Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

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tsarkar
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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby tsarkar » 16 Sep 2010 19:05

ArmenT wrote:Like I said earlier, it wasn't just India, but also most of Asia that stopped doing significant tech development in weapons. Well, Europe was also not doing much in the Dark Ages either, but they they had the Renaissance in the 1300s and they took off. Something like the Renaissance never happened in Asia.


I would say renaissance and commercial returns on investment drove R&D. Renaissance led to Henry the Navigator's developments. However, there was a lot of money at stake as well.

Hernan Cortez conquers Mexico in 1521 and the first battle of Panipat took place in 1526, wherein artillery was used in a major battle in India (VDG had used it in Kerala earlier). Silver deposits in Mexico and Bolivia were mined shortly thereafter followed by English, Dutch and French looting of Spanish ships. The Spanish started the convoy system in 1560. The second battle of Panipat was fought 1556 and the battle of Talikota 1565.

The need to simultaneously guard own trade route and rob opponent trade route had fantastic stakes involved. The need to build ships to traverse the Atlantic and Indian oceans and defeat well armed opponents lead to an arms race that no Asian could keep up with. Asians managed to win their battles with less technical equipment, and didn’t have the urge to further develop them. Europeans needed cannons to disable enemy ships from a distance to slow them and capture.

The Anglo Spanish war 1585–1604 under Elizabeth’s patronage increased shipbuilding and resulted in the English Navy in 1595 having 38 warships with 1059 guns (628 of them 9-pounders and above). Most important was the maintenance of a permanent cadre of officers and men.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Sep 2010 19:19

and the spanish caught a big dose of bad luck and hit bad weather, losing over half their fleet in storms before they even engaged the english fleet

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 16 Sep 2010 20:47

Add to that the flurry of church building in later middle ages required sound castings for bells which led to the foundry business. Earliest good cannon were made of brass.

Most cannon makers were also bell founders.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Singha » 16 Sep 2010 20:54

the development of scientific accounting principles in italy (fibonnacci apparently read up via arabic texts), the financial banks type stuff being invented to give loans and the invention of the public ltd co with issue of shares to investors in netherlands drove the birth and growth of international trade. the making of $$ became paramount goals of euro nation states -vs- defending christianity abroad. ofcourse locally they could still continue killing each other.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Carl_T » 16 Sep 2010 21:07

Interesting question. I think a big part of this also had to do with the invention and spread of the movable type press, and the resulting upsurge in literacy, and the widespread dissemination of scientific material that resulted, starting in Germany.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ss_roy » 16 Sep 2010 21:11

There were many reasons why asian cultures stagnated but the most important one was-

Self sabotage through an unwillingness to appreciate an advance made by others.

If you cannot appreciate an advance- you are unlikely to study it, use it or improve on it.

Money and resources were never an issue for most Indian kings, as they had much more of both than their European counterparts.

Consider the printing press- a technology that could have revolutionized education and the spread of knowledge in India as early as the 1500s. Not only were most Indian alphabet systems suitable for printing- India also did not lack in skilled craftsmen, metal workers and manual laborers.

But what did Indians do when confronted with the printing press? They ignored it because of its potentially revolutionary effects on social hierarchy.
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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 16 Sep 2010 22:42

I dont know about China, but in India it was the period of total war, waging for about 400-600 years all over the continent. Hardly suitable for development of any type.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 16 Sep 2010 22:47

Europe and China were also beset with wars, continuously through the same period

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 17 Sep 2010 01:19

SS_Roy, Did Indians get know about the movable type press?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ss_roy » 17 Sep 2010 02:50

Ramana,

The first known printing press in India was installed by the Portuguese in the 1550s. But considering that the Vijayanagara Empire had extensive trade contacts with western countries prior to that- it is most peculiar that printing did not catch on in South India.

They had no problems buying, making and using guns. So the lack of attention to another very popular western technology in the late 1400-early 1500s is odd. Printing spread very quickly in Europe after 1450 and was not even considered to be a strategic technology.

