The Battle of Pollilur on 10th September 1780, fought as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War, was one of the worst defeats the British ever faced on the Indian subcontinent. It was fought between The East India Company, led by Colonel William Baillie, and the Mysore Army under the command of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan. Heavily outnumbered and wounded in battle, Bailie was taken prisoner and eventually died in captivity in Seringapatam, in the state of Karnataka near Mysore on 13th November 1782. News of Pollilur aroused widespread consternation in England that India was lost, yet the details of Baillie's defeat and capture are often shrouded in mystery. In this engaging new biography, derived from fresh new research and archival material previously unseen, Alan Tritton presents the true story of William Baillie's life and death in India covering the period 1760-1782. Overturning the consensus view on the disaster at Pollilur, Tritton provides an original new angle in reassessing Colonel Baillie's blame for the defeat, and questions whether he should be remembered as a failure or, indeed, a British military hero.
When the Tiger Fought the Thistle
The Tragedy of Colonel William Baillie of the Madras Army