well, I don't have it in my collection but I would like to have it for sure. (Any readers having it spare for selling let me know please.) While searching for Bundi state, I happen to see an article in Stampboard forum. I duly acknowledge it and appreciate the member who shared this fantastic item with us. I decided to loan it here for reference.

Now moving on to their WW2 contribution, all I have is cash coupons. Shown below is two of cash coupons issued by Bundi state during WWII. All the cash coupons have same pattern where they show two cows (well, I see cow mentioned every where but I have a doubt that they are perhaps bull. We will touch that part later.) and the portrait of perhaps one of the ruler (Colonel HH Maharao Raja Shri Sir Raghubir Singh Sahib Bahadur (1889-1927) ??) in center. Wikipedia says that Raghubir Singh supported the British during the World War I (though citations are missing). Well, I think the above stamp is enough proof for that.

First one (on left) was issued with denomination of 1 anna. It has been recorded as number 8.2 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. It carries a rectangular block pattern around stamp overprinted along with "CASH COUPON BUNDI STATE" in black. This was issued in red color.

Other one (on right) was issued with denomination of 3 Pies (=1 paisa). It has been recorded as number 8.1 in Indian Paper Money Catalogue by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla. It also carries overprint but without outside border. This was issued in light blue color.

Actually, these were postage and fiscal stamps printed on pressboard but later overprinted to be used as Cash Coupons as you can see the pattern of stamps shown earlier are same as cash coupon ones. All the cash coupons carry serial number on reverse.

The catalogue mentions another cash coupon which is missing in my collection. It was issued with denomination of 4 Annas and recorded as 8.3.

It is said that Col. HH Maharao Raja Shri Bahadur Singh Bahadur (1945-77) supported the British and served in the Burma campaign where he earned the Military Cross for his gallantry before succeeding to the throne. I am sure, there will be much more than it in terms of contribution. But as usual, I have no information on Bundi's contribution on WWII front i.e. what kind of assistance it extended to British Empire during those days. Thus, any information in this regard will be highly appreciated.

Before I end this post, lets revisit that cow part. Shown below is Coats of Arms of Princely state of Bundi.

It is said that Bundi’s coat of arms was a shield depicting Garuda, the mount of Vishnu, flanked by winged griffins. The shield was flanked by *bulls* representing dharma or righteousness; it was crowned by a warrior emerging from flames, signifying the creation-legend of the ruling Chauhan clan, which was supposedly created from fire.

Now, see all the stamps once again and solve the puzzle yourself while I help myself with Sudoku!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Indian Information - WW2 Stories from North Africa

Today, I am going to share some of the stories of WW2 from Indian Information magazine. If you remember, I had introduced most of you to Indian Information in my old post.

The publication was fortnightly issued by J. Natarajan, Principal Information Officer, Government of India. It was printed in India by Madan Gopal Mitter at Lal Chand & Sons, 76, Lower Circular Road, Calcutta. The same publication was reprinted with color cover and distributed by British Information Services, Washington, D.C. (USA) to save shipping space and cost.

Today's stories come from Vol. 11, No. 103, October 15, 1942 edition; front cover is shown below:

This edition is full of war news/stories/account and interesting cartoons. It shows a snapshot from a movie of that time "Defenders of India" where Indian Soldiers are shown manning lorries in western desert in Africa.

This is followed by actual account of how Indian soldiers are playing an active role in Africa. I won't type it for you unlike earlier :-) I will let you open the image and read it on our own. It really gives nostalgic feeling while reading WW2 magazine rather than my typed letters!

This is followed by an amazing tale of courage and survival of a Gurkha Soldier who was captured and tortured by Italian/German forces in Battle of Tobruk. He escaped from captivity of enemy and walked 5 weeks to live the tale.

Hope, you will like it. I know, you will say this is another easy post for me :-) I don't have to do any research on items!

British India (Allied) WW2 Propaganda Leaflet - BNS28

Today, I am not in mood to post an item which requires some research :-) So, I have decided to settle on an easy and favorite item: WWII Propaganda Leaflets. But, to ensure that my readers were not deprived of quality of post, I decided to share an interesting pictorial propaganda leaflet.

