Battle of Plassey

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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)
Date 23 June 1757
Location Palashi, Bengal Subah
Result Decisive victory for the British East India Company
Bengal annexed by British East India Company
Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg British East India Company Mughal Empire Bengal Subah
Royal Standard of the King of France.svg French East India Company
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg Colonel Robert Clive
  • Major Kilpatrick
  • Major Grant
  • Major Eyre Coote
  • Captain Gaupp
Mughal Empire Siraj ud-Daulah
  • Mohan Lal
  • Mir Madan  
  • Mir Jafar Ali Khan (defector)
  • Yar Lutuf Khan (defector)
  • Rai Durlabh (defector)

Royal Standard of the King of France.svg Monsieur Sinfray

750 European soldiers
100 Topasses
2,100 Indian sepoys
100 gunners
8 cannon (six 6-pounders and 2 howitzers)
35,000 infantry
18,000 cavalry
53 field pieces (mostly 32, 24 and 18-pounders)
50 French artillerymen (6 field pieces)
Casualties and losses
22 killed
(5 Europeans, 13 Indians)
50 wounded
(15 Europeans and 30 Indians)[1]
500 killed and wounded
A map of the Indian subcontinent depicting the European settlements in India in the period from 1501 to 1739
European settlements in India from 1501-1739

The Battle of Plassey [2] was a major battle that took place on 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 this part of the Indian subcontinent. Their area of control grew over a large part of the Indies in 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 troubles between Siraj-ud-daulah and the British led to the Battle of Plassey.

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 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, and Siraj-ud-daulah fled from the battlefield.

This is thought to be one of the most important battles for the control of the Indian subcontinent by the colonial powers. The British now had 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.

As a reward for his treachery, Mir Jafar was made the Nawab of Bengal.

References[change | change source]

  1. Harrington, pp. 81–82
  2. Bengali: পলাশীর যুদ্ধ, Pôlashir Juddho