Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 19 May 2010 12:52

ParGha wrote:Let me ask one question about artillery at Dharmat: was it prepared with grape_shot and improvised shrapnel, or was it prepared with counter battery round-shot?

We know from multiple records that Babur used mainly grape-shot and improvised shrapnel, because he had no opposing artillery to contend with.


Can you please elaborate a bit more? What sources?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 19 May 2010 13:04

Airavat wrote:Jadunath Sarkar's summary of the Battle of Dharmat:

"Evidently Jaswant's plan was to skirt the enemy's artillery and come to close quarters with their troops, disregarding the gun-fire during the first few minutes of the wild gallop. But such tactics could have succeeded only if the charge had been made on a wide level plain and also if the opposing artillery had been served by Indians proverbially slow in turning and firing their pieces.

....after they had passed by the enemy's artillery and engaged Aurangzib's troops, the French and English gunners of the prince quickly turned their guns sideways and began to mow down the Rajputs in their new position. It was truly a contest between swords and gunpowder, and artillery triumphed over cavalry."

In other words, the Rajput cavalry charge triumphed over the Indian portion of the artillery, leading to the death of Murshid Quli Khan. While the sections under European gunners, who fired at a faster rate, continued peppering the Rajput cavalry.


Now is this assertion really true? Imagine a fast cavalry horse galloping at 20 miles an hour. Assume the distance between Imperial troops and the prince's army to be one kilometer. Further assume 20 cavalry to a row and 120 rows of cavalry.

In a couple of minutes the first row of Jaswant Singh's cavalry would reach the opposing artillery and each subsequent row would reach a few seconds later. In other words most of the cavalry, which survived the open plain, would be inside the artillery formation of aurangjeb's army and the gunners would have to turn their guns and point them towards their own men since the cavalry is inside the artillery rectangle. How could a gunner be sure he would not hit his own?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 19 May 2010 13:14

Battle near Mandsor 1535

Bahadur Shah of Gujarat obtained artillery from the Portuguese and placed them under an Ottoman Turk named Rumi Khan. A clash between him and Babur's successor Humayun was inevitable and took place near the Mandsor Lake:

"Rumi Khan was adverse to a pitched battle, because the guns (top) and rockets (tufang) were of little use (in the field). They were very strong in artillery, and except the Emperor of Rúm, no other potentate could equal them. He therefore counselled the entrenching of the army and the carrying on of warfare daily. If the Mughals advanced, they might be met with a discharge of the guns and rockets and a large number of them would be killed. Sultan Bahadur acquiesced in this view, and ordered an entrenchment to be formed round his camp.

For two months the two armies remained confronting each other. Frequently during the day brave men desirous of fame sallied out in search of adventures; but the Mughal soldiers seldom ventured within range of the guns and rockets. Then Humayun posted his troops around the position of the enemy, to cut off his supplies of grain and fodder and fuel. These dispositions caused a famine to ensue in the enemy's camp. Grain was not to be procured, the grass all around was consumed, and the imperfectly armed Gujaratis, through fear of the arrows, dared not venture far from the camp. The horses and animals and many men perished from want, and the army was dismounted. When Sultan Bahadur perceived that if he remained longer he would be taken prisoner, he went off by the rear. When his men heard of his escape, they took to flight."

So in this battle two armies armed with artillery remained entrenched and waited for the other to attack, to then blast them away when they came within range of the artillery. In this case the failure of food and fodder supply in one army caused its dispersal.

Meanwhile in eastern India, the Afghan chief Sher Shah, who had submitted to Babur and learned the military tactics of the Mughals, defeated the Sultanate of Bengal using these same methods. He became a formidable rival of Humayun, and while the latter's army began to break up from dissensions with his brothers Hindal and Kamran, Sher Shah captured Agra and Delhi. The only other rival for Sher Shah in North India was Rao Maldev Rathod of Marwar.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 19 May 2010 14:13

Battle of Sumel 1544

The states of Mewar and Marwar came to dominate Western India after the dismemberment of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. Mewar and Marwar had a rivalry that was settled by a peace treaty in 1458, and they even developed friendly relations through matrimonial alliances. In 1527 the Marwar prince Maldeo Rathod, led his state's contingent to fight under Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanua.

