Archive for the ‘guns’ Tag

Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India.

Guns, Influence, and Power

Reviewed by: Timothy May, Department of History, North Georgia College and State University.
Published by: H-War (August, 2006)

There is no question that the advent of gunpowder weapons permanently changed the course of warfare, but exactly how this happened varies from region to region. Often in the public’s mind, the impact of firearms is relegated to Europe and its origins in China; somehow everything in between is overlooked. Thus, Iqtidar Alam Khan’s volume, Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India will hopefully begin to fill that void.

Khan’s work is important for two reasons. First, it traces the origins and influence of gunpowder weapons in India as a regional history rather than as an ancillary to a larger work. The author critically examines when firearms appeared in India, and then what other influences–whether local or foreign–played in the development of the weapons. Moreover, he discusses their impact, not only on the medieval state, but on society as a whole. Second, Khan’s work serves as a model for other regional studies on firearms as well as the distribution of other forms of technology or goods.

Chapter 1 of Gunpowder and Firearms discusses the diffusion of firearms into the subcontinent by focusing on the role of the Mongols as agents of transmission. Although the author notes that the Chinese had been using gunpowder weapons before the Mongols arrived on the scene, it is not until the end of the thirteenth century that firearms of any sort, particularly rockets, appear in the Sultanate of Delhi or in regional literary references. While he places the greatest emphasis on the Mongols as the agents of technological transmission, Khan does not rule out other sources such as a Himalayan or sea route. Regardless of their origin, knowledge and use of these weapons quickly spread.

Chapters 2 through 4 focus on the use of artillery from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Although cannons became somewhat common throughout India, the Mughals used them the most effectively, thus giving rise to one of the popularly called Gunpowder Empires (along with the Ottomans and Safavids). Yet, these three chapters emphasize one key point. As in late medieval Europe, the expense of cannons meant that few among the nobility besides the ruler possessed the resources to purchase them. Fortress walls gave little shelter against cannons and the nobility quickly learned to acquiesce to the authority of the ruler.

Although similar situations appeared among some of the regional Indian states, the rise of the Mughals brings this phenomenon into better focus. Chapter 3 continues to deal with centralization of power, but in the context of the arrival of not only the Mughals, but also the Portuguese with their European metallurgical and artillery advances. From the Portuguese, the Mughals and others learned how to make cannons from wrought iron, thus reducing the cost of the weapon, while at the same time improving it. The Mughals, who learned from Ottoman advisors, quickly grasped the importance of light artillery as it became less expensive and more easily manufactured. While magnificent in siege warfare, the lack of maneuverability of heavy cannon left it virtually useless on the battlefield.

Chapter 4 discusses the dominance of the Mughals. By the time of Akbar, heavy mortars and cannons were rarely used in the Mughal military. Light cannons that could be used on the battlefield were the mainstay of the Mughal artillery corps, including the shaturnal, similar to swivel guns, but carried on the backs of camels and even in the howdahs of elephants. As this chapter ties into the arrival of the British East India Company, Khan continues to discuss technological developments, or the lack thereof.

In addition to artillery, handheld firearms also became ubiquitous throughout the Mughal Empire. Chapter 5 examines the nature and development of handguns in the Mughal Empire. In addition to local factors, Khan includes a good discussion of Western influences, which in this instance includes the Ottoman Empire. Western influences included new technologies in firearms manufacture. However, not all of these became widespread. As a result, stagnation occurred particularly in terms of standard weapons. The preferred weapon became the matchlock, even after other technologies surpassed it. Why the matchlock remained the weapon of choice ties into chapter 6, which discusses the role of the matchlock musket in the centralization of Mughal authority.

Mughals also used musketeers to maintain their authority. Babur began his career with a scant musket bearing force of just over a hundred men, but by the time of Akbar, over 35,000 musketeers existed in the Mughal military. One reason for this was that, despite the cost of their weapon, the musketeers were actually less expensive than garrisoning cavalry forces. The expense of feeding the man and his horse grossly exceeded that of a musketeer. Thus, a small but trained force of musket wielding troops allowed the Mughals to assert their authority in even the most remote provinces. This was also possible as, for several decades, the nobility were forbidden to recruit their own forces of musketeers. At the same time, this mass force of troops with firearms undermined the Mughals. As the matchlock became ubiquitous, its cost dropped, but it also was deemed very reliable by those using it. Thus, even when other technologies came into the region, like flintlock muskets, the Mughals failed to adopt them due to economic reasons as well as the matchlock’s popularity.

