Carnatic Wars

The Carnatic Wars (also spelled Karnatic Wars) were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century in India. The conflicts involved numerous nominally independent rulers and their vassals, struggles for succession and territory, and included a diplomatic and military struggle between the French East India Company and the British East India Company. They were mainly fought on the territories in India which were dominated by the Nizam of Hyderabad up to the Godavari delta. As a result of these military contests, the British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondichéry. The East India Company's dominance eventually led to control by the British Company over most of India and eventually to the establishment of the British Raj.

In the 18th century, the coastal Carnatic region was a dependency of Hyderabad. Three Carnatic Wars were fought between 1746 and 1763.

Background

CarnaticRegion
Showing the Carnatic Region of what is now India.

The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb died in 1707. He was succeeded by Bahadur Shah I, but there was a general decline in central control over the empire during the tenure of Jahandar Shah and later emperors. Nizam-ul-Mulk established Hyderabad as an independent kingdom. A power struggle ensued after his death between his son, Nasir Jung, and his grandson, Muzaffar Jung, which was the opportunity France and England needed to interfere in Indian politics. France aided Muzaffar Jung while England aided Nasir Jung. Several erstwhile Mughal territories were autonomous such as the Carnatic, ruled by Nawab Dost Ali Khan, despite being under the legal purview of the Nizam of Hyderabad. French and English interference included those of the affairs of the Nawab. Dost Ali's death sparked a power struggle between his son-in-law Chanda Sahib, supported by the French, and Muhammad Ali, supported by the English.[2]

One major instigator of the Carnatic Wars was the Frenchman Joseph François Dupleix, who arrived in India in 1715, rising to become the French East India Company's governor in 1742. Dupleix sought to expand French influence in India, which was limited to a few trading outposts, the chief one being Pondicherry on the Coromandel Coast. Immediately upon his arrival in India, he organized Indian recruits under French officers for the first time, and engaged in intrigues with local rulers to expand French influence. However, he was met by the equally challenging and determined young officer from the British Army, Robert Clive.

"The Austrian War of Succession in 1740 and later the war in 1756 automatically led to a conflict in India...and British reverses during the American War of Independence (1775-1783) in the 1770s had an impact on events in India."[2]

First Carnatic War (1746–1748)

In 1740 the War of the Austrian Succession broke out in Europe. Great Britain was drawn into the war in 1744, opposed to France and its allies. The trading companies of both countries maintained cordial relations in India while their parent countries were bitter enemies on the European continent. Dodwell writes, "Such were the friendly relations between the English and the French that the French sent their goods and merchandise from Pondicherry to Madras for safe custody."[3] Although French company officials were ordered to avoid conflict, British officials were not, and were furthermore notified that a Royal Navy fleet was en route. After the British initially captured a few French merchant ships, the French called for backup from as far afield as Isle de France (now Mauritius), beginning an escalation in naval forces in the area. In July 1746 French commander La Bourdonnais and British Admiral Edward Peyton fought an indecisive action off Negapatam, after which the British fleet withdrew to Bengal. On 21 September 1746, the French captured the British outpost at Madras. La Bourdonnais had promised to return Madras to the English, but Dupleix withdrew that promise, and one to give Madras to Anwar-ud-din after the capture. The Nawab then sent a 10,000-man army to take Madras from the French but was decisively repulsed by a small French force in the Battle of Adyar. The French then made several attempts to capture the British Fort St. David at Cuddalore, but the timely arrivals of reinforcements halted these and eventually turned the tables on the French. British Admiral Edward Boscawen besieged Pondicherry in the later months of 1748, but lifted the siege with the advent of the monsoon rains in October.[2]

With the termination of the War of Austrian Succession in Europe, the First Carnatic War also came to an end. In the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), Madras was given back to the British in exchange for the French fortress of Louisbourg in North America, which the British had captured. The war was principally notable in India as the first military experience of Robert Clive, who was taken prisoner at Madras but managed to escape, and who then participated in the defence of Cuddalore and the siege of Pondicherry.