This is another rare leaflet which was dropped by Allied forces over INA/Japanese forces targeting those Indians who had joined the Germans and Japanese as part of their fight for liberation of India.

The leaflet is coded BNS 28. Since, the code BNS is not recorded anywhere in military archives and since it was just handwritten on the leaflet it may be incorrect.

Shown above is front side of leaflet which depicts Subhas Chandra Bose handing over Mother India in chains to caricatured Japanese Soldier who has dagger with blood on it on one hand while he is eager to hold the chain of Mother India smiling mischievously. The chain is also shown in red color symbolizing blood with statement in English:


For those who are unaware, Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer and politician who was pro-Nazi and appointed Minister President after the German invasion of Norway. He ruled German-occupied Norway from February 1942 to the end of WWII. After the war, he was tried for high treason and executed by firing squad. To be called a Quisling is to be called a traitor and collaborationist.

You will make out why Bose is shown as Quisling Son of India when you see the back side of leaflet shown above. It shows a Gandhi quote:


Harijan, 21 June 1943

Basically, Allied leaflet uses Gandhi's quote which attacks Bose and calls him a “Quisling.”

This was the way war was fought over Indian Soil and all the places where Indian Soldiers were involved. Both, Allied forces and INA/Japanese machinery used Bose and Gandhi in their context to put their view. Interesting thing about this psychological warfare is INA never showed Gandhi in negative manner instead they used Gandhi to back their propaganda in same manner they used Bose! But, Allied forces didn't have that choice so they always depicted Bose as traitor.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Bikaner Rajpatra (WWII Gazette) - 27th Dec 1941

Today's post will be long one :-) It is a publication by Princely State Government of Bikaner on return of Maharajah from his tour of Middle East Asia war front during WWII. It is a state gazette also called as "The Bikaner Rajpatra" in Hindi.

Lallgarh, the 22nd December 1941.

No. 79. - The following speech delivered by His Highness the Maharajah in reply to the Address of Welcome presented by the Citizens of Bikaner on his return from the Middle East War Front is published for general information.

By Command
Prime Minister.


I thank you very sincerely for the Address of Welcome which you have presented to me on my return from the Middle East War Front and I can assure you that the sentiments of loyalty and affection which you have expressed towards me and my family have touched me deeply.

As you know I am never so happy when I am in my own State among my own people; and I need hardly say that I am very glad to be back again in your midst.

Let me take this opportunity of once again saying how greatly I was moved by the wonderful manifestation of your love and devotion both when I left for the War Front and when I returned. These spontaneous demonstrations strengthen my belief that through the blessings of Providence I am fortunate beyond measure in the loyalty and affection of my beloved people.

You have indeed appropriately alluded to the courage and martial spirit shown by my elder grandson, Prince Karni Singhji, in accompanying me on Active Service; and I share with you the pride at his having proved himself so true to the traditions of the Kshatriya race and of our State.

Since my return from the Middle East I have had more than one occasion of speaking about the War, and particularly of the great gallantry and magnificent work done by our Indian Troops. Today, however, I propose to touch upon a few other matter of importance.

I have felt all along, from the moment that the present War started in September 1939, that it was bound to develop into a Second World War. But the present conflict has already proved itself to be a far greater War than the last one, having exceeded it both in intensity and extent; and it might well be said that it now covers the entire world from one end to the other.

This war has now reached the borders of India; and I would like in the first place to impress upon you that, in spite of the initial advantages which Japan has secured through treachery and the element of surprise - though at the cost of extremely heavy casualties in killed and wounded - and although in Wars of such magnitude there must inevitably be ups and downs, there is no cause of alarm. And you, our Seths and Sahukars, as great businessmen and financiers whose level-headedness and steadiness are proverbial, can be of great service to India under the present circumstances by avoiding panic and setting your face sternly against all measures which injure the financial credit of India.

I would, therefore, ask you to be calm and unruffled and to carry on your business in spite of certain dislocation and handicaps which must be expected in such circumstances and to beware of believing false information and alarmist rumours.

