A historical novel on Sir Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington and the Second Anglo-Maratha War
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'Marattha König Zweier Welten is the first of a set of four historic novels -the WARLORD Series - retracing the Years of the Sword" of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.
We are in the last days of the XVIII.century: A young officer of Irish decent with no perspectives, no money, debts and a broken heart from an unhappy love affair with the daughter of a rich Anglo-Irish aristocrat decides to cross the sea and to seek death or glory in India.
After almost nine months at sea and a short stop over in Cape town, Colonel Arthur Wesley sets foot on Indian soil, arriving in Calcutta with a head full of amazing ideas about the fabulous Orient and a strong will to start his military career and a new, exciting life far away from the restrictions and conventions, imposed upon him by a loveless and selfish family. Immediately he calls upon Sir John Shore, Governor-General in Calcutta. Shore, conscientious and hard-working, but not a soldier is astute enough to recognize in the shy Colonel Wesley a promising young officer of strong common sense who might well - one day- be a soldier of distinction.
He entrusts him with the planning of an expedition against Spanish-Manila, even intending to give the command to this new arrival with only one singular experience in war. The luckless Flanders Campaign of 1793-1794, led by the Duke of York!
But Colonel Wesleys days in Calcutta are not all hard work: He continues to study the languages and cultures of his new theatre of war, befriends a well-connected Afghan horse dealer and the bespectacled blue-stocking daughter of a high-ranking British civil servant with a certain knack for unladylike adventures. And though Arthur -after his Irish deception - had sailed to India with the firm intention never ever to fall for a woman, he falls for Miss Charlotte Hall and her strange, strong-headed personality.
From the relationship with Lutuf ben Ullah, the Kabuli, arises the idea of a special intelligence service for the Armed Forces purposes in the forthcoming campaign season against whoever raises his sword in India. And there are many: Since war between England and France retakes in Europe, the French - greedy and yearning for a bigger piece of the Indian cake - enflame certain independant rulers on the boarders of the British possesions : Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. The worst enemy of England is the son of the famous Hyder Ali, Typooh Sultan -the Tiger of Mysore.
As Wellington's Indian epopee is perhaps the last known of all his military achievements, here some short words on the background and settings:
The Maratha were one of the proudest and most bellicious people, ever to rule over a part of the Indian sub-continent.
While starting to conquer those lands, later to be known as the Jewel in Englands Crown, the British for almost 150 years carefully avoided strife with these fine soldier-states. On the other hand, the Maratha overlords never even tried to touch Englands interests or the honourable East India Company.
This situation was only to change, when the great peshwa Madhav Rao died in 1772, leaving behind a multitude of pretenders to the throne and bloody power struggles inside the confederation.
England, taking advantage of the Marathas decline, convinced one of the pretenders to the throne to sign the Treaty of Surat, exchanging the protection of British soldiers for Raghuntan Rao against considerable concessions on lands and trade in Broach and Surat.
From this Treaty of Surat and the ceaseless expansion of the East India Company and British influence arouse a latent conflict with several of the other Maratha lords. This led into a follow-on of bloody fighting, mainly with Hyder Ali and his successors and allies the so-called Mysore- or Maratha-Wars.
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