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Forum LockedIndia and WW-II

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    Posted: 02-Apr-2009 at 05:47
India and WW-II

During WW-II India was under occupation of British Imperialism. The attitude of Indians can be categorised as under:

General public:
 
Most were not knowing, nor interested in location of the theatres of war even. But Germans, and later Japanese, did enjoy the admiration and sympathy of Indians JUST because they were bashing the British. Average man was cheering the defeats of the British, but were not interested in others like France, Poland etc. Since Russia too was perceieved to be anti-British, it too drew admiration. Later, Russia drew jeers after it joined the Allies.

Political parties :
There were three political parties, Indian National Congress, Akali Dal and Muslim Leaugue. All were hostile to the british, without being supportive of Germany. They totally bycotted the war efforts, and exhorted people accordingly. In fact Congress launched Quit India Movement in 1942, and it created lots of problems for the occupiers.
 
Indian National Army
 
INA was founded in 1942 by Ras Bihari Bose in Berlin, and was able to recruit some Indian POWs. Soon the leadrship of INA passed to Dr. Subhash Chander Bose. He recruited most of the Indian POWs held by Japan. Except Indian Christians, and Britishers POWs, almost all others joined. This was considerable boost for Japanese, militarily and politically. Bose formed Azad Hind [Free India] Govt. with head quarters in Andaman and Nicobar. INA fought with Japanese and penetrated into India, and for the first time hoisted the National flag on soil liberated by force of arms.

Of course, INA collapsed with collapse of Japan. Bose vanished about 8 Aug, 1945 and was never seen again, leaving a mystery.

In late 1945 British tried to court martial some officers and soldiers of INA, on charges of waging war against the Sovereign [whose???]. Top leaders like Nehru came out in defence. There was general simmering in public in favor of national heroes. Even Gandhi threatened to appear as defence attorney. Not surprisingly, all court martials were dropped quietly.
 
Effect of INA

The effect of INA was to conclusively prove to the British that their days were numbered. They could no longer depend upon the Indian soldiery for unconditional loyality. Subsequent Naval and Air Force muties hammered it home effectively.
It was clear that Britain had to leave sooner or later. They opted for sooner rather than later.

PS: IN 1947 French held a few enclaves, Dutch one, By 1953-54 they vacated them peacefully. Portugese held on in Goa, Daman and Diu, and were unwillng even to negotiate vacation. Finally they were ejected militaraily in 1961.
 
Dr. Bose and INA are everlasting heroes of Indians. Bose is still refered to as Netaji, the Revered Leader.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2009 at 12:28
The mainstream Indian Independence Movement regarded the INA as having no real effect on Indian Independence and Nehru refused to allow INA members to rejoin the movement after the war.
 
The INA fighting against imperialism was also blatently used as cannon fodder by a far more racist empire than the British and is alleged to have been involved in a number of Japanese attrocities in occupied SE Asia, at best this so-called anti-imperialist force supported Japanese imperialism against SE Asians seeming to think them less worthy of independence, a very hypocritical position.
 
It also must be remembered a small number of British POW's join the SS rather than stay in POW camps, so a small number of Indians taking the option to get out of the attrocious conditions of Japanese Labour camps is not so outlandish, perhaps that such a tiny percentage of India POW's chose this option is the peculiar thing. The Indians that joined split into three camps, committed followers of Bose's ideology, those with no ideological committent and just saw it as an escape and those who were intimidated into joining.
 
Bose himself after the Japanese surrendered to Chinese troops allegedly died near Taiwan as he was making his way to Manchuria to join the Soviet army. Joining the Soviets is a very interesting thing to do as the Indian Communist Party regarded him a Fascist Collaberator and his personal political ideology was akin to Fascism.


Edited by Paul - 02-Apr-2009 at 12:56
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2009 at 15:37
The INA became a big issue with the INA trials in Agra, which the British Administration made a meal of. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Nehru, both Barristers (and in Jinnahs case a top barrister) were amongst the persons who defended the INA prisoners, yet both men had been against the INA.
 
2.5 million men served in the Indian Army in WWII, the largest professional force in human history. 100,000 died, 500,000 were wounded. The war was many things. Unpopular? Not.
 
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sun Tzu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2009 at 15:41
Yeah I would like to know more about India's involvement, were there any battles that they fought with distinction? All I know is that Japan was planning on invading India.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jallaludin Akbar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2009 at 22:00
There were many battles in which great Britain utilized troops from its colonies to fight. Many nations in the world contributed to the war effort. Indian troops for instance numbered 2.5 million-one of the largest volunteer forces to fight in WWII.

Certain battles in which the Indian army played a significat role include:

The Burma campaign-The Burma campaign was essential in halting all further Japanese advances into south asia. In a theatre where GB was not able to contribute or supply enough troops, the indian armed forces under britain helped stop Japan's westward advance at imphal and turn the war around in south/southeast asia.

North African Theatre-3 Indian divisions as well as priceless supplies were utilized against Rommel's Afrika corps.

Italian Campaign-After the British and Americans, Indians consisted of the third largest contributer of troops in the Invasion of Italy. 


However, it was not only India that helped  in WWII, every colony and every colonial subject played their part in achieving victory for the Allies. There are the Ethiopians that resisted Mussolini, the Filipinos that helped USA in fighting Imperial Japan, the prisoners in concentration camps that fought so hard to escape their oppressers, etc, etc. There is too much respect that they deserve which is shrugged off and ignored by many.


Edited by Jallaludin Akbar - 02-Apr-2009 at 22:04
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rcscwc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2009 at 01:52
Though Nehru was against INA and Bose personally, he did defend the Indians in court martials.
 
Effect of INA was no so much military as political. It convinced Indians that the British could be defeated. And that popular feeling was a fuel.
 
