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Osprey Men-at-Arms 324 : The North-East Frontier 1837-1901

Despite the fact that it was events on the North-West Frontier which perennially awed and captivated Victorian audiences, British India's North-East Frontier saw at least as much military activity, and possibly even more - albeit on a generally smaller scale. Yet it remains a largely forgotten theatre of colonial warfare. There were many reasons for this: the North-East Frontier was not a potential gateway by which Russia might gain access to India; it lacked a vigorous native power comparable to Afghanistan; and by Victorian standards the Pathan tribesmen of the North-West Frontier were considered a more noble foe than their head-hunting, slave-raiding counterparts in the north-east. Nor did it help that events on the North-East Frontier were less comprehensively and less accurately covered in the press: some newspapers demonstrated appalling ignorance of the region, reporting that the campaign against the Angami Nagas in 1879-80 formed part of the Second Afghan War! Even the heroic 11-day defence of the isolated outpost of Kohima against overwhelming odds - fewer than 200 British-officered troops against perhaps 6,000 Nagas - failed to capture the public imagination. Today, after the passage of another century, Britain's numerous campaigns and conquests in Assam and the surrounding hills have faded even further into the mists of obscurity. Ian Heath examines the peoples and places of the North-East Frontier accompanied by eight full page colour plates by Michael Perry.

    Contents
  • The North-East Frontier 1837-1901
  • Chronology
  • British Forces on the North-East Frontier
  • Hill-Tribes
  • Manipur
  • Warfare on the North-East Frontier
  • Further Reading
  • The Plates

 

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