[Model Answer QP2022 GS1]Why did the armies of the British East India Company- mostly Indian soldiers- win consistently against the more numerous and better equipped armies of the then Indian rulers? Give reasons.

The British East India company emerged victorious in the  Battle of Plassey and Buxar which won them the Diwani of rights in areas of Bengal, the Anglo-mysore wars and Anglo-maratha wars not because they had the largest army or were far better equipped but because of the following reasons enumerated below.

Armies of the British East India Company- mostly Indian soldiers- win consistently because:

1. To begin with, the British East India Company  created the European Regiments. In the 1740s, the Company’s army consisted mostly of small garrisons – one or two companies strong – at a smattering of key installations like Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. During the mid-18th century wars with the French and their Indian allies, these garrisons were enlarged to form battalion and eventually brigade-strength British forces.
Case of Indian Sepoys of British Army 
Indian sepoys frequently mentioned that even if princes might offer them twice as much pay, no one would treat them better than the Company. With the Company, sepoys had a job for life… and so, probably, did their sons and grandsons, their cousins, nephews, etc. The whole family was invited to join in.
2. The Company early on had begun to turn to Indian mercenaries to solve its military manpower problem. What the Company did was transform its sipahis (sepoys) into something very different – they took soldiers of fortune and turned them into professional soldiers.  This was done by introducing standardized weaponry in the form of firelocks, and by issuing uniforms and organizing the men into regular companies and – by the mid-1750s – into battalions. A few British officers were then assigned to each “sepoy battalion” to oversee drill, discipline, and command. 
3. The British were far superior in Diplomacy, Strategies and Conspiracies: For instance, Subsidiary alliance and Doctrine of lapse were designed to enlarge their territorial possession. They tactically allied with Marathas to defeat Tipu Sultan.
4. Sepoys were given a very strong incentive to be loyal: they were offered generous pensions on top of regular, fairly generous pay, as well as support for life if wounded. If killed, they knew their families would be taken care of, by the Company, for life – put on the pension rolls and given a regular allowance. 
5. Internal Skirmishes among the Indian Rulers: For instance the Marathas, Mysore and Travancore and the Nizam of Hyderabad were constantly in fight with one another which gave a chance for the British to play one against another. 
6. Few of the Indian kingdoms had regular, standing forces. Instead, they had to rely upon an assortment of local “police” units (sibbandis), attached to district administrations; feudal levies raised by zamindars and other landholders; and hired mercenaries. These hirelings might include Pathan soldiers-of-fortune, Pindari freebooters, or even bargain basement “sepoy” units raised, trained, and commanded by European mercenaries (often French, Portuguese, etc.). These puzzle-piece armies were often raised “as needed,” and although their pay was good, it often was kept in arrears or failed to materialize at all.
One exception was the Mysorean army under Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, which was more like an Indianized European army. Much the same could be said for some of the stronger Maratha armies and the Khalsa (Sikh) forces under Ranjit Singh. Up against these armies, the Company was generally very careful, and often chose not to fight unless they had numerically equal strength, numerical superiority, or some other advantage.

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