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Old November 11th, 2010, 07:15 PM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Re: Expedition to disaster--marathas at panipat

Abdali invades india again; battle of barari ghat

najib khan rohilla had already been making calls to abdali that islam in india was in danger ,that he must come to save india's muslims from the maratha menace etc.

Abdali assembled a force of 60,000 storm troopers ,one of the finest cavalry in all asia ,all battlehardened troops ........especially all cruel ,ferocious , merciless......

With this force he advanced from kandahar along the indus to peshawar .looking at the size and ferocity of his force ,the maratha garrison had to flee.now he was joined by another force and with 70,000 troops , he invaded punjab.

the maratha garrison in punjab was divided to patrol the whole province , and was outnumbered. they fled precipitately before abdali's troops , and the population rose to take away their weapons and treasures. though they were able to escape ,they escaped with thier bare lives , with almost nothing on them.

as abdali advanced to sirhind ,the news reached dattaji scindia , the maratha governer of delhi.dattaji had been beiseiging najib at a place called shukartal , but this was a strong position well defended , and dattaji found himself unable to dislodge najib.

with abdali invading india ,he was now faced with a superior force of afghans and rohillas ( 70,000 afghans and 30 ,000 rohillas ) totalling more than 1 lakh men. he had about 50,000 men with him , but these were clearly insufficent to fight the enemy. the only choice was to retreat , but dattaji was a proud man........

as abdali and najib linked up on the eastern side of the yamuna , he got ready on the west bank to fight.it was at barari ghat that abdali's forces along with najib's troops tried to cross the yamuna.

to fight them first dattaji sent his heavy baggage , women servants etc to safety in rajasthan , and then prepared to fight. he now led his troops with him in front , to attack the afghans .as his soldiers clashed with afghans , he was right in the forefront. this was a serious mistake .ideally a general should be at the back of his troops to guide them ,and also should not be in direct danger.

but dattaji threw caution to the winds . as the battle progressed , he was shot at by rohilla troops who had muskets , and the shot killed him.immediately panic seized his army , and they began to flee.maratha re-enforcements now arrived , but they found dattaji shot dead ,and could not infuence the outcome of the battle.

the aghans gave hot chase to the marathas , but the deccan horses proved superior in flight to the famed horses of central asia ,which the afghans had.
this proved the correctness of dattaji's decision to send all heavy baggage to rajasthan ,which allowed his troops to be light , and thus escape .

in panipat , this very factor , the vast number of women , heavy baggage , was to prove an impediment to the marathas , as instead of fighting ,the army had to spend time in protecting them , and could not retreat fast as they moved slowly.but more about that later.....

as the marathas retreated , the afghans found the body of dattaji . najib's minister qutub shah cut of his head and took it away as trophy, and later the marathas had to cremate his headless body.later the marathas would take revenge on qutub shah for this perfidy.

the afghans now occupied delhi. abdali now wanted to return home , but najib quailed before him that the marathas would return to take revenge , and he must stay to protect india's muslims. abdali was asked to go back to the eastern bank of yamuna river ,as that territory was directly najib -controlled. here all arrangements were made to quarter abdali's troops , food , tents etc.

delhi was now garrisoned with only a few afghan troops .now they waited for the marathas to return in a mission of revenge........
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