Mutiny Of The Bengal Army
Mirza Firuz Shah
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George Bruce Malleson
Publisher and Place:
Bosworth & Harrison-London
Royal Mughal Ref:
The mutiny and great revolt of 1857–59
When soldiers of the Bengal army mutinied in Meerut on May 10, 1857, tension had been growing for some time. The immediate cause of military disaffection was the deployment of the new breech-loading Enfield rifle, the cartridge of which was purportedly greased with pork and beef fat. When Muslim and Hindu troops learned that the tip of the Enfield cartridge had to be bitten off to prepare it for firing, a number of troops refused, for religious reasons, to accept the ammunition. These recalcitrant troops were placed in irons, but their comrades soon came to their rescue. They shot the British officers and made for Delhi, 40 miles (65 km) distant, where there were no British troops. The Indian garrison at Delhi joined them, and by the next nightfall they had secured the city and Mughal fort, proclaiming the aged titular Mughal emperor, Bahādur Shah II, as their leader. There at a stroke was an army, a cause, and a national leader—the only Muslim who appealed to both Hindus and Muslims.
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