Like it says on the tin. What PODs, from, say, 1830 onward could help the rebels score more victories or at least hold out against the British for longer? Two good ones could be keeping the Delhi arsenal from being blown up and getting John Nicholson out of the picture somehow, since he saved several BEIC officers from being poisoned by their cooks.
 
I'm not sure of a single specific PoD, but there are three main things that doomed the rebels.

1) Organisation: By nature the rebellion was sporadic and haphazard, which is to be expected, but for success, the rebels needed to have a more coordinated structure with more high level officers defecting, which also could facilitate the princely states to switch sides. Hyderabad and the Maratha princes of Gwalior and Baroda are a must to get on the rebel side.

2) Expansion: the rebels were limited to the Gangetic plain due to various factors, Punjab remained Pro-British due to Sikhs historical enemity with the Mughals, the Bengal was very quickly pacified, and the south lacked the sepoy base for the rebellion to spread. The rebellion needs to be larger, both to deny the EIC it's replacement sepoys and to bolster the rebels ranks (perhaps Duleep Singh isn't sent to London until the rebellion and escapes to proclaim a Sikh revolt)

International Support: Other great powers need to back the rebels to spite the British, perhaps France under Napoleon III and Russian desires to win the great game cause them to back the rebels, possibly with the Ottomans pro-rebel as well
 
Like it says on the tin. What PODs, from, say, 1830 onward could help the rebels score more victories or at least hold out against the British for longer? Two good ones could be keeping the Delhi arsenal from being blown up and getting John Nicholson out of the picture somehow, since he saved several BEIC officers from being poisoned by their cooks.
Changing the outcome of the 2nd Anglo-Sikh war can do the trick. A simple PoD can be Sher Singh Attariwala and Mulraj cooperating (or perhaps Mulraj dies after the British retreat and whoever succeeds him cooperates). This prevents the fall of Multan, a significant supply depot for Sikhs. And more importantly, a siege-breaking counterattack by Attariwala allows for the possibility of either capturing or disabling General Whish's Mortars and field guns. These guns in otl would prove decisive in breaching the otherwise well-planned Sikh defenses at the Battle of Gujrat.

Sikhs had provided a large pool of manpower in 1857 to the Brits, instead of joining the revolt, as they were still pissed off at their defeat at the hands of these sepoys from Awadh and Bihar.
In TTL, they may be willing to exploit this situation and back the sepoys. This might also forestall the sepoy's desperate attempt of installing the Mughal Emperor as their figurehead. This move had alienated a lot of people (especially the Maratha clans) who might have otherwise considered supporting, and at the same time, it didn't bring the expected Muslim support.
 
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I'm not sure of a single specific PoD, but there are three main things that doomed the rebels.

1) Organisation: By nature the rebellion was sporadic and haphazard, which is to be expected, but for success, the rebels needed to have a more coordinated structure with more high level officers defecting, which also could facilitate the princely states to switch sides. Hyderabad and the Maratha princes of Gwalior and Baroda are a must to get on the rebel side.

2) Expansion: the rebels were limited to the Gangetic plain due to various factors, Punjab remained Pro-British due to Sikhs historical enemity with the Mughals, the Bengal was very quickly pacified, and the south lacked the sepoy base for the rebellion to spread. The rebellion needs to be larger, both to deny the EIC it's replacement sepoys and to bolster the rebels ranks (perhaps Duleep Singh isn't sent to London until the rebellion and escapes to proclaim a Sikh revolt)

International Support: Other great powers need to back the rebels to spite the British, perhaps France under Napoleon III and Russian desires to win the great game cause them to back the rebels, possibly with the Ottomans pro-rebel as well
Well, with my POD the rebels would have more weapons than IOTL while the British lose one of their more capable generals and several more officers. While this wouldn't solve the rebellion's many underlying issues, it could give them more time to set up a government capable of coordinating at least some of their efforts.

Changing the outcome of the 2nd Anglo-Sikh war can do the trick. A simple PoD can be Sher Singh Attariwala and Mulraj cooperating (or perhaps Mulraj dies after the British retreat and whoever succeeds him cooperates). This prevents the fall of Multan, a significant supply depot for Sikhs. And more importantly, a siege-breaking counterattack by Attariwala allows for the possibility of either capturing or disabling General Whish's Mortars and field guns. These guns in otl would prove decisive in breaching the otherwise well-planned Sikh defenses at the Battle of Gujrat.

