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Author Topic: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question  (Read 2255 times)

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2022, 06:03:45 PM »
More Mongol than Sassanian I think in terms of shooting.  You rode forward shot and retired.  Someone took your place.  You then reloaded in safety.

There does seem to have been a move to flintlock often using Brown Bess musket locks.

Offline Peterem

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2022, 10:53:15 AM »
Thanks for checking OB. I've never read Nosworthy and wouldn't have thought to look there. With you on the Nolan reprint!

Cheers, Peter

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2022, 11:43:55 AM »
Cheers Peter, 30th September for Nolan.  It should be a treat.

Offline huevans

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2022, 07:55:48 PM »
The helicon books on the Sikh Army and Sikh wars may be worth a look? I don't have them sadly but they may have more clues.

https://www.casematepublishers.com/the-rise-of-the-sikh-soldier.html?fbclid=IwAR1TUsaHHa2nDkpJ9px5qsmgYm3f7axOyLZNST2lrcTf4VvHQZ_tt47gSZ0#.YwvH3xzMK3B

This book?

Any reviews?

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2022, 10:20:46 AM »
Yeah, that's the one huevans.  The only review I could find was on Up the Dale blog who liked it.  My copy should arrive this week.  I'll likely do a review.

Offline huevans

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2022, 12:30:53 AM »
Yeah, that's the one huevans.  The only review I could find was on Up the Dale blog who liked it.  My copy should arrive this week.  I'll likely do a review.

I'd love to read a review. Thanks!

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2022, 12:46:09 PM »
Happy to oblige.  It hasn't turned up yet.

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2022, 07:21:59 AM »
I now have it and have had a glance for Gorchurra info'. No doubt a thorough read will reveal more.

For the moment there is confirmation of firing from the saddle in a skirmishing fashion and for committed charges.  It looks like an either or tactic. Interestingly there seems to have been a preference for blunderbuss type weapons by some Gorchurra by the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War.

The evolution from bow to matchlock- to firelock -armed Gorchurra is outlined.

I found the stuff on Ranjit's regular cavalry very interesting.

My initial impression is that there is lots of new information in this book-not all of it military.  Sikh internal politics gets a good airing.

It is a hefty volume for one of its type and speaking of type it could do with being a size bigger or so.  I'll do a review once I have read it.

Offline huevans

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2022, 02:02:36 AM »
https://www.sukerchakia.com/history-of-misl/

Stumbled over this brief description of Sikh cavalry tactics.

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2022, 10:06:14 PM »
Sorry for the late reply Huevans.  I just got to see your post.  Currently the link is triggering a security alert.  I'll try it again in a couple of days.

Offline huevans

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2022, 10:12:58 PM »
I now have it and have had a glance for Gorchurra info'. No doubt a thorough read will reveal more.

For the moment there is confirmation of firing from the saddle in a skirmishing fashion and for committed charges.  It looks like an either or tactic. Interestingly there seems to have been a preference for blunderbuss type weapons by some Gorchurra by the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War.
The evolution from bow to matchlock- to firelock -armed Gorchurra is outlined.
I found the stuff on Ranjit's regular cavalry very interesting.
My initial impression is that there is lots of new information in this book-not all of it military.  Sikh internal politics gets a good airing.
It is a hefty volume for one of its type and speaking of type it could do with being a size bigger or so.  I'll do a review once I have read it.
Cheers for the info!

Did the transition to flintlock happen all at once, or gradually? And was it complete by the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War?

Offline ARKOUDAKI

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2022, 11:59:08 PM »
Quote
https://www.sukerchakia.com/history-of-misl/

Stumbled over this brief description of Sikh cavalry tactics.

Just remember that these tribal tactics were used well before the Khalsa Raj was taken over under Ranjit Singh. Moreover, tactics really changed after the end of the Napoleonic wars, as more foreign mercs were hired to upgrade the Sikh military. The Sikh Wars didn't take place until the mid-1840s, so there was indeed a lot of changes. It is also reasonable to expect that some of these changes to tactics permeated the Irregulars, as they looked to emulate the regulars in some respects.

