"There is only one truth about war: people die."Prologue
Excerpt From: The Long Road Ahead: Britain’s Path to Glory 1700 – 1799, by Edward Noggs (c. 1920)
Chapter 4: Sub-continental Expansion & the Anglo-Marathas War
“... with the war against Prussia long over, public opinion towards foreign policy changed, and so the new government (under the soon-to-be infamous Charles Goodwin) had to re-evaluate their policy on colonial expansion. The wars against the Cherokee nations had proved disastrous through the early 18th century, with army after army falling to the cunning of the Native Americans. Goodwin decided that a new approach was needed in the Americas, and so Governor Norris was ordered instead to maintain the ‘status quo’ – a move that would end up angering the Thirteen Colonies to the point of rebellion.
However, with news flooding in of opportunities and wealth to be found on the Indian sub-continent, preparations were made for an expedition which would herald in the age of British rule over colonial India. Goodwin saw this as a chance to do what the Empire had wanted to do in America and his hope was that a decisive victory would once again sway public opinion back in favour of expansionism.
In a typical show of flourish and style that would be the hallmark of Goodwin’s government, the largest fleet the Empire had ever seen was assembled for the expedition, and put under the capable hands of Admiral Durnsford. As for the expedition itself, Goodwin assembled an army from the various colonial units operating in the Americas, many of whom had just spent the past year training for a fresh invasion of Cherokee-held Florida. Edwin Wayne, a new and fresh faced colonial who had just finished his campaign against the pirate gangs operating in the Caribbean, was given overall command of the operation.
As generals go, Wayne was in no means the worst to have ever stood at the for of a British army in war-time, and his swift campaign against the Kuchki Pirate Clans ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity in the Americas. However, Wayne had never commanded an army as large as the one setting out for the sub-continent, which would ultimately be his undoing. Despite initial successes, Wayne’s inexperience, and in some respects his personality, would eventually earn him a place in the history books on the fields of Yadgir... ”
Yadgir, Bijipur Province, India
22nd January, 1734
Sergeant Matthias Helmaaker sat on a rock feeling utterly exhausted. His uniform, which he worked so hard to keep clean and spotless, hung in tatters on his thin frame. His hands and face were blackened with soot; his body was covered with burns, cuts, scrapes... and his shoulder hurt. But he was alive.
It was strangely quiet in the village of Yadgir. Never mind the fact that it had been abandoned days ago, and even when they had first arrived it had been quiet, but now it just seemed...eerie. He looked up to see the crows and vultures circling the battle ground. It made Matthias seethe with anger, he wanted to take his rifle and shoot every last bird out of the sky... but then he remembered he ran out of ammo hours ago.
He didn’t know what to do now, nothing seemed to make sense anymore. What was left of his company were behind him, also in various stages of exhaustion. One, a trooper named Mikael was sobbing his eyes out. Up the hill he could see the artillery slowly limbering up their cannons, he noticed they were trying very hard not to look in his direction.
That’s no way to respect the dead, he thought.
Looking in the other direction, he saw General Wayne sitting on his horse, his aide and what little remained of his body guard just behind him. Matthias couldn’t even describe the look on the man’s face. Matthias didn’t care though; he just wanted to go punch the stupid lammeling in the mouth.
If only he wasn’t so damn tired...
Using his battered musket for support, he stood up and started following the departing artillery, towards the camp, which had set up about 20 minutes away, towards the hills surrounding Hyderabad. It occurred to him that they didn’t know what had happened yet.
He spent the next ten minutes trying to not think about anything.
“Hey you there! Sergeant!”
Matthias looked up to see a man in the uniform of a colonial dragoon. He knew instantly that he wasn’t from the column. For starters he looked too clean, not to mention the fact that their force of dragoons were mostly dead or wounded.
“Where’s General Wayne? I have a dispatch from the new Governor. He wants Wayne to march on Satara with all haste.”
Matthias looked at the dragoon with a blank look on his face.
“...really,” he said.
“Yes Indeed. The Mughals have just won a decisive victory over our foe in the north, and the Mysore King Wodeyar is marching up from the south. The Govenor wants the regional capital secured so that we control ports on both coasts, and so that we don’t have to fight the Mughals or the Mysorians. At least not yet,” the dragoon gave a wry smile, although Matthias didn’t really see what was funny.
The dragoon’s smile faltered when Matthias didn’t say anything.
“Well... anyway. Where’s the general? And where’s the rest of the column? I passed the artillery on the way up here and thought it odd that they weren’t being escorted.”
Matthias looked up and down the road at the small group of rag-tag men who had followed up him from Yadgir. He did a quick mental count.
“You’re looking at it,” he said eventually.
The dragoon gave a nervous scoff, “don’t be silly man. General Wayne had around 1800 men all told. What is this, the advanced guard? Walking wounded? I suppose the general is up ahead with the rest of the column? I can see smoke, you must have defeated the Satara garrison. Excellent!”
Matthias was too tired to argue, and so simply nodded. As the dragoon made his farewells and rode on towards the village, the sergeant mused that technically the dragoon was right anyway. The general was up ahead with the rest of the column, and they had defeated the Santana garrison.
What he didn’t understand was the rest of the column, like their enemy, were corpses.
To be continued...
Hello, and welcome to my first AAR on this forum.
I have some experience with fanfiction and writing, but I dabble, so forgive me if this doesn't meet the highest literary standards.
'Victory' is story that centres around a battle I had during my British Campaign, early on in my conquest of India. Ironically however, my game crashed alot during this period, and I kept having to restart before this battle took place. So technically speaking, this battle never actually happened within my current campaign timeline.
As such, I've taken a lot of liberties with the setting, names, time/dates etc... although I've tried to take as much from the campaign as it was at the time as I could.
I hope you enjoy it. Comments are welcome.
(Sorry for the dodgy Photoshoppping)