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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Opulence, majesty and landscape gardening, or a Mughal AAR

________________________​


________________________​


EU2 said:
The great Mongol heir Bâbur, founder of the great and vibrant Mughal Empire, was indeed very qualified for conquest. Descended from Timur by his father and from Genghis Khan by his mother he ruled the remains of the Timurid Empire from his capital in Kabul, constantly trying, and failing, to recapture the old capital of Samarkand from the Uzbeks. Disappointed, he turned to India, divided between several small kingdoms and sultanates which were constantly at each others necks. He took advantage of the situation and before his death in 1530 he had established a powerful Empire in northern India on the ruins of the Sultanate of Delhi. The Empire continued to grow until it dominated almost all of India at the beginning of the XVIIth century, before its long period of decline set in. By the early XIXth century, the power of the Mughal Emperors was almost only honorific but the dynasty managed to survive somehow in Delhi, still being recognized as the legitimate rulers of India.

Historical map of the Mughal Empire

________________________​

The Mughal Empire was not only one of the most powerfull state that dominated India trough the thousand-years long history of that region, but was unique in its culture. The Mughal period would see a more fruitful blending of Indian, Iranian and Central Asian artistic, intellectual and literary traditions than any other in India's history. The Mughals had a taste for the fine things in life — for beautifully designed artifacts and the enjoyment and appreciation of cultural activities. The Mughals borrowed as much as they gave; both the Hindu and Muslim traditions of the Indian Subcontinent were huge influences on their interpretation of culture and court style.


The Taj Mahal, one of the most famous architectural work of the classical Mughal period.

________________________​

Everything in the above texts and documents seems to tell that two centuries ago India had reached new heights in refinement and power. But today everything seems to be telling that this era is over. With the last Mughals limited to only the rule of the city of Delhi (and under British 'protection'), and most of the principalities of the sub-continent divided and dominated by a foreign power, any political authority was denied to the Indian princes. But there was worse- most of the coastlines and the Ganges valley, the very heart of India, were under direct control of the British East India Company.

The greed of the Compagny had no end; expension continued a little bit everywhere in India and only the northwest seemed to be spared -for now.


India in 1836

The Indian princes were helpless. Outnumbered and forced to recognize British technological and tactical superiority, most of them just hidden in their palaces and citadels, trying to ignore that they had in fact no powers.

The sorry state of the Indian subcontinent would probably had worsened even more in the following decades if nobody would had risen to stop it. But who still had enough power to not just provoke a bloodbath and achieve something? Probably not the Maharaja of Travancore, or the Wadiyar of Mysore. Maybe the Nizam of Hyderabad, if only he wasn't completly surrounded by the lands of the East India Company. The Maharaja of Nagpur was old and without children, and completly surrounded too; the Rajas of Bastar, Orissa and Bundelkhand were too weaks and smalls too. The Nawab of Awadh was a rich man and a patrons of the arts, but was not a military genius. The Raj of Shimla was isolated into his mountains. Both the Rao of Indore and the Belgaum of Bhopal were merely limitated to rule city-states. The Maharaja of Gwailor was independent from the Company, but was constantly threatened by the Rajput lords. Those Rajas had little power outside of their cities anyway- the Pink City of Jaipur, the Maharana of Mewar, and the Maharawals of Bikaner and Jaisalmer were also under British domination. The Maharaja of Jodhpur was the most powerfull of the Rajput princes, but that only meant he was more closely watched by the British agents. The Maharaja of Beroda was alway busy fighting the Gujarati pirates on his coastlines, and the Maharao of Kutch was ruling over a mix of swamp and deserts, and was too poor to do anything. The Nawabs of Kalat and Makran did not cared much about India either- they considerated themself as Baluchi. Maybe the Amirs of Sindh could be up to something however, if they were not alway busy fighting themselfs. The Rajas of Kashmir and the Chogyals of Ladhak were probably too isolated to even note that the Mughal Empire was out of the map anyway.

