The Victoria Crosses that Saved an Empire

The Story of the VCs of the Indian Mutiny

Brian Best

* The most Victoria Crosses won in a single day, which was during the Relief of Lucknow.

* The first and only time that VCs were awarded to civilians.

* Graphic eye-witness accounts

* First-ever book to deal exclusively with the Mutiny VCs.
Date Published :
May 2016
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473844766
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The Indian Mutiny struck at the very heart of the British Empire. If India was lost the whole edifice of British domination across its colonies was in jeopardy. Everything was at stake, Britain’s leading role in the word, its international commerce and the reputation of its armed forces.

Across the globe Britain ruled only through the compliance of the subordinate nations – but if India could throw off the imperialist yolk others might also rebel. The very fate of the Empire hung in the balance.

The situation was considered to be so serious that the British authorities extended the warrant of the newly-created Victoria Cross to include anyone, even civil servants, who performed prodigious acts of valor to save India, and save the Empire.

A total 182 VCs were awarded during the Mutiny, the same number as in the whole of the Second World War, climaxing in one day at Lucknow when twenty-four men displayed extraordinary valor to raise the siege – the most VCs ever won in a single day.

This is the story of those few months between May 1857 and June 1858 when the world turned its gaze upon the jewel in Victoria’s crown and 182 men – soldier, sailor and civilian – wrote their names into the history books.

About The Author

BRIAN BEST has an honors degree in South African History and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was the founder of the Victoria Cross Society in 2002 and edits its Journal. He also lectures about the Victoria Cross and war art.


"Brian Best's eleven chapter book chronicles each major battle, beginning with The Siege of Delhi from May to September 1957, through to the conclusion at Lucknow from November 1857 to June 1958. A very well-presented book, broken up by eight pages of color plates in the center, this is a must for a VC enthusiast and those interested in the many wars and battles which took place during Queen Victoria's long reign."

- Military Modelling

"Of the 182 VCs awarded during the Indian Mutiny (and this was the same total number of VCs awarded during the entire Second World War), 116 were awarded to members of the British Army and 66 to soldiers of the East India Company, including three civilians and one volunteer. Their actions serve as threads that form the tapestry of British success in the Indian Mutiny, and The Victoria Crosses That Saved the Empire is a fine book that ensures their legacy of gallantry and selfless service is not forgotten."

- Soldiers of the Queen

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