Rebirth of an Empire "O Renascimento de um Império" v2.0

Rebirth of Empire (2 of 2) - The Hunt for 'Piranha' (2 of 2)
Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) (Cont.)

The Hunt for ‘Piranha’ (2 of 2)


Battle of Dili (1781) & Capture of the ‘Piranha’
William’s chain of provocations, however, could not go unanswered any further and the Chinese Emperor, the China Sea pirates and the Dutch navy began to issue pursuit of William ‘Piranha’, not knowing where he was based but able to trace his followers. Feeling the pressure of local powers uniting against him once again, William decided to return his operations to the easternmost Spice Islands, rebasing himself in Tidore where his enlarged fleet would regain strength while the angered emperors and Stadtholders cooled off. He turned his sights to the most vulnerable colonies and kingdoms of the endless archipelago, where his preferred tactics would make him unstoppable.

And for a short while it was so, with the Dutch unable to isolate his movements and entrap him, allowing William to plunder back much strength. He also began targeting Portuguese possessions and eventually intended to capture Dili itself, turning it into his own pirate fortress. This hubris and overreaching proved to be his downfall, however, for by the time the Piranha was ready to strike Dili, the Hammershark was there to prey on him.

On November 1781, as he prepared himself to raid the Timor coast, William was caught against the shore by the squadron of Admiral Rebelo, whose HMS Beira Prince led in a surrounding tactic that would neutralized William’s typical speedy and infiltrative maneuvers. Pushing the superior weight of his ships against William, the ‘Hammershark’ successfully cornered Piranha and ordered an immediate firing and boarding to prevent the wild card pirate from escaping his grasp again. The professional sailors were quick to follow command and William suddenly found his proud fleet be mercilessly bombarded and seized.


Rebelo counter-ambushed William once again and immediately sunk half his fleet

With a rocky shore grinding him like an anvil, William realized there was a legitimate chance he could be captured all at once despite the gains he accumulated in the China Sea, but true to his nature he instead chose to bite back and engaged the Portuguese Navy directly, but there was one thing he did not count on; the Portuguese Marines.

Trained in naval action and shock tactics, the Marines were unlike the ordinary Bluecoat and sailor in the sense they thrived on pirate-style combat, and the crew of the pirate ship ‘Reaper’ found this out the hard way as they attacked the HMS Verney with a boarding action in an attempt to create an opening in Rebelo’s ship line. Their rope-swinging and boarding was met with trained saber rattle and musket firing which successfully fought off the buccaneers, who then realized they stuck themselves to a warship of superior firepower that did not hesitate to repel their melee attack and blast their deck to splinters.


William’s pirates attempt to board HMS Verney but were immediately countered by the Marines

The battle further progressed unfavorably at an alarming rate, with William’s best ships falling into tactical traps and unable to out-fire, board, slip through or even properly turn their broadsides to the Portuguese virtual blockade. Half of his ships began surrendering within the hour but William, true to his nature, refuse to give up and ordered his flagship to ‘ram the Beira Prince’, a move that wasn’t even expected to work given the contemporary design of his warship but would at least allow him to die fighting to the end.

Predicting this desperate move from years of driving his enemies into corners, Anthony Rebelo ordered his squadron to open chain-ball fire on William, shattering his sails and stopping the pirate’s movements on its tracks. At 14:39 PM, Anthony’s marines boarded the ‘Amazona’ and captured the entire crew, including William who attempted to bite his own tongue upon feeling the saber on his throat.

Surrender, Punishment Philosophy & Letter of Marque
I will surrender to no man but the one who beat me. It was not the Prince of Lisbon that beat me today. It was a ‘shark’. I will offer my sword to him, and to no one else.
-William ‘Piranha’, as his flagship was boarded by Rebelo

The capture of ‘Piranha’ signaled a mark of honor on Vice-Admiral Hammershark’s career, having personally put an end to the career of a man who, for a moment, made the East believe he would become a pirate king. The bounty on Piranha’s death alone was worth a fortune, but Rebelo was under orders to capture the pirate by the Portuguese Navy and not the sultans of Arabia. The corsair had attacked Portuguese ships and ports over the years, but extraordinary circumstances compelled Rebelo to not immediately execute the pirate.

The most important circumstances were the ongoing Luso-Dutch hostilities and the abolishment of the Death Penalty in Portugal.

In 1781, the people of Portugal were beset by Theodorian Thought, the philosophical current, doctrine and idea based on humanistic principles, on the concept of Social Contract and on the sanctity of life proposed by ‘Teodoro de Almeida’, an ecclesiastic philosopher, at the height of the society’s Value Void Years (1775-1780). Based on the fundamental ‘Five Arguments of Theodore’, which addressed Religion, Society, Nation, ‘Right to Rule’ and Vengeance, it argued for the ‘National missioning of all Portuguese against Death Penalty throughout the world’. This radical string of thought believed it was Portugal’s destiny as an empire to combat Death Penalty, in a parallel to Britain’s mission to combat slavery, and it took the country by storm due to elevated anxieties stemming from the harshness of Pombaline rule, the rumors of the French Revolution’s barbarity and a popular desire to rediscover Portuguese identity after the events of the Order of Christ Conspiracy.


Theodore of Almeida’s philosophy shaped Portuguese society and indirectly spared William’s life

This acknowledged the brutality of life but argued that humans, as rational beings, had the duty and desire to rise above that brutality by all means necessary in a manner similar to how British were arguing against slavery. The purest expression of this thought was the treatment of prisoners; while they could be contained in a cell, distanced by exile or disciplined by pain, all of which were relative punishments, it was no one’s right to take their life, which was an Absolute punishment (mostly based on an argument that it would deprive them of the chance to redeem themselves which, albeit fallacious, was compatible with the fragile state of mind of Portuguese society at the time).

Theodorian Thought characterized the Portuguese social revolution, allowing it to counter the spread of French Revolutionary ideals and, later on, Malthusian Thought, and it dictated that the military, which was a force of the state, could not act in a manner contrary to the society the state represented. This included captured pirates, which were traditionally considered vile beyond all levels (particularly and ironically by the Portuguese themselves, who historically and consistently suffered horrors and misfortunes under Barbary corsairs and European privateers).

This put Rebelo in a delicate situation regarding William, whom he intended to capture but knew the young pirate would face hanging should he be delivered to the Sultans, the Chinese Emperor or even the nearby governor of Dili. Anthony ‘Hammershark’ therefore decided to negotiate with William the terms of his surrender, which included his enlistment as a privateer under King Joseph II. The main reason for this was the ongoing conflict with the Dutch (which lingered from 1780 till after William’s capture). Should William accept Rebelo’s offer, his life and that of his captured crewmen would be spared, he would be given a new crew to take over and his piracy activities would be continued and even funded by King Joseph II against the Dutch.

To the surprise of everyone on board except Rebelo, William accepted.


After a lifetime of piracy and murder, William ‘Piranha’ surrenders to Anthony ‘Hammershark’ Rebelo

The event of William’s surrender became one of historical discussion; the pirate was known for his vile aggression, rogue background and refusal to take orders from even the biggest of sea dogs. It was not well understood why the same man who refused the vassalage ultimatum of Zheng Yi at the cost of a massive, difficult sea battle, spent years subverting the dominance of sea powers in various areas of the Asian waters and even attempted to bite his tongue after capture by Rebelo would accept the deal offered by that very same captor of technical enslavement to the Portuguese Navy.

William’s motives were the same that motivated any man of his nature; he had been defeated honorably by a superior sea warrior and wished to fight on under his command. By his own words, he did not surrender to Joseph II, to whom Anthony swore an oath of obedience, but to Anthony ‘Hammershark’ himself. While the Letter of Marque he would receive would be marked by the ring of the King, it was to Anthony he held respect, not the runt in Lisbon. Secondly the act of privateering allowed him to live the life he had so far enjoyed and profited from, except he would have to live with the fact his crewmen were soldiers in pirate clothes instead of actual bloodthirsty corsairs (which made his sleep more comfortable, in fact).

All William would really miss out on was the glory of being an independent corsair punching the nose of eastern pirate lords, something which benefits were being over the years gradually outweighed by their worrying repercussions, as William’s enemies rose by the years despite his many unlikely victories. As a privateer under an organized navy, he would be better equipped, better fed, better clothed and had the prospects of increasing his glory and fame beyond the mere limits of a dying Pirate Age. It would all depend on how much he was willing to risk under his new masters and he was willing to try it after the catastrophic defeat he suffered at Dili.

Therefore, from that moment onwards, William ceased to be a pirate and instead became William ‘Piranha’ de Távora, a man that would eventually reach vice-admiralty, refuse a promotion to admiralty and be remembered as a crucial naval reformer of his age. He would play a crucial role in the Luso-Dutch Wars of the 1780s, being almost singlehandedly responsible for the defeat, sinking and capture of dozens of warships, and would take part in major sea battles from the early French Revolutionary Wars to the Luso-Moroccan wars of the 1820s.

