Battle of Karnal

Battle of Karnal

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The '''Battle of Karnal''' (February 13, 1739), was a decisive victory for [[Nader Shah]] the emperor of [[Persian Empire|Persia]] during his invasion of [[India]]. Shah's forces defeated the army of [[Muhammad Shah]], the [[Mughal Empire|Mughal emperor]] in little more than three hours thus paving the way for the Persian sack of [[Delhi]]. The battle took place at [[Karnal]], {{convert|110|km|mi}} north of [[Delhi]], [[India]]. ==Order of battle== [[Image:A Nawab of Awadh, Lucknow, India. 19th century.jpg|250px|thumb|right|[[Afsharid]] forces negotiate with a [[Mughal Empire|Mughal]] [[Nawab]].]] The Mughal army was lined up with [[Saadat Ali Khan I|Sa'adat Khan]] forming the right wing, which was in the extreme east and near the [[Yamuna]] river. Khwaja Asim Khan Dauran's division stood in the centre, while the Vizier Qamar ud-Din Khan and the Emperor took up the left wing along a canal.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} The Persian right wing was placed under Tahmasp Quli Jalair, whilst the left wing was under Fateh Ali and Lutf Ali Afshar. Nader's son, Nasrullah, commanded the centre, whilst Nader commanded the vanguard himself, which consisted of 4,000 cavalry.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} ==Persian preparations== The Mughals' main weapon was their war elephants therefore Nader Khan ordered camels to be paired together and platforms constructed between them. A mixture of naphtha combustibles was placed on the platforms with orders to set them on fire during the battle so that the Mughal elephants would flee at the sight of the fire and cause mayhem in their own army.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} Additionally, Nader Shah placed 3,000 of his best troops in front of his main position thus giving them a clear line of fire on the Mughal dispositions.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} ==The battle== The battle began a little after one o'clock in the afternoon, with a discharge of arrows on both sides. The Persian scouts carried out a ruse of feigning flight. Sa’adat Khan gave chase and was ambushed three or four miles east of the imperial camp, well outside the covering fire of the Mughal artillery. The Persian cavalry drew aside and the pursuing Mughals found themselves in front of Persian guns at point blank range.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} The Mughal vanguard fled but their commander, Sa’adat Khan, was able to keep his ground. However, his forces were also forced to withdraw and the extreme right wing of the Mughal lines collapsed. Khan Dauran's division in the centre of the battlefield was also forced to withdraw.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} The murderous fire of the Persian gunners continued for two hours. The Mughals fought bravely but were unable to respond effectively to the Persian guns. Khan Dauran was mortally wounded and brought back to the camp where he later died.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} ===Mughal disarray=== The concentrated fire of the Persians contrasted sharply with the disorganisation of the Mughals as their chief divisions were separated from each other on the battlefield by more than a mile. Mughal forces began to disintegrate as they proved incapable of responding to Persian attacks on their lines. Khan Dauran was not able to co-ordinate with Sa’adat Khan and [[Asaf Jah I]] was inactive and gave no help to either Khan Dauran or Sa’adat Khan.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} The Persians attacked sharply at those points in the battle lines where the Mughals were at a numerical tactical inferiority and were beyond the covering fire of the Mughal artillery.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} Mughal generals mounted on elephants became easy targets for Persian attacks whilst the Persian cavalry was swifter and out-manoeuvered the Mughals. The Mughal commander, Sa’adat Khan was taken prisoner by the Persians after his elephant was driven into Persian ranks by the out of control elephant belonging to his nephew.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} With the loss of Sa’adat Khan and Khan Dauran, Mughal morale plummeted, the army started to disintegrate. Mughal camp followers started to loot their own camp whilst Mughal soldiers fled the battlefield heavily pursued by the Persian cavalry who inflicted a great slaughter. The Emperor, who had remained inactive throughout the battle, was captured by the Persians.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} ==Casualties== The Mughals suffered far heavier casualties than the Persians. Exact figures are uncertain as accounts of that period were prone to bombast. Various contemporary commentators estimated Mughals casualties being up to 30,000 men slain with most agreeing on a figure of around 20,000. The Persians were estimated to have lost around 2,500 men.{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} ==Aftermath== [[Image:Maharaja Ranjit singh's treasure.jpg|thumb|The Mughal collection of jewels, including the [[Koh-i-noor]].]] Nader entered Delhi with Mohommed Shah as his hostage on March 11. When a rumour broke out that Nader had been assassinated, some of the Indians attacked and killed five Persian Soldiers. Nader reacted by ordering his soldiers to plunder the city. During the course of one day (March 22) 20,000 to 30,000 Indians were killed by the Persian troops, forcing Mohammad Shah to beg for mercy, Nader Shah agreed to withdraw, but Mohammad Shah was forced to hand over the keys of his royal treasury and surrender the Peacock Throne to the Persian emperor. The Peacock Throne thereafter served as a symbol of Persian imperial might. Among a trove of other fabulous jewels, Nader also gained the Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds (Koh-i-Noor means "Mountain of Light" in Persian, Darya-ye Noor means "Sea of Light"). Persian troops left Delhi at the beginning of May 1739. Nader's soldiers also took with them thousands of elephants, horses and camels, loaded with the booty they had collected. The plunder seized from India was so rich that Nader stopped taxation in Iran for a period of three years following his return. Nadir Shah's campaign against the [[Mughal Empire]], caused the [[Ottoman Empire|Ottoman]] [[Sultan]] [[Mahmud I]] to initiate the Otttoman-Persian War (1743-1746), in which the [[Mughal Emperor]] [[Muhammad Shah]] closely cooperated with the Ottomans until his death in 1748. ==External links== *[http://www.sikh-history.com/sikhhist/events/nadir.html Nadir Shah's invasion in India] *[http://www.haryana-online.com/History/battle_of_karnal.htm Battle of Karnal 1739 - History of Haryana] {{coord missing|Haryana}} {{DEFAULTSORT:Battle Of Karnal}}