The basic concept- screw press + movable type made of lead alloys + oil based ink was easily accessible to Indians. Heck, they could have built a printing press with a verbal description of the process- IF they wanted to.

The question therefore is- Why not?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby tsarkar » 17 Sep 2010 11:51

The caste system had become quite rigid by then. Knowledge control was seen as power control, and knowledge transfer outside of closed caste/community barrier was literally non-existent.

Secondly, prosperous societies develop a siege mentality - build a wall around and maintain status quo – let nothing go out and let not new ideas come in disturbing social hierarchy and power structures.

The Arab/Mongol/Turks/Europeans desperately grabbed whatever they got and had no such mental barriers.

When I see the US start protectionism, I find history repeating itself. Once prosperous, the tendency is to stop working hard or innovate and relax after building walls to prevent someone working and fighting harder than you from coming in. Unfortunately, anyone working or fighting harder will invariably break those walls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_ru ... ndia#Trade
During the period, 1780–1860, India changed from being an exporter of processed goods for which it received payment in bullion, to being an exporter of raw materials and a buyer of manufactured goods

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 17 Sep 2010 11:53

Lalmohan wrote:Europe and China were also beset with wars, continuously through the same period


Not in the same way, not by far, India still saw total war, organized along religious lines more often than not. Europe had settled down by 1500, there were no siege of Vienna and enemy at the gates and massive destruction of cities and rape and plunder etc at regular intervals.

India on the other hand was still seeing Nadir Shah, Aurangzeb et al.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 17 Sep 2010 11:55

tsarkar wrote:The Arab/Mongol/Turks/Europeans desperately grabbed whatever they got and had no such mental barriers.


If that was true, why do we see no innovations from Turks after the early 1000-1300 period? Heck what innovations do we see from Turks anyway? (other than horse archers, which are not a innovation per se)

Secondly, prosperous societies develop a siege mentality - build a wall around and maintain status quo – let nothing go out and let not new ideas come in disturbing social hierarchy and power structures.


If that was so differential equations should have been invented in the war torn North India and not the relatively peaceful Kerala in the 15th Century.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Carl_T » 17 Sep 2010 12:16

It is a question worth exploring why the printing press wasn't taken up, but we should probably move to another thread.

Does the decline of Indian navies have a part in decline of Indian export of manufactured goods?

Resistance to new technology may be a part, but it's not a strong argument that societies become complacent and build a "wall" upon gaining wealth. If you use the US as an example, the US has been prosperous for many decades now, and periods of protectionism have ebbed and flowed from time to time. There is no rule that protectionist tendencies follow an expansionary period.

When societies become wealthy, it's because they have developed a high level of human capital which in turn fuels further technological change. Rather, on the contrary, a successful, prosperous society would find a lot of utility in reinvesting money for technological gain.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 17 Sep 2010 12:21

sanku, there were very bitter religious wars in europe - between catholics and protestants (one of the reasons that most castles and abbeys in england are ruins today). there were a lot of other wars between the different european powers and subpowers, it is not right to think of europe as being peaceful - quite apart from the english civil war 1620-40's, the last battle on british soil is in the 1770's (Culloden, where the scotts are finally subdued), but germany, france, spain and italy continue to be in turmoil. there continued to be ongoing wars between the ottomans and east and southern europeans, including competition over the mediterranean. then there were the huge wars of the napoleonic era, by which time the british were already in a strong position in India. britain and france also managed to make their war global (India, Canada, US, etc.) and britain continued to fight the dutch and portuguese for control of the sea lanes. the portuguese continued to fight the arabs in east africa and indian ocean...

the catholic/protestant wars in europe were very bloody and the animosities persist even today

you could argue that the Ming period in china was relatively stable (once they had pacified the western nomadic tribes)

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby tsarkar » 17 Sep 2010 12:55

Sanku wrote:If that was true, why do we see no innovations from Turks after the early 1000-1300 period?

