Battle of Plessy

Article

July 5, 2022

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.

Background

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.

Consequences

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.

Literature

Chaudhary, Sushil (2000). The Prelude to Empire: Plassey Revolution of 1757. New Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 8173043019. Datta, K.K. (1971). Siraj-ud-daulah. Calcutta: Sangam Books. ISBN 0861252586. Gupta, B.K. (1962). Sirajuddaulah and the East India Company. OCLC 1240808. Hill, S.C. (1903). The Three Frenchmen In Bengal: The Commercial Ruin of the French Settlements in 1757. London. ISBN 1426444753. Marshall, P.J. (1987). Bengal - the British Bridgehead. Cambridge. ISBN 0521028221. Spear, Thomas G.P. (1975). Master of Bengal - Clive and His India. London. ISBN 0500250413. Strang, Herbert (1904). In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India. ISBN 1406917567.