Tipu Sultan's Rockets, Tiger and sword !!!!
Posted November 19th, 2013
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Tipu Sultan's father had expanded on Mysore's use of rocketry, making critical innovations in the rockets themselves and the military logistics of their use. Hedeployed as many as 1,200 specialised troops in his army to operate rocket launchers



They were skilled in operating the weapons and were trained to launch their rockets at an angle calculated from the diameter of the cylinder and the distance to the target. The rockets had blades mounted on them, and could wreak significant damage when fired en masse against a large army. 


Tipu greatly expanded the use of rockets after Hyder's death, deploying as many as 5,000 rocketeers at a time. The rockets deployed by Tipu during the Battle of Pollilur were much more advanced than those the British East India Company had previously seen, chiefly because of the use of iron tubes for holding the propellant; this enabled higher thrust and longer range for the missiles (up to 2 km range).


British accounts describe the use of the rockets during the third and fourth wars. During the climactic battle at Srirangapatna in 1799, British shells struck a magazine containing rockets, causing it to explode and send a towering cloud of black smoke with cascades of exploding white light rising up from the battlements.


After Tipu's defeat in the fourth war the British captured a number of the Mysorean rockets. These became influential in British rocket development, inspiring the Congreve rocket, which was soon put into use in the Napoleonic Wars.


Tipu Sultan was born on 20 November 1750 at Devanahalli, in present-day Bangalore Rural district, about 33 kms north of Bangalore city. He was named after the saint Tipu Mastan Aulia of Arcot.


Also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and a scholar, soldier and poet. Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and his wife Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa. He introduced a number of administrative innovations, including the introduction of a new coinage, new Mauludi lunisolar calendar and new land revenue system, a new system of weights and measures mainly based on the methods introduced by French technicians; and initiated the growth of Mysore silk industry. Tipu expanded the iron-cased Mysorean rockets which he deployed in his resistance against military advances of the British. He laid the foundation for a dam where the famous Krishna Raja Sagara Dam across the river Cauvery was later built.


He was a devout Muslim although the majority of his subjects were Hindus, and few were also Christian. At the request of the French, Tipu built a church, the first in Mysore. He wasfluent in Kannada,HindustaniPersianArabic, English and French. He won important victories against the British in the Second Anglo-Mysore War, and negotiated the 1784 Treaty of Mangalore with them.


Muhammmad Falak Ali taught Tipu Sultan how to fight. He was instructed in military tactics by French officers in the employment of his father. At age 15, he accompanied his father against the British in the First Mysore War in 1766. He commanded a corps of cavalry in the invasion of Carnatic in 1767 at age 16. He also distinguished himself in the First Anglo-Maratha War of 1775–1779. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, the combined forces of the British East India Company and the Nizam of Hyderabad defeated Tipu and he was killed on 4 May 1799, while defending his fort of Srirangapatna.


Tipu Sultan had lost his sword in a war with the Nairs of Travancore during the Battle of the Nedumkotta. The Maharaja, Dharma Raja, gifted the famous sword to the Nawab of Arcot, from where the sword went to London. The sword was on display at the Wallace Collection, No. 1 Manchester Square, London. At an auction in London in 2004. Vijay Mallya purchased the sword of Tipu Sultanand some other historical artefacts, and brought them back to India.

It is said that Tipu Sultan was hunting in the forest with a French friend. When he came face to face with a tiger, his gun did not work, and his dagger fell on the ground as the tiger jumped on him. He reached for the dagger, picked it up, and killed the tiger with it. That earned him the name "the Tiger of Mysore". He even had French engineers build a mechanical tiger for his palace. The device, known as Tipu's Tiger, is on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Not only did Tipu place relics of tigers around his palace and domain, but also had the emblem of a tiger on his banners and some arms and weapons. Sometimes this tiger was very ornate and had inscriptions within the drawing, alluding to Tipu's faith. Historian Alexander Beatson reported that "in his palace was found a great variety of curious swords, daggers, fusils, pistols, and blunderbusses; some were of exquisite workmanship, mounted with gold, or silver, and beautifully inlaid and ornamented with tigers' heads and stripes, or with Persian and Arabic verses".Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India, called Tipu Sultan the innovator of the world's first war rocketTwo of these rockets, captured by the British at Srirangapatna, are displayed in the Royal Artillery Museumin London. 

The British Army's National Army Museum named Tipu Sultan among the 10 Greatest Enemy Commanders that the British Army ever faced, including him among the ranks of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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