That hopeless list of helpless Rajas, Maharajas and other exotically and colourfully named lords was a good portrait of 1836 India. Divided and dominated, but also diverse and mysterious. A mixing of cultures, languages and religions like nowhere else in the world. India is a world in itself, being much more a continent than a country. In this unique place were every city seems to be a pilgrimage destination, where every temple have its own legends, the population is secretly waiting for something to liberate them from foreign rule. Not that India was not used to be ruled by non-Indian dynasties - even the great Mughals were of central Asian origins, and were speaking Persian anyway- but the British rule was something different. In a place where tolerance is holding everything together more than violence, a nation from the other side of the world, a rainy island in northwestern Europe, is arrogantly looking down upon the thousand-years old traditions of this world and dominate for the sole purpose of economical benefits.

This is where Panjab come into the story- not Muslim like most of its neighbors, not really Hindu either, the Panjabi people is following its own religion: Sikhism. The Sikh 'Empire' is, by 1836, the most powerfull state in India (outside of the United Kingdom). Organised on the structure of a federation of autonomous 'Misls', the Panjab expended during the previous decades, and was considerated by many as the only power able of resisting the British. Its internal structure and oranisation made the Sikh army a very competant force, able of even threatening Delhi.

The Maharajah Ranjit Singh of Panjab however held a great authority over its federation, and was ambitiously considering additional conquests. The current political fragmentation of India and its domination by an exploitative foreign power would make the population very likely to accept and even support a conquest by the Sikh lords if covered by the legitimate facade that would constitute a restauration of the Mughal Empire of old.


Panjab in 1836
 

General_Grant

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Sorry for the probably too long introduction, that will maybe disgust many. But don't worry; this AAR won't be that exhausting as I don't have the skills (or will) to write a very long and overly epic story with dozens of sub-plots and very deep characters.

Some of my sentences may seems wrong or annoying but keep in mind that I am not a native English speaker and that I did not followed advanced courses, so forgive me please.

For some unknown reasons I've been recently passionated with that huge, crowded and colourfull country that is India. In this AAR, I'll try to reform the Mughal Empire starting with Panjab. I'll be using some VIP events but not the mod itself.

Goals:
1. Survive
2. Reform the Mughal Empire
3. Unify India (or at least the part of it on wich I have cores)
4. Mordernise India and make it prosper
5. Try to keep the Europeans out of Asia when possible

Cheats: I will not use any cheat outside of one: I'll force the British to accept a white peace if they declare war on me too early (I have seen the British AI declaring war on Panjab during the first weeks of 1836 very often). Thats because I'd like to have a little time to prepare and the aim is to have fun anyway. The first Anglo-Sikh war happened in 1845-1846 anyway so that remain historically very acceptable. Thanks for understanding. :)


Welcome to this AAR for all those wich will following closely or not, reading everything and commenting or just lurking at the pictures.
 

Krall

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I'll be watching this, provided there are plenty of screenshots. :)
 

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I - The conquest of Sindh and Kashmir





The army of Panjab was the most profesional and powerfull in the whole region (outside of the British army, of course). Quality-wise, it could easily be compared to the armies of some European nations and is able to crush any opposition.

The army of Panjab, formed of 5 regular division (and not native quality, exceptional for an unciv.). Don't mind the hispanic general names, its a bug. Our technological level is low, but not on the military side, where we are still competitive. 5 additional irregular divisions were trained- even if those troops were almost useless in battles, they could certainly infiltrate behind ennemy lines, occupy regions and take care of partisans. And they are cheap- we can't afford anything else anyway. On the lower-left corner, a Sikh general. He have the adventage of carrying all his stuff in his huge turban, including his tent, ammunitions, clothes and food.



Illustration depicting the Maharajah and his army.​

In early 1836, the attention of Maharajah Ranjit Singh was drawn by the meridional state of Sindh. The small army of Sindh would be no challenge for the powerfull Sikh army, and Panjab would gain a valuable sea access by its conquest. All of Panjab's 5 divisions moved south following the Maharajah's decision to conquer Karachi and Hyderabad.


