Is the movie Panipat worth watching

Battles of Panipat (1526, 1556, 1761), three military battles significant to the history of Northern India, fought in Panipat, a plain suitable for cavalry movements, some 80 km north of Delhi.

First Battle of Panipat (1526)

A predominantly numerically inferior group of Mughals ruled In Panipat. This was due to the ingenuity of his commander Babur, who showed himself in the use of field fortifications and his instinctive sense of the value of the firepower of gunpowder. The victory enabled him to lay the foundation for the Indian Mughal Empire.

A descendant of Timur, Babur became a refugee at the age of twelve when the Uzbeks conquered Samarkand in 1494. At fifteen he was back with his own war band. He besieged his hometown, but to no avail. Undaunted, he went south to Afghanistan. In 1504 he captured Kabul and made it his base for raids in the Central Asian region of Transoxania. Increasingly, however, he was tempted by the unimaginable wealth of India. In the following years he made a number of incursions into the Punjab.

For three centuries these areas belonged to a Muslim empire, the Sultanate of Delhi. Though its prestige was badly damaged by Timur's triumph of 1398, it remained a strong presence in northern India. At that time the sultanate was under the control of an Afghan elite. A capricious and divisive ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Lodi had alienated many of his nobles. It was, in fact, a local lord in Hindustan who invited Babur to a full-scale invasion in 1523.

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Although he was clearly attracted to the idea of ​​invasion, Babur was in no hurry. His army consisted of only 10,000 men, so he made sure they were well equipped and well trained before embarking on his attack on Hindustan. He took the time to train them on how to use gunpowder weapons and make sure their skills were not neglected in traditional steppe warfare. It was not until the end of 1525 that he began his invasion.

His army swept aside the Afghan forces that marched out to meet them, and so Sultan Ibrahim himself led a second army, which took up a position in Panipat north of Delhi. On April 12, 1526, Babur was faced with an enormous crowd: 100,000 men and 1,000 elephants. Undeterred, he set about erecting a spontaneous fortress in the open plain, tying 700 carts together and building earthen walls to protect his cannon and musketeers with their matches. As the days passed and a reluctant Sultan Ibrahim continued his attack, Babur was able to consolidate his position even further. He dug trenches and felled trees, built barriers left and right, and left gaps for his cavalry to storm through.

On April 21st, Ibrahim finally took his step. His troops rushed forward only to be held back by Babur's fortifications. As they moved in confusion, the Mughal cavalry came in from the wings: the Sultan's forces were effectively surrounded. At this point, Babur's gunners opened their bombardment behind their barrier and fired at close range at this densely packed mass. The Afghan army was unable to advance or retreat and was cruelly crushed.

Babur was now not only the undisputed ruler of Hindustan, but the road to Delhi and the areas of the sultanate were wide open. On the basis of this victory, he was able to establish a glorious new line of rule. In honor of the Timurid origins of its founder - and the Mongol ancestors of Timur himself - this should be referred to as the Mughal or Mughal dynasty. This victory marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire in India.

Casualties: Mughal, unknown; Afghan, 20,000-50,000.

Second and third battles of Panipat (1556, 1761)

The expansion of the Mughal Empire, which stalled after the death of its founder Babur in 1530, began again under Babur's grandson Akbar. The young Akbar fought in a field that had proved so favorable to his grandfather and won a decisive victory over the powerful Hindu ruler Hemu.

Babur's son Humayun had suffered severe setbacks and even lost his kingdom after it was conquered by the Pashtun warlord Sher Shah Suri in 1540. He rebuilt his armed forces in exile and finally took back his empire fifteen years later, leaving his son and successor Akbar behind. with a great empire.

To the east of Akbar’s realms, the Suri general Hemu had set himself up as a strongman ruler; calling himself a king, he built a powerbase in Bengal. Aged just thirteen, Akbar seemed singularly ill-equipped to cope with this threat. However, he had rare gifts — and the support of his guardian, the accomplished general Bairam Khan. Hemu had unstoppable momentum, it seemed — having already taken Agra and the strategic fortress of Tughlaqabad, in October 1556 he captured Delhi. Too late to save the city, Akbar’s army let it go and stopped on the plains to the north, at Panipat.

On November 5, 1556, the scene was set for the Second Battle of Panipat. Repeated elephant charges failed to break the resolve of the outnumbered Mughal soldiers. An inspiring figure, Hemu led from the front, perched high up on an elephant, an important talisman for his troops. He was also a tempting target for the Mughal archers, and initially they showered him with shafts to no avail, so impregnable was the headto-foot armor he was wearing. Eventually, though, one arrow found its way in through an eye-slit and killed him. Seeing their leader fall, the Hindus broke and fled.

The third battle (Jan. 14, 1761) ended the Maratha attempt to succeed the Mughals as rulers of India and marked the virtual end of the Mughal empire. The Maratha army, under the Bhao Sahib, uncle of the peshwa (chief minister), was trapped and destroyed by the Afghan chief Aḥmad Shah Durrānī.

Following the decline of the Mughal Empire after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb, the Maratha Confederacy had expanded rapidly, threatening the Afghan Durrani Empire, ruled by Ahmad Shah Durrani. Ahmad declared a jihad and launched a campaign that captured large parts of the Punjab. The Marathas responded by raising a large army, under the command of Sadashivrao Bhau, and recaptured Delhi. Ahmad’s campaign was aimed at starving the Maratha army of its supplies. At the same time, he led an army of 40,000 into the south to trap the Maratha army in the Punjab.

Bhau was cut off and starved and decided to break Ahmad's blockade. He brought forth the two armies to face Panipat. The former attempted to pulverize the latter's army with a massive artillery bombardment and then use its numerical superiority to break the Durrani blockade and move south in a defensive stance. However, it has been undermined by rivalries within its ranks and the need to protect many civilians. Durrani launched a surprise attack before the artillery did serious damage and Bhaus' nephew was killed. The Maratha commander entered the battle to recover his nephew's body, but his troops thought he was dead and their morale sank. The smaller Durrani army took advantage and led them to flee. Bhau escaped to die some time later, but the Maratha army had been destroyed and the unity of the empire was broken.

This began 40 years of anarchy in northwest India and paved the way for British supremacy.

Losses: Maratha, 40,000 victims and 30,000 prisoners out of 80,000; Durrani, 5,000 victims from 40,000 to 75,000.