Monday, October 11, 2010

Missile Technology In Indian History

The use of rockets and missiles by Indians in modern times dates back to the 18th century, during the period of ruler Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Fighting the British colonial army, Tipu Sultan's Army used variety of rockets in supporting role. It was world's first use of rockets for fighting modern wars. In the Second Anglo-Mysore war, at the Battle of Pollilur (10 September 1780), Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan won grandly, whereby the whole British detachment lead by Colonel Baillie was destroyed and 3,820 soldiers taken prisoner (including Colonel Bailli). At the Battle of Seringapatam in 1792, Indian soldiers launched a huge barrage of rockets against British troops, followed by an assault of 36,000 men. Later at the battle of Srirangapattana (4th Anglo-Mysore war) in April 1799, British forces lead by Colonel Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) ran away from the battlefield when attacked by rockets and musket fire of Tipu Sultan's army.

Tipu's rockets were far more advanced than any other at the time, and had been fully integrated into his Army, which were under special Rocket Brigades called Kushoons. These were extremely effective in Battle, and completely scattered the British Armies. These rockets were later re-engineered by William Congreve and known in Britain as Congreve Rockets.

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