As I said the other day, it is true that Germany and Italy have received for the moment a certain accession of strength by Japan's entry into the War; but it should not be lost sight of that already mighty British Empire has gained a far greater accession of strength through the entry of the United States of America - a far more powerful country with far greater resources and much larger population - as our great Ally.

Russia too is our Ally, and in spite of the initial disadvantages which she had to face, is now securing undreamt of victories over Germany, whose forces have suffered tremendous casualties and who has lost a vast amount of war equipment.

Great Britain, which was so unprepared at the start of the War as compared with the Nazi preparedness, has in the past year and a half reorganised her Army, and thanks to its added equipments of all kinds, is now in a very strong position, as is evident from the series of victories which are now being achieved in Libya.

The theory of German invincibility has thus definitely been disproved once for all.

China too, which has so heroically stood against Japan's onslaught for the past 5 years or so, is now our Ally; and some of the other European Nations conquered by the Germans earlier in the War have now raised considerable Forces and are also fighting with great tenacity on our side. As instances I need refer only to the Poles and the Free French.

And do not, above all, forget that the mighty arm and the indomitable Navy of the British Empire are ever ready to defend India.

Thus there cannot be least doubt that the British Empire and its Allies, who form the greatest combination of Nations in the world opposed to the Axis Powers, will, under God's providence, win - and win decisively - putting finally to rest the sense of fear which has for so long haunted the world.

There is happily no need for me to appeal to any section of my people to do everything in their power to support the War efforts of the Empire. For I am well aware how all classes and communities of my subjects are united with me in rendering the utmost possible service to our beloved King-Emperor and the maximum assistance within our power and resources to the Empire.

But modern warfare is essentially a questions of resources. Great Britain alone is daily spending collosal sums of money on the War, whilst the people of Great Britain and other parts of the Empire have made tremendous sacrifices and most significant contributions. The contributions of India too, in spite of certain political differences, have been remarkable; and the Viceroy's War Purpose Fund has already reached many crores. My Government has contributed, is contributing and will continue to contribute, whole-heartedly for War purposes in various ways.

I am well aware of the munificent and loyal donations that so many of you have on various occasions made for work for a beneficent character in our State which have been of great advantage to the State and its people. I have, as in the past, already gratefully acknowledged these spontaneous donations which you so generously made at the time of the Golden Jubilee of my reign. In the face, however, of precarious and adverse conditions and other factors it was my hope, subject to the materialisation of a scheme which my Government had in view, and provided that the War was not to spread, to relieve you at least on this occasion and I had further hoped that our Government and, to a certain extent, I and my family would be able to shoulder your responsibilities. But such a scheme did not materialise. Thus though for such reasons, for which you Seths and Sahukars of Bikaner were in no way responsible, we have so far postponed making a direct appeal to the richer community in Bikaner - so renowned for their wealth and generosity - to make their due contribution towards the War, I am now confident that they, too, will give a good amount of themselves and uphold the honour and pride of Bikaner as the most loyal of the loyal States of India.

I would also like to say that it is not improbable that my Government may before long decide upon certain measures purely as prudent precautions against possible air raids, particularly in the Capital. But that should not cause any alarm to the general public nor be regarded as indicating the imminence of air raids on our Towns of which we have been told there is no great likelihood.

What you have said today in your Address about the Proclamation, which I issued on the eve of my departure on Active Service, is most gratifying to me, as I am sure it is to the Maharaj Kumar. You all know that I and my family are inspired by the most earnest desire to be of service at all times to the State and to all classes and communities of our people, and the issue of the Proclamation was another measure which I am confident will prove to be immensely beneficial to the subjects of the State and tend to their still greater contentment and well-being.

Gentlemen, I once again thank you very much for your loyal Address and, as ever, I pray that God's blessings may be upon you all and upon our State.

The War may come still closer to us. Parts of India may be bombed or bombarded. But put your faith in God and the British Empire; and never fear; we shall win.