Sanku, you’re making the same point as I am. The Sultanate Turks became affluent and lost their military skills. Babur’s descendents became complacent and lost their military skills. Ottomans ruled the Mediterranean seas during Khairuddin Barbarossa’s admiralty, and as they became affluent, they lost their military skills. At one point in history, the Turkish Navy was stronger than the English & all other European Navies.

India was relatively peaceful between wars and economy prospered. Akbar continued Sher Shah’s administrative policies. This paradoxically led to loss of military innovation.

The treasury finally drained during A'zeb's reign, and perpetual warfare re-started. Maratha's developed strong cavalry forces and developed a strong navy. These are good examples of military innovation in troubled times. Since Marathas had no ambition or gain to loot European ships in the middle of Indian ocean, and because they had plenty of shore bases to support them, they never had the imperative to build large ships and their grabs and gallivats sufficed.

Sanku wrote:If that was so differential equations should have been invented in the war torn North India and not the relatively peaceful Kerala in the 15th Century.

Peaceful technologies develop in peaceful states and military technologies develop in war prone states. So mathematics was developed in Kerala while Jai Singh 2 built the Jaivana in Jaipur :)

I was speaking of military technologies, and categorized printing as an ancillary technology, that allowed shipbuilding and cannon forging techniques to be documented, transferred, discussed and improved upon. Differential Equations would have been useful for Brahmos, but were too far ahead in time :wink:

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Adrija » 17 Sep 2010 14:02

Peaceful technologies develop in peaceful states and military technologies develop in war prone states. So mathematics was developed in Kerala while Jai Singh 2 built the Jaivana in Jaipur


Not very sure if the empirical evidence supports any sweeping statements of such nature. As per what I have read, innovation generally happens when societies fulfill a number of conditions simultaneously

* reasonable level of affluence
* stable external environment
* competition/ lack of industry entry barriers/ open entry and exit in areas of commerce

Innovation generally when either of the above condition has not been met e.g., while China met the first two conditions all through the Middle Ages, the Mandarins put heavy curbs on the third (as an example, banning shipbuilding)

JMT

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Murugan » 17 Sep 2010 14:05

ramana wrote:Add to that the flurry of church building in later middle ages required sound castings for bells which led to the foundry business. Earliest good cannon were made of brass.

Most cannon makers were also bell founders.


Earliest good cannons were made of bronze also.

Yest evening Fox History had broadcast a nice episode on cannons, cannon balls and modern projectiles. Repeat telecast is due.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Murugan » 17 Sep 2010 14:10

Lalmohan wrote:sanku, there were very bitter religious wars in europe - between catholics and protestants (one of the reasons that most castles and abbeys in england are ruins today).
...
the catholic/protestant wars in europe were very bloody and the animosities persist even today
...
you could argue that the Ming period in china was relatively stable (once they had pacified the western nomadic tribes)


In Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography there are mentions of such wars and results on the shaping of US of A. A must read for everyone.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 17 Sep 2010 14:53

tsarkar wrote:India was relatively peaceful between wars and economy prospered. Akbar continued Sher Shah’s administrative policies. This paradoxically led to loss of military innovation.


No Sir, India was not at peace, barring maybe a small 50-60 year period around Akbar, most of India has been fervent turmoil, of total wars.

Even Akbar fought constant wars, in many regions.

I do not see how we can say that India was at peace, it was anything but. All said and done India saw peace finally only after 1857.

The treasury finally drained during A'zeb's reign, and perpetual warfare re-started.


And part of the treasury drains was because of the constant wars.

Maratha's developed strong cavalry forces and developed a strong navy. These are good examples of military innovation in troubled times.


With this I agree, but I still do not see technological innovations per se, were the Maratha crafts of newer design? Were their swords and guns better? Did they raise new types of horses consistently?

The Maratha innovations were more in terms of better use of existing technology rather than new technology (note I am not down playing the import of this -- at any given point of time, usually there is more impact of making better use of tech rather than totally new tech -- as seen by our own forces incremental use of many weapon systems like Cheetah)

Sanku wrote:I was speaking of military technologies, and categorized printing as an ancillary technology, that allowed shipbuilding and cannon forging techniques to be documented, transferred, discussed and improved upon. Differential Equations would have been useful for Brahmos, but were too far ahead in time :wink:


I do see your point, and perhaps the choice of differential mathematics was too tangential, however the broad point was that a society needs a certain amount of stability to move from "better use of current tech" to "newer tech" in a major way.

