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Battle of Plassey - Conflict & Date: The Battle of Plassey was fought June 23, 1757, during the

Seven Years' War (1756-1763). Armies & Commanders British East India Company Colonel Robert Clive 3,000 men Nawab of Bengal Siraj Ud Daulah Mohan Lal Mir Madan Mir Jafar Ali Khan approx. 53,000 men

Battle of Plassey - Background: While fighting raged in Europe and North America during the French & Indian/Seven Years' War, it also spilled over to the more faraway outposts of the British and French Empires making the conflict the world's first global war. In India, the two nations' trading interests were represented by the French and British East India Companies. In asserting their power, both organizations built their own military forces and recruited additional sepoy units. In 1756, fighting began in Bengal after both sides began reinforcing their trading stations. This angered the local Nawab, Siraj-ud-Duala, who ordered military preparations to cease. The British refused and in a short time the Nawab's forces had seized the British East India Company's stations, including Calcutta. After taking Fort William in Calcutta, a large number of British prisoners were herded into a tiny prison. Dubbed the "Black Hole of Calcutta," many died from heat exhaustion and being smothered. The British East India Company moved quickly to regain its position in Bengal and dispatched forces under Colonel Robert Clive from Madras. The Plassey Campaign: Carried by four ships of line commanded by Vice Admiral Charles Watson, Clive's force re-took Calcutta and attacked Hooghly. After a brief battle with the Nawab's army on February 4, Clive was able to conclude a treaty which saw all British property returned. Concerned about growing British power in Bengal, the Nawab began corresponding with the French. At this same time, the badly outnumbered

Clive began making deals with the Nawab's officers to overthrow him. Reaching out to Mir Jafar, Siraj Ud Daulah's military commander, he convinced him to switch sides during the next battle in exchange for the nawabship. On June 23 the two armies met near Palashi. The Nawab opened the battle with an ineffective cannonade which ceased around noon when heavy rains fell on the battlefield. The Company troops covered their cannon and muskets, while the Nawab's and French did not. When the storm cleared, the Clive ordered an attack. With their muskets useless due to wet powder, and with Mir Jafar's divisions unwilling to fight, the Nawab's remaining troops were forced to retreat. Aftermath of the Battle of Plassey: Clive's army suffered a mere 22 killed and 50 wounded as opposed to over 500 for the Nawab. Following the battle, Clive saw that Mir Jafar was made nawab on June 29. Deposed and lacking support, Siraj-ud-Duala attempted to flee to Patna but was captured and executed by Mir Jafar's forces on July 2. The victory at Plassey effectively eliminated French influence in Bengal and saw the British gain control of the region through favorable treaties with Mir Jafar. A pivotal moment in Indian history, Plassey saw the British establish a firm base from which to bring the remainder of the subcontinent under their control.

Battle of Plassey Battle of Plassey was fought between Siraj Ud Daulah and Lord Clive that marked the establishment of British East India Company. Battle of Plassey was the most decisive war that marked the initiation of British rule in India for the next two centuries. Battle of Plassey or Palashi took place between British East India Company and Nawabs of Bengal and his French allies. The battle occurred on June 23, 1757 at Palashi of Murshidabad District, on the bank of Bhagirathi River. Murshidabad, which is about 150 km north of Kolkata, was then capital of West Bengal. Siraj-Ud-Daulah, who was the last Nawab of Bengal, fought this battle to maintain his independence as a ruler. The French East India Company also sent a small army to join Nawab`s force against the British. The army commander Mirzafar of Siraj Ud Daulah`s side betrayed in the battle of Plassey and thereby the whole force of Nawab collapsed and as a consequence, the entire province of Bengal came under British. Company gained a huge amount of wealth from the Bengal treasury and used it to strengthen its military force. Thus Plassey earns its importance in Indian history as a key factor leading to the ascendance of British rule in India. The Battle of Plassey, also named as Battle of Palashi, which earned its name from a small village of same name located near the battlefield. The main reason behind the Battle of Plassey was the capture of Fort William by Siraj Ud Daulah during June 1756. Many historians found the battle of Plassey as the geopolitical ambition of the East India Company and it brought a larger dynamics of colonial conquest in the territory of India. Conflict between the Nawab and the East India Company intensified due to a number of reasons, which are as follows* The illegal use of Dastaks, which were export Trade Permits issued by the Mughal Dynasty in the year 1717. The British used this permits as the excuse for avoid taxes to Bengal Nawab. * British interfered with Nawab`s court and supported one of Siraz Ud Daulah`s aunt Ghaseti Begum, who was in opposition to the Nawab. Ghaseti`s treasurer`s son had escaped and took shelter in Fort William but Siraz demanded for his return. * Fort William became the safe shelter for the British and they added additional fortification and assembled ammunitions without the permission of Nawab. * The policy of the British officials was to help the Marwary merchants such as Jagat Sheth of Murshidabad. Along with the external enemies an internal politics was intriguing against Siraj`s court in the capital Murshidabad. Siraj was not at all a popular leader. He was young

and impulsive and had a tendency to make enemies very quickly. The worst part of this conspiracy was that Siraz`s wealthy and influential aunt Ghaseti Begum (Meherun-Nisa) wanted another nephew Shawkat Jang to enthrone as Nawab. Mir Jafar Ali Khan, who was grand -uncle of Siraz and Commander-In-Chief of Nawab`s army was also against the young Nawab and was in the conspiracy with Ghaseti Bagum. Eventually Mir Jafar joined the British side through the secret mediators like trader Amichand and William Watts. The Select Committee of the Board of directors of east India Company approved `Coup D`etat` as the policy of Bengal on April 23rd, 1757. Mir Jafar was the ultimate choice of the East India Company. Finally on June 5, 1757 a written agreement was signed between Mir Jafar and Clive as company`s representative that stated that Mir Jafar would be appointed as Nawab of Bengal once Siraj was disposed. The army of East India Company was huge in number consisting of nine hundred and fifty Europeans and twenty one hundred native Indian Sepoys. The British had only few guns while the Nawab`s army consisted of fifty thousand soldiers and heavy artillery operated by about forty French army men. However, out of this fifty thousand army sixteen thousand was withheld before the Battle of Plassey. The battle of Plassey started at the very hot and humid morning of June 23, 1757 at about 7 am when Nawab`s army came out of camp and launched a massive cannonade against the English camp. Mir Jafar stood detached with his sixteen thousand soldiers from the main body of the Nawab`s army. Still Siraj was fighting along with rest of his army and the victory was about to come on Nawab`s side. But suddenly Mir Madan, who was one of the Nawab`s most loyal officers, was fatally wounded by a canonball of enemy. The cannonade of the French was not very useful as British guns had greater range than those of the Nawab side. At noon a heavy shower began. British could cover their canons and muskets but the French was unable to cover the guns. As a result the French canonade ceased working in the afternoon. The Battle of Plassey resumed when British chief officer Mr. Kilpatrick suddenly attacked against the water pond to the Nawab`s army. Mir Jafar though standing at the closest position to the English camp revealed his treachery and refused to attack the enemy. Moreover cannonade did not come into use due to the rainfall. So by the sunset Nawab`s army was in full retreat and British had command over the battlefield. Siraj Ud Daulah escaped from the battlefield but was caught later. In this Battle of Plassey British lost only twenty-two army men and fifty were wounded (most of them were native Sepoys) while on Nawab`s side about five hundred men died and wounded. The Battle of Plassey is considered as the landmark of history which denoted the starting of British dominion in the land of India.