Battle of Hisar-Firuza, 26 February 1526

The battle of Hisar-Firuza (26 February 1526) was the first clash between Babur and the forces of the Sultanate of Delhi during the campaign that ended at Panipat two months later. Babur's line of advance took him to Sirhind, roughly 120 miles to the north of Delhi, from where he advanced south towards Ambala. During this march he was informed that Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was north of Delhi with the main army, while a second army was moving from Hisar-firuza.

Hisra-firuza was 100 miles to the north-west of Delhi, on the right flank of Babur's planned line of advance. The army was being led by Hamid Khan khasa-khail, a member of the same family as the Sultan, and the military collector for Hisar-firuza, and consisted of the army from that place and from its neighbourhood. Babur sent scouts out to find both enemy camps. When the scouts returned to his camp (25 February 1526) Babur decided to send part of his army to attack the force from Hisar-firuza, which had now advanced 20-30 miles from the town. Babur chose to detach his entire right wing and part of the centre, all under the command of his son and heir Humayun, for whom this would be his first battle.

Humayun's army left the main camp at dawn on 26 February. When he came close to the enemy he dispatched 100-150 of his men ahead to act as scouts. They became involved in a battle with Hamid Khan's force, but when the rest of Humayun's force appeared on the scene they turned and fled. Humayun's men captured between 100-200 prisoners, beheading half of them on the battlefield, and 7 or 8 elephants.

News of the victory reached Babur's camp on 2 March, and the messenger was rewarded with a horse from the royal stable, something described as a 'special head-to-foot', and promise of further reward. The victorious prince returned on 5 March, bringing 100 prisoners and the elephants. The unfortunate captives were then shot by Babur's matchlockmen, to send a message to Ibrahim's supporters. After this Babur resumed his march south, fighting a second minor battle in the Doab on 2 April, before the final confrontation came at Panipat.

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 May 2010), Battle of Hisar-Firuza, 26 February 1526 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_hisar-firuza.html

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