Datia State - WWII Red Cross Stamp

It's long time since I have shared some stamps so I decided to cover stamps issued by another princely state today. These are not usual war fund or war contribution stamps rather a red cross stamps!

Datia or Duttia was a princely state in formerly Central India (Bundelkhand) agency. It lay in the extreme north-west of Bundelkhand, near Gwalior, and was surrounded on all sides by other princely states of Central India, except on the east where it bordered upon the United Provinces.

It was second highest in the rank of all the Bundela states after Orchha, with a 17-gun salute, and its Maharajas bore the hereditary title of Second of the Princes of Bundelkhand.

During WWII, Datia was ruled by Hon. Lt. Col. HH Maharaja Lokendra Sir Govind Singh Ju Dev Bahadur. He was born in 1886, G.C.I.E. [cr.1932], K.C.S.I. [cr.1918] and ruled 1907-1951. The Maharaja was Vice President of the St John Ambulance Association and Patron of the Red Cross Society.

Perhaps, the closeness of Maharaja to Red Cross and St John Ambulance association suggests why Datia issued Red Cross stamps.

Shown above is what is called Type 26 of Datia stamp, listed in K&M (Koeppel - Raymond D. Manners "The Court Fee and Revenue Stamps of the Princely States of India" catalogue) as #261. The stamps were issued sometime between 1937-45. Exact date of issue is unknown.

Most of these were hand printed on wove paper. The denomination was of 1 anna with Datia State printed in oval shape and Maharaja's photo in centre. It is also known as Type 25.

The Red Cross issue was type 25 redrawn and 10-1/2 perforated. It was printed in booklets with the word "RED CROSS" added either above or below the design in serif, sans-serif, or upper and lower case letters. Broken and misaligned letters are also known to be in existence.

There are various varieties in existence:
1 anna, brown, (shades)
(a) Imperf.
(b) "RED CRCSS" error below design.
(c) "RE CROSS" error above design.
(d) brown-violet.

I have two varieties as shown above in my collection. I am naturally looking for (a), (b) and (c) to add to my collection :-) If any of my readers have such stamp in spare and willing to sell then let me know.

The Maharaja of Datia finally acceded Datia unto the dominion of India on 1st January 1950; it later merged with the union of India. Datia, together with the rest of the Bundelkhand agency, became part of the new state of Vindhya Pradesh in 1950. In 1956, Vindhya Pradesh state was merged with certain other areas to form the state of Madhya Pradesh within the Union of India.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers - WWI

Recently, I attended a numismatic exhibition in Bangalore. Though, it was coins exhibition but that didn't mean there was nothing for philatelists. Naturally, you can't expect qualitative philatelic materials in numismatic exhibition. Hence, I could hardly find something of my taste. One could still find normal materials offered by dealers but getting some items related to WWI and WWII seemed impossible for me. Still, I made couple of rounds of all the dealer booths hoping to find something :-)

Probably, I reached the venue in the wee hours of the day thus most of the dealers were still arranging their booth. There were very less visitors at that moment. So, I spent quality time admiring the exhibitions of individuals. I thought, let me allow dealers to get settled in and then I would make the round again to see if I could spot something. I really hate to return from any exhibition empty handed. There was still hope because there were so many dealers. I made another close round of booths and bingo! I found something. It didn't appear to be the WWI or WWII stuff but had some potential. It was set of postcards issued by Bhavnagar State sometime in early 1900s (may be before WWI or during WWI).

I picked up the set hoping to find something related to WWI/II or any military stuff relating to any of great wars. Well, there was indeed something waiting for me. While flipping the cards, I suddenly spotted an issue on Bhavnagar Imperial Lancers Troops. My heart started beating fast :-) I quickly took that aside hoping to find some more. There was no more cards on those topics. I then went through all the sets dealers had on Bhavnagar only to find another similar card. Naturally, I bought both of my prize :-)

The gentleman had come all the way from Bombay (now Mumbai) to attend exhibition in Bangalore. I had some chat with him trying to see if he has any more princely state items related to WWI or WWII. To my bad luck, he had none. He told there was a time when war related items used to be available in plenty but it no more shows up. Not sure if there is lack of interest in today's generation of collectors or those items are now only in collectors hand thus nothing is floating in market. I got a bit disappointed. I was not sure what else to speak or may be his comment made me speechless so I almost started towards exit of exhibition.

