India’s Contribution to WW1 – UPSC GS1

India’s Contribution to World War I:
  • World War I (WW I), also known as the Great War, lasted from July 1914 to November 1918.
  • WW I was fought between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers.
  • Allied Powers: France, Russia, and Britain. The United States also fought on the side of the Allies after 1917.
  • Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.
  • India made a huge contribution to Britain’s war effort.
  • As high as 100 million British Pounds was given by India to Britain to fund their war anticipating dominion status and home rule in return.
  • The British raised men and money from India, as well as large supplies of food, cash, and ammunition, collected by British taxation policies.
  • In return, the British promised to award self-rule to India at the end of the war which eventually was not delivered.
  • It sent staggering numbers of volunteers to fight and die on behalf of the allied forces.
  • Almost 1.5 million Muslim, Sikh and Hindu men from regions such as the Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Bihar volunteered in the Indian Expeditionary Force, which fought on the Western Front, in East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Gallipoli.
  • However, of these men, around 50,000 died, 65,000 were wounded, and 10,000 were reported missing, while 98 Indian army nurses were killed.
Other Supplies:
  • The country also supplied 1,70,000 animals and 3.7 million tonnes of supplies, jute for sandbags to the British government.
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