Ghee Bowman
Historian & Educator
Vaibhav Vats
Independent Writer & Journalist

On 28 May 1940, in the early days of the Second World War, Major Akbar Khan marched at the head of 299 soldiers along a beach in northern France. They were the only Indians in the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk. 

What journey had brought these men to Europe? What became of them and their comrades captured by the Germans?

In this episode of BIC Talks, author and historian Ghee Bowman talks to writer and journalist Vaibhav Vats about his book, ‘The Indian Contingent: The Forgotten Muslim Soldiers of the Battle of Dunkirk’ while examining the larger British narrative and place in history, details his research and tells an important although obscure and astonishing story of the Indian contingent – the Muslim soldiers who fought in the pivotal Battle of Dunkirk – from their arrival in France on 26 December 1939 to their return to an India on the verge of Partition.