It is only due to this that court martial of INA and later naval and Air force uprisings was not pursued by the British. Those tribunals were more keen to acqyuit than convict the soldiers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2009 at 13:29
The Royal Indian Navy shouldn't be forgotten, though it was very small. It did sink a couple of submarines, one Japanese and the other a German which somehow turned up in the Indian Ocean.
 
It's worth mentioning too that Indian soldiers won a total of 31 Victoria Crosses for bravery in ww2, about one in six of the total awarded.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 03-Apr-2009 at 13:29
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2009 at 14:04
Originally posted by rcscwc

 
Effect of INA was no so much military as political. It convinced Indians that the British could be defeated. And that popular feeling was a fuel.
 
It was the Japanese taking of Singapore which did that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2009 at 20:44

Originally posted by rcscwc

  Most were not knowing, nor interested in location of the theatres of war even. But Germans, and later Japanese, did enjoy the admiration and sympathy of Indians JUST because they were bashing the British. Average man was cheering the defeats of the British,

That is an over simplification.  The mathematical numbers state otherwise. As Sparten stated 2.5 million Indians willingly served in one form or another.
 
Comapre that number to the what 20,000 Indians, may of whom were coerced (join the INA or be brutalized in a POW camp) that served in the INA under various capacities. Unlike loyal Indian troops, the combat ability of INA units was mediocre at best. Likewise, the Germans through intensive propaganda, managed to raise an Indian "legion" of at most several hundred men. The unit never saw combat.

Originally posted by Jallaludin Akbar

However, it was not only India that helped  in WWII, every colony and every colonial subject played their part in achieving victory for the Allies....
Not to mention the Divisions of Morroccans, Senegalise and Algerians who willingly fought for France, even after mainland France surrendered.  Both the British and French colonial empires produced numerous military units of surprising loyalty to their "oppressors".  
 
The German political leadership was astounded in both WWI and WII by not only the sheer number of British and French colonial units raised, but also by the very high fighting quality of the Indo-Pakistani, Morroccan and Senegalise units.   


Edited by Cryptic - 04-Apr-2009 at 16:09
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MarcoPolo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2009 at 20:36
Originally posted by rcscwc

Political parties :
There were three political parties, Indian National Congress, Akali Dal and Muslim Leaugue. All were hostile to the british, without being supportive of Germany. They totally bycotted the war efforts, and exhorted people accordingly. In fact Congress launched Quit India Movement in 1942, and it created lots of problems for the occupiers.
 
 
This is incorrect.  I dont know where you got this tid bit of information but it is not factual.   The Muslim League, which wanted the formation of a seperate country in the North West of South Asia(Pakistan) as well as the establishment of several other smaller countries/regions(Osmanistan-Hyderabad/ Bangistan-Bangladesh) and later succeeded in getting independance for Pakistan actually supported the British war effort.  M.A. Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and head of the Muslim League, actively encouraged Muslims(the bulk of whom where from the British designated ''Martial Belt'' of modern-day Pakistan, to join the ranks of the British army to fight against the Axis forces.  While the Congress and M. Gandhi did the opposite and told people to boycott the British war effort.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Zomaan Shilogh Dyak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 22:40
Did you know that the first person to be tried in teh red fort trials was not Dhillon, Sehgal or Shahnawaz, but Burhanuddin.
 
Shahzada Burhanuddin was a a son of the Mehtar of Chitral, and he defected to the INA after he was captured in Malaya.
 
This man and his brother Mata-ul-Mulk also later played a key role in the Gilgit Revolt and the capture of Skardu in 1948.
 
Burhanuddin went from being an Indian Nationalist to capturing territory for Pakistan!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rcscwc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 08:28
Originally posted by Sparten

The INA became a big issue with the INA trials in Agra, which the British Administration made a meal of. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Nehru, both Barristers (and in Jinnahs case a top barrister) were amongst the persons who defended the INA prisoners, yet both men had been against the INA.
 
Both did not approve of it, But both appeared as defence counsels. Incidentally, both were not moch of laywers. But the they HAD to. And the trials collapsed when Gandhi threatened to appear for defence.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rcscwc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Apr-2009 at 08:41
Hello cryptic
 
Not an Indian was interested in knowing about the causes of war. Nor the "laudable" objectives of allies for "defending" democracy. They knew only one thing: That India was under the jackboots of the British. Therefore British defeats were cheered. Did not matter who inflicted them.
 
Numbers do not count. Those 20,000 whom you say were coerced, they were not, fired the Indians. That matters. Military achievements of INA were not much, but political aftermath was profound.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Apr-2009 at 23:55

Rcwc,

The combat performace of Indo / Pakistani units shows that the situation was more complex than what you state. It is impossible to press gang, coerce or force men to fight as elite units.  Many of the Indo / Pakistani units serving under the British fought as elite units.

There must have been some popular support for the British Empire in India. Yes, colonialism was going to end, but had most Indians hoped for a British defeat in WWII, such a defeat could have been hastned by either open rebeliion or mutiny. Neither of these things happened and instead the sub continent supplied divisions and entire corps of motivated volunteers.   
 
At the end of the day, both the British and French empires produced divisions of soldiers with very surprising loyalty to their "oppressors".


Edited by Cryptic - 29-Apr-2009 at 23:59
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Apr-2009 at 10:59
If the British had been on the losing side, India and Pakistan would not have been independent in 1947.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MarcoPolo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2009 at 01:11
true.  Infact, Pakistan's founding father, M.A. Jinnah was assurred the establishment of a sovereign nation(Pakistan) for his and the Muslim troops support in Britains war effort.  Jinnah made many speeches where he encouraged Muslims to join the British army and fight for Britain quite in contrast to other political and religious leaders who were against the war effort. 
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