Lalmohan wrote:sanku, there were very bitter religious wars in europe


Lalmohan-ji, I am aware of those other wars, but as far as I know and have read, those wars did not impact the guilds, craftsmen and farmers. In many senses those were like the Dharmic wars of Old India.

The total wars ravaging the production potential etc had ended by 1500s, and restarted only as WW I and mostly as WW II.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby geeth » 17 Sep 2010 14:56

>>>If that was so differential equations should have been invented in the war torn North India and not the relatively peaceful Kerala in the 15th Century.

Was calculus invented in Kerala? I thought Newton got his basis only from Kerala..Pls reply in Maths thread

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 17 Sep 2010 15:02

geeth wrote:>>>If that was so differential equations should have been invented in the war torn North India and not the relatively peaceful Kerala in the 15th Century.

Was calculus invented in Kerala? I thought Newton got his basis only from Kerala..Pls reply in Maths thread


Sir, I probably wont, primarily to ensure that I dont start spending yet more time on BRF. Hope you will understand.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 17 Sep 2010 15:30

sankuji - they did and didn't. many guilds, e.g. the baltic hansa's backed military power as a means of extending their reach. the guilds strongly supported maritime exploration and build up of naval power to bypass ottoman blocked land routes to the far east. the english forces in spain during wellington's campaigns against france seem to have gone out of their way to destroy spanish ceramic factories (the english soldiers were from staffordshire which had its own ceramic industry). crafts such as weaving practiced by the french protestant hugenots were forcibly ejected by catholic reprisals. but what is underlying this is a transformation from an agrarian to a pre-industrialised society and a shift in the way a state gathers its income, as a prelude to the industrial age and the rise of steel
indian crafts as you say in the dharmic age were largely untouched, but ravaged during the turko-afghan invasions, and lets be clear, equally eradicated during the EIC's rise to power to be supplanted by indigo and opium production
i dont agree with the hypothesis that stability brings innovation (historically) - we see India, Ming China and Japan all stagnating through complacency and stagnation, whilst the hungrier europeans capitalised on their resources to overpower these strong nations
even american prosperity and innovation are underpinned by the impetus if war or the preparation for war

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Singha » 17 Sep 2010 16:01

I think a constant pressure of moderate war/impending war is probably when innovation is high. too much war is destruction, too little is stagnation. in the european surge they were facing population pressure, periodic famines, intra-mural wars and rise of new industries....they had to go out and grab what they could and seek advantages against many similar peer powers.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 17 Sep 2010 16:20

IIRC timur transported large numbers of indian craftsmen back to samarakand to beautify his city

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby geeth » 17 Sep 2010 20:02

>>>Sir, I probably wont, primarily to ensure that I dont start spending yet more time on BRF. Hope you will understand.

Hmmm...let me see. I can very well understand if I see the number of posts from you drastically reduced in the coming days. Also, pls don't honour me with a Knighthood!

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ss_roy » 18 Sep 2010 07:31

A bit OT, but necessary..

The reasons why asian cultures became uninnovative has little to with war or peace. It has to with social fragmentation.

If everybody in a given society has to belong to some small group within which most social interactions occur, inter-group trust is very low. Therefore nobody wants to innovate, think differently or create a broader coalition. However pretty much all significant technological Innovation requires a society where people don't spend all their energies conforming to their group and screwing over other groups.

