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The French at the other end had 700 soldiers to defend their Fort d’Orleans. Nonetheless, in a single day’s fighting, the French lost about 200 men killed or wounded. Clive sent an ultimatum to Manikchand, who had been entrusted Fort William and Alinagar . However, the latter did not pay any heed to Clive’s warning.
Probably, they were quite awestruck at the military prowess of the EIC and the leadership ability of Clive that they were unsure if they attacked Siraj, then EIC might come to his rescue invoking the Treaty of Alinagar. They were perhaps circumspect of the reaction of the Bengal nobility close to Alivardi if Siraj was displaced in a coup led by them. Let Clive and EIC be the contract killers and let Jafar and his sidekicks Yar Latif Khan, Raja Rai Durlabh Ram enjoy the booty. It was only another European contingent which could have taken on the EIC. Especially the French, since they had shown their military muscle in 1746 in the battle of Adyar by defeating the Mughal governor’s son Mahfuz Khan and the latter’s 10,000 strong force. However, Siraj appeared stern and not to give up so easily.
Clive’s force was effectively surrounded and pinned against the river. His survival and success depended upon the treachery of Mir Jafar Khan and the other Indian commanders. EIC’s official historian of the period, Robert Orme has estimated that Siraj’s army numbered about 35,000 to 40,000 infantry, armed mainly with matchlock guns, swords, pikes, rockets. Also, artillery consisted of 50 cannons, mostly 24 and 32 pounder field guns.
With Siraj leading his forces by example would have surely emboldened the spirits of his soldiers. And with St Frais and Mohanlal still fighting, though of low probability, yet there was a possibility https://1investing.in/ of Sirajturning the tables against Clive. Interestingly, occasional explosions of ammunition amongst Siraj’s artillery wing were heard. Lack of efficiency of Siraj’s artillery was palpable.
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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. Coote urged that a delay would enable Monsieur Law to join Siraj-ud-Daulah from Bhagalpur with his French troops, known to have been urgently summoned by Siraj-ud-Daulah. The presence of Monsieur Law’s force in the opposing army, in addition to strengthening it significantly, was likely to cause the many Frenchmen serving in the East India Company army to desert to their own side. The battle was between Siraj Ud Daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and the forces of the British East India Company. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army commander had defected to the British, causing his army to collapse.
Growing French influence
Moreover, casualties went down considerably for EIC since they took positions behind the embankments. Seven of them were against immediate military action and only two were in favour. So, total seven officers were in favour of taking on Siraj at Plassey, Void vs. Voidable Contract Lawyers whereas the majority wanted to back out. Amongst the junior ranks, Eyre Coote was most vocal as he reasoned that any delay might dampen the spirits of the soldiers since they had already captured the Fort of Katwa, and consequently should move on.
As a reaction and true to his character, Clive decided to retaliate in a night attack against Siraj. Clive took about 500 sailors from Watson in order to carry the ammunition and draw the artillery guns. About 4 am on the 5th of February 1757, Clive and his troops were marching towards Siraj’s camp at the outskirts of north Calcutta.Clive’s men reached the centre of Siraj’s camp after a brief resistance by the latter’s forces. By 11 am on that day, Clive after having lost about 150 soldiers returned to Fort William a despondent man.Since there was thick fog on that day Clive’s forces were unsure of hitting their target. The French troops with 4 cannon occupied the mound around the larger tank, about half a mile from the English army.
In this enterprise, Jafar was not the sole mastermind. The Oswal merchants from Rajasthan, the so-called JagatSeths or the ‘Bankers of Bengal’Mahtab Rai and Swaroop Chand spearheaded the ‘revolution’ insofar as idea, planning and finances were concerned. A diplomatic blunder of slapping Mahtab Rai and threatening him of circumcision in open court by SirajudDaula sparked the outrage. The last point was a personal demand of Siraj, which was duly complied with by the EIC since Drake was already unpopular and was utterly inefficient in defending the EIC settlements in 1756 against Siraj’s attack.
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The heavy ammunition could not be easily carried with the guns in sufficient quantity for a battle. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s gunners attempted to deal with these various problems by carrying the guns on enormous wooden trucks towed by oxen and pushed by elephants. It was decided to continue with the artillery firing till the evening and attempt to attack Siraj’s camp at midnight, utilizing the element of surprise and speed at which Clive was such an expert. On 02 January 1757, Clive and Watson’s forces reached Fort William. Manikchand relinquished his position after a brief skirmish. The very next day, Clive declared war on Siraj in the name of the EIC.Watson too did the same in the name of the Crown.