In 1532 he became the ruler of Marwar, as Rao Maldeo, and greatly expanded his kingdom up to Hissar and Jhajjhar, just 50 miles from Delhi. Meanwhile Sher Shah had consolidated his hold on the Indo-Gangetic plains, and found that the all-important trade routes to Gujarat and West Asia, were under the control of Rao Maldev. The Tarikh-i Daudi states that Sher Shah's nobles actually wanted him to crush the Shia Sultanates in southern India:

"It seems expedient that the victorious standards should move towards the Deccan, for certain rebellious slaves have got the country out of the power of their master, and have revolted, and following the heresy of the people of dissent (Shía'), abuse the holy posterity. It is incumbent on the powerful and fortunate to root out this innovating schism from the Deccan.

Sher Sháh replied: "What you have said is most right and proper, but it has come into my mind that the infidel zamindars have rendered the country of Islam full of unbelievers, and have thrown down the masjids and buildings of the believers, and placed idol-shrines in them, and they are in possession of the country of Delhi and Malwa. Until I have cleansed the country [North India] from the existing contamination of the unbelievers, I will not go into any other country. First, I will root out that accursed infidel Maldeo."

In his vigorous expansion Rao Maldeo had needlessly invaded fellow Hindu states and forced them to seek the aid of Sher Shah. In the winter of 1543 Sher Shah massed a huge army (80,000 cavalry as per the Muslim writers), bolstered with a considerable park of artillery, on the borders of Maldeo's dominions. His march was extremely slow and cautious, and on each halting ground earthworks were raised and artillery planted as a means of defence.

When the soil became more and more sandy the invaders used sandbags to raise these earthworks. Maldeo had advanced with his army (around 40,000), mostly cavalry and camels, and found the Afghans in this position. From his experience at Khanua he knew the futility of storming such a defensive position; his plan was to make the enemy's food and water supply fail. For a whole month the two armies remained entrenched and then the Rajput plan began to show fruit as the lack of supplies in Sher Shah's bloated army became unbearable.

Sher Shah then resorted to low treachery, writing forged letters implicating Maldeo's chieftains and ensuring that this letter was discovered by the King of Marwar. Although his chieftains denied any treachery, Rao Maldeo's confidence in them was shaken and he departed with his main army. When the jubilant Afghans saw the Hindu standards fluttering away, they came out of their entrenched position to plunder the enemy camp. But in a trice they were bundled back.

The Marwar chieftains, with a few thousand cavalry, had decided to stay back and fight in order to prove their loyalty. Their cavalry charge bundled the Afghans back into their main army, causing the death of many. In the words of the Tarikh-i Daudi:

"Some of the chieftains, such as Jaya Chandel and Gohá, and others, came and attacked Sher Sháh, and displayed exceeding valour. Part of the army was routed, and a certain Afghán came to Sher Sháh, and abused him in his native tongue, saying, 'Mount, for the infidels are routing your army.' Sher Sháh ordered his horse, and mounted, when news of victory was brought, to the effect that Khawás Khán had slain Jaya and Gohá with all their forces. When Sher Sháh learnt the valour and gallantry of Jaya [Jaita] and Gohá [Kumpa], he said: 'I had nearly lost the kingdom of Delhi for a handful of bajra [millet].'

Just a year later Sher Shah was burned to death at the siege of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand, and Rao Maldev once again expelled the Afghans from Ajmer and Nagor. In the Battle of Sumel (also written as Sammel and Giri-Samel) no reference is made to the use of artillery, but it can be assumed that driving the Aghans pell-mell before them, the Rajputs avoided being hit by the enemy guns. They penetrated deep into the Afghan lines, creating much havoc and bloodshed, before they were all cut down.

