The Indian Army which are presently seeing had come forth from the land forces introduced by the British people between the 1600’s-1800. But there are many other Indian armies which are written or mentioned in the nation’s history. India has been devastated by the internal wars and conquering, a number of war like people have come to acclaim over the centuries, mostly where the Rajputs and the Sikhs.
The origin of the modern Indian army were detected from the forces which were employed by the Britain’s of East India Company, hired in 1600, and the French East India Company, setup in 1664. The British East India Company came in India in 1607. They created armed troops of men as factory guards in Chennai and Mumbai in 1662. In 1708, the three presidencies of Calcutta(now Kolkatta), Chennai and Mumbai were set-up, and all established their own armed forces. British armies were bifurcated into three groups, correlated to the company’s centers of Calcutta, Mumbai, and Chennai. The French, headquartered at Pondicherry in 1670’s, was the First Indian Company and use them in co-existence with European soldiers. The war of France and England which took place in 1744 forced a reformation of the East India Company’s forces, also artillery and an ordnance services came in existence. Later, in 1740’s, the British personnel’s started to organizing training sessions and also provided training Indian people who were part of the army.
In 1748, the British armies were brought under the control of Late. Mr. Stringer Lawrence, who is considered as the ancestor of the modern Indian army. Under his directions, British officers appointed, trained, and posted all these forces. Even though having formal unified command, all the three armies were practicing exercised significant autonomy because there were great distances among them which were separating them.
In 1796, the company consist of around 18,000 Europeans and around 84,000 Indians in British uniform, and with the passing numbers expanded to 37,000 and 2,23,000 in 1830. By the end of the eighteenth century, majority of the soldiers of each army were having large number of Indian troops known as sipahi. Sipahi armed force had an Indian junior commissioned officers who was responsible for low-level command. All senior positions were recruited with British personals. Indians did not hold any authority or didn’t had any right over non-Indians. Moreover, all the Indian forces, the British placed some units of force in the British Army. Forty battalions of which the Chennai army was consisted were homogeneous, the soldier of each regiment being recruited usually from the southern peninsula. The Mumbai army was smaller compare to that of Chennai, having only thirty battalions of footmen, hardly over 20,000 men. The Calcutta Supremacy was not fortified wholly by the regular army.
In middle of 19th Century the armies of the Native States seems to be daunting on paper, as they were said to number altogether about 3,80,000 men, out of whom 69,000 were cavalry and 11,000 artillery, with some 4,000 guns. As it was small portion only of armies it hardly had any military organization. They were hardly some men who could be called as soldiers. Most of them were just kept for the purposes of show-piece, they don’t have any idea that they can ever be used in the fight or war. The arrangement includes a large number of the armed attendants of the chiefs and nobles, and the men who were addressed as police.
There were only two possibility that the armies of the Native States might become causes of anxiety to the Government. The army of Gwalior was the first army. Among all the armies of the Native States this was one the most organized one. It was inclusive of round about 11,000 men, from which about 6,000 are cavalry, all were fairly drilled and disciplined, somewhere fully equipped batteries of artillery. The greatest of the armies of the Native States was the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad. It was consist of heterogeneous body, that it was tuff to state its statistics, but some part of it, due some reason be known as an army of about 45,000 men.
The Rajputana Soldiers consisted, on paper, of 1,00,000 men or more, with around 1,400 guns, but there is no evidence for supporting this figures of military significance. The men which were not, soldiers in the service of the State, but they were the members of a military class. Not all the guns were equipped for service.
The Sikh Soldiers were possessing good material, they were well trained, and they have occasionally shown excellent skills and bravery for the British Crown. They are loyal to their chiefs, and gallop to the British Government with mutual goodwill and good offices, that were extended for many years.
The soldiers of no Native State consisted of arms of accuracy; they had no breech-loading rifles, no rifled ordnance, and less organized artillery. They were, an un-drilled, inappropriately armed rabble, and two or three British regiments, with a battery of horse artillery, would scatter 50,000 of them. There were few exceptions named, who could not cause the British anxiety. They were not considerable as armies in the ordinary sense.
Field brigades were set-up, divided, till last, just before the Mutiny of 1857. British possessed 3,11,000 native soldiers, forming, including the European forces of around 40,000 strong soldiers, three leadership armies, and various local forces and group. These separate armies, belonging to the committee of Fort William in Calcutta, Fort St. George in Chennai, and Mumbai,which grown up in almost as an independent forces. The total strength of the Indian army, in 1857, was consisting of 45,522 Europeans, and 2,82,224 natives.