The article by Fawaz presents a historical overview of is the role of Indian troops in the outcomes of the British Empire during World War I. The author claims that it is essential to remember and commemorate Indian soldiers who participated in the Great War because their contribution is has been dramatically underestimated and historically under-addressed. As Famaz states, India provided one-tenth of manpower to the British Empire in 1914 and the later years of the war. The Indian army throughout the war is estimated at 1.27 million soldiers, approximately 60,000 of whom died in the battles. However, despite such a dramatic number, the contribution of India is not properly addressed in history and is mostly unknown to anyone outside the UK or India.
In addition to the number of soldiers from India who constituted the British army, the particularities and cultural features of the people helped the British to win the battles in the Middle East. Indeed, since most Indian soldiers were Muslims like the soldiers in the Ottoman Empire, they were capable of conducting well-developed and reasonable battling tactics based on cultural, ethnic, and religious similarities. Although the Ottomans tried to speculate on the spiritual and ethnic similarities and disintegrate the Indians from the British army, Indian soldiers’ ability to separate politics from religion allowed them to accomplish their mission.
The Indianization of the British army, in combination with Egyptian troops, allowed the British to win battles in the Middle East and especially in Mesopotamia, where the fight over oil installations occurred. Due to Indian soldiers’ loyalty and great number, the battle was won rapidly. However, this seemingly swift success was achieved by the sacrifice of the Indian manpower. Therefore, Indian soldiers’ participation in the Great War is of critical historical importance.