Battle in the Doab, 2 April 1526

The battle in the Doab of 2 April 1526 was a minor victory at an unnamed location that saw Babur defeat a detachment from Ibrahim Lodi's army that had been sent across the River Jumna into the Doab.

Babur's route towards Delhi saw him advance to Sirhind then to Ambala, sending his son Humayun to defeat a force from Hisar-Firuza on 26 February 1526. From Ambala the army moved south to Shahabad, then east to reach the River Jumna opposite Sarsawa. At the same time Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan of Delhi, had gathered his army and was advancing slowly north from Delhi, eventually camping somewhere close to Panipat. Late in March 1526 Ibrahim decided to send a small force across the Jumna into the Doab (the area between the Jumna and the Ganges). This force consisted of 5,000-6,000 men under the command of Daud Khan and Hatim Khan, and was roughly half the size of Babur's entire army.

Babur learnt of this when he was two days south of Sarsawa, and decided to send a raiding force across the river to attack this detachment. His right wing had won the victory on 26 February, and so this time he detached his left wing, once again reinforced with part of the centre, so the two armies may have been about the same size. Babur's men crossed the Jumna at midday on 1 April, and advanced south during the afternoon.

At day-break on 2 April Babur's men reached the enemy camp. Daud Khan and Hatim Khan would appear to have been caught by surprise and attacked before they could form their men up into a proper line. Babur's men quickly broke their resistance, and chased Ibrahim's men until they were opposite Ibrahim's main camp. Hatim Khan was one of 60-70 prisoners captured, along with 6 or 7 elephants. Just as after the battle on 26 February most of the prisoners were executed, again to send a warning to Ibrahim's men.

After this victory Babur continued to advance south, reaching Panipat on 12 April. Something of a standoff then developed, before Ibrahim was finally goaded into attacking Babur's small army, allowing Babur to win his most important victory, at Panipat on 21 April 1526.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 May 2010), Battle in the Doab, 2 April 1526 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_doab.html

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