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The Malakand Field Force

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  199 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
"While I was attached to the Malakand Field Force I wrote a series of letters for the London Daily Telegraph. The favourable manner in which these letters were received, encouraged me to attempt a more substantial work. This volume is the result." -Sir Winston S. Churchill
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published March 30th 2006 by Wildside Press (first published 1898)
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Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ari by: dad
The story of a minor frontier war at the boundary of British India in the 1890s. Highly recommended, for two reasons.

First, it's by the young Winston Churchill, who is a fine stylist and a writer of substantial interest.

Second, because we're today again engaged in a colonial war, in exactly the same place, with very similar people, in a similar strategic context. Neither we or the British care much about the Swat valley per se -- both governments had a strong interest in the locals there not rai
Ali Khan
I am resident of the area this book is about, in fact, my great grand father fought the British at Chakdara.

The book relates the events of the 'war' (or the battle) from the British perspective with the usual colonial perceptions and sensitivities of course. As for as the narration of the events go, this British version is, with some exceptions, in conformity with the local tradition. However, its the interpretations of the whole or individual affairs that differ since both parties viewed the wa
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was a strange thing, to watch these conspicuous forms toiling up the hillside, dodging this way and that way, as the bullets cut into the earth around them; but with the experience of the previous ten minutes fresh in the memory, pity was not one of the emotions it aroused."

If I told you I was reading a book about a mountain war in the Swat Valley region of Afghanistan against religious extremists whom no matter how much talent and treasure you throw at them ever seems able to conquer or def
Majid Khan
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being residence of the area, I found it pretty much wonderful.
Always passing through the fortess and Bridge of Chakdara, and specially seeing the Churchill Pact on the top of the rock I never feel like that before, after reading the book.
When you are passing the Malakand pass,,You can see the narrow pedestrian path used by the then british army.
By writing this book Churchill live the valley the mountain and the people for ever in the history.
There is nothing change too much.Passing through Chakd
Rik Brooymans
Jan 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a bit of Churchill before I wasn't surprised by the brilliant readability of this in-depth play-by-play of a series of minor skirmishes on the frontiers of the British empire at the turn of the last century. You could tell it was his first book, as the style of his later writings is not nearly as developed, but it is still distinctly Churchill.

He walks you through the major battles and exchanges of the Malakand Field Force on the northwestern frontier of British India, now Pakistan a
Mike Harper
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book of history because it was written by Churchill only months after the frontier skirmishes he describes. Churchill himself was present for some of the actions, in the capacity of some sort of junior staff officer, and he acknowledges that he gives those actions more weight than they might otherwise deserve.
It is no surprise that Churchill, young as he was when this was written, had a way with words. Neither will anybody be surprised to discover that he was already a died-i
Bob Mobley
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book on several levels. First, it is one of Winston Churchill's first books to be published. in 1897. Churchill had been an active "War Correspondent" for the London, "Daily Telegraph" in the Boer War ( where he was taken prisoner by the Boers, escaping and in doing so making himself a rising figure in the public's mind) followed by this assignment covering what is referred to as the Malakand Field Force during its campaign in what is now Pakistan. Churchill demonstrates w ...more
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story of the Malakand Field Force was Winston Churchill's first published book, and it came out long before he was rich and famous enough to hire a large staff of ghostwriters and researchers. It was one of the books that made his reputation as a writer, and that reputation is pretty well deserved: it reads very well, and hit a lot of the things I look for in books non-mathematical.

There are wry and surprisingly perceptive commentaries on the state of life along the frontier, adventure stori
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book written by Churchill. Not sure why I waited so long. It is a well developed story of a punitive raid in what is now Pakistan's Federal Tribal Area.

The majority of the book details the expedition but the gem is in the last two or three chapters. Here Churchill writes about the cost versus gain of Britain's foreign policy. It could have been written yesterday about the US.
Raymond R.
Churchill describes the British struggle of maintaining its Empire at the Afghan-Indian border in the late 19th Century. He matter of factly describes the struggles of war and wars impact in a mechanical way devoid of the sufferings such conflicts bring. A highly representative historical work which to a degree sheds light upon the struggles of today.
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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings, "for his mastery ...more
More about Winston S. Churchill...
“...But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis—as dangerous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious bloodthirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace.” 500 likes
“I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.” 433 likes
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