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Book Title: Nightrunners of Bengal|
The author of the book: John Masters
Date of issue: 1955
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 534 KB
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There were strange signs and portents in Bengal. The holy man sat under his tree and uttered a dark prophecy. Peasants ran through the forests at night, carrying pieces of bread between the villages. But Captain Rodney Savage--like most of the British officers in India--could not beleive that his loyal Sepoy troops would rebel.
Then, on the night of May 10th, native soldiers rioted through the British compound, and Rodney Savage's wife was killed before his eyes. From that nightmare of fire and rape and killing, Captain Savage managed to escape, saving his son and the English girl, Caroline Langford.
But for Rodney Savage, the ordeal had just begun...
Based on the bloodiest chapter in British history, Nightrunners of Bengal is a story of magnificent adventure--the desperate odyssey of three Europeans in a land aflame with bloodlust and slaughter.
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Read information about the authorMasters was the son of a lieutenant-colonel whose family had a long tradition of service in the Indian Army. He was educated at Wellington and Sandhurst. On graduating from Sandhurst in 1933, he was seconded to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCLI) for a year before applying to serve with the 4th Prince of Wales's Own Gurkha Rifles. He saw service on the North-West Frontier with the 2nd battalion of the regiment, and was rapidly given a variety of appointments within the battalion and the regimental depot, becoming the Adjutant of the 2nd battalion in early 1939.
During World War II his battalion was sent to Basra in Iraq, during the brief Anglo-Iraqi War. Masters subsequently served in Iraq, Syria and Persia. In early 1942, he attended the Indian Army Staff College at Quetta. Here he met the wife of a fellow officer and began an affair. They were later to marry. This caused a small scandal at the time.
After Staff College he first served as Brigade Major in 114th Indian Infantry Brigade before being "poached" by "Joe" Lentaigne, another officer from 4th Gurkhas, to be Brigade Major in 111th Indian Infantry Brigade, a Chindit formation. From March, 1944, the brigade served behind the Japanese lines in Burma. On the death of General Orde Wingate on 24 April, Lentaigne became the Chindits' overall commander and Masters commanded the main body of 111 Brigade.
In May, the brigade was ordered to hold a position code-named ‘Blackpool’ near Mogaung in northern Burma. The isolated position was attacked with great intensity for seventeen days and eventually the brigade was forced to withdraw. Masters had to order the medical orderlies to shoot 19 of his own men, casualties who had no hope of recovery or rescue. Masters later wrote about these events in the second volume of his autobiography, The Road Past Mandalay.
After briefly commanding the 3rd battalion of his regiment, Masters subsequently became GSO1 (the Chief of Staff) of Indian 19th Infantry Division, which was heavily involved in the later stages of the Burma Campaign, until the end of the war. After a spell as a staff officer in GHQ India in Delhi, he then served as an instructor at the British Army Staff College, Camberley. He left the army after this posting, and moved to the United States, where he attempted to set up a business promoting walking tours in the Himalayas, one of his hobbies. The business was not a success and, to make ends meet, he decided to write of his experiences in the army. When his novels proved popular, he became a full-time writer.
In later life, Masters and his wife Barbara moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. He died in 1983 from complications following heart surgery. His family and friends scattered his ashes from an aeroplane over the mountain trails he loved to hike. General Sir Michael Rose, the former UN commander in Bosnia, is a stepson of Masters.
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