Legacy, Culture & Heroism

William was at his time known as one of the bloodthirsty relics of the Pirate Age, but his life as a privateer and eventually as a Vice-Admiral of the Portuguese Navy would transform him into an historical symbol of Portuguese seafaring. Throughout the 1800s his acts and battles were romanticized, impressed, dramatized and echoed, influencing Portuguese naval doctrine with his belief in superior mobility tactics all the way to the 20th century and the rise of the submarine fleets despite some fellow mariners of his time, including Rebelo and later on the Marquis of Nisa, surpassing him in battle feats scale.

The rogue and proud attitude he displayed, however, catapulted him into a pedestal of masculine adventurism beyond his actual accomplishments and he joined the ranks of characters like Blackbeard and Sandokan as a man of rebellious and romantic endeavors, with many of his feats being remembered with exaggeration and excessive apologies in the form of books, theater, epics and, eventually, comic books about his adventures in the East.


An Adventure in the China Seas

William was featured heavily in Corsair comics in 20th century Portugal

His legendary status was impactful even during his lifetime and it helped further the romanticism and neo-classicism that took over Portugal during the defense against the French invasions of Napoleon Bonaparte, an impact he often ridiculed as ‘desk dribble’ from writing men who didn’t really understand the harshness of the sea.

The hunt for the pirate ‘Piranha’ was, then, in conclusion, a campaign of great importance for Portuguese naval history and it would influence conflicts from the Anglo-Dutch Wars to others well beyond his death, including World War I.

Note:

We have now completed not only Hunt for Piranha but also Rebirth of Empire volume 2. It is important to understand the impact of our journey and where we go from here. We have not only covered the reign of king Joseph 1 but the first few years of king Joseph II whom we call the "Great", these have been tumultuous years with more changes and development than in previous few centuries. All of them had their source in one person Marques Pombal. For while the events over the last three decades have not been entirely his doing it was his vision and initiative that brought the country to the moment in time. Had fortune not touched Pombal and more importantly Portugal many of this person efforts might of been squandered or even reversed by the reactionary forces still present in the country at end of king Joseph I reign. I shudder to think what the country would of turned out had the we had the misfortune of Prince Maria ascend the throne. We can also wonder what would of happen to the many developments and changes the country and empire had witnessed if the right partners had not appeared in Pombal's path and ended up in his cabinet and working alongside Pombal for betterment of the country, for all the tasks accomplished in the last 3 decades would of been high improbable to be done by one person, at least with long lasting impact and in the detail they were done during this time. Lastly we finish with few words regarding William Távora and both the impact he had during this time in the dangerous waters that were the Indian and China Seas at that time. More importantly the affect he will have in the next great challenge facing not only the country but the whole empire. For next up is what had been described as the epic tale of the country's fight for survival and expansion apply named "The Three-Years War 1780 -1783". For it will be a time for the country to arise to the challenges being presented over a space of only few years but touches every part of the empire. The three year war is actual a series of battles and wars that span the globe pitting Portugal and British against several European adversaries as well as some regional opponents. It is a momentous tale and one will delve on for the next year. For it and the related sections are over 200 pages. Questions/Comments

Please return Sunday October 6 as we post the start of the Three-Years War (1780 -1784).
 
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I assume them that William will eventually realise that the runt in Lisbon is his ultimate boss if he reach Vice-Admiralship? Though it's interesting that his fame surpasses that of the Man who crushed his fleet, I would have thought Rebelo would be unmatched in the Portuguese psyche when it comes to naval matters.

I can't wait for the Napoleonic Wars to start, really curious on his alt-motivation towards invading Portugal.
 
I assume them that William will eventually realise that the runt in Lisbon is his ultimate boss if he reach Vice-Admiralship? Though it's interesting that his fame surpasses that of the Man who crushed his fleet, I would have thought Rebelo would be unmatched in the Portuguese psyche when it comes to naval matters.

I can't wait for the Napoleonic Wars to start, really curious on his alt-motivation towards invading Portugal.
Both Rebelo and William were very important figures in the late 18th and early 19th century Portuguese naval history and both played very important roles in projecting Portuguese power and demonstrating Portuguese new found ability in defending Portuguese interests.

Incidentally both figured very prominently in early books and movies but starting in the 1960s William became a dashing and rebellious figure flaunting authority. He took on a more central role in the story.

As for Napoleão wars we actually have a lot of just as important conflicts coming up including the 3 year war.
 
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The Three-Years War (1780-1783)
The Three-Years War (1780-1783)


I’m not sure what you were expecting, Joseph; this is the world we live in and how it’s always been, after all. Gold flows in and blood flows out. You’d better be ready to lead your country.
-Queen Charlotte of Portugal to her young husband, King Joseph II, on the eve of the Luso-Dutch War, after the breakdown of the Nantes Negotiations of 1782.

While the Early Josephine period was an important phase of reformation in the country, it was also marked at the end of it by the outbreak of a period of global conflict to which Portugal was indirectly pulled into. From 1780 to the treaty of Paris in 1783, Portugal would fight in a short yet immense global conflict, with only the British to count on, against such enemies as the Marathas of the new Peshwa Madhavrao, the French of Louis XVIII, their longtime rivals of the Dutch East Indies and even the American Revolutionaries in some indirect ways. Although its overall role would become secondary to that of the English Empire, the three years of the war would pit Portugal into a period of immense uncertainty and war strain that would be the final, ultimate test to the Enlightenment of the Pombaline Phase.

It was safe to say that this conflict was an indirect consequence of the power pulling created by the British victory in the Seven Years War. The massive gains, both on the battlefield and in the peace treaty, by the British against the French defeated the old power balance doctrine that perceived France as the primary threat to European stability and now most continental powers were resentful and envious of the British, leading to the silent collapse of the Grand Alliance. Britain was now seen as the primary threat to the ambitions of the continental powers and the sole uncontested colonizer of North America and India.

Portugal was not exempt in this terror; Prime Minister Pombal admired enlightened kingdoms but was also highly suspicious of the British, something that fueled many of his early government mercantilist policies, and even feared London was secretly conspiring to seize Portuguese Brazil for itself after the massive Quebec was seized by Britain through sheer naval superiority and even Prussia had reasons to resent its war ally for feeling betrayed after London back off its funding in the midst of the Seven Year War.

As a result, by 1777, the start of King Joseph II’s reign, the British were left with no militarily substantial ally.



Left: Pombal discussing with the late Count Lippe the political dangers of the British Empire
Right: The Royal Navy dominating its enemies
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The British Navy was now a highly alarming threat to the Europeans, and only Lisbon’s traditional friendship and strategic, cabinet-favored gains maintained even Portugal as its ally.

This lingering tension, combined with the decreasing opposition in India to the British, the rising of violent tensions in France, the consolidation of Prussian prowess and the resentment of many, many continental powers like Spain, Austria and even the Netherlands, escalated into a series of direct and indirect outbreaks that would, quite unfortunately, bring a Portugal on the brink of an economic resurrection to a new, globalized series of wars.

At the center of this involvement was King Joseph II’s marriage with Queen Charlotte, daughter of George III; while royal marriages were no longer as strong an indicative of an alliance as in older times, during these tense decades it was one of the few gestures of significant approaching one of the European powers made towards London, putting Portugal at the spotlight of an informal anti-British coalition hole. French and Dutch interests in particular were especially mindful of this and conflict would boil over diplomatic nuisances into the global-scale Three Years War.

Integrated in overall manner within the 1778 to 1783 Anglo-French War, the conflict would last, as hinted by its name, only approximately three years, so it was a relatively short war for the perspective of most great powers involved. For Portugal, however, it was a period of great uncertainty and restlessness that would put the new national structure to the test at a time most people were unsure of the values defended by the Tagus Declaration, the catholic schism or even Pombalism in itself.

The wars themselves, moreover, were not part of a greater whole, but for the Portuguese they might as well have been; the timing and placement of all the outbreaks were intrinsically connected and would test national fortitude from the beaches of Dili to the seas of Sargasso, giving little to no rest and replacing one threat with the other in an endless row of battles that would culminate in an age of philosophical and mental culmination for Lusitanian values, as well as a significant shift on the political landscape.[1]

And it all began with Tipu Sultan’s return to Srirangapatna, two years earlier.

[1] See Section: King and Country (1783).

The Three Years War is actually composed of several wars that either happened at same time or were related to one another in some way. Listed below is a list of the wars and number of posts that each they were posted. We will update the links as we post them:


Note:
We now start what some scholars have described as the single most important crises to face the Portuguese Empire at the beginning of Joseph reign. For it defined how the Pombalism reforms and new ideas including religious change would be remembered. Would the Portuguese be crushed and all the changes be construed to be just pipe dream and over reach by a country long past its prime or would the country and its people find the extra ounce of reserve and strength to deal with all the challenges that lay before it and emerge more powerful and re-take its place as one of the great powers in the world. Questions/Comments

While the update might be smaller than regular updates it is important that we set the stage for the next several struggles facing the country.

Please return Sunday October 20 as we post the first The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) section named - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781).
 