Second Carnatic War (1749–1754)

WAR ELEPHANTS CHARGE THE GATES OF THE FORT AT ARCOT.
The Siege of Arcot (1751) was a major battle fought between Robert Clive and the combined forces of the Mughal Empire's Nawab of the Carnatic, Chanda Sahib, assisted by a small number of troops from the French East India Company.

Though a state of war did not exist in Europe, the proxy war continued in India. On one side was Nasir Jung, the Nizam and his protege Muhammad Ali, supported by the English, and on the other was Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jung, supported by the French, vying to become the Nawab of Arcot. Muzaffar Jung and Chanda Sahib were able to capture Arcot while Nasir Jung's subsequent death allowed Muzaffar Jung to take control of Hyderabad. Muzaffar's reign was short as he was soon killed, and Salabat Jung became Nizam. In 1751, however, Robert Clive led British troops to capture Arcot, and successfully defend it. The war ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry, signed in 1754, which recognised Muhammad Ali Khan Walajah as the Nawab of the Carnatic. Charles Godeheu replaced Dupleix, who died in poverty back in France.[2]

Third Carnatic War (1756–1763)

The outbreak of the Seven Years' War in Europe in 1756 resulted in renewed conflict between French and British forces in India. The Third Carnatic War spread beyond southern India and into Bengal where British forces captured the French settlement of Chandernagore (now Chandannagar) in 1757. However, the war was decided in the south, where the British successfully defended Madras, and Sir Eyre Coote decisively defeated the French, commanded by Comte de Lally at the Battle of Wandiwash in 1760. After Wandiwash, the French capital of Pondicherry fell to the British in 1761.[2]

The war concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, which returned Chandernagore and Pondichéry to France, and allowed the French to have "factories" (trading posts) in India but forbade French traders from administering them. The French agreed to support British client governments, thus ending French ambitions of an Indian empire and making the British the dominant foreign power in India.

Gallery

India; (1909) (14566747909)

Robert Clive fires a cannon in the Siege of Arcot.

Représentations des positions des escadres des navires français et anglais devant Pondichéry (sud–est de l’Inde) - Archives Nationales - MAR-B-4-77 fol 277 - (1)

French and English boats position near Pondicherry. French National Archives.

Ruines de Pondichery en 1762

Ruins of Pondicherry after its destruction by British troops following the capitulation of the city.

Death of the Nabob of the Carnatic by Paul Philippoteaux

Death of the Nawab Anwaruddin Mohammed Khan in a battle (battle of Ambur) against the French in 1749 (by Paul Philipoteaux).

Lally at Pondicherry by Paul Philipotteaux

Lally at Pondicherry.

Shah-alam-ii-mughal-emperor-of-india-reviewing-the-east-india-companys-troops-1781-1894 1247854

Jean Law's Memoire: Mémoires sur quelques affaires de l'Empire Mogol 1756–1761 contains detailed information about the campaign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II and his French allies against the British East India Company.[4]

The battle of Plassey, June 23, 1757

English guns at The battle of Plassey, June 23, 1757.

The Nawab's artillery at Plassey

Mughal artillerymen at Plassey during the Carnatic Wars.

Surrender of The City of Madras 1746

The British surrender of Madras, 1746.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Cambridge History of the British Empire. 1929. p. 126. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Naravane, M.S. (2014). Battles of the Honorourable East India Company. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. pp. 150–159. ISBN 9788131300343.
  3. ^ Dodwell, H. H. (ed), Cambridge History of India, Vol. v.
  4. ^ "Niall Ferguson - Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World - Why Britain? 4/5". YouTube. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  5. ^ Palk Manuscripts, four-volume collection of the correspondence of Sir Robert Palk relating to Indian affairs, Historical Manuscripts Commission: Report on the Palk manuscripts in the possession of Mrs Bannatyne of Haldon, Devon, p.XII [1]
61st Pioneers

The 61st Pioneers were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1758, when they were raised as the 1st Battalion Coast Sepoys.

