First Anglo Burmese War, 1823-26

The result of increased tensions between strongly expansionist Burma, one of the strongest powers in south east Asia, and British India. Burma had invaded Arakan fifty years earlier, and in 1811-15 an Arakanese rebellion was aided by refugees in British India. The same happened after the Burmese conquest of Assam in 1819. The final straw was British aid to the rulers of Manipur and Cachar, invaded by Burma in 1822. The Burmese responded by launching an invasion of India, commanded by Maha Bandula, one of their greatest generals, and governor of Assam. Britain responded by declaring war on Burma (5 March 1824), and preparing a 5,000 strong expeditionary force under Major General Sir Archibald Campbell, which on 10 May 1824 occupied Rangoon without difficulty. However, they were soon besieged in the city, while in August Maha Bandula arrived with his army. At the same time, the British were reinforced, gaining a battery of rockets, which came in useful later. A Burmese attack on 1 December was repulsed, and on 15 December a British attack broke Bandula's siege, and forced him to withdraw. On 13 February 1325, Campbell led most of his troops in an advance up the River Irrawaddy. On 2 April, Bandula made his last attempt to defeat the British (battle of Danubyu), but his attack was stopped by the rockets, and his army defeated. Bandula was killed, and replaced by Maha Nemyo. On 25 April Campbell encamped, in preparation for the monsoon, and was once again besieged by the Burmese. After failed Burmese attacks, Campbell launched his attack (battle of Prome, 30 November-2 December 1825). Once again, the Burmese commander (Nemyo) was killed, and his army destroyed, freeing the British to march upriver to the then capitol of Burma, Yandobo, where the Burmese sought terms. By the treaty of Yandabo (24 February 1826), the Burmese surrendered Assam, Arakan, and the Tenasserim coast, greatly weakening Burma, and expanding British influence in the area.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (12 December 2001), First Anglo Burmese War, 1823-26,

Help - F.A.Q. - Contact Us - Search - Recent - About Us - Privacy