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I hope the readers like the image collages that start up these larger sections; they come off much larger and pixelated once up in the website than in my Word file, where they look sleek as heck. :oops:
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (1 of 9)
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (1 of 9)


Indian Subcontinent (1779)

Dark Green: Greater Goa (Viceroy Frederick Holstein)
Purple: Maratha Confederacy (Peshwa Narayan Rao)
Orange: Mysore Kingdom (Tipu Sultan)
Red: British India (Council of Four)


Setting

On 12 October 1778, Tipu Sultan, along with the Mysore army were freed by Vice Roy Castro and he marched to the capital of Mysore, Srirangapatna. While Tipu was in captivity, however, his father, Hyder Ali, passed away due to cardiac arrest and while the Prince was a legitimate heir, he was in captivity in Goa, meaning the capital was empty of heading.

Coote the Brave, recently appointed head of the British East India Company, was well aware of this.


Lieutenant-General Eyre Coote ‘the Brave’

1726-1783
Soldier, MP for Poole and head of the British East India Company

Coote was the mastermind behind a triple betrayal on the Mysore, pitting the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas in his favor against him while instigating the officers and officials in the Mysorean cities to rise in the power vacuum left behind by Hyder’s death and Tipu’s capture. By 1st of December, Srirangapatna was taken over by its court and magistrates and a treaty of sovereignty recognition from the British in exchange for land concessions was under way.

Upon arriving on his capital, Tipu Sultan found himself faced with a rebellion and his unexpectedly early arrival in the city put the whole coup in jeopardy, ultimately collapsing when the army refused to fight Tipu, a legitimate heir to the throne that had proven himself in battle. He then ordered his army to arrest the conspirators and had their leaders executed.

Franco-Mysorean Alliance & Capture of Mahé

On 10th of December, Tipu Sultan became the new King of Mysore and he faced an unprecedentedly humiliating situation; he had been trumped in battle by the Luso-Goans to the West, forcing his deceased father to a agree to the asset-seizing 1778 Treaty of Mangalore, and members of his military top brass had just attempted a coup against him under support of the British to the East. This was taxing to say the least, since just five years earlier Tipu and his kingdom had been making significant territorial, technological and naval gains to the point even their Maratha counterparts feared to honor their alliance to Vice-Roy Castro against King Hyder Ali. Within a single year, however, he lost control over the northwestern populace, his navy was crippled at Panambur, half his total forces were defeated, three significant port towns were seized and the border with Goa grew uncomfortably closer.

It seemed that from one day to the other all of Mysore’s rivals seemed to have grown bold and dangerous, an intolerable state of affairs to any proud kingdom of India and a decisive action was needed to restore Mysorean prestige. Having just signed a peace treaty with the Portuguese, Tipu therefore decided to focus on a more immediate threat, the British that conspired on the Srirangapatna Coup attempt. That same year Tipu made a critical diplomatic decision; to commit himself to a Franco-Mysorean Alliance and form a multi-pronged attack on the British to drive them off the Southern Indian coast.


1778 Franco-Mysorean Alliance

Tipu sent ambassadors to Louis XVI and signed an historical agreement that would trigger a major ultra-continental conflict[1]

This alliance was signed right in the middle of the American Revolutionary War, while Louis XVI continued to actively and expensively support the American Patriots, which aggravated Franco-British tensions immensely, but also the war support stress France was currently on. The French expected compensation for all this risk in monetary and trade-privilege form, both which, at the time, grew increasingly valuable to the nearly bankrupt France. Along 1778, Charles Patissier, the Marquis of Bussy-Castelnau, traveled to Mauritius with troops and instructions to head the Franco-Mysore support and became the face of the French interference in Anglo-Mysorean affairs.


Marquis de Bussy-Castelnau

Marquis Charles became the leader of the French pro-Mysore investment

By 1779, Marquis Charles was in direct contact and coordination with Tipu Sultan and aided the new King of Mysore in taking the reins of his country back and build-up a new, improved war force that could meet, match and overcome the British East India Company. The young King, true to his military talent, accelerated war rebuilding immensely when combined with French assistance and within 1779 was ready to conduct a serious attack effort with at least 80,000 Mysore soldiers.[2]

The British East India Company, aware of French interference, moved in and captured the port of Mahé as part of the ongoing Anglo-French War. This port was of strategic importance to the French military interference in Mysore and was perceived as the official start of the Second Anglo-Mysore War.

Second Anglo-Mysore War (1779)

With the aid of the French supplies and advice, Tipu Sultan decided to attack the British to extract revenge for supporting the attempted coup and his father’s death. His goal was to provide Mysore with new victories against the hated British and then, with the British threat removed, extract revenge on the Luso-Maratha Alliance. Throughout the autumn of 1779, Tipu invaded the Carnatic and marched on the city of Madras, burning villages along the way. On 1 April 1779, a British force of 5,000 men under Colonel Baillie moved out to lift the Mysorean sieges and attempt to intercept the invader, but due to their significant numeric disadvantage they were unable to press their strong points on the enemy and Colonel Baillie was defeated near Pollilur, with his detachment being either captured or killed.


Battle of Pollilur

The British were unable to counter Mysorean numeric superiority and rocket attacks, contributing to an historically reviled defeat

This defeat was considered the most humiliating and severe loss on the battlefield during this period of British presence in India and it encouraged Tipu to invest further resources on the offensive, as, unlike the Luso-Goan army, the unfocused British forces were unready to engage Sultan’s tactics. Despite employing tactics effective against Indian cavalry and infantry warfare, the British offensive maneuvers put them in positions vulnerable to indirect artillery and overwhelming cavalry force, and Munro was forced to even dump his cannons in a water tank, so he could escape to Madras, but the losses would not end here.

On 15 August 1779, emboldened by his rage and victory, Tipu pressed the attack, arriving at Annagudi where he inflicted another serious defeat on Colonel Braithwaite.[3] By December 1779, Tipu had successfully seized Chittur from British hands and prepared to attack Madras itself, an encouraging situation that would affect French aggression as well, which resulted in further investment from their part despite a maintained loss risk.

In 1780 the British sent Sir Eyre Coote, who defeated Tipu four times in succession in the battles of Chidambaram, Porto Novo, Pollilur and Sholingarh, turning the tide of the war on British favor. Tipu was forced to raise the siege of Wandiwash, not to mention Vellore was provisioned. London, however, sensing the impending violence with Dutch and facing a losing situation in the Americas, ordered an immediate end to the conflict in a favorable manner and the British fleet captured Negapatam, finally forcing Tipu Sultan to sign in 1781 the Treaty of Mangalore, at which both sides agreed to restore the others' lands to the status quo ante bellum.

While the British were the ones to press the treaty, the conditions it was set on meant that the psychological victory was on Mysorean favor; they managed to conduct a serious, aggressive attack on their possessions and, thanks to war circumstances beyond the Indian subcontinent, came out of it relatively unpunished despite a string of defeats at the hands of Coote, leaving Tipu most satisfied and Sir hector Munro most vengeance-seeking.

Anglo-Maratha War (1779)

Parallel to the Anglo-Mysore conflict was the Anglo-Maratha dispute, which occurred mostly on the opposite coast of the subcontinent.

Since 1775, the British in Bombay had sent several emissaries to the Peshwa in Pune, Narayan Rao, demanding a number of trade privileges. Due to the 1774 Luso-Maratha War,[4] however, Narayan was deeply indebted to Goa and had reserved said privileges to the Portuguese Vice-Roys. Unfortunately the British attempted to flex muscle and also started demanding as part of the final negotiations that Portugal’s trade concessions be shared with Bombay. Narayan Rao refused and, upon suffering an ultimatum, expelled the British emissary.

In 1776, the British sent a large force to Pune to force the Peshwa to cede to British demands. Narayan Rao, partially funded by a Goan tariff break for that year and with officers borrowed from the Portuguese, led a Maratha force and defeated the British on the outskirts of Pune. He then marched on Bombay. He met the British at Thana where the British forces were defeated again. The British East Company governor in Bombay, fearing an attack on their outpost, agreed to sign the Treaty of Thana, which forced the British East India Company to cede Surat and pay the war damages; it also limited the influence and territorial ambitions of the British in Bombay.

To pacify the Bombay Office, however, Narayan agreed later on in that year to sign the treaty of Purandar,[5] where he agreed to block off French attempts to gain ports on the western coast. The British East India Company was embarrassed by the defeat, resulting in both the military commander as well as the Bombay governor being replaced.

Vice-Roy Castro and his successor Vice-Roy Frederick therefore continued to enjoy trade privileges with Narayan at the indirect expense of the French but the outbreak of war between Paris and London in 1779 as well as the Mysorean Invasion on the Carnatic changed the situation, with France being in a position to directly attack British influence. That same year, as Marquis Bussy negotiated with Tipu Sultan, he also attempted to approach Narayan’s court in an attempt to turn them against Bombay.

In 1779, as the eastern possessions attempted to fight off Mysore, the British EIC sent a large force to fortify Bombay. This was misconstrued as another possible invasion from the British by Narayan, who accepted to allow French merchants into his land. This constituted a Purandar treaty breach and the British attacked on 11 December 1779, the Bassein was captured and on 15 February 1780 Ahmadabad was held hostage as well. This time the British were prepared to engage the Marathas, facing much better luck than their Madras counterparts did against Mysore, and captured Surat on 31st of March when the local population threatened British interest in the city despite Narayan’s initial counterattack attempts.