The regiment took part in the Carnatic Wars in 1746–1763 and then the Third Anglo-Mysore War.

In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War they took part in the Battle of Seedaseer, the Battle of Seringapatam, the Battle of Nagpore, the Battle of Ava. They were next in action during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in the Central India Campaign. Their next campaigns were outside India when they took part in the Second Afghan War, the Second Burmese War and the Boxer Rebellion.

During World War I they were part of the 9th (Secunderabad) Division in the 27th Bangalore Brigade. This brigade served away from its parent division and served in British East Africa as part of the Indian Expeditionary Force B. After returning to India they took part in the Third Afghan War.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 61st Pioneers now became the 1st Battalion 1st Madras Pioneers, which was disbanded in 1933.

64th Pioneers

The 64th Pioneers was a regiment of the British Indian Army. Originally serving as regular infantry it evolved into a specialist military pioneer unit performing engineering and construction tasks.

65th Carnatic Infantry

The 65th Carnatic Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1759, when they were raised as the 6th Battalion Coast Sepoys.

The regiment took part in the Carnatic Wars in 1746–1763 and then the Third Anglo-Mysore War.

They were disbanded in 1904.

67th Punjabis

The 67th Punjabis were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1759, when they were raised as the 8th Battalion Coast Sepoys.

The regiment's first action was during the Carnatic Wars followed by the Third Anglo-Mysore War.In 1914, during World War I the regiment was at first in the 4th (Quetta) Division which remained in India, on internal security and as a training unit. A second battalion was formed and both were posted overseas and served in the 12th Indian Division which fought in the Battle of Shaiba, the Battle of Khafajiya and the Battle of Nasiriya in the Mesopotamia Campaign. Two platoons were also posted to Tabriz, Iran as part of the Norperforce. The second battalion was also involved in the Mesopotamia campaign with the 14th Indian Division and fought in the Second Battle of Kut and the Fall of Baghdad (1917). Both battalions then served in the Third Afghan War.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 67th Punjabis became the 1st and 10th (Training) Battalions, 2nd Punjab Regiment. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.Post independence, the regiment was renamed the Punjab Regiment (India) and the original battalion became part of the 50th Parachute Brigade along with 3 Maratha and 1 Kumaon. In April 1952, 1st Punjab (Para), along with 3 Maratha (Para) and 1 Kumaon (Para) were amalgamated to form the Parachute Regiment, with 1st Punjab (Para) being renamed 1 Para (Punjab), 3 Maratha (Para) being renamed 2 Para (Maratha) and 1 Kumaon (Para) 3 Para (Kumaon). The suffix 'Punjab' was later dropped in 1960. In 1978, the unit became the third commando battalion of the Indian Army after 9 and 10 Para Cdo. Presently, the unit is called 1st Para (Special Forces) and celebrated its 250 Raising Day in October 2011.

69th Punjabis

The 69th Punjabis were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1759, when they were raised as the 10th Battalion Coast Sepoys.

The regiment's first engagement was during the Carnatic Wars, this was followed by service during the Battle of Sholinghur in the Second Anglo-Mysore War and the Third Anglo-Mysore War. They also took part in the annexation of Pegu during the Second Anglo-Burmese War.

The Battalion was awarded the Galley Badge in 1839 for 'readiness always evinced' for proceeding on foreign service, which was then considered a taboo in India. The Galley is now the crest of the Indian Punjab Regiment. The Battalion was also given the Battle Cry - Khushki Wuh Tarri which is Persian for 'By Land and Sea'. The Indianised version of this motto 'Sthal Wuh Jal' is now the Battle Cry of the Indian Punjab Regiment.

In early 1900 the regiment was stationed at Colombo.During World War I they served in the Middle East on the Suez Canal and in the Gallipoli Campaign after which they were sent to the Western Front in 1915.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 69th Punjabis became the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.Gen KM Cariappa, OBE, the first Indian Commander in Chief, decided that the four senior most Infantry Battalions of the Army should form the Brigade of the Guards, and thus 2/2 Punjab was converted to the First Battalion Brigade of the Guards (2 PUNJAB) in 1951. The Battalion has the distinction of being the most senior Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army.

