Friday 24 May 2013

The Guerilla battle of Tribes

May 17, 1846: The battle of Aberdeen

This was during the era of British government in India. The first revolt to happen was that of Sepoy mutiny in 1857 which demanded for a good penal system to jail the renegades of British rule. Thus the Cellular jail was formed in Andaman Island. The British made the jail and started shipping prisoners here but that didn’t fare well with the locals of the area. The natives were not friendly farmers but ferocious tribes looking for revenge from the British ‘white devils’ that seized their lands. The British had also killed a handful of these tribesmen which increased their hatred for them.  Now they were looking to get back at the British with every bit of spite they had against the British. They planned for days for a perfect strike and devised ruthless guerilla attack on the British who weren’t akin of these kinds of warfare.
And when the time was right, at the stroke of dawn, the guerilla cadres of tribes, armed with poisoned spear, bows and arrows, attacked the British through the coastal ways of the Islands and shunned the British with their diabolical fighting style and Machiavellian strategy. The poor Brits didn’t know what hit them. Many casualties were dealt by the tribes who were advantageous against all odds. The British had the wonder of gunpowder to their favor but that didn’t make up for the knowledge of the terrains the tribes had. The major parts around the Islands were jungles which favored the tribes in hiding and prancing in action when the enemy expected the least. This also proved o b the reason the British retreated from the coastal vanguard into the heart of the city. The tribes sought this as a chance to scrape off the Red coats off their lands. They pursued the British from the coastal areas to the city of Aberdeen which was the heart of British Andaman. The tribes showed great coordination and covert ingenuity unlike any other, even the modern Special Forces. The British had to call men in the hundreds to stop a band of sixty or so tribesmen. They efficiently delivered long range fire through bows and arrows and by accurately throwing poisoned spears at the British.
At this point the British army was successful in installing a counter action brigade just behind the falling men who were being slaughtered by the tribes. Just as the tribes moved into the heart of Aberdeen, they were leveled almost instantaneously by an outnumbered army. They were surrounded from all sides of the city by firing squads armed with muskets and they open fired on these few valiant tribesmen. The greatest strategic mistake the tribesmen did was to move from a strategically advantageous position into an enemy vanguard without any prior maneuvering. Soon after, they managed to slaughter ever last one of the tribesmen and those that survived fled into the jungles.
This was the story of the battle of Aberdeen which happened on very day of 17th of May. This was the one and only showdown between the British and the locals of Andaman.  The British never bothered to advance into tribal land and the tribes never walked out of their jungles in the fear of the British. They both lived in mutual fear of each other for a very long time.

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