It is not that the west was not socially fragmented- it was just less fragmented than asian countries.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby svinayak » 19 Sep 2010 21:01

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http ... aichur.pdf


http://jambudveep.wordpress.com/2010/06 ... f-raichur/
The significance of the Battle of Raichur in the history of India is due to the following factors:

2.1 Use of Modern Gunpowder Artillery

For the first time on the Indian mainland extensive use was made of European (Portuguese) and Ottoman Turkish artillery and firearms. This battle preceded the first battle of Panipat (between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi in 1526 CE) by six years. A general misconception has been created that gunpowder cannons were used for the first time by Babur. Gunpowder use was not unknown in South India. Both Vijayanagar and the Bahmani sultanate used explosive mines, cannons and firearms in their wars in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (FIRISHTA).

But this was the first time that the most technologically up to date artillery was used by both the opponents. The way in which artillery was procured by Vijayanagar and the Bijapur sultanate was different albeit arising from the same set of circumstances: the arrival of the Portuguese in India.


Bijapur was able to access the latest innovations in artillery by employing expert Ottoman gunners and manufacturers. How the Ottoman gunners came in Bijapur service is an interesting story.

2.1.1 Sources of European & Ottoman Artillery


The appearance of the Portuguese with their imperial ambitions led to the introduction of the latest innovations in artillery in India.

In the early 1500’s the Portuguese were actively trying to gain control over the spice trade from India and the lucrative horse trade of the Arabs. To gain control over the spice trade they had to neutralize the power of Saamoothirippād (anglicised as Zamorin) who was the ruler of Calicut. The Saamoothirippād was a powerful Hindu sovereign and maintained excellent relations with the Muslims states such Egypt who were his partners in the spice trade. The Portuguese unsuccessfully tried to assault Calicut but were beaten back. However their superior ocean going ships managed to wreak havoc on the sea trade. They also terrorised fishermen and trade ships with senseless acts of brutality.

The Saamoothirippād realised early on that he could not take on the heavily armed Portuguese caravels (small highly manoeuvrable sailing ships, see fig.3) and carracks[i] (four masted ships, see fig.4) and. To decisively end the Portuguese menace, he asked for the aid of the Mamluk sultan Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri of Egypt. Egypt was among the main trading partners of Calicut and in the scenario of the Portuguese gaining dominance over the spice trade they would suffer the most. Additionally Sultan Mahmud Begada (Abu’l Fath Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah I) of Gujarat also allied with the Mamluk forces against the Portuguese.



Figure 4 A typical Caravel



Figure 5 . A typical Carrack

Mamluks lacking the sea power appealed to the Ottoman sultan of Turkey Bayezid II. The Ottomans at this point in history were the leaders in the application and development of gunpowder artillery. Their military might was threatening Europe itself.

Thus an alliance comprising of the Saamoothirippād’s forces, Ottoman, Mamluk’s and the Sultanate of Gujarat’s forces prepared for a decisive face off with the Portuguese.

Subsequently two decisive naval engagements took place, one near the port of Chaul[ii] (Maharashtra) in 1508 CE and the second one off the coast of Diu[iii] in 1509 CE. The Portuguese were defeated in the first battle but were victorious at Diu in 1509 CE. This led to the dispersal of the Ottoman and Mamluk forces.

Many of the Ottoman gunners and craftsman then landed at Goa and took up service with the Sultan of Bijapur (Previously Goa was in the hands of the Bahmani Sultans, succeeded later on by the Bijapur sultans)[iv]. A gun foundry was established at Goa and Ottoman gunners manned the Bijapur sultan’s artillery.

The most direct impact of the Portuguese victory was that they came to control the trade in horses on which the Deccan sultanates and Vijayanagar Empire relied. In fact after the capture of Goa in 1510 CE the Portuguese viceroy tried to play the Sultan of Bijapur and Krishna Deva Raya in a bidding war for the horses!!

In 1510 CE with the tacit approval of Vijayanagar the Portuguese captured Goa (only the city known as Velha Goa or Old Goa) from Bijapur. On capturing Goa, the gun foundry established by the Bahmanis fell into their hands.

2.1.2 Artillery of the Sixteenth Century

Before going further, it would be pertinent to briefly understand the nature of artillery in the early sixteenth century. By artillery I am specifically referring to cannons.

