KALUNGA2: Mettle of Man

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I arranged the transfer of that tract to him in extinction of the second crore which I had borrowed. This was in contrast with the Nepalese who had spent huge amount of resources on the first and second wars against the Tibetans, which had not fared well for the Nepalese. To the British, who were used to fighting in the plains, but were unacquainted with the terrain of the hills, the formidability of the topology is expressed by one anonymous British soldier as such: " The territory subject to Nepal consists of a mountainous tract of country, lying between Tibet and the valley of the Ganges, in breadth not exceeding one hundred miles, but in length stretching nearly along the whole extent of the north-west frontier of the British dominions.

Below the hills they held possession of a portion of the plain of irregular width, distinguished by the name of the Nepal Turrye, [20] but the period at which the acquisition was made is not ascertained. The general military character of the country is that of extreme difficulty.

The Mettle of Man

Immediately at the front of the hills the plain is covered with the Great Saul Forest, [21] for an average width of ten or twelve miles; the masses of the mountains are immense, their sides steep, and covered with impenetrable jungle. The trenches in these ridges are generally water-courses, and rather chasms or gulfs than any thing that deserves the name of a valley.

The roads are very insecure, and invariably pathways over mountains, or the beds of rivers, the usual means of transport throughout the country being by hill porters. Notwithstanding this general description, spaces comparatively open and hollow, and elevated tracts of tolerably level land, are to be met with, but so completely detached as to contribute but little to facilitate intercourse. One of the largest and most fertile of these constitutes the valley of Nepal Proper. These columns were faced with the Nepalese army under the command of Amar Singh Thapa. The first division , at Dinapur , being the largest, was commanded by Major-General Marley, and was intended to seize the pass at Makwanpur , between Gunduk and Bagmati, the key to Nepal, and to push forward to Kathmandu: thus at once carrying the war into the heart of the enemy's country.

The second division , at Benares, under command of Major-General Wood, having subsequently removed to Gorakhpur , was meant to enter the hills by the Bhootnuill pass, and, turning to the eastward, to penetrate the hilly districts, towards Kathmandu, and cooperate with the first division, while its success would have divided the enemy's country and force into two parts, cutting off all the troops in Kumaon and Garhwal from communication with the capital.

The third division , was formed at Meerut, under Major-General Gillespie; and it was purposed to march directly to the Dehra Dun ; and having reduced the forts in that valley, to move, as might be deemed expedient, to the eastward, to recover Srinagar from the troops of Amar Singh Thapa; or to the westward, to gain the post of Nahan , the chief town of Sirmaur , where Ranjore Singh Thapa held the government for his father, Amar Singh; and so sweep on towards the Sutlej , in order to cut off that chief from the rest, and thus to reduce him to terms.

The fourth, or north-western division , at Ludhiana , was to operate in the hilly country lying near the Sutlej: it assembled under Brigadier-General Ochterlony, and was destined to advance against the strong and extensive cluster of posts held by Amar Singh and the troops under his immediate orders at and surrounding Irkee, a considerable town of Kahlur , and to cooperate with the forces under Major-General Gillespie, moving downwards among the hills, when these positions should be forced, surrounding Amar Singh, and driving him upon that army.

Lastly, beyond the Koshi eastward, Major Latter was furnished with two thousand men, including his district battalion, for the defence of the Poornea frontier. This officer was desired to open a communication with the Raja of Sikkim, and to give him every assistance and encouragement to expel the Nepalese from the eastern hills, short of an actual advance of troops for the purpose. All four divisions composed mostly of Indian Sepoys. Ochterlony's army was the only division without a single British battalion. Major General Marley was tasked to occupy Hetauda and capture the fortresses of Hariharpur and Makawanpur before proceeding to Kathmandu.

His frontage of advance lay between Rapati river and Bagmati river. After additional reinforcements, he had 12, troops for his offensive against the Makawanpur and Hariharpur axis. A big attack base was established but Major General Marley showed reluctance to take risks against the Nepalese. Some skirmishes had already started taking place. He was given a very large fortress and about 4, troops with old rifles and a few pieces of cannons.

But the British could not move forward from the border. Colonel Ranabir Singh Thapa had been trying to lure the enemies to his selected killing area. With the help of an ousted Palpali king, Major General Wood planned to march on Siuraj, Jit Gadhi and Nuwakot with a view to bypass the Butwal defenses, flushing out minor opposition on the axis, and assault Palpa from a less guarded flank.

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The troops under Colonel Ujir were very disciplined and he himself was a dedicated and able commander. He was famous for exploiting advantage in men, material, natural resources and well versed in mountain tactics. While they were advancing to this fortress, crossing the Tinau River, the Nepalese troops opened fire from the fortress.