74th Punjabis

The 74th Punjabis were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1776, when they were raised as the 14th Carnatic Battalion.

The regiment first saw action during the Carnatic Wars. This was followed by the Battle of Sholinghur in the Second Anglo-Mysore War and the Battle of Mahidpur in the Third Anglo-Mysore War. Their next destination was China for the First and Second Opium Wars then in 1885 they took part in the Third Burmese War.

During World War I they were part of the 8th Lucknow Division which remained in India on internal security and training duties they were then posted to the 10th (Irish) Division in 1918, and took part in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 74th Punjabis became the 4th Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment. This new regiment was disbanded in 1947.

75th Carnatic Infantry

The 75th Carnatic Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1776, when they were raised as the 15th Carnatic Battalion by enlisting men from the 2nd, 6th and 12th Carnatic Battalions.

Their first action was during the Carnatic Wars. Followed by the Battle of Sholinghur in the Second Anglo-Mysore War, they also took part in the Third Anglo-Mysore War and the Third Burmese War.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 75th Carnatic Infantry became the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Madras Regiment. After independence this new regiment was allocated to the Indian Army.

77th Moplah Rifles

The 77th Moplah Rifles were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1777, when they were raised as the 17th Carnatic Battalion.

The regiment's first action was during the Carnatic Wars followed by the Battle of Sholinghur in the Second Anglo-Mysore War. They also took part in the Battle of Nagpore.In 1902 the basis of recruitment for this regiment and one other (see 78th Moplah Rifles for additional detail) was changed from Madrasis to Moplahs. Both units were disbanded in 1907.

Anwaruddin Khan

Anwaruddin Khan (1672 – 3 August 1749), a.k.a. Muhammad Anwaruddin, was the 1st Nawab of Arcot of the second Dynasty. He was a major figure during the first two Carnatic Wars.

He was also Subehdar of Thatta(Pakistan) from 1721-1733.

Battle of Pondicherry

The Battle of Pondicherry was a naval battle between a British squadron under Vice-Admiral George Pocock and French squadron under Comte d'Aché off the Carnatic coast of India near Pondicherry during the Seven Years' War. The battle took place on 10 September 1759. The outcome was indecisive.

Carnatic

Carnatic usually refers to:

Carnatic region, Southern India

Carnatic music, the classical music of Southern IndiaIt may also refer to:

Carnatic Wars, a series of military conflicts in India during the 18th century

HMIS Carnatic (J199), a Bangor class minesweeper of the Royal Indian Navy, that served in World War II

HMS Carnatic (1783), a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford in 1783

HMS Carnatic (1823), a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1823

Carnatic was an East Indiaman that made six voyages for the British East India Company between 1788 and 1802

SS Carnatic, a P&O steamer with an early compound engine

First Carnatic War

The First Carnatic War (1746–1748) was the Indian theatre of the War of the Austrian Succession and the first of a series of Carnatic Wars that established early British dominance on the east coast of the Indian subcontinent. In this conflict the British and French East India Companies vied with each other on land for control of their respective trading posts at Madras, Pondicherry, and Cuddalore, while naval forces of France and Britain engaged each other off the coast. The war set the stage for the rapid growth of French hegemony in southern India under the command of French Governor-General Joseph François Dupleix in the Second Carnatic War.

Jean-Baptiste L. Romé de l'Isle

Jean-Baptiste Louis Romé de l'Isle (August 26, 1736 – July 3, 1790) was a French mineralogist, considered one of the creators of modern crystallography.

Romé was born in Gray, Haute-Saône, in eastern France. As secretary of a company of artillery in the Carnatic Wars he visited the East Indies, was taken prisoner by the English in 1761, and held in captivity for several years. He was also an alumnus of the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris.