When we think of artillery the picture that comes to our mind is of a large calibre gun which can fire off multiple rounds in quick succession. For e.g. the Bofors FH-77B 155mm self propelled howitzer which the Indian Army uses, can fire upto 10 rounds a minute[v]!!

The artillery of the early sixteenth century was nothing like this. The rate of fire was at most 8-12 rounds in an hour[vi].Plus due to imperfections in manufacture; cannons were liable to explode and kill the gun crew.

A large cannon was a logistical nightmare which could weigh hundreds (sometimes thousands) of kilos and require many animals to transport it to the battlefield. The cannons had to be mounted on carts and transported to the battlefield. (Nunes does speak of gun carriages being used in the Bijapur army. Whether these were modified carts or proper gun carriages is not known). Depending on its size a cannon would need anywhere between three and ten men to operate it. The Indian cycle of seasons meant they had to be used during the dry season. In the rainy season it was impossible to move and fire the cannons.

Being extremely heavy and immobile, artillery was vulnerable to attack by fast moving cavalry and infantry. Typically artillery was protected by means of erecting wooden stockades and trenches or placing it behind carts and chaining the carts together (this tactic was used by Babur at the battle of Panipat in 1526 CE)[vii].Infantry had to be stationed to protect the artillery position.

Artillery was thus closely clustered together and its primary role was to deliver a devastating barrage and break up tightly packed masses of infantry/cavalry. Once the enemy was in a state of disorder, fast moving cavalry would mow them down[viii].

But here was the catch: if the first barrage did not have the intended effect, long reloading times made it possible for enemy cavalry to overrun the artillery position. The fleeing army usually used to leave the guns on the battlefield, as there would have been no time to retrieve them.

2.2 The Number of Men Involved

The total number of combatants involved exceeded one million. The table below gives the numbers of soldiers etc for the Vijayanagar Empire and the Bijapur armies.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby svinayak » 19 Sep 2010 21:07

tsarkar wrote:
Secondly, prosperous societies develop a siege mentality - build a wall around and maintain status quo – let nothing go out and let not new ideas come in disturbing social hierarchy and power structures.

When I see the US start protectionism, I find history repeating itself. Once prosperous, the tendency is to stop working hard or innovate and relax after building walls to prevent someone working and fighting harder than you from coming in. Unfortunately, anyone working or fighting harder will invariably break those walls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_ru ... ndia#Trade
During the period, 1780–1860, India changed from being an exporter of processed goods for which it received payment in bullion, to being an exporter of raw materials and a buyer of manufactured goods


You should read the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_List and the discussion in th economics thread.
Free trade is a false notion and a fraud. All the countries of the developed world used protectionism to grow and dominate the world.

During the period, 1780–1860, India lost the control of the oceans and navigation around the near abroad for the first time after centuries. That is when the country become a net importer and lost its manufacturing advantage.
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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby yantra » 19 Sep 2010 21:26

sorry if it is a newbee question. But can someone enlighten me/or point to information on the organization/structure of traditional Indian armies? (Corps, Div, Regiment/Bat, etc are british/western). What has been traditionally followed in India pre-AD 1700s?

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Rahul M » 20 Sep 2010 00:03

units were in multiples of ten. a group of 10 commanded by a NCO (for lack of a better word) 10 such groups forming a higher formation with their own commanders and so on. commander of 1000 soldiers was called a nayak IIRC.

in the mahabharat era it was in multiples of 3 if memory serves right.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ArmenT » 20 Sep 2010 00:43

yantra wrote:sorry if it is a newbee question. But can someone enlighten me/or point to information on the organization/structure of traditional Indian armies? (Corps, Div, Regiment/Bat, etc are british/western). What has been traditionally followed in India pre-AD 1700s?

In many cases, you can tell the organization by people's surnames. For instance, in Assamese, names like Barua, Saikia, Hazarika etc. are traditionally military surnames.