Here too, Nepalese spoiling attacks forced the General to fall back to Gorakhpur. About 70 Nepalese lost their lives in Nuwakot Gadhi. Meanwhile, more than of the enemy perished.

No special military action had taken place in Hariharpur Gadhi fortress in the first campaign. The battle took place around the Nalapani fort, near Dehradun, which was placed under siege by the British between 31 October and 30 November The fort's garrison was commanded by Captain Balbhadra Kunwar , while Major-General Rollo Gillespie , who had previously fought at the Battle of Java , was in charge of the attacking British troops.

The failure to obey the field orders by his men led Gillespie to be killed on the very first day of the siege while rallying his men.

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Despite considerable odds, both in terms of numbers and firepower, Balbhadra and his strong garrison successfully held out against more than 3, British troops for over a month. After two costly and unsuccessful attempts to seize the fort by direct attack, the British changed their approach and sought to force the garrison to surrender by cutting off the fort's external water supply. Having suffered three days of thirst, on the last day of the siege, Balbhadra, refusing to surrender, led the 70 surviving members of the garrison in a charge against the besieging force.

Fighting their way out of the fort, the survivors escaped into the nearby hills. The battle set the tone for the rest of the Anglo-Nepalese War, and a number of later engagements, including one at Jaithak, unfolded in a similar way. The experience at Nalapani so discomforted the British that Lord Hastings so far varied his plan of operations as to forego the detachment of a part of this division to occupy Gurhwal.

Major General Martindale now joined the force and took over command. He occupied the town of Nahan on 27 December, and started his attach on the fort of Jaithak. The first assault ended in disaster, with the Nepalese successfully warding off the British offensive.

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The second managed to cut off the water supply to the fort, but could not capture it mainly because of the exhausted state of the troops and shortage of ammunition. Martindale lost heart and ordered a withdrawal. Jaithak was eventually captured much later in the war, when Ochterlony had taken over the command. For over a month and a half, he refused to take any further initiative against the Nepalese army. Thus by mid-February, of the four British commanders the Nepalese army had faced till that time, Gillespie was dead, Marley had deserted, Wood was harassed into inactivity, and Martindell was practically incapacitated by over-cautiousness.

It set the scene for Octorloney to soon show his mettle and change the course of the war. Out West, the Nepalese were hopelessly overextended. Kumaun, a key link in Nepalese army communications with the Far West, was defended by a small force, numbering about seven hundred and fifty men, with an equal number of Kumaoni irregulars, altogether about fifteen hundred men to defend a whole province.

In addition, Doti which was to the East of Kumaun, had been practically stripped of troops. Bam Shah, as governor of Kumaun, had final responsibility for the defense of the province. The British force, numbering initially over forty five hundred men, was easily able to outmaneuver the Nepalese army defenders and force them to abandon one post after another.

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Hasti Dal Shah arrived in Almora with a small body of reinforcement troops. A further reinforcement of four companies was sent from Kathmandu to aid the beleaguered defences of Kumaun, but the difficulties of communication through the hills prevented them from arriving in time to be of any help.

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Meanwhile, Hastings sent Colonel Nicolls, Quartermaster-General for the British troops in India, to take charge of the Almora campaign and assigned two thousand regular troops to this front in addition to the very large number of irregulars already assigned to the area — all of this against fewer than one thousand Nepalese army soldiers. This party was intercepted. Hasti Dal Shah, the ablest Nepali commander in this sector, was killed in the first moments of the battle. The Nepalese suffered terrible losses.

When word of this disaster reached the defenders at Almora, they were stunned. The British closed in on Almora and the Nepalese was unable to prevent the British advance. Subsequently, the British managed to establish gun positions within seventy yards of the gate of the fort at Almora and the British artillery demolished the walls of the fort at point blank range.

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Bam Shah surrendered Almora on 27 April At Malaon, Major-General Ochterlony had moved with extreme care summoning reinforcements and heavy guns from Delhi until his total attack force consisted of over ten thousand men well-equipped with heavy cannon. Ochterlony cut off the supply of food from Bilaspur and then turned his attention to the intricate network of defensive posts that were designed to withstand any frontal assault.

Although rear fortifications supported these posts, none could withstand a long cannonade by heavy guns. Because Ochterlony had sufficient troops to attack and overwhelm several positions simultaneously, the thinly spread Nepalese defences could be dangerously divided. Ochterlony chose his target, a point on the ridge, and then proceeded to move slowly, consolidating each position that he took, and allowing the pioneers time to build roads so that the heavy guns could be moved forward to support each attack.

The old warrior Bhakti Thapa valiantly led assault after assault on this position, but he died during battle and the position did not fall. Immensely impressed by Bhakti's sustained courage against impossible odds, the British made the well appreciated and honorable gesture of returning his body with full military honours. Although the old commander was still reluctant to surrender, Kazi Amar Singh Thapa at last saw the hopelessness of the situation and, compelled by circumstances and the British guns, surrendered with honour for both himself and Ranajor Singh.