All that said, my knowledge of Sikh Irregular cavalry was that they preferred to attack but during the Sikh Wars often these attacks were beat back by much smaller British forces.

It must also be remembered that after Ranjit Singh's death in 1839 the Sikh Confederacy lost the glue that had bound it together. The downfall of the Khalsa forces demonstrated this by adopting defensive tactics throughout most of their subsequent conflicts with the British/HEIC. If the Khalsa forces had been more disciplined and better used, they had a chance of repelling the British/HEIC invasion of the Punjab (which the British/HEIC had planned in advance). Yet, the Sikh leadership was conflicted, with many seeing the unruly Khalsa forces as a direct threat to them (their lives), so having them go off and fight a war against the British/HEIC was a means to an end, regardless of the outcome.

Some good resources on the Sikh military forces are as follows:

Bajwa, Fauja Singh (1964) Military System of the Sikhs During the Period of 1799-1849. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India.

Kumar, Raj (editor)(2004) Military System of the Sikhs. Ajay Verma (for Commonwealth Publishers): New Delhi, India.

Lafont, Jean Marie (2001) Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The French Connection. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India.

Mansingh, Gurbir (2006) French Military Influence in India. United Service Institution of India, Knowledge World, New Delhi, India.

You can find these sources if you look, as India offers a lot of reprints for sales. There is also the NAM and British Library.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2022, 12:09:58 AM by ARKOUDAKI »

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2022, 12:27:00 PM »
That's an interesting looking book list ARKOUDAKI, thank you.

I continue to poke about on the topic.  Here is a British combatant.

“Our English cavalry with their blunt swords were most unequally matched against the Sikhs with tulwars so keen of edge that they would split a hair… I remember reading of a regiment of British cavalry charging a regiment of Sikh calvary. The latter wore voluminous thick puggries round their heads, which our blunt swords were powerless to cut through, and each horsemen had also a buffalo hide shield on his back. They evidently knew that the British sword was blunt and useless, so they kept their horses still and met the British charge by laying flat on their horses’ necks, with their heads protected by their thick turbans and their backs by their shields; and immediately the British soldiers passed through their ranks, the Sikhs swooped round on them and struck back-handed with their sharp, curved swords, in several instances cutting our cavalry men in two”.

Sgt. William Forbes Mitchell (93rd Sutherland Highlanders).

He seems to be talking about Gorchurra judging by the mention of shields.  I wonder what he had been reading?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 09:25:29 PM by OB »

Offline italwars

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2022, 08:05:57 PM »
the answers to those querries about the possibility of this indian cavalry to charge is quite straightforward:

- starting from gunpower era how many European Cavalries were capable and had the will to charge? very few and with sparse  success

-How many native cavalries were capable and had the will to charge? absolutly none

- On wargame tables which cavalries of that very period had good  chances to charge home and, unrealistically, even produce some casualties/tactical success? every one

As an example: thanks to my beloved TSTAF Colonial rulebook and some specific amendments i got the idea   to purchase and paint a full unit of very exotic Savanah type african knights resplendent with their lances and padded  armour/horses..in practice i fielded vs my poor Tirailleurs Sénégalais a sort of 19c. Panzer unit that was able to charge and squeeze my Tirailleur's line even if equipped with modern rifles...totally unrealistic when i get back to the sources (and i can assure you that i have a great library on French Colonial)..not only that kind of noble cavalry never charged home during the many battles in Tchad or French Soudan but usually after a lot of gesticulation and timid caracolade they joined the fight only after having dismounted.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 09:22:30 PM by italwars »

Offline OB

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Re: A Sikh Gorchurra Cavalry Question
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2022, 09:58:47 PM »
Cheers for the info!

Did the transition to flintlock happen all at once, or gradually? And was it complete by the time of the First Anglo-Sikh War?

I don't know yet.  I've not really started reading the book.  I'm intrigued by the blunderbuss reference.  That is a close range weapon.

 

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