Sindh was conquered in less than two month. A few descisive victories triggered the adbication of the most important Amirs of the country. The Maharajah returned victorious in Lahore, having enlarged his realm and incorporated 1.5 millions new subject in it.

Meanwhile, in Persia...


Your'e right my Shah, that's the spirit.​

During the Sindhi campaign Ranjit Singh concluded that the only chance he had to stop the British threat was to walk on Delhi, were he could proclaim the Mughal claimant Emperor again, with him as the real power behind this puppet monarch. But the time was not right yet: a war chest would need to be accumulated, despite the quite large Panjabi army already needing most of the fundings. While money was slowly accumulating, the Maharajah decided of a small campaign against Kashmir, in order to secure the northern border of his small empire.


The Kashmiris posed much less opposition to their conquest than Kashmir itself. The mountainous landscape slowed the advence of the Sikh army alot, and despite their capture of the capital of Srinagar and the disparition of the local Rajas the troops were locked in Kashmir for most of the winter. Snow and storms prevented the army from using the mountain passes, and many of them died in the harsh climate. The Kashmir campaign finally revealed to be a waste of men and resources, but the surviving soldiers gained important experiences from the winter.



________________________​

Back in Lahore, the Maharajah was told that the war chest would be ready in approximatly a year.



A year that would not be wasted, decided Ranjit Singh. The newly acquired territories would need to be reorganised, and a reserves of weapons and food would be accumulated for the risked campaign to come.


Panjab in early 1837. Population: 13 millions.​
 

General_Grant

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Krall: I'll try to include many screenshots, because I like them too. But you can take a look at the text if you want, because I don't take pictures of everything so you might miss a few things. :)

oddman, Irenicus: Welcome lurkers! ;) I rarely comment myself so asking for comments would be egoïstic, but just don't hesitate if you have something to tell.

Morsky: Thanks! Update won't be very regular I fear, it will vastly depend of the days.
 

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Splendid idea.

But on the other hand, are you sure you have installed everything right? Your comment about hispanic names, and the flag of Persia seems to point to some country tag fudgeup.
 

General_Grant

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Splendid idea.

But on the other hand, are you sure you have installed everything right? Your comment about hispanic names, and the flag of Persia seems to point to some country tag fudgeup.
Thank you sir. :)

I think the tags are ok, there was probably one small mistake regarding the random leader names (but Panjab also have that latin dictator on the endscreen, really weird).

The Persian flag is not wrong, I simply installed the 'many new flags for Victoria' mod, and thats the historical flag for the early years.
 

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What a disappointing AAR! I hoped for more gardening!

I will surely come back to see, if you included more gardening in the next update :mad:
Thats because Panjab didn't got the technology to build Mughal Gardens yet. It need to form Mughalistan first, otherwise that would be cheating. :(
 

General_Grant

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II - The conquest of Delhi and the end of the Sikh Empire

After the conquest of Sindh and Kashmir came a period of pacification of the newly acquired territories. Revolts often happened in Sindh, but a little bit less in Kashmir. Despite the troubles he had integrating both countries, Maharajah Ranjit Singh still begined a minor war in 1838, against the mountainous principality of Shimla. The country was in fact not much more than a mountain resort with a tiny army, and was quicly brought under Panjabi administration. This small conquest was very strategical and made the Maharajah one step closer from Delhi- in fact the border was now in sight of the city itself.


In late 1839, as the preparations for the 'Delhi campain' were close from being over, a very interesting event took place in a port south of China: after the assasination of a Chinese citizen by a British war broke out, with the United Kingdom pulling out several Indian regiments from their garrisons to begin an offensive against the key ports of Manchu China. 'Their greed will really cause their defeat' tough the Maharajah. Indeed, there was no British divisions left in the whole Hindustan to defend the so-called 'Jewell of the British crown' against the Sikhs. The Army of Delhi was already beyond Calcutta when the British Garrison of Delhi was assaulted by the armies of the Maharajah.


The Maharajah's plan: take Delhi and conquer the valley until we reach the sea!

