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Defeat of Sikh army and death of Hari Singh Nalwa in battle of Jamrud

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by Samandri, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Samandri

    Samandri BANNED

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    In the winter of 1837, Sikhs under their general Hari Singh Nalwa occupied the fortress of Jamrud at the entrance of Khyber. The Amir ordered his son Mohammed Akbar Khan to proceed to Khaibar, and then he reinforced him by means of his eldest son, Mohammed Afzal Khan. He did not take this step merely as one frightened by rumours, but he had actually received repeated communications from the chiefs of the Khaibars, demanding the dispatch of some troops, and offering him their co-operation against the Sikhs, stating that otherwise they will be obliged to acknowledge the authority of Ranjit Singh. The army of the Amir encamped at the mouth of the Khaibar Pass, towards Peshavar, and every day skirmishes took place between the Afghans and the Sikh force garrisoned at Jamrud. The Amir considered it proper that his sons and the army should have some person of good judgment to regulate their conduct and the plan of the battle or of the negotiations.So he sent his minister Mirza Abdul Sami Khan to join his sons. Mirza arrived in the camp, he determined on attacking the enemy, and reported all the circumstances and prospects to the Amir at Kabul, and he sent fresh reinforcements under the Navabs Jabbar Khan, Usman Khan, and Sham- shuddin Khan. The fort of Jam Koad was besieged, and the garrison prevented from fetching any water or grass from outside the citadel. The Sikhs are commonly said to have had 80,000 men in the Peshawar valley at this time.

    A cannonade was commenced upon the walls of fort, the defenses of the fort were destroyed in the course of two or three days. Afghans were taken by surprise when Hari Singh suddenly appeared with an army of about ten thousand men, twenty pieces of artillery, and a great quantity of ammunition and provisions and made an attack on them, Afghans were thrown into confusion and began to flee. This occurred on 30th, April 1837. The only detachment which stood firm in the field was that of Mohamed Afzal Khan, the Amir's eldest son who, keeping together his body of two thousand men, showed a bold front- Hari Singh , finding him inflexible, unexpectedly wheeled round, and, observing the Amir's sons and the Nawab occupying small eminences in the defiles of khyber, fell on their divisions. The Sikhs were able to drive the Afghans from their positions capturing 14 guns. The Sikhs thinking the victory gained, pursued the enemy, when their progress was checked by a body of horse led by Shamsudin khan who inflicted heavy casualties on them.

    With this, the Afghans who were fleeing from battleground , returned and made a furious attack on Sikhs. Jabbar Khan aand Shuja-ud-duala khan also returned and a successful charge made by them led to the recovery of two of the captured guns. This forced the sikhs to retreat, in this crisis Hari singh received a mortal wound and was borno from the battle field. This accident spread consternation among Sikh troops, who retired to Jamrud fort, where they entrenched themselves. The Sikh leader expired on the same day.The Afghans recovered all eleven of the fourteen guns they had lost, and captured three more belonging to the Sikhs.

    Hari singh was A man of extremist views, he was diabolical in his hatred of the Afghans whom he described as cowards, and saying that he knew well their worth. This arrogance and over-confidence cost him his life in the battle of Jamrud.(This was first battle under his command in which he faced a proper formidable Afghan army sent from Kabul, his army got defeated and he lost his life while retreating from the counter-attack of Afghans. Before this he nearly got killed in 1824 when Said Khani and Mashwani Pashtuns intercepted his army at Nara in Haripur and routed his force, killing 500 of his soldiers. He himself got severely injured and barely escaped towards attock along with his army. Rumor spread at that time that Hari singh has been killed.)

    The defeat of Sikh army and death of Hari Singh Nalwa at Jamrud caused great anxiety at the court of Lahore. Ranjeet Singh marched in person to Rohtas sending Dhian singh in advance to Jamrud.Field batteries were hurried up with great alacrity from Ramgarh on the Chenab, to Peshawar,a distance of more than 200 miles, in the short space of two days. As soon as the Sikh reinforcement had arrived at Jamrud ,the Afghans were compelled to retreat to principality of Dhaka, from where Amir of Kabul recalled the army.

    Sources: 1.History of the Punjab - Syed Muhamamd Latif
    2.Life of the amir Dost Mohammed Khan of Kabul
     
  2. trident2010

    trident2010 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Brave Hari singh nalwa.
     
