battle of plassey summary


The French, under St Frais, fired the first gun, which acted as a signal for the opening of a heavy bombardment all along the line of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army. Major Eyre Coote, the hotheaded Queen’s officer of the 39th Foot and a minority of the younger officers were for pressing ahead with the attack.

This would be a provocation to Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab, as all the foreign settlements were under his protection and warfare between them could only be conducted with his permission. [114][115], As a result of the war of Plassey, the French were no longer a significant force in Bengal. British won the war due to the defection of Mir Jafar Ali Khan, who was Siraj-ud-Daulah's commander in chief. There was a small hill covered by trees 300 yards (270 m) east of the redoubt. The French troops with 4 cannon occupied the mound around the larger tank, about half a mile from the English army. However, the British guns opened fire and slaughtered many of the cavalry, killing their commander Mir Madan Khan. The fort was well-defended, but when Admiral Watson's squadron forced the blockade in the channel on 23 March, a fierce cannonade ensued with aid from two batteries on the shore. [28][29][30][31][32], Clive decided to launch a surprise attack on the Nawab's camp on the morning of 4 February. On the battlefield, a ball from a 32 pounder gun would do little more damage than one from a 6 pounder. Size of the armies at the Battle of Plassey: Clive’s army at Plassey comprised 950 European Troops (including 250 men of His Majesty’s 39th Foot), 2,100 Indian troops being sepoys and topazes, 60 sailors and 100 artillerymen, with eight 6 pounder guns and two howitzers. In 1689, the East India Company withdrew from the Hugli to Madras, due to the excessive demands of the Nawab of Bengal, Shaista Khan. Politically, the battle of Plassey had far-reaching consequences. On 29 December, the force dislodged the enemy from the fort of Budge Budge. Both British and French East India Companies recruited whatever European soldiers were prepared to join their armies, regardless of nationality. But now no objective historian accepts this story as true. The battle was waged during the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), and, in a mirror of their European rivalry, the French East India Company (La Compagnie des Indes Orientales)[1] sent a small contingent to fight against the British. Mr. Watts, immediately on this information, dispatched an express to me at the council. On 21 June, the doors of the dungeon were opened and only 23 of the 146 walked out, the rest died of asphyxiation, heat exhaustion and delirium. [18] It appears that the Nawab was unaware of the conditions in which his prisoners were held which resulted in the unfortunate deaths of most of the prisoners. By the 18th century all rivalry had ceased between the British East India Company and the Dutch or Portuguese counterparts. Behind them were a body of 5,000 cavalry and 7,000 infantry commanded by the Nawab's faithful general Mir Madan Khan and Diwan Mohanlal. [citation needed]. Seeing the Nawab's forces retiring, Major Kilpatrick, who had been left in charge of the British force while Clive was resting in the hunting lodge, recognised the opportunity to cannonade the retiring enemy if St. Frais' position could be captured. On 2 July, Siraj reached Rajmahal and took shelter in a deserted garden but was soon discovered and betrayed to the local military governor, the brother of Mir Jafar, by a man who was previously arrested and punished by Siraj. Clive’s guns resumed their fire with considerable effect, killing Indian gunners and causing supplies of their ammunition to explode, generating panic among the draft animals and clouds of powder smoke. Soon after the conference, a heavy rainstorm occurred. Bengal was subject to repeated invasions by Afghans and Mahrattas from the north and west and the Company’s substantial financial contributions to the defence of the area were important to each Nawab, who ruled Bengal. The reaction from Siraj-ud-Daulah’s thousands of soldiers who were not part of the conspiracy against him was to turn back, march out of the camp and resume the battle, which now became intense. That evening, after writing to the Rajah of Burdwan, asking him to join his army with a thousand horsemen, Clive held a Council of War with all his officers.
There was a redoubt mounted by cannon at this turning along the entrenchment. The advanced field pieces of the British opposed the French fire, while those with the battalion opposed the rest of the Nawab's artillery. Meanwhile, the Nawab's army and navy were busy plundering the city of Calcutta and the other British factories in the surrounding areas. In the morning of 24 November, Raza Sahib tried to mount a final assault on the fort but was foiled in his attempt when his armoured elephants stampeded due to the British musketry.

[88][89][90][91], Siraj had remained in his tent throughout the cannonade surrounded by attendants and officers assuring him of victory. For an event with such momentous consequences, it was a surprisingly unimpressive military encounter, the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal owing much to betrayal.