The bigoted author Badauni gives a different account: "the infidels in a body dismounted from their horses, and renewing their vows of singleness of purpose and mutual assistance, binding their sashes together and joining hand to hand, attacked the army of the Afghans with their short spears, which they call Barchha, and with their swords. Sher Shah had given orders saying that if any man ventured to fight with the sword with this swinish horde, his blood would be on his own head. He accordingly ordered the elephant troops to advance and trample them down."

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 20 May 2010 08:58

Thanks to Swamyg for unearthing this link

War in Ancient India

Has plenty of refs to all the facts stated. I would discount the vimanas part though.

Meantime SDRE teaching taller than mountain folk
Mural in Shaolin Temple China:

Image

On this painting are inscribed:

“Tenjiku Naranokaku” which means: “the fighting techniques to train the body (which come) from India…”

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 20 May 2010 12:58

peter wrote:If your hypothesis was true then a change in cavalry tactics should be discernible, which caused the cavalry to overwhelm the artillery, going forward from say 1530's (khanua) to 1650's (Dharmat). Do you see any such change?


The change is seen in the disposition of artillery. In the early battles like Khanua, the position was made impenetrable through defence works like earthen ramparts and carts. As shown above in the battles at Mandsor and Sumel, this defensive formation continued for some more time. But later it was found that one could not win battles every time by staying on the defensive and waiting for the other side to come within range.

At Sumel the Rajputs wisely did not risk a cavalry charge on Sher Shah's army, protected by earthworks and bristling with artillery, but instead cut-off his supplies, forcing him to resort to treachery. As time went on armies in India began to make attacks, carrying their artillery and infantry with them, a change that was made possible with greater mobility in such artillery. At Dharmat Aurangzeb did not have any defence works to fend off a cavalry charge; in fact the battle began with his army advancing on Jaswant Singh's position and firing their artillery pieces.

And then cavalry, particularly the horses and camels, also got used too the shock of the sound, smoke, and sparks from the guns. The cavalrymen learned to make their charges in the time it took the proverbially slow Mughal gunners to fire and reload their pieces.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Masaru » 20 May 2010 13:20

ramana wrote:Thanks to Swamyg for unearthing this link

War in Ancient India

Has plenty of refs to all the facts stated. I would discount the vimanas part though.

Meantime SDRE teaching taller than mountain folk
Mural in Shaolin Temple China:


“Tenjiku Naranokaku” which means: “the fighting techniques to train the body (which come) from India…”



Small correction: That is the Japanese translation/interpretation of the mural. The Chinese version has been (sought to be ) purged of any India/Bharat connection. Tenjiku: ancient name for India/Heaven in Japanese.

From wiki

Doshin So, the founder of Shorinji Kempo, was convinced that a Shaolin temple wall painting depicted Chinese and Indian monks practicing martial arts together for spiritual edification.[12] This mural, which was painted during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), is supposedly inscribed and translated in Japanese as "Tenjiku Naranokaku," which translates as "the fighting techniques to train the body [which come] from Tenjiku (India)..."[citation needed] Elsewhere, however, the title is given in Chinese as "Quanpu Bihua," which translates as "Boxing Drills Mural."

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby SwamyG » 20 May 2010 20:42

Ramana garu: I liked this one paragraph from one of the other links :

It gives me goosebumps. Read the paragraph, close your eyes and fly past into the time - thousands of years back and picture a battlefield. I no longer hold fascination to the chariots pictured in the movies "Ten Commandments" or "Ben-Hur". Let me confess here, I had never pictured such a big chariot, I was so swayed by the Western portrayal that I had always a smaller chariot in my mind. So the Krsna/Arujna pictures with horses on the battlefield were just artistic portrayal so I thought :-( Shame on me.

