This is an excerpt from a letter by an Indian soldier, Mohammed Agim, a subedar in the 57th Rifles, writing from the Indian General Hospital in Brighton.
Mohammed Agim writes of how formidable an enemy the Germany Army was, and how well equipped. He gives examples of the high loss of life among the Indian troops, noting that in his regiment none of the officers or ordinary soldiers (sepoys) who first arrived in France were left. He describes the slaughter as ‘like the grinding of corn in a mill’, and says it is ‘a manifestation of divine wrath’.
He speculates on the effect of Italy joining the war. Italy had entered the war on 23 May 1915 when it declared war on Austria-Hungary. Believing Italy to have an army of three million men, Mohammed Agim hoped that it would have the effect of ending the war speedily. In reality the Italian field army in June 1915 totalled less than a third of that at 900,000 men, and the war would not end for another three and a half years.
- Article by:
- Santanu Das
- Race, empire and colonial troops
Dr Santanu Das reveals the role of the Indian sepoy in World War One and explores the fragments of historical sources that shed light on the experiences of the one million Indians who served.