While firearms aided the process of centralization, it also played a role in undermining the Mughal’s authority. Because of the affordability of matchlocks and the relative simplicity in gaining expertise with them, one did not have to train for years to be a warrior. Ultimately this let to the diffusion of firearms into the general populace and resistance to central authority. Beginning in the late-sixteenth century, not only political rebels, but even peasants opposed to tax collection acquired firearms. As domestic tensions grew, the widespread use and manufacture of matchlock muskets played a role in the breakdown of central authority, and the Mughals, despite several innovative attempts, failed to halt the eventual Balkanization of their empire. Khan’s work is impressive and is the result of twenty years of research that ranged over four hundred years of history. Utilizing Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, and English primary sources and supplemented by a wide array of secondary works, Iqtidar Khan has produced an excellent work. The four appendices are useful supplements dealing with the use of firearms by the Mongols, the analysis of terminology in a couple primary sources, and the origins of the Purbias, who were gunners for a few Indian states in the 1500s. The volume also contains almost thirty illustrations of firearms and their use. These dramatically illustrate Khan’s points as well as show the reader the variances between the weapons.

Yet, the book is not without faults. While Gunpowder and Firearms is an insightful and well-argued work, the author exaggerates the Mongols’ use of gunpowder. While it is true that the Mongols never met a weapon they did not find a use for, there is no concrete evidence that the Mongols used gunpowder weapons on a regular basis outside of China. Indeed, the author recognizes this and notes that his claims are based on Persian terms which could be interpreted as firearms. Unfortunately, while many of these terms such as manjaniq are used to refer to cannons, during the medieval period manjaniq meant a mangonel. It is plausible that in later periods, the Mongols did make more extensive use of gunpowder weapons, but in period of the conquests (1206-60), there is inadequate evidence to support Khan’s assertion.

One other minor criticism is the exclusion of Kenneth Chase’s Firearms: A Global History to 1700 (2003). I suspect that, given their publication dates, Chase’s and Khan’s books crossed paths. Although Chase takes a global perspective, the authors reach similar conclusions. Nonetheless, Gunpowder and Firearms will appeal not only to historians of India, but also anyone interested in the development of weapons and military systems or the creation of states. In summary, not only is Iqtidar Alam Khan’s work an impressive study on the diffusion of firearms in India, it will also serve as a model for others pursuing similar research on the spread of technology or goods on a regional basis.

Gandhiji’s quote on Guns


“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.” —–Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Chapter XXVII, Recruiting Campaign, Page 403, Dover paperback edition, 1983. This book was originally published by Public Affairs Press in 1948.

Quote on controls by Gandhi

Here are some words from Gandhi:

“Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of Truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative, it undoes the teaching of self-help”

“I look upon an increase in the power of the State with the greatest fear because, although while apparently doing good by minimizing exploitation, it does the greatest harm to mankind by destroying individuality which lies at the heart of all progress”

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest”

“We find the general work of mankind is being carried on from day to day be the mass of people acting as if by instinct”

“If they were instinctively violent the world would end in no time”

“It is when the mass mind is unnaturally influenced by wicked men that the mass of mankind commit violence. But they forget it as they commit it because they return to their peaceful nature immediately the evil influence of the directing mind has been removed”

“A government that is evil has no room for good men and women except in its prisons.”

who’s first ?

Source: Russianspaceweb

Circa 850: The Chinese use some form of gunpowder in making fireworks to celebrate religious festivals.

1232: The Chinese successfully withstand the siege of the town of Kai-fung-fu by the Mongols with the help of “arrows of flaming fire.” (Historians speculate that these true rockets became possible after the Chinese discovered how to distill organic saltpetre — an oxygen producing ingredient — to increase the rate of burning.)