  3. Samandri

    Samandri BANNED

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    I am Surprised to find out that Sikhs consider him the greatest conqueror.
    Sikh Warrior Hari Singh Nalwa tops list of “Top Ten World Conquerors” compiled by Billionaires Australia | Sikh Siyasat News
    Lets be honest , Being a commander-in-chief Hari Singh Nalwa has fought only a single battle against a proper army equipped with artillery, the battle of jamrud, and he not only failed to secure victory, he also lost his life while retreating from the counter-attack of Afghans. Rest of his battles were against turbulent tribes of hazara and Peshawer, who were neither in possession of artillery nor they had enough rifles, who didnt even put up a combined resistance against his European trained disciplined army, yet such was the dread of Pashtuns that even victories against some villagers defending their village, was no less than conquering like Napoleon and Alexander for Sikhs..
    The bravery of Hari singh nalwa was best manifested against unarmed men, children and women, thats what he is known for. He was given kashmir to govern, he ruined the economy and peace of valley, the once prosperous kashmiris stared dying from hunger. He bullied peaceful kashmiris but when in hazara and peshawer , he was welcomed with attacks on continuous basis. Whenever he used to march with his army thorough the region, ambushing and attacking his troops was a routine business for Pashtuns, he nearly got killed in one of such ambush. Such was the scale of resistance, that ranjeet singh placed big portion of his army in peshawer valley, around 80,000 troops. The rule of Sikhs was limited to confines of peshawer city walls, over helpless and weak hindkowans who hari singh was bullying just like he used to bully kashmiris , against neighboring pashtun villages, they had to send armies on annual basis to extract tribute from them. The plan to conquer khyber was a stupid move and it failed badly.
    What kind of Alexneder or Napoleon he was, that after gaining upper hand from surprise attack on Afghans, he started perusing the fleeing afghans recklessly without anticipating another body of afghan army, intercepting him. Cant blame him, he though he was fighting as usual with undisciplined irregular pashtun tribesmen. The counter-attack of Afghans was simple slaughter of sikhs, hari singh nalwa died while running away from the counter-attack, we dont know whether the wound was on his back or front. He couldnt reach to the safe confines of jamrud fort as he had stupidly covered a lot of distance while perusing Afghans in the initial phase. He body was cremated by his fellows at jamrud fort, who were besieged by victorious afghans. His death disheartened sikhs so much that Ranjeet singh gave up on ruling Pashtuns directly, the authority was given to the local chiefs. The attempts of Hari singh nalwa , of banning Azan and cow slaughter, never succeeded beyond the confines of Peshawar city walls, but it strengthen the resolve of pashtun tribesmen to oppose sikhs at any cost. Even though Sikh rule was nominal beyond 1837, numerous pashtun chieftains across paskhtunkhwa sent their fighters to assist British in their wars against Sikhs. This helped the British alot. As not only in Anglo-Sikh wars, pashtuns of plain areas also provided a large number of soldiers to help them in 1857 uprising in Delhi and surroundings.
     
  4. PersonasNonGrata

    PersonasNonGrata FULL MEMBER

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    Dude, your prejudices are creeping into your historical threads - don't ruin what has been a very informative run so far. :-)
     
  5. Jaggu

    Jaggu FULL MEMBER

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    The battle of jamrud can be considered a stalemate. Victory of the Afghans was in the death of Hari Singh only. The Lahore Durbar still managed to retain hold over Jamrud fort which was repaired after the death of Hari Singh. As you have mentioned, this time the Afghans came prepared. Dost Mohammad Khan had sent the flower of the Afghan army. This army consisted of 7000 Afghan horsemen, 2000 matchlockmen and 9000 guerrilla fighters besides this the green banner of Jihad was hoisted which resulted in 20,000 Ghazis reinforcing the Afghan army.

    Hari Singh was not unaware of what was happening. He had sent a letter to M Ranjit Singh while the Afghan army was still in Jalalabad to send help immediately. Ranjit Singh replied he would send help as soon as his British guests were gone. Hari Singh again sent a letter on April 21st informing Ranjit Singh the Afghans had crossed the Khaiber Pass and were entrenched just 3 km from Jamrud. Another letter from Hari Singh dated April 28 stated that the Afghans were carrying on an incessant shower of cannon balls upon the walls of the fort which resulted in one side of the fort being demolished. Jamrud fort was then being commanded by Mihan Singh.