Bora = Officer in charge of 20 people.
Saikia (Assamese pronunciation is "hoi-kiya". Assamese "How" = Hindi "sau" = 100): Officer in charge of 100 people.
Hazarika (Hazar = 1000): Officer in charge of 1000 people.
Borua/Barua (Assamese pronunciation is "Bore-oo-ah") = Officer. A Borua under Ahom rulers was an officer in charge of 3000 men.
Borborua ("Bor" is Assamese for "big" or "senior", so "Bor - borua" = "Big Borua") = Senior Officer
Borbora = Senior officer (As with Borborua, "Bor-bora" = "Big Bora")
Hatiborua (Hati = Elephant): Officer in charge of Elephant corps.
Ghoraborua (Ghora = Horse): Officer in charge of cavalry.
Bezboruah (Bezi = Needle): Medical officer
Rajkhowa = Governor (commanded about the same number of people as a Borua)
Phukan: Administrative officer (commanded around 6000 people)
Borphukan: As with Borborua, "Bor - phukan" = "Big Phukan" = Senior Administrative officer. Borphukans and Borboruas were responsible for administering different divisions of the Ahom kingdom. Borphukans administered the area west of Kaliabor river and Borboruas administered the area to the east of it. Surnames could change depending on which side of the river one was assigned to administer. For example, the legendary Assamese commander Lachit Borphukan's father's name was Momai Tamuli Borborua. Lachit Borphukan himself was once called Lachit Ghoraborua (as he was once in charge of a cavalry unit) until he got promoted to Borphukan.

As these are traditional military titles, you'll find both Hindu and Muslim Assamese people with these surnames.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ss_roy » 20 Sep 2010 07:10

We can argue over whether some white or arab guy wrote an unbiased account of Indians OR we can ask the question-

Why was the Indian version not dominant?

Surely, Indians were both literate and much more numerous. So why and how did the accounts written by some white or arab guy become the dominant narrative? Why were they not challenged?

Why are Indians so willing to believe a negative image of themselves?

I believe that the vitality of Indian culture disappeared before Islam was created. Somewhere between the 5th and 8th century AD, attitudes in India changed such that people stopped caring about anything or anyone beyond their jati.

Ask yourself- why did so many Indians choose to collaborate with outsiders rather than put up a united front against them? Could it be that internal schisms and zero-sum behaviors amongst Indians were so widespread/ intense that collaborating with an outsider was a more logical course of action?

Confidence in your identity requires that identity to be beneficial.

What are the benefits of an Indian identity? The worst examples of abuse, neglect and exploitation of Indians invariably involve other Indians.

So how can this vicious circle be broken? The answer lies in attitude changes through general economic prosperity. People will defend their identity only if there is something at stake. Those who have no realistic hope of a better life, social mobility or any benefit from group membership cannot be expected to give a rats behind about the veracity of one historical account over another.

Studying history is meaningless if we do not learn from it, and apply the findings to avoid recurrences.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby svinayak » 20 Sep 2010 07:50

ss_roy wrote:
What are the benefits of an Indian identity? The worst examples of abuse, neglect and exploitation of Indians invariably involve other Indians.

So how can this vicious circle be broken? The answer lies in attitude changes through general economic prosperity. People will defend their identity only if there is something at stake. Those who have no realistic hope of a better life, social mobility or any benefit from group membership cannot be expected to give a rats behind about the veracity of one historical account over another.

Studying history is meaningless if we do not learn from it, and apply the findings to avoid recurrences.

Lot of these social engineering with media and education reinforcing -ves for Hindus. This is long term plan of the marxists and the leftists. Negative media on every small things in Indian society and sociologists are a deadly combinations

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 20 Sep 2010 14:25

No society has sole right of having selfish people. Collaborating with foreign invaders is not an indication of the social or cultural degradation per se. You will find it happen in all most all the nations one time or another. The sole exception may be Rome.