The lack of good means of communication prevented the British from reacting quickly enough; the plain of the Ganges was already filled with the armies of Panjab when the Governor and the officials of the British East India Company in Calcutta were told of the invasion.

The Rajput city of Jaipur was also liberated by the Sikhs, after it was threatened from a British attack by a division comming from Bombay.


After the conquest of Delhi and the securing of the region, Maharajah Ranjit Singh of Panjab met with the Mughal 'Emperor' in the old capital. Two times the visit has to be delayed as the Maharaja began to show health problems. But in May 1840, an old an sick Ranjit Singh officially recognised Bahadur Shah as emperor over the land he conquered and as leader of all of his armies. His plan was half a failure and half a success after all. The Maharajah of Panjab did reconquered Delhi , and he did restaurated the Mughal Empire. But his dream of having him and the Sikh aristocracy to dominate this resurected empire would never come to reality, he finally realised. The Sikhs were a minority in the Indian world, as were the Panjabis. But under the secular traditions of tolerance that made India unique, there was a chance to gain something for his people. In exchange from granting all the power to the Mughal Imperial family, he secretly asked Bahandur to not opress the Sikhs as it happened centuries before under the Great Mughals. Their reward for having restaurated the Empire would become the policy of 'Eternal Gratefullness', allowing them to practise their religion in peace.

Bahadur Shah was already old, but he was not stupid and quite open-minded. As a man of reat knowledge he knew that the fanatical policies of Emperor Aurengzeb caused the empire to crumble a century ago. And the Panjabis were still the largest ethnic group in his newly restaurated empire, forming most of the armies and officier corps. The new policy of tolerance was announced publically during the breath-taking coronation ceremony of Bahadur Shah, in wich he displayed a greatness and a luxury worthwhile of the greatests emperors of the dynasty. During the celebrations Maharajah Ranjit Singh made a greatly symbolic gift to the restaurated emperor: the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, the largest known diamond in the world wich was once the property of the Mughal Emperors from the reign of Babur, founder of the Empire, to 1739 where it was stolen by the Persians along with the Peacock Throne. Under unclear circumstences it managed to apear in Afghanistan and was brough to Panjab by a fleeing Afghan lord.


Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar, Emperor of the Mughals​

Despite the celebrations around his restauration and the days of optimism that followed, Bahadur Shah was concerned by the war that was still going on. His empire was only a shadown of its former self. The British would lose to time before organising their army and attempting to put an end to this rebellion. The treasury was in ruins and trade within all of the sub-continent was suffering. When the war in China would be over, most of India's hopes would vanish.



________________________


Edit: a random Indian garden, for Sargento:
 
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Capt. Kiwi

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Now I think I know who I'll be playing whenever the next update for VIP comes out... Good luck claiming back and more importantly keeping your lands, I'll be watching with interest.
 

SabreAuClair

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Can't help being interested, as i tried the same several times and always failed, I hope you will have a better fate !!
 

AKjeldsen

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Well, what'll you know. I never even knew that there were events to reform the Mughal Empire. I'll have to try that sometime.

Good work on getting this far, but considering how stubborn the AI can be when negotiating peace, I fear you still have your work cut out for you. How are the British doing in China?
 

General_Grant

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Capt. Kiwi: Thanks! keeping my land is the main challenge even if victories in the first wars can be descisive in keeping Britain out of the subcontinent.

SabreAuClair: Looks good for now, Penjab is surprisingly not that hard to play (alot of population and some regular units that grant you a major adventage against both the Indian states and the British colonial troops). Merci de vous intéresser à mon histoire. :)

AKjeldsen: Those that I use are from VIP even if they existed in the vanilla game. The Vanilla ones are kinda screwed however as you don't get any cores or additional cultures for forming Mughalistan, wich means you get to deal with alot of revolts.

For the peace deal you will see in the next update. :)

Thanks everyone for reading and following.
 
