Why did the armies of the British East India company – mostly comprising of Indian soldiers – win consistently against the more numerous and better equipped armies of then Indian rulers? Give reasons. (150 words) [2022]

The British East India Company’s (EIC) consistent victories against the more numerous and better-equipped armies of Indian rulers can be attributed to several factors as follows.

  • Superior military strategy: The EIC employed European military tactics and strategies, which were more advanced and effective than those used by Indian rulers. This gave them a significant advantage in battles.
  • Disciplined troops: The EIC’s Indian soldiers, known as sepoys, were trained in European military techniques and discipline, making them more effective and reliable than the troops of Indian rulers.
  • Effective use of resources: The EIC efficiently managed its resources, including weapons, ammunition, and supplies, ensuring that their troops were well-equipped and prepared for battle.
  • Divide and rule policy: The EIC exploited the political divisions among Indian rulers, forming alliances with some while fighting against others. This strategy weakened the opposition and allowed the EIC to conquer territories with relative ease.
  • Technological advantage: The EIC had access to advanced European weaponry, such as muskets and artillery, which gave them a significant edge over the Indian rulers’ armies.
  • Strong leadership: The EIC’s military leaders were experienced and skilled, enabling them to make effective decisions and execute successful campaigns.

In conclusion, the British East India Company’s victories over Indian rulers stemmed from superior military strategy, disciplined troops, resource management, political manipulation, technological advantage, and strong leadership.

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