Narayan Rao met the British force outside of Dhulia, but despite outnumbering the British two-to-one he was forced to flee due to British superior weapons and discipline. The British force pursued Narayan Rao south towards Pune. At the city of Nasik, Narayan’s forces again attacked the British and were again defeated.

This time, however, was Narayan Rao killed in the fighting, shot down by musket fire while directing a cavalry charge. The British force who had suffered heavy losses themselves did not pursue the remaining Maratha army but instead retreated to Bombay, knowing the most significant political damage had already been inflicted.

Peshwa Madhavrao, Nana Fadnavis and the Expulsion Ultimatum

After the death of Narayan Rao, his infant son Madhavrao became the Peshwa and Nana Fadnavis became the administrator leader of Pune.


Peshwa Madhavrao & Nana Fadnavis

The ascension of this young Peshwa and his manipulative Minister, known as the Maratha Machiavelli, put an end to Maratha’s war effort and its alliance with the Portuguese

The ascension of Madhavrao was an important event in the region’s history, for it signified a change of European policy for the Maratha Confederacy, who rallied around the young Peshwa’s distrust of Goa and Bombay. With the guidance of the militarily, administratively and diplomatically talented Nana Fadnavis, the leader of the Marathas managed to reunite the entire Maratha confederation in the war against the British and all other Europeans, and within the space of a few months the British invasion reached a stalemate.

Both the Bombay Office and Goan Vice-Roy Frederick contested the legitimacy of Madhavrao’s ascension, with Goa demanding the reestablishment of commercial ties in exchange for recognition, but the Peshwa refused to lose prestige at an early stage of his reign and, instead, the Maratha expelled all Europeans from their territory, they closed all ports to European ships and with Nana Fadnavis leading them the Maratha attempted to expel all Europeans from Northwestern India.

Portuguese diplomats and missionaries spoke out against Nana Fadnavis, reminding him of the Luso-Maratha alliance and how the former Vice-Roy Castro had protected the new Peshwa’s dynasty from being displaced, but Nana Fadnavis declared Christianity as a threat to all of India as a response and offered Vice-Roy Frederick an ultimatum; either he returned Daman and Diu to the Maratha Confederacy and take back all his missionaries or the Peshwa would bring the full might of the Marathas on Goa itself.

On 1 March 1780, Vice-Roy Castro refused, and the Luso-Maratha War began.

[1] iOTL the Mysore French alliance and Mysorean ambassadors to French court only occurred in 1788. Here the loses to the Portuguese, British involvement in the coup attempt and Tipu’s aggressiveness motivated Tipu to reach out to the French earlier. iTTL the early Mysore – French Alliance alienated the French from the Maratha and the French - Maratha alliance of 1782 never materialized.

[2] iOTL the lack of French alliance would result in delay of Tipu war plans and re-armaments. The second Anglo-Mysore war only started in the middle of 1780. Here the French help provided Tipu with additional resources and his forces were stronger and ready in 1779.

[3] iOTL Instead of following up the victory and pressing on for a decisive victory at Madras, Hyder Ali (1780) instead renewed the siege at Arcot, which he captured on 3 November. This decision gave the British time to shore up their defenses in the south, and despatch reinforcements under the command of Sir Eyre Coote to Madras.

[4] See Section: Rebirth of Empire (Part 1 of 2) – Portuguese Maratha War of 1774.

[5] iOTL without Portuguese involvement and support the treaty was a result of the First Anglo Maratha War where Salsette was seized by the British.


Note:
The Luso-Maratha War continued a series of war between the Europeans and Indian countries. Just as iOTL these wars were significant in that it allowed European powers namely British to gain control of the Indian subcontinent and resulted in by the early part of the 19th century subjugating all independent Indian countries and principalities under European control. These wars re-imagined with Portuguese involvement tries to imagine a scenario where a bolstered and stronger Portuguese are involved in such wars and what the outcomes would be. To understand Portuguese position and strength in 1780 I would recommend readers review both Portuguese Maratha War of 1774 and the Portuguese Mysore war. Questions/Comments

Note regarding posting of this section. The Luso-Maratha War is over 60 pages and will be divided in approximately nine sections.

Please return Sunday November 4 as we post the 2nd section of The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781).
 
With the greater Portugese presence as well as new French interest in the area, I foresee a much greater fragmentation of India, not only between European powers but also native states that are able to maintain independence.
 
With the greater Portugese presence as well as new French interest in the area, I foresee a much greater fragmentation of India, not only between European powers but also native states that are able to maintain independence.
It would seem that way and many things have to happen for any one country to control all of India. I think that for a country to control all of India like British it would take luck and would not happen majority of the time. You are right about the possibility of India being fragmented. While I may have a little insight into how it turns out I will leave it to to speculation for now.
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (2 of 9)
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (2 of 9)


War Outbreak

Mirroring the events of the earlier Luso-Mysore War, many enemies of Nana Fadnavis as well as local Christian converts fled from Maratha-controlled areas and sought refuge with the British and the Portuguese. Approximately three hundred refugees per month would enter the northern Goa border and be housed in tents formerly occupied by Luso-Mysore prisoners and refugees. The Portuguese enclaves closed down their gates and enforced strict entrance policy to prevent the infiltration of spies, often holding refugee camps just outside the cities that fed them. Many were sent to work in fields, mines or war construction to reduce the stress of their presence.

All the Maratha states joined in the war against the Europeans, mainly the British and the Portuguese. In the north, the Maratha of Baroda attacked and defeated the British in Ahmadabad and Surat, but when they moved against the Portuguese in Daman and Diu they were unable to engage them due to fortifications and evasive tactics, so the Baroda army was forced to start besieging Daman whereas in Diu the Portuguese retreated from the mainland and waited out the fighting in the island.

General Castro, the hero of the Luso-Mysore War, however, had passed away to illness earlier that year, and Vice-Roy Frederick was not confident in his own ability to wage war, so military leadership was delegated to his Brigadier Generals while he took a directing role in the Goa HQ. From these Brigadier Generals, two would distinguish themselves, namely the Scottish-born John Forbes and the Lisboan Gomes Freire de Andrade.


Brigadier Generals ‘John Forbes’ & ‘Gomes Freire de Andrade’

John Forbes and Freire de Andrade would be the principal military leaders on the side of Goa

In August 1780, Vice-Roy Frederick, acting as general, commanded a total force of over 10,000 soldiers divided into the three Brigades (Goa, Daman and Diu) of approximately 3,600 men accompanied by artillery and the new weapon, the Portuguese Armed Rockets, also codenamed as the ‘Belenos’.[1] The Goan military force faced a larger enemy than during the Luso-Mysore War of 1777, but was also better reinforced and supplied; superior supply depots, artillery pieces captured during the war with Tipu, improved weaponry industries in Lisbon, Rio and Goa and, finally, a better overall economy in the enclave allowed the government of Goa to commission its own rocket divisions, arming these Europeans with a dangerous new bombarding tactic. Moreover, gun drilling developed in Lisbon’s Silver Arm Complex improved the design of the cannons while the rockets themselves were enhanced by adding horse-pulled, wheeled wooden mounts of adjustable angle, improving battle accuracy and reliability.


‘Belenos’ Armed Rockets

The Portuguese Bluecoats operated a design significantly improved upon compared to the native Mysorean and would rival the Congreve Rockets throughout the early 19th century

General Frederick ordered his Brigadier Generals to march on Maratha territory to bring the fight to the enemy ground and by the end of the month the three brigades passed the northeastern border in coordinated fashion. Frederick, however, was nervous about fighting native powers inside the Deccan Plateau borders, as communication, fighting and supplying would grow more difficult, so scouts were sent ahead to survey the terrain while a diplomatic envoy met the Maratha war general, Haripant Phadke, at Kolhapur to issue a final offer of white peace. The offer was rejected on the grounds of the new Peshwa’s tenacity to prove his leadership mettle in spite of the late Narayan Rao’s friendship with Goa and that Vice-Roy Castro was now considered a direct enemy of the Marathas.

With no choice but to fight, Frederick, Forbes and Freire led their troops forward.

Blockade & Battle of Kolhapur

On 10 September 1780, General Frederick’s forces crossed into the Deccan Plateau through Amboli and marched northwest to Haripant’s position, column side-by-side. Kolhapur, however, was difficult to assault due to numerous slopes and lakes in the area as well as the Panchaganga River crossing it, so Brigadier General John Forbes suggested capturing Hengaleaj,[2] a small village in the banks of the Hiranyakeshi River 53 kilometers south of Kolhapur, from where they could stage a better offensive.

In the meantime, Vice-Admiral Anthony ‘Hammershark’ Rebelo, fresh off a victory over the pirate William ‘Piranha’ at the 1778 Battle of Muscat,[3] joined the fray by blockading the entire southern portion of the Maratha coast with his squadron. Most of the Maratha’s coast was significantly fortified since the historical admiral Kanhoji Angre led the Maratha’s navies in the early 18th century, being a bane to both the British and the Portuguese, so amphibious operations with Mariners were unlikely to yield results. By the mid of the century, however, the Maratha navy had begun a steady decline, even suffering extensive losses to the British, and by 1780 its remaining squadrons were mostly composed of coastal defense ships instead of ocean-going battle vessels and were thus unable to compete with the Goan battle fleet, which possessed strong, but fast third and second-rate Ships of the line.


