Aide de Camp

Aide de Camp
"I don't care if you are in a hurry monsieur!"

Monday, 21 March 2022

More thoughts on Campaign Games (#3)

More Thoughts on Campaign Games.

Casualty replacements.
In part 2, under "Forces" I gave quite a simple view on casualty replacement
"Many campaign rules intend for the initial forces to be just a start, with continual growth as new recruits are raised and reinforcements sent to the front. These campaign rules are unusual in that I've taken the opposite view -that the forces involved are assumed to represent the maximum force a nation can commit to a specific theatre. Unless all sides agree, this maximum cannot be exceeded.

This assumption leads to a situation where, instead of increasing, each players armies and resources are growing ever smaller and more precious and is intended to get players really thinking about their forces and trying to keep them intact rather than squandering them on what they think are heroic actions. Lines of communication and supply suddenly become very important as they maximise the chances of receiving reinforcements and minimizing desertion/losses."

On reading this through I feel as though it requires further explanation and, like other aspects of my rules, has developed.

Initially, no unit or formation could receive more than 90% replacement of casualties/stragglers etc, which meant that forces were ever smaller, with further reductions to the replacement rate based on situation -whether the force was in supply (linked to its magazines by a secure route) or out of supply, whether adverse weather (heat, cold, heavy rain etc) is affecting movement, whether the terrain is favourable to movement and the condition of the troops/horses themselves, in that tired/exhausted troops will be less likely to return to the colours than fresh ones. Furthermore, some armies -most notably the Spanish, had a most remarkable ability to recover troops swiftly after almost complete destruction/ dispersal.

This isn't to say that the troops who were defeated return to the colours without any loss of ability, just that their numbers are restored at a higher rate. This is because of  the Spanish people constantly feeding men into the military. Such units suffered a loss in quality as trained or experienced troops were replaced at least partially by raw, inexperienced or untrained recruits, so that any re-formed unit would be classed as at least 1 training/experience class lower than it had been before its dispersal. To simulate this, the Spanish forces should receive their complement of replacements in a shorter time than their opponents and at a higher rate. Similarly, armies such as the British in the Peninsula/Americas, French in Egypt/Indies should receive replacements at lower/slower rates due to distance from the field of conflict, whilst replacements to French/auxilliary forces in Spain would take perhaps twice as long to reach their destination.

So, does the army as a whole restore casualties at the same rate across the board, or does each unit that has taken casualties regain them at  a different rate?  Perhaps the best way would be to dice for each unit, with the highest training/experience groups (elites) dicing first for their part of the total replacement pot -upto the % replacement limit. After these would come the veterans, trained and raw units. this could lead to situations where the better class units take up all the replacement figures whilst those who would have been last to dice receive none. This reflects the greater likelihood of elite/veteran troops returning to the colours and that of the less well drilled and experienced to desert. In these cases, it should be assumed that the best troops from inferior units are reassigned to better ones, so that it is the worst units that shrink the fastest. I'm not going to suggest replacement percentages -we will all have our own ideas of what each circumstance would do to replacement levels.

The ONLY way to restore a unit to its full complement of troops in my mind is the amalgamation of battalions/squadrons/regiments that have fallen below viable numbers for purposes of the game, ie. too low in base morale. Amalgamated units -bataillons de march, provisional regiments, battalions of detachments &c are of necessity of lower class than the highest training class involved, ie. if a veteran and a trained unit amalgamate, the result would be a trained unit, if a 3rd, raw unit was added, the resulting unit would be "Raw." This allows for the amalgamated unit to need time to "gel" as a unit and for the better trained members to gain trust in their new, less well seasoned comrades. Again, I'm not going to suggest training levels for each variety of amalgamation (Yet?). It should be fairly obvious from the makeup of each battalion of detachments what their new training level should be. 

Amalgamated units regain training classes in the same way as any other unit, but do so at an enhanced rate. Usually, a unit will gain one class for every three battles in which they fight, but amalgamations progress after only two -Until they reach the training level of the highest rated element, after which progress is as normal. This system ensures that a given army doesn't simply improve until ALL non-elite units are "veteran" but that they always retain elements of untrustworthy "raw" troops.

I'd be interested in other peoples input on this.

Musings on Figure Scales


Musings on Figure Scales

The release of the new Warlord Games “Epic Battles” Napoleonic range seems to have set off quite a discussion on scales and manufacturers choices and it set me off looking back over my many years as a Napoleonic gamer, student and historian.

So, whose “side” are the manufacturers of ranges/games such as Perry, Warlord, Flames of War, &c on? Obviously, they are primarily in business to make money, but, equally as obviously, they are dependent upon wargamers for business and these statements clearly needs to be in balance. Clearly, the desire for a “captive market” as evinced by altering accepted scales to non-standard ones such as 12.5mm lies on the “business side of the scales, but how much notice do the manufacturers take of their customers? We are seeing a situation where rules, even unit sizes are dependent not on any historic accuracy or imperative so much as what the market will bear in terms of price per box.

Of course, this isn't a new phenomena. The first company that really took this attitude was Games Workshop, with their “one stop shop” for gamers (particularly the young and parent financed) , their pre-digested rules and pre-packaged “history,” so of course, with so many of the current games designers/sculptors starting off with GW it's hardly surprising they try to follow the same business model. GW were the first to state that only THEIR products should be used in their games and encouraged their young gamers to not play anyone not sticking to this “rule.” Similarly, GW were the first company to up-scale from 25mm to 28, effectively freezing out the opposition at the expense of the gamers' pockets, with respect to their games.

Don't get me wrong, if these companies can persuade the marks to buy their products, fair enough, and, to be fair, they HAVE brought a lot of new blood into our hobby. I seriously doubt whether gaming has ever been as popular as it is now, for which we should be thankful, but on the down-side, we've LOST an awful lot of how the hobby used to be:- the anarchy, the individuality and, through the ubiquitous “source books,” “Googling” questions or asking on FB groups and such, expecting to find answers and details ready made, skills in researching and the desire to do so are diminished. I've no problem with newbies asking daft questions to get them going and we ALL have those problems we CAN'T find answers to and so need help, but it shouldn't become the only way we learn and develop our skills as painters, sculptors, players or history buffs.

It seems to me that interest in gaming a particular period has very little to do with importance of a particular conflict, the rules, the "feel" of it or anything else. What it boils down to is how much information is easily available. It helps explain why say, Napoleonic games are more common than the Age of Marlborough or the Seven Years War. I know from my own research into the armed forces of Tipu Sultan just HOW hard it is to find information on unusual periods, theatres or armies and how much of what we CAN find is wrong.

