Battle of Assaye: An Untold Story
To put it in the words of Arthur Wellesley, “It was the bloodiest of all battles that I ever fought.” Battle of Assaye which was fought between the East India Company led by Arthur Wellesley and Maratha on September 23rd, 1803 is one of the prominent wars he won despite all odds.
Here are the odds…
Mahrattas Were Outnumbered and Outgunned:
East India Company led by Wellesley was outgunned and outnumbered at the battle. As per estimation by the noted Historians, Maratha army is between 40,000-50,000 soldiers. The core was 10,800 regular line infantry which were all trained regular line infantry and equipped with 75-100 artilleries. Contrary to this, the 1st Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley) own forces consisted of 4,500 men merely and 2,000 light cavalry. Apart from that, they had only a small detachment of British dragoons and light weight horse cannons.
Duke of Wellington Was Just a Novice Chasing Glory:
Though he was a brilliant commander he was just a novice in search of glory. The inexperienced and novice Colonel was not anything close to the Masters of Napoleonic Warfare that he would later turned out to be. He took the offense against the numerically superior foe without thinking about the reinforcements. It is also believed that he boldly forded an uncharted river while exposing himself along with the forces to the incoming artillery fire. He was lucky to survive this intense blow.
Moreover, the miraculous assault he tried in the battle did not prove successful and the Maratha army still had several chances to drive the British forces back. Wellington forces were simply running out of streams and men. There were no strategies or any special maneuvers on the part of Wellesley that could said to be decisive.
It is surprising that despite Marathas having far greater in numbers and having greater technological advantages, the British Dragoons performed far better than 40,000 Maratha horses.
Incredible though it may sound but yes, the battle was won by coolness and the inspiring leadership of Arthur Wellesley, the first duke of Wellington. Battle of Assaye that was fought in Aurangabad at Akola is a part of our rediscovery tour. The unexplored battlefields have not changed right from the day when British and Indian troops fought the armies of Tipu Sultan and Scindhia. Be a part of this interesting tour where you can get a first-hand experience of learning about the rich Indian history.