Hammershark overpowered the Maratha Coastal Fleet and proceeded to blockade most of its vital ports

With sea superiority guaranteed, the Portuguese made use of their supply depots to keep Goa well-fed during the war and the Marathas cut off from contact with their French instigators, at least those still overseas. The sieges in Diu and Daman from the Marathas grew even more difficult since the forts were now directly supplied from Goa with food and orders, buying precious time for the ground troops to make their move.

At the end of two weeks of careful marching, the village was surrounded, captured and evicted, with its peasants forced to march north to Kolhapur on foot. With only 15,000 men at their disposal, Forbes argued this would prompt Haripant to leave his position and attack the Portuguese, which the Maratha did, as news of them crossing the Dudhaganga River arrived at the end of the day. On 21st of September, Frederick, Forbes and Freire abandoned Hengaleaj and marched north to meet the foe.


Kolhapur Battle Lead-up

Green: Greater Goa
Purple: Maratha Confederacy
Dark Green: Frederick’s Brigades
Red: Haripant’s Forces
Dark-Blue: Admiral Hammershark’s Southernmost Blockade

Haripant’s army outnumbered the Portuguese significantly, numbering 50,000 soldiers which included a much larger percentage of cavalry than the Lusitanian Brigades. The Maratha army, however, in this late into the 18th century, relied a significant portion of its forces on irregular troops carrying melee weapons like spears and swords. Their specialty had been light cavalry due to their historical conflicts with the Mughal Empire’s reliance on heavy cavalry, using smothering tactics to overcome the foe, and their best reformed sector was the artillery, possessing a more adequate set of cannons in large part thanks to French supplying and a Portuguese officer known as ‘Naronha’ who led the late Narayan Rao’s artillery crews after 1777 before being subsequently expelled by the new royalty.

As such they formed a force of optimistic prospects against the triple brigade crossing the Deccan Plateau and headed to meet them on the open field, where they could overwhelm them. Vice-Roy Frederick, however, outmaneuvered the Marathas by swiftly following up the valley formed by the Doodhganga river, just west of the Shendur Lake, an approach sided by tall slopes that could lead directly to Kolhapur through a covered roundabout. This would allow the troops to march and counter-march the Marathas repetitively unless they were intercepted as soon as possible, so Haripant sallied his troops to enter the passage through the Northeast.

On 1st of October the two armies met head-to-head between the slopes of the passage and the Brigadier Generals quickly moved to position. The Daman and Diu Brigades took to the flanks, but the narrowness of the passage forced the Portuguese to halt their progress and await the foe, their trap laid out.

A drastic exchange of resources was to be made, with Diu, commanded by Freire de Andrade, taking most of the artillery and half the horses to the northern bank of the rivers and positioning the cannons in rowed lines pointed angularly at the passage’s center, where the Maratha’s core would march through, while its two infantry lines faced the northern river bank path. The Daman, on the other hand, commanded by John Forbes, had its left infantry half positioned behind the river and its right one near the southern slope, thus separated and anchored to a point, to meet any enemy that could make use of the southern bank. The rest of the troops, including the entire Goa Brigade and the Armed Rockets, blocked the center, preparing to meet the enemy face-to-face.


Battle of Kolhapur – First Phase

Dark Green: Goa’s Brigades
Purple: Haripant’s Forces
Arrow(heads): Cavalry
Rectangles: Regular Troops
Light Rectangles: Irregular Troops
[R]: Armed Rockets
Crossed Rectangles: Artillery

Haripant positioned his cannons behind his own lines, knowing it would be impossible for the Goan forces to reach them, and ordered his irregular troops forward, with his regular ones marching behind to eventually overpower the tired enemy. Meanwhile his cavalry segments charged through the outer banks.

The encroachment of the rivers, however, forced the approximately 25,000 irregular masses to engulf onto a chokepoint over which approximately 4,800 muskets from the Goa Brigade fired upon, along with rowed artillery fire from the northern bank and the first wave of rockets ever launched by the Portuguese upon the enemy, blasting the ground repeatedly and urging the northern Maratha cavalry to engage the enemy. These horses, however, were met by the counterattack of the Diu Brigade waiting on the same bank, which marched to close the gap that left the cannons exposed and met this cavalry with fire and steel from another 4,800 muskets.

The fighting remained a bloody affair throughout this first phase of approaching but took an increasingly difficult turn once the southern cavalry flank engaged its portion of the Portuguese; with half the target positioned behind the river and the other half approaching from the left side, the light cavalry soon found itself outflanked and unable to effectively fire back. During the first moments bullets were exchanged more or less equally but, as ground was closed, things turned sour for the cavalry instead of hopeful, as their front target used the river to absorb the shock of the cavalry charge almost completely, while the southernmost half of the Daman Brigade fired upon it from the side.


Southern Bank Combat[4]

The Maratha Light Cavalry was unable to charge effectively and was slowly pulverized by the Daman Brigade infantry’s outflanking disciplined ranks and firing

The destruction of the Maratha Cavalry was the first phase of the Portuguese battle plan, for it eliminated their most dangerous advantage in the first move of the game. The key, however, relied on the bravery of the Goa Brigade, which remained at the center, to keep at bay the 25,000 irregulars and 10,000 regular troops the enemy commander threw at him, not to mention the fearsome artillery fire being thrown from Haripant’s reserve lines. To this end the Armed Rockets served magnificently, surprising the enemy so much the irregular troops hesitated at first to advance further, not to mention their disrupting effect was pushed to maximum efficiency by the battle width reduction the twin rivers formed.


Armed Rockets Debut
The Battle of Kolhapur cemented the use of rockets in the Portuguese colonial military (British observers seen to the right)

Haripant quickly realized that, much like the Mysoreans before them, the Maratha’s had been led to a disguised ambush as he was completely checkmated as far as pushing his most important advantages was concerned; his massive infantry numbers were unable to fire at a large front or engage the enemy in melee before being shot, burned or smashed under a cannonball and his cavalry flanks were having unforeseen difficulties, ambushed by three different bayonet brigades plus a river-guarded one. It was then that he ordered his regular troops forward to create enough momentum to overwhelm the enemy center.

Even so, it was as Brigadier General Gomes Freire de Andrade shattered and routed the northern bank Maratha cavalry that the tide turned decisively in Portuguese favor and the Diu Brigade was free to march forward into the river edge, facing the enemy infantry core that threatened Frederick’s center and allowing his own cavalry to charge ahead to attack the enemy artillery. The Maratha regular troops, having just been engaged towards the center, were now attacked on their right flank. Brigadier General Andrade made sure to claim the glory of this counter-turn with a trumpet-sound order to fire along the line and reorganize artillery into a line, a glory-hound trait he would be recognized for during many of his future battles.[5]

John Forbes, however, also fulfilled his duty and smashed his own share of the enemy cavalry (albeit taking longer, he did so with less losses than the glory-hound Andrade), routed the Maratha horses, ordered his left infantry half to cross the river and then both his lines to engage the enemy massive center from the safety of his southern bank, trapping the tens of thousands of irregulars in a massive killing ground. Forbes Cavalry, in the meantime, charged ahead before crossing the southern river into the center (at risk of being fired on by Maratha artillery), to attack the newly arrived Maratha regulars from behind.


Battle of Kolhapur – Second Phase

The destruction of the Maratha cavalry allowed for the entire force of the Portuguese fire to move onto an encircled, entrapped enemy core while the Portuguese cavalry, initially a weak spot, attacked the enemy artillery and rear for maximum effect.

The remainder of the battle was carnage of bullets, rocket and steel, with the disorganized irregular core eventually losing morale and organization over searing losses and ordering a retreat behind regular lines. These trained musket soldiers, however, provided no relief, as they themselves were damaged by rocket, cannon ball and saber and soon faced themselves the fierceness of disciplined musket fire. The Hammer & Anvil proved too much and Haripant was forced to order a retreat, though he would suffer even more losses over the pursuing cavalry.

The battle of Kolhapur ended with a decisive Portuguese victory over Haripant’s forces, with tactical, weaponry and discipline superiority proving superior over a very significant numerical disadvantage. The Portuguese, however, were unable to deliver a crushing blow to the enemy army due to lack of resources and pursuit ability, especially due to relatively low cavalry size, so losses ended up on approximately 1,200 men for the Portuguese and over 10,000 for the Marathas. The loss of equipment and horsepower, however, was far more critical than their relatively low numerical losses; most of Haripant’s light cavalry was shattered and his cannons were overrun and captured by Brigadier General Freire de Andrade’s own horsemen, something that would cripple their tactical options for the remainder of the war (at least concerning the early southern theater of the conflict and not the western concerned with the British).

[1] Named after the Celtiberian Fire God worshipped by Lusitanians.

[2] Modern name is Gadhinglaj

[3] See Section: Rebirth of Empire (Part 2 of 2) – The Hunt for ‘Piranha’ – The Predator of Arabia.