Warfare in ancient India centered around the chariot. Indian chariots were nothing like the light, sleek chariots of Egypt. They were massive, made of wood and iron, and intricately decorated in gold. They had four wheels, and typically held two men-the charioteer, and an archer who also had a weapon for hand to hand combat. This archer, standing on the chariot, would be a good six or more feet off the ground, giving him a significant advantage over enemy infantry. Some chariots held more men, the largest could hold seven men. Indian chariots were so large and heavy that they required four to six horses to pull them. Unlike Egyptian chariots, which moved quickly and fired arrows into the enemy ranks, Indian chariots often charged right into melee battle. They crushed enemy soldiers under their wheels, trampled them under the horses, all while the soldier(s) on the chariot fired arrows into them, or fought it out hand to hand

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 20 May 2010 21:42

^^^

T 90 vs Arjun

:twisted:

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Samay » 20 May 2010 22:27

Aakaashaakaara: According to "Aakaasha-tantra", by mixing black mica solution with neem and bhoonaaga decoctions and smearing the solution on the outer body of the Vimana made of mica plates, and exposing to solar rays, the plane will look like the sky and become indistinguishable.


:mrgreen:
from Vymaanika-Shaastra

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 21 May 2010 01:22

Maybe stealth coating? 8)

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 21 May 2010 01:31

I've read the vaimanika shastra in translation, it sounded very phony to me. it was most likely written after powered flight was demonstrated.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Carl_T » 21 May 2010 01:40

Samay wrote:
Aakaashaakaara: According to "Aakaasha-tantra", by mixing black mica solution with neem and bhoonaaga decoctions and smearing the solution on the outer body of the Vimana made of mica plates, and exposing to solar rays, the plane will look like the sky and become indistinguishable.


:mrgreen:
from Vymaanika-Shaastra


No supercruise? :D

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby SwamyG » 21 May 2010 01:55

Sanku wrote:^^^

T 90 vs Arjun

:twisted:

It makes sense no? Nimble, small & light makes sense in guerrilla warfare. But when the armies are laden with elephants and masses in huge population, I don't see how a light chariot would get the job done.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby SwamyG » 21 May 2010 01:56

Rahul M wrote:I've read the vaimanika shastra in translation, it sounded very phony to me. it was most likely written after powered flight was demonstrated.

IIRC it was discovered and the Sanskrit text itself was written in the early 20th century.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 21 May 2010 12:11

SwamyG wrote:
Sanku wrote:^^^

T 90 vs Arjun

:twisted:

It makes sense no? Nimble, small & light makes sense in guerrilla warfare. But when the armies are laden with elephants and masses in huge population, I don't see how a light chariot would get the job done.


Yes I agree with you, I was trying to be clever here :oops: , this is essentially a difference between T 90 and Arjun too in a sense, and answers the question, a MBT is a MBT and a chariot is a chariot?, Yes and no.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby naren » 22 May 2010 08:11

Masaru wrote:Tenjiku: ancient name for India/Heaven in Japanese.


I read in Wiki that Tenjiku etymology goes like

Sindhu -> Tianzhu (Chini) -> Tenjiku

Tenjiku sounds very close to the Tamil words "Then dhikku" (Then=Southern, Dhikku = Direction).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the early 5th century and is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen (Chinese: Chán) to China.

Very little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was from the southern region of India, born as a prince to a royal family. Bodhidharma left his kingdom after becoming a Buddhist monk and travelled through Southeast Asia into Southern China and subsequently relocated northwards. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.[1]


Its perfectly possible that He referred to his home as "southern direction".

There is also the claim that Bodhidharma took Kalari and Varma Kalai to Cheena.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhidharm ... rtial_arts

Acupuncture seems to be derived from Kundalini. Does anyone have more info ?

(To Cheeni lurks: all your martial arts belongs to us :twisted: :rotfl: )

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 22 May 2010 12:09

^^^
There is a martial arts thread in GD.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby naren » 23 May 2010 07:59

^^^ Thanks. Will x-post there.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 24 May 2010 22:43

Airavat wrote:Battle of Sumel 1544

[..] In 1527 the Marwar prince Maldeo Rathod, led his state's contingent to fight under Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanua.


