United India in 19th century

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Koprulu Mustafa Pasha, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. 123456789blaaa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2016
    Cornwallis was about to fail miserably in the third Anglo-Mysore war before the Maratha showed up and saved his army. The previous two wars had been draws and the fourth was only won because of reasons that go beyond “army quality”.

    Really tho, talking about armies being “on par” with each other is not a useful way to look at why wars were won in post-Mughal India. Warfare was influenced by finance, stability, environment, access to certain resources, particular methods and ways of warfare, etc etc etc. “ Even “westernization” and modern tech was implemented in very different ways across India, that weren’t necessarily better or worse for each particular circumstance.

    As for the OP, an India united by a challenger state would be far more capable in many respects than Qing China. Economically, warfare wise, etc, challenger states are vigorous regimes with the ability and inclination to develop very well. They don’t have the structural flaws inherent in the Qing regime to hold them back and they have a big head start on development and westernizing where necessary. Honestly, they would probably still be better even when only ruling parts of India in a continuation of the post-Mughal “warring states period”. Better than any state outside Europe actually and even some states in Europe. When you start really researching it’s amazing how much potential you find.

    I could easily see Mysore or the Sikhs succeeding in uniting India but don’t have a particular PoD at the moment. The Maratha could def unite India either by winning Panipat by picking a different main general or by having Peshwa Madhav Rao live as long as the other Maratha rulers instead of falling sick and dying early. Both PoD maintain a strong central government instead of devolution to a confederative structure like OTL. This is crucial.

    This is all off the top of my head. Might add more later
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 2:25 AM
  2. Madhav Deval Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    The grande armée was 483,000 out of a total french population of 30 million on Napoleons Russia campaign- so around 1.6% of people in arms. In 1860, the population of rump Mysore was 3.46, so if we assume roughly that density for the area in 1780, for the more than double of rump Mysore area that Tipu had conquered we get just under 7 million, so to get an army of 150,000 you’d require 4.5 percent of males under arms. Wait I’ve just realised thé literature misled me- they put total population for napoleon and male population for Mysore so the comparison is 4.5 to 3.2, but that’s still nothing to scoff at.

    As for mysorean rockets oh sure, something that extends the range of firepower by two kilometres is such a trivial little gimmick.

    And others have already said how close Mysore came to ousting the British from Madras in the second Mysore war and the only pod you need is to butterfly sir Eyre coote getting to India.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 3:01 AM
  3. Kaushlendra pratap singh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    1-Maratha fight for succession
    2-Sikh Maharaja Ranjit dead at 35 when his child is only 4 years old
    3-In Bengal they create a succession crisis
    So very much British win due to succession crisis
     
    Freedom2018 likes this.
  4. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    It was a gimmick because it did not increase the effective range by two kilometres, and it was less accurate than your plain old smooth bore gun. Which is why nobody ever adopted it into regular service.
    In fact nobody adopted rocket artillery until high explosive warheads and saturation bombardment became a thing.
    First : I did not say anything about the numbers raised but the capability of an equivalent number of troops on each side, which was thoroughly lacking.
    Second : The number of troops in entirety used by France does not include those that were used before Napoleon's invasion of Russia. That is another two decades of war.
    Never wrote anything against that. But as Coote's arrival shows Hyder Ali could be beaten by much smaller number of Company troops. So while I expect Mysore to be atleast a major obstacle to them in Madras, Bengal will be a hurdle too big for anybody.
    So a united India would still require taking Bengal, which is a lot harder than some portray it to be.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 5:12 AM
  5. Gustavus Adolphus Greateast emperor of Sweden

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Location:
    Woodford Green, Essex
    Well it is not correct because in the primary sources it’s clear that the European powers were unable to defeat the Marathas so long as the Marathas did not fight amongst each other. In both the first Anglo-Maratha war the BeIC lost. It’s armies were defeated both at sea by a strong Maratha coastal navy and on land by the forces of the Peshwa and the Maratha knights. What went wrong for the Marathas is that when the Peshwas lost at panipat Madhavrao had no choice but to decentralized the state which lead to the growth of influence of holkar and Scindia and this in turn laid the roots for their defeat in the second and third Anglo-Maratha war which only happened again because of the confederacy being greatly weakeaned and in a state of civil war following Madhav raps decentralization of the confederacy. But a Marathas who win panipat would not face same issue.

    So I don’t know what textbook your leading but the military history at least shows the BEIC wasn’t really a match for the confederacy armies until the confederacy was already in a
    Weakeaned state. So don’t know what the prorogue is person was saying about conquering Indian armies at the time of which textbook you used but their is a lot of misinformation in the thread about Maratha capabilities.
     
  6. Freedom2018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    India
    Where did I say the Marathas were weak , I said the mughal authority was paper raj , Marathas were more like artillery raj because of their obsession over it and rightfully so and to further clarify the Portuguese viceroy or his deputy (?) Was referring to the mughal raj not the Marathas and I doubt Portuguese would say something like that about the Marathas considering they were defeated by the Marathas on more than one occasion.