In a way, I'd love for us to go back to those early days. There was something a bit “fringe” about being a gamer. There was a hint of glamour and mystery about it that is lacking now, as if we were each going to be the victims of an “outing campaign.” At one time, there were even hints that the hobby was to be outlawed -made illegal. I can imagine being arrested in possession of a bag-full of dice on suspicion of being a wargamer. Does anyone else remember going to the “Triples” in Sheffield and having to run the gauntlet of Ban the Bomb protestors and Sally Army to get in?

Personally, I'm giving up on relying on manufacturing companies for my fix of minis. I'm investing in a 3D printer so I can fix my OWN scale and this I think is the way ahead for the hobby. I feel that with the increase in high quality STL files and improvements in technology and lowering prices that THIS will be the shape of things to come. Now, I don't know how the best of these files are made, but I suspect they involve re-enactors, costumes and 3D scanners. Using these, there is no reason why clubs and groups shouldn't produce their own figures. Such a scenario almost puts us back in the “good old days(?)” of the previous “golden age” and will hopefully lead to a return to more individuality in our hobby.

3D French Young Guard from STL files by Marco Campagna

The grey "ghosts" in the background are the rest of the Young Guard awaiting painting.

All that is good in wargaming does NOT spring from Games Workshop. In his essay “The Very Real Difference Between Historical and Non-Historical Wargaming” Jeffrey Knudsen of The War Artisan's Workshop states:-

"Historical gaming followed the path beaten by Warhammer." "Warhammer Historical was one the best things that happened to historical wargaming." "The wargaming world has caught up to Warhammer" "[the Warhammer rules] have turned into must-do concepts in our wargaming world, whether fantasy or historical." . . . which could only have been made by someone with a woefully shallow view of wargaming. While acknowledging that "everything in a Warhammer rules set will have been tried or published before", he seems unaware that it was constructed from mechanics that had been tried and abandoned by many historical wargame designers decades earlier, for good reasons. He also claims that it established an "archetype" and was built by "the best minds in the wargaming world", apparently without any awareness that he was propounding what would be recognized as unsupportable hype by anyone with wargaming experience outside of a very narrow range. He proclaims that, while Warhammer Ancients Battles is "still a fun set to play", it falls short of Warhammer Fantasy because of limited options, viz., "You can put Arthur on a horse, but not on a flying dragon." as if the pageantry, glory and romance of Arthurian England were not sufficient to hold one's interest without dragons. He also makes the mistake of judging the value of a rule set by its popularity. If that is a valid criterion, then we must judge a Hyundai to be an automobile superior to a Mercedes, since so many more people buy Hyundais. In his one-line comment at the close of the column the editor states (hopefully with just a touch of irony) "Rumour has it that the original Warhammer was formed around the solid principles of historical wargaming."

Many of the most recent generation of wargamers seem only marginally concerned with, and often completely unaware of the hobby's origins. This lack of perspective leaves them unaware that fantasy and science fiction gaming is a very recent offshoot of an ancient and venerable practice, with its roots very firmly embedded in reality. I have even run across gamers who thought that historical wargames were a recent, niche development of fantasy and science fiction gaming(!). Fantasy and Sci-fi gaming came very late to the dance and, in spite of its current popularity, had no influence on the development of the more general hobby until the last few decades. In its recent explosion of popularity it has differentiated itself from its ancestor so dramatically as to become virtually a different hobby altogether. “

Wargaming being primarily a social hobby, social divides have arisen between those who embrace the newer styles as part of a larger and increasingly diverse hobby and those who persevere in the original, historically based games. Conflict and friction have developed over space in gaming venues, retail establishments, and hobby publications and invective flies back and forth, with those who clung to the older style accusing the others of being juvenile and frivolous, and the proponents of the newer styles characterizing the others as stuffy and elitist. Other rifts opened within each genre between those who prefer rigid, tournament-style games and those who indulge in more cinematic and narrative types, between those who savor bottom-up, nuts and bolts simulations and those who enjoy top-down command studies. These differences are often highlighted and aggravated by vocal proponents of one faction or another who are all too ready to disparage the others and defend their own favored genre and style as superior. Under these pressures, the already small hobby of adventure gaming has inevitably splintered into even smaller, niche sub-hobbies. (I make no value judgment on this trend; I merely note it as fact.) However, some of the most strident declarations come not from the fans of a particular genre, but from the generalist gamers who blithely cross between genres and styles in pursuit of a good game. For these gamers, the game is all-important and the subject matter is either secondary or irrelevant. They seem to prefer themes that are colorful and dramatic, but they are indifferent to the source of the material, be it taken from the pages of history books, literature, or film. The miniatures or other game components have no meaning for them beyond their function in the game, and the mechanics of the game have no significance for them beyond their utility in winning. As far as they are concerned, any game with historical playing pieces is a "historical wargame", regardless of any dissimilarity between what happens in the game and what actually happened historically. For someone who comes to wargaming primarily because it is a vivid and dynamic way to engage military history (that is, someone for whom the subject matter is of primary importance), this attitude is difficult to understand; and, because the history of war is a grim and serious subject, it definitely rubs the historical wargamer the wrong way when someone insists that what he is doing is no more than "playing with toy soldiers", and can never be anything more. This is akin to claiming that, because you only use your pencil to draw stick figures, therefore my pencil cannot draw a portrait or a still life. Though there are superficial similarities between historical and non-historical gaming (the use of dice, miniatures or counters, maps or terrain), a profound difference lies in the way in which they are used. If games were not capable of being anything more than play, they would not find such useful and widespread application in business, the military, and the social sciences. Even more obnoxious is the generalist gamers' insistence that the purely historical gamer must include other genres as being part of his hobby, and must welcome them at venues where historical gamers gather to partake of their mutual interest in military history. This is patently ridiculous, akin to insisting that an association of landscape artists must include house painters because they also use brushes and paints, or that a gathering of bakers must include barbecue chefs because they are both "just making food." This blindness to disparity is a natural result of indifference to the content and purpose of historical gaming. The inability (or refusal) to perceive a difference between historical gaming and other genres does not mean that no difference exists, any more than the inability of a color-blind individual to perceive a difference between red and green means that they are the same color. “

In a way, our games have become subject to the whims of fashion, behind which games and figure designers hide. How often have you started collecting a range of models for a particular game only to find it has been discontinued, re-sized or re-worked so completely you have to begin collecting again? Old sets of rules that served us well for many years have been replaced by newer (and therefore better?) sets, using new and “better” systems that appear to be more to produce quick games than any historical accuracy. Old rules are decried as being “proven wrong” or as outdated, (though how you “prove” a set of rules or assumptions wrong I don't understand.) even, as with Quarries rules, “racist,” replacing them with ones that treat every army as identical in ability and requiring “army lists” or “victory conditions” that slew the games even more than the supposedly “bad” older rules. So many “modern” rule sets appear to have very little actual Napoleonic content beyond the minis and are proudly proclaimed as “having a Napoleonic flavour” which is a bit like the difference between vanilla essence and extract. In some, even the most basic concepts, figure, ground and time scales appear to have vanished, with basing conventions grossly distorting unit depths. Certainly most modern rules seem to be unable to deal with re-creating (simulating) the warfare of our period in all but the simplest of ways without masses of "special rules" to cover events the basics don't cater for. Fair enough, we don't always WANT to simulate warfare accurately, but to me at least, a game is far more enjoyable if it IS reasonably accurate history-wise.

