Early Military History[edit | edit source]
Pro- and anti-British factions in certain areas of Nepal had been vying for power since 1816. In 1846 the pro-British army leader Sir Jung Bahadur (1816–77) of the Rana family finally overthrew the Nepalese government and declared himself the prime minister. Like many dictatorships, Jung Bahadur's office was passed on through hereditary rather than valid elections. Jung Bahadur launched a successful military campaign in 1855 in Tibet (Nepalese-Tibetan War). But the Nepalese-Tibetan War exhausted Nepal's finances and in 1856 Tibet signed a peace treaty which granted diplomatic and commercial rights to Nepal on the condition that Tibet continue to pay a yearly "tribute" to the Nepalese government. Nepal aided Great Britain during the Indian Mutiny and during World War I. The British government in gratitude for Nepal's assistance declared the independence and sovereignty of Nepal to be genuine by the terms of a treaty concluded in 1923.
World War II[edit | edit source]
On September 4, 1939 Nepal declared war on Germany in solidarity with the Allied Forces. Due to the undemocratic nature of Nepal's government, their national validity and respect was maintained by continuing healthy relations with Great Britain by rendering much needed military assistance as they had in World War I and the Indian Mutiny. Twelve regiments of Gurkha soldiers from Nepal were sent to fight in the British Indian Army. Although Britain has been recruiting Gurkha soldiers from Nepal since the 19th century, no effort was made to develop a centralized recruit-training system in the Brigade of Gurkhas throughout the pre Second World War era. As a result, British Army recruiting training was conducted at the various Gurkha regimental training centres in India. After the end of the war, Nepal also established good diplomatic relations with the United States in 1948.
Nepal Civil War[edit | edit source]
In February 1996, one of the Maoist parties started a bid to replace the parliamentary monarchy with a so-called people's new democratic republic, through a Maoist revolutionary strategy known as the people's war, which has led to the Nepal Civil War. Led by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal (also known as "Prachanda"), the insurgency began in five districts in Nepal: Rolpa, Rukum, Jajarkot, Gorkha, and Sindhuli. The Maoists have declared the existence of a provisional "people's government" at the district level in several locations.
Since then, more than 12,000 people have died and currently 70% of Nepal's countryside is under Maoist rule. The Maoists run a parallel government in the areas they control, and support a 10,000-strong militia. On June 1, 2001, the Heir Apparent Crown Prince Dipendra went on a killing spree in the royal palace, a violent response to his parents' refusal to accept his choice of wife. He murdered his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, his brother, sister, two uncles and three aunts, before shooting himself. Following the carnage, the throne was inherited by Birendra's brother Gyanendra.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Brigade of Gurkhas
- Nepal Civil War
- British Indian Army
- Recruitment in the British Army
- History of the British Army
Sources[edit | edit source]
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