Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Battle of Ram Chatauni, 1750: Rohillas vs Awadh

Safdar Jang disliked Afghan settlers living so close to his own provinces and he decided to uproot them from Ruhelkhand. At Ram Chatauni his two wings defeated and turned back the Afghan formations opposite them and gave chase—the Shia chief sent up his artillery in support. Meanwhile the Ruhela center calmly kept its place in the battlefield—and when Safdar’s two wings had gone past—these men advanced on Safdar’s center!

The Ruhela footmen pressed forward in a dense formation—firing volleys from their muskets. They scattered the Persian’s vanguard and kept advancing in a wedge-shaped formation on the center. Safdar Jang’s center broke under this concentrated firing and gave way to the steadily advancing Ruhelas—Safdar Jang’s elephant-driver was shot and the entire Qizilbash contingent fled. Thus a won battle was lost because of the enemy’s steady musketry.

After this battle, Safdar Jang hired the services of the Marathas and Jats, and quickly overwhelmed the Ruhela lands. Although an uneasy peace was forced on the Ruhelas, Safdar Jang continued with his Maratha-Jat alliance, for by 1753 the Sunni Turks at Delhi had joined a conspiracy for overthrowing the Persian and his acolytes.