On 10 May 1857, the most serious threat to British supremacy in India appeared at Meerut. After months of increasing tension, sepoys of the 3rd Light Cavalry along with the 11th and 20th Native Infantry pointedly refused to use the new cartridges supplied to them. 'The company Raj is over forever,' declared the men to their British officers as they burned their cantonments, and the cry of 'Dilli chalo' was heard as they marched to the old Mughal capital. There the Mughal Empire was declared resurrected and the Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, an ageing pensioner of the British government, affirmed as the ruler of all Hindustan once again.
With the mutiny spreading rapidly, it became imperative for the British to recapture Delhi as the success or failure of the uprising hinged entirely on the possession of the city. It would take three months of bloody fighting for the British Delhi Field Force to defeat the rebel sepoys and recapture the city, a period in which it became unclear quite who besieged whom.
In The Siege of Delhi, historian Amarpal Singh comprehensively narrates the story from the uprising at Meerut to the climactic capture and sack of Delhi.
'The Siege of Delhi is that old-fashioned thing: a confirmed page-turner. Amarpal Singh's scene-by-scene, blow-by-blow account of Delhi during the 1857 revolt brings before our eyes the chaos, the complexity, the drama, the contradictions and much else that characterized the Great Rebellion. In granular detail, but without losing sight of higher dynamics, he reconstructs the fall of the Mughal capital, and what was at stake both for the British and their Indian opponents. Vividly reconstructed and gripping in its pace, The Siege of Delhi is a must-read.' - Manu S. Pillai, historian and author of The Ivory Throne and Rebel Sultans
'The four summer months of 1857 when Delhi, called the heart of Hindustan, was the centre of the Uprising were a turning point in the history of the Indian subcontinent. On Delhi depended the survival of the Mughal Empire and the East India Company. The Siege of Delhi describes the period with a sense of urgency and with painstaking details, based on contemporary and primary accounts, in an engaging narrative that offers new insights and information.' - Rana Safvi, author of the Where Stones Speak trilogy on Delhi
'A meticulous portrait of a city left to the mercy of the eclipsing Mughal court on the one hand and surmounting British authority on the other. Written with clarity and depth, it is Amarpal Singh's extensive knowledge of military history that enlivens The Siege of Delhi. A valuable addition to the literature on the 1857 mutiny.' - Aanchal Malhotra, author of Remnants of a Separation and oral historian
|Title:||TheSiege of Delhi|