Let’s find out who won the battle of Wandiwash?
A battle generally impacts two parties, the two that are fighting. But in the Battle of Wandiwash, the fate of three different nations was at stake. The British and the French were fighting to rule over India. And India had no say about it. The outcome would not have changed much for India as they had similar intentions. Loot India as much as possible and then take the wealth back to their country. But the result of this battle was critical for the world order as we know it today.
The rivalry between the French and the British was not new. They had been arch-rivals of each other for centuries now. This rivalry is also why both the nations were continuously expanding and colonizing other countries. Colonization was nothing but a way of increasing the flow of resources into one’s country. And both of them had their eyes set on the most significant prize, India.
The British East India Company had set its naval bases in Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. These three bases had covered all three fronts of the Indian coastline, the West, the East, and the South. The French on the other hand only had Pondicherry as their naval base. Losing Pondicherry would mean an end for the French in India.
The French and the British have previously fought in India twice. Including the battle of Wandiwash, these series of battles were known as Carnatic wars. The battle of Wandiwash proved the final of this war for two main reasons.
The first reason for the British dominance was their success in Bengal. Apart from the three main port cities, the British had a large part of the Bengal Kingdom under them. A steady flow of income and other resources kept pouring in from this. On the other hand, the French had to make deals with local kings to get such resources.
The battle took place on the outskirts of a village named Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu. The French had their base at Pondicherry and were trying to uproot the British from the South. It seemed like a perfect plan. The British were busy managing a large part of the land in Bengal and had left Madras port armed less lightly.
But the French forgot the crucial second reason for the British win. Every battle is half won even before the battle is fought. This is known as psychological warfare. Psychological warfare gives an advantage to the side with higher morale and better attitudes. And with recent wins and that too emphatic wins, The British had much higher morale than the French. Plus they also had leaders like Sir Robert Clive and Hector Munro, whose presence only worked as a booster of morale for their armies.
On the morning of 22nd January 1760, the French surrounded the British fort at Vandavasi. Their plan was to cut off the supplies of this fort and make them surrender. But they were instead bluffed. The British naval support came with a massive army and opened an attack on the French forces. The French were sandwiched between the British Naval army and the fort of Vandivasi. Soon the French were defeated and were made to surrender.
The aftermath of this battle had an impact on a global level. At this point in time, the British, the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish were all equally powered. But after the defeat of the French in India, the British came out as the only dominant force in the Indian subcontinent. The French were forced to sign the treaty of Paris. According to this, they were only allowed to do business on Indian soil. Any militarization would be considered a violation of the treaty. The control over India gave the British an unparalleled advantage over other European powers.