“Pakistanis” in World War II

“Pakistanis” in World War II

A new article on masud.co.uk

Britain?s Pakistani communities and their contribution
to the Italian Campaign of World War II

by Jahan Mahmood, Visiting Lecturer, University of Birmingham, April 2009

Britain ?couldn?t have come through both wars if they hadn?t the Indian army?
Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck

This paper explains the historical and political reasons behind Muslim recruitment during the Second World War. It provides a breakdown of Muslim casualties in Italy according to recruitment areas within British India and it highlights the contributions made by communities from these regions. Finally, an attempt is made to establish a link between contemporary British Pakistani communities and these very same regions of recruitment.

The statistics presented here are based on the casualty records of more than 5,000 soldiers who fell liberating Italy. These records were provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). Unfortunately, it was not possible to locate the files of British Indian servicemen serving in Europe. It is hoped that this work will allow British Muslims and other British communities to celebrate a shared past, which would increase mutual understanding and provide a platform for dialogue and the development of a post-colonial British Muslim identity. This is part of the story of the sacrifices of Muslim soldiers from territories that are now part of modern day Pakistan. [read the complete article here]

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