    Having said that I beg to disagree on your view that Marathas lost to the British because of division in the leadership, the Marathas knew they were behind the Europeans in terms of military power for example peshwa Bhaji RAO was quite aware of it and so were his lieutenants who made attempts to obtain the required know how and technology, the peshwa was aware that his army can defeat the Europeans in open field because of his quick movement of troops to encircle the enemy which was based on a combination of old Indian cavalry charge and infantry trained in accordance with European practices but if batter was not fought on open plains the advantage would be on the Europeans side .
    The reason why I referred tipu sultan was his army was the most sophisticated in Asia at that time ,may be as good as second rank European power and if he did have a larger territory which would have given him greater strategic depth the army would have defeated any first class European army , the Marathas had the resources and the opportunity to do that , they could have easily raised a infantry and artillery in European style combined with a regular troops trained in traditional techniques but this would require a huge amount of resources something which Marathas could have mobilized if they make administrative and taxation reforms to distribute the burden of war equally among the citizens yes the taxation system existed but it was based on taxing peasents at the rate of 40 percent and this is not including chauth and sardeshmukhi in the border lands which at this time used to shift quite often , continuous war destroyed standing crops and mother nature decided to join in the destruction fest by making monssons irregular.
     
  7. Kaushlendra pratap singh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Maratha engulf the Mughal power after the death of Aurangzeb, That why people said after 1750 Mughal are an only paper tiger
     
  8. Madhav Deval Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    It did increase the range by 2 kilometres from the maximum european range at the time of about 550 metres, which is why William Congreve, thé son of the comptroller of the royal arsenal at Woolwich, where the mysorean rockets had been sent to be reverse engineered produced the Congreve rocket within five years of the death of Tipu Sultan. They were then used in all future napoleonic wars, the war of 1812, the Anglo Burmese wars, the opium wars, the war of the triple alliance, the New Zealand wars, the bombardment of Algiers the November uprising etc. With the last use being 1870.

    Regarding the comparison between napoleon and tipus army sizes 150,000 is just what he had during the siege of Mangalore. And I do agree with any pod after 1730, getting the British out of Bengal will be a massive challenge- however any power that manages to spread up north to unite the rest of the subcontinent will probably manage it even if it does take a good thirty years of concerted effort.
     
  9. Madhav Deval Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2018
    To be fair Mughal authority was always quite shallow and did its best to work with existing power structures instead of creating stronger institutions. Still before 1690-1710, they’re definitely not a paper tiger though after that they were barely a regional power forget an imperial one.
     
  10. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Even the British did not use it. A few uses in decades does not count.
    None of them were significant. It never became mainstream, because it was inaccurate. It did nt extend range.
     
  11. Freedom2018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2018
    Location:
    India
    Mughal power was non existent by 1720 , yes there was a lot of respect but most of the provinces were declaring Independence or were defying the central authority and at the centre the fractured nobility were least bothered to re established control over provinces the best example was the nizam of Hyderabad.
    As for paper tiger I don't know what you are referring to the military or it's administration, military wise it was still a major power till 1735 , but after Nader shahs invasion in 1739-1740 it went under a rapid decline,so your claim that marathas were responsible for the decline of the imperial Mughals is partly right as the bulk of the blame lies in the hands of Mughals themselves who were divided and weak , next major reason is Nader shahs invasion, to give you a picture of the extent of the plunder the Ashfarid shah declared a tax holiday for two years in Iran and he financed his ottoman wars using the loot and that war was said to be the most expensive on the Persian side , marathas did plunder but not as much as Nader shah. As for administration well it went under a rapid decline during the years of jahangir and shah Jahan and what made it worse was the loss of Afghanistan and the several failed attempts to reclaim it which made the empire even more weak . Aurengzeb for all his flaws tried to make the administration more efficient. During jahangi's rule Gujarat and other provinces experienced a famine and absolutely nothing was done apart from a few soup kitchen even the Delhi sultanate and it's Hindu predecessors for all it's weakness use to undertake numerous famine relief works something which the British copied after the catastropheic Bengal famine of 1760s and shah Jahan well he built the Taj Mahal, red fort etc at a time India was suffering from famine the most notorious one being the Deccan famine which affected the Deccan provinces of Mughal empire . I said it and I'll say it again even though people will accuse me of being deterministic the Mughals brought their demise upon themselves, lack of investment in infrastructure and irrigation for a peroid of 100 years is a recipe for disaster ,yes things will hold itself together for some time but if you don't upgrade your infrastructure you are going to be in trouble when trouble arise and mughals were seen as ineffective there by the legitimacy is lost slowly but surely a good example being peshwa baji Rao wanting to crown chatrapati as padishah of Hindustan . The revenue system of the Mughals well I don't have to comment much as things remained pretty much the same since the days of Akbar and any changes, if made ,was made during the reign of aurengzeb. The wars and the royal durbar drained most of the revenue leaving very little for investment . As for governance well jahangi's and shah Jahan rule was mostly religiously tolerant and aurengzeb was confusing at best doesn't mean their governance was any good during akbars reign the emperor was in a position to mediate disputes amongst the nobility but after him for various reasons the emperor was unable to do so and thus bad governance combined with factional infighting is a recipe for a weak empire with a weak infrastructure makes for a weak military
     
  12. Kaushlendra pratap singh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    It is going to more development, you know Maratha reorganised their army in 1740, they have 20,000 well drills European standard infantry in the third Panipat war