Battle of Plessy
The Battle of Plessy (more precisely, Palashi) is a battle near the banks of the Bhagirathi River in West Bengal, in which on June 23, 1757, British Colonel Robert Clive, who represented the interests of the British East India Company, inflicted a crushing defeat on the forces of the Bengal Nawab Siraj ud-Daula, on on whose side was the French East India Company.
The armed conflict was provoked by the Nawab's capture of the British bridgehead in Bengal — Fort William on the territory of modern Calcutta. The Board of Directors dispatched Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Charles Watson to oppose the Bengalis from Madras. The treachery of the Nawab's military leaders played a significant role in the victory of the British.
Progress of the battle
The battle began at 7:00 a.m. on June 23, 1757, when the Indian army advanced and opened artillery fire on the British positions.
At 11:00 a.m. one of the Indian commanders led the charge but was killed by a British cannonball. This caused panic among his soldiers.
At noon, a heavy downpour began. The British promptly buried gunpowder, cannon and muskets from the rain, and the untrained Indian troops, despite French assistance, were unable to do the same. When the rain stopped, the British still had firepower, but their opponents' weapons needed a long drying time. At 2:00 in the afternoon, the British began their offensive. Mir Jafar announced a retreat. At 5:00, the retreat turned into an escape.
The victory under Plessy marked the British conquest of Bengal, which is why it is customary to start the countdown of British rule on the Indian subcontinent from it. The confrontation between the British and the French in India was the eastern theater of the Seven Years' War, which Churchill called the first world war in history.
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