1242: Roger Bacon, an English Franciscan monk, records a secret formula for “gunpowder”: saltpetre 41.2; charcoal 29.4; sulphur 29.4. To achieve a faster rate of burning, Bacon distills saltpeter — the oxygen producing ingredient. The original formula apparently came from China.

1280: Al-Hasan al-Rammah, a Syrian military historian, describes rockets (Chinese arrows) and recipes for making gunpowder in “The Book of Fighting on Horseback and With War Engines.”

1288: Arabs use rockets during the seige of Valencia, Spain. (293)

1379: Gunpowder rockets are used in the siege of Chioggia, near Venice, Italy.

1516: The use of rockets near the Ukrainian city of Belgorod is recorded. (2)

1657: Cyrano de Bergerac publishes Histoire Comiquie Contenant les Etats et Empires de la Lune.

1675: The first appearance of rockets in the Russian city of Ustuyg. (2)

1687: Isaac Newton postulates the Laws of Motion, including his third law which states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It becomes the main theoretical principle of jet propulsion.

1680s: The “Rocket Enterprise” (Raketnoe Zavedenie) is founded in Moscow.

1711: Peter the Great founds the Arsenal artillery enterprise in St. Petersburg, which produced rocket devices as early as 1732. (79)

1770: Capt. Thomas Desaguliers examines rockets brought from India in the Royal Laboratory, Woolwich, England, but fails to reproduce reported range or accuracy. (Some would not even lift from their stands)

1780s: Indian ruler Hyder Ali, Prince of Mysore, uses iron-cased rockets with 8-10-feet (2.4 – 3-meters) balancing sticks against troops of the East India Company. The rockets with a weight of 2.7 – 5.4 kilograms have a range of 2.4 kilometers.


19th century

1804: Colonel William Congreve provides specifications for the manufacturing of large rockets at Woolwich, England. Within a year, he produces a 10.9-kilogram rocket with a 1,830-meter range. Later, he develops a 14.5-kilogram iron-cased rockets (107 centimeters long and 10-centimeters in diameter). To increase the range, Congreve creates a faster-burning powder.

1806 Oct. 8: 18 British rocket-carrying boats bombard Boulogne (France) with Congreve missiles during the Napoleonic War. Most missiles overshoot the French battleships, instead starting fires in the coastal town.

1807 Sept. 2-7: British rocket boats attack Copenhagen, Denmark, initiating big fires in the city.

1813: The British Royal Military Academy in Woolwich publishes “A Treatise on the Motion of Rockets” by William Moore. The work includes a mathematical description of rocket trajectories, including their movement in air and in vacuum.

1814 Sept. 13-14: The British navy fires Congreve rockets against besieged Fort McHenry, Baltimore, during the War of 1812. The events inspire Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner, which became the American national anthem. The song mentions “the rockets’ red glare.”

1828-29: The Russian Army uses Zasyadko rockets during the Russo-Turkish War.

1840: In England, William Hale, develops spin stabilized rockets, by placing three curved metal vanes in the rocket exhaust. The devices were employed during the Mexican War (1846-48), during the Crimean War (1853-56), in Hungary, Italy, Prussia, and during the American Civil War (1861-65).

1853-56: Russian ships are equipped with rockets during the Crimean War.

1865: Jules Verne’s science fiction novel De la Terre à la Lune (“From the Earth to the Moon”) is published, predicting many aspects of space flight.

1881: While waiting to be executed for his part in the plot to assassinate Czar Alexander II, Nikolai Kibalchich sketches and describes a manned flight vehicle propelled by a solid-fuel engine.

1890: In Germany, Hermann Ganswindt proposes a reaction-powered spacecraft propelled by dynamite charges


Source: Orissa govt
R. K. Mishra
The story of weapons is intimately connected with the story of mankind. Born armed but not weaponed man is obliged to arm himself with weapons both for the purpose of offence and defence. The arming of man all over the world began in the remote past when the primitive man fashioned crude weapons from pebbles and stones not only to protect himself from the ferocious beasts but also to augment his food supply by hunting. With the passage of time he brought about sophistication in them and used these weapons for all his domestic and external needs. With the gradual development and discovery of mater like copper and bronze (C.2500 B.C. in India), he hammered or cast his metalic weapons which he used to greater effect when iron came to be known in India around 1000 B.C. it brought about a revolution in the art of weaponry. Several kingdoms were razed to the ground and vast empire built on their ruins with the power
of the weapons.