Ironically, despite so many players calling Bruce Quarries venerable rules, with their "National Characteristics," racist, it is amazing how popular the WW2 game "Flames of War" is, given that it relies heavily on national characteristics and stereotypes. Perhaps colour photos, "idiot sheet" style explanations and the fact everything is pre-digested and new makes up for that.

Friday, 30 July 2021

Revolution to Regency #1 The Armed Forces of Mysore. The Navy.


The Mysorean navy is very much a creature of mystery. We know that the state had a navy -and quite a powerful one too for the region, but finding information on it is fraught with problems, not least of which are the numerous regurgitations of spurious information across the internet and within history books, particularly those looking at Tipu Sultan “in a new light” re-casting him as a freedom fighter and patriot rather than as a tyrant and religious zealot.

In “The Navy In India 1763—1783” Admiral Sir H Richmond gives us the following description of the cutting out expedition against the Mysorean Navy in Mangalore harbour in 1780:-

Hyder’s fleet at Mangalore was the next thing to destroy. This force had infested the coast, hampered trade, and threatened the supplies of Tellicherry and Anjengo; its destruction was a factor in security of the settlements. Leaving Tellicherry on October 5th, Hughes came off Mangalore on the morning of December 8th. In the harbour he could  distinguish two grabships, two ketches, a snow and several gallivats flying Hyder’s colours. He determined to attack them at once with the boats of the squadron. Twenty-two boats were quickly manned, armed and assembled alongside the Superb; the Bombay Marine ships Drake and Eagle—the only available light draft vessels, for the Coventry had  been left on the Coromandel coast to protect the trade—were detailed to cover the advance of the boats. The shore batteries opened fire, the ships replied, the boats pulled bravely in-shore, and within a very short time two grab ships, of 26 and 24 guns, were captured, the ketches were burnt, ten gallivats were taken and a number of vessels were run on shore. It was not possible fully to complete the destruction as there were not enough light draft vessels to get into the shoal inner waters ; but the blow rendered Hyder’s Navy for the present innocuous and Hughes hoped finally to dispose of what remained on his return with the help of some troops from Bombay. The whole operation was carried through with spirit and promptitude.

Illustration 102: Grabs and Galivats attacking East Indiamen

In 1775, the future admiral Nelson, then a mere Midshipman under Cpt. George Farmer aboard the 24 gun frigate “Seahorse” in convoy with the East Indiaman “Dodley”. In the mistaken belief that they were Mahratta vessels, with whom Britain was at war, Farmer engaged two of Haidar Ali’s armed cruisers.

At 7 [a.m.] saw two sail standing toward us, which we imagined to be

Bombay cruisers, at ½ past 7 they hauled their wind to the southward

and stood after the Dodley, and hoisted Haidar Ali’s colours, we immediately tacked and stood after them, at 8 fired several shot to bring one of them too.”

It’s quite telling that Farmer took these vessels to be ships of the Bombay Marine -the EICs own navy, indicating the similarity in appearance to European ships and sail plans.

According to the French historian, Joseph Michaud (1767–1839), Haidar Ali was clearly building his navy with military intent. Michaud confirms the dockyard at Mangalore as Haidar Ali’s premier yard, and:

a navy had begun to be built there, intended to free the Indian ocean one day from the European pirates.”

Referring to the British capture of Mangalore in 1780, he confirms:

Three ships of the line with fifty or sixty cannon had been completed; many others of varying sizes were in process of construction; and the English found considerable materials to equip a fleet with.”

Despite this setback, by 1782 we know of at least the following ships in Tipu's navy from a table in the above book. This list shows the most common types of ships used by the Mysorean navy. The 60 gun ships would have been small men of war and the 36 and 20 gun ships frigates.

The British saw the Navy of Mysore as a grave threat to their maritime dominance as its’ size gave it a greater force than the Royal Navy and Bombay Marine could combine locally and, where threatened by greater force, the Mysorean ships would disappear into shoal waters or one of the numerous rivers where the deeper draughted European vessels could not folllow.

The ultimate downfall of the Mysorean navy wasn’t so much caused by the ships themselves, or even crews, which were considered to be as good as, if not better than, those of the Royal Navy or HEIC, but by the lack of protection for the harbours in which they were based. Even after Hyder and, later Tipu had ordered defensive batteries to be built to protect the harbours and fleets, these proved to be so badly sited that they were all but useless.

The Ghurab

Illustration 103: A "grab or Ghurab"

Ghurabs”, also known as Ghorabs, Bombay Grabs, or just Grabs were normally two masted vessels with three masters being called “Pals.” They varied from about 150 up to 300 tons. A Ghurab was quite wide in the beam for its' length and narrowed towards the prow from about halfway along the hull and of shallow draft making it ideal for inshore work. The prow had a flat, open sided deck rather like that of a galley (to assist in boarding enemy vessels) level with the main deck and separated from it by the forecastle whose forward bulkhead was pierced for cannon. The prow also helped the ship to pitch in heavy head seas.

Unlike European ships which had fairly bluff bows, the faster Indian vessels such as the Ghorab had stem-posts that met the keel at a steep angle offering less resistance.

Broadsides would be of 6 or 9 pound guns with 9-12 pounders being mounted in the forecastle and stern firing fore and aft. Crews would have been 150 -200 men.

Ghorabs were used by all the navies in India including the Bombay Marine -the navy of the East India Company. They were often used as traders as they were well able to defend themselves.

Teak from the Malabar coast was the favoured ship building timber as it did not rot in the same way as oak although Tipu had many of his ships coppered to help preserve the hulls. The frigate “Trincomalee” built of teak in Ceylon is the oldest British warship still afloat which attests to the longevity of this timber.

Illustration 104: HMS Trincomalee, a teak frigate built in Ceylon

Because of their teak structure, iron rather than copper fastenings could be used as it did not react in the same way as oak. The hull was clinker built with planks being sewn to the frame with coconut coir, a material that was also used for the ships cordage.

Illustration 105: A Ghorab

The Galivat

Though the ship in the illustration is a Mahratta vessel, those used by the Mysorean navy were exactly the same if more discreetly coloured. Galivats had crews of around 60 men and mounted 4-8 guns, usually small swivel guns with perhaps a 4-6pdr chase gun in the bow. Ghorabs would operate with a group of galivats to back them up.

galivat or galbat was a large rowing or sailing boat 60-70 feet long, narrow in the beam and with one or two lateen sails and a spar deck made from split bamboo for lightness. Their manoeuvrability allowed them to close with better armed vessels from the bows and stern where fire was less severe, particularly in calm weather whilst their shallow draft allowed them to be run ashore safely.

