Arthur Wellesley, Tipu Sultan and Napoleon

Year was 1769, three events occurred in three different countries, which at that time were not related to each other, but were to have big impact in future.

In 1769, Sultan of Mysore Hyder Ali was fighting war against British, in this he was actively aided by his 19 years old son Tipu. Hyder Ali won this first war against British resulting in treaty of Madras.


Tipu was eldest son of Hyder Ali and was named after Muslim saint Tipu Mastan Aulia. Hyder Ali was an Arab adventurer who had seized kingdom of Mysore from Wadiyar family. Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were great warriors. They brought lot of innovations in field of warfare ex. use of Mysorean rockets and indigenously build flintlock blunderbuss.


In 1769, a son was born to a rich family in Corsica. Parents Carlo Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino named their son Napoleone (later well known as Napoleon).

In same year a son was born to Irish family in Dublin. Parents Garret Wesley and Anne named their son Arthur.

Like Tipu of Mysore, Napoleon and Arthur were to become great warriors.


Arthur joined British army and after sometimes was transferred to India in 1797. His elder brother Robert was Governor General of India. After coming to India he changed his surname to Wellesley.

“Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send a force of 15,000 men from Suez to India, to join the forces of Tipu-Sahib and drive away the English.”

– Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord


At the same time, Napoleon was on expedition to Egypt and was to in touch with Tipu Sultan. Both were anti British and were keen to get rid of British. But that never happened.

In 1798 French navy in Egypt was destroyed by Admiral Horatio Nelson of British Navy. In same year there was war between Tipu Sultan and British, the British army was led by Arthur Wellesley. Final battle took place in 1799 at Tipu Sultan’s capital Seringapatam, in which Tipu was shot dead. British were victors and they gave kingdom to Mysore back to Wadiyar family.


“To live like a lion for a day is far better than to live for a hundred years like a jackal.”

-Tipu Sultan

In 1804 Napoleon became Emperor of France. He conquered many countries of Europe, but after invasion of Russia, his downfall started and finally was forced to abdicate the throne. He was exiled to island to Elba. But he came back to France and gained control of France. In battle fought at Waterloo in Belgium in 1815, he faced army led by Arthur Wellesley. Arthur Wellesley defeated Napoleon in battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was now exiled to island of St. Helena, where he died in 1821.


“The whole art of war consists of guessing at what is on the other side of the hill.”

-Arthur Wellesley

In 1828, Arthur Wellesley became Prime Minister of Britain. He died in 1852.





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