[25][22][26], On 9 January 1757, a force of 650 men under Captain Coote and Major Kilpatrick stormed and sacked the town of Hooghly, 23 miles (37 km) north of Calcutta. Isolated and outnumbered, St Frais retired from the redoubt.

The committee passed a resolution in support of the alliance. French gun captured at the Battle of Plassey on 23rd June 1757 in the Anglo-French Wars in India. He suggested that two treaties be drawn – the real one on white paper, containing no reference to Omichund and the other on red paper, containing Omichund's desired stipulation, to deceive him. It was now raining heavily, the earliest onset of the annual monsoon weather and, in places, the river overflowed its banks, forcing the soldiers to march in water that reached up to their waists.

[4][6], The Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle prevented direct hostilities between the two powers but soon they were involved in indirect hostilities as the auxiliaries of the local princes in their feuds. The British sent reinforcements under Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Charles Watson from Madras to Bengal and recaptured Calcutta. In Bengal, the Nawabs were concerned to maintain the presence of the French as a counterbalance to the increasingly ambitious and aggressive English East India Company. From then on, resistance by Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army ebbed away and, by 5pm, the English were in possession of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s camp and the battle was over.

The settlement was provided with minimal fortifications and defences. The British, worried about being outnumbered, formed a conspiracy with Siraj-ud-Daulah's demoted army chief Mir Jafar, along with others such as Yar Lutuf Khan, Jagat Seths (Mahtab Chand and Swarup Chand), Umichand and Rai Durlabh. About the Battle of Plassey: Parties involved: The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud Daulah and his French allies on 23 June 1757. Clive called a meeting of his staff to discuss the way ahead. The battle helped the Company seize control of Bengal.

It was part of the Third Carnatic War, and of the worldwide Seven Years' War in which France and its allies fought Britain and its allies. Bribed Indians providing water to the prisoners in the Black Hole: Battle of Plassey on 23rd June 1757 in the Anglo-French Wars in India: picture by Richard Caton Woodville. Mr. Howell, with a handful of Englishmen, defended the Fort William. Clive sent out the Nawab's messengers with a letter declaring his intention to march his army to Murshidabad to refer their complaints with regard to the treaty of 9 February with the principal officers of the Nawab's government. Free from anxiety of an assault by this force, Clive launched attacks on the hill to the left of the French redoubt and, once that was successful, on St Frais’ men in the redoubt itself. At one time, the English refused him permission to visit their factory.
[38] Clive commenced hostilities on the town and fort of Chandernagar on 14 March. His former hatred of the British returned, but he now felt the need to strengthen himself by alliances against the British. The question Clive put before them was whether, under the present circumstances, the army, without other assistance, should immediately cross into the island of Cossimbazar and attack the Nawab or whether they should fortify their position in Katwa and trust to assistance from the Marathas or other Indian powers. Clive watched the deployment of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s troops from the roof of the Plassey hunting lodge. Hearing of the success, Clive and the rest of the army arrived at Katwa by the evening of 19 June. The Nawab's troops shot their matchlocks from holes, ditches, hollows and from bushes on the hill east of the redoubt while St. Frais kept up his artillery fire from the redoubt. These stations were independent presidencies governed by a president and a council, appointed by the Court of Directors in England. Hence, the line moved slowly, infantry and artillery firing on either side randomly. This treaty was immediately sent to Omichund, who did not suspect the stratagem. The British used tarpaulins to protect their ammunition, while the Nawab's army took no such precautions. At daybreak on 19 June, Major Coote went to the bank of the river and waved a white flag, but was met only by shot and a show of defiance by the governor. The Nawabs often gave them concessions in return for the security. It was at best a truce. Of the wounded, four were of the 39th Regiment, three of the Madras Regiment, four of the Madras Artillery, two of the Bengal European Regiment, one of the Bengal Artillery and one of the Bombay Regiment. [19][20][21][22], When news of the fall of Calcutta broke in Madras on 16 August 1756, the Council immediately sent out an expeditionary force under Colonel Clive and Admiral Watson. During his wars with the Marathas, he allowed the strengthening of fortifications by the Europeans and the construction of the Maratha Ditch in Calcutta by the British. Black Hole of Calcutta: Battle of Plassey on 23rd June 1757 in the Anglo-French Wars in India: picture by Cecil Doughty.

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