Tarandes were large, three masted galivats, 

Illustration 106: A Mahratta Galivat

Note the extreme angle of the stem-post to the keel and the way the foremast is  stepped where they meet.

Indian ships were generally classed in one of two groups -longships and roundships, which as the names suggest were determined by beam. Longships were narrow and fast, gathering speed quickly whilst the round-ships were broader, slower and more sea-kindly and roomy so that the names became almost synonymous with “warship” and “merchant-ship,” though round-ships were occasionally used as warships and smaller vessels were never really categorized as one or the other.

Illustration 107: The hull of a galivat


Originated in Muscat where Mysore had a factory. They had two lateen rigged masts and the stepped keel common in many Indian Ocean vessels. They made excellent “tramp” ships. “The Elements and Practice of Rigging and Seamanship” ” however gives the following description:-

Bombay Barks, called dingas are vessels used at Bombay and places adjacent; and are navigated sometimes by rowing with paddles. They have one mast,  onethird the length from the stem, which rakes much forward. On the mast is hoisted a sail, bent to a long yard, resembling a settee-sail. The tack is made fast to the head of the stem, and the sheet to the heel of the mast. 

Illustration 108: A dangi/dingi/dinga

Illustration 109: a dangi's hull

These vessels never tack, but wear, in doing which they peek the yard against the mast to shift the sail; at the same time they pass the sheet before the mast. Their rigging consists of a pair of haliards, a bowline, and brace. Their keels are very much hollowed upwards, to avoid wholly grounding on sand banks.”

This “upward hollowed” keel is obvious in the hull plan and is common to many Indian Ocean vessels as well as dhows, boums, bathors, It was of course very easy to convert merchant vessels into warships when necessary.

The Snow

Snows became popular in the New World during the 1770s though rarely used by European navies. The main difference between a brig and a snow was a short snow” or “jack” mast placed about two feet abaft the main mast which supported a large, loose footed gaff sail.

The word 'snow' comes from 'snauw' which is an old Dutch word for beak; a reference to the characteristic sharp bow of the vessel. The snow evolved from the (three-masted) ship rigged vessels: the mizzen mast gradually being moved closer towards the mainmast, until the mizzen mast was no longer a separate mast, but was instead made fast at the main mast top. As such, in the 17th century the snow used to be sometimes classified as a three-masted vessel.

The snow dates back to the late 17th century and originally had a loose footed gaff sail, the boom was introduced somewhere in the 18th century. It was a popular type of vessel in the Baltic Sea and was employed by a large number of nations during its time. The snow was considered a handy and fast sailing vessel, typically the largest two masted vessel around and was employed in both navy and merchant service. When used as a military vessel, snows were, in the early 18th century, typically fitted with 5 to 16 guns. Military snows were mostly used for coastal patrols and privateering, while in the merchant service, snows traded all the way to the Mediterranean and sometimes even sailed as far as the West Indies.

While the snow and the brig appear closely related, this is not the case. The two rigs developed from different directions, the brig evolving from the generally smaller brigantine, and the much older snow evolving from the larger Three masted “ship rigged” vessels.

The use of the characteristic snow or jack-mast offered several advantages over attaching the gaff directly to the main mast. The yoke (or jaw) of the gaff and the lacing of the gaff sail on a snow could move freely on the snow mast, not hindered by the iron bands that held together the (main) mast, nor limited by the main yard. As a result of the latter, the gaff could be raised higher than the main yard and independently of it. The resulting freedom allowed a snow, in contrast to the brigs, to fly a main course without complications, as they typically did.

However, in the late 18th century, brigs started to set main courses as well, which gave rise to the term snow-brig. Because of the size of driver or spanker sail the snow could carry and its' ability to carry a mizzen course on the jack spar (a lower sail on the spar used as a spreader for the mizzen main sail) they were considered fast ships.

Illustration 110: A Snow. Note the jack mast just behind the main mast

Illustration 111: Two Naval Snows 1759, By Charles Brooking

The Ketch

In modern terms, a ketch is a two masted vessel in which the fore mast is taller than the mizzen and normally fore and aft rigged. During the 18th Century this was not necessarily the case, just as a “sloop of war” could have one, two or even three masts.

Because the main mast was stepped so far back giving plenty of space on the fore deck, ketches were often used as “bombs” -ships for carrying mortars for attacking land based fortifications.

Illustration 112: An Indian Bomb Ketch of unknown nationality. It is possibly British but the same in design as those used by Hyder Ali from 1775

Illustration 113: A more usual ketch sail plan

The set of the mast at about the mid point of the hull made them an unwieldy and “cranky” vessel with the stern being inclined to swing unless the helmsmen were very careful. Bombs often had the mainstay replaced with a chain as an insurance against fire.

The Kotya

The Khotya, was a fast, medium sized two masted vessels used as merchantmen and war ships. It was favoured by most Indian states as well as by Europeans as "country" ships.

Illustration 114: A Kothya

Illustration 115: The lines of a kothya. Note how far back the stem post and keel meet

Illustration 116: A model kothya in 15mm scale


Bugaloos (baggalas) were large ocean-going dhows with poop- decks and rounded sterns.

Illustration 117: Bggala lines

Illustration 118: A baggala/bugaloo/budgerow deep sea dhow

Illustration 119: The ornate stern of a baggala

Illustration 120: A Baggala at anchor


– Large, single masted ships with a lateen sail.

Illustration 121: A cutch.

Illustration 122: The lines of the same ship


Large phaetamars or pattemars could carry three masts and topsails. As with many other types of vessel, such as baggalas and dhows, phaetamars are still in use today and continue to be built.
Illustration 123 The lines of a phaetamar. The stepped keel is typical of many Indian vessels

Illustration 124: A phaetamar.

Illustration 125: A large modern phaetamar or pattemar under full sail

Sambuks or sambouks

Sambuks or sambouks are medium sized dhow rigged vessels with two masts similar to those of a kothya but the mizzen sail was smaller in proportion to the mainsail

Illustration 126: Lines of a sambouk or sambuk

Illustration 127: A Sambouk

Illustration 128: A "modern" Sambouk


Machavas or unachavas were large 2 masted dhow rigged ships.