Sikhs had provided a large pool of manpower in 1857 to the Brits instead of joining the revolt, as they were still pissed off at their defeat at the hands of these sepoys from Awadh and Bihar.
In TTL, they may be willing to exploit this situation and back the sepoys. This might also forestall the sepoy's desperate attempt of installing the Mughal Emperor as their figurehead. This move had alienated a lot of people (especially the Maratha clans) who might have otherwise considered supporting, and at the same time, it didn't bring the expected Muslim support.
What about having the Sikh soldiers rebel as well and (try to) reestablish their old empire in the Punjab, hostile to both the British and the mutineers? As for the Mughal emperor, wasn't he still respected (at least as an institution) by much of the population?
 
What about having the Sikh soldiers rebel as well and (try to) reestablish their old empire in the Punjab, hostile to both the British and the mutineers? As for the Mughal emperor, wasn't he still respected (at least as an institution) by much of the population?
The claimant to the Punjabi throne, Duleep Singh was, under the terms of the treaty dissolving the Sikh Empire, taken to the UK and (as he was a kid) forcibly Anglicized and Christianized. If you want a rebellion in the name of restoring the Sikh Empire, you need to keep Duleep Singh in India, and that requires going back to the treaty dissolving the Sikh Empire.
 
What about having the Sikh soldiers rebel as well and (try to) reestablish their old empire in the Punjab, hostile to both the British and the mutineers? As for the Mughal emperor, wasn't he still respected (at least as an institution) by much of the population?
The Mughal Emperor was respected and even ceremonially acknowledged as the sovereign by many, but it had been nearly a century since any man took up arms and marched to war in the name of the emperor only. The loss at Buxar and the subsequent treaties lost the Mughals any ability to exercise their sovereignty over their now-theoretical empire.

The decentralization in the former empire also meant that men now took up arms under their own respective chieftains or nawabs, who in turn may or may not be claiming to act in the name of the emperor at the moment. So even if a man in say Bharatpur, wanted to fight, he'd first look towards his immediate liege for guidance, who in this case was actively supporting the Brits (or staying neutral, which meant the same thing).
 
The Mughal Emperor was respected and even ceremonially acknowledged as the sovereign by many, but it had been nearly a century since any man took up arms and marched to war in the name of the emperor only. The loss at Buxar and the subsequent treaties lost the Mughals any ability to exercise their sovereignty over their now-theoretical empire.

The decentralization in the former empire also meant that men now took up arms under their own respective chieftains or nawabs, who in turn may or may not be claiming to act in the name of the emperor at the moment. So even if a man in say Bharatpur, wanted to fight, he'd first look towards his immediate liege for guidance, who in this case was actively supporting the Brits (or staying neutral, which meant the same thing).
I see. Then it seems that, for these nawabs to support the rebellion, the British need to be even more callous in their governance prior to its outbreak at the very least. Do you think a quick string of rebel victories (caused in part by the Delhi arsenal being saved, for example) could also help?
 
It seems like you’d basically change everything about the rebellion and have a totally different rebellion occur. They’d need to be more organized and coordinated and have much more support, namely from the princes. I don’t even think that’s likely given the status of things at the time, it seems unlikely that you’d get them to switch sides. @BlazedSoulofHate any international support wouldn’t mean much given that those three don’t have much ability to influence India. I don’t napoleon III would’ve supported them. Not that it would mean much. Neither would any ottoman or Russian support.
 
No sort of Indian Mutiny is ever going to get international support due to the colonialist fear of race war that it would inevitably bring up, I suspect.
 
No sort of Indian Mutiny is ever going to get international support due to the colonialist fear of race war that it would inevitably bring up, I suspect.
They wouldn't be able to send weapons anyway, thanks to the Royal Navy.

How's this for a longer lasting (not necessarily victorious, by the way) mutiny:

  1. The Delhi arsenal isn't blown up;
  2. The British siege of the city is defeated early on (according to wikipedia they were almost forced to retreat in June 19, but the defenders didn't know how close they were to victory and stopped their assault);
  3. Thanks to the extra weapons and help from Delhi, Cawnpore and Lucknow are captured by the rebels relatively quickly. Can they advance on other important cities in the Gangetic plain, such as Allahabad and Agra?
Is this a plausible scenario? Last but not least, what was Mirza Mughal like?
 

Beatriz

Gone Fishin'
No sort of Indian Mutiny is ever going to get international support due to the colonialist fear of race war that it would inevitably bring up, I suspect.
American Southern racial and pro-slavery theorists explicitly tied slavery to the white rule in Algeria and India.
 
By international support, I'm alluding to more of a neutral stance rather than exploiting British losses, ensuring that a native led India exists through European non-interference.

