The reorganisation of the Indian armies, 1858-1879.
The Indian mutiny revealed the vulnerability of that military
organisation upon which British rule ultimately depended. With
its suppression, the re-organisation of the Indian armies became
urgent. The policy decisions taken and implemented during
the following two decades (1858-1879) laid the foundations of
military policy for the remainder of British rule.
The thesis, which concentrates upon policy formation
between 1858 and 1879, opens with a brief account of the growth
of the pre-mutiny Indian armies and traces the emergence of the
organisational defects that exposed so clearly by the mut1ny.
The first chapter considers the problem posed by the
legacy of the Company's European army, and analyses the
reasons for the amalgamation of that army with the Line army.
Attention is devoted to the "White Mutiny", which changed the
terms of the ,problem drastically.
The second chapter turns to the command of the
native regiments. The old "regular" regiments, depleted by
the mutiny and revealed as expensive and inefficient, were,
after some controversy, reorganised to provide tor a less rigid
system of officering.
The third chapter studies the formation and development
of the Staff Corps, a specially selected body of European
officers for both military and non-military duties. This was
necessary because the abolition of the "local" army deprived
the government of the only source of officers for native regiments
and for staff appointments.
The fourth chapter deals with the grievances of the
"local" officers which arose out of the amalgamation and the
formation of the Staff Corps. The measures eventually
adopted to redress the grievances changed the character of
the Corps significantly.
The final chapter pursues the problem of devising
safe native regiments, which was solved by carefully controlling
the racial, religious, and regional composition of regiments.
The study concludes with an evaluation of the
success of the re-organisation.