I think it was not Maldeo but his sire, Rao Ganga, who fought at Khanua. Baburnama also mentions Ganga.

Airavat wrote:[..] The Tarikh-i Daudi states that Sher Shah's nobles actually wanted him to crush the Shia Sultanates in southern India:

"It seems expedient that the victorious standards should move towards the Deccan, for certain rebellious slaves have got the country out of the power of their master, and have revolted, and following the heresy of the people of dissent (Shía'), abuse the holy posterity. It is incumbent on the powerful and fortunate to root out this innovating schism from the Deccan.


This seems a bit odd since Afghans are Shia. Why would Afghans attack fellow shias on a religious pretext?

Airavat wrote: [..]
In the winter of 1543 Sher Shah massed a huge army (80,000 cavalry as per the Muslim writers), bolstered with a considerable park of artillery, on the borders of Maldeo's dominions. His march was extremely slow and cautious, and on each halting ground earthworks were raised and artillery planted as a means of defence.

When the soil became more and more sandy the invaders used sandbags to raise these earthworks. Maldeo had advanced with his army (around 40,000), mostly cavalry and camels, and found the Afghans in this position. From his experience at Khanua he knew the futility of storming such a defensive position; his plan was to make the enemy's food and water supply fail. For a whole month the two armies remained entrenched and then the Rajput plan began to show fruit as the lack of supplies in Sher Shah's bloated army became unbearable.


Airavat wrote:Battle near Mandsor 1535
So in this battle two armies armed with artillery remained entrenched and waited for the other to attack, to then blast them away when they came within range of the artillery. In this case the failure of food and fodder supply in one army caused its dispersal.


Maldeo was not at Khanua. Sher Shah had a habit of making his army create earthen embankments all around his camp to guard against a surprise attack. Even his top generals had to do the digging and apparently they bitched and moaned about it.

I gather you are suggesting, by giving example of Mandsor and Summel, that starving the enemy was a tactic developed to counter the sudden arrival of artillery. If this was indeed the case then do we have no case studies, before the arrival of artillery, wherein one army tried to starve the opposing army?

At Sumel some sources have suggested that negotitations were going on between Maldeo and Sher Shah and hence the delay in the commencing of the war. Infact some even suggest that Maldeo decided against helping the fugitive Humayun because of some correspondence with Sher Shah.

And even at Summel Sher Shah's guns finally did not make any positive difference.

Airavat wrote:Sher Shah then resorted to low treachery, writing forged letters implicating Maldeo's chieftains and ensuring that this letter was discovered by the King of Marwar. Although his chieftains denied any treachery, Rao Maldeo's confidence in them was shaken and he departed with his main army. When the jubilant Afghans saw the Hindu standards fluttering away, they came out of their entrenched position to plunder the enemy camp. But in a trice they were bundled back.

The Marwar chieftains, with a few thousand cavalry, had decided to stay back and fight in order to prove their loyalty. Their cavalry charge bundled the Afghans back into their main army, causing the death of many. In the words of the Tarikh-i Daudi:

"Some of the chieftains, such as Jaya Chandel and Gohá, and others, came and attacked Sher Sháh, and displayed exceeding valour. Part of the army was routed, and a certain Afghán came to Sher Sháh, and abused him in his native tongue, saying, 'Mount, for the infidels are routing your army.' Sher Sháh ordered his horse, and mounted, when news of victory was brought, to the effect that Khawás Khán had slain Jaya and Gohá with all their forces. When Sher Sháh learnt the valour and gallantry of Jaya [Jaita] and Gohá [Kumpa], he said: 'I had nearly lost the kingdom of Delhi for a handful of bajra [millet].'

Just a year later Sher Shah was burned to death at the siege of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand, and Rao Maldev once again expelled the Afghans from Ajmer and Nagor. In the Battle of Sumel (also written as Sammel and Giri-Samel) no reference is made to the use of artillery, but it can be assumed that driving the Aghans pell-mell before them, the Rajputs avoided being hit by the enemy guns. They penetrated deep into the Afghan lines, creating much havoc and bloodshed, before they were all cut down.

