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The First Battle of Panipat, on 21 April 1526, was fought between the invading forces of Babur
Babur
and the Lodi Kingdom. It took place in north India
India
and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
which were introduced by Mughals
Mughals
in this battle.[2]

The battle of Panipat
Panipat
between the armies of Babur
Babur
and Ibrahim Lodi (1526). Babur
Babur
was invited by Daulat Khan Lodi to enter India
India
and defeat Ibrahim Lodi.[3] An illustration to the Vaqi 'at-i Baburi, by Deo Gujarati, c. 1590

Contents

1 Background 2 Battle

2.1 Advantage of cannons in the battle 2.2 Tactics

3 Aftermath 4 See also 5 References 6 Sources

Background[edit] After losing Samarkand
Samarkand
for the second time, Babur
Babur
gave attention to conquer India
India
as he reached the banks of the Chenab in 1519.[4] Until 1524, his aim was to only expand his rule to Punjab, mainly to fulfil his ancestor Timur's legacy, since it used to be part of his empire.[5] At the time parts of north India
India
were under the rule of Ibrahim Lodi
Ibrahim Lodi
of the Lodi dynasty, but the empire was crumbling and there were many defectors. He received invitations from Daulat Khan Lodi, Governor of Punjab and Ala-ud-Din, uncle of Ibrahim.[6] He sent an ambassador to Ibrahim, claiming himself the rightful heir to the throne of the country, however the ambassador was detained at Lahore and released months later.[7] Babur
Babur
started for Lahore, Punjab, in 1524 but found that Daulat Khan Lodi had been driven out by forces sent by Ibrahim Lodi.[8] When Babur arrived at Lahore, the Lodi army marched out and his army was routed.[8] In response, Babur
Babur
burned Lahore for two days, then marched to Dipalpur, placing Alam Khan, another rebel uncle of Lodi's, as governor.[8] Alam Khan was quickly overthrown and fled to Kabul. In response, Babur
Babur
supplied Alam Khan with troops who later joined up with Daulat Khan Lodi and together with about 30,000 troops, they besieged Ibrahim Lodi
Ibrahim Lodi
at Delhi.[9] He defeated them and drove off Alam's army and Babur
Babur
realised Lodhi would not allow him to occupy the Punjab.[9] Battle[edit] Hearing of the size of Ibrahim's army, Babur
Babur
secured his right flank against the city of Panipat, while digging a trench covered with tree branches to secure his left flank. In the center, he placed 700 carts tied together with ropes. Between every two carts there were breastworks for his matchlockmen. Babur
Babur
also ensured there was enough space for his cavalry to charge between these carts.[3] When Ibrahim's army arrived, he found the approach to Babur's army too narrow to attack. While Ibrahim redeployed his forces to allow for the narrower front, Babur
Babur
quickly took advantage of the situation to flank (tulghuma) the Lodi army.[3] Many of Ibrahim's troops were unable to get into action, and fled when the battle turned against Ibrahim.[10] Faced with musket fire, cannon fire and cavalry attacks from all sides, Ibrahim Lodi
Ibrahim Lodi
fought and died with 6,000 of his remaining troops.[3] Advantage of cannons in the battle[edit] Babur's guns proved decisive in battle, firstly because Ibrahim lacked any field artillery, but also because the sound of the cannon frightened Ibrahim's elephants, causing them to trample his own men.[10] Tactics[edit]

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Babur
Babur
introduced field guns at Panipat, 1526

New tactics introduced by Babur
Babur
were the tulghuma and the araba. Tulghuma meant dividing the whole army into various units, viz. the Left, the Right and the Centre. The Left and Right divisions were further subdivided into Forward and Rear divisions. Through this a small army could be used to surround the enemy from all sides. The Centre Forward division was then provided with carts (araba) which were placed in rows facing the enemy and tied to each other with animal hide ropes. Behind them were placed cannons protected and supported by mantlets which could be used to easily maneuver the cannons. These two tactics made Babur's artillery lethal. The cannons could be fired without any fear of being hit, as they were shielded by the bullock carts held in place by hide ropes. The heavy cannons could also be easily traversed onto new targets, as they could be maneuvered by the mantlets which were on wheels. Aftermath[edit] Ibrahim Lodi
Ibrahim Lodi
died on the field of battle along with 15,000 of his troops. The battle of Panipat
Panipat
was militarily a decisive victory. Politically it gained Babur
Babur
little, and initiated a new phase of his establishment of the Mughal empire.[3] See also[edit]

Battle of Khanwa Second Battle of Panipat Third Battle of Panipat Battle of Ghaghra which was the last battle Babur
Babur
fought in India
India
and consolidated his empire

References[edit]

^ (Davis 1999, pp. 181, 183–84) ^ Butalia, Romesh C. The Evolution of the Artillery in India: From the Battle of Plassey to the Revolt of 1857, (Allied Publishing Limited, 1998), p. 16. ^ a b c d e Chandra, Satish. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals, Vol. 2, (Har-Anand, 2009), pp. 27–31. ^ VD Mahajan. History of medieval India
India
(10th ed.). S. Chand. p. 429. ISBN 8121903645.  ^ Eraly 2007, p. 27–29. ^ Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (2002). History of medieval India : from 1000 A.D. to 1707 A.D. New Delhi: Atlantic Publ. pp. 89–90. ISBN 8126901233.  ^ VD Mahajan. History of medieval India
India
(10th ed.). S Chand. p. 429. ISBN 8121903645.  ^ a b c Chandra 2007, p. 27. ^ a b Chandra 2007, p. 28. ^ a b Watts, Tim J. "Battles of Panipat". In Mikaberidze, Alexander (ed.) Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, (ABC-CLIO, 2011), p. 707.

Sources[edit]

Davis, Paul K. (1999), 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present, Oxford University Press, ISBN 1-57607-075-1  Satish Chandra. Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals, Part II. Har-Anand Publications. ISBN 9788124110669. 

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