This study of Arms and Weapons absorbs interest to a large and ever increasing number of people inasmuch as it appeals in a marked degree to a student of history, the antiquarian and to those who worked in the art of military science.

Weapons form the basis for a certain aspect of history and pre-requisite for changing the face of the world through various wars. This study constitutes a subject in writing the history of a nation.

Orissa State Museum has acquired a good number of traditional weapons of war like swords, guns, cannons, daggers, spears, bows, battle axes, shields, etc. These weapons are under display in a separate Armoury Gallery.

Representing several varieties, the Museum has choicest species of swords and talwars which are generally carved towards the end and has cutting edge. The Khadga variety of swords normally straight with blunt end and having double cutting edges. It is usually very heavy. Patta forms another type with a long handle and can pierce through the body of the enemy. There are two inscribed swords collected from Narasinghpur and Baramba Palace which deserves special mention. The first one belongs to Muslim Period having curved with hilt, oval grip and straight quillion. The back edge bears a persian inscription having an inscribed name of ‘Saha Alam Badshah’.

The second one belongs to Gajapati Period. The hilt has a brass grip with gold coated inscription beginning with “Om Ganesayah Namah” in proto Oriya character and presumably a verse from Vishnu Sahasranama. The use of jewels like gold coating in arms is peculiar in India. These are studded to enhance the beauty, elegancy and richness of the swords. The hilts of the swords are fashioned with costly metal with engraving of floral devises and animal figures. The blades have decorated designs and inscribed letters. The greatest amount of ornamentation is lavished upon armours and personal weapons of kings and emperors. Some metalic weapons are engraved, enamelled, perforated and embelished in many forms. Some of the hilts are made of ivory, steel , horn, fish teeth, etc.

The gallery is enriched with display of varieties of matchlocks, flint guns, muzzle load and rifles. The Marahattas used matchlocks, pistols and rifles. These guns are generally large and heavy. The long barrel of the matchlock is usually attached with the stock by leather stripe and strengthened with side plates of steels. These are traditional types used by the soldiers of the royal armies during these days. Gun powder is generally pressed inside their long barrels and then fired. The prize collection in the gallery is the personal gun of Utkal Gaurav Madhusudan Das, the maker of Modern Orissa. There are about 30 numbers of small and big cannons displayed in the gallery.

These fire arms are generally of Mughal and Marahatta Period. It may be mentioned here that the development of fire arms made Mughals very effective. Guns and cannons mounted each on a wheel carriage were later introduced from Europe and convenient devices were added in the Mughal Army by Akbar. Eight big cannons were recovered from Barabati Fort area of Cuttack district and brought to the Museum. Two big cannons were brought from Lalbag Palace, Cuttack at the instance of Shri A. N. Khosla the then Governor of Orissa during 1969. Lalbag originally a seat of Mughal Governors was subsequently converted to Governor House of Orissa.

Ten number of daggers have been displayed in the gallery. Some of the daggers are assorted variety with hilts of ivory bones, agate and metal. Some daggers are curved and straight. Jamdhar, a popular variety of daggers have a beautiful handle and broad straight blade. The blade is thick with two cutting edges having a breadth of three inches at the hilt. The handle bars are very often enamelled and display decorative designs. Spears and javelines are coveted weapons for riders and cavaliers and fixed to the saddle through iron chains. Ballam which were another popular variety consisted of several varieties. They are constituted of metal and are very slender and could easily be thrown. The blade is round in two sides, three sides and even more. The blade is in the shape of vertical narrow leaf. The blade of those weapons are attached to long bamboo and hurled on the foe when they are used for attack. The State Museum preserves a good number of these weapons datable to Mughal and Marahatta Period. Some of them have been provided with a leather strap to facilitate their hanging from shoulder of the armed personnel. The shafts of many of these weapons are decorated with gold and silver workmanship.