Illustration 129: Machava lines

Illustration 130: A unachava/machava

Illustration 131: A mashwa:-a small inshore vessel with lateen sail

Figure 132: A dhow. These were common throughout the Indian Ocean

Figure 133: The lines of a dhow

Figure 134: A dhow under sail

her types of ship used by Indian navies were tarus, which were large ships having three to five mastsshibads/Sibadis -large, armed merchantmen that often accompanied warships carrying large numbers of troopsThey were very beamy, about 150 tons burthen and had no decks. padavs -small, mainly cargo boats of 5-10 tons pagars -dug-out canoes with no outriggerstirakatis -a three masted ship-


Boums were large craft favoured as country traders and troop carriers. They were characterised by the stern post being at the same angle as the stem post

Illustration 135: A Boum or boom

Illustration 136: A Ghurab or Grab

Not content with setting out his dream for the army in the Futtah al MujahaddinTipu also set to work planning the restructuring and re-building of the Navy. Many on-line sources -particularly Indian sites mentioned earlier, attempting to re-brand Tipu, appear to believe he actually achieved his aims. This is purely a case of wishful thinking. Had Mysore acquired a powerful navy, it would have been cause for major naval conflict in the region and this just never happened. Apart from anything else, Tipu's plans were completely unrealistic in terms of the number of men required to man his fleet, but it does show that he understood Mysore's need for a deep-water fleet if it was ever to be master of its' own destiny. The following is taken from Kirkpatrick's translation of the Futtah al MujahaddinIt gives a rare glimpse into Tipu Sultan's mind and his plans for the future of his domain. I feel that although it is doubtful these plans ever came to fruition it is well worth knowing of them and so I have included the regulations here for the reader to make up their own mind about.

Illustration 137: A gehazi

Tipu's Marine Regulations.

The Hukm-nameh, or ordinance, for the marine department, of which I propose, in this place, to give an abstract, is addressed, generally, to the Meer Yumms, without any specification of the persons so denominated, but stating their number to be eleven. The Meer Yumms (or marine lords, as the term may be rendered) composed a board of admiralty, ordinarily resident at the capital; but, together with all the other public boards, ambulatory, I believe, with the court. Some of the members of this board, as will be presently seen, were occasionally stationed at the principal

Illustration 138: The fort and harbour at Mangalore

Illustration 135: a Fealchara or felucca used as a ceremonial barge.

sea-ports, or dock-yards. This department was instituted in the month of Jaafury of the year 1224 from the birth of Mahommed (or in September 1796), before which time the naval establishments of the state appear to have been placed under the direction of the Mulikut Tujurs, or board of commerce.
Next in rank to the Meer Yumms were the Meer Buhrs, which last term is, in fact, synonimous with the other. The Meer Buhrs, however, were officers destined to serve afloat, two of them being assigned to a squadron of four ships of war, they corresponded, therefore, with our admirals or commodores. I have said that they were destined to serve at sea, because, fortunately, perhaps, for the security of the British possessions in India, the Sultan's project, as detailed in the present article, for creating a great naval force, was nipped in the bud by the sudden subversion of his throne, within less than three years from the date of its conception.
It may possibly be thought, that, even if he had remained at peace with the English, the resources of his country would have proved utterly inadequate to the formation and maintenance of so extensive a marine as was in his contemplation and that, at all events, opposed to Great Britain, he could never have become formidable as a maritime power.
Without stopping to examine the grounds of the former supposition, and  entirely admitting the justness of the latter, it may nevertheless be contended, that in proportion as the Sultan might have been able to realize his alarming plan of a marine establishment, we should, as a measure of necessary precaution, have been compelled to augment, at a heavy expence, our naval force in India, for the purpose of duly watching his armaments, and of keeping them in constant check.

Illustration 136: A Pinnace or yacht

This evil, at least, was averted, by the issue of the war of 1799. The ordinance which we are at present considering sets out with anouncing, "that forty ships of war were thereby consigned to the care and superintendance "of those to whom it was addressed. (actually 41)" But it appears, from the sequel, that nothing more was meant by this, than that the Meer Yumms were to have charge of the ships alluded to, as soon as they should be built ; for, as yet, they were not in existence. They were, however, to be constructed with all possible dispatch; and, when finished, were to be named agreeably to a list contained in the instructions. One was to be called Sultan lukhsh; another Ali lukhsh; a third, Mohammed-lukhsh, &c. but no Uydtr-lukhsh appears among them. All the names terminate with ihe word lukhsk, signifying, in composition, " the gift " of," or " bestowed by." The ships were formed into three divisions, under the name of Kucherries or departments, namely: 1.The Kuchurry of Jamalabad; 2. The Kuchurry of Wajidabad (or Buscoraje -a synonym for Wajidabad); and 3. The Kuchurry of Majidabad (or Sadashetoghur).
The Kuchurry of Jamalabad ((Sometimes called The Kuchurry of Karial or of Mangalore) was to consist of 12 ships that of Wajldabad of 14 ships and that of Majidabad of 14 ships. With a view to expediting the formation of this embryo fleet, two Meer Yumms, assisted by a Mirzaey Duftur and a Matusuddy, were to be established at Mangalore, from whence they were to superintend the building of the vessels intended to be attached to the Jamalabad station. Two other Meer Yumms, togethcr with a Mirzaey Duftur and a Mutusuddy, were to be resident, in like manner, at or near Mirjan Creek, for the purpose of directing the construction and equipment of the ships of the Wajidabad and Majidabad divisions. The places (or docks) to be fixed on for the building of the different ships were to be near, but not absolutely contiguous, to each other.
The board of admiralty was furnished with the model of a ship of war, having a lion or tiger head: according to which model all the vessels  allotted to the different naval stations were to be built. The whole of them were, moreover, to be coppered; and the utmost care was to be taken, to render them complete in all respects. The timber which might be required in the construction of the vessels in question, was to be cut down, under the direction of persons appointed for the purpose, by the Meer Yummsin the forests where ship timber was usually procured: from whence it was to be floated by means of the adjacent rivers, to the respective dockyards.
Illustration 137: A sloop

Of the ships to be built, twenty were to be line of battle, and twenty large frigates, according to the following detail:-

I. On the Jamalabad Station:- 6 Line of battle Ships, viz. 3 of 72 guns each, and 33 of 62 guns each

The 72's were to mount 30 guns x twenty-four pounders 
30 .... eighteen pounders.
6 . . . . twelve pounders.
6 . . . . nine pounders.

The 62's were to mount 24 guns, eighteen pounders
24 .... twelve pounders
4 . . . . twenty-four pounders
10 ... . six nine pounders

6 Frigates, of 46 guns each,

20 guns x  twelve pounders
20 .... nine. pounders
6 . . . . four pounders

II. On the Wajidabad Station.
7 Line of battle Ships, viz.
3 of 72 guns each
4 of 62 guns each
7 Frigates, of 46 guns
All of which were to be as on the Jamalabad Station

III. On the Majidabad Station.
7 Line of battle Ships, viz.
3 of 72 guns each
4 of 62 guns each
7 Frigates, of 46 guns
All of which were to be as on the Jamalabad Station

Two years before the date ot the present ordinance, or some time in
1794, the Sultan had directed the following ships to be built; at 
Jamalabad, six, from eighty to eighty-five guns, and six (two masted) 
grabs, of from twenty-five to thirty guns; and at Wajidabad and 
Majidabad, each seven, from eighty to eighty-five guns, and seven grabs as above: total line of battle ships, twenty; grabs or small  frigates, twenty. Possibly the alteration now made in his original plan may have been suggested by Ripaud, or some other French adventurer.