[4] Image of battle taken from “https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3490183&pagenumber=1

[5] See Section: Rebirth of Empire 3 (1799 -1820) – Portuguese – Spanish War of 1801 - Battle of Abenrey


Note:
The Luso-Maratha War continued a series of war between the Europeans and Indian countries. Just as iOTL these wars were significant in that it allowed European powers namely British to gain control of the Indian subcontinent and resulted in by the early part of the 19th century subjugating all independent Indian countries and principalities under European control. These wars re-imagined with Portuguese involvement tries to imagine a scenario where a bolstered and stronger Portuguese are involved in such wars and what the outcomes would be. To understand Portuguese position and strength in 1780 I would recommend readers review both Portuguese Maratha War of 1774 and the Portuguese Mysore war. Questions/Comments

Note regarding posting of this section. The Luso-Maratha War is over 60 pages and will be divided in approximately nine sections.

Please return Sunday November 17 as we post the 3rd section of The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781).
 
very good new update , the war is going very well for the Portuguese armies , i hope that when Peace is reached we adquire even more territory to expand fruther our colonies in Índia, can hardly wait for the next part of the story .
 
How will the bolstered Portuguese presence on the Subcontinent affect the Indian Kingdoms? I think by now most recognize the necessity of modernizing their armies.
 
very good new update , the war is going very well for the Portuguese armies , i hope that when Peace is reached we adquire even more territory to expand fruther our colonies in Índia, can hardly wait for the next part of the story .
while expansion of Portuguese India may happen that was not the original objective. We also need to consider that Portuguese performance are on par with British India own military outcomes iotl. The Portuguese have trained their troops and equipped them with modern weapons. These officers starting out are using the military tactics taught in the new Portuguese military academies.

How will the bolstered Portuguese presence on the Subcontinent affect the Indian Kingdoms? I think by now most recognize the necessity of modernizing their armies.
the Portuguese success will have a major impact on the continent not only against the Indian princess but also with other European countries.

as for modernization you would think so, but they suffered similar defeats against the British iotl and were unable to fully reform to Equal the Europeans. Suffering even more catastrophic defeats in the 19th century leaving India practically under British control. We will see how things work out ittl.
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (3 of 9)
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (3 of 9)


Battle of Jamakhandi
Haripant’s forces, however, remained a serious threat so Vice-Roy Frederick ordered his Brigades to pursuit and pin them against the wall. Meanwhile, the Peshwa in Pune, pressed by his ongoing conflict with the British, sent reinforcements through Bijapur to Haripant upon hearing news of the Kolhapur setback. It was at Jamakhandi that Haripant’s retreating forces rested and met with their reinforcements, resupplying the Maratha leader with cannons and horses.

The Portuguese army, however, was in hot pursuit and it wasn’t long after arriving at his depot that Haripant received the news of the Peshwa’s southern lands being run over and captured by the Lusitanians. With his new troops, Haripant sized up to just over 45,000 troops which, albeit more prepared after the shock that was the Kolhapur defeat, didn’t feel optimistic about trying to take on the Goan Brigades with fewer troops and supplies than before. Haripant therefore asked for more supplies, predicting the Portuguese would not arrive at Jamakhandi before 30th of October.

The swiftness of the Bluecoats, however, would surprise the Maratha by capturing their targets and seizing their supplies in southern parts of the Confederacy by the 25th and arriving on the city’s premises by the 27th.


Battle of Jamakhandi Lead-up

Traced Lines: Retreating troops
Rightmost Red Line: Maratha Reinforcements
The Portuguese intercepted the unprepared force in the naturally defensible town of Jamakhandi

First Phase
“…Is that fool charging against cavalry with foot soldiers?!”
-Vice-Roy Frederick upon seeing Andrade order the Daman Brigade to attack

Vice-Roy Frederick and his Brigadier Generals caught the Maratha force by surprise as most of their forces were not deployed by the time their scouts warned of the Portuguese approach, but he still refused to directly attack the Maratha, instead deploying his soldiers in a defensive position blocking the Maratha from the west, trapping them against the river and a narrow escape route to the southeast. John Forbes immediately ordered his portion of the cannons forward of his lines to bombard the irregulars and the city into battle, officially initiating combat.


Battle of Jamakhandi – First Phase

Yellow: Jamakhandi
Blue: Krishna River
Green: Bluecoat Brigades
Purple: Haripant’s Forces

The Maratha initially tried to take cover and form their own defense and counter artillery, but the gun-drilled cannon fire and the disrupting effect of the Armed Rocket shower prevented them from organizing a countermarch without significant losses in number and morale. The town of Jamakhandi itself was thrown into disarray with the combat and fire, with its residents escaping southwards, leaving their home behind for the safety of the slopes. The compiling losses under Portuguese fire eventually woke up Maratha fury and Haripant ordered an immediate march forward in orderly, offensive fashion while his surviving cavalry attacked from his right flank.

The Portuguese, however, acted far more aggressively than in Kolhapur, pulling their heavy guns forward and initiating Fire-and-Advance maneuvers to maximize morale loss on the irregulars. Brigadier General Freire de Andrade, in particular, acted with vicious haste, striking the charging enemy cavalry with fire and, upon contact, square formation steel.


Andrade’s Élan

Brigadier General Andrade’s initiative and aggressive maneuvers earned him and his Daman troops fame and prestige from an early stage of his career all the way to the Napoleonic wars

The cavalry disaster of Kolhapur was forced upon the Marathas once again by Brigadier General Andrade, whose aggressive march and fire rapidly engaged the enemy cavalry charge with little regard for their own well-being, with the troops fully knowing it was vital that the Maratha horsemen were stopped as quickly as possible.

Upon encountering the charging cavalry, the approximately 3,600 infantry men in the Daman Brigade spread out in a field of several disparate Square Formations with wide gaps between them for the Maratha light cavalry to charge right through, presenting a “Flower Field” of loaded, sharp bayonet spikes ready to shoot down, impale and slash the large mass of lightweight horsemen coming right at them. The Marathas had no choice but to walk right into this due to the weight of their own attack momentum and those that didn’t crash into a wall of fire-spitting spikes were slashed by side grazing while moving through the gaps or simple shot down from a distance.

The decisive charge of the Haripant’s forces turned into a death trap as the ‘Flower Field’ worked as nothing short of a meat grinder to the cavalrymen. The worst of this setback would be yet to come, as the 1,200 Bluecoat horsemen (mostly from the Daman division but 400 from the Goa Division) awaited behind the field with a counter charge to anvil the Marathas right back against the infantry squares which, albeit outnumbered, played its role of keeping the enemy horsemen in place for the foot soldiers to do their bloody work.


The Flower Field Tactic

The Maratha cavalry charged through a bayonet meat grinder and was pushed right back into it once more by a countercharge from the Portuguese horsemen

This combined effort from the infantry and cavalry was nothing short from devastating to the numerically superior Maratha horses, which found the momentum and mass of the charge turned completely against them by Andrade’s Flower Field, utterly shattering the front divisions in a matter of minutes. The rear divisions of attacking cavalry attempted to halt their charge upon witnessing the one-sided butchering, but the sheer disorganization this caused, combined with the retreating front, turned the cavalry mass into a disarray the Bluecoats happily fired and marched upon, pressing their shock value to the maximum to destroy enemy morale as quickly as possible.

Second Phase
Meanwhile the Maratha tried to force their way through the Goa and Diu lines, but the sheer musket fire and artillery forced them back, with the gun-drilled, disciplined cannons doing exceptional damage with rolling shots that blasted across the Maratha lines’ length. The Portuguese line infantry was significantly outnumbered; the Goa and Diu brigades could barely muster over 9,000 muskets against the 25,000 irregular vanguard and 10,000 regular rear, not to mention that, unlike at Kolhapur, the battle width was not constricted.

New factors came into play that allowed the Portuguese to hold the Maratha wave at bay, though, namely the fact that many of the troops advancing on the Diu and Goa Brigades were the same that retreated back in Kolhapur, merely bolstered by inexperienced reinforcements, while the Portuguese discipline was tempered by that same taste of past victory. Therefore the same guns that held the Maratha back at the Kolhapur creeks now fired away gleefully in Jamakhandi’s river bank fields, killing many at the front and discouraging many more at the back.

This, combined with the irregular troops choice of weaponry, made it so that a huge window of opportunity for peppering from Diu and Goa and maneuvering from Daman was open. The Marathas had no choice but to try to press their advantage by closing in, but this allowed the Portuguese cavalry to regroup in full force by the river and charge along the battle depth, moving between the gunmen and their cannons while Andrade’s 4,000 musket closed in from the side, pincer-locking the entire Maratha core force.


Battle of Jamakhandi – Second Phase

The retreat of the Maratha cavalry and the advance of their core irregular and regular forces allowed the Portuguese cavalry squadrons and Andrade’s gunmen to outflank the Indian foot soldiers, attack their artillery and tactically overwhelm the larger force

The Maratha effort, therefore, proved to be for naught and Haripant found himself in a much graver trap than the one in Kolhapur, with his remaining soldiers fired on from the front and flank and charged at from the rear while his cannons were trampled by the Portuguese light horsemen, taking out all his most important regiments in one fell swoop. Combined with the continued artillery and rocket pressuring, the battle turned into an ugly affair of slaughter for the Marathas, which were unable to mount any effective counteroffensive despite the advantage of numbers. It was obvious by this stage that all that was left to decide was how much blood would be spilled before the Maratha broke for good.

