This book presents a comprehensive survey of warfare in India up to the point where the British began to dominate the sub-continent. It discusses issues such as how far was the relatively bloodless nature of pre-British Indian warfare the product of stateless Indian society? How far did technology determine the dynamics of warfare in India? Did warfare in this period have a particular Indian nature and was it ritualistic? The book considers land warfare including sieges, naval warfare, the impact of horses, elephants and gunpowder, and the differences made by the arrival of Muslim rulers and by the influx of other foreign influences and techniques. The book concludes by arguing that the presence of standing professional armies supported by centralised bureaucratic states have been underemphasised in the history of India.
Kaushik Roy is Guru Nanak Professor in the Department of History at Jadavpur University, India and Global Fellow at PRIO, Norway