Battle of Plassey, 23 June 1757 (India)
Battle that followed on from the accession of Suraj Dowlah as Nabob of Bengal (1756). Bengal had a long standing treaty with the East India Company, who held Calcutta, but the new Nabob ignored the treaty, and occupied Calcutta, after which he threw the captured servants of the Company into the infamous black hole of Calcutta. The East India Company responded with an army led by Robert Clive (Clive of India), which recaptured Calcutta, took Chandernagore off the French, and then caught up with the Nabob's army at the village of Plassey. Clive had just over 3,000 troops, of whom 2,000 were Indian, while the Nabob had over 50,000 men, with French artillery. However, the Nabob began the battle with an all out bombardment, using up all of his ammunition to no effect, The Bengali troops of the Nabob fled the battle without offering any further resistance, and the British were able to overwhelm the French artillery. Clive had won a famous victory against overwhelming odds, for the loss of between 20 and 70 men, an outstanding achievement that gained effective control over Bengal for the British, and drove the French out of northern India. Although there was little or no British government involvement in India at this time, the victory of the East India Company destroyed French trade in India, which helped Britain in the Seven Years War.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (31 October 2000), Battle of Plassey, 23 June 1757, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_plassey.html