it had been fought between Maratha and British forces on 23 September 1803. The Maratha forced were defeated and this British victory was a decisive moment within the colonial subjugation of the Indian subcontinent.
About the Battle
• it had been fought at Assaye. Assaye may be a small place near Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. British forces were led by Major General Wellington (younger brother of Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of Bengal).The Maratha forces were a combined army of Daulat Scindia and therefore the Raja of Berar.
• The Maratha forces had larger numbers of infantry, cavalry and artillery. They also had European officers. The Maratha forces were commanded by Colonel Anthony Pohlmann, a German who was previously serving British army.
Origin of Assaye Battle
• The battles lays its root to the Battle of Poona which was fought in October 1802 where Holkar defeated a combined army of Scindia and Baji Rao II – the Peshwa and nominal overlord of the Maratha Empire. Baji Rao II sought refuge with British who restored him to power at Poona reciprocally for a few territory and therefore the stationing of British troops in Poona, in accordance with the Treaty of Bassein (1802).
• This led to British control over the Peshwa and indirectly over the opposite Maratha chiefs. the opposite Maratha chiefs (Scindias and Bhonsales) objected to the present and refused to simply accept the Treaty of Bassein.This led to the Second Anglo-Maratha War. The Holkars joined at a later stage against British since they were reluctant to unite the rival Scindias.
The outcome of the War and why the Marathas lost?
• An outnumbered Indian and British force under the command of Major General Wellington (who later became the Duke of Wellington) defeated a combined Maratha army of Daulat Scindia and therefore the Berar’s armies in Deccan.
• Wellesly later described it as his finest accomplishment on the battlefield, even more so than his more famous victories within the Peninsular War, and his defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
• during this fierce battle, heavy casualties were inflicted on each side with 428 killed, 1108 wounded and 18 missing from own side and 1200 killed and 4800 wounded on the opposing side as per the sources.
• The Maratha forces also showed tremendous grit and courage whilst fighting their enemies. However, the Marathas weren’t united on the opposite hand they did not have an able leader like Wellesley who could steer them in battle.
• the foremost important weapon in any battle is that the army and their soldiers and that they have only few regular soldiers et al. were Pindaris (who didn’t get a daily salary but tagged along the Maratha infantry to possess a share of the victor’s loot).Also, the regular soldiers themselves were dissatisfied over their low and irregular pay, unlike the corporate forces that were paid well
Remembering ‘The Assaye’
• The Assaye emblem are often spot in Bengaluru, which features an elephant, on a primary war cenotaph on the crossroads of Brigade Road and Residency Road. and therefore the Madras Regiment uses the Assaye elephant in its official insignia.
• The battle of Assaye which was fought between the Maratha and British armies is essentially forgotten in India. Yet it remains a tremendous story of gallantry and skill on each side . Assaye was a hard-won victory for British , one that challenges common assumptions about how Europeans conquered the subcontinent.