21.08.

1778: Why was One of the Battles of the American Revolutionary War Fought in Pondicherry, India?

1778: Why was One of the Battles of the American Revolutionary War Fought in Pondicherry, India?
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 21 August 1778
  • At the time, France and the United Kingdom had many colonies around the world, and the American Revolutionary War became something akin to a world war when France entered the war against the Britain. French colonies in India included many cities along the coast, and Pondicherry was their administrative center, i.e. the seat of the Governor-General of French India.

On this day in 1778, the British began the siege of the French colonial city of Pondicherry in India.

It is interesting to note that this battle was fought in India due to the American Revolutionary War.

In 1778, France entered the war and became an ally of the United States, fighting against Britain. At the time, France and the United Kingdom had many colonies around the world, and the American Revolutionary War became something akin to a world war.

French colonies in India included many cities along the coast, and Pondicherry was their administrative center, i.e. the seat of the Governor-General of French India (French: Gouverneur Général de l’Inde française). Guillaume Léonard de Bellecombe held this position during the British attack.

Other French colonial cities in India surrendered to the British without a fight, but Pondichery, as the capital, used its military force to resist.

Governor-General de Bellecombe reinforced the city’s fortifications before the expected attack. He had 700 soldiers and several hundred Indian sepoys.

The British General Sir Hector Munro attacked the French, and his forces proved stronger.

The French resisted conquest for more than eight weeks. But, eventually the Governor-General de Bellecombe had to surrender, and French India came under the British control.

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