When the Tiger Fought the Thistle

By: Alan Tritton

Catalogue Number: UF8-93QK

When the Tiger Fought the Thistle

  • Format: Hardback
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781780764375
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Synopsis

The Battle of Pollilur on 10th September 1780, fought as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War, was one of the worst defeats the British ever faced on the Indian subcontinent. It was fought between The East India Company, led by Colonel William Baillie, and the Mysore Army under the command of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Heavily outnumbered and wounded in battle, Bailie was taken prisoner and eventually died in captivity in Seringapatam, in the state of Karnataka near Mysore on 13th November 1782. News of Pollilur aroused widespread consternation in England that India was lost, yet the details of Baillie's defeat and capture are often shrouded in mystery. In this engaging new biography, derived from fresh new research and archival material previously unseen, Alan Tritton presents the true story of William Baillie's life and death in India covering the period 1760-1782. Overturning the consensus view on the disaster at Pollilur, Tritton provides an original new angle in reassessing Colonel Baillie's blame for the defeat, and questions whether he should be remembered as a failure or, indeed, a British military hero.

Author's Biography

Alan Tritton was born in 1931, and educated at Eton College. He is Vice-President and Member of Council of the Royal Geographical Society. He established the Calcutta Tercentenary Trust to restore and conserve British and European Heritage paintings in Calcutta and was awarded the C.B.E. for his services to India and its cultural heritage in 1999. He is married, and has three children and ten grandchildren. He currently lives in Essex, and is Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Essex.

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