When I reached the lift to take me down to ground floor then suddenly it struck to my mind to check with him if he had some items in his Mumbai shop. I returned to his booth and inquired if he had such items in his Mumbai shop. I tried telling him that I did visit Mumbai now and then as part of my official meetings so I could buy it there. Perhaps feeling pity about my situation of not able to find any war related items, he gave me a lead to contact someone in Mumbai which may have some items of my interest. Well, that was another big ticket for me. This is what I was looking for. I always knew Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan are only places which now have most of such materials. They have been part of WWI and WWII history with center of lots of princely states action. Well, I hope to contact the person this week to see if I can get something.

Coming back to the post, you would have by now easily guessed the topic of the day. Yes, it is all about "Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers" and its role in WWI. Today, we will go through a bit of history lane on them while I show all my readers both the postcards I bought. I think the collection has one more such postcard issued by Bhavnagar state which was missing in the dealers set. Anyway, we will cover what all I have in today's post.

History Lane at 21.76°N 72.15°E

Shown below is map of Bhavnagar state. Bhavnagar was 13 gun salute princely state. It was first princely state to accede to Indian Union in 1948. I think I have covered a bit of Bhavnagar state history in my previous post on other set of postcards issued by Bhavnagar state thus I won't repeat them here.

Let's directly jump on Imperial Service Troops. The Imperial Service Troops scheme was created in 1888 from amongst the armies of the Independent Indian States in British India. Under the scheme troops from the participating States were trained under British supervision and were then used both on the North West Frontier of India and in places as far apart as China, during the Boxer Rebellion, and Somaliland. By the turn of the Twentieth Century the force numbered about 19,000 men.

Bhavnagar state joined the Imperial Service Troops scheme in 1891, creating Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers cavalry unit. The above postcard or card was part of 20 or so such "Bhavnagar State View Series". Front side of card shows the Imperial Service Lancers while reverse carries the state emblem.

The first Indian officers, recruited into the Indian Army under the British in 1905, came from aristocratic families. They were Zorawar Singh of Bhavnagar Princely State and from other princely states. Although enjoying internal autonomy, the princely states were not completely disconnected from the changes occurring in British India. Their military forces in particular mirrored the organization of the Indian Army.

The cavalry unit shown above, the Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers, depict the modern, lightly armed, and compact cavalry formations introduced by the East India Company (EIC). Most of the princely states could not afford to maintain such cavalry units, and fewer still had artillery units, but all of them had some form of infantry.

The card I have is black and white one where there is nothing on back side of it. I learnt later that there was a colored version of same, released as part of "Bhavnagar State View Series" shown below:

Well, it is now on my want list :-)

Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers participated in WWI where they were stationed in Suez Canal, Sinai, Palestine and Syria. Bhavnagar Lancers were posted under Mysore Lancers in Suez Canal and hence they were mostly recognised as Mysore Lancers Troops during WWI. Nevertheless, this policy was not totally successful as rulers were not always happy to see their troops under the control of another ruler. At a more complex level the definition of “composite” would encompass higher-level formations and several brigades were raised from IST; an example was the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade. I am not sure what was the extent of contribution Bhavnagar Lancers had in it since most of the historical data mentions Mysore Lancers.

The Brigade was raised in mid-October 1914 at Deolali, India, as the Imperial Service(IS) Cavalry Brigade, preparatory to embarkation for service overseas. It moved to Egypt in November 1914 as an independent brigade, the principal units being 1st Hyderabad IS Lancers, Mysore IS Lancers and the Patiala IS Lancers. The Bikaner IS Camel Corps was already in the country and was attached to the Brigade for administrative purposes. Redesignated as 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade on 22 July 1918, the Brigade formed part of 2nd Mounted Division when that Division was formed on 24 April 1918 (it was re-numbered as 5th Cavalry Division on 22 July 1918).