By the end of the hour the forces had lost their morale and organization, entering a state of disarray and self-defense against vastly superior fire, and some more undisciplined groups began retreating against orders. What remained of Haripant’s forces suffered a variety of fates; those that stayed were eventually shot, smashed, pierced by rocket or taken down by horsemen while those that fled either chose to do so through the city, adding to the mess, or towards the river to the east while pursued by relentless light cavalry.

Most drowned.

By 1st of November the area was cleared of strugglers and hiding troops, general Haripant was captured, and the town of Jamakhandi itself was seized, signaling a full victory for the Portuguese. The Maratha had suffered a straight disaster, suffering over 30,000 casualties, although the majority was as a result of the ensuing pursuit or drowning and not due to Portuguese weapons, while the Portuguese themselves lost barely over 1,000 men mostly in holding back the main Maratha wave.

Jamakhandi itself was not spared from war trial, since it was full of refugees and troops that deserted the battlefield. Vice-Roy Frederick ordered the forces to camp just outside its premises to avoid sabotage by the locals and sent a ruthless slash & burn operation targeting stragglers and religious symbols. The Portuguese destroyed all non-Christian temples and, while they did not burn the town itself, forced it to provide a huge ransom in the form of coin, cattle and hostage manpower. All refugees were turned out and sent north thus depriving the areas to the north from being able to be used as a base to attack the Portuguese.

Frederick rested his forces while a detachment was sent to Goa to ensure reinforcements and supplies for the final stage of the war.

Siege of Bijapur

By 10th of November it was clear to the Peshwa of Pune that his two-pronged warfare was not going as expected; the main core of his forces still struggled to hold the Bombay British at bay, his sieges of Diu and Daman were growing prolonged, Haripant’s forces were captured in the south after a string of defeats and now most of the southern Maratha lands were under Bluecoat hands. To aggravate matters, the survivors of the Jamakhandi fiasco retreated in several directions, effectively shattering itself, and most of the men still willing to stay organized and in fighting shape retreated to Bijapur, where defenses were erected.

Without Haripant, however, these forces were guideless, and the Portuguese had now an important hostage and open game to do occupy as they wished a significant portion of the Maratha southern provinces. On 11th of November Frederick ordered his cavalry squadrons to intercept the surviving Maratha soldiers escaping southeast before moving upwards towards his own march against Bijapur where he intended to put an end to the Maratha threat.

Located in an area bathed by a branch of the Krishna river, Bijapur, also known as Vijayapura the City of Victory, was a recent conquest of the Marathas from the Hyderabad and had seen a long history of battle. It had, therefore, symbolic and strategic importance in the area and taking it from the Marathas would mean the Peshwa would be faced with a British threat from the west and a Portuguese threat from the southeast, two directions that would leave him at a defensive conundrum.


Maneuver into Bijapur

The final stage of the war saw a sweeping of stragglers in the south by the Portuguese before a dash towards Bijapur, a tactically important city, where the remnants of Haripant’s forces fell back to.

It was around 15th of November that Vice-Roy Frederick surrounded Bijapur and laid siege to it. Meanwhile, to the northwest, a new Maratha army of over 45,000 fought back the British all the way to Bombay; failing in their attack the Maratha besieged the city. The British fought several skirmishes with the Maratha army, but the British commander refused to leave Bombay fearing another botched incursion each time the Maratha withdrew. On 20th of November, Lieutenant-General Eyre Coote took over the Bombay theater and immediately began planning on breaking the Maratha siege. When word of Portuguese victories at Jamkhandi and their march towards the City of Bijapur reached the Maratha army still besieging Bombay they abandoned their siege and rush towards Pune.

Peshwa Madhavrao was at an impasse; with Haripant’s capture and string of defeats, he could no longer fight two allied European powers outflanking him at once and the more resources he put into stepping down on the British advance, the more Vice-Roy Frederick and his Brigadier Generals pressured their sieges on the Peshwa’s southern domains and the more isolated he became. It wasn’t long before even Nana Fadnavis could not argue against the clear turn of the tide.

On 30th of November, after a series of bombardments from John Forbes, the garrison of Bijapur was defeated and Vice-Roy Frederick took the town, effectively anchoring his forces’ position as a spike on the Peshwa’s foot. With the impending threat of a dash towards Pune itself by either of his enemies, Peshwa Madhavrao was forced to hear out the Portuguese envoy sent after this and prepare a peace treaty.


Note:
The Luso-Maratha War continued a series of war between the Europeans and Indian countries. Just as iOTL these wars were significant in that it allowed European powers namely British to gain control of the Indian subcontinent and resulted in by the early part of the 19th century subjugating all independent Indian countries and principalities under European control. These wars re-imagined with Portuguese involvement tries to imagine a scenario where a bolstered and stronger Portuguese are involved in such wars and what the outcomes would be. To understand Portuguese position and strength in 1780 I would recommend readers review both Portuguese Maratha War of 1774 and the Portuguese Mysore war. Questions/Comments

Note regarding posting of this section. The Luso-Maratha War is over 60 pages and will be divided in approximately nine sections.

Wanted to give a shoutout to Thrudgelmir2333 who's excellent writing style really shines in the military campaigns. thanks the TL would not be as good as it is without you.

Please return Sunday December 1 as we post the 4th section of The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781).
 
After exactly four months, catched up with TTL, i really like all the research and detail put into TTL, can't wait for more ;)
Thank you and welcome to TL. It is a pleasure to have you with us. Those of us who have been here for long time can T times forget the amount of posts that a newcomer must go through to catch us to current posting.


To all those who “toil” to read all the previous posts regardless if you liked them or just read them anonymously. Please let us know when you catch up and give us your opinion.


obrigado.
 
Been following the story since the original one and as a Portuguese it fills me with joy to see a portuguese timeline this well researched and lasting this long.
I ask however, given mentions for the 3rd book in the last posts if this means you already finished it and if so if you have plans to increase the speed of the releases?
 
Been following the story since the original one and as a Portuguese it fills me with joy to see a portuguese timeline this well researched and lasting this long.
I ask however, given mentions for the 3rd book in the last posts if this means you already finished it and if so if you have plans to increase the speed of the releases?
Thanks for being a long time fan and supporter we really appreciate it. While we would like to increase the posting schedule unfortunately we need to continue it as it’s current schedule. This is due to life, with both of our regular lives and writing pressures as well as schedule there can at times be 1-6 month hiatus in writing. We also like to write 5-10 stories in future so we can have time to research and verify story holds and fits with overall TL outline.

As for mentioning 3rd book this is in part due to general outline we had from 1st version and as a general rule we are dealing with historical events for most things. We just trying to get Portugal into many of these events (while at times we do create our own events where it makes sense). It will be decades before Portuguese will completely change history.

PS for those who can’t get enough of Portugal, there are two TL currently being posting alternating Sunday’s. This one in pre 1900 and another in post 1900 (see signature)

Also we keep hoping someone has a good story about their family that takes place in the 18th century of Portuguese empire we love to see some stories posted in the accompanying narrative stories thread.
 
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The Three-Years War (1780-1783) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (4 of 9)
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (4 of 9)

The Gujarat Theater

As the Maratha army raced from Bombay, Lieutenant-General Eyre Coote’s force followed behind with the hope of defeating them, but when he arrived at Pune on 2nd of December the Peshwa Madhavrao had already accepted surrendering to Vice-Roy Frederick Holstein. Lieutenant-General Eyre Coote, however, was determined to take the British cut of the Maratha pie; he sent a courier to Bombay with instructions to keep supplying his offensive, left Pune and then marched north with his forces to lift the siege of Surat.

When the state of Baroda became aware of the Peshwa of Pune’s surrender to Portugal, however, things immediately span out of control. Unwilling to abide to the weakness of what they considered to be a weak Maratha manipulated by Nana Fadnavis, the representatives of the Gujarat in Baroda, particularly the Gaekwad prince, declared open rebellion, rallied their troops and announced their determination to carry out the war against the Anglo-invasion, including against their Goan allies. On 31 December 1780, Fateh Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda, took control of the state and initiated his counter-offensive on the Europeans, counting with an overall force of over 50,000 men.

The Gujarat Revolt, Relieving of Damão and Capture of Surat

The tide of the war, however, was no longer favoring native impetus; the Maratha surrender in Pune had been significant to the Portuguese for it liberated resources they had expended so far in the Southern Maratha campaign, and Vice-Roy Frederick was quick to send orders back to Goa where his secret reserves, the Marine and Light troop battalions, awaited their opportunity. By 1 January 1781, Vice-Admiral Hammershark Rebelo was already ready to turn his blockade into an amphibious counter attack.

The first target was ‘Greater Damão’, where the city itself and Sarissa had been under siege since the start of the war. At the start of the war the Maratha besiegers were too strong for the Portuguese, so efforts were focused on keeping Damão supplied and fed while constricting the Gujarat seas with a blockade. The surrender of the Marathas, the new British move towards Surat and the reorganization of the Baroda forces, however, led to a state of major shift of power, with many Marathas lifting siege against the wishes of the Gujarat commanders and other Gujarats being called back to intercept the British.

