Reasons for Maratha/ Hindu loss to the British (v0)


  • British grand strategy and understanding of the enemy was much superior to ours.
    • “The British had been planning on how to colonize India as far back as early 1700’s while the Marathas were in their life and death struggle with the Mughals.”
    • “Besides, the British Plan already had the solid backing of a very thorough study of India by now and evaluation of its people. Consider this: Captain James Tod had already surveyed the history and geography of the entire rAjapUta country with every single one of its clan – even though they were politically still independent – and had already produced in the first two decade his celebrated ‘Annals and Antiquities of rAjapUtAnA’, not to mention that the European Indology as a discipline was already flourishing with its second generation with the likes of Colebrooke and Schlegel now in chairs, William Jones dead just a couple of years back. In contrast, we seriously doubt if there was even one Hindu at the time who properly knew the basic history and geography of Britain!”  [BE]
    • Our understanding of the enemy was inferior.
  • Perimeter strategy, fed by sea lanes they dominated.
    • “The above point leads naturally to the most important issue – by controlling the trade routes by sea the English could develop a perimeter strategy in which they could hem the Hindus on all sides using their control of key coastal centers – Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. Thus, the marATha-s came to be naturally surrounded by the English, who could indefinitely keep themselves supplied by sea, even as they cut off the Hindu communication lines inside the country. They completed the perimeter strategy by the third Anglo-Maratha war and this more or less doomed the first war of independence in 1857.” MT11
  • Use of reliable Indian merceneries and forces by the British, using their colonial money.
    • “Indeed, a key ability of the English was to purchase loyalties for money.” MT11
    • Indians had kept up the ancient Indo Eurpean mercenary tradition.
  • Maratha losses and infighting, contrasted with battle hardened British leadership.
    • Death of experienced Maratha leaders at Panipat
    • “Such men leading their companies as Maj. General Charles Cornwallis, who had resisted George Washington in battles of New York, Princeton, Philadelphia and Virginia, before now coming to India to redeem his repute; Arthur Wellesley, whose war-resume boasted of extremely diverse experience across the continents ranging from the Flanders Wars along side the Austrians against the French, the naval war against Spanish in Philippines, action in Iberian peninsula, and finally the Waterloo campaign that ended the career of Napoleon, besides being a superb politician – he retired as the PM of UK; Thomas Hislop who had seen action on the British side during the American as well as French Revolutionary Wars, had commanded naval operations against Dutch in West Indies, had successfully led the Siege of Gibraltar defeating joint armies of Spaniards and French, now leading British action against the maharaTTA-s; General Gerard Lake, veteran of American, French and Irish wars; General David Ochterlony, an American colonial product born in Boston and veteran of a variety of battles in America and Europe before arriving in India (famous for his harem in dillI of over a dozen women).” [BE]
  • Reliance on treacherous Abrahamist merceneries on our side
    • Betrayal by European officers hired by Marathas into their army.
      • “The truth is the Indians were not ethnocentric enough, whereas the Europeans were just beginning to evolve a sense of white identity. ” … “It needs to be emphasized again that the Hindu shortfall in this regard was not due to the lack of Hindu identity as the leukosphere would like to claim, but simply due to the Hindu failure to properly read the developing identity of the “other” in their payroll.” MT11
  • There was more incentive for the British limited-term appointed leadership to gain glory during their term in office. (FB15)
    • Turns out this is an ancient ancient trick. It was observed in the first punic war, where the annually appointed Roman consuls had great incentive to  make bold moves and grab glory before their appointment was up. See YT_P.

Non reasons

  • Technological differences were not a major factor, neither was military technique.
    • “The technological difference explanation doesn’t wash as far as land armies go, in fact I would say the gap is greater today than it was back then. Yes navally we were surpassed but on land the Marathas could hold their own.”SP_FB

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