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The People’s Republic of Bangladesh, bordered by India and Myanmar, is located at the northern tip of the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh emerged out of war, and the armed forces have long been an important part of the history of the nation. However the military tradition in the country goes back a long way before independence, which came about in 1971.

In ancient and Early Modern times, there were a number of kingdoms in the area that is now Bangladesh—long known as East Bengal. These were often at war with each other, with the Vanga kingdom, made up of seafarers, being important, as well as the Gangaridai Empire, which controlled the region from the fourth century bce to the first century ce. The Pala kingdom was ...

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