Illustration 138: Mangalore

The establishment of officers to the foregoing fleet was to be as follows:-
11 Meer Yumms (Pay to be according to their respective qualifications.)
30 Meer- Buhrs, viz. 20 Stationed to ships (being two to every Fouj, or
squadron, of four ships.) 10 at the Presence, (The Sultan) for instruction,

The land establishment of each Kuchurry was fixed as follows:-

3 Mirzaey Dufturs, (including horse)
3 Hindooy Writers
12 Gumahstehs
1 Kazy
2 Nukeebs
11 Hazirbashies
11 Sherbashurns (able to read and write)
1 Furrash
1 Mushalchy (or link-boy)
1 Sarban, or Surwan, in charge of two camels, allotted for the carriage of the stores or baggage of the Kuchurry

The establishment of officers to each ship of the line was fixed as follows:

4 Surdars (or officers), denominated first, second, third, and fourth.
2 Teepdars
6 Yoozdars.
The inferior officers will be given later.

Of these, the first Surdar was to command the whole. The second officer, with one Teepdar, and two Yoozdars under him, was to superintend the great guns, and gunners, belonging to the ship. He was, moreover, to have the care of the powder magazine, of the shot, and, in fine, of every thing appertaining to the guns. He was also to have charge of the provisions, which he was to see served out at stated times.

The third officer, with one Teepdar and two Yoozdars under him, was to 
have the direction of the marines and small arms, and whatever related 
to this branch of the equipment. To his charge, moreover, were to be 
consigned all the spare tools, implements, &c. or those kept in store for 
future use or consumption.

The fourth officer was to have particular charge of the Khulasies, or 
sailors, and of the artificers belonging to the ship, as the smiths, 
carpenters, &c. It was also his business to superintend the cooking of the victuals of the crew, and to see the same duly distributed among them.

The navigation of the ship appears to have been immediately entrusted to him since it is said, that the orders for hoisting and trimming the sails, &c. were to proceed from him. He had likewise charge of all the tools and implements in immediate use, which he was to keep in good condition and repair. He was also, occasionally, to place under the orders of the second officer, whatever number of sailors the latter might require, for the purpose of assisting in the management of the guns. He was to employ the carpenters and smiths in making up such articles in their respective departments as were likely to be required, at some future time, for the ship's use. "If, on any occasion," continues the ordinance " Which God avert! A cannon shot should strike the ship," it was the business of the fourth officer to see the damage instantly repaired. He was, finally, to superintend the pumps, &.c.

All the foregoing officers were to be selected with care and none but such as were well descended on both sides, were to be employed. It was, moreover, required, that they should all be able to read and write. The  Sepoys, or troops, serving on board, were, on no account, to be suffered to trade, "not even to the extent of a single Imaumf (or rupee)."

I. Detailed Establishment of each line of battle Ship.
Twenty ships, each having 346 men of all denominations on board. 

1st Musqueteers :
(1 Teep of Uskur, of 124 men, or 4 Yooz.)
I Teepdar,
1 Shurbashurn
I Mufeer-mucaz
1 Shahnaey-mucaz

4 Yooz, each Yooz consisting of 30 men, viz.
1 Yoozdar,
1 Surkheel
4 Jumuadars
24 Privates,

One Yooz 115

Staff 31
2nd Gunners
(1 Teep of 79 men, or 2 Yooz of 39 men each, each to carry a musquet.)

1 Teepdar,
2 Yooz, each 39 men, viz.

1 Yoozdar,
2 Surkheels,
4 Jumuadars
32 Privates

3rd Seamen

2 Jowks, or Gangs, of 61 men.
I Jowkdar
6 Dufaadars
54 Privates

4th Artificers

1 Head carpenter
1 Head smith
5 Carpenters
3 Smiths

5th Officers of the Staff:

First Sirdar (or officer)
Second Sirdar
Third Sirdar
Fourth Sirdar


3 Pilots,
2 Daroghas, viz.

1 in charge of the water, provisions, &c. of the ship
1 in charge of tools, implements, and articles in store

1 Physician and surgeon (in one)

1 Mirzaeiy Duftur, to keep the accounts of the ship, and also of the troops or marines

II. Establishment of each Frigate.

Twenty ships, each having 180 men, of all denominations, on board.

Total 3,6oo

1st Muskteers:

(l Teep of Uskur, of 64 men) viz,
1 Teepdar,

1 Shurbashurn
1 Nufeer-mucaz
1 Shahnaey -mucaz

The above Teep being composed of 2 Yooz, of 30 men each, viz

1 Yoozdar
1 Surkheel
4 Jumaadars
24 Privates
2nd Gunners:

(l Yooz of 29 men, viz.)

1 Yoozdar
1 Surkheel
3 Jumaadars
24 Privates

3rd Seamen:

(1 Jowk, or Gang, of 71 men.)
1 Jowkdar
7 Dufaadars
63 Privates

4th Artificers:

2 Smiths
2 Carpenters

5th Officers and Staff:

First Officer
Second Officer
Fourth Officer


2 Pilots
2 Daroghas

1 Physician and Surgeon (in one)
1 Mirzaey Duftur

The most striking defect in these establishments lies in the insufficient 
number of seamen allotted to ships of such force; as it would not appear that any augmentation of the crews was intended during actual service.
Pay and allowances were to be received by the men and officers when 
on shore. When afloat, or embarked, they were, in addition thereto, to 
receive the rations to be presently stated. As a Meer Yumm might be 
occasionally employed with the fleet, it was ordered that, in such cases, 
"a particularly good dinner, together with fruit," should be daily provided the expense of which was to be defrayed by government. All the officers were to eat together. The following were the persons to whom rations were to be issued when afloat :

1 Meer Yumm, 1 Meer Buhr, 4 Sirdars, 1 Mirzaey Duftur, 3 Pilots,
2 Daroghas, 1 Physician and Surgeon.

To the above officers the following daily rations were to be served out:
Rice: ¾ of a full Duk or Seer.
Dal (or split peas): ¼ of a full Duk or Seer.
Ghee 8 Jouz weight: That is, the weight of eight nutmegs.
Meat: ½ short Duk, or Seer.
Salt 3 Jouz weight.
Tamarinds: 2 Jouz weight.
Turmeric: ½ Jouz weight.
Dry Garlic: ½ Jouz weight.
Onions: 1½ Jouz weight.
Coriander seed: ¼ Jouz weight.
Black pepper: 1 Jouz weight.