The bigoted author Badauni gives a different account: "the infidels in a body dismounted from their horses, and renewing their vows of singleness of purpose and mutual assistance, binding their sashes together and joining hand to hand, attacked the army of the Afghans with their short spears, which they call Barchha, and with their swords. Sher Shah had given orders saying that if any man ventured to fight with the sword with this swinish horde, his blood would be on his own head. He accordingly ordered the elephant troops to advance and trample them down."


Rajasthani sources differ from both Tarikh -e - Daudi and Badauni. These sources suggest that Maldeo on getting the forged letters decamped in the night with his entire force. None of these sources mention that afghans ventured out to ransack Maldeo's camp. Once maldeo's army reached Girri, a village near Jaitaran, his generals Kumpa and Jaita confronted Maldeo and told him that the land in front of Girri was won by Maldeo and they have no problem if Maldeo decides to not defend it, but all the land behind girri was won by Maldeo's ancestors and their own ancestors and they would not leave Girri at any cost. This still did not make a dent with Maldeo and he retreated to Jodhpur. His generals, who confronted him, decided to attack Sher Shah. By a stroke of bad luck or good planning by Sher Shah these generals could not identify the camp location and got a bit lost. Next morning with 5000-6000 cavalry they attacked Sher Khan. His army was on the verge of a defeat when his general, Jalal Khan Jalwani, came with fresh reenforcements and after his arrival afghans were able to kill most of the cavalry of jaita and Kumpa.

Jodhpur coat of arms has a millet plant on it in commemoration of this battle and Sher Shah's comment.

It does not seem that artillery or earthern embankment of Sher Shah could stop the cavalry charge of Jaita and Kumpa.

Bringing the context back to Khanua, Babur's guns fired about 8-12 shots per day! (Yes that number is correct!). A gun could re-fire a new shot after an hour or more. So are we giving too much weight to the guns for Babur's victory?

BTW europeans recorded that during the late seventeenth century (time frame of Dharmat) the rate of firing of artillery in India was about one shot every 30 minutes or so.

Can we unearth any more tactics which were deployed to deal with the artillery because starving the enemy does not seem to be it.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 24 May 2010 22:57

even at napoleonic times, artillery reload and fire would take several minutes. mostly the wheeled guns would move significantly because of the recoil and depending on the soil conditions, the gunners would have to work hard to get the guns back into position to reload, reaim and refire. and then they overheated. it is therefore perhaps understandable why fire rates would be low in even earlier times.

i saw something on discovery where british soldiers were asked to do a drill to simulate the load, fire, relocate, reposition - reload, etc. sequence that the french gunners would have had to do at waterloo on waterlogged ground with a period cannon. within about 20 minutes, the men (all big fit guys) were exhausted and collapsing, some were even throwing up due to the severe exercise

also, for comparison of physical requirements, the british navy have an annual competition which commemorates a navy gunnery team manhandling a cannon across rough terrain as was done during a Boer war battle (Ladysmith?) to help relieve the seige. this is a brutal competition, over an assault course where the gun has to be stripped, carried across and then rebuilt and fired - the men are amazingly fit and strong and this is a big event every year for navy teams to compete for. the training regimen is not for the faint hearted!

so gunnery was probably not a very easy task - the guns were heavy, needed a lot of logistics, also animal handling, etc., would have been pretty tough to sustain a high rate of fire - never mind the technical challenges

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 25 May 2010 10:34

peter wrote:This seems a bit odd since Afghans are Shia.


Most Afghans (i.e. Pashtuns in this period) are Sunni.

peter wrote:I gather you are suggesting, by giving example of Mandsor and Summel, that starving the enemy was a tactic developed to counter the sudden arrival of artillery.


Not at all. With artillery the tactic was to let the opposite side come within range of the guns. So at Mandsor, where both armies had artillery, they remained entrenched until one side began running out of supplies.