The big issue is that lack of a high officer class, which hurt the rebels and a coherent plan as to what the plan for future government was to look like.
The claimant to the Punjabi throne, Duleep Singh was, under the terms of the treaty dissolving the Sikh Empire, taken to the UK and (as he was a kid) forcibly Anglicized and Christianized. If you want a rebellion in the name of restoring the Sikh Empire, you need to keep Duleep Singh in India, and that requires going back to the treaty dissolving the Sikh Empire.
Duleep was 15 when he converted and moved to London, which was in 1853, just 4 years before the Revolt. I don't think the treaty needs that much tweaking, maybe ensuring his mother and regent is housed with him keeps him in India?
 
Another thing, how much of a difference would an independent Sikh Empire (one that avoids the turmoil that ensued after the death of Ranjit Singh) make? I can actually see them intevening on behalf of the British, given how much they hated the Mughals.

@Shahrasayr
 
Duleep was 15 when he converted and moved to London, which was in 1853, just 4 years before the Revolt. I don't think the treaty needs that much tweaking, maybe ensuring his mother and regent is housed with him keeps him in India?
He was already in British custody from 1849 and intentionally brought up within a strictly English atmosphere with heavy restrictions on who he would be allowed to meet, with the Governor-General having every intention to Anglicize him. To keep him in India, you really do need to go back to the treaty.
 
They wouldn't be able to send weapons anyway, thanks to the Royal Navy.

How's this for a longer lasting (not necessarily victorious, by the way) mutiny:

  1. The Delhi arsenal isn't blown up;
  2. The British siege of the city is defeated early on (according to wikipedia they were almost forced to retreat in June 19, but the defenders didn't know how close they were to victory and stopped their assault);
  3. Thanks to the extra weapons and help from Delhi, Cawnpore and Lucknow are captured by the rebels relatively quickly. Can they advance on other important cities in the Gangetic plain, such as Allahabad and Agra?
Is this a plausible scenario? Last but not least, what was Mirza Mughal like?
That does make sense. I suspect from there they could take over Allahabad and Agra, and broadly speaking the Hindi belt west of Bihar and not including Rajasthan. In the remaining territory of the British Raj, I imagine there’d be some large consequences - opposition of any kind would be met with massive suspicion, and with there being a restored Maratha Empire as a statelet in Bundelkhand suddenly Maharashtrians would possibly be viewed as fifth columnists.

From what I understand, Mirza Mughal was not very competent. On the other hand, he would have lots of potential opportunities to have experience, and he might have a competent chief minister.
 
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That does make sense. I suspect from there they could take over Allahabad and Agra, and broadly speaking the Hindi belt west of Bihar and not including Rajasthan. In the remaining territory of the British Raj, I imagine there’d be some large consequences - opposition of any kind would be met with massive suspicion, and with there being a restored Maratha Empire as a statelet in Bundelkhand suddenly Maharashtrians would likely be viewed as fifth columnists.
Hm, I wonder if this could create a self-fulfilled prophecy, with British paranoia and repression driving more people into the arms of the rebels? Could they (the sepoys/Mughals/rebels) march into Bengal or the Punjab?
From what I understand, Mirza Mughal was not a very good military commander
Yeah, but I read on another thread (and a little bit of wikipedia) that he tried to set up an organized administration and failed, thanks to his lack of experience, the arrival of Bakht Khan and the British siege. If Delhi holds out, and it does so quickly (before Khan shows up), maybe it could blossom into something more?
 
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Another thing, how much of a difference would an independent Sikh Empire (one that avoids the turmoil that ensued after the death of Ranjit Singh) make? I can actually see them intevening on behalf of the British, given how much they hated the Mughals.
Like I said earlier, Mughals were a non-entity at the time. On the other hand, the Sikhs were engaged in a showdown with the British over the cis-Sutlej territories they had been trying to acquire since Ranjit Singh's time. These were Sikh clans that had shifted their loyalty from the Marathas to the English after the Anglo-Maratha War of 1805.

The threat of a Sikh invasion was so real that the Brits had increased their troop count on the border from a few thousand men and a handful of guns to 40K men and nearly 100 guns on the eve of the First Anglo-Sikh War. In fact, this militarization was directly responsible for the breakdown of relations and the initiation of hostilities.
Honestly, I can't imagine anything different even if the Sikh succession wasn't so messed up. Annexation of Sindh was an extremely aggressive move (criticized in Britain even) and so obviously aimed at the Sikhs that mutual trust could no longer exist.

In any case, there is no way they would be intervening on the behalf of the British in 1857 even if there was no prior war. Certainly not unless they were promised both the daggers pointed at them, ie, cis-Sutlej territories as well as Sindh. And obviously, there is no way the Brits would bend over this much.
 
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