Examples are there in every nations history - Greece (which has excellent historical records) – During 2nd Persian Invasion of Greece, Sparta’s one king (They have two kings as per their tradition) was in the Persian camp helping them to invade Greece when the other king was holding that pass with his 300 soldiers and died. In the same battle it is the local Greek person who has shown the way around the pass to Persians. In fact Greek powers helped and got helped by Persia, their supposed mortal enemy when it suited them in all their history. In case of Persia - Alexander’s army there was a huge Persian component. What to you call it other than helping the invader? Do you mean to say that Persian Society was also degenerated like Indian?

But I agree with you we lost our bearing somewhere in during the invasions of Muslims and almost lost the nation because of that.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Pratyush » 20 Sep 2010 14:30

Flirting with mods. Is it beacuse of the all persavie influence of Buddhism that was the dominant path in those times.

If this is not the right thread for this matter please point me to the appropriate direction to seek the answer.

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 20 Sep 2010 15:26

pratyush, i dont think its about buddhism, its more about not understanding the nature of the external threat and thinking it can be utilised to benefit in an internal threat situation

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Pratyush » 20 Sep 2010 15:36

LM,

The period in question is mentioned as 5 to 8 the centuries CE. I read this as a period relatively free form Muslim influence in the Indian near abraod. Then what is the threat, the CAR is largely Buddhist. Afghanistan Buddhist and Hindu and still a part of Greater India.

Could it be a lack of Centralised Indian empire, IIRC the Gupt empire ended in the middle of the 5th century CE. After which we have not really seen a Pan India empire till the time of Khiljis.


JMT

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Lalmohan » 20 Sep 2010 16:02

but were those not stable times when the civilisation grew and prospered? I am not sure what the point you are making is... please excuse my ignorance

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Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby manum » 20 Sep 2010 16:28

The very first Muslim attack on India had taken place nearly 500 years earlier in Sindh in the year 715 C.E. These Muslim invaders were Arabs led by Mohammad Bin Qasim. They had displaced Raja Dabir who ruled Sindh from his capital Deval (near modern Karachi). The actual reason for this invasion was that Raja Dabir was aiding the Iranian (Zoroastrian) princes in trying to overthrow the Arab Rule in Persia.

The second surge of the Muslim aggression began in 980 C.E. and lasted till 1020 C.E. This was the time when the Shahi Kings of Punjab grappled with the invaders. By the year 1020 C.E. Muslim rule had been established in Afghanistan, Paktoonistan (NWFP) and West Punjab. These Muslim invasions were led by Mahmud of Ghazni. The Rajputs ruling North India resisted further Muslim aggression.

The third wave of a successful Muslim invasion led by Mahmud Shabuddin Ghori (or Ghauri) took place between 1191 C.E. and 1255 C.E. This was the time the Muslims extended their occupation to Delhi. The lead role in resisting this invasion was played by Prithviraj Chouhan.

The next surge of the Muslim Invasion was launched from Delhi by Allah-ud-din Khilji in the year 1310 and was led by his general Malik Kafur. This invasion trampled the Hindu Kingdoms of the Yadavas of Devgiri in Maharashtra, the Kakatiyas of Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, the Hoysala of Belur-Halebid in Karnataka and the Pandyas of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. This invasion lasted till the year 1328 and with this invasion, except Orissa and Assam, the whole of India passed under Muslim Occupation.

and then came the time of MUGHALS...Babur, around 15th century...

but basically first speculations of attack on Indian subcontinent was as per speculation, since it's history is lost...was on Harappa civilization 3300 and 1500 BC., from mongols...as Harappan civilazation town planning, and excavation results, they were totally non warrior types, but with extremely well planned drainage systems and roads...so they had technology but they didnt apply in fighting instinct....

Buddhism came later on...the proof of it, is if you see sanchi stoopa, the railing made in stone...is exact copy of bamboo railing used by harappa civilizations fencing....

and before buddhism, mahayana, we never had structures of worship, so first examples of place of worship i.e. one of them is ajanta and ellora caves around mumbai....

and then came visible hinduism (or else we were aryans) ...which we acknowledge by the time of temples...rest temples came to rival spread of budhhism...
then second Mangol who attacked India was Genghis Khan, in 12th century...and so on...

a lot is OT, but interesting, if mods allow...


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