Similarly at Sumel, Sher Shah waited for the Rajputs to attack him, but Maldeo did not. If he had confidence of overcoming the Afghans with his cavalry, I don't believe Maldeo would have held back. All the negotiations over Humayun had already been over and done with, and the fugitive Mughals had been driven out from the Jodhpur territory, long before Sher Shah decided to fight Rao Maldeo.

peter wrote:Unravelling of medieveal Rajasthani sources started in earnest only post independence of India and a lot of researchers did not look at them.


There is a Rajasthan History thread ,where you can provide details of these sources, and where you feel nationalist historians have faltered in describing the history of Rajasthan accurately.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 25 May 2010 15:01

Airavat wrote:
peter wrote:I gather you are suggesting, by giving example of Mandsor and Summel, that starving the enemy was a tactic developed to counter the sudden arrival of artillery.


Not at all. With artillery the tactic was to let the opposite side come within range of the guns. So at Mandsor, where both armies had artillery, they remained entrenched until one side began running out of supplies.


Airavat wrote:
peter wrote:Unravelling of medieveal Rajasthani sources started in earnest only post independence of India and a lot of researchers did not look at them.


There is a Rajasthan History thread ,where you can provide details of these sources, and where you feel nationalist historians have faltered in describing the history of Rajasthan accurately.


Perhaps I inadvertently confused everyone. Sorry about that. The slow rate of firing of Babur's guns and the comment of Europeans from 17th century, in my previous post, is not from Rajasthani sources. Baburnama mentions the rate of firing of his artillery.

Question still remains were these slow firing guns ( one shot every hour for Babur in 16th century and 2 shots every hour in 17th century) the real cause of Rana Sanga's defeat?

Since it has been established that artillery could not contain cavalry, which the slow rate of fire establishes well, what were the reasons for artillery overwhelming cavalry in 16th century?

Cavalary charge was not unknown in India. Prithviraj raso and vijay both mention that in the first battle of Taraori Muhmad Gori's forces were routed by a cavalry charge.


Airavat wrote:Similarly at Sumel, Sher Shah waited for the Rajputs to attack him, but Maldeo did not. If he had confidence of overcoming the Afghans with his cavalry, I don't believe Maldeo would have held back. All the negotiations over Humayun had already been over and done with, and the fugitive Mughals had been driven out from the Jodhpur territory, long before Sher Shah decided to fight Rao Maldeo.


I do not think they were discussing Humayun. Most likely the discussion was on what the border should be. Sher Shah ofcourse did not think Maldeo could muster a large force and did not pay attention to his supply lines which had to come from Agra. But regardless of why Maldeo did not attack the later events show that the renegade cavalry of Maldeo could not be contained and was on the verge of a victory.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 26 May 2010 02:09

wouldn't tactics move towards counter battery fire to negate the opposition artillery and then breaching the static defences to allow infantry or cavalry to attack the lines? possibly in the early days, artillery had a huge shock and awe effect and rate of fire was less important?

i think the next step comes with massed musketry - that is probably the element that prevented successful frontal cavalry attacks. i believe in europe, muskets would work in conjunction and close formation with pikemen who would protect them from cavalry whilst they reloaded, (whilst i have seen equivalent weapons in india, have not seen pictures of them being used as such)

this changes the role of cavalry to skirmishing and pursuit

i suppose then that the next advance in artillery sees dense formations negated by weight of fire, and the return of heavy cavalry for the frontal assault

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 26 May 2010 02:19

Arty fire in those days was highly inaccurate for counter battery role. Most likely there used to be suicide/forlorn hope charges on the arty to spike the guns.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ParGha » 28 May 2010 16:43

ramana wrote:Arty fire in those days was highly inaccurate for counter battery role. Most likely there used to be suicide/forlorn hope charges on the arty to spike the guns.

