Jhansi-Gwalior Campaign: A Dissenting View








Major Agha Humanyun Amin [Pakistan Army, retired] argues that Sir Hugh’s Jhansi-Gwalior campaign was a minor affair. He bases this startling conclusion on a study of British casualties as stated by the British themselves.




We will go into this issue at an appropriate time. For now, we should note that using the same criteria as above, Major Amin’s suggests Tantia Tope’s attempt to help the Rani of Jhansi involved no where near the 22,000 troops listed by British records. He notes that at the Battle of the Betwa River, March 31st, 1858, Sir Hugh lost 17 killed and 62 wounded while putting Tantia’s forces to flight.


This could not have been much of a battle, and perforce, one would assume that if Tantia outnumbered Sir Hugh’s force by 15-to-1, the former would have killed more of the force, if only by accident.


Sir Hugh’s force at the Betwa consisted of 500 European and 1000 native troops. Other estimates have put the force at about 1000.


Major Amin has no figures for what the correct strength of Tantia’s relief force might be, but suggests that an estimate of 5000 men would be more reasonable.