India Through the Eyes of Ellen Churchill Semple



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The Dromedary camel was used as means of transport for both people and cargo as well as for military purposes. Camel Calvary or Camelry was used as a generic designation for armed forces using camels as a means of transportation. Sometimes warriors or soldiers of this type also fought from camel-back with spears, bows or rifles. The first recorded use of the camel as a military animal is by the Arab king Gindibu, who is claimed to have employed as many as 1000 camels at the Battle of Qarqar in 853 BC. Napoleon employed a camel corps for his French campaign in Egypt and Syria. During the late 19th and much of the 20th centuries, camel troops were used for desert policing and patrol work in the British, French, German, Spanish and Italian colonial armies. Camel Calvary continue to form part of the Indian army and currently patrol the border between India and Pakistan.

Additional Information:

Tod, James. Annals and Antiuqities of Rajasthan or the Central and Western Rajput States of India. London: Oxford University Press, 1920.

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