ramana,
Field artillery by mid gunpowder era was generally employed in direct line-of-sight engagements. They were also bunched close to each other in lines. What the gunner had to do was understand the lay of the land, approximate the distance, and fill the powder accordingly. There were even range charts (though most gunners were illiterate and used a thumb rule) and powder-daggers to help aim correctly.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby jamwal » 30 May 2010 01:29


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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby jamwal » 30 May 2010 01:30


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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby jambudvipa » 03 Jun 2010 18:08

Are there any indian records of the battle of Raichur? The existing records seem to be mostly by foriegners.ie Nunes,Ferishta etc.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby kaangeya » 04 Jun 2010 09:36

Airavat,

Any thoughts on last week's "Deadliest Warrior" on Spike TV that featured Rajput vs. Roman Centurion?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 04 Jun 2010 13:12

^^^^

Posted in the martial arts thread.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby SwamyG » 04 Jun 2010 18:58

jambudvipa wrote:Are there any indian records of the battle of Raichur? The existing records seem to be mostly by foriegners.ie Nunes,Ferishta etc.

B.Suryanarain Row in his book A History of Vijanagar - The never to forgotten empire tears down Sewell and Nuniz in several places; but I am not sure if the Raichur battle is described in the book. Nevertheless, the book is a good one from an Indic point of view.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 04 Jun 2010 20:49

I remember it see this blog posting

http://kalchiron.blogspot.com/2008/08/k ... le-of.html

quite detailed
Last edited by Yagnasri on 04 Jun 2010 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 04 Jun 2010 21:08

There is also quite a good article by R.M. Eaton on this same battle which can be accessed in Internet.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 04 Jun 2010 21:39

Linky pls....

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 05 Jun 2010 07:01

www.u.arizona.edu/~wbraynen/globalsocie ... /eaton.pdf

it covers lot of topics. hope gurus like the link

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Atri » 05 Jun 2010 17:27

i think one other Portuguese writer's account - Domingo Paes. sadly the one account we always wish for is never there - the Hindu account!

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby jambudvipa » 06 Jun 2010 05:07

Narayana garu ,Eatons article is shoddy scholarship to say the least.He has only recycled work done by Sewell (who translated Domigo Paes and Nunes accounts) and put in his own inferences regarding why Krishna Deva rayas "arrogance" led to the catastrophe at Talikota.Even here he echoes Sewell verbatim.Eaton entire aticle is oriented around putting his biases forward.
SwamyG garu , I have Sri Suryanarayana Row's book in pdf (downloaded from Delhi uni dspace).it only covers till creation and early years of Vijayanagar.does not discuss Raichur.
Atriji, is the Kalchiron blog yours?Good one,have added to favourites.
I find Nunes account to be the most graphic but in some places am doubtful.is he overplaying the role of the Portugues?He does mention that the Raya's army carried several cannon (does not specify number) but in the siege of Raichur says men were paid to chisel out stones from the fort walls,all the while the defenders who had cannons etc kept firing with impunity!!
Nunes was not a high level functionary but a horse trader,even though his account of hte battle is extremely vivid,some other things might not stand up to scrutiny.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2010 07:16

jambudwipa, Can you send me a copy? Cant find on dspace!

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby anupmisra » 06 Jun 2010 07:42



From the article, an interesting point:

At no time was Islam triumphant throughout the whole of India. Hindu dynasties always ruled over large areas. At the height of the Muhammadan power, the hindu princes paid tribute, and sent agents to the Imperial court. But even this modified supremacy of Delhi lasted for little over a century (1578-1707). Before the end of that brief period the Hindus had begun the work of reconquest. The native chivalry of Rajputana was closing in upon Delhi from the south; the religious confederation of the Sikhs was growing into a military power on the north-west. The Marathas had combined the fighting powers of the low-castes with the statesmen ship of the Brahmans, and were subjecting the Muhammadan kingdoms throughout all India to tribute. So far as can now be estimated, the advance of the English power at the beginning of the present century alone saved the Mughal Empire from passing to the Hindus.


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