Battle of Najafgarh - Siege of Delhi

Siege of Delhi

During the earliest days of the Rebellion, sepoys (Indian soldiers) of the British East India Company's Bengal Army stationed at Meerut rose in revolt against their British officers, and marched to Delhi. When they arrived there, they were joined by mobs from the city and sepoys from regiments stationed near Delhi. They captured the city on 11 May 1857, killing British officers and civilians. They proclaimed themselves to be at the disposal of the Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, who reluctantly gave his support to the rebellion. News of the restoration of the Empire's authority induced many other regiments of sepoys, and other irregular bodies, to rebel and to march to Delhi.

A small British force advanced on Delhi and occupied a ridge outside the city, where they awaited reinforcements before they could consider storming the city. Sepoys and other forces repeatedly attacked the ridge but were defeated and driven back into Delhi. There was no coordinated leadership among the Indians at first; each sepoy regiment refused to accept orders from the officers of other regiments, and although Bahadur Shah appointed his son Mirza Mughal as Commander in Chief of his armies, Mirza Mughul had no military experience and was ignored by most of the sepoys.

On 1 July, the sepoy regiments which had rebelled at Bareilly arrived in Delhi, together with 4,000 Muslim ghazis. They were led by Bakht Khan, a veteran artillery officer of the East India Company. Pleased with the numbers of troops (and treasure) he had brought, Bahadur Shah appointed him Commander of his armies. However, the officers of other sepoy regiments were jealous of his authority. Under Bakht Khan's direction, a major attack was launched on the British positions on 9 July, but was driven back after coming close to success. By the end of the month, after further attacks had failed, Bakht Khan's critics induced Bahadur Shah to place a committee of ten men headed by Mirza Mughal at the head of the army.

Read more about this topic:  Battle Of Najafgarh

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Siege Of Delhi - Aftermath
... to the British, Company, and loyal Indian armies in besieging Delhi from the start of the siege to the capture of the city was 1,254 killed, and 4,493 wounded, of which 992 were killed, 2,795 were wounded and 30 ... rebels and their supporters were killed during the siege, but the number was far greater ... impossible to estimate how many civilians died during the fighting in Delhi which included those killed by the rebels, those killed by the British, or ...

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