The following were the rations to be issued to the Musketeers and 
Gunners, no distinction being made between men and officers :

Rice 1 Duk, or Seer.
Dal 6 Jouz weight.
Ghee 4 Jouz weight.
Salt 2. Jouz weight.
Tamarinds 2. Jouz weight.
Turmeric ½ Jouz weight
Dry Garlic ½ Jouz weight.
Onions 1½ Jouz weight.
Coriander seed ¼ Jouz weight.
Black pepper 1Jouz weight.

Besides the above rations, it would appear that meat prepared with 
spices, and roasted (or made into Kebabs), was to be kept in store, and
served out once in every fifteen days, at the rate of a quarter of a short
Seer per man. The meat in question was to be cured or prepared with
salt, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. The seamen were each to be
allowed daily

¾ of a full Seer of Rice,
¼ of a full Seer of Dal,
2 Jouz weight of Ghee,
2 Jouz weight of Salt.

They were to supply themselves with spices. Whether they were to
partake, every fifteen days, of the Kebabs above-mentioned, is uncertain.

The several officers of the marines and seamen were to see that their
men had their appointed meals, before they took their own. Prayers were to be performed every day, at the five appointed times. The first officer, or commander, was to officiate as priest on such occasions, and to deliver the appointed Waaz, or discourse ; and the Daroghas to recite the five prayers.

During the rainy season, the ships were to be laid up in the creek (probably Mirjan Creek), where they were to be placed under cover of sheds to be constructed for the purpose; the necessary materials for which sheds were to be furnished by the Asofs of the adjacent districts. The seamen were to be employed in this service.

After mentioning that orders had been issued for the erection of two forts and some batteries at Hafiz-Hisar (commonly called Beed-kole, or 
Bateul), the Meer Yumms were directed, by the present ordinance, to 
examine carefully the ground in the vicinity of the aforesaid place, and 
having pitched upon proper spots for the works in question, to make a plan or drawing of the same, and transmit it to the Presence. They were to direct their particular attention to the two hills, or rocks, which would
appear to form the entrance of the creek, or harbour, and to ascertain the exact distance between them, as well as the extent of the channel, or strait, formed by them. The depth of uater, and the number of ships
which might lie at anchor between these hills were likewise to be ascertained and reported; when, "with the blessing of God," forts and batteries were to be erected there.

A ship, named the “Fakhur ul Murakib”, is stated to be then lying in Mirjan Creek; and another, called the “Futah Mubaruk”, in the creek at Hundicar (Onore): both of them past repair. These ships were directed to

be broken up with due care and the iron, and other materials, obtained
from them, to be used in the new ships ordered to be built.

Twelve small vessels, denominated Nugs, or Nuks, were, moreover, 
delivered, on the present occasion, in charge to the Meer Yumms. Of 
these, ten were galliots; (or are the Gallivats/galibats which are a local
style vessel) five of them being at Mangalore, and five at Onore. Of the
remaining two, one is called an Usud-llhye grab ; and the other, a small
Usud-Ilhye ship.

The marines, and other people, belonging to the ships (I suppose, the 
crews destined for the vessels ordered to be built) were to be embarked
upon these Nugs, which were to sail about the coast, in order that the
men might thereby be duly trained in their respective duties. With the
same view, it was directed that a kind of buoy should be anchored in
some convenient situation, and a flag erected thereon, to serve as a mark for practising with great guns; in the management of which those 
attached to them were to be carefully instructed.

It is next observed, that it green wood be cut up according to the required dimensions, it will, when dry, be found to fall short of those dimensions. To avoid this inconvenience, it was directed, that the timber, after being felled and barked, should be kept one or two years ; and when perfectly seasoned, be cut up, agreeably to the proposed standard.

The men required for the service of the fleet were, after being mustered in the Presence and duly sworn, to be dispatched to their respective destinations, as fast as they were entertained.

The accounts of the expenditure of the ships and crews, and of whatever related thereto, were to be carefully and minutely kept by the Meer Yumms and the Asofs of the provincial Kuchurries having any 
connection with this branch of the serviced in conjunction with each 
other. The movements and warlike operations of the fleet were, likewise,
to be directed conjointly by the Meer Yumms and the aforesaid Asofs. If
the Sultan should, at any time, wish to employ the ships on any 
particular service against an enemy, he would issue his orders for the 
purpose in full council, or assembly, of the ministers of state.

The Meer Yumms had it in charge to station two Yuzuks (or twelve men) with a Yoozdar of the regular troops belonging to their department, at each of the Kohties, or factories, established, "by the favour of God," at Muscat and Kutch; and which are said, on this, as well as on a former occasion, to be four in number, namely, two at Muscat and two at Kutch.

The pay of these guards was to be issued by the Mirzaey Dufturs of the
aforesaid factories, to whom the Meer Yumms were to make the
necessary remittances for the purpose. The guards in question were to be relieved annually.

The Meer Yumms, Meer Buhrs, and Serishtedars, attached to the three 
several Kuchurries (or naval stations) of Jamalabad, Majidabad, and 
Wajidabad, were to repair, in the month of Zilhijjah of every year, and 
ten days before the Eed, or festival, celebrated in that month, to 
Seringapatam there to deliver to the Presence an account of their 
respective receipts and disbursements, and to report the progress made at their respective stations, in the preparation of the vessels ordered to be built. The officers belonging to the ships, together with the several Teepdars, the Mirzaey Dufturs, and the Daroghas, were, in like manner, to repair every year, ten days before the Eed of Rumuzan, to the capital, for the purpose of delivering their respective accounts, and of reporting the state of their respective departments to the Presence.

To the foregoing ordinance is subjoined a supplementary section, dated 24th of Tukky, year Saz, or A.M. 1225 (Corresponding with June 1797) containing a detailed statement of the establishment of artificers 
appointed for the service of the three dock- yards of Jamalabad,
 Wajidabad and Majjidabad of which the following is an abstract.

Carpenters (including three Chowdries and twelve Dufuadars, and 
divided into twelve gangs of ten men, inclusive of one Dufuadar 
Smiths (including two Chowdries and four Dufuadars) and divided in like manner into four gangs of eight men each, inclusive of one Dufuadar.

Total artificers to each dock-yard 157

Three dock-yards 471

Whether Tipu ever made his dream navy a reality or not, the Futtah al 
Mujahaddin certainly makes interesting reading, particularly if you are looking for campaign or “what if” scenarios.

As mentioned earlier, the Mysorean navy was comprised of, for the most part, inshore vessels and as such, tactics used by them were aimed more at taking enemies as they entered or left ports, usually in order to board them to check   they had the required passes and carried no prescribed nationals or goods. If any of these were discovered, they would be either held for ransom or confiscated outright. Many of the actions of the Mysorean navy were regarded almost as piracy by the Europeans, the British and Portuguese in particular.

