On 13 April 1919, a fateful event took place which was to define the last decades of the British Raj in India. At 5:10pm on that day, Brigadier-General 'Rex' Dyer led a small party of soldiers through the centre of Amritsar into a walled garden known as the Jallianwala Bagh. He had been informed that an illegal political meeting was taking place and had come to disperse it. On entering the garden, Dyer's men immediately lined up in formation. Dyer then gave the order to open fire on the huge crowd that had gathered there. 379 people were killed and at least 1,000 more were wounded in what has became known as the Amritsar Massacre. Nick Lloyd here provides a highly readable, but detailed account of the most infamous British atrocity in the entire history of the Raj. He considers the massacre in its historical context, but also describes its impact in uniting the people of the sub-continent against their colonial rulers. The book dispels common myths and misconceptions surrounding the massacre and offers a new explanation of the decisions taken in 1919.
Ultimately, it seeks to examine whether the massacre was an unfortunate and tragic mistake or a case of cold-blooded murder, and one which would fatally weaken the British position in India.