Among the defensive weapons in the collection there are circular shields of different varieties made of hide and metals to protect the body from close range when attacked by the enemy.The shields are made of the skin of Rhinoceros, buffalo, tortoise, tigers and are elaborately decorated and damascened with gold, cresents and murals. At subsequent periods metal seems to have been used in the fabrication of shields with both iron and copper. The shape of the shields are ordinarily circular. The diametre ranges from 18th to 20 inches. At time they are fitted with four or six steel brussed on thin surface.

The gallery is enriched with good collection of battle axes. Axes are dreadful weapons which could create havoc when used in the war but in later period they were outdated. The battle axe consisted of a short wooden shaft with a shouldered blade attached to it on the side near the top. The battle axes were very much prevelent among soldiers of Mughal and Marahatta army.

A large number of old weapons have still been stored in the old palaces, private collections, local zamindars and feudatory chiefs and ex-State rulers which can be collected and preserved in the armoury gallery in a thematic order.

References :
1. Military History of India–J. N. Sircar
2. Studies in Indian Warfare and Weapons–G. N. Pant
3. National Museum Bulletin–No. IV, V and VI.
4. Glimpses of Orissan Art & Culture (Golden Jubilee Issue)–O.H.R.J. Vol. XXX No. 2, 3 & 4.
5. Military History of Orissa–Dr. R. P. Mohapatra.
6. Indian Arms and Armour–Vol. I & II–G. N. Pant.
7. Military History of India–B. C. Kar.
Orissa State Museum

Arms, weapons gallery planned in State museum

Source The Hindu
J.S. Ifthekhar

  • Work order issued to set it up at a cost of Rs.10 lakhs
  • Gun used by Tipu Sultan will be the main attraction for visitors
  • 200 swords, blades, guns, cannons, etc. to be displayed

HYDERABAD: An exclusive arms and weapons gallery is being planned in the Andhra Pradesh State Museum in Public Gardens here. Work order has been issued for the Rs. 10-lakh gallery, which is expected to be ready by March end.

Two hundred swords, blades, guns, daggers, bayonets, cannons, pistols belonging to the 18th and 20th century will be on display on the second floor . The weaponry is now lying in the reserve collection of the museum. Attractive display panels are being designed to showcase the armaments, which represent the evolution and usage of weapons of domestic, carpentry, agricultural and war.

Some of these arms were exhibited earlier along with other things. “Now it is proposed to have a separate gallery,” said J. Kedareshwari, Director, Archaeology and Museums.

The gun used by Tipu Sultan will be the main attraction for visitors. It has an inscription in golden letters and a symbol of the tiger. The arms of Deccan of medieval and late medieval periods comprise mainly of war weapons such as battleaxes, swords, daggers, `jambias’, curved swords, lancers, it is said.

During the last two-and-a-half years the department has completely reorganised 16 galleries in the museum at a whopping cost of Rs. 2 crores.

District museums
The department is going in a big way to set up district museums to highlight the evolution, heritage and culture of the particular district. As part of this plan it is proposed to open museums at Vishakapatnam and Vizianagaram on May 18 coinciding with the International Museum Day, Dr. Kedareshwari said.

For the first time, the latter will have a `Hall of Fame’ to showcase important personalities of the district.

MUSEUMS WITH ARMS History in India

There are Arms displays at Museum in:


  • Allakot , Dist – Solapur, Maharashtra.
  • BHARAT ITIHAS SAMASHODHAK MANDAL MUSEUM, 1321 Sadashiv Peth, Pune, Maharashtra
  • MARATHA HISTORY MUSEUM, Deccan College, Yerawada, Pune, Maharashtra
  • Central Museum, town hall, kolhapur, maharashtra

Madhya Pradesh

  • State Museum, Dhubela Nowaganj, Chattarpur Dist, MP.
  • Maharaja jiwajirao museum, Jai vilas palace, lashkar, Gwalior, MP.

Jammu And Kashmir

  • Dogra ART gallery, jammu.
  • SRI PRATAP SINGH MUSEUM, Lal Mandi, Srinagar, Kashmir


  • ARMS & CHANDELIERS GALLERY, Quila Patiala, Patiala, Punjab
  • Central Sikh Museum, Golden temple, Amritsar, Punjab.