On arrival in Egypt, the Brigade was engaged in defending the Suez Canal against Turkish raids and carried out reconnaissance duties. This work continued until early 1916 when it was given the responsibility for railway and the Sweet Water canal protection duties. In May 1916, the Patiala IS Lancers were transferred to the Mesopotamian front and the Brigade then operated as a two regiment formation until the Jodhpur IS Lancers joined in the Spring of 1918. In February of that year, the Brigade began to move into the Palestine area of operations and was engaged in the fighting there. It was involved with the capture of Haifa on 23 September 1918 when the Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers attacked the town and captured it in the face of strong opposition. On 26 October 1918, the Mysore Lancers and two squadrons of the Jodhpur Lancers charged the enemy at Aleppo, assisting in the capture of it. The regiments of the Brigade were involved in a number of such mounted charges during the campaign.

The War saw the Indian Army enter into a period of massive expansion, both to plug the gaps arising from catastrophic British Army losses in France, and to fulfill its roles in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Palestine and later Salonica.

Thanks to Col. M. S. Jodha for sharing link of Haifa Hero Historic Memorial Ceremony. One can read more on the ceremony organised on the 92nd anniversary of great day here:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Indian Military Air Letter Card (MALC) - WWII

Today's post is another example of Indian Military Air Letter Cards. This particular example is labeled as ICG (Christmas Greetings Issues) 45, Sub-type 4. This was issued by India Command.

Shown above is front side of what is called ICG 45, Sub-Type 4. Coded G.P.C.-3289/2/A/G947_7-7-45 - 3,50,000 as per catalogue "Indian Military Air Letter Cards 1942-47" by late O.R.J. Lee. The one I have is used sample.

This one was printed by "Government Printer Calcutta" or G.P.C with order number 3289/2/A/G947. The order date was 7-7-1945 and 3,50,000 number of forms were ordered.

The front shows an elephant with a howdah and mahout, passing a temple. At the top is Greetings from India. The form number is I.A.F.F 1083 and on the back has the usual THIS LETTER etc. The bracket on the back is thinner than in the M.I.P. items. The frame is larger at 109-1/2 x 83-3/4 mm. This Xmas form also has only one sealing flap.

The interior has a multi-coloured design with a white space at the bottom right for a written message. At the left is a soldier in jungle uniform with an outstretched left arm, under which can be seen the Taj Mahal (in brown and white).

At the top 'Christmas and New Year Greetings' is shown in big font and at the right, an English winter scene (rather blurred) is depicted having a lantern underneath.

This letter was sent by Sergeant Redmond from India to Great Britain from GROUP TWO PRISONER OF WAR CAMP - 9 m/c. BAIGARH/BHOPAL on 29th November, 1945 as per the postmark on it.

Needless to say, I love ICG designs :-) This makes collecting colorful, creative and more interesting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Warning And An Advice - WW2 Propaganda Leaflet (IIL)

It is a leaflet time once again :-) Today's post in another Indian Independence League propaganda leaflet dropped in India warning different section of society who were assisting Britain in ruling India during WW2.

The leaflet was printed in English and Hindi both. The leaflet is numbered 5509. The text in English reads:



TO THE PRINCES: You are Indians. You are betraying your motherland by siding with Britain. This is a fight to the finish. If you stand with Britain, you will be treated as enemies and you cannot expect mercy. If you side with India, you will be treated as Indians, and will be able to retain your position.

TO TITLED MEN: You are selling your country to win Britain's favour. But remember Britain cannot save you now. You will go the way of all traitors, if you do not mend your ways at once.

TO COMMUNALISTS: There is no room for narrow sectarian faction fight. There is only one fight in India - that is against Britain for India's freedom. Britain is the real enemy. Remember Britain is the wirepuller behind communal strife. Fight Britain - stop fighting between yourselves. Posterity will curse you as the men who failed Mother India in her hour of peril.

TO ANGLO-INDIANS: Remember you are Indians. The British will soon leave you in the lurch. You cannot now fight India and then ask for mercy. Follow the example of your brethren in Malaya and Burma.



