Battle of Plassey
|Battle of Plassey|
|Part of the Seven Years' War|
Lord Clive meeting with Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, oil on canvas (Francis Hayman, c. 1762)
|British East India Company|| Bengal Subah
French East India Company
|Commanders and leaders|
| Colonel Robert Clive
|| Siraj ud-Daulah
|750 European soldiers
2,100 Indian sepoys
8 cannon (six 6-pounders and 2 howitzers)
53 field pieces (mostly 32, 24 and 18-pounders)
50 French artillerymen (6 field pieces)
|Casualties and losses|
(5 Europeans, 13 Indians)
(15 Europeans and 30 Indians)
|500 killed and wounded|
The Battle of Plassey (Bengali: পলাশীর যুদ্ধ, Pôlashir Juddho) was a major battle that took place 23 June 1757 at Palashi, Bengal. It was an important British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies. It let the British East India Company take control of a part of South Asia. They grew their area of control over a large part of the Indies for the next hundred years.
The battle took place at Palashi, Bengal on the river banks of the Bhagirathi River. The fighting took place about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north of Calcutta. This was near Murshidabad which was the capital of Bengal at the time. Plassey is the anglicised version of Palashi. The battle was between Siraj-ud-daulah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal, and the British East India Company.
The battle took place after the attack and plunder of Calcutta by Siraj-ud-daulah and the Black Hole tragedy. The British sent more soldiers under Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Charles Watson from Madras to Bengal. The British retook control of Calcutta. Clive then took control of the French fort of Chandernagar. The troubles between Siraj-ud-daulah and the British led to the Battle of Plassey. The battle was fought during the Seven Years' War (1756–63). The French East India Company sent a small group to fight against the British. Siraj-ud-Daulah had more soldiers and chose to fight at Plassey. The British were worried about having fewer soldiers. They formed a conspiracy with Siraj-ud-Daulah's demoted army leader Mir Jafar as well as others such as Yar Lutuf Khan and Rai Durlabh. Mir Jafar, Rai Durlabh and Yar Lutuf Khan brought their soldiers near Plassey but did not actually join the battle. Siraj-ud-Daulah's army was beaten by about 3,000 soldiers of Col. Robert Clive. Part of the reason the British won was because Siraj-ud-daulah fled from the battlefield and the worry caused by the close by soldiers due to the conspiracy.
This is thought to be one of the most important battles for the control of South Asia by the colonial powers. The British now had a large amount of influence over the Nawab. They also got a lot of revenue from trade. The British used this revenue to increase their military power. They pushed the other European colonial powers such as the Dutch and the French out of South Asia. This was a sign of the expansion the British Empire in Asia.
- Harrington, pp. 81–82