New Delhi

  • National Museum, Janpath (link given above)
  • Red Fort Museum Of Arms & Weapons, Redfort, New delhi.
  • Airforce museum, airforce station, Palam, Delhi.


  • Pareekshith Thampura Museum, Darbar hall, ernakulam, kerala.

Andhra pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh State Museum, public gardens hydearabad, AP.
  • Site Museum, Kutub shahi Tombs Complex, Golconda, Hyderabad, AP


  • Bhagalpur Museum, Stations Club, bhagalpur, Bihar.
  • RANCHI MUSEUM, Tribal Research Institute Building, Morabadi Road, Ranchi, Bihar
  • NAWADA MUSEUM, PO Nawada, District Nawada, Nawada, Bihar
  • Gaya Museum, gaya, Bihar.

Himachal pradesh

  • Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba, Himachal.
  • HIMACHAL STATE MUSEUM, Near Chauramaidan, Shimla, Himachal

Tamil Nadu

  • Fort Museum, South beach road, chennai.


  • Local antiquities museum, Chitradurga, Karnataka. District Museum, maharaja park, Hasan, Karnataka.
  • GOVERNMENT MUSEUM, Shimoga, Karnataka
  • FOLKLORE MUSEUM, University of Mysore, Manasa Gangotri, Mysore, Karnataka
  • Government Museum, Fort, Madikeri, Kodagu, karnataka.


  • Darbar hall museum, Diwan Chowk, Junagadh, Gujarat.


  • GOVERNMENT MUSEU, MAhar, Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • BIRLA MUSEUM, Pilani, Distt Jhun junu, Pilani, Rajasthan
  • Govt Museum, kota, rajastan
  • SIKAR MUSEUM, Sikar, Rajasthan
  • Government museum, jodhpur, rajastan.
  • Central Museum ram niwas garden, jaipur.
  • Maharaja Sawai man Singh II Museum, City palace, jaipur.
  • Govt Museum, bikaner, Rajastan.
  • Rajputana Museum, Ajmer, rajastan
  • Govt Museum, City palace Alwar, rajastan.

Uttar pradesh

  • Allahabad Museum, Motilal nehru park, Allahabad, UP


  • Behrampur branch museum, behrampur, Ganjam (Dist), Orissa.
  • Dhenkanal Branch Museum, Dhenkanal, orissa.

Source: India Tourism

Books on Guns and History (courtesy: Google books)

Books on Indian Arms History

Firearms: A Global History to 1700
By Kenneth Warren Chase
Published by Cambridge University Press, 2003
ISBN 0521822742, 9780521822749
290 pages

Military Leadership in India: Vedic Period to Indo-Pak Wars
By Rajendra Nath
Published by Lancers Books, 1990
Original from the University of California
Digitized 12 Mar 2007
586 pages

The Extremist Challenge: India Between 1890 and 1910
By Amales Tripathi
Published by Orient Longmans, 1967
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized 13 Jan 2006
246 pages

Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand-year History
By Arnold Pacey
Published by MIT Press, 1990
ISBN 0262660725, 9780262660723
238 pages

A Dictionary of Military History and the Art of War: and the art of war
By André Corvisier, John Childs, John Charles Roger Childs, Chris Turner
Translated by Chris Turner
Contributor André Corvisier
Published by Blackwell Publishing, 1994
ISBN 0631168486, 9780631168485
916 pages

The Evolution of the Artillery in India: From the Battle of Plassey (1757) to the Revolt of 1857
By R. C. Butalia
Published by Allied Publishers, 1998
ISBN 8170238722, 9788170238720
388 pages

The French in India: From Diamond Traders to Sanskrit Scholars
By Rose Vincent
Contributor Rose Vincent
Published by Popular Prakashan, 1990
Original from the University of California
Digitized Feb 21, 2007
ISBN 0861322592, 9780861322596
165 pages