Shown above is same text written in Hindi on other side of leaflet. Though, the English side doesn't mention who issued it but the Hindi side mention it - Indian Independence League, East Asia.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

WW2 Junagadh State and Dindigul War Raffle

It's long time since I shared some War Fund coupons/raffles. Today, I am showing two of such varieties which I was planning to share for long time.

Shown above is a War Fund related lottery ticket issued by Junagadh state. It is printed in Gujarati whose English translation is:

"The ticket should be held by the person who bought it"
Junagadh State Lucky Bag
War Fund 1940

Aalijaah Daulatmadaar (Richest) Nek(Kind) Naamdaar(Famous) [all of them are salutations] Saheb Bahadur(the king) Manjur Karel(has approved)

Price: 1 Rupee

It then mentions first name and surname of person to whom the ticket was issued. At the right hand corner, it carries printed signature of "Sardar Muhammad Khan", Chief Dewan (kind of Chief Minister of state) of Junagadh state.

This is another of war fund raffle ticket. This is a bit rare as I haven't seen this ticket appearing in any of auctions yet. For example, you can easily find Junagadh one being offered at eBay from time to time.

Anyway, this one is in English and Tamil both so you can make out that it was issued by one of town of Madras Presidency or modern state of Tamilnadu. As the ticket states, it was issued by Dindigul Taluk (District) Ladies Auxiliary War Committee in the aid of the amenities for troops fund.

It was a raffle ticket of 8 Annas for a fancy sale organised for war fund. It mentions in Tamil that the draw date was Sept 1943 and 30 prizes worth 300 rupees could be won. Prizes included Zari/Karachi Sarees and other items.

The ticket was issued to Subramanian Chetty at Manapparai (a place near to Dindigul).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Jungle Book - Military Training Pamphlet No. 9 (India)

Today's post is an interesting one. It is all about a Military Training Pamphlet issued during WW2 in India to assist commanders in preparing their units for Jungle Battle in East Asia and Asia Pacific region particularly in North East India, Burma, Malaya, Indo-China, Andaman-Nicobar Islands, Papua New Guinea etc. There is an interesting story behind these pamphlets.

Prior to World War II, experience in fighting in the jungle was lacking in both the British and Indian armies as a whole. The knowledge that did exist was largely limited to those officers who has been hunting, an activity often seen as one of the advantages of service in the Indian Army. This did not, however, amount to a viable doctrine. The British Army did not really come into contact with jungle conditions, and within the Indian Army only a few officers encountered the jungle through imperial policing in areas such as jungles of Burma.

A range of books were published at the turn of the century for soldiers fighting irregular opponents in Africa and Asia. In addition, there were the lessons learnt from the East African bush campaign during WWI, but these were not absorbed into training manuals, except for those produced for the African units of the Royal West African Frontier Force and the King's African Rifles. The only source of tactical guidance during the interwar period was the official doctrine used by all the Commonwealth Armies laid down in the 1935 edition of Field Service Regulations, which devoted 2 pages to the subject of jungle warfare, focusing on operations against 'uncivilised' opponents. Jungle warfare on the North-East Frontier of India, during the interwar period of example, only affected paramilitary forces, such as Burma Military Police and the Assam Rifles, fighting irregular opponents. Despite being led by both British and Indian Army officers, none of the tactical lessons learned were disseminated into the mainstream of the British or Indian armies.

The defence of Malaya against a possible overland invasion (a growing threat throughout the 1930s) was the first indication that specialist knowledge of living, moving and fighting in the jungle might be required by regular British and Indian army troops. This threat produced the initial training pamphlets in 1940 which focused mostly on Malaya and a bit about Jungle Warfare. There were two pamphlets produced, one of them was first edition of Military Training Pamphlet (MTP) No. 9 (India): Notes on Forest Warfare. This was not very well written and was mostly on how to tackle 'uncivilised' opponents of Jungle thus it was not widely circulated or read by officers. Over the next two years, more editions were printed and distributed, including imparting some training on Jungle Warfare but there were number of reasons (political/non-political) why there was not much importance given to it.

