Read The Ravi Lancers, a Novel by John Masters Free Online

Ebook The Ravi Lancers, a Novel by John Masters read! Book Title: The Ravi Lancers, a Novel
The author of the book: John Masters
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.48 MB
ISBN 13: 9780385090285
Edition: Doubleday
Date of issue: October 1st 1972
ISBN: 0385090285

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[Disclaimer. Because I had reviewed Bhowani Junction by the same author, I was contacted by the e-publisher of The Ravi Lancers and asked to review it.]
The story is about World War I and a troop of Indian soldiers who have been trained in fighting methodologies of the past, being mounted on horses and using lances and sabres as weapons. With a British commander Warren Bateman they are sent to France to fight against the German invaders.
Not only is there the conflict between the Western powers and Germany, but the conflict between the Indians and British over culture, attitudes, race and expectations as well as conflict between Warren Bateman and his commanders regarding Indian cultural needs.
John Masters has seemingly decided to not only go into the minutest detail of everything from horse reins and use of toilets, through to covering every possible aspect that troops and countries might face in a period of war. Add to that is the story of the main Indian character, Krishna Ram and his relationship with the British commander who happens to have a sister (Diana) in London who almost immediately falls in love with the Krishna Ram. Our Krishna Ram, believe it or not even manages to arrange a liaison with his paramour in Paris, and this in the middle of WWI.
An overexposure to detail and a story that I found hard to believe left me rather disappointed.

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Ebook The Ravi Lancers, a Novel read Online! Masters was the son of a lieutenant-colonel whose family had a long tradition of service in the Indian Army. He was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst. On graduating from Sandhurst in 1933, he was seconded to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) for a year before applying to serve with the 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles. He saw service on the North-West Frontier with the 2nd battalion of the regiment, and was rapidly given a variety of appointments within the battalion and the regimental depot, becoming the Adjutant of the 2nd battalion in early 1939.

During World War II his battalion was sent to Basra in Iraq, during the brief Anglo-Iraqi War. Masters subsequently served in Iraq, Syria and Persia. In early 1942, he attended the Indian Army Staff College at Quetta. Here he met the wife of a fellow officer and began an affair. They were later to marry. This caused a small scandal at the time.

After Staff College he first served as Brigade Major in 114th Indian Infantry Brigade before being "poached" by "Joe" Lentaigne, another officer from 4th Gurkhas, to be Brigade Major in 111th Indian Infantry Brigade, a Chindit formation. From March, 1944, the brigade served behind the Japanese lines in Burma. On the death of General Orde Wingate on 24 April, Lentaigne became the Chindits' overall commander and Masters commanded the main body of 111 Brigade.

In May, the brigade was ordered to hold a position code-named ‘Blackpool’ near Mogaung in northern Burma. The isolated position was attacked with great intensity for seventeen days and eventually the brigade was forced to withdraw. Masters had to order the medical orderlies to shoot 19 of his own men, casualties who had no hope of recovery or rescue. Masters later wrote about these events in the second volume of his autobiography, The Road Past Mandalay.

After briefly commanding the 3rd battalion of his regiment, Masters subsequently became GSO1 (the Chief of Staff) of Indian 19th Infantry Division, which was heavily involved in the later stages of the Burma Campaign, until the end of the war. After a spell as a staff officer in GHQ India in Delhi, he then served as an instructor at the British Army Staff College, Camberley. He left the army after this posting, and moved to the United States, where he attempted to set up a business promoting walking tours in the Himalayas, one of his hobbies. The business was not a success and, to make ends meet, he decided to write of his experiences in the army. When his novels proved popular, he became a full-time writer.

In later life, Masters and his wife Barbara moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He died in 1983 from complications following heart surgery. His family and friends scattered his ashes from an aeroplane over the mountain trails he loved to hike. General Sir Michael Rose, the former UN commander in Bosnia, is a stepson of Masters.

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