BAYONETS TO LHASA by Peter Fleming


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A prolific, accomplished English writer now brings American readers the story of the British punitive expedition into Tibet in 1904 which slowed Russian imperialism, created havoc in Foreign Office politics, and caused the public censure of a man long devoted to His Majesty's Service. The man was Col. Francis Younghusband. Under the auspices of Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, he led a mission to the ""Forbidden City"" of Tibet to negotiate with a recalcitrant Dalai Lama and thwart the Russians. With him went Col. J.R.L. MacDonald and 1200 troops. Not only are their fierce battles and agonizing months in the mountains told with clarity, but so are the political forces at Whitehall made understandable. The mission was accomplished in spite of the conflicts of its leaders, but the British people proved unsympathetic to the massacre of Tibetian soldiers in battle. This and other political reasons which caused Younghusband's tragic censure are examined calmly, and dispassionately, in the light of half a century gone by. A very interesting work, although rather dull, sometimes curiously lifeless, in handling.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1961
Publisher: Harper