Monday, October 22, 2012

Battle of Assaye

The Battle of Assaye was contested between the British East India Company and the Maratha during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. Forces led by Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington and victor over Napoleon at Waterloo,  defeated the combined armies of the Rajah of Berar and Daulat Scindia.

The Battle took place on September 23, 1803 near the village of Assaye in western India. Wellesley's plan to surprise the Maratha camp was foiled by a Maratha army under the leadership of German Colonel Anthony Pohlmann. Though outnumbered Wellesley pressed the attack. Both sides suffered heavy casualties — the British 1600 of their 9500 men; the Maratha's 6000. Repeated bayonet and cavalry charges eventually forced the Maratha army to quit the field. Along with victories at Ahmednagar, Gawilghur and Aragon, Wellesley's campaign greatly advanced Great Britain's effort to become India's dominant power well into the 20th Century.

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