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- The Tragedy of Colonel William Baillie of the Madras Army
The Battle of Pollilur on 10 September 1780, fought as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War, was one of the worst defeats the British ever suffered on the Indian subcontinent. It was fought between a Brigade Column of the East India Company, led by Colonel William Baillie, and the Mysore Army, under the command of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Heavily outnumbered and wounded in battle, Baillie was taken prisoner and eventually died isolated and in captivity in Seringapatam, in the state of Karnataka near Mysore, on 13 November 1782. News of Pollilur aroused widespread consternation in England that India was lost, yet the news of Baillie's defeat and capture have been shrouded in mystery. Was Colonel Baillie really responsible for this military failure? What role did his contemporaries, such as General Sir Hector Munro of Novar who ws encamped a few miles away from the battle, play? In this engaging new biography, derived from fresh new research and archival material previously unseen, Alan Tritton presents the true story of William Baillie's life and death in India with the Madras Army of the East India Company covering the period 1760-1782.Overturning the consensus view of the disaster at Pollilur, Tritton provides an original angle in reassessing Colonel Baillie's blame for the defeat, and questions whether he should be remembered as a failure or, rather, a Scottish military hero. This book will prove essential reading for specialists and enthusiasts of British military and imperial history.Vis mere
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