‘Their Infantry and Guns Will Astonish You’

The Army of Hindustan and European Mercenaries in Maratha service 1780-1803

Andy Copestake

The book details the rise and fall of the Army of Hindustan. Containing detailed organizational tables and pay scales. Campaign and battles narratives. Details of the European soldiers of fortune who raised and led these ‘Trained Brigades' in the service of the House of Scindia and the Maratha Confederacy.
Date Published :
July 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
21 images, 8 maps, 13 color images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059773
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.75 X 7 inches
Stock Status : Available


By the middle of the eighteenth century, the Mughal Empire in India was in serious decline. The rulers of the various breakaway successor states faced a major military problem. Their armies were being effortlessly scattered by much smaller forces of European led and trained troops. Their immediate answer was to buy in specialist help in the form of European mercenaries to train their own troops in the methods of the victorious British and French.

This led to a number of so called ‘Trained Brigades’ of regular eighteenth century infantry and formidable artillery being added to the armies of many of the Indian Princes. This book details to most successful of these formations, the Army of Hindustan in the service of the Maratha Prince Madhaji Scindia and his successor Daulat Rao. From an initial force of two battalion raised in 1784 by the Savoyard mercenary Benoit de Boigne, the Army of Hindustan would eventually number over 30,000 men and almost 200 guns. It would be commanded by Europeans of many nationalities including English, Scottish, French, Irish, Italian, German, and Dutch officers. This formidable force’s almost unbroken run of victories would only be broken by the Second Maratha War where the future Duke of Wellington would fight what he always considered the hardest battle of his career against a small portion of the Army of Hindustan.

About The Author

Andy Copestake has been interested in military history since he could read. Educated at Stand Grammar School Manchester and with a Degree from Teesside University, he has been a keen wargamer and military modeller since the age of 12. He spent much of the 1980s in a variety of jobs including the Civil Service until becoming the UK and European representative for US model manufacturer Old Glory in 1992, a job he has enjoyed ever since. Although a sometime contributor to Wargames magazines, this is his first book. He and his wife Carole currently live in County Durham.


"This book with its graphs, maps and clear, detailed narrative is a great resource for those wishing to get beyond the stereotypes."

- The Napoleon Series

More from this publisher