Therefore, when Hammershark landed at Damão in 21st of January, the besiegers had dropped in number from at least 8,000 to just 3,000, barely enough to keep Damão properly encircled, so despite the light troops and marines numbering only in a few thousands, these, being the offensive elite troops that they were and many tempered by the previous Luso-Maratha War, formed a fatal strike and after a combined sally with the Damão Garrison troops they promptly expelled the besieging Barodas before lifting Sarissa as well, effectively freeing the area from the war effort.

This victory had to be capitalized as soon as possible, however, because the approaching British force put the Baroda state on its guard, provoking it into sending its army of 50,000 men against the oncoming British army. They hoped to decisively defeat both the smaller British and then the Portuguese forces before sign a treaty status quo ante bellum.

On 30th of January, the Baroda army attacked the British south of Surat. In the battle of Ankleshwar, the British led by Coote were able to defeat the Maratha army and drove them north but suffered over 50% casualties in the battle and were barely able to occupy Surat. The Maharaja was determined to come out victorious and personally sent a reformed army against the British, but by the time they reached Surat on 28th of February they were unable to defeat the British who had dug themselves deeply in the city’s defenses, creating a virtual stalemate on the Surat front.

The First Anglo-Luso Colonial Accord & Relief of Diu

Until this point the Portuguese and British war efforts had occurred parallel to each other but disconnected despite the Anglo-Luso Alliance and their ongoing overall joint war against the Dutch and French (although the Marathas and Gujarats perceived them as working together), so when the Surat stalemate was reached Coote deemed fit the time to formally request Frederick to join his war effort, so they could advance further north.

Vice-Roy Frederick, who marched past Pune towards Damão, received the request to reinforce Coote on the 10th of March and in a meeting in Surat, amidst the Baroda siege, the Vice-Roy expressed serious concerns to the British leader regarding Portugal’s interests in the region. He cited the tremendous effort and bloodshed the Goans underwent to score a victory against Pune, as well as the ongoing hostilities against French, Dutch and Americans their respective sovereign nations faced, and affirmed that while he was willing to support the establishment of British foothold in the area it would be impossible for him to surrender Lusitanian supremacy on the gulf of Khambhat.

He also mentioned that the Goans claimed the blockade on the gulf to reinforce his statement and that Diu was in dire need of being relieved from its siege, so the British would absolutely have to concede control of the area if they wished Portuguese support for their claim in Surat. This was an uncharacteristically demanding position for Portugal to take against Britain, but also a vital one to make possible the first of a series of historically prominent concords between London and Lisbon that would partition possessions throughout the Indian and South Atlantic Ocean till at least the 1850s.

Coote and Frederick, right there and then, made history by signing the Anglo-Luso Colonial Accord for India, in which they clearly defined their areas of vital interest for future conflicts in exchange for deeper coordination against the Baroda menace.


The First Colonial Accord

Coote and Frederick (on the right) discuss the Anglo-Luso partition of Northwestern India in what would be the first of a series of historical colonial accords between the two empires

After failing to drive the British from Surat the Baroda army started a siege but on 31st of March the Portuguese officially joined forces by bringing in their three Bluecoat Brigades, a force of over 12,000 men, guns and rockets that, together with Coote’s force, defeated the Baroda Army in the Battle of Surat and forced it to lift the siege before pushing them back the Narmada River line, from where a safe front could be maintained.

Meanwhile, south of Damão, on 1st of April, the Portuguese light troop battalions completed a series of aggressive maneuvers in which they captured the city of Jarwhar, took the strategic Khamloli Pass and seized the Maratha territory cornering Bombay to ensure the continued routing of supplies between the allied possessions. This improved morale significantly and streamlined the situation in European favor, but Vice-Roy Holstein refused to commit his troops past the Narmada River despite Coote’s urgings, saying it was a risk to his troops and that the situation at Diu had priority for Portugal.

In this context, Vice-Admiral Rebelo was ordered to take the light troop battalions and the Mariner regiment to Diu, where the siege was ongoing. On 21st of April the Hammershark made contact with the Diu island garrison and together they defeated the Baroda gunning force that had been threatening the fort for several months. He then initiated a large scale, multi-dimensional counter invasion with his troops, sending the Mariners on the boats to attack and capture the towns along the eastern coast of the Kathiawar peninsula while simultaneously ordering his light troops to pursue fleeing besiegers and attack the western portion.

As the Portuguese forced marched and sailed around the coast line all towns and cities surrendered until the light troops captured Junagadh by the Girnar mountain and Porbandar while the Mariners took Talaja and Bahvnagar. This all took place without directly engaging organized Baroda forces, making the best of these elite troops strengths despite their small numbers.


Indian Army Light Infantry in Kathiawar

The Indian Army’s light troop battalions dominated the last stage of the Portuguese war effort by taking the fight to Baroda’s exposed territories and besiegers. Operating in small groups, they made use of their initiative and lightweight movement to batter the Baroda territory.

By the end of April the situation became unsustainable for the Barodas; they could not afford to take their main force away from Baroda due to the Anglo-Luso force sitting behind the Narmada River, but this meant the Kathiawar Peninsula was a sitting duck to Hammershark’s ships and Mariners. The city of Baroda itself shook with the impending threat of Peshwa Madhavrao’s wrath as the impetus of Maharaja Fateh Gaekwad cooled off after his failure to press its weight on the British. If the situation prolonged itself it could mean the eventual capture of the entire Baroda state or, alternatively, the Marathas personally cracking down on the territory and impose even more taxes and obligations.

Therefore, on 2nd of May, after several failed attempts to raise morale for an attack and rally further troops, the main force of the Barodas attempted to attack Coote and Frederick, only to be soundly defeated in the battle of Narmada due to heavy enemy digging up and artillery fire. Surrender was offered by Baroda to Hammershark’s HMS Beira Prince on 10th of May just as the Vice-Admiral prepared to land skirmishers near Ahmedabad.


Gujarat Theater Borders
Pink: Maratha Confederacy
Purple: Baroda State
Dark Green: Daman & Diu
Yellow: Greater Daman (1774 Satari Treaty)
Red: British Bombay
Orange Line: Anglo-Luso-Baroda frontline

Gujarat Theater Maneuvers:

Dark Green: Goa/Daman/Diu Brigades
Traced Green: Hammershark’s Blockade
Blue: Marine Brigade Offensive
Light Green: Light Battalion Offensive
Traced Purple: Retreating Baroda Forces
Red: British Offensive on Surat

This did not mean the end of the suffering for the Gujarat, however. The Portuguese expelled all residents of Broach and sent them north toward the city of Baroda, besieging it with a great mass of refugees which were attempting to enter the city as a final act of spiteful punishment. The number of refugees surrounding the city was greater than the population in the city with no healthy army to fire them away disease and hunger soon broke out, paralyzing the Baroda core territory.

Note:
The Luso-Maratha War continued a series of war between the Europeans and Indian countries. Just as iOTL these wars were significant in that it allowed European powers namely British to gain control of the Indian subcontinent and resulted in by the early part of the 19th century subjugating all independent Indian countries and principalities under European control. These wars re-imagined with Portuguese involvement tries to imagine a scenario where a bolstered and stronger Portuguese are involved in such wars and what the outcomes would be. To understand Portuguese position and strength in 1780 I would recommend readers review both Portuguese Maratha War of 1774 and the Portuguese Mysore war. Questions/Comments

Note regarding posting of this section. The Luso-Maratha War is over 60 pages and will be divided in approximately nine sections.

We have achieved victory and will now have to negotiate a peace treaty dealing with not only the Maratha but also the British East India Company.

Please return Sunday December 15 as we post the 5th section of The Three-Years War (1780 -1784) - The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781).
 
The Three-Years War (1780-1783) (cont.)

The Luso-Maratha War (1780-1781) (1 of 9)


Indian Subcontinent (1779)

Dark Green: Greater Goa (Viceroy Frederick Holstein)
Purple: Maratha Confederacy (Peshwa Narayan Rao)
Orange: Mysore Kingdom (Tipu Sultan)
Red: British India (Council of Four)

….

On 10th of December, Tipu Sultan became the new King of Mysore and he faced an unprecedentedly humiliating situation; he had been trumped in battle by the Luso-Goans to the West, forcing his deceased father to a agree to the asset-seizing 1778 Treaty of Mangalore, and members of his military top brass had just attempted a coup against him under support of the British to the East. This was taxing to say the least, since just five years earlier Tipu and his kingdom had been making significant territorial, technological and naval gains to the point even their Maratha counterparts feared to honor their alliance to Vice-Roy Castro against King Hyder Ali. Within a single year, however, he lost control over the northwestern populace, his navy was crippled at Panambur, half his total forces were defeated, three significant port towns were seized and the border with Goa grew uncomfortably closer.
….
One question why in the map Mangalore is British, when the 1778 Treaty of Mangalore say that it would be Portuguese from that date onward.
Was na error in map making or something else happend?
 
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