- The Oswal merchants from Rajasthan, the so-called JagatSeths or the ‘Bankers of Bengal’Mahtab Rai and Swaroop Chand spearheaded the ‘revolution’ insofar as idea, planning and finances were concerned.
- Clive’s army suffered casualties of 23 dead and 49 wounded.
- They produced tarpaulins and covered the artillery ammunition to keep it dry.
- William Hawkins captained the ship HECTOR and reached India at the largest of the Mughal ports – Surat.
- The commanders were, from the hillock, Raja Durlabh Ram, Yar Lutf Khan, and, on the left, Mir Jafar Khan, the principal traitor.
The Indian line was enveloped in a cloud of powder smoke. The English guns returned the fire and inflicted considerable damage on Siraj-ud-Daulah’s troops. In spite of the large number of guns, it seems likely that Siraj-ud-Daulah’s artillery was of little assistance to his army. They seem to have inflicted few casualties on Clive’s army. On the battlefield, a ball from a 32 pounder gun would do little more damage than one from a 6 pounder.
800 yards to the east of the redoubt stood a hillock covered with jungle. Between the two armies, and nearer to the mango grove occupied by Clive’s force, was a tank or pond and beyond it a larger tank, both surrounded by high mounds of earth. After the Council of War, a further letter reached Clive from Mir Jafar Khan, confirming that in the event of battle he would join the English against Siraj-ud-Daulah. Clive immediately changed his mind and the army marched.
Plassey: Beginning of an Empire?
It was resolved to continue the battle until nightfall and then attack Siraj-ud-Daulah’s camp. They dug embrasures in the mango grove mound for their guns to fire through, while Siraj-ud-Daulah’s cannon caused havoc only among the mango trees, firing over the heads of the English soldiers concealed behind the mound. Clive watched the deployment of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s troops from the roof of the Plassey hunting lodge. As Mir Jafar Khan’s troops extended around the mango grove, outflanking his troops and finally threatening their rear, he must have wondered what would happen if the traitors betrayed him instead of their Nawab. At daybreak on 23rd June 1757, Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army marched out of the Plassey encampment and took up battle positions in a rough quarter circle around the English army. The Company’s troops could hear distant military music.
After this defeat, the entire province of Bengal passed to the Company, and this battle is today seen as one of the pivotal battles leading to the British Empire in India. I never had a problem with them and I am trading with them for can you trade forex without leverage more then ten years. Admirals broker have the best customer care,,they are always ready when you need any clarification,, am looking forward to trade with you. The three traitorous generals then started retreating from the battlefield. Such a sight created confusion amongst the remaining rank and file of Siraj’s forces. Mohan Lal and St Fraishowever continued the fight, but it was already a lost battle.
Large casualties could have been expected from the field gun firing of the EIC, yet overall the march of infantry of around 35,000 appears to be a ‘mowing down’ of around 3000 soldiers with only 2 field guns. Soon he was surprised to find a cannon ball hit his stomach and his elite 5,000 Afghan cavalry face a barrage of cannon balls and array of bullets from the musket wielding infantry of the Company. The rest of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army formed in a crescent facing the river, from the jungle covered hillock round to a point behind the mango grove. The commanders were, from the hillock, Raja Durlabh Ram, Yar Lutf Khan, and, on the left, Mir Jafar Khan, the principal traitor. The numbers in this crescent line were 45,000 infantry and cavalry with numerous guns.
Between the larger tank and the river were 2 heavy guns manned by Indian gunners. Behind these guns stood Mir Madan Khan, described as Siraj-ud-Daulah’s sole faithful commander, with 5,000 cavalry and 7,000 foot soldiers, all described as the pick of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army. If Jafar and his men would have fought, there was a high chance that they could have outnumbered Clive’s forces, howsoever efficient and trained they were.
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The English captured horses, elephants, and all of the 53 guns brought against them. 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 three treacherous generals began the withdrawal to the camp, the artillery leading the column. They were constrained in their treachery in that theirs was a personal contract with the English, while the rest of the army was generally still faithful to their Nawab, Siraj-ud-Daulah. Siraj-ud-Daulah sent for Mir Jafar Khan, threw his turban on the ground and begged Mir Jafar to protect him. Mir Jafar promised to defend him to the utmost, then rode back to his wing of the army and sent a letter to Clive informing him of the death of Mir Madan Khan and urging him to attack without delay.