Official Documents, Relative to the Negotiations Carried on by Tippoo Sultaun, with the French Nation, and Other Foreign States, for Purposes Hostile to the British Nation: To which is Added, Proceedings of a Jacobin Club, Formed at Seringapatam, by the French Soldiers in the Corps Commanded by …
By Nawab of Mysore Fath ʻAli Tipu Sultan, Fath ʼAli Tipu Sultan, India, Jacobin Club, India, East India Company, East India Company
Published by printed at the Honorable Company’s Press, 1799
Original from Oxford University
Digitized May 30, 2007
195 pages
The Dangers of British India from French Invasion and Missionary Establishments: To which are Added Some Account of the Countries Between the Caspian Sea and the Ganges, a Narrative of the Revolutions which They Have Experienced Subsequent to the Expeditions of Alexander the Great, and a Few …
By David Hopkins
Published by Printed for and sold by Black, Parry, and Kingsbury, 1809
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Nov 14, 2007
191 pages
An Account of the War in India: Between the English and French, on the Coast of Coromandel, from 1750 to the Year 1760
By Richard Owen Cambridge, Stringer Lawrence, John Call
Published by T. Jefferys, 1761
Original from the New York Public Library
Digitized Sep 10, 2007
339 pages

The Portuguese in India: Being a History of the Rise and Decline of Their Eastern Empire
By Frederick Charles Danvers
Published by Asian Educational Services, 1988
ISBN 8120603915, 9788120603912

The French in India: First Establishment and Struggle
By Siba Pada Sen
Published by University of Calcutta, 1947
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Aug 28, 2007
360 pages

History of the French in India: From the Founding of Pondichery in 1674 to the Capture of that Place in 1761
By G B Malleson
Published by Adamant Media Corporation, 2005
ISBN 1402192746, 9781402192746
648 pages

Final French Struggles in India and on the Indian Seas: Including an Account of the Capture of the Isles of France and Bourbon, and Sketches of the Most Eminent Foreign Adventurers in India Up to the Period of that Capture : with an Appendix Containing an Account of the Expedition from India to …
By George Bruce Malleson
Published by W.H. Allen, 1878
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Nov 14, 2007
289 pages

Anglo-Maratha Relations, 1785-96
By Sailendra Nath Sen
Published by Popular Prakashan, 1994
ISBN 8171547893, 9788171547890
328 pages

The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800
By Geoffrey Parker
Published by Cambridge University Press, 1996
ISBN 0521479584, 9780521479585
265 pages

The Cambridge Economic History of India
By Tapan Raychaudhuri, Tapan Raychaudhuri Irfan Habib, Irfan Habib
Published by Orient Blackswan, 2005
ISBN 8125027300, 9788125027300

A Catalogue of Books Relating to the Military History of India
By Maurice James Draffen Cockle, United Service Institution of India
Published by Government Central Printing Office, 1901
Original from the University of California
Digitized Jul 30, 2008
101 pages

A Guide to the Sources of British Military History
By Robin Higham
Published by Routledge, 1972
ISBN 0710072511, 9780710072511
630 pages

A Dictionary of Military History and the Art of War: and the art of war
By André Corvisier, John Childs, John Charles Roger Childs, Chris Turner
Translated by Chris Turner
Contributor André Corvisier
Published by Blackwell Publishing, 1994
ISBN 0631168486, 9780631168485
916 pages

Military History of India
By Hemendra Chandra Kar
Published by Firma KLM, 1980
Original from the University of California
Digitized 30 Jul 2008
731 pages

Political, Legal, and Military History of India
By Harbans Singh Bhatia
Published by Deep & Deep Publications, 1986
Item notes: v. 6
Original from the University of California

Victorian Military Campaigns: the Sikh wars, 1845-9, the Third China war, 1860, the expedition to Abyssinia, 1867-8, the Ashanti campaign, 1873-4, the South African war, 1880-1, the Egyptian campaign, 1882, the reconquest of the Sudan, 1896-9..
By Brian Bond
Compiled by Brian Bond
Published by Praeger, 1967
328 pages

The Decisive Battles of India: From 1746 to 1849 Inclusive
By George Bruce Malleson
Published by W.H. Allen, 1883
Original from Oxford University
Digitized Jul 3, 2006
419 pages

