Discussion in 'International Politics' started by The Messiah, Jul 29, 2013.
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Mercenaries in India
Mercenaries in India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In 16th and 17th centuries, the imperial Mughal power was crumbling and other powers, mainly Maratha chiefs, were emerging. At this time, a number of mercenaries, arriving from several countries found employment in India. Some of the mercenaries emerged to become independent or independent rulers.
Thousands of Europeans took up service at the courts of rulers all over India. These mercenaries for the most part came from the margins of their respective societies. European mercenaries served in the courts of Indian rulers for 300 years, beginning with the large-scale defections of Portuguese soldiers from Goa in the 16th century, followed by a series of defections of British soldiers and laymen from the British East India Company bridgehead at Surat in the 17th century. During Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's first historic journey to India in 1498, he observed that there were Italian mercenaries in the employ of various Rajahs on the Malabar coast. Two of da Gama's own crewmen had left him to join the Italians in the service of a Malabar Rajah for higher wages.
Portuguese historian JoÃ£o de Barros stated that there were at least 2,000 Portuguese fighting in the armies of various Indian princes in 1565. Among these mercenaries included the indigenous Goan Catholic and East Indian soldiers and sailors. The Maratha Emperor Shivaji employed many Portuguese and hundreds of Goan Catholics and East Indians in his navy, until they were persuaded by the colonial authorities in Goa to desert. They were generally sought after as artillery experts by the Mughals and Marathas. When the Mughals complained to the Portuguese Viceroy AntÃ³nio de Melo e Castro about the Portuguese soldiers serving under the Marathas, the latter was forced to respond with a letter stating that he had no control over the Portuguese and native Christian officers in Shivaji's army, just as he had no control over the mercenaries serving in the Mughal and other armies.
During the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, so many Europeans took up service at the Mughal Army that a distinct suburb was built for them outside Delhi named Firingipura (Foreigners' Town). Its inhabitants included Portuguese, French and English mercenaries, many of whom had converted to Islam. These mercenaries formed a special Firingi (Foreigners') regiment, under the command of a Frenchman named Farrashish Khan. Shah Alam II gave the German mercenary Walter Reinhardt Sombre a large estate in the Doab, north of Delhi. Sombre settled in the estate with his wife Farzana Zeb un-Nissa (also known as Begum Samru), and made the village of Sardhana his capital. The ruling class of this principality was drawn from an assortment of Mughal noblemen and 200 French and Central European mercenaries, many of whom had converted to Islam. Sombre was succeeded after his death by his wife who took command of his mercenary troops and became the ruler of Sardhana, earning the distinction of being the only Roman Catholic ruler in India, till Sonia Gandhi took over in the 21st Century. Among these mercenaries was John-Augustus Gottlieb Cohen, a German-Jewish mercenary who was the father of Urdu poet, Farasu.
There were many mercenaries working in the armies of the Deccan sultanates that controlled much of central and southern India. One of the most prominent mercenaries in the Adil Shahi court was GonÃ§alo Vaz Coutinho, a Portuguese former landowner in Goa, who was imprisoned there on a murder charge before escaping to Bijapur in 1542. There he converted to Islam with his wife and children, and was given lands with great revenues by Ibrahim Adil Shah I. A Portuguese-Jewish gunner Sancho Pires defected in similar circumstances to the Ahmadnagar Sultanate in 1530. Pires converted to Islam and took the name Faranghi Khan; acquiring a position of great influence in the Nizam Shahi court.
Many British renegades defected to the service of the Mughals and Deccan sultanates during the 17th century, as in the case of Joshua Blackwell, a British East India Company official who in 1649 converted to Islam and took up service in the Mughal army. Most of these renegades, like the trumpeter Robert Trulleye, however, went into the service of the Deccan sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda. In 1654, 23 British East India Company servants deserted Surat in a single mass breakout. In the 1670s, the British authorities uncovered an active network of covert recruiting agents in Bombay. By the 1680s, the increasing defections of British soldiers and East India Company servants led Charles II to issue an order calling back all Englishmen in the employ of Indian princes.
During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a British convert to Islam named Abdullah Beg was one of the most active insurgents in Delhi against British rule. Beg was a former Company soldier, who upon the arrival of the mutineer sepoys on May 11, self-identified with them and virtually became a leader and advisor to the rebel forces in Delhi. He was last seen manning the rebel artillery along with another British defector and Muslim convert, Sergeant-Major Gordon. On account of his faith, Gordon was spared during the massacre of Christians at the outbreak of the uprising. In due course Gordon was taken to Delhi, where he manned the guns on the northern side of the city walls.
BenoÃ®t de Boigne French military adventurer who made his fortune and name in India.
FernÃ£o Lopes 16th century Portuguese soldier who defected to the Adil Shahi general, Rasul Khan.
Claude Martin French army officer in India
Jean-Philippe de Bourbon-Navarre French mercenary and progenitor of the Bourbon lineage in Bhopal
Pierre Cuillier-Perron French military adventurer in India
Michel Joachim Marie Raymond French General in Nizam's military and the founder of Gunfoundry Hyderabad, Hyderabad State.
Walter Reinhardt Sombre French mercenary and husband of Begum Samru, ruler of Sardhana, a principality near Meerut
George Thomas Irish mercenary who was active in India during the 18th century
Jean-Baptiste Ventura Italian mercenary and adventurer who served the Sikh Empire in the Punjab
Jean-FranÃ§ois Allard served Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Regarding the video, it is wrong for US military to contract out Force Protection, in CONUS or overseas, in my opinion.
Before some smartass or a self-proclaimed intellectual gives me a lecture - read this:
Walter Reinhardt Sombre was German (not French), as per your post above this....Also, from the name itself, it is very clear that he was a German.
I do not get it ? Were you trying to make a point ? I mean, I do not know the context, sorry
Paki army = Modern day mercenaries.
Walter Reinhardt Sombre - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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