    Seeing the desperate position of Mihan Singh and no reinforcements coming from Lahore, Hari Singh had to manage to do what ever he could to save Jamrud fort from falling into the hands of the Afghans. He left his fort with 6000 foot, 1000 regular cavalry and 3000 irregulars and about 20 pieces of artillery in order to lure the Afghans from the fort and into an open plain. Once the Afghans were lured, the Najib battalion began heavy cannonade which resulted in the Afghans retreating. When the Sikhs saw the Afghans retreating they broke rank in order to plunder the Afghan baggage. Just then a fresh force of Afghans had arrived at the scene and they attacked the Sikh troops killing many. Seeing this Hari Singh rallied his troops, and rode to the front. Hari Singh was struck by two balls. One inside the stomach and one to his side. He was immediately taken inside the fort where he died. Reinforcements finally did arrive, the Afghans had retreated by then but it was too late for Hari Singh Nalwa.

    Hari Singh Nalwa as not an arm chair general who directed his troops from behind. What made him respected was that he would lead his army to battle and fought where the fighting was the thickest. He was not the only one, many Punjabi generals back then were like this which is why so many of them would die in battle. He was crucial for conquering and maintaining control over the turbulent NW frontier province.


    Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa in battle

    f34c1973939bf33eeafe770c470f8108.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
  6. Havi Sultan

    Havi Sultan BANNED

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    The Sikhs as well as Pashtuns have produced many sons of the soil who have ended up being soldiers. The avarice between the two has been included in history. Durannis and Ranjit Singh's Sikh empire fought many pitched battles. Thousands were killed in their war and each side mauled the other pretty badly.
     
  7. Icewolf

    Icewolf ELITE MEMBER

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    As I said before, Sikh history exaggerated by Dharmic Hindus as the Hindus knew they were subjugated for entire history and needed heroes, so then Hindus created Sikhs.
     
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  8. Samandri

    Samandri BANNED

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    I agree thats why i didnt mixed my personal views with the article and posted it separately in the second post.
    I am not impressed by Hari singh, why sikhs ignore the achievements of their hindu general Dewan Mokham Chand?. In my opinion hari singh nalwa was a fearless but ruthless general, a fanatic and a poor administrator who accelerated the hostility and resistance from occupied pashtun areas even many times more, with his anti-muslim tactics. His first real test in battle came in 1837 at jamrud and he got failed.
     
  9. RazPaK

    RazPaK BANNED

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    Whenever I get into fights with Sikhs, they are always saying how Hari Singh Nalwa is the one that introduced shalwar kameez to the Pashtuns, by sparing them If they dressed like women. That is mostly the only thing they gloat about.
     
  10. Samandri

    Samandri BANNED

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    The battle itself was not stalemate, Afghans won it, but it was fruitless victory. Afghans didnt made any territorial gains from this battle but they stopped the forward aggression of Sikhs. Sikhs not only failed to make any further territorial gains, they lost their most valuable general. The death of hari singh nalwa badly affected the morale of Sikhs and abandoned the forward policy. Not only that, they gave up on ruling Pashtun directly and as evident from records of British, some araes simply slipped from their control entirely whereas some were granted to local chieftains who agreed to pay tribute on annual basis, as was the case before Hari singh became governor of the region.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  11. RazPaK

    RazPaK BANNED

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  12. Samandri

    Samandri BANNED

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    I wont say Pashtuns/Afghans forced some thing on Sikhs, but some people are of opinion that Guru Gobind Singh, the founder of Khalsa, was inspired from Afghans of Punjab. Afghans there had characteristic martial outlook and code, Goru Gobind felt the need that Sikhs need to transform into a martial nation on the pattern of Afghans with some code.
     
  13. Arya Desa

    Arya Desa BANNED

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    What amazes me is that Punjabi muslims are proud of Pathans instead of their own ethnicity. Remember, Pathans slaughtered Punjabis regardless of religion.
     
  14. mujhaidind

    mujhaidind BANNED

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    Pathans and Punjabis(most of them) are Muslims. Don't try to drive wedge between Muslim brothers.
     
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  15. KingMamba

    KingMamba ELITE MEMBER

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    Ahmad Shah Durrani's men saved Punjabi Muslims many times from looting of Sikh forces. Punjabi Muslims look up to him besides that the only other Pakhtuns we are proud of are Pakistani Pakhtuns. :pakistan:
     
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