Battle of Wandiwash

  • IASbaba
  • January 26, 2022
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(Sansad TV: Today in History)

Jan 22: Battle of Wandiwash – https://youtu.be/gRkv0cB_Z60 


  • GS-2: India and its neighbourhood

Battle of Wandiwash

Also known as: Third Carnatic War

Between: A battle in India between the French and the British (part of the global Seven Years’ War)

  • Count de Lally (French General)
  • British Lieutenant-General Sir Eyre Coote

For: Attempt by the French to acquire the Fort of Vandavasi

Where: Vandavasi in Tamil Nadu

Who won: British

Course of the War

  • In Europe, as Austria started the process to recover Silesia, the Seven Years War (1756-63) began. Britain and France were standing once again on opposite sides.
  • In 1758, the French army under French General, Count Thomas Arthur de Lally captured the English forts of St. David and Vizianagaram in 1758.
  • The Britishers became offensive and inflicted heavy losses on the French fleet under Admiral D’Ache at Masulipatnam.
  • British defeated France in India; The French lost the possession to the British and also other territories. The war came to an end with the Signing of the Treaty of Paris
  • The acquired territories of both the sides were restored, but the French lost their influence in India forever.

Significance of the War

  • French lost their political influence in India forever.
  • The English became the supreme European power in the Indian subcontinent with no rival. This was a huge turning point for the Britishers which led to dominance and establishing their rule across the country.

How did British won and French lost?

A. Lesser Governmental Control over British: 

  • The English company was a private enterprise. With less governmental control over it, this company could take instant decisions when needed without waiting for the approval of the government. Qucik decisions >> better outcomes
  • The French company, on the other hand, was controlled and regulated by the French government and was hemmed in by government policies and delays in decision-making.

B. Superior British Navy and Bigger Cities under Control: 

  • The English navy was superior to the French navy 
  • It helped to cut off the vital sea link between the French possessions in India and France.

C. Strong presence of British on Indian land:

  • The English held three important places, namely, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras
  • Bengal was the richest province at that time providing the British more money for the maintenance of their army.
  • French had only Pondicherry.

D. British were Strong in terms of monetary position: 

  • The French did not focus on their commercial interests compared to their imperialistic ambitions, which made the French company short of funds.
  • In spite of their imperialistic motives, the British never neglected their commercial interests.

E. Superior British Commanders: 

  • A major factor in the success of the English in India was the superiority of the commanders in the British camp- Sir Eyre Coote, Major Stringer Lawrence, Robert Clive and many others
  • There was only Dupleix on the French side.


  1. The First Carnatic War (1746–1748): 
    • Fought between the French and the British. 
    • The first of the 3 war fought between the French and the British
    • An extension of the Anglo-French rivalry in Europe, Austrian War of Succession
  2. Second Carnatic War (1749-1754)
    • Fought between Nasir jung on one side, supported by the English, and on the other was Chanda Sahib and Muzaffar Jung, supported by French, vying to become the Nawab of Arcot. 
    • The war ended with the Treaty of Pondicherry, signed in 1754 which recognised Muhammad Ai khan walajah as the Nawab of Carnatic

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. How did internal rivalries lead to early British expansion and control in India? Discuss.
  2. Explain the causes and consequences of the third Carnatic War?

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