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India in Axis Strategy. Germany, japan, Indian Nationalists in the Second World War.by Milan Hauner; Mary S. Rosenberg

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Pacific Affairs
January, 1983
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India in Axis Strategy. Germany, japan, Indian Nationalists in the Second World War. by
Milan Hauner; Mary S. Rosenberg
Review by: Stephen P. Cohen
Pacific Affairs, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer, 1983), pp. 350-352
Published by: Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2758681 .
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Pacfic Affairs
textto a merecommentaryon the figures.As The Censusin BritishIndia
shows, the problem remains of how best to use the data.
Of all the monumentsto the data-collectingpropensityof the Raj, the
decennial census reports were almost certainlythe most prominent,if
not the most bulky.They must also be among the most accessible; and
theyhave been extensivelypillaged by social scientistssince theybegan
to appear,just over a centuryago. TheCensusinBritishIndia is, in effect,a
"how-to-pillage"handbook. A block of three papers (byJones, Conlon,
and Oddie) discussesthe use of census data forthe studyof religion;two
(by Moore and Newell) see what the reports have to tell us about the
labour force; one (by Blair) investigatesthe lightwhich "old" censuses
can throwon contemporarypolitical behaviour; while two (by Martin
and Schwartzberg)treatthe bibliographyof the census a; nd the errorsto
whichit has been subject.
The two great themesof the collectionare the need to ask questions
which the census superintendentsnever asked (or failed to push very
far),and the need to treatthe data withconsistentscepticism,forfearof
falling into the innumerable pitfallswith which the census tables are
strewn.As Conlon puts it, "imaginationand caution must go hand in
hand." All the contributorsto the present volume respect Conlon's
axiom; and their methodologyis an impressivetributeto the greater
sophisticationwith which Indian economic and social historians approach quantitativesources generally,since Thorner's devastatingarticle on "agrarian revolution through census redefinition."The papers
bear traces of their origin (they were firstdelivered at a panel of the
AssociationforAsian Studies conferencein New York in 1977): thereis
a considerableamount of overlap among them,and none of themcould
exactlybe describedas definitive.But theyare the by-productsof several
major research projects; theyparade a whole series of hard-wonobjectlessons; and no Indian historian-especially a graduate studentfreshly
embarked on research-could fail to benefitfromreading them.


Germany,Japan, and Indian NationalGermany:
istsin the Second World War. ByMilan Hauner.Stuttgart,
Inc., New York).1981.
byMary S. Rosenberg,
750 pp. DM 230.001US$115.00.

No BRIEF REVIEW can do justice to this massive and impressive
volume,whichis undoubtedlyone of the most importantcontemporary
books yet writtenabout India. This is not a compilation, nor is it a
summary of archival material; it is a detailed, highly analytical,and
scrupulous one-man workof staggeringdimensions,and it places Milan

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Book Reviews
Hauner, now at the Universityof Wisconsin,in the forefrontof modern
South Asian historicalscholarship.My only regretregardingthis book
(whichis volume seven in a series fromthe German HistoricalInstitute
of London, although published in English by Klett-Cotta)is that few
scholarswillhave access to it,on account of itshigh price. However, it is
an essentialvolume: no studyof Indian politicsfrom 1930 to 1945, and
no studentof Westernor Axis policytowardsSouth Asia should fail to
India in AxisStrategy
is divided into four parts. Part I analyzesprewar
Japanese and German plans vis-a'-visIndia and surroundingcountries,
and the Britishand Indian responses to such plans, as theywere known.
Part II evaluates Soviet interestsin South Asia-especially Afghanistan-during the period of the Nazi-Sovietpact. These parts,and some
sectionsof part III (India between Barbarossa and Pearl Harbor) are
veryrelevantto the presentday, as theydetail the various maneuverings
that went on in Afghanistan,the one place where German, Soviet,
British,and Indian interestsmet face to face. Withwitand perception,
Hauner untangles the various schemes for an invasion of Afghanistan.
His analysis of the mixed motives of the Nazis towards India is of
particular importance: while the German Foreign Office wanted to
support Indian revolutionariesand nationalists,Hitler believed that,in
the long run, the AryanBritishhad to rule over the unfitIndian masses.
Part IV carriesthe storyfromPearl Harbor to the end of 1942, and
runs to nearly two hundred pages. The author describes the complex
effortsof the Axis powers to coordinate their activities,and to build a
militaryforce out of captured Indian troops which would turn the
BritishIndian Armyagainstitself.This force,the Indian National Army
(led by Subhas Chandra Bose, one of the centralfiguresin thisperiod of
Indian history)met ultimate defeat and disgrace, partly because of
Bose's own miscalculationsand illusions,and partlybecause the Japanese never reallytrustedthe INA or provided it withadequate material
Hauner concludes thatthe Germansneverlooked beyondshort-term
militarysolutionsin their strategywith regard to India, and that they
repeatedly allowed ideology to lead them away from sound strategic
decisions. Perhaps even more decisive in theirfailurein South Asia was
the factthat Germanyand Japan, fightingtogetherbut separated by a
vast distance, were never able to adapt their blitzkriegtactics to the
requirementsof global warfare.Their failureto seize controlof the sea
passages between themwas matchedin importanceonlyby theirfailure
to adapt their propaganda and political ideas to the very groups that
were their temporarynatural allies-the people subjected to British
colonial rule or influence.Had theydone so, the historyof India, Asia,
and the modern world, would have been quite different.

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Pacific Affairs
In addition to a thorough index, there are a number of excellent
maps, a complete bibliography,a lengthychronologicalsummary,and
several criticaldocuments in both German and English. This volume is
an indispensable guide to German, as well as Britisharchivalsources.




The NationalistMovements
in the North-WestFrontierProvince,1937-47. ByErlandJansson.
Uppsala,Sweden:Acta Universitatis
& WiksellInternational,
1981. 283 pp. Sw. Cr. 106.50,

ALTHOUGH THE TITLE suggests polemics around the concept of

Pakhtunistan-an independent homeland for Pakhtuns between Afghanistanand Pakistan-the book, a doctoral thesis,is a balanced and
judicious historyof Frontierpoliticsbetween 1937 and 1947. The major
aim of the studyis to examine whyand how the people of the Frontier
Provincecame to switchover fromthe Congress to the Muslim League
just before the creation of Pakistan. The All-India National Congress,
through its alliance with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai
Khidmatgar movement, had in the 1930s established itself as the
dominantpoliticalpartyin the Frontier.The provincethus became the
only Muslim-majority
province dominated by Congress. Until afterthe
war, the Congress remained powerful,while, in contrast,the Muslim
League was weak. But withinthe period of a few monthsin 1946-47,
their positions changed dramatically.When asked to choose between
India and Pakistan in the referendumof July 1947, the voters overwhelminglysupported the League. Frustratedat the polls-its followers
had obeyed its command to boycottthe referendum-the Congress
raised the issue of an independentPakhtunistan.Whereas Pakistan,they
argued, would be dominated by Punjabi reactionaries,Pakhtunistan
would be progressiveand radical.
The key figure throughout the drama was Ghaffar Khan, whose
sincere admiration for Gandhi earned him the name of the "Frontier
Gandhi." His creed-"I have studied both the Holy Koran and the
Bhagavat Gita profoundly and reverently"(p. 50, fn. 100)-sounds
strange in the Pakistan of today in the midst of a vigorous Islamic
revival.It is also a commenton how far the politicsof South Asia have
travelledsince 1947.
The emphasis by the Khidmatgarson Pakhtunnationalismalienated
large segmentsof the Frontierpopulation, particularlyin the citiesand


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