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Battle of Pollilur
Part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War
Battle of pollilur.jpg
Mural of the Battle of Pollilur on the walls of Tipu's summer palace.
Date10 September 1780
LocationPollilur, Kanchipuram, India
Result Decisive Mysore victory
Flag of the British East India Company (1707).svg British East India Company Flag of Mysore.svg Sultanate of Mysore
Commanders and leaders
William Baille Tipu Sultan
4,000[1] to 7,000[2] 2,000–3,000 cavalry & rocket-men[3]
Casualties and losses
3000 killed,[4]
200[4] to 7,000[2] captured

The Battle of Pollilur, also known as the Battle of Pollilur or Battle of Perambakam, took place on 10 September 1780 at Pollilur near the city of Kanchipuram in present-day Tamil Nadu state, India as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War. It was waged between two forces commanded by Tipu Sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore, and Colonel William Baille of the British East India Company. The army of the East India Company surrendered and suffered a high number of casualties. It was the worst loss the British suffered on the subcontinent until Chillianwala.


The Battle of Pollilur, where the forces of Hyder Ali effectively used Mysorean rockets and rocket artillery against closely massed British forces.

Baille and many of his officers were captured and taken to the Mysore capital at Srirangapattana. After British reinforcements from Calcutta arrived, Eyre Coote was able to stabilise the situation and counter-attack. A second battle was fought a year later in the same area where Coote defeated Haider Ali's forces.


The Mysore rockets used during the battle were much more advanced than the British East India Company had previously seen, chiefly because of the use of iron tubes for holding the propellant; this enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missile (up to 2 km range). After Tipu Sultan's eventual defeat in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War and the capture of the Mysore iron rockets, they were influential in British rocket development, inspiring the Congreve rocket, which was soon put into use in the Napoleonic Wars.[5]

See also

External links

  1. Gott, Richard (2000). Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt. London: Verso Books. p. 76. ISBN 1-84467-738-9. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dalrymple, William (1 October 2005). "ASSIMILATION AND TRANSCULTURATION IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY INDIA: A Response to Pankaj Mishra". pp. 445–485. Digital object identifier:10.1215/0961754X-11-3-445. Retrieved 8 February 2012. "As late as 1780, following the disastrous British defeat by Tipu Sultan of Mysore at the Battle of Pollilur, 7,000 British men, along with an unknown number of women, were held captive by Tipu in his sophisticated fortress of Seringapatam." 
  3. Jaim, H M Iftekhar; Jaim, Jasmine (1 October 2011). "The Decisive Nature of the Indian War Rocket in the Anglo-Mysore Wars of the Eighteenth Century". pp. 131–138. Digital object identifier:10.1179/174962611X13097916223244. Retrieved 8 February 2012. "Captain Munro noted: 'Around two or three thousand horse and rocket-men kept hovering round our main army, in order to conceal his enterprise from us'." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jasanoff, Maya (2005). Edge of empire: lives, culture, and conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (1. ed. ed.). New York: Knopf. p. 157. ISBN 1-4000-4167-8. "Some three thousand Company soldiers were killed, while Baillie and two hundred Europeans, fifty of them officers, were carried off to Seringapatam in chains." 
  5. Roddam Narasimha (1985). Rockets in Mysore and Britain, 1750-1850 A.D. National Aeronautical Laboratory and Indian Institute of Science.

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