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General_Grant

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III - War on the Ganges​



Despite the death of Maharajah Ranjit Singh a few weeks after the Mughal Restauration the loyalty of the Sikh divisions remained on the side of the emperor. Bahandur Shah was too old to lead his armies himself but allowed the skilled Punjabi generals and officiers to take the innitiative, even if he followed the war from his palace in Agra.


The holy city of Benares was liberated in the first week of the Ganges campaign.​

The forces fighting under the Mughal banner were severly outnumbering the British divisions and garrisons present in India at the moment, but the armies fighting in China could come back at any time. The order was given to secure the Ganges valley and to capture the key cities of Calcutta and Bombay before the inevitable British reaction. The loss of those two important bases would severly harm the organisation of the troops under the command of the British East India Company.


The Imperial army was near the Bengali region before an 'Army of Calcutta' could be organised to defend the capital of British India. The three divisions were however severly outnumbered and too stretched, from the Bay of Bengal to the feets if the Himalaya, to prevent the fall of the city.


The Mughal forces however met an unexpected support in the delta of the Ganges and of the Bramaputra: coming from the mountains of Assam and Tibet a Manchu army had already reached Dakha before them, but were fighting the same ennemy. Both armies agreed to cooperate even if no official alliance was signed between Delhi and Beijing. Soon all of the delta was cleaned from British presence.



The 1840 the British army operated several raids on the Sindhi shoreline. The city of Karachi was assaulted twice and the second invasion even got the support of local rebels wich were naive enough to beleive in the British lies of an independent Sindh supported by the Company. If no army would had been garrisoned in Karachi the British army could had managed to secure the city and then advence in the Panjabi plain up to Lahore, wich would had been deadly to the Empire. Even if the major operations were taking place eastward Mughalistan was probably saved the day of the destruction of the British invasion force.


Westward, the 2nd army met no opposition in the Mahrati region. Even if the population was not very sympatetic to the return of the Mughals, it did not appreciated the British either and posed to major troubles. In late 1841 all of the West Coast of India was liberated.


As the war was becoming longer some administrators feared that the newly reborn Mughal state would not support the cost of a campaing that stretched over years. Trough intelligent management and efficient taxation the government however managed to balance a budjet wich was almost not losing any money and could even afford to keep the universities running.


The war in China eventually ended, with the British fighting on two fronts being only able to secure Guangzhou and failing to force any concession from the Qings. The British forces retired from the Chinese port while the Chinese armies were pulling out of Bengal and Assam. It was very easy for the Mughals to recuperate the Chinese-occupied regions afterward however.

By 1843, after almost 4 years of war, almost all of British India was under the control of the Mughal Empire.


Even if he knew that he could not keep all of his conquest forever, Bahadur Shah knew that he could force the British East India company into accepting favorable terms. British and Mughal ambassadors met in the Gujarati city of Ahmandabad, enclaved into the princely state of Beroda and the only city in mainland India to not be occupated by Mughal troops.


Mughal envoys arriving in Ahmandabad​

The Treaty of Ahmandabad was not meant to fix everything in India, but was made in order to guarantee at least a few decades of peace in the subcontinent. The British East India company and the British government representatives from London recognised Mughal dominence over most of the Ganges valley, from Delhi to the Bengali border. Meanwhile, the BIEC was allowed to keep its territories along the coasts, including Bengal, Calcutta and Bombay. The Mughal Empire was secure for the moment, and the British managed to keep alot of territories and most of the important coastal cities. Everyone was more or less satisfied, but knew that this compromise was the best either side would get from the other.



The treaty of Ahmandabad was officialized near Calcutta where the Mughal emperor himself met briefly with the British officials before leaving the city with his army.​


The borders of the Mughal Empire, following the Treaty.
 
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truth is life

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That's a hard war you just won (well, at least in VIP)...but you made it look quite easy. Anyway, amazing progress and I look forward to seeing the Mughals ruling all of India.
 

SabreAuClair

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By the way, I knew there was an event to re-create the Mughal Empire, but it seemed to me that conditions were harsher than yours ... 100 pts of prestige, and many more key-cities to occupy, until the capitale city of Hyderabad, in central India.
What were your event's conditions please ??