In 1895, at Chitral on the North-West Frontier of the Raj (now northern Pakistan), five hundred troops of the British Indian Army, mostly Sikhs and Kashmiris, defended a fort besieged by tribesmen in far greater numbers. The account of the siege by Sir George Robertson, a surgeon who commanded the fort and won the Victoria Cross for his gallantry, is highly readable even by present-day standards. The story brings to vivid life the region, its people, and the tribal politics that led to Ross’s disaster in the Koragh defile, the heroic defence of Reshun, Kelly’s great march, and the now nearly forgotten epic siege itself. Events like these may not be popular with those who insist on ‘decolonizing history’, but our view is that this insistence dismisses the history itself. Many of the heroes of the battle were themselves indigenous, loyal to the Empire. Besides, this book, written soon after the events, gives us deeper insight not only into the conflicts still taking place in the region, but also into the forces that drive jihad against the West. Flame Books is proud to publish this classic of military history, richly illustrated with plans, pictures and portraits. It is a facsimile, reproduced from a first edition not in the best condition. But while it contains the original formatting faults, and others unavoidable in the reproduction process, this should not deter the reader from enjoying what is, in our opinion, a remarkable and gripping story.
Length: 406 pp