The British Raj and Its Indian Armed Forces, 1857-1939: 1857-1939
By Partha Sarathi Gupta, Anirudh Deshpande
Contributor Partha Sarathi Gupta, Anirudh Deshpande
Published by Oxford University Press, 2002
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Aug 27, 2007
ISBN 0195658051, 9780195658057
303 pages
1 martial races, Indian Army, Kshatriyas
Punjab and
7 Sikhs, Bengal Army, Indian Army
Military Indianization
45 Anglo-Indian, VCOs, martial races

Leadership in the Indian Army: Biographies of Twelve Soldiers
By V. K. Singh
Published by SAGE, 2005
ISBN 0761933220, 9780761933229
417 pages

The Garrison State: The Military, Government and Society in Colonial Punjab 1849-1947
By Tai Yong Tan
Published by SAGE, 2005
ISBN 0761933360, 9780761933366
333 pages

Between Two Worlds: A Rajput Officer in the Indian Army, 1905-21 : Based on the Diary of Amar Singh of Jaipur
By Jr. Ellinwood, DeWitt C. Ellinwood
Published by University Press of America, 2005
ISBN 0761831134, 9780761831136
679 pages

The Army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
By Balwant Singh, writer on Sikh history Balwant Singh, Sardar Balwant Singh
Published by Lahore Book Shop, 1945
Original from the University of Michigan

Six Battles for India: The Anglo-Sikh Wars, 1845-6, 1848-9
By George Ludgate Bruce, George Bruce
Published by Arthur Barker Ltd., 1969
ISBN 021317796X, 9780213177966
336 pages

Maharaja Ranjit Singh and His Times
By J. S. Grewal, Indu Banga
Published by Dept. of History, Guru Nanak Dev University, 1980
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Nov 10, 2006
296 pages

The Sikh Army 1799-1849
By Ian Heath, Michael Perry
Illustrated by Michael Perry
Published by Osprey Publishing, 2005
ISBN 1841767778, 9781841767772
48 pages

Military System of the Sikhs
By B. N. Majumdar
Published by Army Educational Stores, 1965
Original from the University of California
Digitized 29 Jul 2008
235 pages

The Freedom Struggle in Andhra Pradesh (Andhra)
By Mamidipudi Venkatarangaiya, Andhra Pradesh (India). State Committee for the Compilation of the History of the Freedom Struggle in Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, India State Committee Appointed for the Compilation of a history of the Freedom Struggle in Andhra Pradesh (Andhra)
Published by Andhra Pradesh State Committee Appointed for the Compilation of a History of the Freedom Struggle in Andhra Pradesh (Andhra), 1965
Item notes: v.1
Original from the University of California
Digitized 25 Jan 2008

Gun History of India

Gunpowder arrived in India by the mid-1300s, but could have been introduced by the Mongols perhaps as early as the mid-1200s.

It was written in the Tarikh-i Firishta (1606-1607) that the envoy of the Mongol ruler Hulegu Khan was presented with a dazzling pyrotechnics display upon his arrival in Delhi in 1258 AD. Firearms known as top-o-tufak also existed in the Vijayanagara Empire of India by as early as 1366 AD. From then on the employment of gunpowder warfare in India was prevalent, with events such as the siege of Belgaum in 1473 AD by the Sultan Muhammad Shah Bahmani.

By the 16th century, Indians were manufacturing a diverse variety of firearms; large guns in particular, became visible in Tanjore, Dacca, Bijapur and Murshidabad.[41] Guns made of bronze were recovered from Calicut (1504) and Diu (1533). Gujarāt supplied Europe saltpeter for use in gunpowder warfare during the 17th century. Bengal and Mālwa participated in saltpeter production. The Dutch, French, Portuguese, and English used Chāpra as a center of saltpeter refining.

War rockets, mines and counter mines using gunpowder were used in India by the time of Akbar and Jahangir. Fathullah Shirazi (c. 1582), a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar the Great in the Mughal Empire, invented the autocannon, the earliest multi-shot gun. As opposed to the polybolos and repeating crossbows used earlier in ancient Greece and China, respectively, Shirazi’s rapid-firing gun had multiple gun barrels that fired hand cannons loaded with gunpowder.

Both Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan used black powder technology in iron-cased war rockets with considerable effect against the British, which inspired the development of the Congreve rocket.