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India and World War IIWar, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939–45$
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Kaushik Roy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463534.001.0001

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Manpower Mobilization for the Indian Armed Forces

Manpower Mobilization for the Indian Armed Forces


(p.8) 1 Manpower Mobilization for the Indian Armed Forces
India and World War II

Kaushik Roy

Oxford University Press

In terms of size, the Indian Army was much larger than its two sister services: the Royal Indian Navy and the Royal Indian Air Force. Besides ideological (martial race theory), several non-ideological factors such as the capacity of the military organization to house, feed, clothe, train, and equip large numbers of men at a time affected the volume of recruitment. Inadequate number of viceroy’s commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers also decelerated enlistment. The absence of homogeneity in India as regards race, religion, and language militated against mixing of classes indiscriminately in the training formations. Chapter 1 shows how the Raj could construct a multi-ethnic volunteer army without resorting to conscription. The British utilized the mercenary tradition inherent in the Indian society to raise 2.5 million men in wartime. The vast demographic resources of India and relatively underdeveloped agrarian economy also aided the Raj to acquire military manpower from the so-called martial as well as non-martial races.

Keywords:   martial race theory, Raj, Royal Indian Navy, Royal Indian Air Force, RIN, RIAF, martial and non-martial races, volunteer army

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