The real turning point, as far as improving overall standards of jungle training was concerned, was the appointment of the Infantry Committee in June 1943 on the orders of the C-in-C India after the disastrous First Arakan campaign had shown how dire the situation was. The committee studied the problem for two weeks. It blamed the defeats in Burma and Malaya on the 'milking' and expansion of the Indian Army, the failure to recognise the importance of infantry in battle, the lack of basic training and experienced leadership, the fighting on two fronts, the lack of collective training as formations, prolonged periods of contact with the enemy, the lack of trained reinforcements, the problem of malaria and the lack of resources.

The committee accepted the proposal that training divisions be set up in order to teach jungle warfare after basic training. All Indian troops and British reinforcements would now undergo two months jungle training under designated training divisions.

The campaigns in Malaya, Burma and First Arakan had shown that MTP No. 5 on Extensive Warfare and the existing training manuals for jungle warfare were an inadequate basis for infantry training, as the manuals did not fully address new tactical problems such as bunkers. It was not until after the Arakan that periodic Army in India Training Memorandum (AITMs) regularly included sections of jungle warfare and specific training for warfare in this terrain. Even though all these improved quality of training materials still it was found that most of the officers had not read the training manuals or carried out training according to their guidelines.

GHQ (General Head Quarters) India finally produced a comprehensive jungle warfare doctrine with the publication of 1,00,000 copies of the fourth edition of MTP No. 9 (India), The Jungle Book, in September 1943, The new edition doubled the circulation of the previous edition of MTP No. 9. It had a new format that according to General Auchinleck was to be different from the usual, dull training manuals and was aimed at popularising training. It included photographs and cartoons for the first time in order to make it more appealing to officers and men. Its clearly stated purpose was to help COs (Commanding Officers) train their units in the specialised fighting methods needed to beat the IJA (Imperial Japanese Army) in the Jungle, stating: 'In principle there is nothing new in jungle warfare, but the environment of the jungle is new to many of our troops. Special training is therefore necessary to accustom them to jungle conditions and to teach them jungle methods. It gave the examples of jungle craft, physical fitness, good marksmanship and decentralised control as attributes that needed addressing in jungle warfare training.'

The training manual assimilated all the lessons from the previous editions of MTP No. 9 and the AITMs, and included lessons from First Arakan and from American and Australian experiences of fighting the Japanese in the Pacific. The pamphlet was the basis of jungle fighting methods for the remainder of World War II.

The pamphlet was produced by a professional production team employed by the Directorate of Military Training in India. The pamphlet was meant to be readable and appeasing to wartime officers and men, hence it came with a cover displaying a picture of a hand emblazoned with the words 'Good Training' crushing a caricature of a Japanese soldier.

The pamphlet mentioned that it was meant for distribution to all officers and N.C.Os down to corporal of British units and all officers of Indian units. It was 62 page pamphlet not including any of the photographs or cartoons shown.

It said that this pamphlet should be read in conjunction with the pamphlet "Japanese in Battle -- Enemy Methods" and can be regarded as being Part II of that pamphlet.

I am trying to acquire that pamphlet also for my collection. Once I have that, we will cover it in future post.

Shown on right side is one of the cartoon from the pamphlet which cautions allied soldiers before making a quick decision on fate of Japanese soldier lying as dead on ground.

It also talked briefly on different terrains of fighting area. Shown below is a page on Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Here comes the best part of the manual for today's foot soldier (ordinary human like you and me). I thoroughly enjoyed reading the "Appendix G: Notes on Jungle Craft" and "Appendix H: Living on the Country". It reminded me "Man vs Wild" show on Discovery Channel. Most of the examples and illustrations given in the pamphlet under these sections are commonly seen today in practice in most of such shows.

The pamphlet is really great study material and a must of WWII collectors specially those who are interested in WWII literature. It is mostly a military training pamphlet with a bit of propaganda in it. I was looking for this pamphlet for long and am really glad to have it in my collection now.
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