Good afternoon everyone, as today is a public holiday here in the UK, I thought i’d share some photos of my East India Company forces, which i’m intending to use to refight some of the battles in India in the period 1799-1803
In its first century and half, the EIC used a few hundred soldiers as guards. The great expansion came after 1750, when it had 3,000 regular troops. By 1763, it had 26,000; by 1778, it had 67,000.
The figures are all 6mm figures from Irregular Miniatures Wars in India Range
In 1757, Robert Clive came up with the idea of sepoy battalions for the Bengal Presidency. These would be Indian soldiers, armed, dressed, and trained the same as the regular british infantry and commanded by a nucleus of British officers. The Madras Presidency followed suit with six battalions in 1759, followed by the Bombay Presidency in 1767.
Between 1796 and 1804, a regimental system on two battalion basis was introduced. The battalions were only theoretically linked together and shared no esprit de corps. The number of British officers went up to 22 per battalion, which diminished the importance of native officers. Control by Regimental commanders was excessive and exasperating to the battalions, and the system was reverted in 1824. Thereafter, units were formed into single battalion regiments, which were numbered per the seniority of raising.
The East India company also had their own cavalry units, some of which were Indian irregulars, whilst others were formed along European lines. There was also a couple of squadrons of dragoons from the kings army operating in India at the time
The opponents for the East India Company during this time period were the Kingdom of Mysore and the Marathas.
You can see some of my Mysore troops on the link below