Subsequently he became distinguished for his researches on mineralogy and crystallography. He was the author of Essai de Cristallographie (1772), the second edition of which, regarded as his principal work, was published as Cristallographie (3 vols. and atlas, 1783). His formulation of the Law of Constancy of Interfacial Angles built on observations by the geologist Nicolaus Steno.

In 1775, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He died in Paris, France on July 3, 1790.

Joseph Smith (East India Company officer)

Brigadier General Joseph Smith (1732/3-1790) was an officer of the British East India Company's army in the mid-18th Century who served in the Carnatic Wars, the Anglo-Mysore Wars and other conflicts in South India. He served with distinction and rose to the position of commander-in-chief of the Madras Army on three occasions (1767-1770, 1770-1772, and 1773-1775).

Smith's father of the same name was an officer of engineers in the EIC forces and Smith followed him into Company service, joining the Madras forces in 1749 and quickly gaining independent commands and rising through the ranks.

Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau

Charles Joseph Patissier, Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau (1718 – 7 January 1785) or Charles Joseph Patissier de Bussy was the Governor General of the French colony of Pondicherry from 1783 to 1785. He served with distinction under Joseph François Dupleix in the East Indies, receiving the Order of Saint Louis. He contributed to the recovery from Britain of Pondicherry in 1748, and was named in 1782 to lead all French military forces beyond the Cape of Good Hope. He coordinated his operations with Pierre André de Suffren and fought with distinction against the numerically superior British during the Indian campaigns of the American War of Independence.

Muhammed Yusuf Khan

Maruthanayagam Pillai (1725 – 15 October 1764) a.k.a. Muhammad Yusuf Khan was born in a Hindu family, in Panaiyur in British India, in what is now Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu. He later converted to Islam to enlist in the British army. He became a warrior in the Arcot troops, and later a commandant for the British East India Company troops. The British and the Arcot Nawab employed him to suppress the Polygar (a.k.a. Palayakkarar) uprising in South India. Later he was entrusted to administer the Madurai country when the Madurai Nayak rule ended.

A dispute arose with the British and Arcot Nawab, and three of Khan's associates were bribed to capture him. He was captured during his morning prayer (Thozhugai) and hanged on 15 October 1764 at Sammatipuram near Madurai. Local legends state that he survived two earlier attempts at hanging, and that the Nawab feared Yusuf Khan would come back to life and so had his body dismembered and buried in different locations around Tamil Nadu.

Pratap Singh of Thanjavur

Pratap Singh Bhonsle or Pratapsinha (Marathi: तंजावरचे प्रतापसिंह) was the Maratha ruler of Thanjavur of the Bhonsle dynasty from 1739 to 1763. His rise to power followed three years of anarchy and civil war and restored the state to its previous greatness. His reign witnessed the Carnatic Wars and the Seven Years' War.

Timeline of the British Army 1700–1799

The Timeline of the British Army 1700–1799 lists the conflicts and wars in which the British Army was involved.

War of the Spanish Succession 1701–1714

War of the Austrian Succession 1740

Carnatic Wars 1744–1763

Seven Years' War 1754–1763

Anglo-Mysore Wars 1766–1799

First Anglo-Maratha War 1775–1782

American Revolutionary War 1775–1783

French Revolutionary Wars 1792–1802

Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort

Tiruchirappalli Rockfort is a historic fortification and temple complex built on an ancient rock. It is located in the city of Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. It is constructed on a 83 metres (272 ft) high rock . There are two Hindu temples inside, the Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort and the Thayumanaswami Temple, Rockfort. Other local tourist attractions include the famous Pallava-era Ganesha temple and the Madurai Nayak-era fort. The fort complex has witnessed fierce battles between the Madurai Nayakas and Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, Carnatic region and Maratha Imperial forces. The fort played an important part during the Carnatic Wars, helping lay the foundations of the British Empire in India. The Rockfort is the most prominent landmark of the city.

Second Carnatic War
Theatres of the Seven Years' War
16th–17th centuries
18th century
19th century
20th century

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