The outstretched Nepalese army was defeated on the Western front i. Gadhawal and Kumaun area. He was the only successful British Commander in the first Nepal-Company campaign. Not surprisingly Lord Moira appointed him as the Main Operational Commander in the second offensive on the Bharatpur-Makawanpur-Hariharpur front with 17, strong invasion force, but again, most of them were Indian sepoys [37].

The British had given a 15 day ultimatum to Nepal to ratify a treaty on 28 November. But the points of the treaty were very difficult for the Nepalese to ratify quickly. The delay provided the excuse for the British to commence the second military campaign against the kingdom. Colonel Bhaktabarsingh Thapa, another brother of Bhimsen Thapa, had been appointed as Sector Commander for defensive battles for the area from Bijaypur to Sindhuli Gadhi in the first campaign.

Colonel Bhaktabarsingh Thapa was manning his headquarters at Makawanpur Gadhi. During the campaign in February , Ochterlony decided to take a very infrequently used pass through the mountains. The failure there would have been a disaster for British. But the successful passage would allow Birith to directly emerge and attack the Nepalese's rear.

Some of the heads of villagers were bribed for sensitive information about the defensive positions in the area of Hariharpur Gadhi. The information seriously compromised the Nepalese defences. Secret routes would have given the enemy advantage even if they were able to get only a battalion through. The Nepalese troops were eventually driven back from Hariharpur Gadhi after a big battle. The situation became very critical for Nepal and the British could have reached Kathmandu if the signing of the treaty was delayed any further.

Two days later the ratified treaty was handed over to the British in Makawanpur. The war ended with the Treaty of Sugauli and Nepal succeeded in remaining independent but lost about one-third its territory. The Treaty of Sugauli 4 March It suited Ochterlony to bring the campaign to a speedy conclusion because of the approach of the dreaded aul-fever season but also because a number of his European troops were suffering from dysentery. The Treaty of Sugauli was ratified on 4 March As per the treaty, Nepal lost Sikkim including Darjeeling , the territories of Kumaon and Garhwal , and most of the lands of the Terai.

The Mechi River became the new eastern border and the Mahakali river the western boundary of the kingdom. The British East India Company would pay , rupees annually to compensate for the loss of income from the Terai region. Kathmandu was also forced to accept a British Resident. The Terai lands, however, proved difficult for the British to govern and some of them were returned to the kingdom later in and the annual payments accordingly abolished. The boundary between Nepal and Oudh was not finally adjusted until ; and that between Nepal and the British territories remained as a matter of discussion between the two Governments for several years later.

The Nepalese panicked, because memories were still vivid of the Chinese invasion of , and there was a flurry of urgent diplomatic activity. Hastings sent mollifying assurances to the imperial authorities, and ordered the British Resident, newly arrived in Kathmandu, to pack his bags and be ready to leave at once if the Chinese invaded again. Despite the boast of Lord Moira to the British parliament on having increased the state coffers, the Gurkha War had in reality cost more than the combined cost of the campaigns against the Marathas and the Pindaris for which Lord Moira's administration is better known: Sicca Rs.

Thus, while the Company Government, in theory, thoroughly approved of the development of trade, especially in shawl wool, between Western Tibet and its territories, it was unprepared to take any decisive step to bring this about. It preferred to leave the Chinese in Tibet to their own devices, and hoped to avoid the risk, however slight, of another expensive hill war.

Furthermore, despite the British merchants' direct access to the wool growing areas after the war, the hopes of shawl wool trade were never realised. The British merchants found that they were too late.

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The shawl wool market was strictly closed and closely guarded. It was monopolised by traders from Kashmir and Ladakh, and the only outsider with whom they dealt was Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the powerful Sikh ruler of Lahore. Ranjit was very jealous of his privilege, and he was the last person the British could afford to offend at this time of crisis and uncertainty.

So the East India Company never did get its shawl wool. When it finally acquired the Punjab and Kashmir, after the Sikh Wars of the s, it had long since given up trade, and Kashmir was so little valued that it was quickly discarded — sold for a knock-down price to the Raja of Jammu. The Khukuri is the traditional weapon and tool of the Gurkhas. David Ochterlony and the political agent William Fraser were quick to recognize the potential of Nepalese soldiers in British service.

During the war the British were keen to use defectors from the Nepalese army and employ them as irregular forces. Once activated, the next occasion that would put you into the Dying State from the Injured State is ignored. The next time you heal back to full health, your Aura will be revealed to the Killer when you are farther than 12 metres from the Killer. Sign In. Upcoming Event: Blood Hunt Event! From Dead by Daylight Wiki.

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