Illustration 139: A padav

Illustration 140: A Ghurab and a Pal

Illustration 141: A bark or barque

Part 11: Glossary of Indian terms.

Most of these words are concerned with the Mysorean forces, but some are Marathi. It is not a complete list as I am still adding to it.


An ornamental sun shade awarded to high officers.

Ahmadi, ahmudi:

Slave or POW infantry from the Malabar coast. Possibly Christian


A granary. Marathi


Slaves brought up as Moslems and trained as soldiers since childhood. The

equivalent of janissaries or Mamluks.

Askar, Uskar:

Regular cavalry with the same root as Askari


A large deep sea dhow. with poop- deck and rounded stern.

Bakhshi, bukhshi:

Originally the pay-master of a Mysore cushoon but its' commander after about

1790 . Possibly related to the term for “squeeze” or a bribe-Bakhshish


Regular cavalrymen paid and equipped by the state.


A type of merchant ship


The market in an army camp. Each major leader within a camp would have one

in front of his own tent and under his own banner.



Beenee Wala:

quarter-master general


A water carrier


A deep sea dhow

Brinjaries, brinjaras:

Nomadic grain merchants who formed the basis of the commissariat for all Indian

armies. A kind of “white ox man.”


stinging wasp” a blunderbuss shotgun


A “contribution” to stop pillaging -a sort of Maratha protection money with

chauth” signifying ¼. Marathi


A brigade. Marathi.


Tax collectors (I think. But can't find a meaning for) Mysore


Originally a brigade in the Mysore army but later on a regiment.


A large, single masted ships with a lateen sail.

Cutcheries, Cuchurries, Kuchurries: (singular, Cutchery)

A brigade in the army of Mysore from around 1790

dangis/dingis,- Originated in Muscat where Mysore had a factory. They had two

lateen rigged masts and the stepped keel common in many Indian Ocean vessels.

They made excellent “tramp” ships.


A powder store. Marathi


fast, seaworthy vessels of a range of sizes originating in the Arabian Gulf and

Red Sea.

ekas, ekandas:

silhedars volunteering for service as individuals. Marathi


A letter of authorisation from the head of state (or rival).


military governor


was a large rowing or sailing boat 60-70 feet long


Often used to mean slave soldiers, but can also be used for troops trained in a

European manner (from “guards”) The term implies some sort of special quality.


A two masted warship like a corvette or small frigate with a galley-like beak at the

same level as the main-deck.

Goodurees :

Daily markets in a camp

Harcarahs, hircarahs:

scouts or guides


The lowest Maratta officer rank in charge of 25 men


A Maratta officer over 10 Jumledars (10x 125 horsemen) or 2-3 foot

Jumledars(100-150 infantrymen)


A fief awarded by the ruler.


A fief holder owing allegiance to his ruler. Marathi


Mysore infantry

Jouz weight:

The weight of eight nutmegs.


An officer of 5x Havaldars (5x 25 horsemen) or 5x naiks (50 infantrymen.)

Juq, jowk:

A company. Mysore

Juqdar, jowkdar:

A company commander, a captain.


A tax collector. Marathi


Fast, medium sized two masted vessels used as merchantmen and war ships




A large 2 masted dhow rigged ship.


a small inshore vessel with lateen sail


Honourific for a Mysorean general or member of the staff


A Mysore cavalry regiment


Governor of a town/village. Marathi.




commander of 10,000. Mysore


A corporal or sargeant commanding 10 infantrymen


Shoeing allowance for cavalrymen paid as part of their salary.


See Goodurees


A large 2 masted dhow rigged ship.


-small, mainly cargo boats of 5-10 tons


dug-out canoes with no outriggers,


  1. -three masted ghorabs. 2) tents

Palki or Nalki:

A palanquin, the use of which was awarded by the head of state to officers and


Palpatti, palputtee :

A tent tax charged on every tent in the bazar/bazaar in an army camp. Marathi

Panch Hazari:

A Marrata officer in charge of 5 Hazari (5x 1,250 men)


Maratta prime minister. Eventually a hereditary position


a civil settlement outside a fort. A suburb.


large 3 masted dhow rigged vessels, often with top, head and stay-sails


Leader of a small independent province or state


A royal perquisite


12.5% tax on the revenue of a district.


peasants. Marathi


A battalion of infantry or a squadron of cavalry in Mysore.


A battalion commander, roughly equivalent to a lieutenant colonel


A medium sized 2 masted dhow rigged vessel.


A fief in lieu of stipulated service. Marathi.


The holder of a saranjam fief and pledged to raise an agreed number of horsemen

between 1 and 22,000 for the ruler.


a tax of 10% on the raiyats (peasants) Marathi

saristadar gumashta:

tax collector of Sardeshmuki. Marathi.


Chief Maratta cavalry commander responsible only to the king


An officer who's duty was to visit his risala every day, observe its' condition and

report first to the sipahdar and then to the jaish cutchehry of the huzur (I have

been unable to find out anything concerning this officer) and finally to the Sultan



-large, armed merchantmen that often accompanied warships carrying large

numbers of troops. They were very beamy, about 150 tons burthen and had no



A night assault. Mysorean


Literally “camel barrel,” also known as a Zamburak, a swivel gun mounted on a

swift camel and usually deployed en-masse.


A cavalryman responsible for providing his own horse and equipment


Commander of a Mysore regiment (or brigade before 1790)


provinces. Marathi.

Sur (or Head) Vusdhchy:

Brigade Major.


A groom


A curved sword or sabre.


Galaxy or Constellation Market -the areas where rockets were constructed


large, three masted galivats,


large ships having three to five masts,

tirakati -

a three masted ship


a wood, grove or orchard


Head of intelligence. Marathi


An emissary. Mysore


a subaltern who's duty was to keep the senior officers in touch with the men,

report to them on the men's condition and carry their orders to their

subordinates in time of war.

Yaz or Yooz:

Mysore. A company

Yazaqdar, Yoozdar:

Commander of a yaz/yooz. Equivalent to a captain




also known as a Shutarnal, literally “camel barrel.” a swivel gun mounted on a

swift camel and usually deployed en-masse.


Governor of a city. Marathi

Part 12: Bibliography and sources.

This list comprises some of the main sources used in compiling this work on the armed forces of Mysore. Most of these with the exception of Keshik Roy are freely available online

Advices To And From India, Relative To The Cause, Progress, And Successful

Termination Or The War With The Late Tippoo Sultaun. pub 1800

A View Of The Origin And Conduct Of The War With Tippoo Sultaun

pub 1800 Alexander Beatson,

A Narrative of the Campaign in India Which terminated the War with Tippoo

Sultan in 1792.” pub 1793. Major Dirom

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Illustration 142: Haidar Ali