Written by a team of international contributors, the essays in this volume take the reader on a compelling journey through Southeast Asia from pre-colonial times to the present day, examining colonial armies, their conquests, management and decolonization.
Colonial armies were the focal points for some of the most dramatic tensions inherent in Europe's clash with Southeast Asia. This collection explores how these armies were the main agents of conquest and domination and of vital importance during decolonization. However, colonial forces were not merely instruments of oppression. While they could be structured to reflect tactics of divide and rule, the book reveals how they also acted as modernizing forces providing opportunity, escape and prestige.
"Colonial Armies in Southeast Asia" points towards new directions and conceptualizations for imperial and Southeast Asian history. It will interest scholars working on low intensity conflict, on the interaction between armed forces and society.