Thursday, 25 July 2013
Tipu Sultan's Rockets
Tipu Sultan may or may not have been a bigot, but he was the only Indian ruler to put up any serious opposition to British rule in India. Also, Tipu's rocket battalions were the first of their kind in the world and at the Battle of Pollilur in 1780, Tipu (with the help of his rocket battalions) managed to decisively defeat the British. Later, after the Brits defeated and killed Tipu in 1799 at the Battle of Srirangapatinam, they reverse engineered his rockets and developed the Congreve rockets for their own use. They used it against American troops during the American War of Independence. The reference to "the rockets' red glare" in the Star Spangled Banner comes from such rockets fired from British ships during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.
Here's a an excellent Youtube video about Tipu's rockets and if you want to know more, read this wikipedia article.