British Seapower and the Mysore Wars of the Eighteenth Century

By Philip Macdougall, published November 2011


The naval aspirations of Hyder Ali (1760–82) and Tipu Sultan (1782–99), rulers of the southern Indian state of Mysore, is a much neglected subject. In creating a naval force, that clearly emulated those of the European nations, it was seen as a means of first neutralizing the power of the British before being ultimately used to remove all European colonizers from the subcontinent. Factors both aiding and working against the creation of this fleet are discussed together with the interest shown by the French in developing a working arrangement with the nascent Mysore naval power. That the efforts of the two Mysore rulers came to very little was a result of a series of swift and decisive actions taken by the British at the outset of any period of hostility combined with the difficulties faced by a land power developing an effective maritime force.

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Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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